About Banner Fire Equipment
INDUSTRY: Fire Equipment Distribution
Banner Fire has been equipping firefighters and emergency responders across the Midwest with best-in-class fire and rescue apparatus, gear, and tools for nearly four decades. Their modern 39,000-square-foot facility ensures they have what emergency responders need to protect their communities.
Updated website and e-commerce experience that helps emergency responders get what they need quickly.
Manual Hours Saved
Equipping for Success
Banner Fire has been equipping first responders and firefighters with the tools they need to protect their communities for nearly four decades. Their 39,000-square-foot facility houses everything an emergency responder needs to get the job done safely, from parts and service to testing and inspections.
The team at Banner Fire had a vision: to be the Amazon for firefighters and first responders to make it as fast and easy for these community heroes to access the equipment they need to stay safe while saving lives. In order to do this, they sought to improve the e-commerce functionality on their website to better integrate with their ERP system. This would make their large inventory and newly expanded product offerings available to customers online, providing an easier buying experience and better access to their full suite of products.
Improving Automation to Save Time and Reduce Error Risk
Banner Fire warehouses approximately 8,000 products on any given day. To be effective, they needed to bring more automation to the integration between their ERP system and the e-commerce functionality on the website. Prior to this project, Banner Fire team members worked daily with the ERP to pull any information that had changed (prices, descriptions, titles, SKU numbers, manufacturer updates, etc.), and manually entered changes into the e-commerce platform, a time-consuming and error-prone process.
To reflect Banner Fire’s position as a market leader and align with their vision of becoming the Amazon for first responders, the UI/UX of the e-commerce functionality needed to be simplified and streamlined. We also saw the opportunity to enhance Banner Fire’s brand to better tell the story of the problems they solved every day for firefighters and first responders so that they could build deeper connections with their audience.
Understanding the Market
After leading our Winning Zone and persona workshops with Banner Fire and conducting independent research, we learned how decision-makers in the fire industry shop for equipment. Understanding this buyer’s journey allowed us to make better decisions in shaping the user flows and UI/UX of the Banner Fire website.
On the marketing side of the website, we also worked to flesh out the parts and services content and online experience. While parts and services were once viewed at Banner Fire as a separate branch, they have since been integrated with the organization as a whole, and we brought that integration to life with the website redesign and restructure.
Automating Processes for Accurate Lead Times
Working directly with Banner Fire’s ERP provider, we set up a system that would check for updates every night, and then push those changes to the e-commerce portion of the site. Now, any time a price, product description, SKU, or other product information changes, the site automatically shows the most up-to-date information for more accurate lead times. Some equipment used by first responders comes with long lead times, so having accurate lead times on the site helps Banner Fire customers make informed decisions and understand expectations for when products will arrive.
Updating the Look and Feel
Automated processes? Check. An easier, more navigable user experience? Check. From a back-end perspective, Banner Fire’s site saw an elevated presence that not only streamlined processes but presented information in a way that makes sense. But first impressions count, and we wanted to ensure their site’s look and feel complimented the functionality.
Banner Fire has always been a team that’s proud to serve those who serve their communities during emergency situations. With the website redesign, we incorporated cinematic imagery that captures the bravery and dedication of the firefights and first responders that Banner Fire supports. We also introduced a refreshed color palette that modernized the brand and allowed us to draw more attention to strategic calls to action.
Bounce Rate Decline
Page Session Increase
Before the launch of the new e-commerce-ERP integration, creating or updating a single product would take as long as 10 minutes for a Banner Fire team member. The more than 8,000 products Banner Fire offers would add up to nearly 1,300 hours of manual work! By creating an automated inventory process, Banner Fire’s website has provided approximately $200k in labor cost efficiencies, with that number growing as new products are added and updated.
Since the launch of the site, we’ve seen more meaningful user engagement. Pages per Session has increased by 4.08% and the Bounce Rate has declined by 10.53%.