A Nose for Success

Wilsons & Co are one of the world's oldest, most renowned manufacturers of snuff - a fine ground, flavoured tobacco product. Based in Sheffield, they produce an extensive range of snuffs at Sharrow Mills, a picturesque site that runs adjacent to the city's River Porter.

The brand has roots which stretch right back to 1737, when the company's founders first rented the water wheel and buildings at the Mills. Although steam power was introduced on site in 1797, the same water wheel there remains operational today.

Over the centuries, the company has forged an outstanding reputation within the industry, with their products sought after from far and wide. Despite this, the company's online presence was in major need of an overhaul.

What Was the Brief?

The client needed a complete update to their previous website. To ensure their digital image matched the quality of their products, we needed to produce a contemporary, effective e-commerce site for Wilsons & Co. There were a number of important areas to consider:

  • User navigation: On the previous site, it wasn't always easy for customers to find what they needed. Useful information about the company was hidden away, whilst the menu structure also needed work.
  • Logical purchase process: Improving the user flow through the website was another important issue that we identified. The menu structure in particular needed a complete re-think.
  • Graphics and imagery: To encourage engagement with the site, we wanted to use bold and interesting imagery. It was important that this worked with the brand.
  • Selling the company: Given the history and reputation of Wilsons & Co - and the outstanding variety of products they offer - we felt they were underselling themselves online. We were keen to ensure that this issue was rectified.
  • Easy management:The client was keen to launch the new website, but they also wanted to be able to easily add additional products and categories further down the line. So that they could do this, they would require a simple-to-use CMS (Content Management System).

What Did We Do?

Menu/Filter Structure

Having identified a need to improve user flow throughout the site, we implemented a menu/filter structure that made it as simple as possible for users to navigate to the products they wish to buy. Wilsons & Co retail smoking products and accessories, as well as a wide selection of snuff, so we wanted to make these different areas of the business clearly divisible.

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Imagery & Graphics

Within the product sections in particular, the site is very image-led. For items such as the lighters, this is handy for users keen to get a good idea of what the graphics look like on the products. On the individual product pages, we have used clear call-to-actions to encourage purchases.

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Useful Information For Buyers

During the purchase process, buyers are presented with lots of clearly-displayed, useful information to help them make informed decisions. Snuffs include information on nicotine content, menthol content and moisture content; which is useful for new and seasoned users of the product alike.

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There was very little information available on the previous Wilsons & Co site, with the product and category pages in need of particular work. This was harming the ranking potential of the site, as well as damaging the user experience. As part of the project, we produced the copy for the whole of the new site, in addition to providing content for future category launches.


So that the client would be able to launch new categories and products as required, we integrated our CMS within the site.

What Were the Results?

Wilsons & Co are now well set to generate more business online. Thanks to the content and structure of the new website, they are now able to communicate more effectively with their customers.


The Drum Network Awards Winner 2016 Chamber Business Awards 2016 Regional Winner The Drum RAR Recommended Until Sep 2017 Sheffield Business Awards Finalist Google Partner