Ethical Consumer

Ethical Consumer letterbox image

The challenge

Over the last 20 years, Ethical Consumer have developed the world's most sophisticated rating system to help consumers make informed, ethical choices about their purchases; choices that reflect their personal interests and concerns across a range of environmental, social, animal welfare and health issues.

Prior to engaging Agile Collective, Ethical Consumer had conducted their own internal discovery and design process, resulting in a clear direction for information architecture, visual design and UX.

Ethical Consumer chose us as their technical partner to implement this new design and build a robust and scalable platform that delivered:

  • Integration with Corporate Critic, their custom Ratings database via an API;
  • The ability for subscribers to customise the ratings based on preferences;
  • Integration with Myriad, their CRM and subscriptions management system;
  • Ecommerce capabilities, including subscriptions and renewals, with orders and user accounts synced to the CRM;
  • Payment options for PayPal and Fidelipay, with Direct Debits to come in a future phase of work;
  • A more flexible content creation system giving greater power to content editors.

The approach

Joining the project as technical partner, we modified our standard base theme for Drupal 8 to accommodate their Bootstrap-based HTML/CSS design prototypes and developed, built the new site in Drupal across eight sprints, and advised on the development of a new, flexible API for the ratings database.

Using Drupal Commerce, we created custom checkout flows for subscriptions, renewals and gifts, while using Commerce License to manage subscriptions. We also developed a custom Drupal module to provide integration with Fidelipay payment gateway. With our custom Drupal install profile, we leveraged the power of Paragraphs to enable content editors to create varied, content-rich pages.

Improving the user experience of logged-in subscribers was also a priority; one that we addressed by overriding Drupal defaults to present a clean interface that highlights subscriber discounts and time-to-renewal, with a clear call-to-action for the checkout process, and easier subscriber profile management.

The outcome

The new Ethical Consumer website offers subscribers the opportunity to view more than 200 product guides and company profiles and a wealth of in-depth content.  Since launch, the new site has seen a significant uptick in traffic and new subscriber conversions. Having a performant, reliable site has provided Ethical Consumer with the confidence to increase their site promotion and marketing activities.

We are now supporting Ethical Consumer for the long-term, and looking forward to helping them grow their impact, providing a growing number of people with the information they need to change the world through their wallets.

We worked with Agile on the build of a technically challenging website. It included using an external data API to display complex information in dynamic tables, integration with an unusual and slightly crazy CRM system, adding a subscription paywall that can be controlled by site editors, and creating a bespoke ecommerce process with multiple payment providers.

Their approach throughout was excellent. The project management was detailed without being onerous, with very clear communication and the use of PM tools that made it simple to track progress and address each issue. Their approach was to bring us in as part of a team, and always to focus on delivery. As the person responsible at the client end, this made my work a lot calmer and easier than is often the case.

The actual development was first rate, with highly skilled and experienced developers always thinking about the best approach, and offering solutions that were very user-focused. They were always open to discussion about the best ways to achieve requirements, and clear about implications of different options. They were great.

Everyone in the organisation is delighted with the final build, which looks great and functions beautifully. It is worth adding that they are a splendid bunch of people, and we are very happy to continue working with them.

Michael, Project Manager

We found Agile to be a fantastic co-operative to work with. They have been helpful and supportive all through the web build process, offering detailed explanations and advice where necessary and also responding quickly to requests and issues as they have arisen.

We now have a much quicker website, that has 100% uptime. Their work on our e-commerce has improved sales by just over 80% year on year while other metrics have also shown improvement including bounce rates and time on site.

Tim, Co-Editor and Director