Shimu Furniture

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About Shimu

Based in Greengates, West Yorkshire, Shimu has been a leading specialist in Chinese Furniture since 2003, offering traditionally crafted oriental pieces, as well as an extensive selection of restored Chinese Antique furniture and other beautiful home accessories inspired by the orient.

Recently they have just opened a 3000 square foot showroom, close to Leeds where customers are able to view the large selection of handcrafted solid wood furniture, as well as a large majority of pieces from their Chinese Antique furniture.

Project Detail

The Centurius team have had a long standing partnership with Shimu, initially whilst working at another agency, in fact one of the team members created the branding for Shimu, which is still being used to this day. Over the years Centurius have witnessed the Shimu website change and evolve it’s look, feel and functionality to adapt to the ever changing technology of the web industry.
Shimu commissioned Centurius to create the next evolutionary stage of the Shimu website. This would be done initially by upgrading the client’s software from version 10 the Sellerdeck 2013, thus allowing additional functionality to be activated in the near future, if desired.

Shimu had a rough design mock-up created by an external agency that would serve as a an initial foundation to work from however Centurius still recommended that a design exercise be carried out to confirm the look and feel of the proposed final solution. From this we created four flat visuals to illustrate the final solution to the client. These were presented online and through telephone conference, with the client the designs were tweaked and adapted to a point where design sign-off was approved.

There was a complete design overhaul to the site making the site larger in width, lighter in style with an alternative menu system for quick and easy navigation. Centurius also integrated a suitable google font family which gave the site a more eye catching look with larger fonts for ease of reading.

A number of functions were included in the site to give a professional look and feel. These included an enhanced jQuery homepage advertisement rotator to allow the client to highlight specific offers and allow the customer to navigate to key products more easily. The rotator also allowed for textual content to be implemented, thus over time, assisting with organic search listings. There was also the implementation of four homepage adverts, again with adding function of including a text title over it, which offered clear links for customers to reach key sections within the website.

As briefly mentioned earlier navigation of the site was improved by the introduction of a mega menu system, allowing Shimu’s extensive product range to be displayed more efficiently. Improvements were also made with Sellerdeck’s new arrivals/best sellers functionality via a jQuery tabbed functionality, allowing more products to be displayed with less delay and administration.

The blog snippet feed functionality was carried over from the existing site as this acts as live news feed, when new articles are writing by the client.

New functionality, never implemented by Centurius before for a Sellerdeck, was integrated in the new site. This function allowed the client to decide whether the entire header of the site would follow the user as they scrolled down the page. This was especially useful if the client’s product summary page was extremely young. Another added function was a ‘Back to top’ footer link. Both functions may not seem fundamental to some however when you consider the importance of keeping the customers experience on your site a positive one, then you may have a higher chance of converting the sale.

There was a desire from the client to increase the visibility of the site and create links between website and customer. Centurius did this in two ways; the implementation of social media links on the site so that customers can go straight to customer interaction interfaces and the implementation of third party newsletter software which allows the customer to sign up to receive information and offers.

In terms of navigation, the sections were structured to display the sub sections within a top level section. Within this, the products were then set out to provide a larger image with key information such as name and price. Each element had the option to click through to an individual product page.

From an SEO perspective additional variable were added and adapted to allow for a large section image, SEO friendly H1 header tag plus an area to display some introductory text for the section. We also added an area that appears below the entire product list for the client to enter some key SEO content relating to that specific section. As the Shimu catalogue is quite large the in-built pagination functionality was activated allowing hundreds of products to be split down into manageable bit-size portions.

Using our extensive excel knowledge Centurius also converted the entire Shimu catalogue from individual section product pages to the built in separate product page layout. This in the administration of the site made the maintenance of the site faster and more effective when importing new products into the software.

For the product details page the core layout remained virtually the same. The key changes to the page was increasing the main product image dimensions en mass throughout the entire site. We also implemented a new jQuery tabber functionality which allows the client to break the content for the product down into tabbed information areas. Centurius customised the code to force specific tabs to appear throughout the entire catalogue.

To summarise the project Centurius were able to evolve the site to the next level allowing enhanced functionality which gives greater time efficiency when administering the site. The look and feel of the site now displays less clutter with greater focus given to the product catalogue through large image sizes as well as larger fonts for descriptions.


“I have known Lee and Jonathan at Centurius for over 10 years, from when Lee created the very first visuals and website for Shimu at a previous company. Throughout that time they have been a pleasure to work with – professional but personable – and I have been delighted with what they have produced for us. When they set up Centurius some years ago it was an easy decision to move our web design and support over to them and they continue to offer a superb service in terms of their creativity, execution, knowledge and support. We are delighted with the recent redesign of our site and I would fully recommend Centurius as a web partner.”

James Cottrell – Director
Shimu Limited

Get in touch…

Lencett House, 45 Boroughgate,
Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire,
Leeds, LS21 1AG

Tel: 0113 350 4095

Recent works

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