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NW Keys Ltd – – One of the first E-Commerce web sites to sell keys!

Around the time that Amazon were becoming giants of e–commerce, NW Keys were in the process of adding all of their stock items to a computerized stock control.

Part of this new system was an e-commerce application, which the software team were keen for us to test out.

With the eagerness of Guinea Pigs – we set about developing the site!

This was 2003, at that time we were still handwriting orders which would often include sketchy notes & drawings of keys.

Little did we know what a massive venture we were undertaking. Just adding the stock codes, pricing up and basic categorizing took around 12 months to complete.

Not to mention the images, descriptions and associated products which needed adding – in fact we’re still working on these 20 years later!

We launched our web site in February 2004 – A slow start with many customers still preferring to ring us!

At that time only 6.7% of small businesses were selling online and we were the first to showcase such a massive range of key blanks – covering auto and domestic and with accessories and machinery to match.

Communication is key – the more information you can associate with a product, the more you can guarantee the customer finding and selecting the correct goods.

The biggest challenge has been making such a complex site (with a massive stock range) easy to search.

Each stock item is allocated a department – so you search ‘Ford’ and our web site will show you the list of associated departments such as case only, central locking remotes, ignition locks, remote blades, lock picks and much more.

So, you want a Ford blade made by Silca?

Seach ‘Ford

Filter Department> Remote blades and Brand> Silca

You will then get a list of all the Silca remote blades that we stock for Ford.

We have additional product filters within each category.

So, you want an aftermarket remote repair case for a Vauxhall with 2 buttons and a flip out blade?

Select category Auto Locksmiths> Remote repair cases

Product filters Make Vauxhall, Style Flip and Type 2 button.

We sell Silca and Keyline products but the web site is designed to search other brands.

So, you want a JMA WM-4D key?

Search WM-4D (with or without the dots and dashes) and our web site will find the key that we stock.

Search by Vehicle Make, Model & Year – The most comprehensive vehicle key search available

In 2009 we produced our first NW Keys Transponder manual – detailing by make model and year, the associated empty case, chip, remote, blade, picking tool & repair case.

The database for this manual was massive so we didn’t want to restrict it to just the printed copy.

We also wanted a search that could be updated between printed versions as well.

So along came our online Search by Vehicle.

This allows you to enter the make, model & year of the vehicle to show you all the associated products that we stock.

You’ll find this search in the Auto Locksmiths section (or viewable at the top of the page if you’re logged in).

We’ve just released our 6th edition NW Keys Transponder Manual in a paper and PDF (USB) format.

The web search will be completed (to bring it as up to date as these two) in the next couple of months.

New Developments and Future Plans

Over the last few years as well as adding new stock items and updating current stock (a never-ending task) we have been developing applications that allow the customer to manage their orders and accounts.

You can view:

Top Sellers> Making it easier to re-order our Top 50 products

Favorites> Auto generated based on what you buy

Account Statement> View statement and make a payment

Order History> Check the status of your order and print invoices

Bonus Point History> Check how many bonus points you have accumulated

Bonus points were introduced in 2017. Points are accumulated based on 1 point for every £1.00 spent inclusive of VAT. These soon build up and can be redeemed at checkout when placing a new web order.

Currently in the pipeline:

Goods returns procedure

Shipping Options at checkout

Successful e-commerce businesses will be those staying attuned to emerging trends and consistently prioritizing customer needs.

Pricing needs to be competitive; communication is key (excuse the pun) and making product searches easy and dynamic is a priority. Who knows what future technology will bring to enhance our online sales?!