We’re Back! Re-opening, 2022 Update & £50 Giveaway
Matt here, UGP director. How are you all doing?
It’s crazy that I am writing this in the 2nd half of April, we’re already nearly 4 months into the year and time is flying by. But, Summer is just around the corner — not wish the year away too quickly.
2022 so far
Our 2022 hasn’t been quite as we expected — not to say it hasn’t been an epic first 3 and a bit months though.
At the end of 2021, we took the decision to remain closed for an extended period after Christmas. The reasoning for this was to get a lot of things behind the scenes in good order to launch us into 2022 in a better, more solid state than in 2021.
2021 was our first year and it was far more than we ever expected it to be. The reviews and comments you have all left are incredible and really cement our belief in the way we want to do things. Thank you to all of you who took the time to write a review, share your experience or just say something about how we do things. It means a lot to get that feedback and enables us to steer our future to continue to build upon our early success.
Investing in our future
Speaking of early success, part of what’s been going on is securing investment to really project UGP forward. UGP has received and will continue to receive, significant financial backing to propel us forward. With this greater financial spending ability, we can look at doing things that would have been irresponsible or too risky last year… we can gamble a little bit here and there on some insanely exciting new initiatives and projects!
But, let’s get to why we have been closed for so long and what we’ve been doing with our time — website development work.
Further evolution of the website
Over the past 3 months, a massive amount of work has gone into the website. Entire sections of it have been rewritten with refinements, tweaks, polishing and new features added. A few examples of what’s been undertaken are:
- Reworked the product listing page so it’s clearer and a lot quicker to load.
- New product filter tabs are being rolled out across the store allowing you to drill down beyond just manufacturer or model. You’ll be able to search for a component based on a key attribute or feature.
- There have been improvements to the search functionality.
- A new product catalogue layout is now available – list or grid view – and we’ll be adding an option to your account area for the site to “remember” which view you prefer.
- Wishlists have been developed and rolled out. Click the heart to add or remove and view from your My Account homepage. There are more features in the works for the actual wishlist page. At the moment, it’s segmented by product category. We’ll be adding filters to show just a specific category from the list to save scrolling through it all. We’ll also be adding an organiser so you can name and organise multiple lists.
- Reworked the cart and checkout pages so it’s clearer and, hopefully, simpler for you to get through the checkout process.
- Introduced a loyalty points scheme on all purchases.
- Reintroduced commenting on articles and blog posts – you want to comment on this one, read on to find out why!!!
- A massive amount of refinements and performance improvements to make the site faster. It was already doing quite well, loading in around 1.5 seconds in 2021. Now, it’s down to being consistently below 1 second across all pages.
- All new My Account homepage to make the important things easier to find.
- A new refund and RMA system mean you can request to return an unwanted item for a refund from your My Account area and request an RMA for a faulty item.
- We have an all-new live chat system implemented. This new platform will give us a lot more tools to help with things from knowledgebase to support tickets.
- Plus much more and what’s still to come…
We are a small team of only a few people and it’s just not possible to commit this amount of time to the website while continuing to deliver orders and provide the level of customer service we wish to — particularly when you hear about a couple of major new additions to the UGP website. News on those will be forthcoming in good time but if you can guess what THE major addition to the store is going to be, you could win £50. Read on and check out what you need to do to win at the end of the post.
A growing team
On the subject of customer service, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that Marijana has joined the customer care team in addition to her role as a product manager. Marijana joined UGP last summer and is responsible for creating all those very lovely and informative product listings that you read and see. With her extensive product knowledge and impeccable attention to detail, Marijana is the natural candidate to join me in helping you all with your queries and questions. I can’t be happier to have her with me assisting on the customer care front.
Amy, who looks after most of the social media side of things, will be working closely with me over the coming few months to roll out some new ideas. All those bright and colourful posts you see on Instagram are thanks to Amy’s hard work. We’ll be doing more on the social media front to bring a tonne of new initiatives, giveaways and competitions.
Finally, the editorial team will continue with their awesome work bringing new feature-length articles to you each month. We scaled back the news side of things last year and that won’t be coming back anytime soon. Some articles may be written but they’ll be very few and far between and they will be taking a less prominent position on the website homepage when that page is reworked.
Looking forward into 2022
I’ve touched on a lot of what has happened and is happening already. For me, 2022 is all about continuing to build upon last year. Continue to deliver that quality of service that has earnt us a 4.8 Trustpilot rating with the number of 1 or 2-star reviews for the year being in single digits — with the causes for the bad reviews being addressed to prevent a repeat!
We’ll continue to work towards stronger brand partnerships — something that should come with the major launch that’s coming. I’m very keen to discover new brands that are either complete unknowns or are doing very well in their country of origin but haven’t yet been brought to the UK. There are some fantastic products out there that we just don’t yet have in the UK.
The world of streaming continues to go from strength to strength and I see a lot of opportunity and fun to be had in that field. Building systems is a personal love of mine and I will finally finish what I started on that front — stay tuned there!
Finally, we have a Discord server! It’s very early days but if you would like to join, come say hi. Let’s build a community there that is really tight-knit and is a space for total transparency between you and UGP. Wish to discuss a new idea or a contentious issue? We won’t shut you down. It’s a space where we can listen to you, take on board your criticism and implement change where necessary and appropriate.
There’s plenty more to come from us, we’re just getting started and can’t wait to see where this year takes us.
Thanks for reading and good luck to anyone trying to guess what the major addition is to win the £50 voucher.
We’ve mentioned a couple of times that there’s something big coming to UGP in the coming weeks. We’re rolling out another major addition to the UGP store and if you’re the first person to guess what it’s going to be, a £50 store voucher will be applied to your account.
So, the first person to comment correctly — down below, after this post — what THE major upcoming launch from UGP is, wins a £50 voucher that will be added to their account for use anywhere in the store! The voucher has no expiry date on it and you’ll be able to win it as long as someone else hasn’t or the feature has launched.
As you have to have an account to comment on UGP, the winner will have their comment replied to and we’ll email you to let you know. We’ll post a comment in the comments with the correct answer once the feature launches but it’ll be pretty obvious what it is when it happens! If there’s still no winner when this happens, it will signal the competition’s closure. We’ll let things run for a minimum of 7 days, announcing the winner (if there is one) on Wednesday, April 27.