Tea and coffee specialist Whittard of Chelsea is to relaunch its website as part of a marketing push to play on its heritage as a “master blender”.

The retailer will launch the transactional site, created by digital agency 9xb.com, in August, targeting improved conversion rates, a streamlined ordering process and a boost in online sales.  

Whittard opened its first store in Fleet Street, London in 1886, when in-store staff blended teas and coffees from around the world to customer tastes.

The website and campaign will focus on the retailer’s core tea and coffee offer after Whittard previously broadened its marketing to encompass china crockery and accessories.

UK online sales rose 31% in the year to December 29, 2012 and Whittard plans to add a tea and coffee loyalty club to its UK website later this year.

9xb.com director Simon Blake said: “The new design will have far greater visual impact than the existing one and will incorporate a simpler ordering process to make it quicker and easier for people to buy online.

“The site is being developed in line with wider marketing activity to raise awareness of Whittard’s expertise as a specialist tea and coffee retailer with modern online shoppers.”

In May, Whittard reported a £1.2m rise in EBITDA before exceptional items to £1.4m from December 25, 2011 to December 29, 2012. Total sales edged up to £31.8m from £31.5m the previous year.