Whittard of Chelsea has gone live with a replacement transactional web site following a soft launch in October.

The retailer wanted to get a more robust site up and running in time for Christmas peak trading and has been adding extra functionality in the weeks since.

Online accounts for about 3 per cent of Whittard’s sales at present. It wants to increase this to 10 per cent as quickly as possible, with the aim of reaching£5 million in online sales within the next three years.

Changes to the site include better search facilities and improved discount functionality. Existing customers can also re-order tea and coffee with a single click and multiple delivery addresses can be handled within a single order.

The site has been developed by the retailer’s own technical team with the help of design agency Checkland Kindleysides, which has focused on replicating the in-store experience online.

It is targeting two particular groups – seasonal gift buyers and tea and coffee connoisseurs – and has improved navigation from the home page as well as adding more educational information on products.

More additions to the web site are likely to appear in the near future.

Whittard of Chelsea head of home shopping Heidi Thompson said: “We want to constantly improve our service and web site, so it’s an ongoing development. That’s one of the major benefits of developing the site internally. It also allows us to respond to customer feedback more quickly and more cost effectively.”