hmv prove themselves the top dog with the most efficient way to launch a new ecommerce site for music fans

The home of entertainment goes digital

A mix of exclusive content, compelling mobile optimised design and secure online sales create an engaging and profitable customer experience.

Optimised for mobile, optimised for sales

Built with hmv’s on-the-go audience in mind the site is fully responsive and easy to use across mobile devices and desktop.

Carefully considered design at every stage

Ridgeway’s customer experience experts worked on clear navigation and visual signposting to create a compelling journey from browsing to purchase.

Maximum ecommerce functionality, minimum effort

Built with Ridgeway’s Kentico Ecommerce Accelerator to incorporate tailored discounting, exclusive customer service modules and more in less time than a traditional ecommerce build.

  • Secure, robust ecommerce platform
  • Supports a multichannel experience
  • Integrated with Worldpay, V.Me & PayPal 
  • Fully responsive, mobile optimised design
  • User centred design
  • SEO optimised

The brief 

hmv is a long standing British retailer, which has been at the forefront of the music, film and games industry for over 90 years.

Taking its first major steps into ecommerce, hmv were looking to bring the hmv in-store experience to the online market, especially to those who had lost their local branch.

The first step in a phased roll out, the latest release of the website aims to simply allow customers to buy from hmv’s massive catalogue of CD, Vinyl, DVD and Blu-ray securely online. Customers can also pre-order releases to be the first to receive the hottest music and film. 

A future focussed investment, hmv’s ecommerce solution would be a completely new and modern site, it did however, have to be in keeping with both hmv’s heritage, but also their other websites, including and

What we did

"The last thing we wanted is to become ‘just another high street retailer’. This is more about offering the ability to buy what the customers were demanding, whilst retaining what has been unique about the experience entertainment fans get on"
Steve Partridge, Head of Ecommerce at hmv

Ridgeway started with a visit to hmv’s flagship store on Oxford Street to understand the real experience that music masters and film buffs got in-store that could be recreated online. Ridgeway put together wireframes and prototypes that recreated the flow of information customers naturally followed, with clear and easy purchase options and calls to action.

The functionality hmv were looking for overlapped perfectly with 75% of the functionality offered by Ridgeway’s Ecommerce Accelerator platform, built on the solid base of the Kentico Content Management System. This allowed hmv to increase the functionality of the first phase without adding to the cost and time of the project.

Ridgeway concentrated on customising the promotions that hmv could offer, keeping in line with their famous “3 for £20” and other promotions. Pre-orders are automatically created if the release date is set for the future and will become normal stock after that date.

One challenge was how to tie together the informative magazine style of to the store in a smooth flow for the customer. A product API was built to add a “buy now” button to’s articles, allowing readers to purchase the content in one fluid motion. Ridgeway’s Customer Experience team took this one step further by researching the optimum way to layout the product page for maximum conversion.

The solution is also fully integrated with fulfilment and product data systems through APIs. Customers can make secure payments from major debit and credit cards, as well as PayPal and V.Me, via WorldPay at the checkout, whilst still collecting loyalty rewards through purehmv points.

With development complete, Ridgeway offered full Kentico training, enabling the hmv team to easily update content without agency intervention. 

The two companies continue to work together as hmv look to progress in the world of digital and truly replicate the in store experience across all channels. 

The results

In using the Ridgeway’s Ecommerce Accelerator offering, hmv has a secure and tailored ecommerce solution that has met both deadlines and budgets.

Ridgeway’s designs have been well received by the business, with other departments looking at them as a template for the brand image. 

From the first stage of a multiphase project, hmv are well on their way to creating the multichannel experience that entertainment fans crave, offering the finest vinyl, exclusive Steelbooks as well as engaging information about the latest and greatest films, bands and artists.

With customers flocking to buy from hmv online, initial sales were impressive and have been sustained with a healthy percentage of customers coming back for repeat purchases.