Miva Ecommerce Development
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Camden-Grey is an online retailer of high quality essential oils, ingredients, packaging and accessories needed to produce your own handcrafted items like soaps and lotions. They are also a small family-owned business based in Fort Myers, Florida, with a sprawling customer base of both private consumers (B2C) and retailers (B2B).The owner/operator, Vivian, reached out to Glendale Designs because she could recognize that while Camden-Greys roots were strong, the site was in need of a good sprucing up, visually. She was also eager to close the gaps in the functionality of the site that were holding the business back from its true earning potential. With the help of the Glendale team on her side, Vivian was ready to take Camden-Grey to the next level of e-commerce success.
As with most site rebuilds, a main point to be addressed is the visual design. As the e-commerce arena changes and grows over time, stores that have been around for years (and in the case of camdengrey.com, decades) need to indulge in some primping and beautifying to keep up with the styles of the day. Vivian wanted an update design, clean and organized to better display the vast amount of information provided for each product on the site. It was also important to her to have some way to boldly showcase any sales or promotions that may run in the future.
Alongside the visual representation of the store, the site’s mobile responsiveness needed to be addressed. While there was previously a mobile version of the site, it was separate from the main desktop version, which meant updates needed to be manually implemented in both locations. Besides being tedious and redundant work, it often led to updates and changes being missed on the mobile site. This created an unbalanced experience for the user.
A challenge that Vivian and her team were facing on a regular basis was keeping up with the large amount of information that needed to be managed with each item. Because of the nature of the products Camden-Grey sells, content like botanical name, processing times, shipping restrictions, and whether an item is considered a hazardous material, needed to be easily updatable, and clearly displayed. This meant there would be a significant amount of data work for the Glendale team to ensure the information was easy for Vivian and her employees to manage, while also working seamlessly within Miva’s boundaries.
One feature from the original Camden-Grey site that helped elevate it above most of their competitors in the market was the ability to offer rewards to their loyal customers. With all the improvements to the visual landscape of the site, the functionality, and the structure, it was natural and necessary to give the rewards system a face-lift as well. The previous version of Camdengrey.com used an outdated and limited module to run the points-based rewards program. This gave the Glendale Team the opportunity to move Camden-Grey over to the Zinrelo rewards system. Some of the work included transferring and cleaning up existing accounts and balances, setting up new rules, exclusive coupons, and tailoring the Zinrelo interface to meet Vivan’s needs.
While these were the major tasks that would be more obvious to the Camdengrey.com shoppers, the Glendale team also had their hands full with behind-the-scenes functionality that was crucial to the smooth (and legal) operation of the store. In dealing with hazardous materials, massive quantities of bulk items, and shipping internationally, the shipping calculations and allowances were extremely nuanced. They would need to be carefully fine-tuned to accommodate the specifications put into place by the courier companies, state import laws, and customs regulations.
The new site design for Camdengrey.com offers a clean and bold look, with bright spring colors and prominent images. On the homepage, the Camden-Grey staff now have the opportunity to update the hero image in order to promote a sale or a specific product. They can also relay a special message, promotion, or key piece of information (like seasonal hours) in the promo bar, to appear at the top of every page. While on actual product pages, that large amount of information that was critical to post is now neatly organized in a series of selectable tabs. The “Reviews” tab helps provide even more real-world information to the shopper. By providing the ability to sort reviews, view only reviews with a certain rating, and to leave a review easily, shoppers can get a greater insight into the product they are purchasing.
Part of the design that was introduced with the new site was the mini basket, along with other special features found during the checkout process. Vivian had requested to have a minimum purchase requirement on the site, so the Glendale developers programmed in rules to globally enforce the minimum order amount as well as an info bar to show the remaining balance needed to checkout. The checkout and customer account pages now also feature the option to remember customer tax ID numbers for those that are tax exempt. These sorts of small additions are the types of features that allow a returning customer to checkout quickly and easily, improving their shopping experience down to the very last click.
When the design and development team updated the look of the site, they used a theme that had built-in responsive capabilities to ensure the site remained uniform across devices. Besides being a more consistent shopping experience for the Camden-Grey customers, it also means less cost and down-time when something needs to be updated or changed.
While the design and dev team worked on the look and the function of the new site, the maintenance team was busy exporting, importing, and configuring the large amount of data that would be required on the new site. One of the largest data-based tasks was to combine the “regular” sized products with their bulk counterparts. Because Camden-Grey sells wholesale quantities to other retailers, a solution needed to be put in place that would combine the regular and bulk sized products, but also keep specific bulk shipping and pricing requirements distinct from the other sizes. By adding the bulk sizes as variants to the regularly sized items, this allowed the Glendale team to apply a special rate, weight, and shipping restriction to those options.
Along with the “bulk option” issue, the maintenance team was also able to apply very specific and detailed shipping restrictions to the hazardous material items. Due to the strict regulations at state and country borders, the hazmat products on Vivian’s site had been a proverbial thorn in their side, requiring constant shipping and pricing adjustments. Now that the site automatically restricts specific shipping methods and product combinations, the Camden-Grey staff can import, fulfill and prepare an order with a click of a button.
There had been concern, when the site was updated, that it would no longer function as required in conjunction with Camden-Grey’s existing shipping solution, Shipworks. Due to the specific information that was required on the shipping labels, the development team needed to ensure that the older Shipworks module that had been tweaked to suit Vivian’s needs would still cooperate with the updated shopping cart. By assisting in the installation and integration, the Glendale team was successfully able to incorporate the older Shipworks module with the updated Miva site.
Much like Shipworks, the specialty products on the site meant there would need to be some custom programming in order to successfully integrate the new customer loyalty system. Mainly, Vivian wanted the option of being able to restrict on which item the members could spend their points. Through adjusting the Zinrelo settings to suit Vivian’s needs and also making the shoppers happy, the Glendale team was able to tailor the rewards platform to Camden-Grey’s unique needs, ensuring their customers would have plenty of reason to return again and again.
By offering custom shipping options (like rush services, or signature-on-delivery), an optimized checkout, and a Glendale Designs custom contact form, wholesalers and consumers can now shop the website with ease. With a clear and measurable increase in usability, Camden-Grey can savor the benefits of a 223% increase in session duration, a decrease in bounce rate of two-thirds, and an almost-tripled amount of time spent per page. After much hard work and custom tailoring, the new Camdengrey.com is a pleasure to visit and a breeze to explore.
If you’re interested in exploring any of these features, or find yourself struggling with the same challenges on your own site, contact Glendale Designs today to see how we can help.
We’re extremely pleased with the work Glendale Designs performed on our website recently, we use the Miva Merchant platform. The site had gotten old and stale and was not functioning at a level that was satisfactory. As expected, the redesign took several months with lots of back and forth communication throughout the process. Sabine and Christine were wonderful to work with and were available to answer any and all questions and concerns we had along the way, they continue to assist us with any issues on which we need assistance. Glendale Designs is a professional, highly responsive company.