Miva Ecommerce Custom Development

Data Manipulation, Design, Web Development, Customization

Whether or not you’re Swedish, there’s no doubt you’ll feel at home when you browse the premier Swedish gift shop in the United States. Hemslöjd specializes in Scandinavian imports and hand-made gifts that offer a taste of the Old World. Experience everything the Hemslöjd gift shop in Kansas has to offer from the palm of your hand at Hemslojd.com.

2020 Miva Blades Award Winner!

Most Improved Website

“Hemslöjd and Miva agency partner Glendale Designs redesigned their online store to share Hemslöjd’s unique handcrafted gifts with the world. They combine whimsical design and streamlined improvements to create a culture-rich shopping experience that modern customers can enjoy.”

– Miva

The Client

Miva 2020 Blades Award Winner

Corey, the owner of Hemslöjd Inc., was determined to bring his own touch of the Swedish spirit to his home in Lindsborg, Kansas. He did exactly that when he opened the workshop and gift store in 1984. In Swedish, the word hemslöjd (pronounced hems-loyd) means handicraft. And in fact, if you travel through Sweden, you’ll find hemslöjd shops selling gifts and crafts. This is exactly the tradition that Corey wanted to carry on here in the United States. 

Broadening his catalog from crafts and décor, Hemslöjd Inc. sells a variety of home goods, gifts, clothing, food, textiles, and more. Harkening back to his Scandinavian  descent, Corey offers a wide array of anything you could think of to make you nostalgic for Sweden.

Between the personal service provided by his staff, and the on-site workshop where so many of the items are hand-crafted, this B2C business has the feel of the Old World, while offering direct-to-door convenience. In addition to the workshop and gift store in Lindsborg, Hemslöjd Inc. also produces a mail-order catalog and, of course, an eCommerce website. We had the pleasure of providing a custom development for the new hemslojd.com site. 

The Challenge

The Hemslöjd Inc. gift shop is a warm and inviting atmosphere, nestled in at the edge of downtown in “Little Sweden”, Lindsborg, Kansas. It has charm, character and vibrant color. The hemslojd.com website, on the other hand, wasn’t Old World, it was old fashioned (and not in a charming way). 

Corey contacted us because he had concerns about the site, and wanted it to properly represent the reputation of the well-established business. He decided a custom development was the solution and outlined the following concerns about the customer experience:

  • Site security: Without question, the site needed to be updated to HTTPS. 
  • Usability: A poorly-functioning search, and a complicated category layout was a source of constant frustration.
  • Stock transparency: Unable to list stock levels or availability dates, hemslojd.com shoppers were never sure if the items they wanted would be available in time for gift-giving seasons.
  • Catalog interaction: With an established customer base already used to shopping with the print catalog, Corey was looking to bring a new level of interaction to it with the website.
  • Checkout: As with most sites that need an overhaul, the checkout needed to be addressed. A complicated layout made completing a purchase confusing for some customers.

Corey contacted us because he had concerns about the site, and wanted it to properly represent the reputation of the well-established business.

Besides his concerns about the customer experience, there were some serious behind-the-scenes issues that Corey and his staff needed help resolving:

  • Tracking analytics: Hemslöjd is doing a booming business over the phone and in store, however the staff were unsure of how online sales are faring and needed help tracking that information.
  • Widen their market: While doing very well for Christmas, Corey wanted to broaden the selling season into other holidays. He also wanted to expand their reach toward a younger demographic, while still honoring the patronage of their older customers. 
  • Product maintenance: The inability to easily update and feature products on the site caused headaches for the Hemslöjd staff. 
  • Site customization: There was a distinct lack of customization options for the old website. This made tailoring promotions and sales especially difficult.
  • Responsivity: As an older site, it was unsurprising that hemslojd.com didn’t perform well across various browsers and mobile devices.  

The Solution

Armed with a list of issues, the Glendale team set to work on the solutions. Our goal was to bring the same charm, vibrancy, and nostalgia to the new design as could be found in the brick and mortar location. Plus, of course, the custom development would implement the fixes needed to get the website functional and intuitive.

Homepage Customizations

When customers step through the front door of the Hemslöjd shop in Kansas, they are greeted with color and warmth, the scent of the handcrafted textiles and wooden objects, and a friendly face. The Glendale team wanted to translate that same welcoming feeling and sense of charm to the “front door” of hemslojd.com – the homepage. 

  • Site Design: Echoing the bright colors that traditional Scandinavian decor is known for, the Glendale team did a major overhaul of the website design. The new site welcomes you in with a wide, responsive layout, and a simple Swedish color palette.
  • Inspiration Features: A section on the homepage featuring vibrant images and roll-over text overlays allow the Hemslöjd staff to link to products, pages, or blog posts that might serve as inspiration to their shoppers
  • Local News: Staying true to their community roots both locally and abroad, there is a section that allows for news and historical/educational information. The opportunity to share local events on their homepage allows Hemslöjd to spread the word about traditional festivals and celebrations that Little Sweden, USA hosts year round.
  • Blog Post Integration: A customization to the Scot’s Blogger module provides homepage access to the latest blog posts. Site visitors can keep up with news from the town and the shop by scrolling through the new interactive Lindsborg News section.
  • Product Reviews: While Hemslöjd boasts a one-of-a-kind atmosphere, the customer service and their unique, imported and handcrafted products are really the stars of the show. We added a homepage view to feature the kind words left by previous shoppers.
  • Product Catalog: Hemslöjd offers a physical mail-order catalog of their products, however, they wanted to broaden the availability. We added a featured block on the homepage to show the current edition, with the option to request a physical copy, or download the PDF version. A link was added to the global footer for easy access.

Site-wide Improvements

Upon making your way through the shop in Lindsborg, you have well organized shelves, and helpful, friendly staff to assist you. The old site had a less welcoming and orderly vibe. In order to boost the visual appeal, as well as the usability of the site, we introduced some site-wide improvements.

  • Restructured Data: The first step was organizing the chaos. Too many categories and a poorly functioning search meant restructuring the product and category data. By re-sorting the information, we were able to implement a new category tree layout. 
  • Facets: Custom facets applied to the product list means customers can get the most out of the improved search capabilities. Narrowing down by category, size, material, color, and more, shoppers can now find what they are looking for as easily as if it was handed to them in the store.
  • Dynamic Image Views: To give shoppers a closer look at the products, the Glendale team set up multiple images, as well as a smooth zoom roll-over. To add another level of dimensionality to the products, we also included the option to post product videos. 
  • Security and Responsivity: To bring the site up to speed, it was switched over to HTTPS. It was also built on a responsive framework to make sure that shoppers would have the best possible experience, regardless of the device they were using. 
  • Extensive Testing: As with every custom development that Glendale Designs does, we completed a thorough beta testing of the site and it’s features before going live to the public.

The Result

Hemslojd.com has gone through a drastic transformation with the release of the new custom website. A broad, welcoming design in bright, cheerful colors invites users in to explore, just as they would with the brick-and-mortar store. The newly restructured data makes searching for and finding products not only easy, but a joy. Shoppers can now explore the town of Lindsborg , USA through the homepage, and get a touch of Sweden while they shop the site. 

With the switch to a responsive theme, a new design, and a fresh take on the category layout, Hemslöjd is now intuitive and enjoyable to view. If you think your site is in need of a reinvention, or you’re looking for a custom development, contact Glendale Designs to discuss your needs.

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Sabine Sharp and Glendale Designs have done a wonderful job with our business' new website. She and her staff are great to work with and the service continues after completion of the site. Their work earned our site a national award for "Best New Website." I look forward to working with Sabine more in the the future.