Miva: Ecommerce, Design, Logo & Branding, Web Development, Customization, Custom Community
As a long-time motorcycle enthusiast, president and founder Rick Arnoldo started WingStuff in 1999 as a much needed resource for parts and accessories for the Honda Gold Wing motorcycle. After having been in the service and motorcycle industry for decades, Rick knew exactly where the hole in the market was: good service, wide selection, and fair prices. WingStuff.com was created to fill those holes and provide his invaluable expertise to the motorcycle community. WingStuff.com is a vast online resource for motorcycle riders, including bike accessories and parts, apparel, safety products, electronics, and now, community.
As with any seasoned website, and just like a beloved bike, Rick and his team at WingStuff.com recognized that they were due for some maintenance, tune-ups, and a good polishing. Maybe some new bells and whistles, too.
Coming from a previously state-of-the-art proprietary custom solution 20 years ago, the site was now in dire need of an upgrade in appearance and functionality to keep up with the advancements in web-based design and technology. This included, for instance, a more developed checkout process. The inability to select PayPal as a payment option, and a lack of some specific shipping methods were concerns specifically voiced by WingStuff.com shoppers. It also wasn’t possible for customers to tell what the availability was of the items listed online. These were just some of the gaps in the shopping process that deterred some shoppers from completing their orders.
Beyond the potential for lost sales, those limitations in functionality of the site also meant extra work for WingStuff.com employees. Instead of spending time creating and managing content for their already popular social media, community, and video accounts, they were having to field calls and emails about the same issues time and again. As Rick knew that he needed to make the site fully secure and improve mobile responsiveness as well, the timing was ideal to move the site over to Miva.
Unique to this project, the customers shopping on WingStuff.com were looking for a specific experience beyond just shopping. They wanted products and an integrated community specifically suited to their bikes, their demographic, their lifestyle. This meant the website needed to be tailored to a fairly distinct group of users while also being open and inviting enough so as not to narrow their market unnecessarily.
Some of the changes needed were, of course, dictated by the shoppers, but not all. Rick knew that he was looking for more than just an added payment or shipping method. He wanted a sleek new look, something clean and modern yet bold, like the Gold Wing itself. He needed to ensure the site was up to safety and responsiveness standards. And he knew that he wanted to revitalize the active community base that he had already worked so hard to build, including a seamless integration of over 20,000 product reviews, the largest Gold Wing reviews repository in the world. This created the perfect opportunity for Glendale Designs to implement a host of innovative community features that would allow the WingStuff.com shoppers and Gold Wing enthusiasts to explore and interact, having the site as their community hub.
In order to address the WingStuff.com customer concerns regarding the payment and shipping options, Glendale integrated PayPal Smart buttons which will allow even more payment options, including PayPal Express checkout, PayPal Credit, and Venmo. We also streamlined the design of the basket and checkout, incorporating options for calculating shipping estimates, saving the basket to a wish list, and coupon/gift certificate redemption. A “recently viewed” slider in the basket was added, providing customers an easy way to include last-minute items to their cart before proceeding to the checkout.
A unique feature of WingStuff.com is the ability for customers and community members to earn points using the third party rewards system. We added custom messages to the basket and checkout portion of the website to show shoppers how many WingRewards they could earn on a purchase, and how many they have available to apply to the order. The rewards system was also integrated into Wingstuff’s newsletter platform provider and now seamlessly communicates from 3rd party to 3rd party to Miva, the heart and soul of the system.
REDESIGN & RE-BRANDING
The launch of the new WingStuff.com site was immediately recognizable thanks to the bold new design as well as a new logo along with branded icons, like WingRewards, WingStuffTV, WingNews, etc… With the clean lines and strong color palette, the site has a distinctly masculine and modern feel without seeming intimidating or stark. This was a crucial balance to strike as the company is experiencing (and encouraging) a slight shift in the Gold Wing demographic. While the bikes were once described as a comfort and luxury style machine typical for riders in the 55+ age range, the redesign of the motorcycle by Honda has started to bring in a slightly younger crowd. The site now reflects the luxury of the bike while also looking modern and powerful.
In switching the site over to the Miva platform, the backend upkeep of the products, community, images and order processing has been streamlined for the WingStuff.com employees. With such an extensive community section being offered to the customers, the staff at WingStuff.com now have time to create and monitor new site content.
The update in look and feel of the website enabled several new features to shine. For example, the integration of the OEM Parts Finder allows customers to search an online database (hosted on a third-party site) for a specific part using a multitude of different attributes. The shopper can then select that part or product and it will be added to their basket on WingStuff.com. The custom script of the OEM Parts Finder then redirects the customer back to WingStuff.com so they can continue shopping or proceed directly to the checkout.
A similar feature is the tool added to the homepage and several of the category pages that allows shoppers to enter the model and year of their Gold Wing motorcycle. The tool enables the use of combination facets to pull products specifically suited to that customer’s bike, making for a smoother shopping experience for the customer who knows exactly what they want.
A major part of the rebuild that Rick wanted the Glendale team to feature was the community section. With an already-established community base of Gold Wing riders, we had an opportunity to introduce some very innovative features to the site. These components allow the WingStuff customers to interact with each other and share their own experiences using advanced user profiles that incorporate reviews, comments, photo galleries and bio sections.
Upon creating an account on WingStuff.com, customers can fill in a short bio/about section, as well as include photos of his or her bike(s). Once the customer has filled out their profile as much or as little as they are comfortable with, they can add to their account and participate in the site-based community by leaving reviews and star ratings on products they’ve purchased and commenting on news articles that are featured on the site’s blog. They can create, manage, and share wish lists within WingStuff.com as well as sharing them on social media; customers are also able to search for other users’ wish lists. To pull all the profile features together and turn them into real community features, a Dashboard was introduced. With a click of a button, visitors can see an amalgamation of the newest product reviews, new post comments, and new members, for a true social media experience centered around the shared love of their Gold Wing bikes.
If you’re interested in incorporating a community section to your website, to turn your shoppers into friends and contributors, and to keep them coming back again and again, contact Glendale Designs and we can discuss what might work for you.
While the new look of the website draws shoppers in and is better tailored to help them find exactly what they are looking for (and a few things they didn’t know they needed!), the community section keeps them coming back. Offering expertise, selection, and creative content, browsers are converting to customers, and customers are staying to become community members.
Sabine and Glendale Designs has been a pleasure to work with. They were able to help us bring our very popular community based website features and functionality into our new platform. Most importantly, they are reliable and treat you as if they were building something for themselves. Good people, highly recommend their company.