For this post, we’ve got something a little different for you: A Shopify case study we’re really excited about.
Erstwilder is a Melbourne-based jewelry and accessory company.
They found us through the Shopify Experts listing and sent us a brief on their project. They already had a website which they had been using to sell their products to retail outlets, but they were ready to take their brand to the next level and start selling directly to their fans.
Tristan met up with the owner & marketing manager in person to talk about building a new website for this, and we all came away really excited about what they wanted to do. From custom discount codes to physical gift cards and social shopping feeds, the Erstwilder team were ready to rock.
Their brand centers around really cool, quirky designs, so they wanted to bring that to their new website. Their brief – about 14 pages – gave the Shopify Ninjas team an instant playbook to help them build the perfect store.
Erstwilder ‘Sacha the Sleeping Fox’ Brooch
Let’s Talk Design Priorities:
As I mentioned, the Erstwilder brief was full of cool ideas, including several custom features.
The most important thing to keep in mind was creating a beautiful site that reflected the quirkiness of their products.
This meant designing visuals and functions that would match the quirky, hand-crafted feel of the brand, while still being clean and very easy to use.
The next thing was definitely the mobile experience. Their demographic is hard to define, their customers vary in age from late teens through to late 60’s but a significant portion of their fanbase is quite young – between 18 and 35 years old – and most of them will be looking at the website on a mobile phone, so it needed to be immaculate on mobile.
And finally, building in their custom features was key.
Being such a visual brand, they wanted customers to be able to shop through their Instagram account.
It was also important to deliver digital and physical gift cards, as a large part of the business comes from people gifting Erstwilder to their friends.
In order to keep the brand experience consistent, we also developed beautiful, responsive email templates that would allow customers to engage easily and quickly with newsletters and promotions.
So the big three things were: a really nice design that reflected the quirkiness of the brand, mobile responsiveness, and building the custom features that they wanted.
Erstwilder ‘Blue Bayou’ Earrings
What Were The Challenges Of This Project?
Some of the features the Erstwilder team wanted are features that are built into Shopify that just need to be activated and then customized.
For example, Shopify has a digital gift cards feature, so we activated the feature, then customized it with their logo, branding, colors, and fonts. Customers could then use this to email gifts to friends.
But to be able to generate physical cards, we created templates that allow you to enter the details of the gift and who you want to send it to. Once that’s done, the Erstwilder team will print it and dispatch the card through the mail.
There are a few features that we built from scratch, and of these, the email templates were the most complex.
The decision to build these happened about halfway through the website build, and it was a big project.
Usually, we have an HTML email template that we deploy onto all the stores that we create. It’s a simple template that features a logo and some bold formatting that make the emails look sleek and professional.
However, Erstwilder already had a big email list, a big Instagram following, and a very active audience that expects brand consistency…. Deviating from those expectations could have alienated customers and caused a drop in sales, so we worked with a designer to have them built from scratch.
Erstwilder’s ‘Cooktown Glory’ Necklace
What Was the Big Lesson from This Project?
The launch of the Erstwilder site was one of the best launches we’ve been involved with. It was big.
Within a couple of hours of launching, they already had a high volume of sales coming in, and it hasn’t stopped ever since.
What makes it more remarkable was that this was a new process for the Erstwilder team. They hadn’t sold directly to the public before, but they had been consistently working on developing their audience and a solid base of fans and loyal customers.
The Erstwilder team does social media very well. They make great use of Facebook and Instagram, with a very consistent to style to all their images. They also really engage their audience, with a variety of methods:
- Makes the community part of the brand by inviting them to be models and asking for design ideas
- They feature customers who have sent in pictures of the products ‘in the wild’
- Running Competitions
Having built this following, they were able to create a lot of anticipation about the launch of the site, so when it did go live, the traffic was ready and waiting.
Watching this process, I realized that this is where a lot of stores go wrong – they focus so much on building the site that they forget about developing the audience that will use the site.
Ever since this project, we’re always thinking about what the owners can be doing to build the audience and business while simultaneously building the site.
How did you launch your business? What lessons would you share with people who are about to launch their own stores? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!
(And if you want to make sure you don’t launch to crickets, or make any other big mistakes with your Shopify store, make sure you download our report on The 4 Biggest Mistakes Made by E-commerce Store Owners.)
Thank you again for following our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce, we have many other valuable and informative posts that will help you to continue to optimize your website such as New Design , what are the vital elements for a good e-commerce, selling and social media: the facts, and 5 Indispensable Tools For Communicating With Web Developers.
Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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