In late 2019, the vibrant and eclectic Jonathan Adler brand was doing well enough. The business was booming through its websites and brick-and-mortar locations in the US and UK.
But they knew they needed help.
Things at Jonathan Adler looked good from the outside, but it was a different story once you took a look “under the hood.” They had multiple fragmented tools and systems that didn’t integrate. This created challenges on a daily basis, leading to wasted resources and lost revenue.
They came to Verbal+Visual, a Brooklyn, NY-based ecommerce growth agency and Shopify Plus partner.
Since the migration to Shopify Plus and Shopify POS, Jonathan Adler has seen a glorious 163% revenue increase, 65% conversion rate increase, and 17% average order value (AOV) increase.
It’s safe to say that the project was a smashing success.
The challenge: Level-up the brand architecture and omni-channel experience
When the Jonathan Adler team first approached Verbal+Visual for help, they had a handful of issues to address on the backend and frontend of their brand.
Let’s look at the most impactful.
They lacked a fully-integrated brand experience, with backend tools and systems that were siloed, unscalable, and unable to “speak” to each other. This caused problems both online and in-store, like difficulty managing inventory across channels, as well as issues with analytics and reporting.
Additionally, their backend, which was set up with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, was too technical and the opposite of user-friendly—team members felt reliant on developers and external resources to make simple changes, like swapping certain assets or creating landing pages.
Ultimately, they were investing a lot of time and money into day-to-day maintenance, which constricted their ability to focus on growing the brand.
The frontend needed a revamp too. While Jonathan Adler had built a strong brand and aesthetic, there were areas for improvement.
Most notably, the brand’s mobile experience was taking a hit, with unresponsive design that led to a loss of potential customers and revenue.
There were also several small design inconsistencies that led to a disjointed user experience: things like varying fonts and mismatched buttons. While these may seem insignificant, over time, they posed harm to the brand’s trustworthiness and image.
Caroline Dau, Verbal+Visual’s Director of Product, says, “From an ecommerce perspective, consistency equals trust, and trust equals conversion. So when we see those sorts of inconsistencies, we want to make sure during the migration process, we’re using this as a time to clean that up.”
From an ecommerce perspective, consistency equals trust, and trust equals conversion. So when we see those sorts of inconsistencies, we want to make sure during the migration process, we’re using this as a time to clean that up.
The plan: Refine and harmonize
As a longtime Shopify Plus partner, the team at Verbal+Visual knew they’d be helping Jonathan Adler make the switch to Shopify Plus and Shopify POS. (And we’re not exaggerating when we say “longtime” partner—Verbal + Visual built one of the first-ever Shopify Plus sites in 2015!)
The project took six months, kicking off November 2019 and making its live debut by April 2020. There were four key elements the two teams collaborated on.
1. Migrating the US and UK sites to Shopify Plus
After the discovery and planning phase, the project started with migrating the US site.
Verbal+Visual implemented a modular design system that ensured visual and branding consistency across the entire web experience. This system also significantly streamlined the ability of Jonathan Adler’s team to make their own site changes without consulting a developer.
To unify the entire ecommerce experience, the Verbal+Visual team incorporated Jonathan Adler’s critical tools and systems, like supporting their Celigo integration with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Once the US site worked exactly as everyone wanted, Verbal+Visual created a carbon copy for the UK version, with some optimizations to cater to the international audience.
2. Mobile-first responsive design
Everyone is on mobile these days—and it was a component that Jonathan Adler needed help to master.
Because the real estate on a mobile device is so much smaller than desktop, it’s a challenge to have all of the information and hierarchy presented in a way that’s digestible and understandable.
Verbal+Visual aimed to design for flexibility. A mobile-first design ensures that mobile traffic is getting the attention (and top-notch experience) that it deserves. And designing for mobile first, then adapting the rules and layouts to desktop, means the more complex and nuanced UX design is done first.
Caroline says, “In addition to optimizing for performance and integrating with feature-rich third parties, the mobile-first design was another huge contributor to the success Jonathan Adler saw with this migration project.”
In addition to optimizing for performance and integrating with feature-rich third parties, the mobile-first design was another huge contributor to the success Jonathan Adler saw with this migration project.
3. Building the “Design Your Own” tool
Perhaps the most unique (and challenging) component of the new build was the “Design Your Own” tool. Jonathan Adler sees a lot of revenue from customizations, specifically couch customizations that can run upwards of $20,000 per purchase.
It’s not an easy task to win over customer trust in terms of big-ticket purchases. But Jonathan Adler had a brilliant solution: a feature that allows customers to choose between multiple fabric types and colors, then see a 3D render of their exact combination.
The problem was that these combinations could create thousands of product variants. Which created an obstacle for ecommerce and POS, where a SKU number is needed for each possible combination to be able to quickly and seamlessly place customer orders online and in-store.
To make it happen, Verbal+Visual implemented line item properties to dynamically build out the SKUs.
4. Implementing Shopify POS
To complement the new dynamic SKUs on the ecommerce side, Verbal+Visual needed a custom solution to ensure this feature also worked within the POS to support in-store sales.
Tapping into Shopify’s rich app ecosystem, they used an app called Admin+. The app allowed them to utilize very similar code as the front end experience, instantly giving brand associates a SKU number for each design combination a customer asked for. This significantly improved the in-store shopping experience, as associates no longer needed to delay the process by placing manual orders.
This feature—in addition to real-time inventory tracking, better in-store analytics, and increased user-friendliness for internal employees and in-store associates—gave Jonathan Adler the edge it needed to scale up the business and boost their overall customer experience.
The results: More revenue, happier customers
Six months after the project began, Jonathan Adler had a more refined, streamlined, and scalable brand. And it showed.
The company saw a:
- 65% increase in conversion rate
- 17% increase in average order value
- 163% increase in revenue
In addition to Jonathan Adler’s strong brand and keen eye for customer experience, Caroline also owes the success to the rich capabilities and strong support her team gets from being a Shopify Plus partner.
“Some brands that come to us ask, ‘Shopify Plus is limiting, right?’” She smirks and adds, “There’s nothing limiting about it. You can do everything with Shopify Plus that you could do with any other site. Shopify Plus is truly an enterprise solution.”
Some brands that come to us ask, ‘Shopify Plus is limiting, right?’ There’s nothing limiting about it. You can do everything with Shopify Plus that you could do with any other site. Shopify Plus is truly an enterprise solution.
So what’s next for Verbal+Visual?
As an exclusive Shopify Plus merchant, we can only assume that there will be many more stellar migrations to come.
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