Helping a fountain pen brand replatform to Shopify Plus and elevate their online shopping experience
- User Experience Design
- User Interface Design
- Shopify Plus
The Goulet Pen Company began as a pen-making hobby of co-founder Brian Goulet. Before long, Brian and his wife, Rachel had launched the online retailer and gained a loyal following by offering great products, comprehensive education, and personalized customer service. Since they launched the store in 2009, the Goulet Pen Company has grown to become the eCommerce leader in fountain pens and accessories.
Migrate & Modernize
In 2018, after 9 years in business, Rachel and Brian realized that they had outgrown their original software stack. Costs for their platform continued to rise and they grappled with issues in the site checkout that nobody was able to resolve. Looking for ways to continue to grow and evolve their business while decreasing costs, the pair decided to make the move to Shopify Plus. Along with a platform change, they also decided to take this opportunity to improve their site design and chose eHouse Studio as their partner to undertake this key business move.
- Build a user experience that allows customers to shop a vast array of products on all devices
- Successfully map the migration of over 300K customers, years of historical orders, and thousands of products
- Ensure that products are organized and tagged in a way that allows Shopify Plus to display relevant product recommendations to Goulet's customers to drive average order value
- Maximize the Goulet team’s ability to control content throughout the site
- Leverage Shopify Plus features to reduce software stack and maintenance costs with improved stability
- Make modest improvements that don’t alienate their loyal followers
Easier Product Finding
With a catalog of over 500 fountain pens, 700 inks, and 250 notebooks, a customer’s ability to find the right product can make a significant impact in sales revenue. For this reason, we aimed to improve the customers’ path to finding the right product. Our solutions were to:
- Create a unique system of tags, categories, and filters within Shopify Plus that allow customers to search and filter by attributes specific to Goulet products
- Incorporate predictive search, dynamic filtering, and smart product recommendations: In order to provide a cost-effective, sophisticated solution to browsing a broad range of products we built product collections using Findify.io. This allowed us to leverage their robust algorithms to display the most relevant products to customers based on their shopping behavior.
- Introduce nib selection on the product pages greatly reduced the number of repeating items on the list page
Better Shopping on All Devices
Goulet Pens has over 3,000 active and enthusiastic followers who had been accustomed to their existing site. In order to maintain their sense of familiarity, our approach was to keep the site structure intact, and instead address the visual hierarchy of information. Some of the improvements we made include:
- Optimize the mobile experience: By standardizing the hierarchy of content, collapsing long content on product pages, and switching from pagination to “load more” functionality on product lists, we were able to optimize the mobile product browsing experience.
- Maximize space on desktop: Capitalize on browser space to display large product photography, while also keeping down file size for performance
- Improve legibility: Updated typography system to use Open Sans, a free font that provides better legibility and offers a broader range of font weights.
- Allow customers to sync their cart: Incorporating Persist Cart allowed customers who log in to a new device to sync their shopping cart from previous sessions.
With Shopify Plus, The Goulet Pen Company was able improve performance, increase flexibility and improve ease of use while at the same time, reducing costs and adding new features for customers. The result:
- A flexible uniquely branded site: eHouse designed a broad range of uniquely branded options on the homepage using Shopify’s sections functionality. This will become a powerful tool for the Goulet team to customize their promotional space to match their marketing needs while maintaining brand integrity.
- Migration of customer and product data: Through an intensive data normalization process and the flexibility of Shopify Plus, eHouse helped the Goulet team migrate and import 300,000 customers’ account data and over 2,000 products.
- Reduced software stack: Since Shopify Plus provides such a robust set of features and functionality, the new site requires much fewer added services to accomplish the stores’ needs.
- A better user experience: In addition to the customer experience, the site also performs faster, and is easier to maintain and update. The Shopify checkout is a much smoother experience for customers and offers new payment options such as ApplePay and GooglePay.