Building a Shopify Plus site that promotes brand awareness for HGTV's new "Home Town" stars


  • Shopify Plus
  • Responsive Ecommerce
  • Digital Brand Translation
  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Point of Sale
  • omnichannel

Erin and Ben Napier are stars of HGTV’s new “Home Town”, a series about renewing their Mississippi home town of Laurel by helping its newest residents fall in love with a revitalized home of their own. The Napiers are also co-founders of Laurel Mercantile Co., a downtown storefront and eCommerce site.

Laur Intro Collage Desk

Once a storefront for dry goods and work wares in the heart of downtown Laurel, Mississippi, the mercantile was restored in December 2016. The Napiers and their co-founders sell a unique collection of durable goods, custom furniture, and a signature clothing line for men.

More than anything, the Napiers want to inspire others to appreciate and contribute to the sustainability of their own home towns. Erin and Ben are affecting this in their own community by promoting Laurel through their hit show, as well as building a retail brand of heirloom products made in the USA.

Laur 3Screens Desk

A Scalable New Online Platform

With the premiere only a few weeks away, Laurel Mercantile needed a system that would be able to rapidly adapt to growing orders and site traffic.

To mitigate any risks surrounding infrastructure, reliability, and inventory, eHouse Studio helped Laurel Mercantile transition their eCommerce platform from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus in a matter of 3 weeks. That included migrating their online and in-store catalogues into Shopify Plus, as well as connecting their inventory to Stitch Labs and ShipStation. On top of these new platforms, eHouse Studio was able to build a custom shopping experience within Shopify Plus from homepage to checkout.

Laur Featured Collage Desk

Converting TV Viewers into Customers

The Laurel Mercantile team anticipated the HGTV premiere to generate a windfall of traffic to the site. There was concern the site’s instability would impact their potential to grow revenue at the pace of their potential. Their team was set on having the store working without a hitch to handle the massive uptick in customer visits.

With the windfall of attention to their brand, Laurel Mercantile needed a reliable digital infrastructure that could support the traffic generated from Home Town. Using Shopify Plus allowed the Laurel Mercantile team to market their products while continuing to connect with visitors.

It was also important that we distinguish the Laurel Mercantile brand from the HGTV show, while at the same time posting timely products that viewers of the show might want to buy. We built a featured collection within Shopify Plus that allows the Laurel Mercantile staff to easily drive traffic toward products that are used during each episode.

Laur Product Furniture Desk

Marketing and Managing Inventory 

Along with their growing business and eCommerce needs, Laurel Mercantile didn’t have a scalable way to manage inventory at volume across a variety of sales channels simultaneously. Without a more optimized process, the team was facing an overwhelming administrative effort to keep their inventory managed and tracked clearly.

Additionally, Laurel Mercantile wanted to offer free shipping for its custom-built furniture, but retain normal shipping costs for other goods within the same order. Our team utilized Shopify Plus’ shipping scripts capability to write a custom workaround that allowed us to customize the checkout. This allowed us to custom-fit the checkout without interrupting the data flow through Stitch Labs, ShipStation, and back again.

The Final Outcome

The Laurel Mercantile team launched a new online store, replaced their POS system, broadened their payment methods, expanded selling into social channels like Facebook, and consolidated their sales reporting for all channels — all within a few weeks using Shopify Plus. We believe this will reduce administrative effort, increase inventory tracking capabilities, and lowered page-load times. Results aren’t in yet on revenue, but we know Home Town and Laurel Mercantile are going to be a big hit!

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