Making More Green
Lynch Creek Farm's customers enjoy shopping for a number of their friends and family at the same time, but Shopify wasn't doing much to streamline this process for them in checkout. After implementing a custom multiship system for their store and cross-sales system, we boosted Average Order Value by 3% and reduced the overall share of large non-corporate phone orders relative to Shopify.
01 / context & considerations
Established in 1980, Lynch Creek Farm has a well-earned reputation for offering premium, freshly-crafted evergreen wreaths from their home base in Western Washington. They’re still very involved locally and are a fixture at the Olympia Farmers Market every December, but are constantly exploring new avenues to share the holiday spirit with a wider audience nationwide.
My team at Known Decimal ported their existing store to Shopify in order to keep up with customer volume, but with the change in platform came additional opportunities to improve the shopping experience for their customers (and by extension, boost Lynch Creek Farm’s bottom line).
A good portion of Lynch Creek Farm’s customers are buying gifts for friends and family, which is wonderful news for the overall revenue these customers provide, but caused issues for the customer service team in that phone orders were much less stressful for the customer to make but far more expensive to fulfill based on their demand. The team at Lynch Creek Farm was already aware of other companies in the gifting space leveraging a multiship experience on their ecommerce platforms in order to remove friction from the shopping process, but what implementation would suit their needs best?
While their fresh wreaths and centerpieces were the main attraction on the site, Lynch Creek Farm also sold accessories that would naturally go with them, hangers and lights. As it had been, though, these products lived in the store’s Accessories collection and relied on the customer to remember to add them prior to placing the order. “Prior to placing the order” being especially important, as the benefit of adding a $5 hanger to an existing purchase has to be weighed against the time spent by customer service making an order revision. What would be the most seamless way to add these to the purchase process?
02 / process
And you get a wreath!
As it stood (and continues to stand), Shopify has no built-in means to send products in a purchase to multiple recipients in a single order, so it was on us to cook up our own solution from scratch, with all of the uncertainty that accompanies it. We decided to introduce a “bundle” as a structure that would encompass a product in the cart and its associated gifting and shipping information
I mapped out the user's journey from browsing to checkout and, in parallel, ran a competitive analysis to identify patterns in the product browsing, viewing, cart, and checkout steps in the shopping process. After spending time sketching up low-fidelity mockups making sure that all elements were accounted for, I worked up a higher fidelity prototype in Adobe XD and worked with members of Lynch Creek Wreaths’ customer service team to finesse copy and make tweaks and additions.
I subsequently was responsible for writing the styles and markup within the Shopify store and then worked in conjunction with one of our developers to wire up functionality (a set of Stimulus controllers communicating with Shopify’s API).
Everyone Loves a Good Crackle Light
In order to remind shoppers that their fresh wreath or centerpiece would not only smell amazing but could also look even better, I tiled in available accessories as "Styling Options" in the UI after the user selects a product variant, but prior to adding it to the cart. Thumbnails gave shoppers an idea of what additional product options were available (and what was new that season) at a glance and linked to further product information. With a few adaptations to the cart UI, we were also able to add the ability to modify a bundle and promote the additions there as well.
03 / solution
Making a List, Then Checking It Twice
Adding everything you'd like to purchase to your cart is straightforward — ensuring that you've entered all necessary recipient information to ensure your order is sent to the right person with the right message is less so. With our goal being to add convenience and speed to a shopper's online trip versus angst, we made it a requirement to complete shipping information in sequence in the cart and added considered messaging and visual cues to the cart to make it clear where the next step lay.
While railroading users in this fashion feels a little heavy-handed, the customer base, tending older and less familiar with a wide range of design patterns, benefitted from the additional assistance in ensuring that they were comprehensive in confirming their selections, and order modification requests subsequently declined.
A Little Something Extra
The reminder that you could save yourself some trouble and get a hanger along with your wreath was a welcome one to customers. At the end of the season, the addition of cross-sales had boosted our AOV by 3%.