UX optimisation and re-templating Kernowcraft Rocks and Gems on Webselect's SelectCommerce e-commerce platform
"We are very happy with the new Kernowcraft Rocks and Gems website and have been receiving some very positive feedback about how easy the navigation is now and also how good it looks! We have been working with Webselect now for well over 10 years now and the team are very knowledgeable and have a very good understanding of our business."
Kernowcraft Rocks and Gems was established in 1967 by the current owners' grandparents. The business is a true generational passion, supplying high quality gemstones and jewellery making supplies to students, hobbyists and professional jewellers. The expertise and knowledge along with dedicated customer service is what is at the heart of the company's success.
We launched kernowcraft.com in 2008 as an early adopter of SelectCommerce, our custom e-commerce platform. Kernowcraft had enjoyed several years of success establishing as a leading supplier online. Technological advancements and changing customer expectations necessitated a transformation to remain competitive. Webselect and Kernowcraft collaborated to rebuild the site and templates addressing limitations, implementing new features, leveraging the platform's latest features, advances in UX and user journeys as the customer base has matured and stratified.
"We have been working with Webselect now for well over 10 years now and the team are very knowledgeable and have a very good understanding of our business."
Following Kernowcraft's huge success online, the team identified a number of performance and UX improvements. One of the main user journey requirements had evolved from the COVID pandemic where different customer types evolved to include higher volumes of entry level hobbyists.
The problem was that from the vast array of products, beads, wires, stones, components and tooling, users were struggling to find what was appropriate to their level of skill and expertees easily. In essence the users were having to work too hard to find what was appropriate to them and impacting conversion. Therefore, a key objective was the improvement of search and categorisation to facilitate new user journeys.
In addition, changes to aspects of returns, offers, payment gateway and payment authorisation were identified to reduce overhead in administration, improve customer experience and stock management.
The re-templating of the site also would give us the opportunity to modernise the website throughout, focusing on world-class performance optimisation, overcoming bottlenecks to ensure fast loading times for an improved browsing experience and to address the reduced tolerance to loading and waiting from users. We also wanted to optimise the website better for mobile devices, catering for the increasing number of users accessing the site through smartphones and tablets which had changed and now represents more than 70% of Kernowcraft's traffic.
What we did
We were able to bring our 25 years of experience in building the best and high converting e-commerce websites to this project. Also, having worked closely with Kernowcraft for more than 10 years we have a deep understanding of their business and their pain points.
The rebuild of kernowcraft.com on the SelectCommerce platform was executed through a structured process: Assessment and Planning. A dedicated and highly experienced team was wrapped around the project including a project manager, a comprehensive assessment of the existing website and its functionalities was conducted including page weights, load times, mobile performance. This informed the planning phase, where the project objectives, timeline, and key deliverables were defined.
Collaborating closely with Kernowcraft, our design team developed a refreshed design that combined aesthetics with intuitive navigation. Best practices on UX and UI were employed using Baymard Institute research analysis to inform and advise to ensure conversion and engagement were maximised across devices.
Upgrade and customisation to the latest version of SelectCommerce involved upgrading the platform and carefully migrating existing data. This ensured that product information, customer records and order history seamlessly transitioned to the new environment.
Performance Optimisation: The website's performance was enhanced through various techniques such as image compression, code optimisation, for fast loading times and a smoother browsing experience.
The revamped Kernowcraft was then launched, with a carefully managed transition to protect existing SEO ranking and minimise disruption to staff and customers.
"We are very happy with the new Kernowcraft Rocks and Gems website and have been receiving some very positive feedback about how easy the navigation is now and also how good it looks!"
The site, albeit rich and comprehensive, was a product of design and UX that has now been surpassed both technically and strategically and as customers' expectations have increased. The home page was a little cluttered, feedback was that hobbyist and novice customers found the array of products overwhelming.
Checkout for multiple items required returning to the product pages and offers and bundles were difficult and somewhat time consuming to administer. Embedded Youtube videos from Kernowcraft’s extensive video collection were impacting page load times.
The design of the site was completely overhauled and refreshed with the UX of the homepage and navigation simplified to facilitate the user journeys. Using insights and research data available via the Baymard Institute search was moved to the top left of the navigation, basket icons simplified and floating navigation context improved. Additionally, all templates are customised and lean meaning that categories and product pages load very quickly.
The Introduction of ‘Learn and be Inspired’ section really leans into helping makers at all levels with techniques and skills, with a vast amount of supportive makers and a community that are loyal to kernowcraft this resource area now has a new home with UX that leads the user clearly and quickly to what they are looking for.
Comparing like-for-like trading periods before and after launch, Kernocraft have seen an 8% lift in sales.
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