How we redesigned Laurel Hill Jam and Jelly’s website to sell as much in one month as they had previously sold online in a year.
Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies have been in business for a long time. They had been selling their gourmet jams and jellies online since about 2010 but their online sales were not what they wanted them to be. Their product quality and variety were exceptional so we took on the challenge of increasing their online sales. Here’s how we did it.
Their previous website featured Flash technology, which is not mobile-friendly because it doesn’t show up on most smart phones. This meant that Google was ranking this site not as favorably. In addition, the homepage contained lots of updates creating an overly busy look and feel. Here’s a snapshot of the previous homepage with the flash not displaying:
Product Variety and Merchandising
Like many creative food entrepreneurs, the founder of Laurel Hill developed MANY different products – so many that it was almost overwhelming to the visitor.
For this reason, one of the first projects we took on was an analysis of the site’s sales to discover the top selling products to promote, and the least selling flavors to possibly discontinue. This resulted in simplifying the product offering by about 20% in order to focus customer attention on the products most likely to sell.
To make the shopping experience easier, we added four new categories (e.g. Red Wine Jellies) to help organize the products more effectively and create more gift options. This meant that customers could easily see all the products within a given category without having to click to additional pages buried at the bottom of a category.
We also created homepage slider images that were linked to the primary categories in order to drive traffic to the pages most likely to convert visitors into customers. We also aimed to build trust with the visitor by highlighting the awards the business has won and the long period of time the business had been in business.
The Price is Right
To ensure the product was priced to maximize sales and profitability, we worked with our client to analyze the exact ingredient and packaging costs of each jar of jam or jelly. We then analyzed the closest online competition to understand the range of prices per ounce of jam or jelly. Once we had all of this data on the table, we then recommended pricing changes that were adopted.
When selling food online, the product price is only part of the equation. We needed to develop a model for pricing shipping that was simple, covered the shipping costs, and incentivized customers to place larger orders.
We worked with the client to understand the exact shipping costs of sending 1, 2, 4, and 8 jars of jam or jelly to multiple destinations around the US. We then combined this data with the data on product costs to understand the profit margins using various shipping pricing models. The result of this analysis was an eloquent shipping pricing model that worked for both the client and the customer.
Professional Food Photography
Since you cannot provide free samples over the internet, a good food e-commerce website must have excellent food photography.
Laurel Hill already had some good professional product photography but lacked professional “beauty” shots that showed the product in action. The site also lacked any portraits shots of the founder (very important to building trust!) and didn’t contain any images showing the process of making the product.
We created a shot list, organized the props, and worked with our food photographer to take all the following photos. Nothing like high quality food photography to elevate a website to a new level.
One of the biggest points of frustration for the business was that when an online order was received they would need to call the customer to request the 3 digit security code so they could manually take payment in their credit card terminal. Often customers would be concerned about security with providing this information over the phone, or wouldn’t be home which triggered a game of phone tag.
The new website automated the entire payment process so payment could be taken directly online securely and easily. Customers can now easily pay with any credit card or Paypal in one step. This was a big improvement for Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies and no doubt contributed to their sales growth.
One of the best ways to increase online sales is with carefully planned and well executed email marketing. Laurel Hill had a customer list and even a form to sign up for their email newsletter, but they weren’t sending customers any emails.
We combined all of their old customer data with their existing email list into one mailing list within www.MailChimp.com. We then added an email collection form to their website which helps them grow their email list every day.
Working with our email marketing specialist, we plan, draft and launch email marketing campaigns to keep the brand in the minds of our client’s leads and customers – so when they need more jam or jelly, or need a nice gift for someone, they think of www.LaurelHillJam.com.
By re-designing, optimizing, and marketing the new website, we were able to help the brand increase their online sales dramatically. In fact, in the first month of operating the new website, the business sold as much product online as they had in the entire previous calendar year!
Have a great product that you’re selling but want to increase your sales? Get in touch with us today. We look forward to chatting with you.