Baby on Grand is a retail store with locations in Hopkins and St. Paul, Minnesota. It sells baby and pregnancy supplies, gifts, and gear for new parents. Their St. Paul location is off of Grand Avenue (hence the name Baby on Grand). Having two retail locations is great, but it wanted to bring its products online to sell to an even larger market.
Baby on Grand already had two retail locations in the Twin Cities, but wanted to expand their market. To do this, it wanted to create an online store where customers could purchase products through the Baby on Grand website and have them shipped to their doorstep. Not only that, but it wanted to create a website where expecting mothers could go and register for items they would like to receive as gifts. Needless to say, our web developers were itching to build a custom solution to accommodate these needs. However, we needed to dive a little deeper into the specifics to make this project a success.
After a couple of meetings with the owners of Baby on Grand, we discovered what was going to be needed for this eCommerce solution. The main objectives of this project were to build an online store front and secure checkout process.
Baby on Grand needed an easy way to add hundreds and hundreds of products, as well as a easy way to manage those products. It also needed a secure way for customers to checkout with a credit card through the website. Users would also need to be able to create an online account to create a gift registry list.
We also discovered that one of the ladies at Baby on Grand wanted to use her graphic design skills to design the page templates of the website. We would pick up the project at the development phase, which would entail building out the previously mentioned functionality.
Even though we would not be designing this site our selves, we still wanted to play some sort of role in the design phase to make sure the development side of things wouldn't be restricted by any design elements.
Five Technology did not design the Baby on Grand website. One of the ladies at the company used her skill set in graphic design to create a website design that really represented the brand and its products. We did, however, want to be available for assistance during the design phase, as well as oversee it to assure that everything was setup well for the development portion of the project.
The home page design of this website is a great example of key components needed on a eCommerce home page. There are customer go to links in the header for accounts, registries, and shopping carts. There's an image slideshow in the hero area where Baby on Grand can promote new products or specials. There's a featured items area that is very important in that Baby on Grand can promote popular products for easy access for shoppers. The footer contains all crucial navigation links for customer support, shopping, and more.
The custom website design was a great starting point, now it was our turn to take over and bring this design to life with custom website development.
Once Baby on Grand finalized the design of all page templates needed for the website, we took the design files and sliced them into HTML5 and CSS formatting. We could then implement the design into our content management system (CMS), the Site Management Console. The SMC allows our website developers to efficiently build the plug-ins that would be needed to make this project a success.
Baby on Grand has hundreds of products. It wanted its customer to easily navigate to all of its products with as few clicks as possible. We implemented a mega-navigation into the website that broke the products into ten main categories. Each category then had sub categories, and in some cases sub categories and their own sub categories. Users where then able to narrow their navigation choice to something very specific. Users would hover over a main category in the main menu bar, which would populate the sub categories for quick and easy navigation.
The next milestone in website development for this project was building an onlien store front for Baby on Grand's products. This involved implementing page template designs for product preview and product detail pages, building a shopping cart sequence, integrating a credit card processor into the website for secure credit card transactions, and building a plug-in for adding/managing products.
The product plug-in allows admins of the website to easily add/edit/delete products. The plug-in includes all of the important fields that Baby on Grand needs for each product. These fields include ways to easily update pricing, add sales pricing, edit shipping information, adding product descriptions, images, options, add-ons, and much much more.
We also built in order tracking so Baby on Grand can track their incomplete and complete orders, update orders by adding/subtracting products and shipping information, and email receipts. A promotional code function was also built in, so Baby on Grand could give special discounts to people who entered the code upon checkout.
Buying products online was a big part of this website project, but an equally important aspect was the gift registry functionality. Baby on Grand wanted expecting mothers to be able to build a registry on the site, then have friends and family be able to access that list of gifts to buy items that they know the mom would love.
A few of things needed to happen to make this user friendly. One, expecting moms would need to be able to create a user account, build a list, then save that list to her account. Two, other users would need to be able to access that registry list. Lastly, if a product was purchased that was on the list by a user that had accessed the registry, that item would be eliminated from the list. This would eliminate the risk of duplicate gifts.
We also implemented a blog into the website. Blogs are a great way of adding engaging and relevant content frequently. These efforts will increase your content marketing strategy. Baby on Grand has done a great job of blogging frequently by highlighting new products, upcoming sales, and more.
Baby on Grand has seen tremendous results with its new custom eCommerce website. They have had a lot of traffic to the site and have received a lot of online conversions, which means hundreds of sales through the website that translate to thousands of dollars of revenue.
They have also had great success with the gift registry, which also helps generate a lot of online sales. Expecting mothers seem to be really enjoying the easy process of creating an account and building their registry via the website.
Down the road to see even more online results, Baby on Grand wants to explore some advanced Internet marketing strategies.
We have had many comments from our community on the ease of use of navigation and they really have enjoyed the new look and layout. Our staff certainly has benefited as we have used the website more and more as a communication device to our school patrons. I look forward to taking full advantage of the student section for our classes, hopefully next year.Paul Ludwig, Delano Public Schools
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