TruffleShuffle is an online retailer which sells retro t-shirts and gifts to the masses. Want a mug with a Star Wars character on it? Or maybe you’re in the market for a Goonies t-shirt? If it’s a bit of a cult classic you’re after, then you can guarantee that TruffleShuffle will sell it.
We met TruffleShuffle at a networking event when their brilliantly Scottish Customer Services Manager, Michelle, met our Technical Director, Jon Payne. We kept bumping into them at different meet-ups and when they were in the process of building a new mobile responsive website, they approached us for consultancy on the project.
They probably won’t mind us saying that their existing website was a bit like Frankenstein’s Monster - it had undergone four redesigns in 12 years and was originally written in HTML (in Notepad!) after a drunken night out. Even though they had a ton of experience in managing an ecommerce site, the owners Pat and Claire wanted our input on site structure and how to incorporate best practice user experience into their redesign. We were chuffed to give them our advice and, on one occasion, food poisoning.
TruffleShuffle recognised that they had a fundamental UX problem with their website. They’d spent years a/b testing every single function: homepage layouts, button colours, calls-to-action. You name it and they’d tested it twice. The worst bit was that throughout all of their hard work they hadn’t seen any significant improvements or an increase in conversion rates. Nothing seemed to be working.
Their other big issue was that their website wasn’t optimised for mobile users. Back in 2012, only 15% of their traffic came from mobile. Flash forward to 2014 and visitors from mobile made up over half of their web traffic. This was a fundamental reason for their poor conversion rates. That, and the fact that their web design, product categorisation and URLS were a bit all over the place.
TruffleShuffle brought us on board to help research and plan how to accomplish best practice site structure and UX for their site.
Lots of time was spent chatting between our two teams about how each of us shopped online. We even did some competitor research and looked at how other ecommerce sites presented their brand and products to their audiences. The one thing we kept coming back to was The Customer and we all agreed that the website just needed to enable TruffleShuffle’s customers to find what they were looking for in the quickest and slickest way possible.
Behind the scenes, TruffleShuffle did loads of data analysis enabling us to work out the most efficient way to categorise all of the different types of products they had available. The types of searches their visitors were doing were so varied and broad (some people wanted to filter products by price, others by colour and so on) that we quickly realised we needed to create a better way of searching the site. We like to think our consultative approach and supportive environment gave them the safe space to come up with the excellent solution of using hashtag filters (and if you’ve ever been in a meeting with a husband and wife business team, you’ll know they need a lot of ‘safe space’). These filters would help their visitors find exactly what they want and convert quickly within their average time on site (which was five minutes).
Using our technical SEO know-how, we also gave TruffleShuffle some recommendations about how they should categorise each of their products in order to attract more visitors to their website. For years, all of TruffleShuffle’s product pages sat on truffleshuffle.com/store. This wasn’t great for SEO. At first, Pat wasn’t convinced by our suggestion. After all, he had 15,000 domains pointing at his site and he didn’t want to risk losing those trust signals to all of the pages within this subfolder. After a bit of thought (3 months) and a couple of lunches (one of which resulted in the aforementioned poisoning) , he took our suggestion on board, and we helped him set up a load of 301 redirects to prevent his domain authority from suffering.
After months and months of hard work, the TruffleShuffle team launched their new mobile responsive website with some fantastic results. Within three months, the site had increased mobile conversions by 56% and TruffleShuffle forecasted a £350k increase in annual revenue for the year ahead.
By pulling our two teams together and combining our expertise, we were able to help TruffleShuffle see the UX of their website a bit more clearly and increase the conversion rates and revenue for their business. We do love a good bit of teamwork.