This post has been a looooong time coming and I am delighted to finally share with you the new Yarwood-White website.
Clare Yarwood-White runs a very successful jewellery design business. Over the past six years she’s scooped numerous awards and can count the likes of Danni Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Diana Vickers amongst her clients. Her business has flourished and she has just moved her team to a beautiful studio at the Medicine Garden in Cobham.
Flourish have been working with Yarwood-White for five years now, and over time not only has our business relationship grown, but our friendship too. And so I was delighted when Clare asked us to help her create a brand identity and website for her business that reflects the strength, style and position of her company.
This has been a huge project – from repositioning and rebranding through to marketing strategy, web design and development and printed collateral. We’ve also advised Clare on her packaging and studio styling. I’ll be sharing bits and bobs from the process with you over the coming couple of weeks. For now, let’s start with the website.
Homepage with the wow factor
I like to think of the homepage as the entrance hall of a hotel or stately home. The idea is to welcome, impress and guide visitors into the right “room” (or section of the website). Too many websites try to cram “about us” details onto the homepage. For Yarwood-White it was about a stylish hero banner that set the tone for the site, as well as a number of “bugs” to guide people around the site. Ultimately the purpose of this site is to sell jewellery so that was the emphasis.
Here’s the new one
And this was Clare’s old homepage
Client-focused ways of shopping
We know from our research that brides like to buy jewellery in a number of ways, so we “sliced” each product via various means to enable the pieces to get found. Brides can shop by style, item, collection and by recipient. There’s also a search facility at the top of the site for quick shopping.
Crucially we’ve also made sure that there are plenty of goodies for people to buy if they’re not getting married.
Again, it’s the small details that make this feel more classy and more confident.
We really thought about how we like to shop online and so made it very easy for people to add a product to their bag without needing to enter into every single product page. Here’s the old site (below)
And here’s the new page:
Scaleable and flexible
We custom-built Clare a shopping cart system that met all of our very long list of requirements. After an intensive marketing planning session and website planning session we established the scope for the site. Clare needed a website that would grow with her business and enable her to adapt the site as her business changed. She has the ability to easily create new categories (such as Christmas or Valentines Day) as well as easily add new products into the mix.
Anyone that’s built a site of these proportions knows that the launch of a site like this is just the beginning of the journey! I already have a loooong list of things I’d like to add and develop over the next 6-12 months to make the site even more engaging and help Clare grow the business even more, but there comes a time when budgets and timescales mean that you just have to hit that button to send it live.
Account facility and clever autoresponders
This isn’t just a simple shopping cart system, clients have the ability to create an account, track their orders and update their marketing preferences. And our very clever developer Stuart has also done some cool things with the basket to make shopping easier. We’ve also spent a lot of time planning in autoresponder sequences for when a client buys as well as mailing list sign ups. To protect confidentiality I shan’t go into too much detail here. Let’s just say it’s quite clever
Usability tested for functionality and robustness
We were lucky enough to work with the fantastic Natasha of Ruby Consultancy who spent a lot of time testing and providing feedback on the usability of the site. As a company that specialises in branding and marketing it was really reassuring to be able to call on Natasha to sense check what we were doing. Whilst we undertook plenty of research, and employed an experienced developer, this is our first online shop and boy – what a shop to start with!
There’s nothing like a baptism of fire to get you into the swing of things. Whilst many companies might start with a 10-20 product solution, we dived straight in with Yarwood-White’s multi-sectioned, multi-categoried, 150+ producted site. And Natasha’s robust testing, along with Stuart’s fastidiousness has meant that we have a shop that not only looks great, but works hard too. Saying that, if you do spot anything that needs a tweak please do let us know!
Product pages that allow the product to shine
The Yarwood-White brand is all about the beauty of the jewellery so it made sense that the images were big and beautiful. Almost 50% bigger than on her current site in fact… Yarwood-White also offer their brides a no quibble guarantee so we wanted to make a feature of that with the brides prerogative box. We’ll also be making a few nips and tucks to the product pages over the next week or two…
Search engine friendly build and optimisation
Clare’s previous site had been optimised by an SEO specialist and she had a good page ranking on her key search terms so it was important to us that she didn’t lose that. We took a number of steps to ensure that she didn’t lose those precious links as well as building her new site with search-friendly URL’s, easily optimisable pages and good code.
We worked with award-winning photographer Matt Pereira who took some stunning shots and made our job a whole lot easier. I’ll be blogging the shoot later in the week as well as some behind the scenes stuff, so for now let me just give Matt the credit he deserves.
Sweating the small stuff
For me good, classy design is all in the detail. It’s about how the buttons look, how the bag looks and how the checkout process works. It’s about the line spacing and the subtelties of colour and ensuring that nothing is left as “standard”.
It’s about reassuring people the whole way through and it’s the attention to detail of the whole team at Flourish: particularly Chloe but also Izzy, Caroline, Ian, Rob and I that has made a difference to the end result. We could have easily whacked something out in half the time – but the end result would have lacked a certain something, and I think it’s the small details that make all the difference in the end.
And the future…
There are so many things both Chloe (who lead the design on this project and I think has done a phenomenal job) and I would like to do to the site. Some things we’ll implement over the next couple of weeks, others will be added over the next 6-12 months. What I know is that Yarwood-White now has a brand identity and website that truly reflects the quality of design and craftsmanship of their jewellery as well as sending out all the right signals about the business and attracting and reassuring the brides.
But what do you think? This is our first online shop and we’re very proud of the end result (really? can you tell?) and we would love to hear your feedback…