Stikwood tells its brand story while showing off its product
In the highly competitive, highly commoditized world of home improvement and building materials, it pays to paint a picture for your customers.
When Stikwood came to us, they had an already thriving e-commerce business. The problem? They were missing the mark with almost all mobile users for lack of a responsive experience. What’s more, the founders knew there wasn’t a seamless way to tell their rich company story anywhere on their existing site.
As a category pioneer who was now facing a wave of lookalike newcomers, things would have to change for Stikwood to remain competitive.
Our audit of Stikwood’s operations confirmed they were already making good use of Shopify’s robust e-commerce platform, but pointed to the key changes we could implement to get them where they wanted to go.
First, we needed a way to expand site pages and product detail pages with more supplementary information than Shopify’s model supported out of the box. The digital product story is the make-or-break art of DTC, so adapting yours to fit the default parameters of your platform will not always yield success.
Second, we needed to listen to the data, and give users what they were looking for. In this case, visual, creative, DIYers needed a more inspirational, mobile-friendly design they could easily access in the midst of a redecorating or contracting project. That meant replacing their stock theme with a more custom, thoughtful design.
Finally, we saw a huge opportunity to clean up how the user experience for dealers and VIP customers. Increasing efficiency there would ultimately boost satisfaction, and, ultimately, referrals to the program.
But really, figuring out how to generate the same excitement about a physical product on a website as Stikwood was doing in-person at tradeshows was where the conversion magic lived. So, we started there.
If your biggest customer “A-ha!” moments happen when they see the product in person, how can you translate that to your digital experience?
We decided fairly early on in the project that there needed to be a priority on communicating the deep innovation and novelty of the product. Yes: it can be as easy as peeling and sticking a piece of wood onto your wall. This simple sentiment was surprisingly difficult to communicate clearly and quickly…which is why we opted to lean heavily into video content that showed people, hands, and environments interacting with the product itself.
By giving users a more visual and interactive way to browse swatches, measure for coverage, and ultimately, imagine what their spaces — and even their lives — would be like with Stikwood as a part of it, we were able to shrink the distance between the shopper and the decision to purchase.
For users who showed a real interest, but were just shy enough of the price tag to abandon their carts or click out of the Stikwood journey, it was well worth finding a way to alleviate their concerns of value, quality, or whatever else was keeping them from buying. Given what we already knew about the reaction to seeing the product in-person, we created an interface for them to swiftly and effortlessly build a sample pack that they could evaluate and start imagining with in their own homes.
Getting creative with a fixed platform
Once we identified all the features, functionality, and content we wanted to update the site with, all we had to do is figure out how to work it into Shopify.
We knew we wanted to create rich, responsive layouts for key pages on the site. We also knew we wanted Stikwood’s team of non-developers to be able to update them, which meant avoiding the typical method of saving large HTML blocks into Shopify’s text fields.
This led us down the unblazed trail of creating a standalone CMS that the site administrators would use to update content, and which would then ‘publish’ changes to Shopify’s metafields. We took this same approach and applied it to product detail pages, which effectively gave Stikwood the opportunity to create A+ content (that they could update themselves!) at all levels of the site.
Once that work was underway, it was really all about making the smart choices that would help the company maintain its trajectory.
We helped integrate the site at large and the back office workflows with Stitch Labs, a fabulous midsize ERP that Stikwood were able to use to coordinate onsite demand with warehouse and manufacturing supply.
For their loyalty, dealer, and VIP programs, we integrated custom pricing scripts that allowed logged-in users who were a member of a specific segment to see pricing and products that were specific to them. It’s this functionality—and its growing complexity—which ultimately led us to move the entire operation to Shopify Plus, once we were sure that we’d take the site as far as it could go on the base platform.