Shopping at a Crabtree & Evelyn retail store is an entirely sensory experience. Sampling the soaps and lotions and smelling all the different fragrances is a big part of the purchase process. The sweet-smelling shops also bring to life Crabtree & Evelyn’s quintessentially English charm.
The challenge for SapientNitro was to bring the tangible, luxurious world of the Crabtree & Evelyn product experiences online in a highly-branded, best in class, multi-channel ecommerce experience.
Expectations were high. Crabtree & Evelyn was in the midst of a rebranding effort to attract a new, younger audience. To avoid alienating its existing customer base, the subtle shift in positioning would require the perfect mix of spot-on branding and fresh communication.
Our goal was to go beyond basic best practices and leverage UX, design and content features that would boost the brand and empower customers to enjoy the best of the Crabtree & Evelyn shopping experience online. Brand immersion, gifting, new product discovery, personalization and multi-channel ecommerce functionality were the pillars of our project.
We began with the brand. Since Crabtree & Evelyn encapsulates all things English, we reached out to our SapientNitro London office to get some cross-cultural insight. We also worked with the client team to explore the Crabtree & Evelyn brand identity. We developed personas, used Pinterest to catalog our inspiration, created moodboards, explored voice and tone, and presented a series of design concepts. This deep dive helped us craft guiding principles and an approach that set the course for the entire redesign effort.
Once we honed in on a direction, our design team introduced beautiful, high-resolution photography to better showcase the products and give them greater star power. And to coordinate with the vibrant imagery, we wrote illustrative, thematic language to establish the tone of the site, and bring to life the charmingly British brand voice.
Finishing touches including elegant typography and finely detailed design elements helped complete the rich, immersive experience. This vivid, highly branded approach gives the Crabtree & Evelyn digital storefront the same instantly recognizable, premium feel as its retail stores.
Meanwhile, new navigation and taxonomy systems provide faster, more intuitive purchase paths, and set the site up for a flexible theme-based category structure.
Since Crabtree & Evelyn prides itself on its role as a curator—not simply a purveyor—of luxury bath and body products, we wanted to make sure we tell that brand story. We treated the new homepage as an eclectic, carefully curated display of items from across categories and collections. Not only does it shine a spotlight on a lot more products, the presentation-style layout entices shoppers to explore a much broader range of offerings.
As curator, Crabtree & Evelyn even has an original discovery story behind each of its product collections. We gave these stories much more prominence—not only to romance the products and infuse them with authenticity, but also to emphasize the brand experience.
In addition to updating the product stories, we rewrote the product descriptions to provide consistency, brand voice and a focus on benefits. We also wrote editorial-style copy around product categories such as hand care, gifting, food and more, to help provide shoppers with Crabtree & Evelyn’s unique approach to each category. Additionally, we revised the site’s instructional copy and corporate communication to be clearer and more on-brand.
The redesigned website also leverages social components to offer customers a greater sense of community. A social feed on the homepage gives shoppers a peak into what people are saying about the brand on the web. A page dedicated to “New and Notable” helps people discover which items are getting praise in the press, and product ratings and reviews gives shoppers insight into how real people react to each item. And not only do they get a more connected experience, shoppers also enjoy more personalization through smart recommendations based on their own browsing and purchase history, and product popularity and affinity.
Since Crabtree & Evelyn products are particularly popular as gifts, enhanced shipping and gifting options were high priorities. Customers are also now able to add products to a Favourites list, and check out and manage their account more intuitively.
The new site utilizes current content management best practices, allowing Crabtree & Evelyn to easily edit content, imagery, copy and promotions.
As beautiful as the new site looks, its performance is even more impressive. Crabtree & Evelyn has seen increases in traffic, time spent on site, conversion rates, and average order value. We’re proud of what we accomplished in the two months since launch, and the Crabtree & Evelyn client team is looking forward to a strong year ahead.