A trip to Charleston isn’t complete without a walk down King Street. The city boasts some of the finest shopping in the Southeast. The past two years have seen fashion behemoths, like Forever 21, stake their claim in Charleston. In the fall, West Elm, a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, will open its 79th store in the city. But distant investors aren’t the only ones hoping to find success in Charleston.
A decade before Charleston was ranked as the best city in America by Condé Nast Traveler, Candelabra was founded in the Holy City. The company began with lighting, and now sells everything from furniture, lighting, and mirrors, to rugs and other home decor. While great taste and a hands-on approach to customer service has made them successful, they can’t duke it out with massive corporations, like Williams-Sonoma who made $4.7 billion in revenue last year, who are buying up square footage on the peninsula. Instead, Candelabra is finding another way of competing, or rather, another place. The internet.
While Candelabra was growing its business, and while Charleston was becoming America’s favorite city, the tech industry came to Charleston. Whether they were seeking a warmer climate than NY or more affordable living than California, tech entrepreneurs pointed their compass toward the lowcountry. Or maybe it was the state’s “Open for Business” slogan. Whatever it was, Charleston is now ranked as one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the U.S.
So when Candelabra chose to build their site on Magento Enterprise (Magento is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world), they didn’t have to look far for an agency. For the sake of being thorough, they considered agencies across the country. But as anyone who works on Magento knows, the top Magento agency in the country isn’t in Manhattan or San Francisco. It’s in a quaint city in South Carolina called Charleston.
“When we began the process of looking for an eCommerce partner, we were happy to find a local agency, especially one with the reputation that Blue Acorn possesses,” said Whitney Moore, president, Candelabra. “We wanted to find an agency that could become familiar with our brick-and-mortar locations. Our designer in-store experience is the essence of our brand, and Blue Acorn was the ideal partner to bring that experience to a broader audience.”
Familiar with the design process, the leadership team at Candelabra participated in Blue Acorn’s immersive, two-day UX design workshop. Prior to the workshop, Blue Acorn conducted an extensive UX audit to gather and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data to determine the most effective ways to increase conversion rates. Candelabra attended the workshop at Blue Acorn’s downtown Charleston office to build in the new features and functionality recommended by the UX audit, as well as to define the look and feel of the site.
“Before the design workshop, the team visited Candelabra’s office for brand immersion and to learn about their operations,” said Victor Bejar, creative director, Blue Acorn. “The goal was to translate the specific style of their brick-and-mortar location to an engaging brand image and experience that will support their company as it continues to grow.”
The result of the workshop is a clean, modern design that engages visitors by showcasing beautiful product images. A white background enhances the detailed photography of various furniture pieces and home décor items. Data from the UX audit influenced Blue Acorn and Candelabra to streamline the navigation and add a product scroll under the lifestyle imagery on the homepage.
The “What’s New” and “We are Obsessed with” categories are dynamic, allowing the site’s administrator to easily add or remove items. On the checkout page, Blue Acorn built and integrated a custom delivery function for “White Glove Shipping.” In addition to standard shipping options, customers can opt to have their selected items hand-delivered and installed. Surcharges are listed separately per item in the list view. The website also features a responsive design and integrates directly with Quickbooks.
Visit www.shopcandelabra.com to experience the new eCommerce site first hand.
Read the press release here.