Stonewall Kitchen began selling homemade blueberry jam at a Farmers’ Market in New Hampshire in 1991. Over the next quarter century, its founders grew the business into an award-winning specialty foods company selling over 450 products through its online catalog, its own physical stores, and through tens of thousands of retailers. Its headquarters in York, Maine has become a bonafide tourist destination that attracts half a million visitors annually.

To help manage this growth, quickly implement innovations, and offload technology infrastructure responsibilities, Stonewall Kitchen migrated their site from a custom platform to Salesforce Commerce Cloud in early 2016.

 
 

I can never get enough insight from the Commerce Cloud team, because [they help us] in validating and prioritizing our assumptions.”

Ian Marquis | eCommerce Manager | Stonewall Kitchen

Ian Marquis, eCommerce Manager at Stonewall Kitchen, prioritized time-to-launch on the new platform by leveraging many of Commerce Cloud’s out-of-the-box capabilities, including Storefront Reference Architecture.

A fast, smooth implementation was only the beginning. As a Commerce Cloud customer, Stonewall Kitchen had access to our Retail Practice team — a group of industry veterans and subject matter experts in all aspects of commerce — to help develop and implement business growth and optimization strategies. After the initial launch, Marquis wanted to pursue targeted opportunities to better serve shoppers’ needs and drive conversions.

 

Stonewall Kitchen partnered with Retail Practice to take advantage of the various growth and optimization programs they offer, including benchmarking, site assessment, mobile optimization, and much more.

Together, they crafted a comprehensive engagement plan, kicking off with an industry benchmarking service that included:

  • Comparing and contrasting KPIs with an appropriate peer group

  • Identifying areas where peers may be doing better, to help inform new opportunities

  • Conducting an extensive user experience (UX) review and heat mapping exercise

 

Marquis also participated in customer roundtables, hosted and moderated by Retail Practice. “I love the sharing of expertise and experience between platform users, as well as the direct interaction with various area experts on the Commerce Cloud team; I never left with fewer than five new things to investigate (and in many cases, implement), and it was always time very well spent.”

Coming out of these engagements, Marquis prioritized and executed projects that could be tackled in an agile fashion. Instead of trying to do everything at once, which would have been disruptive, laborious, and difficult to execute, the team broke the efforts down to projects which were executed independently. To that effect, Stonewall Kitchen prioritized:

  • Making guest checkout readily visible in the shopper’s line of sight, both in the desktop and mobile experiences.
  • Re-designing and controlling for presentation; specifically, removing two clicks from the checkout process to increase efficiency.
  • Decreasing the number of paths to checkout from a multibranch approach to single branch and consolidating calls to action considering which screens customers have passed through on their way to the cart.

Stonewall Kitchen went live with the improvements in late August 2016.

Initially, anecdotal evidence showed that some existing Stonewall Kitchen online shoppers found the revised checkout experience a little jarring. But overall, the reduced number of clicks required to complete the checkout process contributed to a conversion rate lift from 2.5% in August to 3.44% in September. Rates continued to grow throughout the remainder of 2016.

“Watching conversion rates climb is the immediate thermometer as it speaks to fewer people bailing out. The launch of our new website had already resulted in an increased conversion rate, and by tightening the entire checkout flow, we were able to maintain those gains proportionally through the 3rd and 4th quarter,” says Marquis, who knows from this engagement with Retail Practice that great technology can only take you part of the way.

 
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