Our #1 goal was to make it extremely easy to browse products and move customers to conversion by checking out.
Since Audrose was a brand new company, we spent a lot of time during our initial stakeholder interviews discussing the CBD skincare industry, how they were positioning themselves within it, and how they wanted their digital marketplace to stand out in a crowded skincare space.
Aside from that, we spoke at length of the legal restrictions selling CBD products online. CBD is not legal to be able to be sold in all 50 states (yet). In addition, most ecommerce website providers do not support the sale of CBD products as it is too closely associated with THC (the psychoactive chemical in Marijuana). CBD on the other hand is non-psychoactive but it is still heavily regulated and poses lots of challenges for online vendors. Realizing this, we had our research cut out for us to find the right combination of ecommerce platform, payment processor, and merchant account that would all support CBD related sales.
Our two primary goals with our UX strategy were to educate site visitors by teaching them about what makes Audrose’s products special, and lead visitors towards purchasing products. Our job was to combine these two objectives into a seamless site experience.
For visitors who need more information on the products and the advanced technology incorporated into each product, we provided avenues to learn more about CBD and the science behind the products. Once a visitor feels comfortable with the brand and the science, the goal is to drive them to a product page. Ecommerce works when visitors are buying products, so it is incredibly important that they have quick and easy access to product pages and are led through a simple checkout process to conversion.
Audrose provided very specific design references during the discovery meeting, which gave us great context into their aesthetic preferences. All of the references were incredibly clean and minimal, which is the approach we mimicked for our website design. Using a wealth of white space, our designs allow a visitor’s eye to breathe and focus in on the most important elements on the page. At the same time, the product pages are intentionally designed to pack a wealth of information into a small package by providing detailed information to those who are looking for it while prioritizing leading visitors into the checkout flow and towards conversion.
In terms of development, we used Shopify’s ecommerce platform as the foundation for our site, and built out the custom designs and functionality we needed on top of it. One of the biggest challenges we faced was around collecting payments.
Anytime an online store is selling a legally ambiguous product (since CBD is only able to be sold within particular states), Shopify will allow for those products to be sold on their platform, but they won’t touch the payment-related side of things. This meant that needed to work with a 3rd party payment gateway who would work with companies who sell “high risk” products and was capable of integrating with Shopify via an API. To make things difficult, there are very few payment gateways out there that fit those requirements. One of those is eMerchantBroker, which is the one we decided to move forward with.
Another part of the payment collection is the payment processor, which is a separate and distinct 3rd party integration from the payment gateway. For the payment processor, we worked with Square UP, which provided another layer of API integration we needed to program. With so many different platforms and 3rd party API integrations, it took a lot of work to connect everything together and thoroughly test that the connections were passing along the correct information, but we were able to build out this custom solution successfully.
Once the site was coded and the payment collection process was integrated, we needed to be sure it was all working properly. We conducted extremely thorough testing of the payment flow to ensure the site, the payment gateway, and payment processor were connected properly. Once that was squared away, we tested the rest of the content management system (CMS) to guarantee that new content could easily be added in the future so Audrose was able to easily manage the site once it launched. Once we were confident that the new site was functioning properly and processed payments as it should, we launched the site and watched the live sales come in!
With an elegant and serenely designed site, Audrose now has a robust platform to be able to sell their innovative skincare products. Leveraging the streamlined backend from Shopify, the site is set up for ease of use for both Audrose admin and front-end visitors. Working with such a science-centric beauty product was a fulfilling journey from beginning to end, and we’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to lay the digital groundwork for Audrose’s online growth.
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