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Guiding Users to Purchases

Strategizing E-Commerce UX Flows that Lead to Greater Conversion

For over 45 years Stack-On has been distributing safes, security products, and garage storage systems under different product lines into large big box stores such as Menards, Cabelas, Dick’s, and Sam’s Club. Prior to the buyout of the company by Alpha Guardian, the current parent company, LLT helped to bring their own brand products into a digital marketplace more accessible by residentials customers looking for relevant goods and services.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Stack-On built a strong business and saw substantial growth based primarily on the manufacturing of safes to distributor channels into big box stores. However, they started to realize that there existed a significant consumer base that wanted to go directly to the brand source. While Field and Stream (a white label brand of Stack-On) gained traction with consumers of outdoor supply stores such as Dick’s and Cabelas, Stack-On realized the benefit of fortifying and boosting their digital presence to accommodate the ever-growing population that wanted to shop online.

Client Type

Mid Market

Founded

1972

Headquarters

McHenry, IL

Solutions

Strategy, Experience, Development

Services

Workshop, User Experience, Web Design, Visual Media, E-Commerce, Software

This pushed what was initially a catalog-focused, informational site to actually sell originally manufactured safes under the Stack-On brand, as well as make it simple to find and order replacement parts direct. On top of functional e-commerce, the new audience being catered to also had an increased need for guidance and education around specific product information to help them make more informed buying decisions. Stack-On needed to simulate the knowledgeable, in-store sales representative and offer this experience digitally to help consumers assess their needs since all the products tended to “look the same”.

Since Stack-On was armed with a smaller marketing team that was leading this initiative but being pulled in many different directions, they needed not only a creative team that could dig into the user personas of current and future visitor segments, but also a team that could provide a technical backing and recommendation of a CMS and e-commerce platform that could service the need and company scalability for years to come.

THE APPROACH

The first and biggest ask for this project was driven by a “features” based approach that involved taking a non-commerce website into the e-commerce realm by solidifying it with updated “brand” elements. To accomplish this, LLT started from the perspective of first understanding how the new ordering and checkout process would fit into the existing teams’ capabilities and flow. They then looked to see how the UI could complement these new features and offer a more modern brand representation within the website layouts.

Features-based Development

The most important aspects of introducing a new e-commerce platform to a team that has never managed one are setting expectations on what the system creates in automation and then showing where that needs to intersect with customer service, ordering, or client success teams. Once LLT established the expectations of how the e-commerce platform could automate most of what Stack-On needed and desired (ordering and checking out of products), they then focused on how this experience could best guide consumers through seemingly similar products.

This idea for a “choose your own path” concept came to the forefront after LLT asked the pertinent questions around how the consumer and their current situation would in turn filter down the actual products that fulfilled those needs. This required in-depth decision-tree mapping that involved not working to understand the drop-off funnel for products based on selection but also how to ask the right questions in the most appropriate way.

Looking to develop out an e-commerce UX / UI that ties back into your business operations?

Alongside the building of the e-commerce function, other key features such as a retailer locator, product registration, and a customer resource hub were rolled up into the project ask. In order to accommodate so many new functions simultaneously, it was crucial for LLT to work hand-in-hand with the Stack-On team to understand the logic and reset expectations on the value of each feature set.

Brand-based Design

Since Stack-On was entering a digital market in which they had yet to establish a presence, the approach by LLT was to help legitimize the long-standing brand of Stack-On by leveraging the powerful partners and connections they had formed in the previous 40 years of business. This involved new product photography and leveraging the thousands of retailers they were already selling in to further support and provide brand trust for both existing and new consumers on the site.

THE RESULTS

LLT saw the project as an immediate success based on the elevated user interface design alone, but the impact was solidified when engagement throughout the entire site saw drastic increases. From time on-site to interactions with the new “Product Selection Guide” that helped guide journeys through the product purchasing decision process, the metrics proved that the final outputs were providing the results Stack-On requested.

For this project to truly be a success, it was imperative to account for all user types, including new consumers looking to purchase, existing consumers ready to re-buy, and new consumers looking for retailers. To achieve this, it needed to be clear to new site visitors within 1 to 2 clicks that a user could get to their intended destination.

For new users looking to buy, it was key to make the products and corresponding categories as clear as possible or offer a guided selection option. When a user landed on “Products” it was necessary to give as much visual information as possible, which resulted in color swatch selections, icon creation to represent features, how-to videos, and product reviews. For new/existing users looking for a retailer it was necessary to make the search process visual, yet informative, specifically on mobile devices. And for existing users looking for more product information or re-buys, the customer hub was designed to answer all their questions and provide sources of support if the required information was unavailable.

“One of the most exciting aspects for us was taking assets and market experience that a notable brand like Stack-On has and bringing that to market with industry-leading features and UI for its consumer base.”

— Tony Zipparro, COO at LLT Group

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