Out of the Blue

As COVID-19 swept the world, Out Of The Blue wanted an eCommerce website that would allow their customers to purchase their usual products.

OOTB responsive

“Shane created a stunning, brand new website for our salon business – including a fully populated online shop for our customers to browse and place orders for retail products.

Shane was a pleasure to work with. He took the time to explain everything, to understand our needs and to deliver an even better end product than we could have hoped for!”

Out Of The Blue

Corona Virus

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes its grip on the world, it presents challenges for new and existing businesses alike. As terms and phrases such as social distancing, lockdown, stay-at-home and self-isolation become commonplace, companies have begun to look for new ways to engage with their customers. For some, this has been an easy transition and has simply required adjusting practical aspects of the business such as offering delivery services. For others, this has involved adapting the way they operate completely and has required exploring new avenues of customer engagement.

Out Of The Blue is an example of one of the businesses that decided to look at how they could adapt in order to continue providing a service for their customers, and I was lucky to be part of their journey.

Corona Virus

Out Of The Blue is a hairdressers on the Isle of Man who over the years have built an exciting brand and loyal customer base. Due to the restrictions imposed on Lifestyle businesses, they were forced to close the doors and effectively cease trading until measures were eased. That’s when Kirsty had the exciting idea of providing a platform for her customers to purchase products.

After our initial meeting, we established that Out Of The Blue needed a website that allowed customers to purchase products without the need to visit the shop, was easy to manage and could compliment the salons existing brand. As an eCommerce website designer, I was well placed to talk her through some custom website design packages that would meet the salon’s needs. We decided on a WooCommerce platform as this allows the user to add products, manage stock, review orders and communicate with their customers easily whilst still providing opportunities for bespoke website design.

Those of you that are familiar with WooCommerce will know that lots of the pages/elements are created using shortcodes, and whilst this provides an ‘out of the box’ eCommerce website that is perfectly fine, it wasn’t enough to create an eCommerce website that matched Kirsty’s existing brand or requirements. In addition to a bespoke website, Out Of The Blue needed some custom messages placed in the order confirmation screen so that they could explain to shoppers when and where they could collect their order. Throughout COVID-19, most businesses are moving away from cash in favour of contactless payments and this was something else that needed explaining on the order confirmation screen.

One of the advantages of WordPress and WooCommerce is that they have a range of plugins/addons that provide additional functionality to allow you to do more complicated tasks. This is great, but sometimes the plugin doesn’t do what you need it to do, can slow down your website load speeds or requires payment for pro versions. For this project, it was simple enough to manually tweak the child theme’s functions.php so that the additional text was included on the order confirmation screen. Saving time and ultimately money!

The overall result is an easy to navigate website that matches the clients existing fun and stylish brand. The addition of a customised eCommerce platform allows customers to place orders in the convenience of their own home and receive personalised confirmation messages to make it clear how they can pay for and collect their goods.

If you’re looking for a more bespoke feel from your website then get in touch with your requirements and I can talk you through the web design packages I offer.