Lake Champlain Chocolates has been making fresh, all-natural, gourmet chocolates for more than 30 years. Last holiday season they broke all previous online sales records with a new, redesigned website from Perficient that drove the sweet success.
A company on the move, but firmly rooted in the nature and lifestyle of Vermont, Lake Champlain Chocolates takes a craftsman's approach to their product. They begin with sweet Vermont butter, fresh local cream, and finest quality chocolate to handcraft an extensive assortment of chocolates in small batches.
Lake Champlain Chocolates' premium products are available throughout the U.S. at specialty food and gift stores such as Whole Foods Market, upscale hotels and inns, and at three company-owned stores in Vermont. Lake Champlain Chocolates have also been sold online since 1996, but the website was not keeping pace with the rapid growth of their business.
Based on our many years of e-commerce experience and proven ability to bring unique brands to life online, Lake Champlain Chocolates chose Perficient to create an entirely new online presence in time for the 2011 holiday selling season.
Lake Champlain Chocolates is poised for growth, and this new site, that better showcases their gourmet brand and offers gifters a seamless shopping experience, will accelerate their growth online.
"The new site surpassed our expectations. Perficient gave us a website that showcased our brand, in time for the all-important holiday season, but more important, they created an online store that really enhances the user experience."Jim Lampman, Founder & Owner
of Lake Champlain Chocolates
There are no shortcuts to building a strong online presence. Lake Champlain Chocolates made a commitment to refocus their online brand to better reflect who they really are - a Vermont specialty retailer that's earned a reputation as a premium chocolate company - and it worked. They doubled revenue.
When we say it works, we mean it converts. It's not simply a new design, a better look and feel; it has to translate to conversion. That's where the value is.
Lake Champlain Chocolates' goal was to offer an upscale experience to shoppers and gifting clients. The creative design team at Perficient took a "from scratch" approach to the brand story, as well as the user experience, in order to create a new presence that delivered upscale online shopping, better conveyed their premium brand, and was easier for their customers to use.
Perficient used Magento's Enterprise Edition for the site platform, incorporating many of the platform's tools into the new site, including content management, search engine optimization, promotional marketing tools, order management, customer service, analytics, and reporting.
A customized checkout feature gives shoppers an easy-to-use tool for shipping products to multiple addresses on multiple dates. The functionality is available to registered Lake Champlain Chocolates account holders, as well as those visitors who prefer to check out as guests of the site.
Shoppers can also easily add gift messages to the products they purchase and ship.
A Product Story section was added to each product page to provide the story behind each beautiful gift.
New, larger images of the packaging and individual chocolates were used to bring the experience to life. Shoppers now enjoy a better sense of the gifts they are sending and find it hard to resist buying something extra for themselves.
Navigation was redesigned to make it more intuitive and to enhance the browse and shop experience.
The retailer's beautiful brand assets were emphasized consistently throughout the site.
Following an August launch, average conversion on the new site reached a remarkable 8.75%, setting high expectations for Cyber Monday on November 28, 2011.
Conversion on Cyber Monday reached 16.44% – more than twice their conversion rate on the same shopping day in 2010. The new site worked twice as hard, delivering double the per-visit value of the previous year, and average order size was up approximately 20% over 2010.
size up 20%
Lake Champlain Chocolates continues to see record sales, conversion, and average order size, building on the success that began during the 2011 holiday selling season. The success of Lake Champlain Chocolates' new online presence is a result of taking the brand and website to a new level through enhanced creative design and user experience.
It really is the front-end experience that's driving Lake Champlain Chocolate' success rather than promotions. Magento is a powerful platform, and the technical implementation was strong, but this is truly a case of a redesigned website showcasing a brand and delivering an extraordinary shopping experience.
As a result of the strength of the new site's performance, Perficient has expanded the partnership with Lake Champlain Chocolates, providing ongoing strategic e-commerce consulting. In addition to search engine optimization efforts and web hosting, Perficient continues to contribute creative and site design enhancements.