If you need a knife or blade — whether it’s for jewelry making, woodworking, or even vinyl car wrapping — Excel Blades has you covered. For more than 30 years, this family-owned and -operated manufacturer has been committed to providing the highest quality tools, while maintaining a keen focus on customer communication.
But expectations have changed in recent years. Appetite for direct-to-consumer buying was already on the rise, and the COVID-19 pandemic pushed demand even higher. Excel was determined to meet this need, and to make that happen, they realized what today’s customer expects is an eCommerce platform that is easy to search, easy to use, and easy to purchase from. In other words, they needed a Parkfield-built ecommerce store.
Traditionally, visitors would need to know the exact name of the knife or blade they were looking for in order to find it in Excel’s store. Visitors could recognize what they needed by sight, but there was no way for them to quickly identify their product of choice. Parkfield overhauled the storefront to ensure that visitors could quickly and easily find the knives and blades they needed, whether or not they knew exact names.
Excel serves an audience made up of artists, craftsmen and other creative professionals. Compelling design naturally attracts these creatives, capturing their attention and their budget for supplies, tools and materials. The Parkfield team created a bespoke storefront with colorful imagery that would do a better job of engaging its target audience.
Excel’s legacy storefront featured a cluttered interface that was nearly impossible to navigate on a mobile device. Parkfield worked with Excel to create a mobile-friendly user experience, including buttons that allowed visitors to easily shop by usage or type. This fresh mobile experience also allowed visitors to quickly differentiate between different knives and blades.
After exploring Excel’s legacy storefront and learning about the brand’s requirements, the Parkfield team quickly realized the need to rebuild the store from the ground up.
While this might sound challenging and time-consuming, it was actually an opportunity to rethink all aspects of Excel’s online presence so that the brand could maximize its ecommerce sales. A full redesign, better searchability and more streamlined mobile navigation would all be easier to accomplish within a complete overhaul.
Everything comes back to the user experience. No matter how Excel draws visitors to its site, those visitors need to met with an experience that immediately lets them know they are in the right place, that makes it easy to search and filter the brand’s many different products, and that streamlines the process of connecting with the tools needed to do their work.
Excel’s legacy store did not offer a user experience commensurate with the quality of the brand’s products. Through search and filter functions, a fresh design, plus a mobile-friendly interface, the Parkfield team saw an opportunity to improve the user experience by leaps and bounds.
Ecommerce buyers are drawn to brands that truly move them. While Excel Blades offered products that artists, craftsmen and other creative professionals found essential to their work, the design of Excel’s legacy storefront didn’t necessarily connect with and inspire its target audience.
Given that Parkfield would need to completely overhaul the brand’s store to achieve its ecommerce objectives, there was a perfect opportunity to rethink the design and to create something that would resonate with creators. Parkfield designed and implemented a new storefront that included:
About three quarters of all ecommerce is transacted on a mobile device. And that number is sure to grow in the coming months and years as more and more personal and professional tasks migrate to mobile. Because Excel’s mobile experience was cluttered, it was unnecessarily throttling the brand’s growth potential.
Placing a new focus on the mobile user experience, we added mobile-friendly buttons that invite customers to shop by usage or type, and quickly differentiate between knives and blades. To provide all the information that buyers might need without cluttering the interface, we neatly tucked away product details, shipping, and care instructions within tappable tabs.
Do you know the difference between a utility knife and a snap blade? If not, don’t worry. You’re in the majority. This was one of several problems with Excel’s legacy ecommerce channel: even though customers could recognize the blade they needed if they saw it, without knowing its name, it was incredibly difficult to find what they needed on the original store.
Excel’s new storefront is eminently searchable, including the ability to shop by usage or type, and including design features that allow visitors to quickly differentiate between knives and blades. Simply making the inventory more searchable led to a significant spike in conversion rate among Excel’s target audience.
The results of the transformation have been staggering. Now that the site is easier to navigate and customers aren’t being put off by an uninspired storefront, conversion rate has shot up by 25%. What’s more, not only are more visitors buying, visitors are buying more, with total orders rising by 49%. Together, these improvements have contributed to a near-unbelievable 57% revenue boost.
With a little help from Parkfield, Excel has unlocked a major competitive advantage, now able to stand out with a cutting-edge (no pun intended!) store amongst a market full of lackluster websites and unremarkable customer journeys. For discerning artisans, craftspeople, or anyone in need of a precision blade, there’s now only one place you’d ever want to go for your tools — Excel Blades.