The original website was built completely from scratch in late 2018, and was set to highlight some of the most popular items of jewellery and handbags that Beija Flor sell - without an online store.
In 2020, a fast and complete overhaul was required...
What happened in Lockdown March 2020...
In the early months of 2020, I was having e-commerce conversations with Penny, the manager/store owner, as we explored the possibility of going online. With a store inventory of over 500 lines, it was not a decision to make lightly.
March 2020 comes along, and we found ourselves in a nationwide lockdown. Within two weeks of bing stuck at home, I got a slightly frazzled call from Penny, asking me "How fast can you get an online store running...? I want 400 or so products up!"
My answer - "Let's find out! I'm still waiting on Spark to deliver a new modem so hopefully I'll have internet by the end of the week...!"
So with that, she and one of her staff members started getting a curated selection of product content ready, while I waited for internet in the Far North! When I had chewed up all my phone data twice, a modem appeared in the nick of time. I pulled apart her existing site, rebuilt sections and set up an online store all behind the scenes. In no time at all, we had the online store running and ready to launch. It took a few late nights between us to get the product content loaded in, photo gaps filled, some tweaks to shipping and a hold up with a payment gateway to keep us on our toes... but one Sunday night we were ready to launch. We picked Sunday night purely because everyone was at home! And that their target market is always online on Sunday evenings.
Beija Flor - a jewellery and handbag store located in Napier, who relied heavily on cruise ship foot traffic, prior to COVID-19. Selling top jewellery brands like Meadowlark, Boh Runga, Karen Walker and handbags/wallets such as Status Anxiety, Vendula and Briarwood.
A 683% increase in site traffic overnight
From a mere 43 views the day before, to 337 views the day of the launch.
A Lockdown Launch
The online store announcement was launched on Facebook on Sunday night - out to their followers on there first, then subsequently on Instagram.
There was a little uptick in engagement on social media, but the biggest response was the hits on the website. Sales started flowing in, as well as calls and offline sales from 'trusted regulars' who wanted the newer items - the products that hadn't made it to the site yet. In all honesty, I don't think either of us realised that it was going to be as well received as it was, by the shoppers!
Kicking off the first couple months with decent sales
Level 4 April Sales - newly launched
Level 3 May Sales - with contactless pickups enabled
An overview of the site traffic leading up to the online store launch, which peaked and raised traffic since
When one site isn't enough
Not long after getting through a nationwide Lockdown, it became apparent that the people wanted more choice. Getting tired of running extra phone call orders, an email came through with "we need a second online store for the bags side of things".
Well, Penny, you don't have to ask twice! Site conversion of Beija Flor #3 was underway - The plan was to split the two major arms of the business into two online stores. Time to take off the bags and wallets off Beija Flor, leaving the jewellery + room to add more. Everything bags/ handbags/ wallets related was shifted to the Beija Flor Bags site. This enabled an easier to manage system for the staff to keep updating, as well as direct the two target groups of their audience.
In no time at all, the second site, Beija Flor Bags was born.
Pulling across the same branding styles, and repopulating content and products, making the Bags store was a quick and efficient process. The second store site launched in August 2020 and has also been successful for them. Knowing which target audiences are shopping on which site, means that at times, they can focus their efforts towards Jewellery or Bags if needed.
An overview of Beija Flor Bags
While admittedly, these numbers are not exceptionally high, imagine having 20-50 people walk into an empty store.
That's still eyes on products and stock that could sell - if it doesn't make a sale, there's a chance they can come back!