S & J Mandarin Grove is a certified organic mandarin ranch in Newcastle, California that sells both locally and online. They had a very clunky and difficult manual process for selling online orders and a website that confused buyers, which resulted in concerned phone calls and an overwhelming amount of personal customer support. The website was hosted through a third-party content management system that was not only hard to use and frustrating, but offered very limited ecommerce options. This site also wasn’t mobile responsive or secured via SSL.
The mandarin harvest season is very short — lasting only from mid-November through mid-January — which means they have roughly 60 days to move all of their inventory. With the 2016 harvest season looming, S & J Mandarin Grove gave Bourn Creative carte blanche to completely redesign the site and create an easy to use online ordering system in less than one week.
In five business days, Bourn Creative:
- Completely rewrote and optimized the website content
- Sourced all new images and took custom photography
- Created a new mobile responsive WordPress theme in their brand colors and added a blog
- Researched and wrote five new blog posts to match the most commonly asked questions about mandarins
- Created 10 beautiful tiled photo galleries with images that open in a light box, documenting each harvest season and the family’s story
- Moved the site to SSL
- Created a new online ordering system and redesigned the print order form
New Online Ordering System
Organic mandarin oranges, because they are available fresh for such a short time, are a hot commodity. Customers from across the United States buy several boxes for themselves and to send as gifts to family and friends. Businesses also place large corporate orders for holiday gifts.
With the old website:
- Customers couldn’t ship boxes of mandarins to different addresses in the same order. To do that, they had to place a separate order for each address.
- The order total wasn’t automatically tallied or passed to PayPal, so customers had to do it and there was a lot of human error, which increased support needs
- Order information wasn’t provided to the customer, so often they weren’t sure the order went through and called to confirm all of their order details.
- Order information wasn’t automatically provided to the grower, so they had to manually log into the site to access order information multiple times a day.
Bourn Creative overhauled the entire ordering system to add automation, reduce human error, save time, and drastically cut down on customer support.
With the new ordering system:
- Customers can order as many boxes as they want, shipped in any breakdown to as many different addresses as they want.
- If sending mandarins as a gift, a custom message can be added.
- A specific shipping date can be selected when placing the order, so customers can order early in the season to guarantee availability, but request shipping dates that align with a holiday or special occasion. This also allowed the growers to change the available shipping dates to coincide with the ripening of the organic fruit.
- Order totals are calculated automatically and purchasing is seamlessly integrated with PayPal.
- Order notifications, with all of the order details, are automatically sent to both the grower and the customer for easy reference.
- All order information is stored in the back-end of the site and is easily exportable.
- Upon successful order completion, customers are automatically added to the grower’s email marketing list.
The new site design felt warm, friendly, and inviting — just like the mandarin grove’s owners. At the same time, it instantly appeared more professional and trustworthy.
The new online ordering system almost immediately cut order fulfillment labor and customer support by more than 50% and long time customers raved about the new, easy-top-use order form. Plus, the new website was so successful, that orders came in faster and bigger than any year prior and S & J Mandarin Grove sold out only 30 days into the season! This allowed the owners to actually put up a Christmas Tree, go to the local holiday parade, and spend time relaxing with family — which they hadn’t been able to do since opening S & J Mandarin Grove ten years earlier.