Vicki is an illustrator/designer from a little village just outside of Durham in the United Kingdom and works day to day for clients on icon, logo and illustration projects. Myself, you already know, I'm the first port of call here at Obox should you need anything.
Version Numero Uno
Rolling back 3 or 4 months, Gump Inc. was only an idea amidst different conversations. We always thought we could do it and after doing some research to find out costs of printing, stock control and particularly the stock we wanted to print on we made the decision to go for it.
For such a new idea we didn't want to invest cash in to the website unnecessarily but we did have some potential routes to go down;
- WordPress theme + eCommerce plugin
Shopify and BigCartel were similar in feature set but there was a cost implication if we added more products quickly and monthly costs were something we wanted to avoid.
We opted for a WordPress theme and eCommerce plugin and gave ourselves a deadline of having the majority of the website ready by the 21st December 2012.
The beginning of December saw the release of our CleanSale eCommerce theme and having worked on the theme throughout its testing and putting together the theme demo I knew that this was the theme I'd be using alongside the WooCommerce plugin which all of our eCommerce themes are compatible with.
The timeframe only gave me a couple of weeks to have the brand designed and decide on any changes that I was going to make to the theme as well as working with Vicki to get a range of products designed and ready for launch. Gump Inc. is a true story of how to launch a store in a short space of time using a WordPress theme and eCommerce plugin successfully.
The reasons for choosing CleanSale for our theme was quite clear, I'd envisioned Gump to be very minimal, clean and providing room for the products to speak for themselves. The theme's default design offered that and more.
I set about creating a brand which would be used across all of our marketing and social accounts. As you can see it is quite simple and this was something I wanted to spread across the whole of the site.
CleanSale is a responsive eCommerce theme, whilst this wasn't too important for me at the time, I've since read this article where it became apparent that having the store responsive from the start was going to be a good thing.
Customizing the Store
Using CleanSale as a starting point I decided to strip it right back.
Firstly I had to adjust the thumbnail dimensions as all of our product imagery was likely to be portrait rather than landscape. I then delved in to the stylesheet and worked on making it 'Gump' as well as integrating Typekit so that I could use custom non-google fonts across the site.
Having tested CleanSale to oblivion before we released it here at Obox, I was confident that it could do anything that I needed it to and there should only be minor tweaks for me to make. The most important was changing the default slider in CleanSale as it didn't lend itself to our product photography.
Extensions and Plugins
I used a few different extensions and plugins on Gump;
Facebook Plugin - I've bet on Facebook being one of the better portals to create a community around Gump and so far it is working. The Facebook plugin (by Facebook) is quite extensive with a pretty easy setup and gives me multiple options across the whole site.
Gravity Forms / Gravity Forms Campaign Monitor Plugin - We're big fans of Gravity Forms at Obox and I'm personally a fan of Campaign Monitor so getting these working together for the contact page as well as a newsletter subscription was near the top of my list.
Accepted Payment Methods - We're currently using Paypal Express for taking payments and this little plugin enabled us to quickly show that in widget form.
Google Product Feed - I've used this extension on another eCommerce store and it worked great, whether it is right for Gump only time will tell.
WordPress Pop-up - This is something I wanted to test to see if a pop-up would enable us to build a newsletter list of people interested in our products, quickly. WordPress pop-up whilst quite basic was easy to setup with only a minimal amount of CSS needed.
Stocking Tees and Posters
There's been a small amount of capital put in upfront for a small order, however, long-term we'd like to print to order when we have a larger fan base as we should be able to guestimate well enough of how many people are going to purchase. We do a lot of testing on our Facebook page and Dribbble to see if our fans like what we're designing, if the designs don't get many likes or much feedback they are shelved.
Obox Theme >< Gump Inc.
Having worked with and looked for many WordPress themes to use, CleanSale sat perfectly with the needs of Gump Inc in both form and function.
We did a 'soft launch' just after Christmas without mentioning it and yet we still managed to pick up traffic and orders which was great validation that we were on to something good. Since then we've been a bit louder by announcing our products on dribbble, twitter and Facebook and they've done exceptionally well.
we use Campaign Monitor for our newsletter subscription service and Google Analytics for tracking stats.
The majority of our traffic comes from the UK and US with a smaller amount from other European countries. We have quite a low bounce rate of 45.02%. Chrome leads in browser usage with Safari and Firefox lagging behind. Overall, mobile devices account for approximately 10% of our website visitors.
Working with the CleanSale theme and WooCommerce plugin for Gump Inc. was a flawless experience. It was validation that our eCommerce themes are up to the job and that WooCommerce was the right eCommerce plugin solution to use.
Do you have a website or store which you've used an Obox theme for? Send us an email, we'd love to use you it as a case study!