Summary:

Mission

The Atelier Co. wanted to leverage their recent experience on Project Runway and build a fully-featured online store to sell her curated line of bespoke fashion.

Challenges

  1. Build a quick solution to an influx of traffic.
  2. Implement an email marketing system, and grow the contact list.
  3. Design and build an online shop for curated bespoke fashion.

Scope of Project

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Outcome

Our strategy and development work helped Atelier Co. establish itself online by building a fully-featured e-commerce + EMS solution, which allowed designers to easily communicate with customers, post curated collections for sale, process orders, handle tax and shipping, and even print the label for the package. 

Impact

With Wabbit’s help, Atelier Co. has grown to the point that it currently limits access (making it more desirable) to remain capable of making enough bespoke fashion to meet their new demand. 

The Backstory

The Atelier Co. is a boutique fashion house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, specializing in clothing that celebrates body positivity and gender fluidity. When the owner, Meg Ferguson, found herself cast of the hit TV show Project Runway, she saw it as an opportunity to take her budding brand to new heights.

For this project, speed mattered most. The show would premiere in one month, and we needed to get a system in place before it did.

Wabbit broke the project into multiple phases, and addressed the immediate need for a web presence, and minimum viable marketing system, right away. That was week one…

"My goal for going on ‘Project Runway’ was to attract investors to my company. I want to make clothes for all bodies. I believe everyone deserves to look and feel great in their garments, and to know where the materials came from and who made them. I don’t make a mass inventory because I don’t want to add to the waste that the fashion industry creates."

The Approach:

Phase 1:

Soft Launch & Capture

Atelier Co. needed a digital presence fast — but, a good website can take 4-6 weeks to build, or more. We needed to make something that could serve as a placeholder, while still being useful. 

To solve the challenge, Wabbit recommended immediately launching a contact page focused on email capture. We implemented a basic EMS platform and configured it to segment any sign-ups received through this initial opt-in element into a “post-launch notification” marketing segment.

Without time to determine a specific visual direction, we researched current assets. Meg had some branding (a logo) in place already and scores of professional photographs she could quickly provide. Wabbit chose a hero image and launched an opt-in-focused landing page within a few days of signing on to the team.

Phase 2:

Build the MVP

While the leadership team at Atelier Co. focused on their verbiage, Wabbit began work on the design and function of the online shop.

A bespoke shopping experience is a curated shopping experience. The level of service provided by the Atelier Co. design team is among the best in their region. The site needed to reflect this quality, and the team needed to be supported by a platform that could scale with their unique needs.

When building their store, we specifically focused on displaying curated inventory, and giving staff designers the ability to build collections within the admin area.

The ordering process is quick and straight for the customer, and it is simple for managers to view, process, or modify any order received.

Phase 3:

Official Launch

With the groundwork laid, and an online shop prepared to receive business, we tweak our EMS campaigns and launch the site before Project Runway airs its first episode. The opt-in capture page from the first phase is removed, and the new site replaces it completely.

Atelier Co. uses social media and their own growing email list to notify customers the online store is officially live.

Our email marketing efforts shift into developing flows for post-order care, and newsletter opt-in relationship development.

"The Wabbits did such amazing job getting my store set up, and their advice is utterly game-changing! I am stunned at how many sales come through our site."
Meg Ferguson
Owner, The Atelier Co.

Closing Thoughts

When we talk about building awareness, there are scores of methods and tactics to get there. Regardless of which we choose, the point is to generate traffic — and we should always ask ourselves what the purpose of that traffic is. What’s the goal?

Atelier Co. used an awareness strategy centering around mass media exposure. Not every company can do this. It is a unique opportunity.

That said, we can send similar numbers to a site via paid traffic. We would even be more precise in our targeting this way. Later, Meg’s company will do the same. The method isn’t the critical factor here. 

No matter which awareness-generating channel we use, that traffic needs to go somewhere. The page our audience lands on needs to compel them to some kind of action. One which draws them closer to us, to our world, our corner of the digital universe.

At every stage of this project, we kept the goal of Atelier Co.’s growth in mind. They wanted to leverage an incoming flood of traffic. That traffic needed a place to land — one which could adequately leverage that attention. At first, for speed’s sake, the solution was a simple contact page and a few automated emails to grow the relationship with anyone who signed up for notifications.

At launch, the primary goal became sales, and we shifted the opt-in element to handle newsletter signups. 

As always, growth-driven design drives the process, allowing us to be incredibly nimble in our approach to solving the otherwise chaotic needs of a client’s growing business. As we move through the lean validation process, the site will evolve more — becoming honed, over time, into an asset that helps drive the business forward.

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