The Projects (November 2013 – October 2016)
We worked with Traveling Tickle Trunk for years on their Pay-Per-Click advertising, and completed an ecommerce website redesign (on the Shopify platform) in 2016. As 2013 was drawing to a close, Brenda Kerber of the Traveling Tickle Trunk was planning for the following year and knew that she wanted more foot traffic strolling into her store in 2014. She saw Kick Point President, Dana DiTomaso, give a talk about digital marketing for small businesses to the Old Strathcona Business Association a couple of years earlier, and that talk really stuck with her.
Throughout 2014 and into the first three quarters of 2015, our focus was on increasing foot traffic to her store. We made improvements to her Google My Business listing, cleaned up her citations, and worked on link building in order to improve her map-based search results. It was also important to make coming into the store easy for her customers, by providing clear driving (and parking), walking, and transit directions on the Traveling Tickle Trunk contact page. During this time, we ran a Google AdWords campaign to direct potential (and returning) customers to her store.
We also tried some Facebook advertising, but Facebook was very sensitive to the type of content we wanted to promote…
The PPC campaigns we ran for Traveling Tickle Trunk have evolved over time — we were still directing local customers to the physical store, but we also began investing in sending relevant traffic to her ecommerce shop. The campaigns had very high click-through rates, which of course seems great when you just view that one particular thing in Google Analytics, but nothing looked very hot when we looked at actual conversion statistics.
Interested searchers were not turning into satisfied customers. The website was out-dated visually, slow to load, not mobile-friendly, and frustrating for potential customers to use (and very hard for Brenda and her team to add new products to).
Brenda had previously had a very tough experience with a website redesign that resulted in many, many hours of unnecessary extra work for her. After reassuring her that she would not have to live through that nightmare again, we were ready to get to work on a new website for Traveling Tickle Trunk!
About The Client
Brenda Kerber, the founder and owner of Traveling Tickle Trunk, started out in her field running adult toy parties. She was shocked to discover that many of the products she was selling contained ingredients were not body-safe, were of a poor quality, and would break easily. She started looking for a company that sold high-quality, safe products that also treated sex in a fun and respectful way (not as a joke). She didn’t find a company that did these things, so she started her own in 2003.
Traveling Tickle Trunk is now a fixture in the Whyte Avenue neighbourhood of Edmonton and aims to provide a comfortable, fun, and educational store experience. On the shelves, you’ll find a working demonstration model of every product sold at the store, and the staff encourages you to pick up and check out the products so you can make more informed choices.
- Increase conversion rates from paid campaigns
- Increase in-store visits and sales
- Bring cohesion to the brand (build an ecommerce website that is as clean and attractive as the physical location)
Build a mobile-friendly website on an e-commerce platform that met the needs of both customers and those of the Traveling Tickle Trunk team.
We reviewed user journey case studies and Google Analytics to determine the best way to structure the new site. This led to an updated site map that provided a stronger shopper experience. It was also important to migrate Brenda’s Blogspot blog to the new website — we ran into a few issues here, but we’ve resolved them since then.
We went into this project with a comprehensive site migration plan because we wanted to ensure minimal disruption to organic traffic. Achievement, unlocked!
Design & Development
The new Traveling Tickle Trunk site is built on the Shopify platform. We started the project by researching the design of existing Shopify websites. It immediately became apparent that many Shopify sites look very similar — Brenda didn’t want to fall into this trap, and neither did we. With this in mind, we decided to:
- Avoid overloading the home page with sections focused on Deals! and News! and too many other visual elements
- Use the illustrated icons that existed on the original site to keep the unique, whimsical feel that encompasses Brenda’s brand identity and physical store
- Not include distracting sliders at the top of each page in the Shop section — we’d list all the products immediately instead, to help the user find what they were looking for faster
- Ultimately: keep the interface clean and minimal, with clear links to related areas, such as educational items
The Shop section is the biggest part of the new website, so we wireframed it first. We quickly determined that a fixed top navigation with a drop-down menu containing all the product categories (and subcategories) would provide the quickest way for users to navigate to the product they wanted. We wanted shoppers to clearly know what options they had, so having navigation on the left-hand side of each secondary page, in addition to the top navigation, was important to implement across the entire site.
Once that decision was made, we found that the design of the Shop area informed the rest of the site design. The Events section functioned the same way — shoppers could add tickets to their cart in the same way they added products. Every other section, like the Blog, established consistency for users by continuing to display the left-aligned navigation for blog categories. Comfortable users turn into valuable customers, so focusing on consistency and comfort is key for E-commerce websites.
The mobile menu navigation is split into two sections: Shop, which lists all the product categories and subcategories; and Learn, which lists all the other pages of the site. Separating the two allowed us to give the user quicker access to products upfront, instead of forcing them to tap through two or three pages to get to where they wanted to be. Additionally, the Search function stands out in the right corner, because Search is often the quickest way for users to find what they are looking for.
We went into this project with comprehensive site migration plan because we wanted to ensure minimal disruption to organic traffic.
Organic traffic in the 30-days following the launch was up nearly 12% over last year, without any additional off-site SEO work. Site migration = Success!
The real kicker? Since the new website launched, Traveling Tickle Trunk’s e-commerce conversion rate is up by 71% and e-commerce revenue is up by 79%.
It was difficult to properly redirect Blogspot posts — the redirect code we prefer to use wasn’t working and SHOCKER, Google doesn’t provide any support.
This was a fun project for our whole team to get involved in. You never knew what “NSFW” stuff was going to be up on someone’s screen when you walked by!
We’re recently set up Brenda and her team to manage the Traveling Tickle Trunk AdWords campaigns internally. The team is also trained to manage website edits and changes in house at this point as well.