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We crafted a sales record-smashing ecommerce platform for The Lipco Group's colossal inventory of customizable products.

32%

Overall Sales Increase

800%

Online Sales Growth

11,000+

Products Incorporated

Crafting An Unparalleled Bulk Gift Ordering Experience

The Lipco Group, a nationwide distributor for wholesale souvenirs and apparel, was quite possibly the creator of the beloved magnets on your fridge at home—those small but sweet mementos from vacations gone by. The Kirbyville, Mo.-based company specializes in all the items that make kids and adults alike wide-eyed with that special kind of joyful sensory overload only gift shops can bring. From nostalgic toys to plush animals to shot glasses to décor, they do all of it—and we mean all of it.

In fact, Lipco's immense inventory is why the digital presence we reimagined for lipco.biz went well beyond a standard ecommerce revamp. It required our engineers' best mind melding to find out how best to display the filtering and cataloguing of more than 11,000 products—many with customizable options, no less. Figuring out how best to translate Lipco's separate inventory system to a sleek customer-facing experience was not without its challenges, but it paid off for Lipco in the form of skyrocketing ecommerce sales and a renewed focus on leading its industry. This case study explores how we made it happen—and what the results have been like.

Lipco's inventory of wholesale gift items was brought to life in an ecommerce format by the meticulous exploration of custom-engineered solutions.

View the Live Site

First Things First: Defining Success

Compiling base-level research to get started off on the right foot with new projects is always non-negotiable; but in the case of this overhaul, we made the commitment to truly understand some key things about Lipco's day-to-day processes so we wouldn't compromise them in any way.

To accomplish this, we conducted several in-person interviews at Lipco's headquarters. We toured the facilities and learned more about the company's everyday operations. We even browsed the company showroom and goggled at the vast, colorful quantities of gifts, from funny owl figurines to tiny toy drums. What we discovered helped us build a better project roadmap—and better understand Lipco's less tangible needs. 

For one, we learned that most of Lipco’s existing customer base was comfortable with traditional ordering methods, like email, fax, and phone calls—to the point that we knew we'd need to think like a traditionally-minded customer when building out browsing and ordering processes.

We also learned that Lipco’s sales team prided itself on maintaining great customer relationships, so every opportunity to build a customer experience touchpoint or value differentiator was important.

Finally, we learned that Lipco’s inventory system contained existing customer accounts with their own tax information in addition to the plethora of ever-changing product data we already knew about.

Producing an ecommerce website that could accommodate customers unfamiliar with online purchasing while communicating Lipco's brand were design and writing challenges on their own, but incorporating a robust database and a user translation script capable of updating information daily (or more often than daily) were the real keys to bringing Lipco’s wholesale gift world to a functioning online interface. 

Not only does the new site now display the data in our personal inventory system accurately, but the design and navigation is great as well. We’re enjoying it and we think our customers certainly will in the years to come.

Kevin Hampton, Operations Manager of The Lipco Group
Kevin Hampton, Operations Manager of The Lipco Group

Getting Under the Hood

While our designers and writers got to work producing The Lipco Group's visual experience, our engineers researched and built an application stack that would not only keep Lipco's data up and running at all times, but be able to continuously incorporate and refresh product inventory as needed. Once they settled on a smooth operating trifecta of Python (server-side technology), Django (a high-level framework), and Mezzanine (an open source content management system), the foundation was complete—and we were ready to bring Lipco's wholesale gifts inventory to the Internet at large.

With key performance indicators in our pockets and our tools to get the job done at the ready, we started to build.

We ported.

We implemented.

We populated.

We refilled coffee cups and chewed pencils.

We gut checked our categorization and sorting of products and even pivoted once or twice on experiential choices that could have ended up being wrong for the customer had we not collaborated on better solutions. Even if they seemed like small setbacks at the time, they helped us produce a smooth-flowing ecommerce experience that didn't ask too much from first-time visitors or long-term customers.

The Final Product

At long last, we launched Lipco's new site in April of 2017. It features over 11,000 wholesale gift products. Site visitors have the option to filter the company's many products by more than a dozen categories as well as browse pre-made designs for custom screen printing orders. And for Lipco customers accustomed to purchasing through one of the company’s four catalogs (Lipman Gifts, Sojourn Souvenirs, Outlook Designs, and Legends), they can search exclusively by catalog as well. In addition, visitors can easily view sales, clearance, and featured items.

Post-Launch Results

The months spent meticulously processing and sorting data into an aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, easy-to-filter assortment of products and categories were well worth it for The Lipco Group. In the site's first eight months of operation, it outperformed its predecessor in online sales by more than 800% and increased the company's overall revenue by a staggering 32%. Helping prune that growth by gradually adding features and strong, SEO-laden content has made The Lipco Group's team a continuing joy to work with. We're looking forward to continuing to help the company curate a digital presence that solidifies its place as a forward-thinking leader in an industry formerly dependent on traditional tactics.

Press

For more information on our work with lipco.biz, check out the press:

Began Our Partnership
Launched New Website
Lipco Surpassed Annual Sales Goal
Added and Pruned Inventory Display Features

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