Creating innovative shopping experiences with New Zealand’s #1 online board game store.

Shopify Website Redesign

Game Kings is enjoying a fresh website design that implements custom features for a unique and engaging shopping experience.

The Challenge

Game Kings is New Zealand’s favourite supplier of board, card & party games with a following of over 25,000 people across social media and hundreds of stocked games.

With Christmas coming around the corner, Game Kings knew they had to update their website. Their old website worked, but it relied heavily on plenty of Shopify apps incurring monthly fees with no flexibility, and technical debt was rising as they made changes to the old website to meet their needs.

Game Kings engaged our services because they knew we have some of the best experience in New Zealand creating and integrating custom solutions into Shopify. They wanted to remove their dependency on Shopify apps and replace them with custom development that was flexible to their needs and a sustainable solution for the long term.

For almost every store the months leading up to Christmas are the biggest and busiest times of the year, and so we had a large project to achieve with a soft deadline for completion before mid-October.

The Process

Planning & Research

The first thing we do is learn about the client and their customers. We want to know their branding, core values, goals for the website, and how their target audience interacts with the website. 

Every store is different, and that’s why you can’t take a cookie cutter approach to redesigning a website; what’s successful for a furniture store may not be successful for a board game store, so we take the time to learn everything we can.

From our planning and research we came to quite a few key conclusions:

  • Their current website did not reflect their branding, and the new website was a chance to explore different paths of branding.
  • The structure of the site, especially the menus and collections, should be revamped completely.
  • Searching was a prominent way people engaged with the website, and should be optimised to maximise sales.
  • There were a lot of unique ways we could engage with customers that were not common with other stores, such as a gift finder to help people find their perfect game.

Design

With a clear idea of what was important and our website plan, it was time to start visualising the end result with a design.

To create the designs, we used one of the fastest growing design tools, Figma. Figma allows us to create professional designs quickly for every type of page we need on both desktop and mobile devices.

Our design process included a lot of testing and experimenting, it’s our opportunity to see how something works and could be interacted with before committing development time to it, which is great for vetting new ideas and features.

When the final designs were ready, we sent them to Game Kings to preview.

Development

With the designs signed off, we began developing the website in Shopify. As we develop the website, our changes occur on a staging link in Shopify, so that we can show our client where we are at during check-ins.

Not all the work for this website was done in Shopify, as part of this project we also set up a serverless API that handles their searches so that as a customer is typing in what they want, they get popular search terms, products and collections related to what they are searching in real time.

A serverless API is a set of application processes that can handle complex tasks. In this case, Game King’s search API is taking the customer’s search term, and quickly determining popular suggestions for products, collections and search terms related to what they have typed in; the API also used a concept called “fuzzy search” which means the customer can type something out wrong, but the API can still figure out what they meant and deliver suitable results. 

Game Kings can also see on the admin side how many times a keyword has been searched and if they have any products for that search term, so they can not only identify what’s popular, but also what new products that should stock. Read more about their admin insights in this case study.

The benefit of the API being serverless is it scales with demand and runs significantly cheaper and quicker than a server could, so whether their website is delivering one or one-thousand search results at a time, it’s maintaining the same high speed and quality.

Beyond their search functionality, we also implemented a serverless API for their product collections that allows customers to quickly search and filter products by unique attributes, such as the amount of players or brand of game, as well as allowing Game Kings to sort their products in unique ways, such as sending out of stock items to the bottom of the results.

As experts in SEO, we make sure every page is optimised as we develop them. Optimising a Shopify website mainly focuses on making sure you have an optimal loading time, user experience, page content, site structure and metadata. By handling these aspects ourselves where appropriate, our clients can focus on what they do best; selling.

The end result we presented on our staging link for Game Kings had a lot of unique functionality that had proven to be a hit with their customers in our research, including:

  •  Tabs for best selling, new, and on sale products on the homepage.
  • A gift finder that asked a few basic questions to show customers the perfect game.
  • A timer that counted down to the cut-off for same-day dispatch to promote urgency.
  • A fully integrated custom loyalty system that you can read more about in this case study.

Launch

With the staging website signed off and everything ready to go live, we scheduled a go-live date and prepared for launch.

As part of the go-live process, we perform a full quality assurance with a fine tooth comb. Every website we make is a reflection of us as an agency and we want to make sure we're delivering the best quality experience possible with every new website.

After the website passed all of our QA tests, we deployed it live onto Shopify at the scheduled go-live date with no issues.

The Results

With the launch of their new website, Game Kings is enjoying a sleek user experience that reflects their branding and engages their customers with a 5% conversion rate and explosive growth in the past few months as they benefit from all the perks of the redesign during the Christmas season.

Project Details

Date Published: 26/09/19Client: Game KingsLink: gamekings.co.nz

Technologies Used

ShopifyAWSGraphQLShopify APIFigma