We completely redesigned Jacob & Sebastian’s basic e-commerce website so it matched the Toronto cult beauty destination’s unique in-store experience (which is—full disclosure—one of our favourite places to shop). The redesign was not only an aesthetic success but also yielded immediate commercial benefits with a 7% increase in sales and a 58% rise in traffic since launch.
Who the client is
Cult beauty expert Joel Dart is the man behind Toronto’s Jacob & Sebastian—a wonderful brick and mortar outlet that sells carefully curated luxury products for skin, body and hair. Everything in the store has to meet two criteria—it must work and have great packaging—and he applies the same strict standards to his online goods.
What was the goal
Jacob & Sebastian is an established brand with a strong visual identity and a gorgeous, thoughtfully designed store, but this wasn’t reflected in their original website. Our task was to mirror the Jacob & Sebastian shopping experience online in a site that did Joel’s aesthetic sense justice and thus drive e-commerce and customer engagement.
How we developed
While Sarah was visiting her favourite Toronto bath and body shop (Jacob & Sebastian) she got talking to the owner, Joel, and they instantly decided to work together on overhauling the look of his current website, so that it matched the in-store experience.
Shopping at Jacob & Sebastian is a truly visual treat. While the store carries hundreds of products, it’s extremely uncluttered. There is a lot of space for the eyes to scan and admire the exquisitely curated products. Brands are grouped and displayed in a way that highlights items new to store or promotions. We used the physical store’s layout and aesthetics to inspire the design, functionality and user experience of the new web-store.
The old web-store had been built with the WordPress WooCommerce platform, And one of the benefits of WordPress is that it’s extremely easy to strip a site down to its bare bones and rebuild it, without having to re-upload all the content. Since Joel already had hundreds of products, it was a huge time saver for everyone.
What we delivered
We created a look and feel and user experience that translated real-life shopping at Jacob & Sebastian into its online equivalent.
There’s lots of white space that lets the user navigate and read headings, menus and categories with ease. Thoughtful layouts maximise the content Joel used from the brands he carries. Intuitive menu systems make it easy to sort through products.
We designed the individual product pages with enough room for extended product descriptions, additional information and reviews. Luxury, cult beauty is all in the details and this is what the product pages provide. Also, the more information you give an inquiring customer, the easier it is to encourage them to click ‘add to cart’. They are not required to search online (elsewhere) to figure out how to use a product or what ingredients it contains.
We gave the brand page a lot of thought. The result is a page that looks quite simple at first glance, which is the point, but has some great features both front and back end.
The user can scroll through the page, read about the various brands and can click to see specific products carried. This page caters specifically to users that have brand loyalty and want to find products by brand and don’t want to have to use filters.
This page’s functionality really shines in the back end as well. The way the page was built makes it extremely intuitive to add, change or edit brands. There is an area to upload a photo, add text and a smart linking system to make sure it links to only the products you want.
This is a trademark Superfein feature: We go out of our way to ensure that the client can independently manage and update their store.