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20% AOV increase for luxury chocolate eCommerce site

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Improving customer experiences for modern consumers for Elizabeth Shaw


Luxury chocolate brand, Elizabeth Shaw, wanted to improve customer experience and conversions, initially by merging their eCommerce shop with their main website and following this with ongoing development and optimisation work.

Screenshot of Elizabeth Shaw homepage

What the client wanted

  • Technical challenge of merging eCommerce shop and main website
  • Faster site speed for boosting SEO, UX and conversion rates
  • Analysis of performance on hosting platform and transition to new, faster hosting provider
  • Streamlined and automated backend processing with order data sent directly from the website to fulfilment house
  • Bespoke order bundles for greater customer choice and flexible shopping experiences
  • Ensure their digital platform complements and amplifies the efforts of their work with digital marketing agency

The story

Going direct to consumer

When COVID hit, Elizabeth Shaw decided to create a direct-to-consumer offer. Work began setting up an eCommerce site, enabling Elizabeth Shaw’s customers to buy direct for the first time and, following a very successful launch, they had proof there was consumer appetite to shop directly from the brand

After initially working with another digital partner to build and launch their online store, Elizabeth Shaw came to Atomic Smash to evolve it further. We’re working together to continually optimise the website, making iterative improvements so it stays present for consumers and offers them an intuitive experience when shopping directly with the brand.

About Elizabeth Shaw, pioneers of taste and texture with over 140 years selling luxury confectionery products

Elizabeth Shaw has been producing chocolate-based confectionery for more than 140 years.

The makers of the original after-dinner Mint Crisp, and much more, Elizabeth Shaw is a pioneer of taste and texture, selling luxury chocolate and biscuit products and gifts across retail stores and online.


Enhancing an existing WooCommerce site needing improvements

After working with another agency to build and launch their WooCommerce website, Elizabeth Shaw wanted to further improve the site post-launch.

The team at Elizabeth Shaw partnered with Atomic Smash to resolve problems and overcome limitations with their current site, then take an iterative approach to keep moving the website forward with momentum. We’re continuing to develop, improve and enhance the Elizabeth Shaw website over time to get it performing at its best.

From refreshing the homepage design to reviewing how well it performs, identifying opportunities for cross-selling through or implementing navigation improvements, our work with Elizabeth Shaw has all been building upon the existing WooCommerce store we inherited.

The team at Atomic Smash are very happy to build upon what they have been given and make it work harder, instead of throwing the baby out with bath water. They took on our existing site and really enhanced it across the board. If you are a new client or considering Atomic Smash as your agency, rest assured that it doesn’t have to be a case of ripping up and starting again with them.

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

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Establishing the brand as a key player for modern consumers

The purpose of the website is straightforward: to sell products directly to consumers while establishing the brand as a key player in the marketplace.

“Our website supports how people shop these days. The first place our customers will start looking if they want to buy any sort of product, regardless of what that is, is the internet. The more places that we can be visible as a brand and enable our consumers to buy our products, the better.”

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

If we’re developing any sort of advertising campaign or communications campaign, it’s key for us to make sure that we have every touch point that that consumer will interact with between their home and the retailer covered with a message. We are encouraging them to buy and offering visibility of our products. The expectation from the customer is that they can buy direct from a brand, so that’s what the website offers.

Lindsey Williams​, Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Buying products directly through Elizabeth Shaw’s online store gives their consumers wider choice, so they are guaranteed to get what they want. Online consumers can buy all products all year round, meaning the site offers ease of access to products compared to shopping experiences through retailers that stock products seasonally.

Our core audience is brand loyal and they like shopping direct with us. It gives them the reassurance that they are getting quality products delivered. We have repeat online customers buying boxes of certain chocolates every month. They prefer to do that directly from us because they get good service. It’s quick, they can choose whatever they like, anytime, and have it delivered straight to their door.

Lindsey Williams​, Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Seamless onboarding with strong foundation and room for flexibility

When taking on a new client, we dedicate time up-front to complete a thorough onboarding process. We aim to gain a deep understanding of our clients’ websites and their goals, and working with Elizabeth Shaw was no exception.

The immediate thing that we noticed when moving from our previous agency to Atomic Smash was flawless processes. Atomic Smash has tried and tested ways of doing things, with the opportunity to flex those processes if required, which really benefits a client.

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we use our internal processes to provide a foundation and framework upon which bespoke requirements can be layered. This is exactly how we kicked off our work with Elizabeth Shaw, and the first step for taking on the site was moving through our thorough onboarding process.

“The onboarding process was brilliant, giving us reassurance and confidence that everything’s covered and being implemented in a way that is thorough, logical and makes sense.”

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw


Performance improvements and mobile optimisation

One of the key priorities for our team members working with Elizabeth Shaw was to investigate performance issues, particularly on mobile.

We had previously noticed some issues with the mobile performance of our website, largely due to historical issues that were inherited as the site was built initially by another agency. We know that about 70% of our customers’ first interaction is by mobile, so it has been really important that we get that journey right.

Lindsey Williams​, Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Over a period of 12 months, these issues had built up and needed to be addressed, so the core focus for our team was to make improvements from an optimisation perspective and continue working on this on an ongoing basis.

“Atomic Smash were proactive in looking at all areas of the website front-end and back-end to make recommendations as to what we could be doing better in terms of performance optimisation. The team has my full confidence that they are working logically through these challenges to implement the best solutions for us.”

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Improving the user journey and creating flexible shopping experiences

We’ve worked through various enhancements to the user journey to make sure that everything is logical from a consumer perspective and they are able to navigate their way through the website intuitively.

In addition to navigation improvements, we added various prompts across the site to enable the team from Elizabeth Shaw to cross-sell products in different areas. For instance, promoting their ultimate pick-n-mix option with bespoke order bundles offering greater customer choice and flexible shopping experiences.

Screenshot of the Elizabeth Shaw WordPress and WooCommerce site showing the option to build a bespoke bundle of luxury confectionery products

Working closely with the team at Elizabeth Shaw, we’ve been able to fine tune customer journeys to make sure potential buyers aren’t going to drop off. Instead of hitting a dead end or bouncing from the site, they are offered something else that might satisfy their needs better.

Working with Atomic Smash means that I have a dedicated web team, and that’s brilliant. They know what our business is all about and what our challenges are. They collaborate closely with us to make our budget work hard.

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

Navigation of the website footer was one area of focus. Through our monthly design and development work, our team delivered:

Streamlined checkout experience

Optimising Elizabeth Shaw’s checkout page has been another area of focus. We aimed to reduce the user effort required to make a purchase, for a smoother experience.

We did this by combining fields where possible, minimising any boxes that didn’t absolutely have to be there and removing the log-in page from the first step of the checkout process.

All of this was achieved through our Always Evolving service and using customer research combined with UX principles to decipher exactly how the checkout process should look and feel.

Let’s investigate

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Homepage redesign with improved usability and accessibility

Through our allocation of design and development days each month, we are making the site easier to use for the team at Elizabeth Shaw as well as their customers.

We designed and developed a new media banner that sits pride of place at the top of Elizabeth Shaw’s homepage, providing visual improvements and much more.

Previously an extremely time consuming task, this is now simple and quick to action, lightening the team’s workload significantly:

  1. Making it easier to upload images for the Elizabeth Shaw team
  2. Text is live content and formatted as headings with benefits for SEO and accessibility
  3. Options for video content from desktop
  4. Restricted to static imagery for mobile visitors to be more performant

“In terms of how effective the home page redesign has been, the usability of the banner made a big difference. Previously it was really difficult to upload the media or text and it couldn’t be read by a screen reader or picked up by Google. Changes made by Atomic Smash improved the usability for our team as well as accessibility for users. What was taking half a day to do is now taking me 10 minutes, it’s a vast improvement.”

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw

The homepage was also designed to provide a better user experience for their WooCommerce customers:

What we achieved

Site page load speed improved, impacting positively on UX and conversion rates with client reporting notable increases in order numbers

Buying journey transformed by merging shop and main site, simplifying steps, reducing clicks and removing blockers to sales

Points of customer confusion or frustration identified and resolved, creating a better customer experience

Optimisations generating more leads through higher search engine rankings

Backend cleaned up to make site leaner and eliminate errors so the business could run more efficiently

In our work for Elizabeth Shaw, we always aim to show the value that we are bringing through an improvement in conversion rates or increasing revenue.

We’re not just implementing changes and then leaving them, we’re implementing changes then measuring, reporting and further enhancing them.

In numbers


increase in average order value


site page load speed improvement

Meeting talking about conversion optimisation

Get your site into shape

We’ll get your site working harder for your business with ongoing optimisation.

The last word

We have a good working relationship and there’s always somebody that I can turn to when I need help or support. We are not the biggest client, but I’ve never been given that impression by the team at Atomic Smash. It’s clear that their clients are all as important as each other, and I think that’s really important.

Black and white headshot of Lindsey wearing a black turtleneck

Lindsey Williams​

Brand Marketing Manager, Elizabeth Shaw