Thinking Outside of the Box
A custom e-commerce site that drives sales, empowers growth, and delights users for specialty gift-box company Teak & Twine.
Since its first carefully curated gift box shipped out in 2015, Teak & Twine has been defined by beautiful products and packaging, and customer service that goes above and beyond.
But after a few years spent operating an out-of-the-box e-commerce website, founder Torrance Hart began searching for a digital development partner that would help Teak & Twine’s website to better match the company’s ideals of beauty and service.
“For a lot of things, I had to reach out to our graphic designer for help,” says Torrance. “There were also a lot of limitations that I felt were not creating the customer experience that I wanted.”
Customers who wanted to buy several gifts to send to different addresses, for example, were either having to reach out to the Teak & Twine team for help, or go through the site checkout multiple times. And those who wanted to customize a gift began a multi-step process involving days of emails sent back and forth. She needed a change in order for Teak & Twine to be able to scale and grow with the desires of their customers.
To kick off the website project, we spent a day in the Teak & Twine workshop, learning every aspect of Torrance’s business and envisioning ways to streamline workflows for both the online customer and the Teak & Twine team behind the scenes. Understanding how her team packed boxes, fulfilled orders, and what pain points they encountered on a daily basis allowed us to dream about features that would move the needle for their business.
From there, we set out to create a custom-coded website for Teak & Twine that would keep brand standards high throughout, enable customers to create custom gift boxes, and help Torrance’s team realize as many efficiencies as possible.
The result is a site that is not only beautiful from the outset on through to checkout, but so easy to use, for both customers and the internal team.
Using the custom gift-box creator we built, customers can now pick and choose products to create personalized gifts entirely by themselves, and in a matter of minutes. When they go to check out, the cart page stays branded, and shipping to multiple addresses is no longer a laborious process; even the largest corporate clients can send dozens of gifts to different addresses at one time, with a single transaction.
We also realized a need for an inventory management system to help Torrance and her team make sure fulfillment processes are not at odds — and that customer satisfaction is kept high. “Before our Braid website, we were losing a lot of money in marking items as out of stock, or having items go out of stock because there was overlap in one product being used in multiple gifts,” explains Torrance.
Before the new site launched, Torrance predicted that 20 percent of customers would use the custom gift creator, and the remainder would purchase set gifts in the Teak & Twine store. But 60 percent have actually been ordering custom gifts, picking and choosing different aspects of their designs to make each gift even more personable. “That is really broadening the number of people that we can serve,” says Torrance.
As a result, sales have gone up between 40 and 80 percent every single month since launching the site. As for time-savings, “We would spend about 20 hours a week as a team responding to custom gift inquiries in our inbox, designing custom gifts, creating shipping labels, and so on, and that’s all time we have back,” says Torrance. “People don’t email us anymore — they just buy.”
Recently, one of those satisfied customers was the founder of the agency who did Teak & Twine’s original branding, packaging and website design. “She recently bought a gift on our site and took the time to email me,” recalls Torrance. “She said it was the best checkout process she’d ever seen and asked for a referral to Braid.”
“For the person whose career it is to make beautiful, functional websites and brands for other people to go through our site and then ask for an introduction to the team who built it, that was pretty amazing.”