Hookson & Shopify: E-Commerce for The University of Edinburgh

How clever customisation resulted in a smarter online store solution

Hookson & Shopify: the Two-For-One E-Commerce Winner

The University of Edinburgh’s online store specialises in quality University-branded clothing and accessories.

With the store’s existing website no longer up to the job, the University asked Hookson to create a new solution. Top of the list was a site agile enough to showcase a growing product range and smooth enough to ensure a reliable, user-focused experience.

To deliver seamless e-commerce functionality, Hookson would introduce the world-class Shopify platform to a brand-new website design.

Customising the Power of Shopify

Shopify’s platform provided a powerful e-commerce solution for the online store. From this base, Hookson began customising the Shopify theme. Our treatment ensured a unique presence. Loaded with personality, this would be a million miles from a standard out-of-the-box theme. As well as designing super-engaging section blocks, our customisation extended also to navigation: a key consideration for a store stacked with product ranges.

Placing the Store in Charge of Pickup and Delivery

When Hookson introduced the Zapiet solution, we seamlessly extended functionality across delivery and pickup. Customisable, and integrating directly with the store’s Shopify interface, this advanced pickup, shipping and delivery app instantly made it easy to select and offer collection-only products.

At a time of pandemic this new feature empowered the store to safely continue localised trading. Pickup slots were a breeze to maintain and manage too. These allowed the store time to prepare orders, whilst on the site itself customers selected their ideal collection window.

Creating a Head-Turning Image Strategy

Celebratory and full of movement, our image strategy combined commissioned photography of students, products and related visuals.

Across the website, we treated section blocks with a relaxed, informal design. This mixed product shots with bright assets like splashes of colour, bars, box elements and a script typeface. Together with occasional use of fabric swatches, these section blocks contributed to a one-of-a-kind theme reminiscent of a magazine layout.

Meeting the Makers

With the online store particularly keen to spotlight Edinburgh-based craftspeople, Hookson suggested a Meet the Makers feature. This section has begun with a short video profile of local leather crafters Workshop After Six

Shopify Tablet View

Block sections were carefully designed to showcase personality, provenance and products

Helping Visitors Find Their Way with UX

User Experience is of course key for every Hookson-designed website. For the University’s online store, our always-accessible header menu offered two defined options: Clothing and Accessories. This banished clutter and also assisted navigation.

From there, we located products within these broad categories via a simple sub-menu. In addition, a Featured Collections section block highlighted top picks too, ramping up interest and sales. Like Hookson’s own websites, Shopify builds sites responsive-as-standard. The store’s site would therefore function fabulously across every device.

Adding Value with On-Site Functionality

We further enhanced UX via image zooms, site search and the ability to sort goods via price and other criteria. Social share buttons – for Facebook and Instagram – were a terrific match for new launches and sales.

At buy-time, our cart offered loads of secure payment options across dozens of currencies. It tied a bow on shipping too, with Shopify automating labels, significantly saving time and helping parcels on their way.

Boosting Visibility with Razor-Sharp SEO

With potential customers located across the globe, SEO had to work hard across many territories. To this end, we ensured site visibility with a measurable SEO strategy and focused on attracting a varied audience. This included current students, students’ families and of course the University’s 300,000+ Alumni Network.

Hookson & Shopify: Changing the Game

By migrating data, then swapping out the previously underperforming platform, Hookson and Shopify changed the game for this online store. Our theme customisation had the store’s personality singing from day one. Above all, for visitors, buying goods from anywhere in the world was a snap. Equally, for store staff, adding new lines became a breeze too.

Shopify Mobile Design

An affable theme, natural photography and fuss-free e-commerce XP

By migrating data, then swapping out the previously underperforming platform, Hookson and Shopify changed the game for this online store. Our theme customisation had the store’s personality singing from day one.