Expanding Toomey & Co’s Reach Through an Online Marketplace

Discover how we created an artful e-commerce experience

Engineered for e-Commerce Growth

Toomey & Co is a leading US auction house specialising in fine art, 20th-century design, furniture and decorative arts, silver and jewellery.

Hookson’s brief was to design and create a fully optimised and customised e-commerce website for the business. As well as tastefully conveying Toomey’s personality and expertise, the site would offer game-changing new ways for visitors to experience Toomey’s always-expanding inventory of objects and collections.

Delivering an Integrated Auction and Shopping Solution that Extended Reach to New Customers

With fine-art markets becoming ever more global, Toomey & Co prioritised the need to reach collectors and sellers from way beyond the company’s Illinois base. To make this happen, Hookson recognised that robust e-commerce software would be required. Turning to the trusted WooCommerce platform we created customised solutions that delivered real advantage:

Revolutionising integration with auction lots We made sure items could be explored in granular detail, favourite pieces could be tagged and enquiries and bids could be made – all from one site location.

Streamlining search Greatly enhancing UX, Toomey’s vast inventory could now be explored via criteria such as artist/designer, art movement and item type.

Launching a novel way to buy and consign Toomey+ saw the business offering an online marketplace option for fine-art buying and selling. Working across WooCommerce, Hookson built-in advanced browsing and buying functionality. This showcased items and unsold lots on the dedicated Toomey+ page.

A crisp contrast between the classic and modern

Integrating the Business – From Back to Front

Toomey’s busy back-office tasks – from daily content management to administering new accounts – were handled by specialist auction-house software. But this would have to seamlessly align with the new website. Step forward Hookson’s WordPress expertise.

Giving visitors reasons to return

By customising WordPress we ensured this day-to-day auction system synchronised with the new website, including the Toomey+ marketplace. Previously-time-intensive jobs? These became a thing of the past. Crucially, the software also ensured a system for in-house site updates and changes. The result? Collections and objects – the lifeblood of any auction house – could be quickly uploaded and catalogued. That kept Toomey supple and varied – and visitors returning and buying.

Delivering a Smooth and Intuitive User Experience

UX is a top priority for every Hookson website. The Toomey site, with its auction and shopping demands, was no exception. To this end, we made sure principal service areas – including Auctions and Departments – populated the main menu. Furthermore, we ensured drop-down menus offered expanded information – like Upcoming Auctions and Valuation Requests – in one click.

Backing the Brand with UX Design

The Toomey website required a modern design to showcase not only the firm’s brand, but also to sympathetically present the items at auction and for sale. We ensured beautiful photography reflected each piece and recounted its story, and also presented wider site content in logical, easily digestible sections.

Applying the New Toomey Brand Look

Hookson refreshed Toomey’s logotype with a vibrant colour palette and, applying subtle brand reinforcement, carefully featured the marque across the new website.

Ensuring SEO Placed Toomey in Plain Sight

Equally important as Hookson’s customisations and e-commerce features was a robust SEO strategy. We therefore worked closely with Toomey to ensure an optimised site that a new global audience would easily discover.

Perfecting the Website Prototype

When it came to testing the new website, we followed an agile approach. Firstly, we developed our wireframes into prototypes for initial user testing. Integration of the Auction and Marketplace online shopping components also featured heavily in user testing and informed our design and build.

Clear navigation invites exploration across multiple devices

As well as tastefully conveying Toomey’s personality and expertise, the site would offer game-changing new ways for visitors to experience collections.

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