New features: Online Shop Revamped

At Rocketspark, we love easy. Until now the online shop available to our customers has been really easy to use, but also really basic. We think it’s time we gave the shop a visual upgrade, so we’ve given the old store a major overhaul.

Our design team has been hard at it, logging significant hours of research, analysing the strengths and weaknesses of literally hundreds of the web’s leading e-commerce sites. We’ve distilled all the best stuff and put it into the overhaul, transforming our shop—which is really your shop—into a super-effective retail machine. Now it looks better and searches better—and that means it sells better too.

Looks better

When it comes to selling products, looks and layout matter. That’s why brick-and-mortar stores (should) avoid floor-to-ceiling red décor and narrow aisles that force people’s bums to touch. So we’ve made beautifying the online shop our top priority.

The centrepiece of the new-look shop is the way products are laid out on the page. Shoppers have two options for how they view your wares: as either a grid or a list. The default is a grid view: products laid out in neat, clean rows of eye-catching images. This is the view that maximises the visual appeal of your products. But if said shopper wants to scan the details and specs of the products, just a click of a button will instantly switch them to a list view that reorganises the products, reduces the image size, and makes room for product descriptions—but still looks great.

We’ve also improved the look of your shop’s design elements, like buttons and menus. Now the look and feel of the shop is tip-top and consistent with the rest of your website. But it’s not just about looking pretty for the sake of it; we’re marrying form and function. Case and point: the new basket counter. The basket/shopping cart icon, visible on all shop pages, keeps a running total of the number of items in there, auto-updating as products are added or removed. Looks good, works great.

Searches better

It’s vital that customers can find what they’re looking for before they quit and try somewhere else. So we’ve introduced some new features to make searching—and finding—easier.

Tags for niche searching

Tags are a way of labelling your products so that shoppers can find certain types of products easily. Dante’s Fine Foods, for example, plan to use tags as a way of indicating the country of origin for each product. Say a user is Christmas shopping for, say, their Dutch oma. They can simply click the “Netherlands” tag and all the Dutch food in stock will come up. You can customise tags to “sub-categorise” your products however you like. Set up “winter sale”, “made in NZ”, or “new stock” tags—or do all three and more. There’s no limit to the number of tags you can use.

Brand categories for label-hunting

We all have our favourite companies. You may not be ready to get their logo tattooed on your body, but you’ll certainly be able to appreciate how handy it is to be able to search an online shop by brand. Clients such as Dante's can now organise their wares by brand and category. Previously, they had to use up their category list on brands—now their visitors can filter by both. Just one click brings up all available, say, Aoraki salmon or every sauce in the Aromatics range. Simple.

More filters for refining results

Up until now, sorting the wheat from the chaff in the search results—filtering, in other words—has been limited to category. But now a shopper can filter not only by category but also by tags and brands as well. Using multiple filters allows a customer to narrow their search down further than, say, a tags or brand categories alone, making precision searching a possibility.

Sortable results for prioritising products

Search results can now be reorganised according to the customer’s search needs. Say a shopper’s sniffing about for a bargain-basement item, they can select “Lowest price first” from the “sort by” menu. Or if they’re looking to splash out, they can pick “Highest price first”. Or if they’re the type-A shopper who likes to work through the results systematically, they might prefer to stick with the default alphabetical order.

Conclusion: branch out into online retail

If you’ve already got an online shop with us, then your shop has already been upgraded. You don’t have to do a thing, except go check out the changes for yourself. Of course, if you want to take advantage of new features like tags, for instance, you’ll need to set those up. Don’t fret—it’s all easy, intuitive stuff. Just log into your Dashboard and get started.

If you haven’t got a shop with us yet, now could be the time to think about branching out into online retail. Compared to opening a brick-and-mortar store, launching an online shop is dirt cheap and really easy. And our recent integration with Vend point-of-sale software makes merging online and offline retail straightforward (read about Dante’s Fine Foods’ experience using the Rocketspark/Vend integration). Get started with our guide for starting your own online shop.