Bringing change to a large, storied organization is always a challenge. My role was positioned at the center of this change at a time when the entire business was refocusing its product development energy toward the Digital space. This meant that not only was I responsible for leading a talented internal creative team in the day to day digital marketing efforts, but I also supported the core e-commerce business, which was gaining strength and importance every day.
From day 1, my top priority was leading the creative effort behind the redevelopment of hallmark.com. The project scope included implementing a new CMS, e-commerce engine, and front-end code toolkit. In practical terms, this really meant everything, from the ground-up, was being redone. And it just so happened to have a launch date scheduled for the beginning of Q4—the biggest quarter of the year for the company.
Strategically, the core of the e-commerce design approach was to “lead with the creative”. We knew consumers believed Hallmark product was best-in-class from a creative perspective, so we turned that perception into a question that would always arise in design reviews: “Does this page lead with the creative?” If it didn’t, we asked why and regrouped. We drove UX and IA decisions with this in mind. Even informing how we handled the little things such as which order the visual elements would load on the page to the copy and art on error and e-commerce thank you pages would appear. This level of detail in every area of the site became infectious to the team and our Marketing partners as well.
No statistical performance data has ever been publicly released by Hallmark, but I can say that the conversion rate in the shopping cart path immediately increased to levels that made jaws drop.