Zia Tile's Shopify Plus website development


If you're a Shopify business owner, this video's for you. Here I'm going to show you a behind the scenes look at Zia Tile's website build with the proven process and steps we use to consistently achieve results. While we most commonly do Shopify theme builds, this website is a headless Shopify plus storefront for reasons I'll cover later in the video.


With most projects, especially those for more advanced businesses, a really important first step is discovery. We touched on things like where the branding is going to be used, put initial feelers out on high level art direction and laid out the full sitemap with important section ideas for each bar of the site.  We outlined a plan to migrate their WooCommerce Wordpress site to Shopify.

Working with Zia, we were able to identify some key parts of the business that warranted custom solutions to drive revenue and streamline operations.

First and foremost, thousand shipped using regular providers like UPS or FedEx. In order for customers to be able to purchase, we needed to integrate heavy freight shipping providers into the checkout. It involved integrating with the third party shipping APIs as well as considering the way in which pricing relied not only on weight but volume for these providers. Given the critical nature of the checkout and order volume, this needed to be bulletproof with backup measures in place in case of outages. So far we haven't had an outage yet.


Secondly, we needed to consider the B2B aspect of working with trade partners like housing developers, interior design firms and other housing contractors. The process of gathering applications with relevant paperwork and managing members needed to be seamless for the customer and the Zia back office. Our team saw this as a huge value add area as these businesses have the potential to drive large amounts of ongoing revenue. This also tied into our development of a wishlist that could be used as a project planning tool, especially for these B2B customers running multiple projects with multiple rooms at once. The goal here was to allow for efficient project planning communal with the shopping experience, keeping customers on the site and driving additional sales.


Finally, in order to support the general purchasing process, we needed to integrate a sample program. While customers are shopping, they can now select samples of the tile they're viewing and have them shipped to facilitate their project planning. This program integrates with other areas of the site. For example, the shipping application we developed that gives special sample rates at checkout.


Zia Tile needed a new look and given the stage of the business, it needed to be well fleshed out for a cohesive look both online and offline. Instead of a scattershot approach focused on a logo. We really wanted to be intentional with the overall direction and how it funneled down into the final logo, typography and color system. By approaching the branding and art direction for the website in the same project allowed us to make sure that our decisions for the brand were appropriate for implementation on the website. With a given logo, color and fonts, you can still come up with many different directions for how a website can look and feel. We tried some more stylistically verbose options before landing on a very clean, modern feel, almost like an art gallery. We felt this direction let the tile do the visual communications and accommodated all the different styles being placed side by side for the website.


The design process was focused on designing a conversion optimized on brand website. Given their volume, emphasis placed on SEO and performance, and need for more content flexibility, we decided to go headless for better front end tooling. We continue to leverage Shopify primarily as an ecommerce content management system and for the best performing checkout. Going headless isn't the quickest to stand up requires more ongoing attention, but in this instance, the benefits made sense for the scale of Zia's business.


The end result was a website that performs up to five times faster than similar Shopify stores, leveraging a large number of third party integrations a year in. We're also seeing SEO benefits with the organic traffic having doubled.


It also allowed for cleaner implementations on the blog and landing pages where Shopify native content management can be limiting.


Need help with your business on Shopify? We've been developing websites on Shopify for 13 years for top D2C brands.

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