Armadillo: Scaling global luxury eComm.
A multi-region sensorial eComm experience, to bring luxury to the living rooms of those across the world.
Armadillo rugs, woven by artisans in India, are incredibly unique, hand-crafted and sustainable pieces. With a strong design philosophy and a pledge to have less impact on the planet, they’re a fast growing brand amongst interior designers, discerning homeowners, and the design community. Founded in Australia and with showrooms now gracing Los Angeles and New York, the company is expanding to provide these luxury goods to homemakers across the globe. A new eCommerce platform was required to scale as the company does.
User research User experienceUI designFullstack development
Armadillo’s key objective with the new platform was to drive trade and retail online sales through a seamless and inspiring eComm site.
From a design perspective, the challenge was to ensure a fluid, considered and calming online shopping experience, aligned with the physical experience of visiting one of Armadillo’s luxurious showrooms.
Covid-19 had created a perfect storm for the Armadillo brand. A luxury item, these premium rugs are a significant financial investment and usually require several visits to the showroom by potential purchasers as they make a decision. However, the increased desire to have a beautiful home, combined with retail store closures, has sped up the rate at which Armadillo’s customers, traditionally older women, have embraced online shopping. We needed to ensure the UX and design of the new site guided them towards purchase, removing as many barriers as possible, and reassuring them at every step of the journey.
The technical challenge lay in the replatforming of existing custom systems and technical architecture which had evolved over many years. The backend needed to take into account complex inventory and stock management rules including a myriad of sizes, variation and colours of products, as well as order creation, shipping, warehouse storage, country based pricing, currency conversion and tax rules, and multiple artisans to manage across different regions. Custom rugs for trade clients also proved challenging, as their weave times are all unique, and can be delayed based on the individual weaver’s situation.
The existing WordPress and WooCommerce site was restricted with plugin upon plugin rendering the site almost impossible for the marketing and content teams to maintain.
The vision for the new eCommerce experience was to create an intuitive website that allows customers to move seamlessly from inspiration to consideration to purchase, and that showcases Armadillo as an invaluable partner in creating and maintaining a beautiful home.
Layers upon layers
We wanted to reflect the showroom experience online, so our UX idea focusses on layers - in a nod to both the way in which the rugs are displayed in the showroom, as well as how discerning home decorators use rugs to create depth and texture as they add them to the mix.
To achieve this layering navigation, we removed Armadillo from a restricted WordPress template and realised our seamless animations through a headless eComm experience, utilising the Sanity CMS and BigCommerce as our eComm.
Menu items slide out as layers, hinting at the content to be found, and guide users between different site sections. Transitions across the site move from right to left, creating a unique effect and resulting in an easy navigation system between the main collection, product pages, and the cart.
For trade customers, a crucially important part of the Armadillo business, a new section was designed as one of the layers.
The trade section encourages sign-up to the custom program in order to enjoy the benefits - including the 54 custom colours available exclusively to trade partners.
Let’s make this personal
With such a considered purchase, the rugs needed to be shown in their best light across desktop and mobile, as our audience will visit both several times before visiting a showroom or adding to cart.
We also created a Wishlist feature where blossoming home designers can save their favourite rugs and looks, which is able to be shared with Armadillo’s design consultants so they get an immediate sense of the home our customers are trying to create.
Additionally, to help move the customer down the purchase funnel, up to three rug samples can be selected to trial at home to ensure the right colour and weave. We created a separate flow within the cart for this use case, enabling customers to order samples for free.
These details help to ensure a long term partnership with Armadillo and their customers, as they create their perfect home.