The Blonde Italian Shopify Website

This project entailed redesigning The Blonde Italian's Shopify website to make it more appealing, easier to navigate, and more optimized.

Project Overview

For this project, I redesigned the look and set up of The Blonde Italian's Shopify site. The goal was to make the client's Shopify site look more appealing to customers, as well as easier to navigate and more optimized for search engines. This project included developing a color palette, updating the logo, resizing photos, adding new product descriptions, designing web banners and linking them to their appropriate pages.

Company Background

The Blonde Italian is a consumer packaged goods business that sells homemade sauces and seasonings at select grocery stores in the Northeast Ohio area and through the Shopify platform.

The Blonde Italian Shopify website homepage on iMac

My Role

On this project, I served as a Digital Marketing Clinic Account Specialist on a team with other digital marketing students. I was in charge of developing the new website layout for The Blonde Italian. The client was very open to change, which made my task a lot more flexible.

With this in mind, I was able to make a variety of changes to the client's Shopify site to make it look more appealing for current and potential customers and make it match better with her brand.

Digital Marketing Clinic Logo

My Process

Color Palette Update

The first step in my process was to develop a new color palette for The Blonde Italian. The client made it very apparent that she wanted to keep the Italian colors, which were also utilized in the logo. In my quest to create an official palette, I made sure to include red, green, yellow, white, and black.

At this point, I felt like the palette was still lacking. I decided to propose a new color to the brand: tan. The client decided that she liked this neutral addition, and I was given permission to use this color for the website. Not only was this color able to be used for the website, but it was also used in supporting projects, such as the design of an email newsletter template for The Blonde Italian.

screenshot of template building in Photoshop

Logo Revision

Then, I moved on to the logo. The team only had a PNG file of the client's logo, and it was beginning to look very blurry when we used it to brand things. To fix this issue, I traced the logo in Adobe Illustrator, so I could save it as multiple file types for use on different platforms. The client decided she no longer wanted to focus on "Cooking, Creativity & Lifestyle," but rather "Taste, Quality & Convenience." When I traced the logo, I added in these new words she wanted to emphasize with her brand.

Before and after versions of The Blonde Italian's logo

Website Template

After I finished the logo, I began to look at website templates that Shopify offered. I looked for templates that allowed for a sizable amount of content on the homepage. This was my aim because the original page only had links in the nav bar. In the new layout, I wanted content to link consumers to different pages of the website. I settled on the template "Minimal."

This template contained an image slider at the top of the home page. It also allowed for all of The Blonde Italian's collections to be displayed on the homepage, and link to their corresponding product pages. This approach would help a lot with SEO and it would also be helpful for consumers to be able to access what they are looking for in several different ways. I implemented a neutral color palette of black, tan, and white, with pops of her other brand colors throughout different spots on the website.

The Blonde Italian Image Slider and Collections section of the homepage

Following the implementation of colors to the template, I began to develop images for the slider on the homepage. Because the client wanted to start focusing on "Taste. Quality. Convenience.", I came up with the idea that each image slider would focus on one of these words. I wanted the first image in the series to contain a photo of The Blonde Italian, because she very much so likes to be involved, as well as offer a personal touch with her business.

The Blonde Italian Taste Image Slider

I included copy about the client on the first image, like her name and what she is known for. Then, I requested that each person in the group develop a short amount of copy for one of the images in the slider. Each slide would describe how the client's products related to each word in her tagline. Then, I added product photos that the client wanted to feature on the homepage. I implemented the brand colors into the image slider, so each slide had a different bar of color.

The Blonde Italian Quality Image Slider

The client wanted to make some minor changes to the copy and switch some of the photos around. She likes to heavily promote Mother Everything Sauce and her Garden Garlic Seasoning, so I made changes in the images to include photos of these products. I linked all of these sliders to their corresponding product pages to help with SEO. The first slider with the image of The Blonde Italian will eventually be linked to the About page of the website, which is currently in the works.

The Blonde Italian Convenience Image Slider

Layout Consistency

After all of this was complete, I went through the Shopify site to ensure that all of the product photos were the same size. I wanted all of the photos to be consistent so that the layout of the site would not bounce around. Along with this, everyone on the team was assigned a few products to develop descriptions for based on already existing product descriptions the client had. The purpose of us revising the product descriptions was to improve the SEO of the site. The Blonde Italian's website is currently still a work in progress, but the new layout has been implemented and my team and I are off to great start of getting The Blonde Italian where she needs to be in terms of web presence and relevance.

Mother Everything Sauce Product Photo

New Everyday Deco Mailers and Boxes web banner

Measuring Success

This task includes a variety of successes. The first success being that The Blonde Italian was so impressed by my ideas for her Shopify website. Because of this, I was able to alter a lot of things while still maintaining the client's personal touch on the brand. One of the big things I was able to help with was making the homepage link to products. Originally, there were no links on the homepage, except what was in the navigation bar. Even just completing this simple task could increase conversion rates, as well as drive more traffic to the other pages of the site.

first row of collections

After the launch of the new website design on March 25, 2021, a majority of the days incurred more sessions on The Blonde Italian's site than usual. On March 29, 2021, the site had 24 sessions and a conversion rate of 4.17%. These are the beginning, short term results of the site being changed. It will be interesting to see what else this new design can do for the client!

I was also successful in using already present data to determine which products to include in the image slider. According to the data provided by Shopify, Mother Everything Sauce is one of The Blonde Italian's bestsellers. Because of this, I featured it in one of the image sliders to really promote that product.

second row of collections

The top landing page on the client's site is the homepage. My design for the homepage is successful because it now leads the user to other pages of the site, while also promoting a variety of products above the fold with the image slider. A week prior to the new site design being published, the homepage had 53 visitors out of 150 total visitors (35%) and 54 sessions out of 155 total sessions (35%). After the new design launched on March 25, within that week, the homepage had 65 visitors out of 135 total visitors (48%) and 80 sessions out of 159 total sessions (50%). Although a slight increase, not only did the percentage of visits and sessions on the homepage go up, but also the total number of visits to the site and sessions on the site in general.

graph of website visitors and sessions before website launch compared to after

This is very promising data for this client, as she has seen some increases since the new website reveal. My team is still working to improve the search engine optimization of her site, but this is a pretty good start to make navigation easier for consumers.