Ugly Baby

Brilliant and hilarious owner Rosalie Gale had outgrown her free Shopify theme and wanted it to reflect the fun and funny vibe of her brand.

In this Shopify website case study, you'll see the Ecommerce Arcade approach to designing and strategizing a website that was designed with personality yet built for growth.

Rosalie Gale owns two stores- Monster and Ugly Baby. Both are in the Seattle, Washington area, and they each have their own website and location.

I don't know how she does it, either.

The minute I read about Rosalie Gale and her business Ugly Baby on an article on Etsy's website, I knew that if we ever met, we'd totally be friends.

...As long as I didn't make that experience too weird.

Thankfully through the chaos that comes with craft shows, it (hopefully) masked (most) of my weirdness.
I said most.

I can't remember if it was Urban Craft Uprising or Crafty Wonderland, but it was at one of those Pacific Northwest shows that tend to bring creative business owners together in the best way. And that's where I got to meet Rosalie in person.

I've collected Shower Art from Ugly Baby over the years, and immediately would open any marketing email from Ugly Baby, as I knew it would be just the right amount of funny, snarky, and real.

She (and Kari Chapin) are literally the folks who finally convinced me to go to Craftcation.

Rosalie has been to every single Craftcation that has existed, and she plans to do that until they stop doing them, or she dies (her words, not mine).

So when Rosalie got word of my pivot from products to websites, she decided to get in touch.

Geeking out with Google Analytics

Rosalie was using a free theme from Shopify for her existing website.

ugly baby shopify website before

There's actually nothing wrong with using a free theme. In fact, if you're just getting started with having a website, let alone one on Shopify, starting with a free theme is a great way to get started and then as you grow, you'll push the limits of the free theme until you cannot stand it anymore.

And you'll know by then what you want.

Thankfully Rosalie is smart and had Google Analytics hooked up to her website, so before we got started, we took a peek at her stats.

Her traffic was pretty split between devices- about half and half between mobile and desktop. But the mobile conversion rate could be better.

The menu had Shopping links all under a SHOP dropdown menu and was super long on desktop. The mobile menu offered a better experience than desktop, which is usually the opposite.

ugly baby mega menu before

But the biggest thing that Rosalie's current site didn't capture as well: Ugly Baby's personality, their vibe.

And that's where a shiny new (paid) theme, some color, some snark, and some chalk unicorns would add some glittery sparkle to her website.

Just add glitter (and strategy)

Ok, ok we did more than just put some glitter on it.

We started with one of the most important aspects of an ecommerce website: the menu/navigation.
Ugly Baby not only makes and sells Shower Art, but a bunch of products featuring their own designs, and many products made and designed by other creative business owners and artists. Rosalie and I have even worked together to collab on her AT-AT Love design on baby bibs!

So we needed to be strategic about how to convey all the products Ugly Baby carried, and the mega menu was our answer.

ugly baby mega menu after
This meant auditing, cleaning up, or creating a lot of collections in Shopify (and then we created a massive spreadsheet to keep track of all of these).

Then we switched gears to infuse more personality into the website. What was missing?

Store Info Page

Rosalie already had a page with hours and the address, but sometimes that's not enough. I would know.

MANY years ago I was in town for a trade show and I used downtime to go visit the shops of my friends.

I found The Handmade Showroom without issue.

But when it came time to find Ugly Baby in Pike Place Market, I couldn't find it. I had nearly given up when I stumbled upon it on my way back to my hotel.

So including a map section (and a joke on the Home Page about how you'll never find it) was essential.

About Page

About pages are notoriously leaky, and we were able to craft a few ways to keep people from bouncing:

Crafted copy about the brand and about Rosalie and Doug, and added blog posts about things people can do, shop, eat and drink in the Seattle area.

Included a section that featured handpicked products from Rosalie and Doug featuring Shower Art and other products from the Ugly Baby line.

Included a section on Rocks of Destruction. When some jerk threw a rock through their store window, they made the rock for sale in the shop. They added the second rock when it happened again (people are jerks).

Artists Page

Rosalie is so supportive of artists and makers, and we didn't want to include the list in a long menu like it was on her old site, so we opted for a subcollection page that offered a more visual way to explore all the artists who have goods in the shop.

Custom Shower Art Subcollection Page

Ugly Baby offers Made to Order goods, where if they sell out of a given phrase, they can still make it (and you can even customize the bits within!). Rosalie and Doug have a system for this, and it works for them.

But Custom Orders are a different animal. They needed to have clear info about timelines and turnaround times so that they weren't getting orders for Christmas on December 1. This subcollection page emphasizes the turnaround times, and shows all the custom shower options on one page.

Home Page design

Home Page on mobile

Mega Menu on mobile

Home Page After
Home Page Before

Post-Launch Update

Here's Rosalie's website stats 6 months post launch:

  • 25% increase AOV (Average Order Value)
  • Conversion rate increased 37.9%
  • Mobile conversion rate increased 21.8%
  • Reduction in dropoff rate from ATC (Add To Cart) to checkout of 21%
  • Reduction of dropoff rate from checkout to purchase was 55% (adding a Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Flow helped with this!)

Rosalie and I have continued to work together- once I get caught up with my client portfolio, I'll share the updates we've made to convert her website to a Shopify 2.0 website (of course, Shopify rolled that out JUST after we launched this site). Or, better yet, take a look at the website and see for yourself (and snag a piece of Shower Art!):