Mudhouse Coffee Roasters is one of Charlottesville’s miraculous small business success stories. Rather than resting on their laurels, owners John and Lynelle Lawrence wanted to push their limits by entering the highly competitive online coffee roasting industry. They turned to Vibethink to design and develop an e-Commerce platform that updated their brand, differentiated them from competitors, and, most importantly, functioned as an online store capable of living up to their high expectations for customer service.
Vibethink had already built one amazing digital platform for Mudhouse, an artsy and beautiful story-based site that employed heavy parallax functionality and created a layered, hand-made feel. That site was perfect for communicating the style and culture of Mudhouse Roasters coffee shops, but it wasn’t going to work for an online roastery that had to stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Tonx and Blue Bottle (which have since merged).
We worked with John and Lynelle to create a light, modern energy with the site which we turned into a modular media platform that empowers the business’ marketing team to create a dynamic ever-changing environment. Underneath the marketing engine, we architected a site designed to function like a web application, moving customers from a quick brand identification experience straight to the shopping environment, and from there to checkout.
DETAILED PROJECT GOALS:
Focus The Message
Customers come to e-Commerce websites because they want to buy something. You only have a brief window in which to communicate your top level brand messages before they leave in search of the product. We wanted to make sure they left the homepage wanting to buy a subscription, not just a bag of coffee, so we hammered that message home on multiple fronts.
Give It Some Soul
Mudhouse Coffee Roasters is a business built on a culture of art, fun, coffee, and customer service. The e-Commerce site needed to reflect that, so the business could differentiate itself from larger national competitors. We employed a looping video behind a gradient to make an impactful and immediate emotional message on the homepage.
Celebrate The Coffee
One of Mudhouse Coffee Roasters differentiators is the close relationship the owners have with their suppliers and the knowledge they have of the character of the land where the coffee is farmed. We created a layered product page that allows customers to dig into how the coffee was sourced and how its flavors connect it to the land.
Educate The Buyer
Buying expensive, carefully-sourced coffee is all about understanding its quality and embracing the careful preparations that maximize its flavor and character. The Mudhouse team is really good at conveying its expertise, so we designed a site that functioned as a powerful teaching tool, full of brewing tips and coffee intelligence.