Mixing community with commerce for Natural Balance Foods
10 July 2012
The newly launched website we created for Natural Balance Foods is a great example of mixing engaging design with complex back-end development. Throughout the project the focus was to use our expertise in these areas to give people the best online shopping experience possible while offering something extra for those who want it. With this in mind, we worked towards achieving two aims:
- Build an e-commerce website that was highly functional but easy to use.
- Provide an online community for fans of the brand.
Natural Balance have two main product lines (Nakd and Trek), each with their own range of bars. We used this as a guide for structuring the site and navigation. Just like the ingredients for the natural cereal bars they sell, we wanted to keep things clean and simple. There’s only five top level navigation links (home (the logo), about us, Nakd, Trek and community) and a prominent search bar. Each of the two product sections houses the various products of the range offering people an easy way to find out more about each product and make their purchase.
Creating an online community
It’s great when a company has a clear idea of their purpose – the reason they’re in business – and Natural Balance Foods is one of those. With such a unique and positive product, they’ve developed a strong fan base of people who share the same views. Taking this into consideration they wanted to dedicate a large portion of the website to a community section, allowing them to share news, views and opinions on their products and related issues.
With all this excellent content it was only natural for them to be proactive with social media. We added all the necessary social share buttons to the site as well as creating graphics for their Twitter Facebook and Youtube pages. Adding further functionality to their Facebook page, we created an e-commerce page app that lists all their products within Facebook, adding another channel for them to showcase their products to their fans.
Design and web development
Powering all this functionality is a whole host of design and advanced technical work. Through our bespoke CMS they have full control over every aspect of the site, giving them the ability to:
- Add, delete and amend pages.
- Control all banners.
- Manage all products in the store.
- Manage the community section of the site.
They use several third party service providers, with the three main ones being Lakeview for managing their back office e-commerce functionality, Emarsys for managing their email functionality and Secure Trading for managing their online payments. We fully integrated the site with these providers plus several others, ensuring seamless and secure transfer of information and an excellent user experience for shoppers.
Another technical highlight is the promotions and discount system we implemented, giving them the ability to run a wide variety of promotions and incentives for customers.
You can view the new Natural Balance website here: www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk
If you’d like to read more about what we do:
- Take a look at our case studies page.
- Read about our web design services.
- Read about our e-commerce services.