Case Studies

Denise Tilley Freckled Zebra Marketing

A Portfolio of Case Studies

The following is a selection of case studies written for clients as part of their marketing strategy. Please note that some are for American companies, so the spelling will be American.

Please contact me if you have any questions, or to discuss your marketing or copywriting needs.

Case Study for MoJo Active

H1 – Building a Powerful ECommerce Solution for an American Institution.

H2 – Increased sales and revenue, growth in online traffic—teaming up with SmithsonianStore.com to provide the technical and business solutions needed to ensure ecommerce success.


Museums are our link to the past. They house our cultural heritage and safeguard our shared humanity.

Museum stores provide an opportunity for people to buy souvenirs and unique items related to the artifacts, collections and exhibits on display. They allow customers to take home a memory that connects them to the museum experience.

The Smithsonian Institution includes 21 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. It is the largest group of research and education establishments in the world. The Institution itself dates to 1846 and its headquarters are in Washington D.C.

From slippers to sculptures, puzzles to pearls, SmithsonianStore.com offers a vast range of National Zoo and museum-inspired products. One of the unique aspects of this business is that the revenue from sales directly supports the Smithsonian and the work of its scientists and nine research centers around the globe.

The Challenges

SmithsonianStore.com was looking to do ecommerce better. The team wanted online customers to experience the same high level of service and quality of merchandise they would find in physical museum stores.

And to ensure future ecommerce success, SmithsonianStore.com needed a business solution to enable revenue growth. A solution that would lead to increased sales and drive new customers through its digital channels.

To maximize revenue and minimize costs, SmithsonianStore.com required the ability to track where its customers were coming from (email, print catalogs, clubs/groups etc.) and measure the success of its promotions.

Another critical element of the site was that the Smithsonian team needed to manage the marketing and merchandising of products and promotions efficiently. And to do so without constantly needing help from a developer. Possessing a strong internal team with a diverse set of skills they were looking for customization and control beyond what the native platform allowed. However, they also wanted to incorporate controls to ensure brand integrity.

SmithsonianStore.com was running a bespoke site on Kibo Commerce that was reaching the end of its life. The old system provided a constant maintenance challenge even to their tech-savvy internal team. It had adapted many unique workflows to solve problems for less common business needs.

There were issues with the old system that affected the fulfilment of customer orders resulting in a diminished customer experience. For example, it allowed customers to enter incorrect shipping details or incomplete addresses.

The SmithsonianStore.com team understood that to achieve the ecommerce growth they wanted, they needed to re-platform from a home-grown ecommerce ecosystem to the open SaaS world of modern-day ecommerce.

They chose BigCommerce as their preferred platform for its ease of use. They also wanted to work with a 3rd party integration team to navigate the more intricate aspects of re-platforming the site. Last but not least, they wanted to maintain that working relationship for future endeavors post-launch.

The goal was to re-platform while keeping many of the systems SmithsonianStore.com needed, such as the back-office Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and its marketing integrations.

“The most important technical integration we needed to achieve was the migration of our existing Order Management System provided by Ability Commerce.” – Tony Rosenberger, Client Senior Web Developer/Website Manager

The SmithsonianStore.com team wanted to work with an agency that would align the solution to their business strategy. They needed someone who understood how vital it was that all the elements (SEO, aesthetics, accessibility, technical implementation, and user experience) work together to create a great customer experience.

And they needed a partner who would work closely with their graphic design team while providing a solution that would allow them to merchandise the site the way they wanted. They wanted a site that was simple to maintain, showcasing the products with the same care and attention that an exhibit would receive in the museum.

BigCommerce referred MoJo Active as one of its elite partners.

The Journey

SmithsonianStore.com chose MoJo Active to help create an ecommerce solution that would achieve its business goals.

MoJo Active showed it understood how everything works together; ecommerce, fulfilment, business needs, marketing, running sales and promotions, communicating with customers, design aesthetics and user interface (UI). This was reassuring to them as changing platforms can be a daunting process.

And the SmithsonianStore.com team valued MoJo Active’s extensive experience with BigCommerce.

They also appreciated the fact that we would adapt to their strategic business needs and not bend them to fit our processes. We offered additional strategy and marketing solutions as well as a range of services to drive traffic to their site. We could help them to achieve the goal of increased conversion rates and sales.

And they knew we were in it for the long run.

These approaches made us stand out as integration partners.

The Solution

MoJo Active worked with the SmithsonianStore.com team to set them up for long-term ecommerce success. We understood the requirement for a strategic solution to their challenges.

To grow a business, you need to leverage systems, teams, and data. MoJo Active worked with the SmithsonianStore.com team to create systems that allowed them to do ecommerce more effectively and efficiently. We also implemented solutions, so that they had access to the data they needed to make strategic business decisions.

“The MoJo Active team is very personable. They’re very easy to talk to and easy to communicate with because they listen. They’re receptive enough not to flat-out say no but do flag options if there is some pushback. And they always suggest alternatives.” – SMITHSONIAN – CLIENT SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER/WEBSITE MANAGER – TONY ROSENBERGER

MoJo Active could add value to SmithsonianStore.com by coming up with business solutions that enhanced the customer experience.

We leveraged the power of the platform where possible and we built solutions when necessary.

We opened up the functionality of the Apps to improve service delivery. For example, by providing the capacity for customers to see their expected delivery dates.

The diverse range of products offered by SmithsonianStore.com necessitated a site design that was intentionally minimalistic, allowing the museum-quality products to be the focus. Understanding the need to create a visually appealing site to attract customers and encourage them to spend, we worked with the SmithsonianStore.com team to extend the functionality of BigCommerce’s native Page Builder tool.

The MoJo Active team created custom Page Builder Widgets to allow for several custom design elements, such as the scheduling of promotional content and banners. We also addressed numerous accessibility and SEO needs with the addition of these widgets.

To guide marketing strategy, the SmithsonianStore.com team needed to measure the results of promotions. They wanted the ability to track where customers were coming from and automatically apply a discount from a catalog or email. To allow the Smithsonian team to measure the ROI of each lead and form a more accurate picture of their customers’ buyer journey, MoJo Active created an app designed to track the source code of a promotion and later apply a discount if applicable.

Because of the high-profile nature of The Smithsonian brand and SmithsonianStore.com’s desire for an exceptional experience for every customer, accessibility was an important focus of the project. The implementation team leveraged both automated scanning tools and worked with Accessibility Partners to provide user testing services focused on the accessibility space.

An essential component of ecommerce success is customer fulfilment. We leveraged our proprietary Integration Platform to provide the SmithsonianStore.com team with the ability to automate the flow of product, order and customer data. This system also provides proactive alerts if any pieces of the automation should fail or if orders have not been processed before the shipping cut-off.

We solved the problem of delivery issues by integrating ShipperHQ into the site so that it embedded shipping rules making it impossible to checkout without the correct shipping information being entered.

The implementation

We completed the project in October 2021, just five months after kickoff.

Customer satisfaction with SmithsonianStore.com had been a driving force in re-platforming the site. The client now has an ecommerce solution that ensures customers enjoy a smooth shopping experience.

And the SmithsonianStore.com team have an ecommerce platform that allows them to deliver a shopping experience that reflects the quality of the museum stores.

The team is happy they have a platform that gives them the independence and control to manage and create a store that’s aesthetically appealing.

“MoJo Active team was a great selection; they did outstanding work to get us up and running and they continue to do great work for us going forward. We’re very pleased to have a great group of folks work with our company!” – SMITHSONIAN – CLIENT SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER/WEBSITE MANAGER – TONY ROSENBERGER

SmithsonianStore.com has a site that gets more attention and is less reliant upon catalogs to drive traffic.

And there has also been an increase in conversions.

The Results

  • Increased sales and revenue
  • Growth in online traffic
  • More pureplay ecommerce orders
  • Improved native organic sales through paid search

The goal of the project was to increase sales and revenue for SmithsonianStore.com. MoJo Active’s task was to provide the SmithsonianStore.com team with the systems that allowed them to achieve this goal.

So, it was a significant result that even during the pandemic; they saw an increase in sales and revenue for the fiscal year.

“Based on this last year, the platform is delivering on revenue and ship sales are up over the previous year. And we made and exceeded the budget” – SMITHSONIAN – CLIENT SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER/WEBSITE MANAGER – TONY ROSENBERGER

SmithsonianStore.com has a platform that can develop over time and grow with the institution.

But we’re not done yet.

MoJo Active will continue working with SmithsonianSales.com to keep improving the site and the customer experience.

“They were definitely a good choice to make, both during the project and post-launch. We wanted to establish an ongoing relationship with our integration partner to continue enhancing the platform, so it was important that we could see the long-term potential with MoJo Active.” – SMITHSONIAN – CLIENT SENIOR WEB DEVELOPER/WEBSITE MANAGER – TONY ROSENBERGER

TECH STACK [add logos]

ecommerce platform – BigCommerce

Shipping & Fulfillment – ShipperHQ

Search results & merchandising – Searchspring

Email marketing – Acoustic

Inventory notification integration with BigCommerce – Slack 

Order Management – Ability Commerce

Transactional Email – BigCommerce

Warehouse Management – HighJump

Problem/Objective                                                    Solution

Customer Service Compromised

A limited tech stack and technical capability restricted SmithsonianStore.com functionality. This lessened the customer experience, and performance of the site. MoJo Active was required to optimize the BigCommerce platform for a better user experience.

Delivered a solution and strategy that:

·      Improved site navigation

·      Made it easier to add items to cart

·      Enhanced user experience

·      Increased flexibility and performance of the site

Delivery Problems Due to

Limited Shipping Functionality

The site would allow checkout with an incomplete address or the option to ship FedEx where no such delivery service was available.

The app used for shipping quotes was very basic and didn’t offer the best customer experience. Needed to open up the functionality of the app to ensure accurate and timely delivery of orders.

Integrated Shipper HQ

This enforced shipping rules to ensure accurate entry of delivery information.

SmithsonisnStore.com customers now have a high-level shipping experience and reliable delivery.

Marketing Data to Determine ROI

SmithsonianStore.com wanted the ability to recognize and auto-apply a coupon directly from an email to the ecommerce page. They also wanted to track best-performing marketing channels and promotions.

Custom Built Marketing Application

We built an app to deliver this unique business requirement for SmithsonianStore.com, improving their capacity to measure their marketing efforts.

Unreliable Order Fulfillment

On the previous platform, order fulfilment was not 100% reliable. There were ‘gaps’ in the system into which customer orders call fall.

Custom Built Solution Ensures Order Fulfillment

The new platform allows for a ‘next day’’ delivery sales log audit via the BigCommerce interface so that orders are checked off.

A Zap integration between Slack and BigCommerce was implemented to alert customer teams of products that require manual attention.

Improve Design Elements

SmithsonianStore.com wanted a website that reflected the brand. They also wanted MoJo Active to work collaboratively with their graphic designer to create a site that was visually appealing.

Simplified Design and Navigation

Enhancement of the customer’s experience through simple and elegant design and ease of navigation. Greater independence for design team to manage site appearance.

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