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Why they won

Seriously Silly Socks won the Innovation Awards Grand Prize of $10,000 and a fully paid trip to a retail conference of their choice.

For building a personalized Build-a-Box tool that simultaneously reduced pick, pack and ship time –– saving time while making money.

Business stats

Business outcomes of the innovation

  • +50% increase in revenue

What they do

We sell socks and nothing else! Many of our socks are bought as gifts and our product range includes a lot of gift boxes designed for this purpose. We have 3 types of gift boxes:

  1. Branded boxes containing 3/4 pairs of socks that have been packed by one of the sock brands.
  2. Our own high-quality exclusive gift boxes which we have designed in a drawer style and are completely re-usable, in which we pre-pack 4 or 6 pairs of socks.
  3. We also allow customers to create their own selection of socks which we pack for them into our exclusive gift box.

This is innovative in that it enables customers to create a personal and unique gift, but still benefit from the high-quality presentation and value that our gift box offers.

The challenge was in how to make that work!

The challenge behind the innovation

Initially our process was manual and the customer needed to add a box to their basket and then add four pairs of socks as separate items, five items in total.

In practice, this didn’t work for the customer or for our fulfillment needs.  

Customers would try to buy:

  • Only the box with no socks!
  • Or less than four pairs.
  • Or more than four pairs.
  • Or pairs that were excluded because they’re too big to fit in the box.
  • Or bought other items as well and didn’t tell us which socks to put in the box.
  • Or bought two gift boxes, eight pairs of socks and didn’t specify which socks to go in which box!

The feature got us sales, but more than our fair share of confusion.

Busy shoppers need something that works fast and doesn’t require them to think too hard.

Our challenge was to help them select the box and the right number of pairs of eligible socks and add that to the basket in a way that identified to us the gift we were to create.

It needed to be efficient at both ends of the process:

  1. Buying
  2. Fulfilling

We also wanted the solution to be unique in our market, disrupt the marketplace and differentiate us in the minds of shoppers to create something of unique and high value to them.

How they made it work

Our store designers, Cart Designers, based in Austin, Texas, developed a Build a Gift Box tool for us. You can experience it right here, and I invite you to try it out.

Here’s the new customer experience:

  • Adding items is easy and the pop-up shows the customer’s progress in creating their unique and personalized gift.
  • Shoppers can now add four pairs of socks, no more or less before being invited to add the personalized gift box to their shopping basket.
  • The process can be repeated should the customer want to buy more than one box.
  • The customer can also add other products without those being confused with the gift box they’ve created.

In all, it’s easy and fun to use.

Cart Designers did a great job in developing this tool and integrating it within our existing processes. Here’s how it works:

  1. Using BigCommerce category tools, we were able to designate only those socks that were eligible for the gift box offer.
  2. The BigCommerce order process shows the fulfillment team picker in detail which product he or she needs to pick.
  3. BigCommerce also integrates with our shipping tool, ShipStation, which makes the process even easier.
  4. Our product pages are stored in Findify, which is a smart search tool app we have integrated with BigCommerce that works brilliantly alongside the Build a Gift Box tool. It facilitates infinite scrolling through eligible products and narrowing of shopper preferences using faceted search. 

Final word

The business is saving time and improving service accuracy. We’re also extracting extra value because the customer pays full price for each pair of socks and pays for the gift box service as well.

Our primary success, however, is in the Build a Gift Box service itself, which offers something unique in the marketplace and differentiates us from the the competition.

The shopper is able to create a personalized gift with high perceived value.

There is nothing like this in our sector.

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Table of Contents

IntroThe 19 Most Innovative Ecommerce Brands of 2017
Chapter 1 Seriously Silly Socks: Personalization + pick, pack, ship simplification.
Chapter 2 Bob Johnson’s Computer Stuff: Future-proofing on-site search
Chapter 3 Andie Swim: Fixing a broken industry purchasing funnel for good
Chapter 4 Beer Cartel: Content marketing for a 34% gain in sales
Chapter 5 Autograph Foliages: Migrating to a 40%+ in revenue
Chapter 6 Berlitz: Selling online courses to modern ecommerce shoppers
Chapter 7 dutil.: Removing gender barriers from the online shopping experience
Chapter 8 Flip Flop Shops: Multi-store pick, pack, ship and in-store pickup
Chapter 9 Freund Container: B2B empowerment through RESTful APIs
Chapter 10 Glory Cycles: High-end product-level customization for an expert customer
Chapter 11 Ironlak: Streamlining checkout complexity in a local hosting environment
Chapter 12 NaturallyCurly: Integrating data across EDI and API endpoints
Chapter 13 Neon Poodle: International expansion on steroids
Chapter 14 Pruvit Gear: Saving $1,000,000 annually + custom print-on-demand services
Chapter 15 Restaurantware: B2B & B2C in a single dashboard
Chapter 16 Rollie Nation: Building innovation into the fabric of the brand (UX included)
Chapter 17 Sam’s Furniture: Online furniture browsing + buying customers can’t resist
Chapter 18 Silver Jewelry Club: The newest flash sale site on the block
Chapter 19 Sorority Specialties: Catering to Gen Z’s ecommerce expectations