Build Your Own Custom Box of ChocolatesClient: Alethea's Chocolates Website: www.aletheas.com Customer Since: October 15, 2006 Latest Redesign: December 12, 2009 website blueprint | design | eBusiness/commerce solution | html/css | custom programming | content | Google AdWords [CPC] | search engine optimization [seo] | keyword research | kickoff marketing | email marketing
Ours is a family heritage of fine chocolates. Aléthea's proudly bears the name of our great-grandmother; known in Kozani, Greece for her homemade confections. Continuing in her tradition, we create premium handmade chocolates. Our reputation for freshly made confections and high-quality ingredients appeals to the true chocolate connoisseur, and to those who simply love all things chocolate.
Alethea's Chocolates Testimonials
Alethea's Chocolates Case Study
What were we asked to do?
Dean Tassy looooves chocolate. It’s in his blood…literally: his family business bears the name of his own great-grandmother, known in her native Greece for her premium, handmade chocolates. As the third-generation owner of Aléthea’s Chocolates, Dean had an amazing product that immediately won the praise of anyone lucky enough to have . Many people consider it to be the finest chocolate they’d ever tasted.
Unfortunately, this individual location on the outskirts of a Buffalo suburb was known only by word of mouth. The few who had known about Aléthea’s Chocolates from their time in Buffalo, New York were his regular customers – and there were fewer and fewer of them with each passing year.
Aléthea’s did have a website when they were first introduced to Rare Earth’s Marketing Services in October, 2006. However, the site was barely making money. In fact, it took the site almost all of the 34 months it had been live to earn back the original investment.
We promised to change that.
How did we address the challenge?
Our Search Engine Optimization strategies made Aléthea’s existing content highly visible to search engines. Dean also retained our online marketing services to produce a two-stage holiday ad campaign. This new eBusiness initiative featured Aléthea’s inaugural Google AdWords campaign and a broadcast email campaign. Rare Earth provided content development and content management services. We installed Google Analytics so that we could begin collecting traffic and performance data. We also suggested a range of other options. But after 3 years of lackluster performance, Dean needed to see proof that we could make his website earn a return on his investment.
Holiday 2006 sales figures offered proof of a significant return on investment. Our initial success encouraged Dean to commission a Valentine’s Day campaign in 2007. This online marketing solution paired a cost-per-click campaign with a series of strategically timed broadcast email blasts.
Aléthea’s signed on for Rare Earth's eBusiness, design, and marketing services. To improve navigation and increase the site's visual appeal, Rare Earth recommended a complete redesign. Our commission included software engineering: the development of an application that makes chocolate buying online almost as much fun as eating it.
The Custom Chocolate Box™ allows site visitors to create a completely customized box of 40 individual pieces of chocolate. At the time, no other online chocolatier had a shopping option that allowed the kind of flexibility and ease of use we recommended … not even the big boys that claimed to have better chocolate and commanded far bigger marketing budgets. Most online chocolatiers who had any customization option allowed only choices of four items or fewer for a one-pound box.
The AdWords campaign that we created to support the launch of this new personal shopping assistant featured the tagline: ”All ‘ooooh,’ zero ‘eeuw’”(sm) solution to Holiday shopping."
What happened after we were done?
Even with the modest steps we took back in 2006, Alétheas.com site holiday sales jumped by 36% in comparison with the 2005 Holiday season, and surpassed those of the previous 6 months.
The follow-up Valentine’s Day campaign resulted in sales that more than tripled his online revenues from the previous February, led in large part by a 9.8% purchase rate from recipients of the email blast.
Even in a year when consumers cut back on luxury items, the launch of the Aletheas.com redesign and Custom Chocolate Box™ on 21-November-2007, could have scarcely yielded better results:
- Search results:
- In only 7 days following launch, the site had jumped in the Google search returns for “chocolates” from the 38th position to the 16th position.
- By Day 25, it had climbed to the first page, ranking #10 out of 26.6M returns.
- By Day 30, the site climbed to the 5th position, trailing only See’s Candies, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Wikipedia and directory site Chocolate.com;
- By Day 15, website sales exceeded the sales of the entire 40-day 2006 Holiday season by 14%;
- Single-day sales for 30-November exceeded the total sales of 7 out of the previous 12 months. This pattern repeated on 6-December-2007 and 13-December;
- By the end of the 23rd day, cumulative website site sales exceeded the combined sales of the previous 10 months. Also, the number of orders for December, 2007 surpassed all of December, 2006;
- By the end of the 2007 Holiday season:
- Total site revenue for the season more than tripled 2006 revenues;
- The new site had earned more revenue than:
- the previous 323 days of 2007, by 34%
- all of 2006, by 25%
- all of 2005, by 41%
- all previous Holiday seasons combined (2003 – 2006), by 32%
- The average order amount increased by 36% per order above the 2006 Holiday season average;
- 78% of all orders were from first-time customers;
- The AdWords campaign yielded over $2.00 in website revenue for every $1 spent on the campaign;
- The Custom Chocolate Box™ was the second most popular item (behind Sponge Candy), accounting for 21% of site revenue. It was also the overall top-earning product.
- Aletheas.com earned a 66% net return on its marketing investment in under 40 days.
While these are uncommonly good results for a new initiative, this case effectively demonstrates that time and resources invested in a great design, combined with the application of a smart, market-aware approach to an eBusiness solution, equals more revenue for the site owner – and a positive return on the overall investment.