The Tasteful Garden - ProductCart Case Study

General Store Information

  • ProductCart version used: STANDARD
  • ProductCart add-ons used: Mobile Storefront
  • Mobile Storefront: When did you start using it? November 2011
  • Mobile Storefront: percentage of orders from mobile devices? 9-10%
  • Mobile Storefront: Have you received any customer feedback on it? Not too much, which is a good thing: no complaints :-)
  • Hosted & Designed by: Greybeard Design Group

About Tasteful Garden

The Tasteful Garden is capitalizing on the growing demand for high quality, organic fruits and vegetables. Their products are delivered right to their customers' door and are ready to be planted in their own vegetable garden.

In addition to top quality products, The Tasteful Garden provides a large amount of information to gardening enthusiasts, including vegetable growing tips, videos, and gardening FAQs.

Caution: if you like growing and eating fresh vegetables, visiting this ProductCart-powered store could separate you from some of your hard-earned money! In addition to selling organic plants, this site has a plethora of information for those that aren't yet experts in gardening. And if you're one of those people that prefer to browse the Web on a mobile device, you'll appreciate the effort they have made to make the site and store extremely "mobile-friendly". In fact, even the Content Pages have been optimized to display correctly in the ProductCart mobile storefront, as you can see here.

Summary of ProductCart Customizations

The primary customization was to allow customers to assign specific shipping dates at checkout on a product level, and allow the store manager to easily edit those dates in the ProductCart Control Panel.

They also added a special database of 'Frost Dates' that allows customers to access and choose the correct shipping date for their plants, and there are shipping state 'exclusions', which prevent customers from ordering live plants with ground service to certain states. Other customizations include:

  • Special forms for 'picking' orders
  • Special reports in the Admin Console which allow weekly printing of commonly used Admin reports
  • Custom scripting that allows dynamic injection of featured products into content page via assignment to specially-coded categories
  • Admin tools to manage the 'Recipe' database
  • A duplicate customer consolidation program
  • Support for HTML to be used in customer e-mails
  • A "quick order" feature for phone-in orders
  • Shipping label purge feature (to delete old shipping labels from the server)
  • A FAQ database
  • A modified RMA system to work with live plants that need re-shipping
  • Enhancements to the Content Management pages to make a standard format with navigation
  • Changes to the Mobile Storefront to handle SEO pages and content pages more effectively.

Other interesting information

  • Email marketing system used: Mail Chimp integration
  • Shipping provider(s): UPS, FEDEX and USPS Endicia
  • Other interesting facts about this store:
"Our admin also has a full page packing slip formatted with peel off UPS and Fed Ex labels printed on the same page to make shipping packages easier. We have been using Product Cart for several years and hope that it will continue to grow with us."
The Tasteful Garden Index Picture

About our Case Studies: We like taking a closer look at ProductCart-powered stores that particularly attracted our attention. Each case study contains information on how ProductCart was used, notes on who designed and customized the store (when applicable), and some comments by our staff. Submit your store for review.

Visit The Tasteful Garden

First Thoughts

The overall design is very warm and inviting. We've always believed that product images should be the focal point of any ecommerce site, and that is certainly the case here: full-width background images are used - a growing trend in Web site design - to embrace the visitor in an appealing, "I can almost taste it" visual experience.

The site is finely polished, so long-time (expert) gardeners will feel comfortable that they are dealing with a merchant that knows what they need, but the novice gardener among us also gets the feeling that we're "at the right place". It's not easy to design a site and store that can appeal to a wide audience with potentially large gaps in product knowledge and experience!

The home page really lets product images speak for themselves, which is exactly what you want on a store where product quality is the top concern. We also liked the central positioning of the 'Free Recipes and Growing Tips' newsletter sign-up form, which conveys both a 'we're expert at this' message and a focus on customer service.

Suggestion: consider embedding one of the site's videos for an even stronger visual impact.

Product Page

Textual information is limited because the focus remains on the product images. A customized, tabbed layout gives easy access to cross-selling products and customer reviews.

The Tasteful Garden Product Picture

Product Configuration Page

The Tasteful Garden takes advantage of the content management system built into ProductCart to provide a large amount of information, tips, tutorials, etc. in an effort to build reputation, word of mouth, and customer loyalty. They do a great job at that. They also do a nice job cross selling the items mentioned in the content. Optimized content pages were also added to the mobile storefront component.

The Tasteful Garden Content Picture

Final Thoughts

The Tasteful Garden does an excellent job at conveying the quality of its offering through a Web store that is well designed, informative, and visually very appealing. The flexibility of the ProductCart platform was leveraged to customize some of the backend features to meet the special needs of this seller of highly perishable items, which are affected by shipping and other restrictions. The mobile storefront component is being heavily used and now accounts for almost 10% of sales. This is a merchant that knows what it takes to be successful in its niche market, and it shows.