Dec 11 2012

Blue Acorn Launches Multi-Store Setup for Chesapeake Fine Food Group

Blue Acorn Launches Multiple Store Setup for Chesapeake Fine Food Group

Based in Baltimore, MD, Chesapeake Fine Food Group has been sending freshly prepared fine foods throughout the country for years through three different brands: Mackenzie Limited, Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More, and Impromptu Gourmet. Have you ever wanted 20 layers of raspberry chocolate crepes, but had no idea where to find such a thing? Well, if you ever have a hankering for one, you can go online to Mackenzie Limited and order one with just a few clicks. Choose next-day shipping, and you can probably have it for lunch tomorrow.

Don’t like cake for lunch? Well, Mackenzie Limited has over 350 other delicious food items, from beef wellington to smoked salmon. If your palate or party requires a larger variety of flavors, you are just one click away from Chesapeake Fine Food Group’s other brands, Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More and Impromptu Gourmet, which all share the same shopping cart. Don’t worry about filling out your credit card information three times because you can order items from all three stores and check out once on whichever site you like.

Mackenzie Limited Homepage on Magento

A leader in delivering delicacies, Chesapeake Fine Food Group came to Blue Acorn to create a multi-store setup on Magento Enterprise Edition. The simple ordering system in place today was just an idea then. Today, it’s a reality. Shoppers can browse all three stores online, each with its own unique design. While the backbone of each site is essentially the same, the look and feel of each site is as unique as the items they sell.

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes Shopping Cart

One of the challenges of eCommerce is to give people the sense that they know the product. Sometimes it’s called the in-store experience. With food, the challenge is to express taste and smell through the visual medium. It’s a difficult challenge, but Chesapeake Fine Food Group’s products are of a supreme quality, which is reflected in their photography. “Good photography is a basis for visual success,” says Victor Bejar, Creative Director at Blue Acorn. “60% of the visual success of your design can be accomplished through good photography.” The challenge for Blue Acorn was to take care of the other 40%, as well as create a balanced design that allows customers to better experience the photography.

On their old site, the photography itself was still nothing short of mouthwatering, but the product images on the site were reduced to thumbnails. Roast turkeys became the size of meager cornish hens, and chocolate truffles became the size of a few dotty pixels.

Mackenzie Limited - Old Site

Above, is a shot of the old Mackenzie Limited site.

The small images didn’t engage the customers, and, as a result, the customers didn’t engage with the site. By moving the navigation from the side to the top, Blue Acorn has expanded the room for photography. Now the roast turkeys look robust enough to feed a whole family, and the chocolate truffles look big enough to feed the largest of lovers on Valentine’s Day. Not to mention, the site is now much easier for customers to navigate.

Mackenzie Limited Sweets Cupcakes Cookies

To further enhance the user experience, Blue Acorn developed a new horizontal shopping cart. The cart uses Ajax previews and allows users to checkout and review their order without having to scroll down. It’s Blue Acorn’s unique approach to the one-page checkout. The design is still being perfected through testing, but it’s already proven to be a better experience for shoppers.

Mackenzie Limited Horizontal Checkout Magento

Of course, the best way to experience the beauty of these sites is to visit them yourself, or, if you’re not ready to commit to that kind of life-changing experience, you can take a quick video tour via the video below. Bon appétit!

Matthew Rickerby

Head of Marketing

Matt began his career in ecommerce at Blue Acorn over five years ago. His areas of expertise include persona development, account-based marketing, and content marketing. He has co-written speaking sessions for Bronto Summit, DIG South, GIANT, and Revolve, and received multiple awards for videography, blogging, and copywriting.