In grocery stores or the now highly endangered butcher shop, it’s possible to find high-quality meats for special occasions, but the quality is often inconsistent in the former and very difficult to find the latter. On an anniversary, for example, the stakes can be too high to take a risk (pun intended). For years, the major alternative was the catalog model. You know, steak by phone. But the process removed romance for some. It’s not easy to ask someone to spend twice as much and wait many times longer without a backup plan when a photo is all they have to rely on. Even in ecommerce, challenges persist: such as demonstrating superior taste through a web interface. Luckily, Blue Acorn is skilled in creating online experiences for gourmet food. Believe it or not, we partnered with our first food catalog client over four and a half years ago. And recently, we partnered with another food catalog company, The Kansas City Steak Company.
Since the 1930s, The Kansas City Steak Company has been providing high-quality steaks and other food for “your most important grilling moments.” They began as a small butcher shop, eventually expanding into a nationwide distributor of high-quality steaks. If you go on their site, you can read hundreds of testimonials, many of which contain the words, “the best I’ve ever had.”
Prior to launching an ecommerce site, most of Kansas City Steaks’ business came from catalog orders, either by mail or over the phone. The catalog, which has gone through a series of transformations over the years, continues to serve a loyal customer base. The company realized the need to update its ecommerce experience to match the catalog experience after determining that customers were visiting the site, but calling to place orders. The team at Kansas City Steaks felt that by rethinking the user experience, more customers would be encouraged to complete their transactions online.
“The old site was designed for a catalog age,” said Shane Estes, design project manager at Blue Acorn. “After a reorganization of how Kansas City Steaks presents their products online, it now matches its modern brand and makes buying food products fun and enjoyable.”
Blue Acorn worked with the Kansas City Steak team to redesign the user experience. Through research and user testing (and some delicious brand immersion), we determined what type of cataloge organization would be the easiest for their customers to use. The design included a restructured navigation and incorporated the same type of imagery used in Kansas City Steaks’ cataloge.
“The team at Kansas City Steaks was open and friendly, and we wanted the site’s design to convey that,” said Ben Worley, a UI designer at Blue Acorn. “The new site is easy to use and feels comfortable, and it’s engaging because you can see passion through content and bold images.”
Customers are greeted with mouth-watering images of steaks grilled to perfection, seasonal selections and cooking tips. Updated navigation makes finding the perfect cut simple and direct, and users can easily filter products based on budget or size (among other filters). Visit the new KansasCitySteaks.com to experience the site first hand.