Serious custom aprons for serious work.

Based on Vancouver's Granville Island, Search & Rescue (S&R) Denim crafts serious aprons for serious work.

Unfortunately, their custom ordering process required serious work as well, using text-based online forms, phone calls and countless emails. They needed a better way.
Client Location

Vancouver, BC (Granville Island)

Industry

Retail

Client Since

2018

Available Links

searchandrescueapron.com

  • 15,000+ Aprons made using the online tool since launch
  • +25% Increase in total web orders over previous year
  • 5 hours We were shocked to see the first order only hours after launch
  • +16% Increase in total visitors over previous year

Search & Rescue Denim Co. manufactures premium aprons in Vancouver, Canada for bartenders, barbers, baristas, stylists, chefs, tattoo artists and other craftspeople throughout the world. Using ruggedly durable hardware and materials, S&R aprons are designed to not only protect their owners, but improve their image as well. These aprons are so stylish, in fact, that they've been embraced by celebrities like Jamie Oliver, and have even been spotted in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones.

Founder Will Fosdick saw our work for Murphy Wall-Beds and asked us to improve S&R Denim's custom apron ordering process—one that needed the customer to answer a series of questions in a text-based form. That data would flow into a complicated series of follow-up email exchanges, planning and proofs before a mockup apron could finally be seen and ordered.

The solution was a simple, visual ordering process that works beautifully on desktop and mobile devices.

ABOVE: A screen recording showing the easy six-step process

BEFORE: View the old way of ordering custom aprons - a text based form.

Overview + Planning

To begin, we met with Will Fosdick, S&R's founder and owner, to discuss his product, along with the vision and goals for the new online tool.

Together, we developed a final scope of requirements that would define how the site is designed and programmed.

  • Mobile friendly

    It must be accessible and easy to use on all modern devices, not just desktop computers.
  • Easy to understand

    Customizing an order can be overwhelming. It must make the process easy for our users to grasp.
  • Straightforward

    No additional customer followup should be required once an order has been placed. All options and components must be available online.
  • Fast loading

    Users will not endure long load times between areas. It must feel seamless.
  • Shopify integration

    It must fully integrate with S&R's existing Shopify website and content.
Challenge:

Apron Visuals

Users need to be able to see and choose from all of the available options. It's critical that the graphics on screen represent the selections the user has made. How do we achieve this?

Keep scrolling to see the solution
Challenge:

Shopify Integration

S&R's website is built on Shopify. How do we build this tool in a way that will allow orders to flow into their existing back-end order management area without any extra steps?

Keep scrolling to see the solution

Wireframing

Each area of the site was thoroughly wireframed — every feature, every button. We needed to ensure that we had a full understanding of their products and their components, and that everyone agreed on how it would be organized.

Features

Apron Straps

Apron straps are difficult to show but are important to the product's design and functionality. They're best seen from the back, so we needed to give the user a way to view their product from multiple angles.

To achieve this, all apron renderings included both front and back views. The website features a flip button that provides the ability to change the view—and straps—at any time.

Apron Pockets

Pockets are another important element, but they can be placed in a variety of positions, and they would be impossible to see on some renderings. So we used dynamic line art overlays.

Using these handy overlays, users can see and select from a combination single or dual pocket layouts, and control their positions. This solution allowed maximum flexibility and lower costs.

Branding

Corporate customers needed an easy way to add their logo to their aprons, but many users are unable to upload the file format necessary for it to display properly within the interface.

For this reason, a placeholder graphic is used to show the placement of the customer's logo and allow proper size and positioning.

Mobile

All features seen in the desktop browser version are also available on mobile. Presently, nearly 50% of orders are coming from mobile devices.

S&R Denim Mobile

Problem Solving

Plain black leather apron

Above: A 3D rendered apron, chosen as the best route

Visuals are everything. How do we show the customer their premium apron?

Option 1 - Photography

A traditional approach would have us take photographs of every apron and component, extract the individual elements into separate images using Photoshop, then dynamically merge them together using custom programming.

  • Pros

    Initial photo shoots are relatively quick and inexpensive

  • Cons

    Future aprons would require all new shoots

    New shoots require exact positioning and lighting

    High budget required for image processing in Adobe Photoshop

Option 2 - 3D Renderings

Rendered images give us more flexibility, however they're bring a higher initial investment cost.

  • Pros

    Extreme flexibility. A modeled apron can be re-texturized in minutes

    Minimal post-production work needed

    Very easy to add more aprons in the future

  • Cons

    Higher initial cost

    Slower to produce

Straps were rendered separately for easy integration

Shopify Integration

To integrate S&R Denim's custom ordering tool into their existing e-commerce platform, we learned the Shopify API. By linking their platform to our tool, we ensured that our custom aprons would funnel directly into their existing checkout system.

This meant that orders placed using the custom apron tool would seamlessly integrate with all other online orders, making the ordering process quick and easy for both parties.

Example of Shopify integration in website

Successes

An outstanding testimonial

Once the online ordering tool was up and running, S&R sent promo codes to social media influencers within their target industries. They were given the opportunity to try out the new tool and build a custom apron free of charge and, more importantly, with no strings attached.

A few weeks later, Luka Lajoie, a Montreal based tattoo artist, uploaded the following video to his Instagram and Youtube accounts. Despite any outright requests for publicity, Luka provides S&R with an outstanding testimonial, praising both the quality of the aprons and the ease of the ordering process.



We've expanded our relationship with S&R Denim since the successful launch of their custom apron tool. Plans are in the works to improve their entire Shopify-based website, their online ad campaigns and their search engine marketing—all great efforts to connect with more customers and wow them with an exceptional product and an exceptional online shopping experience.


VISIT WEBSITE

“The orders have been coming in, and between Christmas and the apron builder, this has been our biggest month ever.”

Will Fosdick, Owner
Search and Rescue Denim

Get in Touch Enough about us, let's talk about you.
#225-21900 Westminster Hwy
Richmond, BC Canada V6V 0A8