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GoodTwiceSM Delivers a Smooth Shopping Experience and A New Revenue Source for Goodwill®


Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina is a 35-store nonprofit that helps people become independent through education and training leading to employment.

Because they generate a significant portion of their revenue from physical donations that they sell, the organization decided to offer top brands at competitive prices.

Goodwill recognized that they could reach a wider audience with a website where shoppers could browse and purchase high-quality, name-brand clothing.

They created, an eCommerce site that makes it simple to find specific items.

The Challenge

When the site launched, thrifters and shopping enthusiasts were excited that they could shop from home, and they immediately began using the site. However, page load times were averaging over 7 seconds each, and bugs were devastating conversions.

The Goodwill team know they needed to solve this problem quickly to prevent lost sales. It was already October, and the issue had to be fixed before the holiday shopping season. Goodwill also noticed that most of the site’s traffic was coming from mobile devices, so they added development of a mobile app to their priority list.

The Solution

A High-Converting Website and Matching Apps for iPhone and Android

When Nathan, eCommerce Manager at Goodwill Industries of Upstate / Midlands SC, called us, we swiftly realized the scope of the problem and the impact it would have on Goodwill’s ability to reach their goals for holiday sales. Nathan shares, “We were impressed with the Designli team because they asked smart questions and pieced together what we were really trying to accomplish. They engaged with our goals, not just to start a project and finish it — they wanted to know about our business so they could figure out how to best help us.”

A Roadmap to Reach the Goal

We created a timeline of milestones based on priorities, and committed to getting the site functioning as it should by December 1 with new iPhone and Android apps to be launched shortly thereafter. We presented this roadmap to Nathan and his team at Goodwill, and we immediately went to work once we got the green light.

Nathan had this to say about the meeting process: “Josh and Keith do really well communicating with everyone in the room — people who are tech savvy and those who aren’t. It saved us a lot of time.” The Goodwill team also mentioned that they also appreciated our follow-up process. Nathan says,“After each meeting, they sent an email laying out what was discussed. So everything was documented, and we always knew what they were going to do next.”

UI/UX Improvements to Boost Conversions

We started by looking at the user experience from the perspective of a shopper, outlining a series of improvements to the browsing and purchasing experience. The new checkout process seamlessly guides shoppers through the steps to make a purchase, ensuring that no one gets frustrated and abandons a cart along the way. We tied these improvements into the existing Magento installation via custom APIs.

We matched the iPhone and Android app experiences to what users found on the site, ensuring that the experience was consistent and easy for shoppers to jump from one to the other.

A New Infrastructure and Bug Fixes to Remove Roadblocks

We set up an AWS-based infrastructure that was more stable than what was previously in place, speeding up page load times. And we addressed the bugs that were preventing orders from going through consistently.

A deployment pipeline was a priority as well, since there was none in place before. With the previous development team lacking any version control, things frequently broke when changing aspects of the code. We put best practices in place and made it simple to roll back to a previous version without hassle.

The Result

The timeline we committed to was aggressive, but we wanted to push it even further and deliver by Thanksgiving to capture Black Friday shoppers. Thanks to our clear roadmap and fast approvals from the Goodwill team, we were able to beat our deadline — by three weeks.

The revamped website features a variety of ways to browse and search the site, so shoppers can quickly and easily find what they need. A front-and-center quality guarantee, introductory shipping rate, and clear return policy gives visitors confidence in their purchases. Popup coupons at the bottom of the site offer incentives without interrupting the browsing process. And the site now has an average page load time of less than a second.

The new iPhone and Android apps make the mobile experience as convenient as the desktop version, giving users limitless ways to shop and make their purchases. With several reviews posted, the apps are averaging five star ratings in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“Our Director of Marketing congratulated me and said, ‘You picked the right company to go with.’ It was such a relief to have the problems fixed for the shopping rush and an even better site than we thought we were going to have. And now we’re able to offer a top-notch mobile shopping experience too.”

Nathan Bland,
eCommerce Manager