Discover Your Colour

“Discover Your Colour” is the motto. “Colour” being the ultimate word, and for Pastel Sixteen it’s all about the colours. Sixteen of them, in fact.

August saw the launch of Pastel Sixteen, a brand new fashion and lifestyle brand, who’s exciting new website we were delighted to build, designed in collaboration with our friends at Sun Jones in Leeds.

Pastel Sixteen’s core colours, each named after a fashion city, represent choice, “standing out from the usual”. So whether it’s the romantic soul of Paris, the charming nature of Madrid, the aspirations of Los Angeles or the classic London, Pastel Sixteen say you’ll discover a colour that represents you.

The homepage "hero" banner allows customers to easily and quickly scan through each of the colours without leaving the page.

Pastel Sixteen is the epitome of new business in 2017. Take a great concept, refine and develop it with enormous care and attention, then most importantly of all, focus on the customer’s digital experience. Because (other of the product itself, of course) it’s the quality of the user experience that influences success the most; and Pastel Sixteen have got that in abundance.

With this in mind, we’re big believers in choosing the right platform for the job, rather than sticking to what we’re most familiar or comfortable with. Which is why on this occasion we chose to build and launch the site using Shopify.

The choice was simple really. We needed a reliable and robust platform that perfectly catered to the ambitions a new, adaptive and responsive business like this one. A business with big ambition that aims to grow rapidly, and a website that works for the business – rather than the other way around. The last thing we want is for the business to be “held back” by the website, so we took those goals and used them to identify the best tool for the job! Shopify it was.

Above and Beyond

One of the main draws towards Shopify wasn’t simply because of it’s superb track record, powering over half a million stores worldwide and processing $40 billion dollars worth of sales, but because of how stores can be fully customised from a front-end design point-of-view and from an integration into the business perspective — thanks to their comprehensive API — which was essential for us. This allowed to slot in perfectly with their real-world infrastructure and warehousing.

In the first instance, with regards to design, we’d never be happy with a platform that restricts it’s application. During any phase of elicitation or creative design I’d never want to hear myself say “sorry, we can’t do that, because Platform X won’t let us”. Design restrictions are only valid when it’s literally not possible to do “that thing” on the web at all.

In the case of Shopify we’re given complete freedom to develop whatever front-end design we want. No nasty, restrictive themes here thank you! We’re also able to integrate Shopify into our typical code-deployment model just as easily as any other project, so from a development point-of-view everything’s come up roses.

The "New York" Men's Loafer. Yellow reflects the hustle and bustle of energy and imagination (and the taxi-cabs, of course!)

Of course there’ll always be occasions where you want to achieve something that’s not available “out of the box” (and you’d be mad to think you’ll never need to). This is where the Shopify API comes in, and it’s allowed us and Pastel Sixteen to develop some really funky functionality and automation regarding discount codes, which allows Patel Sixteen to reward customers whenever their friends buy shoes too!

Customer Rewards

Pastel Sixteen’s reward program, which begins by handing out referral codes with all orders, is a great way of earning discount off future purchases; not only for the person who’s been kindly handed the code by their Pastel friend (and getting 20% off their first order) but also for the friend who placed the original order. This is because once a code is used by a friend customers are rewarded with a £20.00 discount off their next order. #winning

This was a bespoke sales operation, and one that was our job to get up and running; fully-automated and distributed into the warehouse as shoes are packed, or sent out as a rewarding email to customers who’s friends just ordered a brand new pair of loafers.

Of course, it was essential that the Customer Service team could easily correlate orders with pending or converted referrals, and that anyone in the team could easily view the “state” of the system at any time. The design and execution of that process was as much about making the experience for staff within the business good as it was the overall service design.

Brogues and Chelsea Boots

Pastel Sixteen has only been live for a couple of weeks or so, yet they’re already considered a must-have shoe. We’re really excited to see their loafers out there in the wild, with Brogues and Chelsea Boots already in the works.

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Available to consult, advise, and create across the UK.

Specialising in digital service design, websites, web applications and digital products where the user experience is paramount.

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