Emily Cole drawing

Emily’s journey from an architect to the founder of a thriving business is inspiring. It all began with a drawing she submitted to Horse & Hound of Nick Skelton at the 2012 Olympics.

Fast-forward to today, and Emily Cole Illustrations giftware is sold worldwide to both trade and retail markets. This success is a testament to Emily’s entrepreneurial spirit and the potential of her witty and characterful artwork, centering around the ups and downs of the special relationships people form with their animal companions.

Initially, Emily contacted us to discuss taking over the hosting and maintenance of a ‘bespoke e-commerce website’ that was hooked up to WordPress for content management. The incumbent agency struggled to cope with requests for improvements and fixes and was not providing satisfactory client service.

Emily Cole website homepage
Emily Cole website product pages
Emily Cole mobile website

During the first couple of fact-finding meetings, we uncovered that the situation was much more troubling. The website was suffering severe operational issues, including:

  • Payment malfunctions
  • Prolonged outages
  • Intermittent transactional and customer emails
  • Third-party integrations not functioning properly
  • Price mismatches displayed on the front end of the site, compared to what was taken during payment
  • Overselling out-of-stock items
  • Limited reporting and financial clarity for marketing and accounting purposes
  • Huge potential reputation issues and admin burden

While we always strive to maintain and improve existing sites, especially relatively new ones, we couldn’t risk Emily Cole committing to further effort and investment while carrying over issues or bugs. Therefore, we decided to start from scratch with a complete WordPress and WooCommerce rebuild.

During the initial phase, we created wireframes and design prototypes that kept the essence of the previous website’s expression of the Emily Cole brand but built upon it.

We extended the colour palette to assist with signposting navigational elements in an accessible way and featured more of Emily’s illustrations throughout the website to give it more of her unique character.

Emily Cole drawing

We redesigned all of the site’s templates; some highlights include:

  • Reconfiguring the PDP (Product Detail Page) to include customer reviews alongside the price above the description to show a trust signal immediately.
  • Including Apple/Google and PayPal quick pay buttons on the PDP to allow rapid single purchases
  • Including ‘Add to bag’ and checkout on the category landing pages to make multiple item purchases, especially wholesale, much more efficient
  • Correcting the website’s URL structure and breadcrumbs, which used to change the deeper you got into the site
  • Introducing predictive search
Emily Cole website predictive search

In addition to the changes visible on the site’s front end, the CMS (Content Management System) is now hugely more functional. We have integrated and configured WordPress and WooCommerce, together with ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) Pro, to make content, product and stock management incredibly efficient.

Automation handles many customer relationship emails, such as review requests and abandoned cart reminders, as well as collecting customer contact data and GDPR-compliant consent.

We have fully integrated Shipstation, which makes fulfillment and stock management simple and almost entirely automated. The site is also plugged into Quickbooks to automate accounts management and financial reporting, GA4 for analytics, Mailchimp and HotJar for ongoing user experience refining.

I approached POP after it became apparent that the website I had purchased from another developer was nowhere near the level of functionality that I needed or was promised. It felt like we were fighting fire for a number of years and had left us feeling very burnt. Nick and his team were brilliant at taking a huge burden off my hands and I can honestly say we have never looked back. I am delighted with the finished result. We now have a website that is beautiful, functions and has so much potential. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend POP.

Emily Cole

Now that the website is live and firing on all cylinders, we are continuing to work with Emily Cole Illustrations in a broader marketing and supporting role, including consultancy, content planning, paid search and SEO.

What we did:

  • Consultancy and analysis
  • Website planning and architecture
  • SEO keyword research and mapping
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Website design
  • WordPress & WooCommerce e-commerce development
  • Systems integration
  • Accessibility Auditing
  • Zero-carbon website hosting

Visit Emily Cole Illustrations

Images of Emily and Emily Cole courtesy of and copyright Sophie Lefevre Photography

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