With a rich heritage stretching back to 1939, more than 700 employees, and physical stores in Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, Kooyman has the enviable combination of a long-standing reputation and opportunities for future growth.
As one of the Caribbean’s biggest suppliers of building materials, hardware and home improvement materials to consumers and professionals, when the pandemic struck, the business had to act quickly. Kooyman arranged for a webshop to be built, to allow it to continue to sell to hospitals and government agencies.
However, the site was built with so much urgency that very little attention could be spent on making sustainable, more long-term choices. The main focus was to get up and running, and less on the long-term strategy. In short, the shop needed a complete rebuild.
That’s where Youwe came in. We were appointed to evaluate the options, plan the project and build an intuitive platform that would deliver an exceptional user experience. Now and in the future. With a customer on the other side of the world, we had to make sure the collaboration and communication left nothing to chance.
making Kooyman’s new e-commerce store a crucial, central pillar of their business. With a business built on trust, history and reputation, we worked with Kooyman to identify two key overriding goals for its new e-commerce site. These were:
The challenge was set, demonstrating what a big player Kooyman is in its markets. As a result, its e-commerce site needed to be a shining example of how to do business in the region, sparking behavioral change in the Caribbean islands
Working with a Caribbean company while operating from the Netherlands had the potential to create challenges. Different places and cultures nurture different habits, different online preferences, ways of working and methods of collaboration.
We needed to get to know each other properly. So we headed to the Caribbean. Our intrepid Youwe team headed off an intensive week full of user research and buyer behavior, orientation, inspiration sessions, requirement workshops, and plenty more. We needed to know exactly how shops are run on the island.
We ran user research in store, interviewing customers and collecting insights. By the end of the week, we understood the Caribbean culture far more than would have been possible through online meetings. According to Kooyman, the Youwe team now has a green heart, representing friendship with a close bond, peace and loyalty.
Highlights in our findings:
At the end of the trip everyone could clearly understand each other’s requirements, collectively setting the necessary priorities.
Youwe's design team collaborated with Kooyman to create a comprehensive UX strategy for their b2c and b2b ecommerce website. They conducted user research in Kooyman's shops, which helped them understand their customers' needs and preferences. The team also conducted UX workshops and created personas to ensure that the website was user-friendly and met the needs of Kooyman's target audience. To maintain consistency across the website, they developed a design system that could be easily applied to different sections. The team also designed the full UX and UI for the ecommerce website, ensuring that it was visually appealing and intuitive to use. Overall, Youwe's design team played a key role in creating a successful and user-friendly e-commerce platform for Kooyman.
Thanks to the close collaboration, Kooyman’s new e-commerce platform does exactly what they need it to do. The clunky, outmoded webshop is now just a distant memory. Online product discovery has greatly increased, and is now framed within a professional and modern-looking digital storefront. The business has better insights into inventory, as this is now connected to the backend. Data is also more effectively structured now, as well. In addition to the seamless online experience, the website also allows the business to publish its fortnightly brochures and improve the planography of its physical stores. Digital marketing campaigns have also now been initiated to capture new business.
It’s been a great start to the partnership, but we’re not done yet. Looking to the future, we intend to improve user search results even further, to be continued!