New e-commerce site shows immediate return on investment

expand_lessexpand_moreProject Details


Website Design & Development

Case Study

World of Wool

What started out in 2008 as a ‘let’s try it and see how it goes’ venture, World of Wool has grown into the world’s favourite place for crafters to buy wool and fibre products. The guys at ‘WoW’ have fully embraced the hobbycraft phenomena by supplying wool and fibres to craft enthusiasts in over 60 countries around the world.

World of Wool - the world's favourite crafting shop.

Time for Change

Fast forward 8 years and the original site was groaning under the pressure of constant updates, additions and sheer volume of orders. The business case had most definitely been proven; it was time to make a change and develop a new site that would not only have the capacity to grow with the business, but also help streamline the sales process both for customers and staff.


With a website that was 8 years old and creaking at the seams the brief was fundamentally to develop a new e-commerce site to support a modern e-commerce business. It would need to be stable, adaptable, full of features, with the ability to further grow with the business. In addition the site had to look beautiful (of course), reflect the personality of the brand and the industry it sits in, and be especially mindful of the very loyal - yet vocal - customer base and their likes and dislikes.


Taking an already successful e-commerce business to the next level was a serious, but necessary, undertaking, both for World of Wool and the Applied team. We were fortunate to have a long history with the client, giving us a good insight into their business, however in-depth consultation was required to establish the client’s - and the consumer’s - requirements. A detailed research project was undertaken to determine the best platform - one that could fulfil the majority of requirements whilst giving us the flexibility to integrate our own custom solutions to meet the client’s complex requirements.

New e-commerce site shows immediate return on investment


After in-depth research and discussion with the client it was agreed that @Shopify was the best solution for World of Wool’s e-commerce requirements - with quite a bit of customisation from us! We used Shopify’s standard core functionality and built on this with our own custom-built components including:

  • Extra Product Data
  • Faceted search
  • VAT validation
  • Blog
  • Shipping
  • Custom apps (more detail below).

Custom Products, Custom Apps

Part of the requirement for the new site was to create bespoke apps for the company’s custom processes, something which required advanced functionality not available using Shopify’s standard templates. To achieve this we built and integrated 3 separate ‘wizards’ which take the customer through the process of ordering a custom blend, mixed bag or carded wool, smoothly and with a style perfectly suited to the brand. These custom apps allow customers to chose products from the WoW inventory and bundle them together to create brand new products, all done on the fly.

The Big Switchover

Launching a new e-commerce site is one thing. Launching an already existing e-commerce site onto a new platform, for a multi £m business is quite another. It necessitates a team who are well versed in all aspects of digital; design, code, and marketing. Switch-over isn’t just switch-on, and requires an intensive effort during development, go-live, and after, to maintain visitor numbers, search position and much, much more.

We helped World of Wool with the transition of the new site, measuring all key metrics and qualitative measures. We’re happy to say that the switch-over went without a glitch, and the new site immediately showed a return on investment in terms of bounce rate, conversion rate and sales figures.

WoW Customer Feedback

Introducing a brand new website, that is a million miles away from their existing offer, to an extremely loyal, outspoken customer base is a massive undertaking. Would they love it as much as the client and we did? The reaction spoke for itself….

New e-commerce site shows immediate return on investment

In the first 2 weeks of the site going live...


visitor increase

Increase in visitors


more orders

More orders


rise in revenue

Rise in revenue


quote-open quote-closed

Well, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, a top job, done by a top team. I think the stats show for themselves that the relaunch has worked.

Andy Novotny, Marketing Manager