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Continual optimisation to grow sales 2.4x YoY

Building a high growth eCommerce business from the ground up

Muddy Trowel

Muddy Trowel is a “gousto for gardening” eCommerce scale-up which Unfold helped launch during the first UK lockdown, to meet the needs of a wave of new garden enthusiasts stuck at home. We stood up an MVP in just 3 weeks and have iteratively grown the platform ever since. In the last 12 months, we’ve taken Muddy Trowel from humble eCommerce beginnings to a conversion-driving machine, helping them grow from £6-7k monthly revenue, to a record breaking £35k month through continual optimisation of the website.

The challenge

  • To stand out in a competitive marketplace, where it vies for customers against the traditional garden centres and new online gardening marketplaces.
  • Appeal to an audience with an entry-level knowledge of gardening, providing curated plant kits which could be easily put together by customers.
  • Design a site to make gardening more accessible by displaying the key information clearly, without introducing an information-overload of horticultural jargon.
  • Offer a greater level of customisation to customers by introducing more product combinations without increasing complexity for the customer.
  • Ensure the technology which underpinned their platform was suited to growth and wouldn’t start failing them as they grew.

The outcome

  • Revenue is up 2.4x YoY.
  • Market share has grown considerably, including their first acquisition of a competitor, Plantsavers.
  • Sustained growth in average basket size and conversion rate throughout 2021 and 2022.
  • High customer satisfaction, with a Net Promoter Score of > 90 and 254 TrustPilot reviews rating them as “Excellent”.

Off the back of these changes and sustained growth they have raised £1m to scale in 2022.

Figures correct as of Q2 2022.

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Solutions

Perfecting the user experience

Testing with users  – We combined individual interviews, focus groups, large customer surveys and NPS scores to build a picture of what users want from the brand and translate that into new features on the website

A/B testing pages to reveal small improvements which add up to make a big difference. One example was changing the “add-to-basket” button from green to orange, which offered a noticeable uptick in add to cart (ATC) rates. 

Remove barriers to decision making by enabling a simple but complete filtering option on all product listing pages.

We've worked with Unfold for just over 18 months on the design, launch, and all subsequent development of our website. Throughout they have been proactive, professional, and have delivered an excellent result for our customers.

Yoel Sevi, Head of Growth at Muddy Trowel
Yoel Sevi, Head of Growth at Muddy Trowel

User-optimised product pages

Customer generated content including the business’ Trustpilot score and customers’ own pictures of their creations on every product page to build trust in the brand, as well as customer confidence.

Composite products – Muddy Trowel wanted to implement a greater variety of product combinations, including the ability to build a whole kit as part of a single product. We designed an on-page product selection framework that automatically syncs up which pots are available providing a seamless customer experience on the front end. 

The results are fantastic; the pots have had huge uptake and gone a long way to increasing order values.

Good imagery for every product combination was really important as we discovered this significantly increased conversion rates. We provided the functionality on the website for the customer to see each option with a click. This made a huge difference in the uptake of the new products. 

Offering a wealth of information without overwhelming by completely redesigning the product pages in a new layout that offers the most important information and purchase options at the top. As the user scrolls, further sectional information on the plant, its seasonality and its requirements are progressively disclosed.

Up-sells and cross-sells – from consumer research we learnt that customers really valued cross-sells and up-sells but only when they were items relevant to their purchase. So we created the “you may also like” section of the product pages which is powered by a smart engine that adapts to customers preferences over time. This will be vital as Muddy Trowel seeks to build loyalty and foster repeat custom.

Overall, Harry and the team have been lovely to work with and I'd happily recommend them to other companies.

Yoel Sevi, Head of Growth at Muddy Trowel
Yoel Sevi, Head of Growth at Muddy Trowel

Smooth checkout experience

One page checkout system – to reduce the number of clicks required to purchase and allow the customer to see everything they need to input until the order is completed all on one page.

Inline validation – to give a fast and responsive experience for customers – error messages are shown as data is inputted, rather than waiting until the user submits the form, helping to reduce friction/frustration on the checkout page.

Address lookup – Allows customers to quickly and easily find their address by inputting their postcode. Again this cuts down the time the customer spends filling in their details and brings down barriers to conversion.

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