In the simplest terms, eFowl is the Amazon of buying birds (fowl) and the equipment needed to care for them. eFowl’s primary goal was to connect hatcheries and customers all over the country, and make it easy for anyone to begin owning and caring for chickens and other birds.
With over 30 vendors already a part of the eFowl family and hundreds of thousands of customers, the website that had gotten their business started was quickly running out of steam. A lack of responsiveness, an unclear user journey, and a user interface in need of a refresh were the motivating factors that prompted eFowl to hire Fireant Studio to rebuild their entire online infrastructure.
Among the most challenging parts of selling live birds on the internet are the shipping limitations presented by the USPS and the hatcheries. For example, a customer may be looking for Rhode Island Red Chickens, which are sold by Cackle Hatchery. But Cackle requires at least 3 of that specific breed be purchased together in order to provide safe shipping conditions (chickens need to bundle together in transit to stay warm enough to survive). But the USPS may require at least 6 birds be shipped together for that specific shipping route. On top of that, there are birds that don't travel well with each other that the USPS may not be aware of that could risk the health of the birds in transit.
All that said, these are nuances to chicken-buying that a customer may not know or consider when they are simply trying to buy a few birds. They just want to know what chickens to buy for their needs and when they’ll be showing up. And they want to do that as quickly as possible. No user enjoys being on an eCommerce site any longer than they have to. So we needed to take all of these requirements presented by eFowl policies, the USPS, and the individual hatcheries in a way that didn't interfere with the usability of the site.
We helped users accomplish this need in numerous ways:
We allowed customers to add products to their cart directly from the product landing without having to go to a detail page and go directly from there to checkout.
When a customer does add a product to their cart, a slide-in modal appears confirming the product is in stock and in their cart and provides users with a list of all the other birds they could use to help meet their order minimum.
On any product detail page, a list of products that would help fulfill that product’s order minimum appear at the bottom of the page. This allows users to successfully plan out their orders and have appropriate expectations before making a purchase decision.
When checking out, we give users the ability to confirm their hatch / ship date for each vendor they’re purchasing from so they can know exactly when the birds will arrive.