Case Study

Active Vista

Digging deep for regenerative agriculture

Interior of plastic roofed agricultural greenhouse with strawberry plants.

Active Vista supplies Australian and New Zealand market gardeners with the products and knowledge to operate an economically sustainable, and ecologically sound enterprise. Active Vista test and use everything they sell through their own Certified Organic market farm: Longley Organic.

We partnered with them to fortify and expand their eCommerce capabilities in order to meet increasing sales demand. Top achievements included improvements to security, usability, information architecture, and multi-region sales capabilities.

How we helped

Platform

-33%
Bounce Rate
+27%
Conversion Rate
+70%
Net Sales
Year on Year
+61%
Clicks from Search
+121%
Search Impressions

The Active Vista Story

Active Vista is making a big splash in Australia and New Zealand’s small farming space.

Workers at Active Vista farm with freshly harvested raspberries

It was born from the seeds of an organic farm based in southern Tasmania. The owner James found that as a small farmer, sourcing overseas market gardening supplies from Australia was too cost prohibitive as nobody was importing and distributing them within Oceania. The costs of engaging in small-order shipments were often so high that they became a deal-breaker for small growers like him.

He saw a chance to solve this problem to make a positive impact on the flourishing small-scale regenerative agriculture scene down under.

Key Contributions

Taming Taxonomies in a One-Stop Supershop

In just 13 months Active Vista went from selling zero products, to over 350. Incredible.

Their diverse product range quickly became a major boon for their customer base and meant that the business could legitimately claim to be a one-stop-shop for their needs.

Complexity Complications

However, an unforeseen challenge arose that overcomplicated the customer experience and had the potential to negatively impact revenue. This problem was Information Architecture related. The original approach to product categorization wasn’t equipped to handle such a wide range of products. And as the inventory grew it became difficult to contextualize the new offerings into the existing schema. Active Vista had plans to further expand their range to well over 400 products in the very near future so fixing this was top priority.

The Need for an Audit

We conducted an exhaustive Information Architecture audit of the product range to understand where scalability and user experience were compromised. We identified a few key issues with the existing schema:

Building a new schema

In our post-audit review, our working group came to the conclusion that the most expedient way to solve these issues would be to build a new schema from the ground up, and recategorize all products. But all was not lost with the existing schema. While it was lacking or excessive in some critical places, it served as a highly instructive reference, and many existing categories could be used in the new schema.

Airtable proved to be the perfect tool for the heavy lifting. We were able to efficiently build, populate, and modify the schema. Getting to the finish line involved many iterations and Airtable’s malleability really came to the fore.

Screenshot of an airtable base with product Information Architecture

A RESTful Rollout

Transitioning to the new schema would be non-trivial. The implementation would render hundreds of existing category archive and single-product pages redundant, as well as break global navigation.

We were looking at more than 3000 individual manipulations to the product range and were keenly aware of the potential damage to search and user-experience that might occur if things weren’t done right.

We decided to utilize the WordPress REST API to populate all the new changes and used the Airtable base as our replacement data source. When we launched, all schema changes and redirections were implemented in under 60 minutes without errors.

Outcomes

The original schema had 120 categories, in a near-flat hierarchy. The revised schema manifest in:

Original Schema

Tree-style hierarchical chart of old product category schemaCategoriesCategoriesBiocharBiocharWalking Tractors And AttachmentsWalking Tractors And AttachmentsSoil HealthSoil HealthfBroadfork And AccessoriesBroadfork And AccessoriesMarket Gardening AccessoriesMarket Gardening AccessoriesIrrigationIrrigationPaperpot Transplanter Systems And AccessoriesPaperpot Transplanter Systems And AccessoriesCrop Covers And AccessoriesCrop Covers And AccessoriesQuick Cut Greens HarvesterQuick Cut Greens HarvesterJang Seeders And AccessoriesJang Seeders And AccessoriesQuick Cut Microgreens PackageQuick Cut Microgreens PackageTerrateck Microfarming EquipmentTerrateck Microfarming EquipmentTiltherTiltherFlame WeedersFlame WeedersTerrateck All Weather WorkwearTerrateck All Weather WorkwearTerrateck Wheel Hoe RangeTerrateck Wheel Hoe RangeTerrateck Wheel Weeder RangeTerrateck Wheel Weeder RangeHarvest EquipmentHarvest EquipmentTerrateck Tyne HarrowsTerrateck Tyne HarrowsTerrateck Hand Tool RangeTerrateck Hand Tool RangeTerrateck Double Wheel Hoe AccessoriesTerrateck Double Wheel Hoe AccessoriesSingle Wheel Hoe Accessories Also For Double Wheel HoeSingle Wheel Hoe Accessories Also For Double Wheel HoeManual Implements For Profitable Vegetable ProductionManual Implements For Profitable Vegetable ProductionFencing EquipmentFencing EquipmentMulch Film Hole BurnersMulch Film Hole BurnersMulch Film Layer And AccessoriesMulch Film Layer And AccessoriesPrecision Seeding EquipmentPrecision Seeding EquipmentEbra Precicion Single Row Seeders And Seed WheelsEbra Precicion Single Row Seeders And Seed WheelsTwo Bad Cats Microfarming RangeTwo Bad Cats Microfarming RangeNeversink ToolsNeversink ToolsDrill Powered TiltherDrill Powered TiltherSelected SeedSelected SeedVegetablesVegetablesLettuce VarietiesLettuce VarietiesSalanova Pelletised Lettuce VarietiesSalanova Pelletised Lettuce VarietiesOrganic SeedOrganic SeedOrganic Vegie SeedOrganic Vegie SeedSix Figure RangeSix Figure RangeCornerstone ToolsCornerstone ToolsEssential Tools For Professional Market GardeningEssential Tools For Professional Market GardeningGlaser Hand Tools RangeGlaser Hand Tools RangeSoil BlockersSoil BlockersNutrient And Soil Monitiring EquipmentNutrient And Soil Monitiring EquipmentSoil Testing SevicesSoil Testing SevicesSoil Amendments And Regenerative InputsSoil Amendments And Regenerative InputsMicrobial ProductsMicrobial ProductsStable Soil CarbonStable Soil CarbonDry Mineral FertilisersDry Mineral FertilisersBiochar KilnsBiochar KilnsResources CoursesResources CoursesPractical WorkshopsPractical WorkshopsHeirloom SeedHeirloom SeedPelleted SeedPelleted SeedBaby Leaf LettuceBaby Leaf LettuceCold TolerantCold TolerantSummer Planting For Autumn HarvestSummer Planting For Autumn HarvestWinter HarvestWinter HarvestEarly TransplantsEarly TransplantsHerb SeedHerb SeedMicrogreens SeedMicrogreens SeedTomato SeedTomato SeedField Cucumber SeedField Cucumber SeedCucurbit SeedCucurbit SeedSolanacea SeedSolanacea SeedBrassica SeedBrassica SeedBeets Chard SeedBeets Chard SeedAsian Greens SeedAsian Greens SeedAmaranths Carrot Celery SeedAmaranths Carrot Celery SeedAllium SeedAllium SeedBaby LeafBaby LeafOpen Pollinated Non HybridOpen Pollinated Non HybridMesclin Mix VarietyMesclin Mix VarietyTransplantsTransplantsTransplant For PaperpotsTransplant For PaperpotsDirect Sowing With JangDirect Sowing With JangSeed For Direct Sowing With A Four Or Six Row SeederSeed For Direct Sowing With A Four Or Six Row SeederSuitable For Quick Cut Greens HarvestingSuitable For Quick Cut Greens HarvestingTomahook CompatableTomahook CompatableFermenting And Pickling VegiesFermenting And Pickling VegiesRaphanus RadishRaphanus RadishUncategorisedUncategorisedBooksBooksRysets Orchard And VinyardRysets Orchard And VinyardPost HarvestPost HarvestNursery And TransplantsNursery And TransplantsSpinach VarietiesSpinach VarietiesTomatoes Determinate Field VarietiesTomatoes Determinate Field VarietiesTomato Indeterminate FieldTomato Indeterminate FieldTomato For GreenhouseTomato For GreenhouseCherry And Specialty TomatoesCherry And Specialty TomatoesZucchini SeedZucchini SeedEggplantEggplantCucumber SeedCucumber SeedCucumber Hybrids GreenhouseCucumber Hybrids GreenhouseChilli SeedChilli SeedCapsicum SeedCapsicum SeedCapsicum Hybrid FieldCapsicum Hybrid FieldCapsicum Hybrid GreenhouseCapsicum Hybrid GreenhouseCabbage Hybrid SeedCabbage Hybrid SeedBroccoli Hybrid SeedBroccoli Hybrid SeedCarrot Open Pollinated SeedCarrot Open Pollinated SeedCarrot Hybrid SeedCarrot Hybrid SeedCaterpillar Tunnel Kits For Season ExtensionCaterpillar Tunnel Kits For Season ExtensionGrafting Supplies Solanacea And CurcubitGrafting Supplies Solanacea And CurcubitWarm Climate Specific Vegie SeedWarm Climate Specific Vegie SeedCool Climate Specific Vegie SeedCool Climate Specific Vegie SeedJang Seeder KitsJang Seeder KitsCauliflower SeedCauliflower SeedStart Ups Seed PickStart Ups Seed PickHarvest KnivesHarvest KnivesHarvest SnipsHarvest SnipsMutineer Interchangable Hoe System By Neversink ToolsMutineer Interchangable Hoe System By Neversink ToolsBasil VarietiesBasil VarietiesHarvest ContainersHarvest ContainersHarvest GlovesHarvest GlovesTool HandlesTool HandlesCaterpillar Tunnel Accessories And Replacement PartsCaterpillar Tunnel Accessories And Replacement PartsActivevista Endemic RangeActivevista Endemic RangeRootstockRootstock

Revised Schema

Tree-style hierarchical chart of revised product category schemaAttributesAttributesPlant FamilyPlant FamilyBrandBrandTomato TypeTomato TypeGrowing ConditionsGrowing ConditionsCollectionsCollectionsSeed TypeSeed TypeOrganic StatusOrganic StatusSeeder CompatibilitySeeder CompatibilityHarvest SeasonHarvest SeasonProduct TypeProduct TypeSeeder TypeSeeder TypeWeeder TypeWeeder TypeCultivator TypeCultivator TypeAlliumAlliumAmaranthAmaranthAsterAsterBorageBorageBrassicaBrassicaCurcurbitCurcurbitLamiaceaLamiaceaLegumeLegumeSolanaceSolanaceUmbelliferUmbelliferActive VistaActive VistaBCSBCSBertaBertaBluescope SteelBluescope SteelCoolbotCoolbotCoronaCoronaElectrocoupElectrocoupFarmers FriendFarmers FriendGarden City PlasticsGarden City PlasticsGlaserGlaserJangJangJSS (Johnny's Selected Seeds)JSS (Johnny's Selected Seeds)Kruger’s HandlesKruger’s HandlesLongley Organic FarmLongley Organic FarmMarket Gardeners MasterclassMarket Gardeners MasterclassMKS (Magnus Kahl Seeds)MKS (Magnus Kahl Seeds)Neversink ToolsNeversink ToolsNinjaNinjaNTS (Nutri-Tech Solutions)NTS (Nutri-Tech Solutions)Paper Pot PlanterPaper Pot PlanterPaperpot AustraliaPaperpot AustraliaRed DragonRed DragonRed HogRed HogRinaldiRinaldiRoyal BrinkmanRoyal BrinkmanRysetRysetRZ Rijk ZwaanRZ Rijk ZwaanSPS (South Pacific Seeds)SPS (South Pacific Seeds)Tend Ag.Tend Ag.TerrateckTerrateckTramontinaTramontinaTwo Bad CatsTwo Bad CatsWeed GunnelWeed GunnelCherry & SpecialtyCherry & SpecialtyDeterminate FieldDeterminate FieldDeterminate HothouseDeterminate HothouseIndeterminate FieldIndeterminate FieldIndeterminate HothouseIndeterminate HothouseCold TolerantCold TolerantFieldFieldGreenhouse (unheated)Greenhouse (unheated)Heat TolerantHeat TolerantElliot Coleman DesignsElliot Coleman DesignsEssential Market Gardening ToolsEssential Market Gardening ToolsJM Fortier Toolshed ListJM Fortier Toolshed ListSeeds for Startups Seeds for Startups Six Figure RangeSix Figure RangeBaby LeafBaby LeafBeneficial Insect AttractingBeneficial Insect AttractingCoatedCoatedEarly TransplantingEarly TransplantingEdible BloomsEdible BloomsFermenting VarietyFermenting VarietyGreen Manure / CovercropGreen Manure / CovercropHeirloomHeirloomHybridHybridMesclin / Salad GreenMesclin / Salad GreenMicrogreensMicrogreensNitrogen FixingNitrogen FixingNon-Hybrid / Open PollinatedNon-Hybrid / Open PollinatedPelletedPelletedPrecisionPrecisionQuick-Cut CompatibleQuick-Cut CompatibleTomahook CompatibleTomahook CompatibleTransplantableTransplantableTreated (Thiram)Treated (Thiram)UntreatedUntreatedAllowed Organic InputAllowed Organic InputCertified OrganicCertified OrganicDirect 4 & 6 SeedersDirect 4 & 6 SeedersDirect SowDirect SowJang SeedersJang SeedersPaperpot SystemsPaperpot SystemsTransplant SeedersTransplant SeedersAutumnAutumnSpringSpringSummerSummerWinterWinterAccessoryAccessoryDrill PoweredDrill PoweredHand ToolHand ToolHandleHandleKit / PackageKit / PackageMechanisedMechanisedReplacement PartReplacement PartFieldFieldNurseryNurseryColinear HoeColinear HoeFingerFingerFlameFlameStirrup HoeStirrup HoeTineTineWheel HoeWheel HoeWireWireDiscDiscRidgerRidgerTiltherTiltherTine CultivatorTine CultivatorWheel HoeWheel HoeZipperZipper Tree-style hierarchical chart of new product attribute schemaCategoriesCategoriesTools & EquipmentTools & EquipmentSeedsSeedsBooksBooksFarm ManagementFarm ManagementBed MaintenanceBed MaintenanceGreenhouses & Crop CoversGreenhouses & Crop CoversHarvest EquipmentHarvest EquipmentPlanting EquipmentPlanting EquipmentSoil HealthSoil HealthVegetablesVegetablesHerbsHerbsFlowersFlowersBed PreparationBed PreparationHoes & WeedersHoes & WeedersWalking TractorsWalking TractorsCaterpillar TunnelsCaterpillar TunnelsMulch & FabricMulch & FabricRow CoversRow CoversTrellisingTrellisingHarvestersHarvestersKnivesKnivesPost-HarvestPost-HarvestSnips & SecateursSnips & SecateursWorkwear & ClothingWorkwear & ClothingClips & FastenersClips & FastenersFlats & Plug TraysFlats & Plug TraysSeedersSeedersSoil BlockersSoil BlockersTransplantersTransplantersWatering & IrrigationWatering & IrrigationBiocharBiocharInputs & FertilizerInputs & FertilizerMeters & GaugesMeters & GaugesSoil Testing & AmendmentSoil Testing & AmendmentStable Soil CarbonStable Soil CarbonAsian GreensAsian GreensBeetBeetCapsicumCapsicumCarrotCarrotCauliflowerCauliflowerChardChardChinese CabbageChinese CabbageCucumberCucumberEndiveEndiveKaleKaleLeekLeekLettuceLettuceMelonMelonOnionOnionRadishRadishRocket (Arugula)Rocket (Arugula)SpinachSpinachSquashSquashTomatoTomatoTurnipTurnipZucchiniZucchiniBasilBasilChivesChivesCorianderCorianderDillDillMarjoramMarjoramOreganoOreganoParsleyParsleySavourySavouryShisoShisoThymeThymeBorageBorageLovageLovageEchinaceaEchinaceaChamomileChamomileCalendulaCalendulaNasturtiumNasturtium

The outcome of this work was a new schema that was capable of:

After the new schema had been deployed, website analytics demonstrated a 33% bounce rate reduction that has been maintained since.

Custom eCommerce Theme

The site was originally established with an off the shelf eCommerce theme. By the time we became involved it was clear that the business needed more customization and features than the theme could offer.

We built a custom theme based on the identified needs that Active Vista had. The new theme would allow for practical and expedient development of features in the years to come.

Dynamic Product Filtering

We deployed out a dynamic product filtering capability for the stores product listing. The filters referenced the new product schema to great effect. This feature has been instrumental in assisting findability and improved the user experience greatly.

We also made improvements to secondary navigation elements (especially in single product pages) and implemented prunable permalink structures.

Improved Security & Server Performance

We rolled out a host of improvements to the back end including:

This improved page load times, and set them up to handle the increasing traffic demands they were experiencing.

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