Family-owned B2B culinary outfitters Happy Chef has provided uniforms and accessories for professional food-handlers since 1985. Their innovative designs include everything from high-functioning coats and pants to face masks and knife cases. They also specialize in original trademarked tech-forward items such as CookCool, chef wear for comfort in the heat, their signature FlameResistant, tech-ready CookSmart with water-resistant easy-access pockets, and more.
After three generations of supplying a community of culinary professionals known to work long hours, their product ordering experience had to be seamless. The goal of retaining loyal customers, attracting new ones, and keeping up with the ever-changing online B2B competition, was paramount in making the user journey and purchase path at happychef.com run as efficiently as a kitchen line.
With 63% of Happy Chef’s site traffic mobile, an app-like experience seamless on any touchpoint is what would give them that speed boost and solidify their leader status in a space they’ve been in for over 30 years. Corra knew a migration from their legacy system along with a properly built Progressive Web Application (PWA) would pave the way to a flawless user experience. Additionally, a UX audit followed by a complete visual redesign would give them an edge over the competition.
What is a PWA, and why are countless brands like Happy Chef implementing them? Progressive Web Apps combine traditional website capabilities with the best features of mobile apps. However, with PWAs, there is no need to stop what a user is doing; visit an App Store and download. A PWA is one app-like website built for all screen sizes and is browser, and platform agnostic, seamless on any touchpoint, and an icon is easy to add to your home screen. With hidden navigation and mobile-first design, background sync, offline browsing, push notifications, and so much more—PWAs prove that speed equals revenue.
Happy Chef’s site was built on Corra’s PWA accelerator, PYLOT, which includes full integration with Adobe’s no-code CMS, PageBuilder, and state-of-the-art PDP and PLP templates. PYLOT also includes popular payment methods, offering mobile-first users a streamlined mobile-friendly checkout experience. Busy marketing teams gain the ability to implement ad-hoc site updates without having to consult IT or worrying if the backend will break. PYLOT’s out-of-the-box features allowed Corra to push the project to production faster, freeing up more time for customizing and refreshing the design experience.
Ever-evolving, in 2021, on top of rebuilding its legacy system, Happy Chef was also in the process of updating its brand image, changing the look of the company, and introducing a fresh face to its online presence. Corra’s design team was tasked with bringing this new identity to fruition.
To answer this call, Corra developed a new global elements guide with button styling, font hierarchy, icons, messaging, alerts, forms, and more to coincide and reflect their website’s new look and feel. Product photography reshoots and a custom PDP (Product Detail Page) with dynamic content were just some of the visual changes that Corra added. The PDPs now featured video in a grid design on desktop and a carousel with horizontal scrolling intuitively designed for mobile. Customers experience a more granular, live-action view of the products now.
One out of every four Happy Chef orders placed are custom garments, so Corra needed to recreate this feature as part of the new site experience. Our designers consulted on making the process clearer with iconography to guide the user through the steps and avoid confusion. Because of these updates, customers can now easily customize uniforms in the PDP, choose embroideries, upload logos, pick text/styles, and add flags before delivery. Then, on the backend, Corra developed custom logic that adjusts the price based on how many lines of embroidery the customer requests.
Corra’s UX strategists conducted a robust exploration of the global navigation and category structure to ensure shoppers can easily find what they’re looking for on any device. The new layout is also more straightforward for shopping (by style, by gender, by technology, by type, and by category), a smoother journey for customers who might otherwise get lost in broad product categories.
With the new navigation, Happy Chef wanted to prominently showcase the durability and performance of their materials right from the mega menu. We made it easy for users to shop Happy Chef’s array of technical gear like CookCool, CookSmart, CookFlex, and FlameResistant by implementing multiple entry points in the navigation.
Session recordings informed the new category arrangement of 39,088 site visits to understand how customers shop and identify technical and usability issues. Corra also utilized heat mapping to track 20,000 pageviews, including the homepage, PDP, and PLP (Product List Pages), considering desktop and mobile viewports.
For instance, too much clutter, such as erratic banner ads crowding up a landing page, creates a terrible experience, and users will bounce or tune out. With this in mind, Corra redesigned the information hierarchy on the homepage to include more significant white space, easier on a user’s eyes, giving them more time to absorb page content. And by presenting products and content with high resolution, colorful images, users can now more easily identify categories like gender, product path, and testimonials, thanks to more well-pronounced headlines.
Also, customers interested in viewing relatable life stories from fellow culinary professionals can explore the “Our Community” section on the homepage and enjoy a unique storytelling experience.
Happy Chef's newly built, lightning-fast PWA boosted by Corra’s accelerator (PYLOT) is now live, discoverable, and ranking on Google: mobile conversions quickly increased by 19%. The redesigned UX, a complement to their technologically advanced product offering, has helped to increase AOV 21% YOY. Now faster and seamless on any touchpoint, happychef.com shoppers enjoy a richer user experience online or off. The super-charged customer journey gives the brand designed to enhance a chef’s daily working life a substantial edge over the competition, precisely what they wanted and trusted Corra to deliver in a rebuild.