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From launch to viral success: Our Place’s Shopify growth story

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Industry

Home furnishing, Home and garden

Use Case

Growth and scale, International expansion, Retail and POS, Multi-channel and omnichannel

Product

Shopify Plus, Shopify Markets, Shopify POS, Checkout/Checkout Extensibility, Shopify Collective, Shop App, Shopify Payments, Shop Pay, Search and Discovery

An interview with Danielle Hoo, director of digital product at Our Place, by Génesis Miranda Longo, head of consumer goods marketing at Shopify

We sat down with Danielle Hoo, director of digital product at Our Place, to talk about Our Place’s journey from launch to going viral with Shopify. Danielle began her career in the art world before pivoting to coding and, eventually, digital product. Now in her third year at Our Place, Danielle oversees the product life cycle, product launches, merchandising, and integration partnerships.

On Shopify, Our Place has:

  • Unified online and in-store commerce, enhancing customer experience
  • Launched online shopping experiences across three continents
  • Simplified the checkout experience, increasing conversions

The following content is based on our interview with Danielle, presented in her own words. It has been edited for clarity and length.

Meet Our Place, your home-cooking partner

Our Place believes in the power of home cooking to bring people together and strives to be part of the storytelling that’s inherent in the act of cooking.

Our founder, Shiza Shahid embodies the ideal that cooking helps connect people with their heritage. Our Place was started to build a bigger table for everyone. Our work is rooted in authenticity and representation.

We put an emphasis on our community and we have an incredible internal team that comes from many different backgrounds. A large part of our mission strives to speak to those different cultures and celebrate their traditions.

We invest in products made from responsible materials. The Always Pan is manufactured with 100% post-consumer recycled aluminum. Our packaging is free of traditional plastics and designed to remove the need for a shipper box, and our packing materials are fully recyclable and biodegradable. Our products are made to streamline your cooking and reduce the number of items needed for your kitchen. These are some of our core sustainability practices.

We find partners for our collections who are working to create systems-based change in the communities we share. Currently, we’re working with Selena Gomez. For every purchase made from our collaborative collection, we donate 10% of the profits to help expand mental health coverage for young people.

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Blending innovation with home aesthetics

We have an amazing product development team, and since innovation is fundamental to Our Place, we’ve patented an exclusive non-stick ceramic coating that’s free of toxic forever chemicals like PFAS. We have over 200 patents and trademarks, and we’re constantly working to improve our offerings.

In a market where other competitors have 16-piece kitchenware sets that you don’t necessarily need or have room for, we work to streamline and simplify home cooking while educating customers.

The Always Pan’s 10-in-1 functionality can boil, bake, braise, roast, steam, sauté, strain, pour, and serve. It comes with a steamer basket, and a notch for the included spatula. It replaces multiple items in your kitchen and is a solution for those short on storage space. It is also so beautifully crafted that it could stay out your stove and serves as a design object itself.

Since the release of the Always Pan, we’ve also ventured into appliances. We’ve recently released the Wonder Oven, which is a toaster and air fryer and the Dream Cooker, which is a pressure cooker.

We’ve also gotten into textiles and kitchen tools. Our list of products is constantly growing.

The journey from launch to viral Shopify success

When I started at Our Place, I was a team of one on the digital product side, working with an engineering agency and Shopify. Now our entire engineering, design, digital product, and data teams are all in-house.

On the digital product and engineering side, we are at the bleeding edge of what we can do within the Shopify ecosystem. Even though we’re a lean team, we’re constantly partnering with Shopify on how we can improve, be more efficient, streamline launches and sales, and iterate and improve on our processes.

We’re constantly partnering with Shopify on how we can improve, be more efficient, streamline launches and sales, and iterate and improve on our processes.

Partnering with a platform dedicated to supporting goals

I’ve been with Our Place for just under three years. So I’ve been a part of the partnership from early on. I witnessed the evolution, and I can honestly say that we are in the best place that we have been since I started my tenure at Our Place. We have this open line of communication, and it feels like we’re really part of the road-mapping process, we’re informing each other’s respective roadmaps.

We have this open line of communication, and it feels like we’re really part of the road-mapping process, we’re informing each other’s respective roadmaps.

It’s great to have a voice and feel seen and heard by the Shopify team, especially because, as I mentioned, we’re such a lean team, and we’re building customizations within the Shopify ecosystem, so we feel supported.

Shaping Our Place’s roadmap

Shopify has been a constant throughout my tenure, and we’ve constantly been in dialogue with our merchant success manager on new features and how we can better improve what we’re doing, our infrastructure, and our tooling, and how we can just make things easier for all parts of the tech team.

The constant dialogue we have with Shopify has helped us inform our roadmap and the decisions that we’re making. So we can decide, do we want to build this in-house? Or is something coming down the line that Shopify is releasing that will help us improve on these features and the website?

The constant dialogue we have with Shopify has helped us inform our roadmap and the decisions that we’re making.

Scaling up from a lean team of one

I’m proud of our team’s growth. From beginning as a team of one to reaching our current size, we’ve significantly enhanced our internal processes and sprint planning—which we refer to as our ‘rituals.’ Our focus has been on increasing efficiency and simplifying tasks for everyone on the team.

Just last year, we launched an entirely new cart, upgraded to checkout extensibility, launched a new market in Australia with Shopify Markets, and released a new reviews module.

Just last year, we launched an entirely new cart, upgraded to checkout extensibility, launched a new market in Australia with Shopify Markets, and released a new reviews module.

Delivering better customer experiences by unifying in-store and online

We strive to put the customer first, and that’s what we’re there for. First and foremost, we’re a direct-to-consumer brand, so we take special care and attention and work closely with our customer experience team to ensure that customers can get what they need.

One central platform for everything

A unified shopping experience means that at different points of sale, there’s consistency. We are bridging that gap with a lot of hard work and communication across teams. Our customer experience, operations, data, wholesale, and project management teams are all working really hard to bridge the gap between our different channels.

Being on the same platform as the retail team makes it easier for me to discuss with my colleagues and ensure consistency and parity across channels.

Easy to use

When I started at Our Place, I didn’t have any experience working with the Shopify ecosystem. But I found it intuitive to use the platform. We worked with the initial merchant success manager at the time, and I found it pretty plug-and-play. Even though I have that technical background, I think it’s pretty administrative-friendly as well.

When I started at Our Place, I didn’t have any experience working with the Shopify ecosystem. But I found it intuitive to use the platform.

In-store experiences drive online sales

What differentiates the in-store experience from the online experience is our beautiful tablescapes set up in-store.

Customers can interact with, feel, and touch the product, see it in different lights, and imagine what it would be like in their homes.

We’ve realized that retail visits do translate into online sales, and about 1.5% of our online annual revenue in the US is attributed to customers who visit us in-store. So having physical stores increases brand awareness, and it allows us to reach customers where they are.

We’re creating events and pop-ups that enable our customers to experience Our Place differently. For example, Our Venice Beach location has an amazing outdoor space where we host community events, and it allows us to reach a wider audience in the Los Angeles community.

But it’s no easy feat. Online collections don’t always translate easily to in-store and vice versa. Ecommerce offers the convenience of free shipping and returns, all from the comfort of your own house. But the in-person experience offers an experience that’s tactile that you cannot get with images.

We encourage all team members to participate in retail shifts, allowing everyone involved in the business to gain firsthand experience working in our stores. This initiative ensures that everyone understands what happens at different points of sale.

Growth through meeting customers where they are

At Our Place, we’re redefining what cooking means, not just in the US but globally, by expanding into new markets.

Expanding internationally

Since our initial launch in the US, we’ve expanded into Canada and the UK within two years. Most recently, we launched in Australia last year.

Launching retail partnerships to reach a larger audience

We’ve launched two retail stores in our hometown of LA: Venice Beach and Melrose. On the retail side, we are in Bergdorf, Saks, Selfridges, and Liberty in London. We also launched our first mass retail partnership last year with Target.

We want to be an omnichannel brand so we can reach our customers where they are, and reach a larger audience.

Improving the checkout experience with checkout extensibility

Improving the customer checkout experience was a big priority for us, so we upgraded to Checkout Extensibility. We are now on single-page checkout, and so far, we’ve seen that it reduces friction in the checkout process.

Previously, our checkout was over three pages. Now it’s one page, and a single view for customers to choose their products and put in the shipping address.

We’re excited about the possibilities that Checkout Extensibility has for our team and how it will make checkout easier and streamlined. We can also add UI extensions and customizations and integrate third-party apps, such as our loyalty app.

We’re excited about the possibilities that Checkout Extensibility has for our team and how it will make checkout easier and streamlined.

Looking ahead: Streamlining the buying experience

On the digital product team, we’re excited about providing the best experience possible for customers. We want to ensure that the story comes through for each product and that customers understand them.

On the tech roadmap for this year, we are upgrading our error reporting system. We want to launch more A/B tests and update how discounts are handled on the site.

Our Place is only four years old, and we’ve already accomplished so much. We’ve expanded into new categories, into textiles and appliances, and created a voice for different cultures. I’m excited to see what it has to offer in the future. If we can accomplish that in four years, what can we do in another four and beyond?

What excites me most about the Shopify and Our Place relationship is just continuing to build that rapport and line of communication and inform each other of our respective roadmaps. We’re so excited about what the future holds for both Shopify and Our Place.

What excites me most about the Shopify and Our Place relationship is just continuing to build that rapport and line of communication and inform each other of our respective roadmaps.

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What business challenges are you dealing with? We can help. Get in touch