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Milk Bottle Labs success stories: Wardrobe Plus

Over the past two decades, Aine O’Leary has built a successful plus-sized clothing business with the help of dedicated staff, loyal customers and frequent social media use and promotion. As the retail world evolves, there comes an important need to for good e-commerce and an authoritative website. Achieving this as a lone business can be hard, but with the help of web developers and Shopify experts such as Milk Bottle Labs, it doesn’t need to be a minefield.

We spoke to Aine about the success of her business, her e-commerce journey, and how Milk Bottle Labs were an integral part of building their online presence.

The First Steps in the E-Commerce Journey

Around 20 years ago, Aine O’Leary opened up a small boutique, providing fashionable clothing that catered to women sized eight to 16. However, when women of larger sizes visited her store, she found that she had nothing for them. 

“There was only one plus-sized shop in the town I lived in,” Aine says. “Probably the only one south of Dublin for quite some distance.”

Aine then started selling size 18 clothing and began advertising the new stock on social media. Soon enough, the products began to sell quickly, not only due to a shortage of plus-sized clothing, but because the items were stylish and well made. This is when Wardrobe Plus was born.

This was my mission; trendy, well-priced and well-made clothing.”

Aine recognised the importance of social media for advertising her plus-sized clothing collection, but soon realised it was time for a new venture; a functional, easy-to-navigate website.

We actually made our first attempt at e-commerce about seven years ago, and it was a disaster” Aine recounts. “The back-end was really cumbersome, it didn’t look nice, it was hard to update and it didn’t function well.”

In 2018, Aine’s son made Wardrobe Plus a new website, which looked and functioned much better, and provided a decent base for customers to visit when the Covid pandemic hit. Aine relied heavily on social media to drive traffic to the site, and loyal customers flocked to the website when they couldn’t visit the store physically. However, Aine knew that more needed to be done to help improve her business’s online presence. This is where Milk Bottle Labs came in.

Aine O’Leary, Wardrobe Plus, Owner

“The store website is now much more user friendly for the team, and it’s quick,” Aine says. “Three years ago, the site looked very homemade. It now looks like the professionals have done it.”

Overcoming challenges with Milk Bottle Labs

Once Aine made the decision to improve her e-commerce credibility, she applied for the Enterprise Ireland grant and started looking for quotes from businesses who would help her build her new website, and they all recommended Shopify.

I rang Milk Bottle Labs, and they were so friendly,” Aine tells us. “They had made some great websites and I liked the vibe on the call. So, I thought, ‘if I get the grant, I’ll pick them,’ and that’s what I did.”

Wardrobe Plus already had brand guidelines and a graphic designer to hand, so they already had plenty for Milk Bottle Labs to work with, and they worked together perfectly. Aine details that, from the start, Shopify was easy to navigate, simple to update, and provided her website with the most important element; functionality.

The biggest positive is functionality, it really is. Having a choice of apps to increase the functionality wherever we need it has been a massive bonus. It makes the user experience much a nicer and more straightforward.”

Milk Bottle Labs helped Aine implement and integrate these functional necessities onto the Wardrobe Plus site, including Kalviyo, which she describes as a “phenomenal” addition.

Klaviyo has been very strong for us,” Aine says. “Milk Bottle Labs audit it once a year and add in some new flows and we use that then for weekly campaigns.” 

From the start, Milk Bottle Labs displayed their expertise and friendly nature to finally create a website for Wardrobe Plus that was functional, easy to use and a back-end that was simple and understandable. To find out how they could help your business set up a Shopify site or Klaviyo account, get in touch with their expert web developers today.

The benefits of a functional website

Frequently, Aine mentioned how important functionality was, not just to her and her business, but to her customers and their experience on her website. 

“Milk Bottle Labs recommended lots of functional apps. When I would look for functionality, say, for managing the printing of our orders, they chose what app to use straight away because they knew what worked best, they didn’t even ask us, they just said ‘this is the app for you.’

“So, they launched our website, and they customised maybe a dozen apps or more.”

As well as being fundamental to helping Aine improve her website’s functionality, they also helped her online business thrive.

Our returning customer rate has definitely improved,” Aine tells us. “The tracking of data is also much better on Shopify.” 

With Milk Bottle Labs and Shopify, Wardrobe Plus now have “better eyes” on their metrics, stats, conversion rate and average order value, and their online traffic has improved. Milk Bottle Labs even helped Wardrobe Plus move to Shopify 2.0, with better visuals and navigation that is easily customisable.

The website is now much more user friendly for the team, and it’s quick,” Aine says. “Three years ago, the site looked very homemade. It now looks like the professionals have done it.”

Aine also discusses the benefits of an easy-to-navigate website, which has been easy to implement and achieve with the help of Milk Bottle Labs and their expert team. This means that Wardrobe Plus’s customers can access what they want in a more efficient way, which keeps customers from falling away and keeps them engaged with the site for longer.

Overall, Milk Bottle Labs have taken Aine’s website from cluttered and clunky to functional and navigational, providing a better user experience for her customers and a better understanding of the business’s online stats for her team.

Work with Milk Bottle Labs today

As well as helping build the site, making it mobile friendly and integrating incredibly useful apps, Aine says she finds the Milk Bottle Labs team “very supportive, extremely friendly and very capable.”

No problem is too much,” she says. “If we have an issue, we just call them and we brainstorm and we see how we can fix it. They’re very responsive and they take their time helping us solve the issue.”

Since working with Milk Bottle Labs, Wardrobe Plus has seen a growth in returning customers, and now have a much easier-to-use website that Aine and her team are proud of.

“I couldn’t recommend them highly enough,” she tells us. “We’re very happy dealing with them, and we wouldn’t have gone to anyone else. 

“I think it’s really nice when you get somebody that looks after you as a customer. I feel really looked after. We have a much stronger and more functional site since we started working with Milk Bottle Labs.”

If you would like to improve your website, important e-commerce stats and online presence like Wardrobe Plus.

Get in touch with Milk Bottle Labs today for a quote.