Surprise! Welcome to the all new and improved Sealy MacWheely website!
This change has been a long time coming but as you can probably imagine it’s not a small job and has been pushed back over the last few months until I had the mental and emotional capacity to handle such a massive revamp.
I am super proud of how the new site is looking but as with anything new or tech-related there are always going to be minor teething problems and questions that arise through usage. Although the website has been fully beta tested by a cohort of friends, family members and regular customers it doesn’t make the site infallible and by all means if you do discover any unusual glitches be sure to get in touch and let me know. If it is something that can be fixed I will do my very best to try but please do not overestimate my ability to code!
I thought it might be best to run through a few of the exciting features that you will find whilst browsing the snazzy new website so settle down with a cuppa and relax for five minutes while you take it all in:
Two-Finger Tap to Open
One of the sleekest elements of the new home page is the swipe to view products section when viewing the shop on mobile devices - tablets, laptops and desktops get a different magic menu which is just as sleek and pretty but more obvious to navigate. Now, I love the way it works but I have to admit that even I found it a bit weird to use at first (and I worked tech support for nearly five years in a previous life!).
Rather than swiping to magically reveal the hidden products simply tap on the image with two fingers and then swipe left or right to switch between collections.
Here is a wee video to explain what I mean:
Online Shop Menu
You may have noticed already that the shop has not one but two menu systems. The main menu at the top left of your screen is your go-to access for booking in-store appointments, reading my new (and more concise) About page and access to the blog.
Although this menu does direct you to the online shop I personally found it cumbersome to work with and hence I added the second floating menu which leads you straight to the goodies! This floating menu will appear on every page of the website in the bottom right corner and opens a sliding menu along the left side of your screen.
In both menus you will see a search tool, this is not only useful for searching for blog posts or pages but now also includes all products available in the online shop. You can search by name, maker, yarn weight or gauge and fibre content (amongst other things) to help you find what you’re looking for.
Wanting to use contrasting colourways in a project or just can’t work out which skein you like most, well now you have the option to compare up to four products at a time to help make your decision process easier!
Underneath every product you will see a tick box with ‘add to compare’ - if you go ahead and tap it a pop up will appear on the screen showing you your selected products with their photos, descriptions and price with the ability to add to your cart directly so you don’t have to remember where you found them all!
This pop up will remain on the screen if you leave the page and can be accessed across the whole site so no need to panic if you leave the online shop accidentally!
The last of the floating buttons (found on the bottom left of your screen) features an all-new loyalty system! Although I have run an in-shop loyalty card since I opened doors in October 2018, until now there was no way for me to reward my wonderful online customers for their support which I always felt was unfair...
Well, equality has now been restored! Loyalty points will now be rewarded irrespective of method of purchasing and you can earn 5 points for every £1 spent at Sealy MacWheely. Save up your points and exchange them for gift vouchers worth either £5 or £10 which can be used at checkout.
If that wasn’t enough I have also teamed up with Ecologi to help offset the carbon emissions from your order and fight climate change one purchase at a time... For every order you make, either in shop or online, Ecologi will plant a tree in conjunction with the Eden Project. Not only does this help tackle the ongoing climate emergency but also supports communities affected by deforestation, extreme poverty and the direct effects of climate change by employing local villagers to plant and take care of the trees provided. Find out more about how this project works and the amazing work that they are doing around the world at ecologi.com
If you want to keep tabs on how the Sealy MacWheely forest is growing, head to the bottom of any page of my website to check out how many trees have been planted using the Ecologi counter (updated daily) or give it a wee tap to see how they are getting on!
At last I finally have a system which allows for gift certificates to be used both in shop and online, no more having to choose in advance! It seems like such a minor issue but it has honestly been one of my biggest gripes over the last two years as until now I was unable to find a system which worked with both the physical shop and online.
Gift certificates are sent via email and contain a code that can be entered at the checkout or redeemed in person. If you would prefer a physical gift voucher get in touch and this can also be arranged (P&P £1.50)
If, like me, you are susceptible to migraines and are no longer comfortable accessing patterns through Ravelry following their own website update you are in luck. My own knitting patterns are now available online on my own website for immediate download, sent to your email address after purchase.
That’s right, you now have the ability to review your purchases directly on the website. Suck on that, Amazon!
Appointment Booking System
Since reopening from Lockdown 1.0 in August I have been running the shop on an appointment-preferred basis. Whilst the pandemic is ongoing this system will continue, albeit with a slight facelift. You can book your in shop appointment via the main menu which will be confirmed by email and can be added to your phone's calendar if you need to set any reminders.
This system will hopefully be converted to use as a booking form for one-to-one tuition as and when normality resumes and I can go back to teaching spinning again!
In Store Pickup
Talking about the pandemic, did you know that in store pickup is also an option for my local customers? During lockdowns this becomes kerbside pickup and allows you to come and fetch your purchases in person if you'd prefer to do so.
In the likely event of the shop having to close again for another lockdown choose 'pick up from shop' in lieu of shipping at the checkout. When you receive your confirmation email that your order has been fulfilled head to the booking form in the main menu and choose a pick up time that best suits your needs.
If you have any further questions about kerbside pickup please do not hesitate to get in touch via the contact me page.
Buy Now Pay Later
One feature that I do not currently offer but am looking into is an automated Buy Now Pay Later option. This would allow you to spread the cost of your purchases (great for larger items such as spinning wheels and looms or jumper quantity yarn orders) into more manageable chunks over a longer period of time.
The systems that I am currently exploring involve credit checks and agreements but unlike my previous Ashford Purchase Plan would allow you to receive your goodies immediately after you have paid your initial deposit rather than once the full cost has been paid up.
Please let me know if this is something that you would be interested in as it would be a large investment on my part to install and maintain and I need to gauge interest in advance before making any decisions on the subject.
And there we have it! I hope you love the new website as much as I do - let me know if there is anything else you wish to see and I shall try my best to implement it!