Conservatory Archives

Growing an online plant business on Shopify.

Services Used


Sowing the seeds for growing an online plant business.

Conservatory Archives provides a huge variety of exotic plants for retail and interior design clients throughout the UK. The management team felt that they had outgrown their old Squarespace CMS and needed a site that better reflected the brand and the way their customers wanted to shop. They naturally choose Shopify to give them that flexibility.


Their internal design team had started the process, outlining the design styling and building a few pages. At this point they realised that they needed some professional development help to get the theme to match their designs and to deliver the functional requirements that they needed.


‘Taxonomy’ categorisation

One of the seemingly simpler features was having a proper ‘breadcrumb’ trail of the plant’s latin name allowing customers to easily find related plants, so they might see something like ‘Cactaceae → Melocactus → Melocactus matanzanus’ on a product detail page.

The problem with this is that Shopify doesn’t have subcategories in this way, it only has a single level of products. So what we did was create a ‘taxonomy’ menu in the admin where staff could build collections for each of the levels, and then using the drag-and-drop menu system, visually build that hierarchy. The website finds the relevant collection for a product, and then moves back up that menu to find the full hierarchy and displays it to the customer. It means a nice visual system for the site admins to use, and just works the way a customer would expect it to.

Recommended Products

Another feature we added was recommending planters to accompany the plants. The difficulty here was that plants can be ordered in different sizes, so they would require different size planters. We came up with a system that made it manageable from the admin to assign different size planters to a collection and these could then be automatically linked to the different sizes available as options on the plant. As the customer changes the plant size option, the planters are updated to show a range that matches that plant size, keeping everything as helpful and intuitive as possible.


Something else that Conservatory Archives asked us about implementing was adding an upsell for ‘hydroleca’ - the clay pebbles that can be added to the planters to aid drainage. We devised a system whereby certain products could be identified as having the upsell, and then a box can be ticked by the customer to automatically add that to their order. Although it’s added as a separate item in the order, it’s all nicely bundled up in the cart review page so the customer can see their order as they’d expect to see it.

Extending Attributes for improved filtering

One of the major issues on a site like this is the customer finding the right plant for their environment as there are so many factors to consider. Conservatory Archives had already decided on the popular Boost Search & Filter app to help with this, and we configured it to get the best outcome, enabling the customer to select from a range of options such as pot size, plant height, light levels available and leaf shape to quickly find the perfect plant.

Data Migration

Migrating from Squarespace was simplified by the product data coming from Vend, their POS management software, so we integrated this to allow a seamless transition to the new platform with minimal manual input.


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