Local Roots

Reimagining the future of food

Local Roots is a small but mighty mission-driven business connecting fellow New Yorkers with sustainable regional growers and purveyors. However, the upstart farm-to-kitchen darling was having trouble growing its business beyond their committed community. Partnering with Local Roots for over a year, UME worked from the inside-out to reimagine its business strategy and introduce smart automations and operations efficiencies. We clarified the brand’s positioning, its mission and why it matters. And then working from that solid foundation, we completely reimagined the web experience so Local Roots could attract and convert customers, engage first-time volunteers, foster community champions and grow beyond its base.


Grow from the Ground-Up

Local Roots approached UME to help them grow beyond their loyal community. Reviewing web analytics and business data, we saw an opportunity to increase site conversion, increase the average purchase size, and drive profitability. To verify our thinking, we went to the source and talked with longtime loyalists, new customers and potential customers. User testing verified that confusion contributed to site drop-off. What does Local Roots actually do? How does it work? Can I start in the middle of a season?Where do I pick up? These questions also showed up in the inboxes of the small Local Roots team. UME’s insight: before investing in marketing and customer acquisition, we first had to optimize the bottom of the funnel — the brand expression and web experience — and grow from the ground up.

Brand Positioning

Regenerative Revolution

The more you say, the less you communicate. The old Local Roots site was chock full of enthusiasm and information — but the message was getting lost. UME created a brand strategy that clarified Local Roots’ value proposition and gave the brand a more mature and professional polish, without losing its pluck and counterculture spirit.

UME helped us get our mission and impact across to people — translating something that’s multilayered and complex into a clear message that everyday people can understand and get excited about. Once people really understand what we're doing, they're like, “I'm ready! Let's eat vegetables!"

Camryn Hellwarth, Director of Programming & Community, local roots

Embracing E-Comm — Without Losing Community Vibes

Based on user testing insights and UX best practices, our team worked in sprints to completely reimagine the Local Roots web experience. The new site quickly engages users and explains exactly what Local Roots can do for them. Key products, determined as those most profitable by our business analysis, are featured for easy purchase. Users are guided through the shopping process using simple, easy steps. At the same time, the site educates and builds community without adding friction to the path to purchase. Engaging graphics inform users about the joys and natural limitations of seasonal eating, while fun fact bubbles with direct, everyday language explain complex sustainable standards. The site encourages deeper engagement with clear calls to action to volunteer, host office markets and bring Local Roots to your next event.


The Power of Partnership

Not only is it now more intuitive, informative and engaging, the new website is also driving more sales and freeing up more time for the core team. Since the new brand and website launched, Local Roots saw site conversions increase by 43% year-over-year and average order values jump 17% year-over-year. Having this foundation in place was essential in their ability to respond to COVID-19 with creativity and resilience. Additionally, the number of people applying to volunteer with Local Roots doubled.

If we had not made all these structural and design changes to our e-commerce platform before COVID-19 hit, we wouldn't have been able to manage the increase in sales and customers. Having that solid foundation already in place was key to being able to stay open during the pandemic, and actually thrive. Our website was operating so efficiently that it gave us back the time we needed to invest in pivoting our model to accommodate more deliveries.

Camryn Hellwarth, Director of Programming & Community, local roots

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