Kelly Choi’s personal story is incredibly inspiring - born in Korea, working in a factory from 14 to fund her education, her love of Japanese culture which led to a business relationship with Itamae-san Yamamoto, it’s a cinematic story.

The brief

The strategy

The process

The results

Kelly Loves had a very clear set of project objectives for their new website, they were:

  • To elevate the brand experience, and showcase Kelly’s story and credibility to engage new visitors.
  • To improve the customer shopping experience, both for novices and Asian food experts - focusing on conversion rate, time on site and cross-sells/AOV.
  • To encourage more customers to become members of their subscription service.
  • To increase site speed and performance - both perceived and against Google’s Core Web Vitals requirements.
  • To ensure the site would be easy to scale and easier to implement new innovations on in future.
  • To ensure that the site’s code-base was streamlined and efficient to allow for easy rollout of expansion stores.

Prior to attempting to cater to these objectives, however, the project was split into ‘epics’ on JIRA, beginning with a discovery stage which aimed to organise and turn these desires into a statement of work.

It’s during this process that we began to find approaches and possibilities that the client hadn’t considered - which we brought to their attention as we prepared the SOW and organised the project.

This SOW detailed everything we thought would make their project objectives a reality - including an approach to products and categories that drew on our decades of collective ecommerce experience.

The move to Shopify Plus allowed us to take advantage of several OS 2.0 developments - such as the improved functionality of metafields which allowed us to improve sorting, recommended products and recommended reading - while these were parts of the build we knew we could implement to provide the best UX, the build also gave us the chance to recommend a wishlist app to encourage repeat interactions.

The site has been designed to reflect the friendly and personable nature of the brand asset (the illustration) and this is emphasised by everything from the soft, pastel colour palette to the font selection (Avenir Condensed, sans-serif). It aims to be simple to use from first click to purchase (and subscription), including informative category pages with ‘add to basket options’.

It also aims to remove all barriers to purchase by providing quick and intuitive navigation, additional information wherever possible, a ‘find the right product’ quiz which aims to allow users to quickly find products to their taste, it is searchable by product names, but also by metafields (such as the above ‘vegan’ and ‘palm oil free’) allowing them to shop according to ethical and dietary choices as well as by taste.

As stated, Kelly Loves wanted the site to win over not just asian food experts, but also novices, and the way we’ve attempted to do that through design is by always providing as much information to the end user as possible – both in relation to the products and to the wider world of asian food (as with the related blogs by metafields etc.).

We made full use of aspects of open stores 2.0 (Shopify 2.0) to allow the client greater creative freedom (sections everywhere) and to make the site more useful and user friendly regardless of a user’s familiarity with the product (metafields and metaobjects), the real aim was to ensure that the new Kelly Loves website was best in class.

This, in itself, has ensured it stands out from the market – which is still, typically, employing few of the os2.0 functions and features and, where they are, tend not to use them to their full capabilities.

Implementation and creativity were both aided by open and clear lines of communication with the client – we ensured that they were consistently kept up to date with progress and designs were frequently reviewed.

By maintaining a structured workflow, we ensured the project was always running to schedule, always meeting client needs and never veered from objectives through miscommunication.

As for conversion – though the brand is relatively new to the UK and offers products that would not be considered typical for most UK households, the site’s conversion rates have been fantastic:

  • 1.8% conversion of all users that viewed a product
  • 19% conversion from all users that added a product to the basket
  • 42% conversion of all users that began the checkout process

In addition, though we must also credit the brand’s incredible products, the site has seen the following YoY financial results:


increase in sales revenue.


increase in online store sessions.


increase in total orders.


increase in returning customers.

For more than a decade, Kelly has pursued her mission to bring the best of Asian food to the world.

Kelly Loves' amazing branding and illustration done by Without Studio.

Visit Site

"Working with the Velstar team on the build and launch of the new Kelly Loves website was a joy. Communication from the team from start through to aftercare has been excellent. They took the time to understand our brand vision and our ambition for the site, which resulted in an outstanding delivery of both design, build and launch. It's the little details and considerations that they've baked into the build, without request, that is the most impressive and truly shows the quality of their work and depth of knowledge of the platform."

Danny Lezer,
Ecommerce Manager, Kelly Loves