Shopify store development — VocalMist case study

5 min readMar 5, 2021

Product and business

VocalMist is a nebulizer that helps singers and voice professionals to support their vocal health. The nebulizer comes with a specially-designed VocalMist Hydration Formula, available in packs starting from 24 units and intended for regular use.

From the business point of view, it’s quite a unique case with a specific monetization strategy, where selling the flagship product is just the first step of interaction with the customer. The main source of income comes from refill packs with several subscription options available.

Challenges and solutions

Regarding promotion, SEO wasn’t an option because the website is relatively small; and running Facebook or Google Ads was restricted because the nebulizer is a healthcare-related product unlikely to pass moderation. That’s why some of the challenges the business faced were quite specific and impossible to solve out-of-the-box.

Challenge: Unclear website navigation

According to the owner’s own words, the store was designed “piecemeal from basic themes on Shopify and ended up quite convoluted and clunky”. Without a logical structure, it wasn’t clear to the customer which products were presented, how to buy them, and what was needed to efficiently use the nebulizer later.


In eCommerce, it all starts with a quality user experience. To make the online store perform its main function, we:

  • Redesigned the customer journey from the homepage to the final check out, and made the website navigation clear, simple, and intuitive
  • Clearly presented the flagship product, its features, and how to use it — with special focus on the importance of the refill packs
  • Described all available subscription options to make it clear for customers on how to get the most out of the product
  • Conducted a one-time SEO optimization to make the website display more prominently in search engine results
  • Redesigned the website to make it more visually appealing


After the implementation of the first stage, the client received a structured and effective online store with a clear customer journey focused on sales, essential for promoting the product via influencers and word-of-mouth advertising.

Challenge: Missing out on subscriptions

Another problem our client faced was that customers were mostly buying the flagship product (the nebulizer itself) and not the subscription packs, which was the main long-term business goal.

Customers benefit from both of these options, as in both cases they would have the required 24 units per month. The only difference between these two options is the delivery frequency; shipping and delivery with the second option would cost half as much for the business.

So the tasks for this stage were clear: to attract customers’ attention to the subscription plans, and motivate them to buy the two-month subscription option.


To accomplish this, we integrated a customized popup message which appeared when the customer adds the first subscription option (24 units per month) to their cart. The message offers a discount for the second subscription (48 units per 2 months) and motivates customers to choose it over the first one.

Although these kinds of popups are common in eCommerce and are available within the default settings of basically any theme, there was the difference. In a standard popup, after the customer adds the promoted option to the cart, two products appeared together on the checkout page: the product which was chosen first (A) and the one added from the popup (B). In this case, customers needed to delete option A manually, and only after that complete the purchase. This way the number of steps before the checkout increased, which resulted in subsequent customer loss.

To prevent this, we developed the functionality which deletes product A if product B is added from the popup. It’s done automatically on the back end, so customers did not need to delete anything manually, and the checkout process remains as smooth as possible.

Also, the popup had to be integrated with a third-party subscription app to show all available delivery options in the popup.


The popup development didn’t involve custom app solutions; everything was implemented on the theme level. All settings are available via theme customizer, so it’s possible to set up and change anything at any time from the Shopify admin panel, with no coding required.

Challenge: No required delivery settings

Regular delivery of the refill packs was available only within the U.S., but it wasn’t possible to restrict users from other countries from ordering subscriptions. So we needed to show the subscription options to customers from the U.S. and hide them from others, still providing them the possibility
to buy the main product.


The only way to do this was to integrate custom functionality builds around the Shopify subscription app that our client was using. We added the script to check customers’ geolocation, and if the country of origin was the U.S., all subscription options were made available. For all other countries, these subscription options were hidden.

Also, in case our client would like to expand the delivery area, we made it a completely future-proof solution, because this functionality is controlled from the settings. The client just needs to choose from the dropdown menu the countries they would like to deliver to.


The client got the flexible and easy-to-use settings that were impossible to integrate out of the box or find in other apps.

Challenge and solution: Unwanted elements

Finally, there were some improvements, such as the removal of the “Buy Now” button from the product card, and other minor fixes. We easily implemented them too to polish off the project.


To sum it all up, nothing can describe the results of the work better
than the feedback from the owner:

Originally published at




A team of Shopify professionals, sharing the insights from a decade of Shopify hands-on experience.