When you look at Hale Groves, it seems like a website dedicated to selling fruit. A simple enough premise, but behind it is the long history of the business and a strong focus on customer service. Combined with a fancy blog and some equally fancy fruit related offers, it creates a unique and fresh user experience. It is worth noting, however, that they only ship to the USA and some Canadian provinces.
The Company Backstory
Like most great things, Hale Grove had a humble origin. In fact, it started with two men, a roadside fruit stand, and a dream. Back in 1947 they started selling fruit and over time their outfit has grown and they opened a retail store. With the dawn of the digital era, they have decided to move on to the next step in their business’ evolution and have become the leading gift fruit shipper in the Florida region.
Hales Grove Website Overview
The home page is vibrant and colorful and quite a few elements catch the eye. The first one is a huge window with some nifty offers – like a code you can redeem that would grant you a discount towards your purchase. You can also check a few other offers out on it. Above it, there are categories with some of the products that Hale Grove sells. These are fruit, fruit baskets and boxes, monthly box subscriptions, stuff for holidays and special occasions, gourmet and business gifts, and, with bold orange lettering, sales. Mouse over any of them and you can see the products in that category and some of their prices. For the subscription service, they even show you their available plans – 3, 5 and 8 months for the citrus lovers club, the all-season fruit club and the holiday fruit club offers. More on these offers later.
The home page also has another category section, under the one mentioned above. It divides the fruits into categories, like oranges, grapefruits, etc. It also has the gift cards section. When you click on a type of fruit in this menu it shows you its price and also if it is included in some fruit box offer. There is also a short article that gives some more details on the fruit, different kinds of it, and some basic info on how it’s produced. In general, all of Hale Grove’s fruit is harvested by hand.
On top of the home page, you can see a search bar, as well as some account management options – basic stuff like logging in or out and tracking your packages, as well as a gift list. You can also review the prices of the products in your cart.
Scrolling down on the page, you can also find some background information on where the fruit is grown, as well as how it’s picked and how the company ensures the product’s quality. On the right, you can see the Hale Groves blog, where one can get a lot of useful information. It has advice on how long certain fruit is good for, recipes with all sorts of fruit, and advice on what fruit to pick on which occasion.
Another element on the home page that deserves a mention is the option to sign up for their mailing list. This is entirely voluntary and gives you access to Hale Groves’ newsletter, which contains information on when specific fruits are in season and can be shipped. By subscribing to it you also get exclusive coupons for discounts.
On the bottom right there is also the option to get a paper catalog of the company’s inventory. You can do that by filling out your name and address. Note that the catalogs are only delivered in the USA and Canada, just like their fruit.
Finally, at the very bottom of the page, there is a useful and easy to use the menu, that lets you review all their products once again – fruit baskets, gift baskets etc. It also leads to a section of the page with all sorts of fruit videos – they showcase the excellent quality that Hale Grove offers.
The next link is the Fruit Calendar – it tells you which fruit is available in which month and is quite useful for the savvy customer. In the same menu, you can also view the catalog I mentioned above. The catalog itself is very descriptive and pleasant to look at.
Hale Groves prides itself on its customer service, and with good reason. In the same menu at the bottom, there is an extensive section dedicated to it. It starts with a very useful FAQ that should answer every question one would have on the shipping – how much it costs, where they ship to, how long it takes for the package to arrive. It also gives detailed information on how much fruit there is in a single tray.
There is also a detailed “About Us” section. You can learn more about the company’s story, its goals, and ambitions. You can browse customer reviews in that section and join an affiliate program. It also has a nice site map, which contains all the useful info in a very minimalist manner.
The Hale Groves’ Blog
With the main page examined, let’s take a look at the blog. It is organized in a series of short articles, which are very light and readable. The articles contain recipes, useful tips, and tricks.
For example, how to buy mangos, and even a look into the grove itself. The recipes are varied and range from jam recipes to an article on how to prepare an orange peel fruit mask. The most interesting section of the site, however, is without a doubt the Groves Update. It is a monthly blog post that shows the fruit growing process and the quality control that Hale Groves undergoes. There is a lot of interesting facts to learn from these posts as well, for example, that the navel on orange is actually a smaller orange that grows into the fruit itself.
In conclusion, with its easy to navigate and pleasant on the eyes design, the Hale Groves website is made with the customer in mind. It also contains loads of useful information and even if you do not end up buying anything you will know a bit more about fruit in the end.
The meticulously crafted page just shows their attitude towards business – they put in a lot of effort and make it fun while trying to sell their products.