E-commerce case study

Manufacturers & Distributors

Brand case study: Bringing century-old brick-and-mortar online without breaking the brand

Mast General Store has done the seemingly impossible. They thrived through world wars, depressions, and ownership changes. They almost single-handedly kept the identity of a small mountain community alive during a period when not even the United States Postal Service recognized it. We were tasked with bringing the Mast brick-and-mortar experience online. Read how in the brand case study below.

increase in out-of-region traffic


increase in online revenue


increase in total time onsite


Develop a website that gives viewers a rich Mast branded experience

After an extensive discovery process, we set out to build an e-commerce website that conveys Mast’s brand identity as not only a great place to buy well-made goods, but a community hub and tourist destination. Mast needed to transfer that carefully crafted and distinctively authentic in-store experience to an e-commerce platform that would leave customers feeling as if they’d just walked the creaky plank floors of the original store in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

Immersion in all five senses

At Ntara, we connect brands with customers, so from the start we dive deep into the brand/customer relationship. To get to know their team and culture, we brought 18 members of their leadership team to our offices for brainstorming and team building exercises. Our team visited the Mast stores in person, spending many hours talking to employees and customers about just what it is that makes Mast so special. We utilized a wealth of original photography and textures from the brick-and-mortar stores. To make Mast a community hub online, just as they are in their physical towns, writers detailed the rich history of not only the stores, but of the towns and cities which they strengthen. Each store has its own local events calendar, keeping the communities connected in true general store fashion. This is all done in the voice of the fictional Francine, the Matriarch of Mast. She is “kind, warm, genuine, and whip-smart.” The solution included a responsive website, fully integrated with inventory and point of sale (POS) systems, successfully bridging the “click and mortar” gap.

39.4 percent increase in brand awareness

The Mast online presence has become a tourist destination, just like their brick-and-mortar stores.  Since the new site launch, they’ve seen a jump in out-of-region traffic.

  • Increase out of region traffic by 25%
  • 53% increase in online revenue
  • 39.4% increase in total time onsite

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