Day Owl had a mission to unlock subsecond load times while gaining more direct control to edit their storefront without developer assistance
Day Owl is building the first completely circular bag company. Day Owl builds its products from recycled landfill-bound materials, repairs and refurbishes them to keep them in circulation for multiple owners. When the bags are used up, Day Owl makes sure they become input materials for new bags.
Day Owl has always been a brand that pushes the envelope. Transitioning into a direct to consumer market in late 2019, they quickly scaled their Shopify ecommerce business to new heights and began exploring additional ways to unlock sustainable competitive advantages. Responsival was approached with a two part mission. First up, we were challenged to make the ecommerce experience lightning fast for customers. Secondly, we were tasked with unlocking new workflows for Day Owl to “own” their store’s design and introduce a level of self sufficiency that had not been realized previously on their Shopify Online Store.
When approached with the goal of subsecond load times, we immediately recognized the need for a headless commerce experience built on a React framework connected to Shopify via its Storefront API. In tandem with Day Owl’s request, Responsival had been developing a fully managed headless Shopify solution with a custom CMS called bl!nk. We developed Day Owl’s entire frontend experience using bl!nk to create an extremely fast storefront for customers.
Through this exercise, the Day Owl team was able to learn an easy-to-use CMS to support their second goal of achieving more direct control over their frontend and overall design.
The primary objective of going headless is typically centered around site speed. But, what if going headless could also lead to enhanced usability for the store merchant? That includes the creation of complex product pages, collection pages, making design changes on the fly, and more. These things were all top of mind for Day Owl as they wanted to make sure that the transition to a headless architecture meant more than just pure speed.
Our team of developers worked closely with Day Owl leadership to ensure that bl!nk’s CMS solution was powerful enough to support their goals of today, but also not limit them in any way going forward. In just a few hours, Responsival was able to teach Day Owl to navigate bl!nk, giving their team the ability to do more by themselves than with their previous Shopify setup. The Day Owl team continues to lean into Responsival support for the development of new functionality concepts, but is able to do far more on their own after making the transition to headless.
What good is an ecommerce store without all of your favorite integrations? Google Analytics, Reviews.io, Facebook Pixel, Hotjar, Attentive, and more are all staples in the Shopify community. Not only are these necessary for tracking, these integrations are also huge drivers of revenue. Shopify integrates with most everything natively at this point so merchants take for granted the ease of installation/maintenance of their favorite apps. Going headless, however, means that none of these things work automatically. bl!nk boasts an ever growing library of core commerce integrations so Day Owl was able to retain full functionality from their previous storefront in making the transition to headless. For the less common apps of Day Owl’s stack, such as ClickMagick, Responsival created custom integration workflows to support their requirements. In the end, Day Owl has not skipped a beat in terms of supplemental commerce functionality.
Going headless means you are required to host your frontend externally from Shopify’s core hosting offering. For the first time, Day Owl’s uptime and load balancing was controlled outside of Shopify's monolithic network. This is a scary concept. Shopify typically only goes down when half the internet is being impacted by a server outage. And whenever they do have a degradation in service, full functionality is restored swiftly. Exiting from that level of guarantee is not an easy pill to swallow. Fortunately, bl!nk is hosted on Vercel which is top of the line and extremely modern. Vercel’s environment management is excellent ensuring easy domain handling, one click SSL setup, branch control, and more. Since launch, Day Owl’s site has never experienced any downtime.
“Initially we made the investment to improve the load time of our website. We knew that we were losing customers when they tried to browse our products and were left with an awful spinning dial while waiting for our photos and information to load. Little did we know that by upgrading to blink from the Shopify Online Store customized themes, we would unlock new business strategies and capabilities that we never could have even dreamed of. We have FULL control and ultimate flexibility in designing the customer UX. In the past when we wanted to update our website for a new holiday season, we had to hand over a laundry list of items to our developer to push live and then go through several rounds of iterations to get what we wanted. It would take up to 2 weeks of work. With bl!nk, it took us 30 minutes to update the ENTIRE website for our holiday promotion. We changed hero assets, regrouped products for holiday bundles, added promotions to certain items and more in a matter of minutes. This efficiency and flexibility allows my merchandising and marketing teams to spend far more time thinking strategically and creatively about how to design the best customer experience rather than working within the constraints of shopify customized themes.”
- Sam Klein, COO Day Owl
Average Order Value
Day Owl has continued their partnership with Responsival through bl!nk. We work together to introduce new layered functionality into the CMS; and as a group, we continue to push the envelope of what is modern ecommerce. With more direct control over their new blazing fast storefront, the Responsival team is now unblocked from doing routine maintenance + quick changes to focus on breaking down the walls of what was previously possible in a standard commerce CMS.
"Transitioning to bl!nk was hands down the best decision I have made as a business leader... The growth opportunity for Day Owl with bl!nk truly feels endless!"
Sam Klein, COO Day Owl
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