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Case Study: The New Ecommerce Tech Stack Powering Silk Oil of Morocco’s Revenue Growth

Tired of struggling with WordPress woes, Aussie hair and beauty brand Silk Oil of Morocco enlisted Swanky to create them a beautiful new store on Shopify Plus, complete with future-proofed ecommerce tech stack. Here’s the story of how we did it, along with the impact seen just three months on from launch.

Written By
Hannah Smiddy

Silk Oil of Morocco: Brand overview

Founded in a home garage in Brisbane in 2002, Silk Oil of Morocco has blossomed into an internationally-recognised beauty and cosmetics empire. Despite its global success, the brand remains passionately run by a family team, all dedicated to creating accessible, effective, cruelty-free products that bring luxury, joy and empowerment to their customers.

The brand’s primary customer base is made up of approximately 5,000 trade ambassadors, like salons and beauticians. These ambassadors are a mix of general business account holders and multi-level marketers. Silk Oil also sells to international and domestic distributors, as well as direct to individual consumers.

The challenge: Overcoming manual data management

Before enlisting Swanky’s ecommerce services, the Silk Oil team were battling with a challenging WordPress website and several manual back-end data management processes. Customer orders would be placed on WooCommerce, then manually transferred to the MYOB ERP system in order to track inventory, ORACLE to track affiliate revenue and commissions, and Shippit for fulfilment.

Having several independent systems with almost no automation between them was creating a significant amount of admin work, not to mention taking away any chance of a single customer view and coordinated marketing efforts.

Their WordPress store also offered both consumer and business-level access, which caused an untidy infrastructure due to WordPress’ limited capabilities.

The solution: An ecommerce makeover with brand new tech stack

We migrated Silk to Shopify Plus in September 2021 – just in time for the run-up to the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend and Christmas. 

 

Why Shopify Plus? We asked Swanky’s Oscar Thomas, the Project Manager working with Silk Oil, what some of the primary benefits of the Plus platform are:

“Shopify Plus is a great fit for a fast-growing international brand like Silk Oil. It will gift them the flexibility and scalability they need to meet their growing ecommerce ambitions.

“One of the biggest benefits of the platform is the automation that it allows. We implemented over 50 Shopify Flows to better automate Silk Oil’s business customers’ processes, as well as Launchpad for scheduling theme launches for large sale events throughout the year. These automation tools will save the team time and money, allowing them to focus on growing their business even further.”

 

A unique experience for each type of user

The Swanky team designed and built an upgraded all-in-one storefront for all of Silk Oil’s customers, whether individual shoppers or trade account holders, to use and enjoy.

“Silk Oil’s wholesale customers can browse the site and enjoy the experience just like D2C consumers – without the dull wholesale interface that’s so often presented to trade customers.”

– Oscar Thomas, Project Manager at Swanky

The site uses Shopify Plus’ tagging functionality to display custom pricing for different types of users. This provides a much more customised buying journey for each customer type, with relevant pricing and shipping rates being displayed from the moment they log into the store.

 

Storytelling through design

When it came to the design phase of the project, it was important for the Silk Oil team that their new site reflect their brand and what makes it special: their commitment to natural ingredients and cruelty-free products, their success as a family-run business, their loyal brand community, and their premium, professional-grade products.

Our design team weaved these aspects of Silk Oil’s brand ethos throughout the site, using elements like full-width imagery, video and iconography to support visual storytelling.

“We wanted to create an enjoyable discovery experience for users – one way we did this was to leverage imagery, movement and animation across the site. Not only does this make the store visually appealing, it creates a fun, immersive experience that encourages connection and engagement with Silk Oil as a brand,” explains Yoko Tomishima, UX/UI Designer at Swanky.

 

 

Just like the Silk Oil brand, the site is modern and stylish, yet fun and inviting.

Discussing the use of design elements to showcase the brand’s green ethos, Yoko said:

“In order to reflect Silk Oil’s commitment to using naturally-derived, organic ingredients, we chose friendly and clean typography along with natural colours.”

 

An optimised digital toolbox

Behind the scenes of Silk Oil’s brand new Shopify Plus store is a future-proofed ecommerce tech stack, optimised for rapid digital growth. Each app in their new digital toolbox integrates seamlessly with the rest, ensuring a joined-up ecosystem that benefits both customers and the Silk Oil team.

Let’s find out a bit more about the apps in their ecommerce tech stack:

LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion powers the Silk VIP Beauty Club, a tiered loyalty program which rewards shoppers with points for completing activities like making a purchase, leaving a review, following the brand on social media, or referring a friend. These points can then be used to pay for products at checkout. Members also receive program perks like first notice on sales and launches, as well as free shipping vouchers when they reach each level.

Tiered loyalty programs like this one are a great way to entice customers to purchase from you again and again, each time earning points and getting closer to unlocking a reward. They keep customers engaged and encourage them to spend their money with you rather than a competitor – key for your retention metrics. Read more about how to leverage tiered loyalty programs and check out an example here.

GoAffPro

Silk Oil’s trade account holders and sales affiliates use popular solution GoAffPro to recruit affiliates as part of their team and sell to their own customers via their affiliate URLs, which attributes commission to their accounts.

Okendo

Okendo captures and displays detailed customer reviews – just like the example below from the Silk Oil site. Being able to view information about previous buyers’ age, skin concerns, skin type etc. along with their reviews allows users to get a better understanding of whether a product will work for them – increasing consumer confidence and driving conversions.

Searchspring

The Silk Oil site leverages Searchspring to create a fast and effortless online shopping experience. With optimised site search, an autocomplete function, collection page merchandising and personalised recommendations, people can find exactly what they’re looking for in a matter of clicks – particularly important on sites like this with such a wide selection of products across a range of categories.

Find out more about the benefits of an optimised site search over on our blog.

Dotdigital

One of the leading cross-channel marketing automation platforms on the market, Dotdigital enables Silk Oil’s marketing team to deliver personalised, automised communications across the customer journey.

Rise.ai

Silk Oil use Rise.ai to power gift card purchasing, personalisation of gifts and store credit. They have been able to create a sleek gift card product page, with a straightforward process for customers to design and send gift cards to lucky recipients.

Wishlist Plus

This popular Shopify app enables Silk’s customers to add their favourite items to a wishlist – and they don’t need to be logged in to do it! Plus, it allows the Silk marketing team to run personalised marketing campaigns based on wishlist activity.

The results

Just three months on from launch, and the impact of Silk Oil’s new Shopify Plus site is already being felt amongst the team there.

“Everything is working so much better. We’re allowed more freedom when customising our site and all the integrations make processes more efficient.” 

– Shirley Piscina, Founder & CEO of Silk Oil.

The early results speak for themselves and show just how important an effective ecommerce tech stack is when looking to positively impact revenue and conversion rates.

Comparing data from November 2021 to October 2021:

  • 59% increase in revenue month-on-month
  • 15% increase in conversion rate month-on-month

What’s next for Silk Oil of Morocco?

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Silk Oil team, providing a bespoke ecommerce management service that handles their customer acquisition and retention, whilst developing long-term strategies to increase revenue and strengthen their position in the marketplace.

We can’t wait to see where our collaboration with Shirley and the rest of the team takes us!

Migrate to Shopify Plus with Swanky

Looking for a new start on Shopify Plus? Need an agency to guide the way and advise on the ecommerce tech stack that’s right for your business? Look no further.

With over a decade of industry experience under our belt, we know ecommerce technology inside and out. Talk to one of our friendly Shopify Plus Experts today to find out how we could unlock your ecommerce potential.

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