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Case Studies







Case Study: How Swanky Increased This Subscription Business’ Revenue by 240% on Shopify Plus

As providers of the UK’s top-rated subscription box, Friction Free Shaving make shaving cleaner, easier and cheaper for women with their award-winning razor delivery service. Find out how Swanky created a sleek new site for this fast-growing cosmetics brand, complete with a friction-free subscription flow, resulting in a revenue increase of 240%.

Written By
Hannah Smiddy

Brand overview

As the first razor delivery service designed exclusively for women, Friction Free Shaving is on a mission to make shaving cleaner, easier and cheaper with the UK’s top-rated subscription box. 

Upon sign-up, a subscribed customer receives a new razor in the post. They then receive fresh blades direct through their letterbox at regular intervals (every month or two months, depending on personal preference). Boxes can be paused and restarted to suit subscribers, and plans can be cancelled at any time.

Friction Free’s endearing approach to eco-friendly, cruelty-free shaving has won legions of female followers, with 10s of thousands of women joining the revolution to “live friction free with no commitment”.

The challenge

A razor subscription service stuck on a rather hairy ecommerce platform

The team at Friction Free came to Swanky in need of a sleek new site, complete with smooth subscription flow. They were stuck on an out-dated proprietary ecommerce system – one that they were out-growing by the day. 

“They didn’t have the flexibility they needed to make changes without devouring a huge amount of time and budget,” said Ben Homer, Swanky’s Head of Operations. “Not only was this draining resources, but it was limiting the brand’s ambitious growth plans.”

A new ecommerce tech stack

Friction Free needed a first-class tech stack that would enable them to scale their award-winning subscription business. 

First of all, they needed an ecommerce platform that could cater for their evolving needs and provide flexibility to implement changes quickly and easily. The solution? Shopify Plus

‘Flexible, customisable and crazy fast’, Shopify Plus is the perfect fit for innovative, high-growth businesses with big dreams. With some of the biggest names in beauty and cosmetics using Shopify Plus to scale their businesses (think Kylie Cosmetics, ColourPop and Morphe), Friction Free knew they’d be in superb company.

Next, Friction Free needed a solution to seamlessly manage their subscriptions and recurring billing. Enter, ReCharge

As the leading platform for merchants looking to launch and scale their subscription business, ReCharge works with thousands of Shopify merchants, powering some of the largest subscription stores in the world (including Dr. Axe, Death Wish Coffee and Hubble).

Here’s ReCharge’s Partnerships Manager, Rob Barr, explaining why the platform is a good fit for Shopify Plus merchants:

How Swanky helped

The project was one of ReCharge’s largest migrations to date, lending itself perfectly to our expertise in replatforming enterprise clients. 

Our Shopify Plus experts created an intuitive online experience for Friction Free users, with an improved subscription flow that seamlessly guides users to checkout, whilst embracing the brand’s unique personality

Through use of the Shopify Plus platform in tandem with ReCharge’s powerful subscription solution, users also now have access to better account management and cross-selling opportunities.

A custom front-end subscription flow

Our developers worked their coding magic to create a custom subscription flow designed to funnel the user journey into converting subscriptions

User experience was prioritised throughout this bespoke-built flow in order to provide a clean and simple route to checkout. The seamless user journey is guided by prominent ‘Next Step’ calls to action, whilst clear progress indicators provide clarity and reassurance throughout the subscription sign-up process.

By streamlining the route-to-purchase and making the user journey as simple as possible, users’ cognitive load is reduced, meaning they are much more likely to convert their interest into a subscription.

Here are the five steps that users are guided through to set up a subscription:

#1 Confirm your handle

#2 Choose to personalise your razor

#3 Select a delivery frequency

#4 Choose additional products

Discussing the option for users to add additional products to their subscription, Matt Giles, Swanky’s Creative Director, said:

“Cross-selling is a key feature of the subscription flow we designed, with shave creams, balms and scrubs on offer to enhance the personal shaving experience, and improve average order value, of course! 

We were sure to prioritise these opportunities by creating more prominent calls-to-action to promote recurring orders. As an example, we used larger, more colourful buttons for the option to ‘Include with every shipment’ so that users are drawn down this route as opposed to the one time order option.”

#5 Review your order

The results

As a result of their new Shopify Plus store and ReCharge-powered subscription flow, Friction Free have seen several results worth shouting about.

When you compare the three months post-launch (August – October 2019) with the same period in 2018:

  • Revenue has increased by 240%.
  • There was a 60% increase in conversion rate.
  • Revenue per user increased by 90%.
  • Transactions are up by over 130%.
  • Average order value increased by over 47%.
  • The number of subscribers has doubled.
  • The site’s bounce rate fell by over 18%.

As well as boosting these key metrics, migrating from their old ecommerce solution has gifted the Friction Free team the flexibility and control they craved to be able to implement changes quickly and easily. It has also freed up valuable time and resources that can now be directed into actioning the brand’s growth plans.

“In comparison to my many experiences with other agencies, what you’ve delivered is basically miraculous,” said Des McManus, Co-Founder of Friction Free.

Discussing the impressive results that Swanky have helped drive on the new Friction Free site, Rob Barr, Partnerships Manager at ReCharge, noted:

“The Swanky team has always impressed with the wide range of ReCharge builds they take on. With Friction Free Shaving, they’ve been able to increase every major data point including KPIs such as average order value, conversion rate, and total revenue. It’s not hard to see why Swanky is one of ReCharge’s key strategic partners and primed for a big 2020.”

Could Swanky supercharge your online subscription business?

If, like Friction Free Shaving, you have a subscription business that needs a new home on Shopify Plus, then why not get in touch with our friendly team of Shopify Plus experts?

With years of experience designing, building and optimising beautiful ecommerce sites for enterprises across the globe, we have completed three of ReCharge’s five largest migrations in the last year alone! We really know our stuff. 

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