Since its inception 25 years ago, sports eyewear brand Spy Optic has been all about speed, agility, and flexibility. After all, its boldly colored sunglasses, goggles, and prescription glasses have always been tailor-made for adventure seekers — surfers, motorsports enthusiasts, skiers, and the like. But, until recently, its e-commerce experience didn’t match the speed, agility, or flexibility prized by those adventure-seeking customers.


In May 2017, Spy Optic broke a speed record when it launched a completely revamped website, mobile, and brand experience on Salesforce Commerce Cloud that has already yielded an impressive 25% year-over-year increase in digital commerce revenue, double-digit increases in conversion, and a doubling of site speed.


Casey Koteen, E-commerce Manager at Spy Optic, was acutely aware of the dramatic shifts in online shopping behavior and, together with John Gilson, VP Revenue - Digital, launched a search for an e-commerce platform to enable a faster website, responsive mobile site, and the flexibility to quickly customize promotions.


They knew that building a completely new digital storefront wouldn’t be easy, and it was made more challenging by their decision to update the entire technology stack and bring digital marketing efforts in-house, including email headed up by Digital Marketing Manager Ben Johnson, in less than nine months.



Big benefits with a small team

The ambitious initiatives are even more impressive when you consider the size of the Spy Optics digital team. The core digital team was comprised of only three people at the time, supported by SI partner Moku Collective and the Spy Optic creative department.  


From the start of implementation to now, Spy Optic experienced major benefits from automated tools and site optimization support for their tiny team.


One example? Promotions. In the past, Spy Optic would propose creative “buy one, get one” promotions, but their existing platform limited them to percentage-off promos. “It was painful to try and do anything else,” said Gilson. “We needed to rethink promos.”


Now, Spy Optic can build innovative promos, tailored for specialty audiences, with out-of-the-box tools included with Commerce Cloud.


These tools support Spy Optic’s gifts with purchase promos. During the holidays, the brand offered a premium water bottle with purchase. “It led to the biggest single day in the site’s history. The fact that we can do that and do it correctly is huge. It makes for a smooth transaction with the customer.”


He added that the company can now scale and act quickly, rolling out promotions in a single day.


The platform also empowers Spy Optic to target specific audiences with action sports content and purchase add-ons that make shopping more compelling.


The brand’s vibrant orange and black brand colors stand out from the crowd, and their creation of Happy Lens Technology, the only lens on the market that harnesses the power of serotonin, helps their customers see better and feel better.


Spy Optic has been a predominantly wholesale seller, but it projects that more than 40% of their business will be direct-to-consumer in 2019. This business shift was a factor in their decision to choose Commerce Cloud for their digital commerce platform.


The need for speed

Two of the main factors driving Spy Optic’s move to a cloud commerce platform were better product findability via site search and faster site speed, and Salesforce delivered on both counts in spades.


“The search functionality is 200,000x better than what we had on the old site,” said Gilson. “We’ve only tapped into probably 10% of the possibilities, and it’s already yielding results.”


As they grow the team, Spy Optic looks forward to tapping into extensive tools and services, like SEO. “There are so many tools that we haven’t dug into yet. Even if we don’t attract new customers, I think that we can make site tweaks and still double our revenue.”


Another focus of the platform transition was developing a mobile responsive design. At the start of the implementation process, their traffic was 50/50 between mobile and desktop; now, in keeping with industry trends outlined in the Salesforce Shopping Index, mobile has exceeded desktop with a 63% share of traffic.


Spy Optics gains a new platform — and an amazing community

During the implementation process, the small-but-mighty Spy Optic team relied on Commerce Cloud’s highly engaged community and a team of experts for advice and best practices, and they continue to look to the community as a source of support and learning.


“In the past, if there were issues, and we were trying to come up with solutions, we’d start with a Google search. One of the great things about Commerce Cloud is jumping into the community. Ninety percent of my questions are things someone has already asked, or I can get the answer very quickly. Operationally, that’s huge,” says Koteen.


“The digital and e-commerce community at Salesforce is open to talking to one another, and I especially see that Salesforce is really open to sharing new ideas and solutions. On the enterprise level, it’s very good.”


Koteen has even attended a Salesforce-led refresher course in Portland. “I prioritize going to those. It’s very productive to talk strategy and solutions with other brands on the platform. There’s a lot of stuff I could take action on and use immediately. I updated certain things (on the site) that afternoon.”


Gilson summarizes the results by saying, “(Commerce Cloud) enabled us to be ahead of the curve when it comes to e-commerce technologies. It allows us to be and think on the cutting edge in our careers, instead of being stifled by a platform.”


The future for Spy Optic is as bright and bold as its eyewear and graphic tees. The team looks forward to adding more team members to support their growth, and they’re working with the Commerce Cloud Practice team to build enhancements to further accelerate growth.


Spy Optic embodies the Salesforce spirit with Koteen’s optimistic statement about their current and future opportunities with Commerce Cloud. “Instead of ‘Can we do this?’ now it’s like, ‘We have all this horsepower, how can we use it all?’”