Case Study


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IOLLA wanted to grow its business, blending the physical and digital customer experience.


IOLLA needed to coordinate its tech stack to deliver seamless, positive experiences.

Our Solution

Drupal CMS, Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Site Studio, Acquia Personalization


IOLLA has reduced friction for customers across the buyer’s journey, including:

  • Improved product perception from increase use of product imagery and lifestyle videos, as well as intuitive search
  • An optimized checkout process with a “sticky” cart feature and more routes to payment
  • An automated post-purchase interface for prescription details
  • Coordinated purchase data within Shopify, combining in-store and online data to give IOLLA a 360-degree customer view

The Client

IOLLA is a leader of a new breed of omnichannel retailers trading online and via a number of showrooms. Launching in Scotland in 2015, with its HQ based in Glasgow, the company has doubled sales each year and is now launching its UK expansion. 

The Situation

IOLLA is an ambitious eyewear brand operating with aggressive three-year growth plans. Core to IOLLA's expansion plans were technology investments as it sought to enhance revenue gained through its digital channels. Additionally, the company wanted to grow its retail showroom presence in the UK, representing the beginning of an exciting blend of the physical/digital customer experience.

While its business objectives were focused on rapid growth and efficient internal and digital processes, IOLLA wanted to maintain its fantastic reputation, core values, and exceptional customer experience. The company knew that investing in a DXP was central to achieving its goals.

The Challenge

IOLLA wanted to coordinate its tech stack elements to deliver a seamless, positive online experience that would drive multiple purchases and enhance longer-term brand loyalty. There were three key objectives:

  • Design and develop an e-commerce platform that customers can access with ease, agnostic of their chosen device or environment
  • Improve the back-end management of customer journeys and data and drive efficiency through the use of automation
  • Enable the marketing team to deliver tailored communications to customers, harnessing the ability to create digital campaigns and update web content quickly and easily

The Solution

IOLLA partnered with digital agency Access, which used Drupal CMS with Acquia Site Studio as IOLLA’s front end, relying on ReactJS apps for more dynamic API-driven features. With e-commerce as the main driver, the team retained Shopify as the back-end headless order management system while the front end migrated onto Acquia.

Acquia’s visual interface and low-code/no-code software meant IOLLA’s in-house marketing team could quickly produce campaign landing pages and update content without requiring developers. It also ensured brand guideline governance while allowing flexibility for various pre-approved IOLLA components.

Access used Site Studio to provide the “containers” to harness ReactJS apps for more complex features. On the product pages, ReactJS provides dynamic elements of the product details (pricing, images, add to basket, etc.), reading from and pushing to Shopify. Using ReactJS in the new Agolia search overlay means that the queries are sent directly from the user's browser rather than sending the request via the Acquia server. It saves a step in the journey, meaning results can be shown faster and server load is reduced.

To fulfill the project goals of providing customers with more flexibility in when, where, and how they interact with IOLLA’s products, the teams started by developing a deeper understanding of the company’s customers. They delved deeper into audience personas and journeys, getting to know their pain points and barriers so that they could create a tailored, seamless experience. 

A 360-degree view is about understanding each customer, what they mean to the business, and how to engage with them – and would empower the IOLLA team to tailor their communications. Access provided in-depth audience personas to help the sales team understand the best time to bring additional support into customer conversations.

With improving CX as a core focus, Access also did a deep dive into understanding what customers wanted as part of their online experience. The team drilled down into customer goals and barriers to round out fully developed audience personas. This led to journey mapping and analyzing the purchasing journey for both returning and new customers.

Access implemented several changes to the site’s UX, including:

  • Providing purchase journey clarity: The team simplified the “How it works” three-step purchasing journey content block, making the process easier to follow
  • Selling the brand USPs: The team added extra content inserts like “Happiness Guarantee” and “No Hidden Costs” to product pages, reiterating the brand’s unique selling points while users browse through products 
  • Providing tailored experiences: Access revamped the site’s search navigation to provide greater search intuition and return more tailored product suggestions quickly

The Results

IOLLA’s updated site has reduced friction for customers across the buyer’s journey:

  • Improved product perception due to increased use of product imagery rather than graphics to display a wider range of products, dynamic use of multimedia-like lifestyle videos to capture attention, and hidden navigation to keep the user focused on the product and their chosen journey
  • The Shopify API reduces how much information is displayed on product cards, so the user isn’t overwhelmed
  • Intuitive search gets visitors the information they need faster, and multiple keyword search options provide a tailored results page
  • Optimized checkout process includes a “sticky” cart so users can see what’s in their cart before committing and browse for additional products
  • Added more routes to payment
  • Automated post-purchase interface allows users to enter their prescription details into a simplistic form and reduces the number of actions users have to complete
  • Using Shopify to capture both online and offline purchase data helps the company create a 360-degree customer view

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