Skullcandy Case Study Laptop 4456 Sj

BigCommerce helps Skullcandy turn up the volume

How the unique audio lifestyle brand utilizes an innovative, SaaS platform to go to market quickly and sell internationally


214% 122% 82%
increase in
revenue after 
launch

increase in
orders
YoY


increase in
conversion
rate YoY

The Skullcandy success story

Like many great brands, Skullcandy was born from a problem that needed to be solved. Founder Rick Alden was riding a chairlift in Park City, Utah. He was listening to music but needed to take a call. Of course, technology at the time made it impossible to switch from his music player to his phone. So Rick decided that the world needed a better solution.

He’d start a company that would not only make a better set of headphones, but also make it fit the snowboarding lifestyle. That was the moment when Skullcandy became the original audio lifestyle brand—and has never looked back.

Fifteen years later, the brand is still deeply rooted in music and board sports. Its brand authenticity is what makes it different than the competition. The Skullcandy consumer today is a youthful and adventurous audio consumer – someone who enjoys music, new experiences and is constantly on the lookout for what’s next.

Mark Hopkins, Skullcandy’s Chief Information Officer, has been into music his entire life, starting with DJ’ing in high school and booking bands for his college’s spring festival. After working in the Bay Area for a number of years, he moved to Park City, Utah to work at Skullcandy, a company founded at the intersection of music and board sports comprised of employees united by their passion for the brand and music.


The Challenge of Amplifying Ecommerce

As told to BigCommerce by Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.

Our previous ecommerce platform, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, was expensive to manage and maintain. It didn’t have a lot of agility and our team was tied to doing things on a slow cadence, as well as using external development resources that resulted in higher cost. We knew that to make the right platform choice, we were going to have to explore the various platform options from every angle.

Top Skullcandy requirements for a new ecommerce platform:

  • Versatility and adaptability: One of the things that Skullcandy values the most is versatility and adaptability. When we were committed to finding a new platform, we started by investigating a number of different options ranging widely in complexity and cost.
  • Functionality for now and the future: As we narrowed our search, we dug deep into the functionalities of our top choices, and ensured we covered all our bases. It was important for us to check the boxes for current needs, but also to anticipate how we wanted to adapt and change the platform in the future as we drive our ecommerce business.
  • Design and UX superiority for a digitally native brand: In addition to streamlining workflows, we also viewed our platform migration as an opportunity to showcase our digital-first approach. We knew the bright future for our company would require increasing the percentage of revenue generated by our ecommerce business.


New Partnership with New Platform

As told to BigCommerce by Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.

When going through the process of searching for a new ecommerce platform, we also assessed Magento and Shopify Plus. Magento was quickly ruled out because we had been on the Magento platform prior to SFCC and didn’t have a great experience.

As for Shopify Plus, they were our second choice. At the end of a three-month process in which we looked at about twelve platforms, we consolidated our decision between BigCommerce and Shopify Plus. We felt we could have an effective international ecommerce ecosystem on either platform and that both would provide the uptime and features we needed.

Honestly, the ultimate decision came down to the people. With Shopify, it was very clear that Skullcandy would be “just a number” in a long list of clients and we wouldn’t get much attention from their team. This is something we also experienced on Salesforce Commerce Cloud which was discouraging.

With BigCommerce, on the other hand, we felt that we’d be entering into a mutually beneficial partnership. Patrick, Stuart, and Eric gave us the peace of mind that we were working with a company that genuinely wanted us to succeed and that together we could create a great ecommerce experience for our customer. This has definitely held true as evidenced by the time we’ve gotten to spend strategizing and working with the BigCommerce team over the past year and a half.

There wasn’t a specific feature set that clinched the deal for BigCommerce. BigCommerce checked the boxes AND had a team that we wanted to work with.

Skullcandy and BigCommerce Go to Eleven

As told to BigCommerce by Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.

Our platform migration was pretty challenging and a complex project with a number of moving parts. We went live with seven sites, four currencies, and three different languages in six months. Despite the ambitious launch schedule, our migration went off smoothly without missing a beat.  Our ecommerce revenue stream and fulfillment process were uninterrupted and the site looked beautiful.

In the first month after launch, our website saw a double-digit conversion rate improvement and won an award for the Best New Website Design from BigCommerce.

In the second month after launch, we integrated BigCommerce’s Facebook Shop feature to meet consumers where they are —allowing for fast purchasing natively on popular social networks. We are really taking bets on social commerce, leveraging built-in BigCommerce integrations to serve product catalogs across social channels where orders start in the social channel, and seamlessly drop into BigCommerce’s control panel for streamlined fulfillment.

Coinciding with the launch of our new website, we accelerated the introduction of a new brand campaign, spinning up an “All Access Pass” experience to bring the “Now Feel This” livestream concert series and “You Feel Me?” podcast series online to highlight emerging artists and athletes.

In addition, we’ve taken the learnings from these initiatives and rolled out the 12 Moods program this year and it’s off to a great start.  Each month we’ll release a product in a limited edition color to reflect the month’s mood and we’ll feature an artist and athlete as well.

Our experience and successful launch with BigCommerce is a great example of how like-minded brands can effectively align. Technical barriers were removed and we are able to focus on growing our business today while benefiting from BigCommerce’s forward-thinking roadmap and steady cadence of new features, which are designed for brands like us.


The Sound of Success

As told to BigCommerce by Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.

On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs. More importantly, we now have an extremely agile environment that can change quickly to meet our business needs. The SaaS aspect of BigCommerce is great because we don't have to worry about hosting which enables us to focus on the merchandising aspects of the website. 

BigCommerce’s API allows Skullcandy to connect its product information system to capture orders, interface with the credit card companies, calculate tax, and interface all of this information into our ERP system for fulfillment. It was important for us to have a solid API base for dealing with all the connections we have.

Since switching to BigCommerce, Skullcandy has experienced a 214% increase in revenue, 82% increase in conversion rate YoY, and 122% increase in orders YoY.

We see the BigCommerce platform as a major element of our ecommerce ecosystem, because our consumers come to our website to learn about our products, even though they may purchase on a different platform like Amazon or a retailer site.   

Our Enterprise Account Manager (EAM), Neha, has enabled Skullcandy to successfully replatform our international sites onto BigComerce on time and has also helped us push the envelope of ecommerce. Our dedicated EAM has provided us with the recommendations and resources we need in order to implement new technologies and expand our digital footprint in ways that resonate with our customer.

Neha treats our projects as her projects and ensures that we have the support and information we need in order to execute them flawlessly. Our EAM serves as an extension of our team and is someone who isn't just reactive when we have something we need. Instead, she is proactive and truly wants to help us to push our business forward and succeed.

At the end of the day, the Skullcandy website is critical for us, and it’s critical for our initiative of continuing to grow our ecommerce business.

The BigCommerce team is keeping up with all the trends in ecommerce so as we evolve, they are evolving with us, and supporting our growth.

Our experience and successful launch with BigCommerce is a great example of how like-minded brands can effectively align. Technical barriers were removed and we are able to focus on growing our business today while benefiting from BigCommerce’s forward-thinking roadmap and steady cadence of new features, which are designed for brands like us.Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc. 

On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs. More importantly, we now have an extremely agile environment that can change quickly to meet our business needs.Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.

Our Enterprise Account Manager, Neha, has enabled Skullcandy to successfully replatform our international sites onto BigCommerce on time and has also helped us push the envelope of ecommerce. Neha treats our projects as her projects and ensures that we have the support and information we need in order to execute them flawlessly.Mark Hopkins, Chief Information Officer, Skullcandy Inc.
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