How BigCommerce Helps Skullcandy Turn Up The Volume
Chief Information Officer
The Skullcandy Success Story
Like many great brands, Skullcandy was born out of a problem. 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 headphone, 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.
“It’s really fun to be at a company so passionate about music where I can leverage my knowledge about technology.” Mark Hopkins, Skullcandy’s Chief Information Officer, has been into music his whole life, starting with DJ’ing during high school and college. He was in charge of booking bands for his school’s Spring festival. After working in the Bay Area, for a number of years he moved to Park City, Utah and started at Skullcandy. When he first arrived in Park City, he was listening to the local public radio station and responded to an ad looking for volunteer DJ’s. Mark hosted a show every other Tuesday night for about five years. He felt like he was giving back to the community and it was a lot of fun.
“Skullcandy was founded at the intersection of music and board sports. It’s where we live. It’s what we love. We are united by our passion for our brand and for each other,” Hopkins said. “It’s what makes Skullcandy such an incredible company to be a part of.”
According to Nielsen, the average American listens to 32 hours of music per week.
The Challenge of Amplifying Ecommerce
As a brand, Skullcandy has no problem making noise, but with ecommerce, the company was having a hard time turning up the volume. Its previous ecommerce platform was expensive to manage and maintain. It didn’t have a lot of agility and the Skullcandy team was tied to doing things on a slow cadence, as well as using external development resources that resulted in higher cost. They knew, that to make the right platform choice, they were going to have to truly explore their options from every angle.
“One of the things that Skullcandy values the most is versatility and adaptability,” says Mark. “When we were committed to finding a new platform, we started by investigating a number of different options ranging widely in complexity and cost. As we narrowed our search, we dug deep into the functionalities on 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.”
In addition to streamlining workflows, the Skullcandy team also viewed their platform migration as an opportunity to showcase its digital-first approach. Skullcandy knew the future for the company would require increasing the percentage of revenue generated by its ecommerce business.
As we evolve, BigCommerce is evolving with us.
Skullcandy and BigCommerce Go to Eleven
With large enterprise brands, each ecommerce project presents its own set of problems and solutions. The platform migration for Skullcandy, however, was a project like none other.
“It by far was one of the most challenging and involved that I had dealt with to date,” says Neal McCoy, BigCommerce’s Director of Professional Services speaking of his experience with Skullcandy. “It was a very complex project with a number of moving parts.”
“We went live with seven sites, and three different languages,” says Mark from Skullcandy. “We did it all in 6 months.” Despite the ambitious launch schedule, Skullcandy’s migration went off smoothly without missing the beat.
“The timeline was pretty tight, but we pulled together,” says Neal. “It was the epitome of partnership and solidarity from beginning to end.”
And with that partnership and solidarity, came spectacular results. In its first month after launch, the new Skullcandy website saw a double-digit conversion rate improvement and won an award for the Best New Website Design.
In the second month after launch, Skullcandy integrated BigCommerce’s Facebook Shop feature to meet consumers where they are —allowing for fast purchasing natively on popular social networks. The company is 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, just like any other web order.
With BigCommerce, Skullcandy also accelerated the launch 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.
“Our experience and successful launch with BigCommerce is a great example of how like-minded brands can effectively align,” says Mark. “Technical barriers are now removed, and we’re able to focus on growing our business today while benefitting from BigCommerce’s forward-thinking roadmap and steady cadence of new features, which are designed for brands like us.”
The Sound of Success
“On BigCommerce, we are saving a significant amount of money on development and overall platform costs,” says Hopkins. “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 their 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 mobile experience improvement, improved search engine optimization, a 25% improvement of add to cart, and 15% improvement in conversion on site. 50% of our revenue is coming from mobile. Most of our consumers are using their phones to access our sites and obtain information about Skullcandy.
“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,” says Mark. “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.” And with future-proof technology, BigCommerce will continue helping SkullCandy to Make it Big.
We don’t have to worry about hosting which enables us to focus on the merchandising aspects of the website.