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Blowing Away the Competition with a Unified Customer Experience

Drybar’s fresh website with subscription automation and a library of video content is the perfect mix for continued success.

5 minute read

Who Should Read This?

This case study will be especially relevant for those interested in the following topics:

  • B2C ECOMMERCE
  • Website Redesign
  • Advanced Search
  • Beauty
  • Video Marketing
  • ADA Compliance
  • Adobe Commerce
  • Page Builder Widgets
  • Subscription Automation

THE CHALLENGE

Drybar customers are passionate about the in-person experience and customers expected the same bright and fresh vibe for the website. Drybar was looking for a full website redesign to unify their brand experience across all touchpoints. The existing Adobe Commerce (Magento) architecture was ready for a replatform and the website needed important functionality like a powerful search tool, subscription automation and a comprehensive video library.

THE BRAND

“No cuts. No color. Just blowouts.” It started as a unique hair blowout only concept and has expanded into a chain of over 150 locations (or “shops”) and more than 100 products. Founded in 2008, Drybar is a California-based chain of shops that offers a bar-like feel for hair blow drying services and a growing product line (created specifically for the perfect blowout) sold through Drybar franchise shops, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta and Macy’s and online. First launched in 2013, the Drybar collection of products, all named with a bar-themed reference, helps people recreate the blowout shop experience in the comfort of their home.

A Lemony Fresh Redesign

Walking into a Drybar shop is a unique experience. The blowout “bar” is bright and fresh; it invites conversation and a friendly bonding of peers. The countertops are dazzling white marble with bursts of buttercup yellow to accent the bubbly mimosas offered to customers while they enjoy their blowout experience. Customers feel a particular boost of energy from spending time in a cheerful environment and this emotional connection is central to the brand’s aesthetic. Drybar’s website experience was a darker and less cheerful aesthetic--in other words, a far cry from the in-shop experience. The creative strategy was to design an entirely new website that both conforms with current ecommerce best practices and is also an extension of the Drybar shop aesthetic.

drybar lemony fresh redesign
drybar former design

Left: A Drybar shop. Right: The former Drybar website. There was a disconnect between the aesthetics of the in-person and online Drybar experiences.

Guidance successfully transformed the dark gray website into the lemony fresh feel of walking into a Drybar location. To match the bright white shops, the website was overhauled with an all-white background with touches of gray to match the marbled gray accents in the store locations. The bold and vibrant yellow hues of their products stand out and live up to their high price points and professional-grade quality. By bringing the brand voice and tone from their shop style guide into the website, Drybar now presents a unified look and feel across all customer touchpoints including marketing elements used in email campaigns, POS signage and across the website experience. This has helped to cement the already familiar brand personality users knew and loved into the new site.

drybar lemony fresh shop

A strong responsive design strategy and an updated UI/UX approach is central in elevating the Drybar site and blowing away the beauty industry competition. Drybar customers are distinct but present with crossover between product and service. Women typically book the blowout service on a consistent basis or for special events and others purchase the products to achieve the blowout look in the comfort of their home. The divide in brand experience between in-person blowouts and at-home blowouts fit with the previously divided in-store and digital experience. The new website represents a unified front for all customers. Central to the entire creative project was the unification of the brand experience for customers looking to purchase products and/or book services. This has been even more important as all shop locations were forced to close during the pandemic and customers sought a connection to the blowout experience in-store through online how-to videos and products.

The Drybar brand operates 3 distinct wings: products, booking and the shops. Guidance worked with Drybar to create a tabbed approach where each tab has a separate navigation but the central branding and UI is seamless to the customer. This has allowed customers already familiar with the Drybar brand to think of Drybar blowout physical locations and Drybar products as part of the same brand without separation.

The tabbed approach keeps the three separate builds all easily accessible to the user behind a united brand front.

Finding the Perfect Blowout Products

Part of the newly redesigned website aesthetic was ease of product findability. Drybar products have cocktail-inspired naming conventions (ex. Blonde Ale, Triple Sec, On The Rocks, etc) but the products can be vague to a new customer not familiar with the specific usage. The new UX solution solved for any confusion over product by providing an easily understood categorization system and user-friendly filters that allow users to quickly find or discover products based on their own hair needs. Once a customer lands on the Product Description Page (PDP), they are met with a newly reworked page that represents best practices for product display. Guidance refined the text content presentation and created separate segments of the page to house different content in a clear and meaningful way. Information about ingredients, benefits, usage and reviews are clearly presented while the Add to Bag button is prominently displayed next to the product in the brand’s vibrant yellow.

drybar product detail

Drybar selected Algolia’s powerful site search solution to help their customers find the perfect blowout products based on a multitude of query options. An extensive and easy-to-use category tree and product search helps customers find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Capable of transforming the ecommerce experience, Algolia provides predictive search, product filtering and merchandising features. The solution includes site search with autocomplete, visual recommendations and merchandising, sidebar filters and AI-powered personalization for search and navigation. Most importantly, the predictive text in the search bar allows the user to enter just a portion of the search and the results are immediately displayed in thumbnail versions for products, video tutorials and blog content.

Custom Solution Powered By Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Guidance replatformed Drybar from Magento 1 to Magento 2 Commerce for the best in class performance and cloud delivered scalability that has helped them grow their omnichannel product distribution and sales exponentially. Magento’s cloud-based solution provides a reliable Amazon Web Service (AWS) environment that supports any size of ecommerce deployment. Magento Commerce offers continuous delivery of cloud-based services with the benefit of instant access to the latest software version, infrastructure improvements and functionality. With high availability and scalability, Magento delivers on the demanding needs of high-traffic peaks when Drybar offers promotions or discounts site-wide.

The replatform to Magento Commerce has unified all products and services onto one website experience. In addition to the brand unification, Guidance created a cohesive look throughout all the brands by implementing Magento’s Page Builder with custom modules built to Drybar’s branding specifications. It allows the Drybar team to quickly and simply build pages with drag and drop functionality while maintaining the branding’s layouts and functionality. Guidance designed, developed and enhanced Magento’s Page Builder modules to include countless varieties of content in multiple layout options. The Drybar team will save time and resources by empowering the marketing team with reusable dynamic blocks and in-line editing abilities. Without the dependencies on other teams, the marketing team can design content, preview it live and schedule publications all with relative ease.

drybar blowout

A large part of the replatform consisted of migrating the existing customer information to ensure a seamless transition. The migration was large and had to be finished quickly to ensure zero downtime. Guidance helped Drybar migrate almost 2 million records to Magento 2 which included customer information, wishlist data, prior purchases, browsing history along with many other data points. The entire migration was seamless with zero downtime and without impact to the end customer.

Rinse and Repeat with Subscription Automation

Drybar’s products are sold as individual one-time purchases or through a subscription service Guidance helped build. Using Amasty’s subscription solution, Drybar customers can enroll in recurring product replenishment on a timeline of their choosing. The solution is a profitable recurring revenue source as a substantial number of customers prefer to set and forget their product replenishment. A pain point often encountered with subscriptions is changes to the existing saved credit card. Most solutions do not have an out of the box capability to update or change payment methods. Guidance extended the vaulted payment methods to allow customers to easily update or change their payment method which ensures zero interruption in recurring revenue for Drybar.

A Fully Visible Video Library

Drybar has an extensive video library of tutorials and style guides for their customers. Unfortunately, many of those videos were hidden by the sheer number of videos available to browse and watch. To help customers find the perfect tutorial, Guidance created a video landing page of the entire collection and ensured each video behaved as a fully searchable product. In essence, the video landing page is a product landing page where the video is the product: it is fully taggable, searchable and filterable. The video description page offers customers the unique ability to add the products used in the video to their cart and creates a cycle of video watching as each video page has further video recommendations. The how-to videos and tutorials remove a barrier to purchasing Drybar products because they’re informed on proper usage and desired results. After all, customer education leads to conversions.

drybar how to videos

Drybar is for All

Drybar wants to ensure their products can be used and loved by all. To that end, they’ve embarked on a journey of full Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) compliance. The WCAG covers a wide range of suggestions to comply with ADA standards. By following these guidelines, Drybar is making their content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss and, humans cognitive limitations or a combination thereof. In fact, following these guidelines helps make the content on their website more user friendly for all general users.

Results

Guidance successfully transformed Drybar’s digital presence to match the blowout shop experience.

 

The replatform to Adobe Commerce (Magento) has added scalability and security to their ecommerce architecture while Guidance expanded on the Page Builder capabilities with a library of custom widgets.

 

Customers can use the new powerful search functionality to find products, how-to videos and other resources online.

Summary

The experience of walking into a Drybar location has been successfully matched when entering the new website. The dark gray website has been transformed into a bright and lemony fresh experience throughout each brand channel. Upgrading the platform architecture has given Drybar increased speed and security while customizing the Page Builder widgets has provided the marketing team with the flexibility to publish content without the need for long development cycles.

 

The implementation of a powerful search tool has given customers the ability to find specific products or discover new ones. The search tool also brings up the extensive library of how-to videos and blowout tutorials for at-home styling--this has been particularly useful during the pandemic when all blowout shops were forced to close. Subscription automation with access to vaulted payments gives customers the flexibility to order products on a recurring basis and change payment methods with ease.

ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS

  • Website Redesign
  • User Experience Design
  • Visual Design
  • Custom Code
  • Data Migration
  • Ecommerce Website Migration
  • Web Development
  • Ecommerce Web Integrations
  • M2 Replatform

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

  • Adobe Commerce (Magento)
  • Oracle ERP
  • Loqate Address Verification
  • Algolia Search
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Braintree Payments
  • Paypal Payments
  • Signifyd Fraud
  • Booker by Mindbody
  • Okta SSO

Find out how top brands are breaking boundaries and exceeding sales projections with Guidance.

CONTACT GUIDANCE