Sunglass Hut to Launch a China-friendly Website Driving O2O Strategy

Sunglass author

Sunglass Hut

With more than 2,000 selling points worldwide, Sunglass Hut prevails as a top-notch sunglasses retailer owning a plethora of notable brands, namely Lens Crafter, Rayban, and Oakley. Penetrating the Chinese market, the brand enlisted the help of IT Consultis to digitally assimilate into the Chinese market.

Sunglass Hut to launch a China-friendly website that drives O2O strategy
Sunglass Hut to launch a China-friendly website that drives O2O strategy
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In this IT Consultis case study, discover how we helped Sunglass Hut accelerate its digital transformation to promote the O2O strategy.

About the Client: Sunglass Hut

Sunglass Hut is one of the leading retailers of sunglasses operating worldwide. 

Starting in Miami in 1971, the brand is now in close partnership with many first-tier brands, including Ray-Ban, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., and Coach. Over the past 50 years, the brand has made its name in other regions around the world, including Asia Pacific.

As Sunglass Hut decided to penetrate China, emerging concerns with localization and brand awareness also became visible. And this is where IT Consultis (ITC) stepped in to transform Sunglass Hut global website into a more China-friendly interface.

Sunglass Hut to Launch a China-friendly Website Driving O2O Strategy

Objectives

Despite its immense popularity in the US, Sunglass Hut is little-known in China. Thus, the main objective for ITC was to foster brand awareness by developing a successful O2O strategy. This way, Sunglass Hut could optimize omnichannel touchpoints and drive traffic from the eCommerce website to its physical stores.

In addition, Sunglass Hut forged a standardized visual identity representing its partnership with all of the top-tier brands such as Dior, Chanel, Ray Ban, etc. However, despite the conspicuous success of this standardization strategy, the brand struggled to implement it in China.  

Thus, Sunglass Hut partnered up with ITC to localize its global website in China to optimize the conversion rate

Solutions for Sunglass Hut

Adapting the User Interface to Fit Chinese Behaviors

From the site map to social media integration, ITC scrutinized each webpage and adjusted accordingly for an optimal User Experience.

Although Sunglass Hut is new in China, the brand has a very large brand portfolio that we could leverage to enhance brand awareness. Hence, instead of simply listing the logos of Armani, Burberry, or Miu Miu, ITC created a dedicated page for each of the brands to ease the learning process for customers.

Using Social Media to Foster Brand Awareness and Storytelling

Furthermore, social media is an indispensable tool in launching a brand with a bang in China. To contribute to building brand awareness and storytelling, we have included: 

  • A custom Weibo feed in the Footer of the website to drive users to become a follower of the brand 
  • The WeChat QR code in the Menu Sidebar to prompt users to follow the brand on WeChat
Sunglass Hut to Launch a China-friendly Website Driving O2O Strategy

O2O Tools for More In-Store Traffic

For the China market, Sunglass Hut has devised a grand plan to have 200+ stores. And, it launched the digital strategy as the very first step of its market penetration plan.

However, the brand did not want to commence with online shopping. Instead, Sunglass Hut prioritized driving traffic to the store using the website.

Thus, rather than a "Buy" button, we added a link redirecting them to the Store Locator. Here, ITC utilized Amap API as the program comes along with great flexibility in design and high accessibility in China.

Additionally, contrary to the global website, ITC added photos for each brand store, giving a visually pleasurable experience that drives users to physical stores. 

On mobile devices, the Store Locator feature is slightly different as well. To ensure an optimal conversion rate, users would receive a list of stores near their location (while stores are filtered on the desktop version), with clear directions for different types of transportation

Overall Optimization

The last solution is to ensure the overall optimization of the website.

Here, IT Consultis developed a Drupal-powered Sunglass Hut website. The execution integrated all necessary scripts and plug-ins to deliver a China-friendly website. This also includes tools to facilitate O2O strategy and lead Sunglass Hut to digital success.

Furthermore, ITC ensured a carefully indexed SEO for each webpage, be it imagery or text content. Thanks to the site map improvement and added content, the SEO of the website was considerably enhanced.

Finally, to ensure a flawless experience from a locally hosted website, we implemented the local APIs and lazy loading to optimize the UX. With smartphone-addicted Chinese consumers and WeChat being the most used app in China, Sunglass Hut naturally decided to incorporate WeChat into its communication strategy.  

Sunglass Hut to Launch a China-friendly Website Driving O2O Strategy

Results

IT Consultis was able to deliver a powerful Sunglass Hut website optimized for China, with seamless integration of O2O tools for an optimal conversion rate in a very limited amount of time. 

Sunglass Hut to Launch a China-friendly Website Driving O2O Strategy

"I am thrilled to have worked with such a passionate team. IT Consultis was the ideal partner for our brand: They're certainly not afraid of challenges and will always go the extra mile for their clients.

Our project was not the easiest one since the scope was managed by 3 different teams on three different continents. On top of that, we needed to go live ASAP. Still, IT Consultis took the challenge and outperformed.

They've always made themselves available to answer all questions with clear explanations and training about technical aspects such as Drupal. They've also been a great help in our digital decisions including our O2O strategy in China, two areas in which they've proven to be very knowledgeable.

I really appreciated their professionalism and hard work, but what I've really enjoyed the most was the excellent relationship we've established. Working with the team is more like working with a partner than a supplier.

For all these reasons, I would greatly recommend IT Consultis to anyone looking for a long-term digital partner in China, or anywhere in the world as a matter of fact."

Stefano T. - Marketing Director

Having trouble with localization in China as well? 

Reach out to the experts at IT Consultis to plan your move most efficiently! 

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