The sweet success of Sugarfina's rapid online growth.
Discover how LA’s favourite candy boutique, Sugarfina, created an irresistible Valentine’s Day shopping experience with Adobe Commerce.
Los Angeles, California
Black Friday sales (YoY)
Offer online shopping that matches their in-store luxury shopping experience
Improve page load times while offering innovative new features
Drive global expansion
3 global websites run on 1 platform
+15% Black Friday sales (YoY)
The candy startup had outgrown their webstore to sell food online
Inspired by a third-date screening of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Rosie O’Neill and her fiancé Josh Resnick co-founded Sugarfina in August 2012. An entrepreneur with a serious sweet-tooth, O’Neill imagined her luxury confectionary brand as a “candy boutique for grown-ups” and by 2016, the company was making nearly $25 million in revenue. By 2017, Los Angeles-based Sugarfina boasted 24 shops across the United States and Canada, all stocking their best-selling Champagne Bears®, But First, Rosé Roses and Tequila Grapefruit Sours.
“Sugarfina has been growing really fast, more than triple every year,” O’Neill told Forbes, “But growth is both a blessing and a curse. Growth is hard. Things break and go wrong all the time.”
Sugarfina’s staggering growth also saw them quickly outgrow their website, originally built on Magento Open Source and unable to effectively sell food online. The free commerce solution is perfect for small businesses, but by 2017 Sugarfina was ready to take their e-commerce business to the next level, raising $35 million in financing. Eager to offer a superior online shopping experience, Sugarfina sought to improve their page load times, offer innovative new features and undergo global expansion.
“After a successful experience with Magento Open Source, we knew that Adobe Commerce was the right solution to support our growth.”
An e-commerce store fit for a confectionary giant
Sugarfina wanted their new site to match the luxury experience that their customers receive in Sugarfina shops. They needed to create a number of customised features and knew from the start that upgrading to Adobe Commerce was the right move to accomplish their goals. To make sure the project was seamless, they worked with Corra, a solution partner that has worked with the Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source merchants for nearly a decade, specialising in creating the high-quality lifestyle experiences that Sugarfina was seeking.
Together they would create an innovative new website, but there was also a timeline: “The site had to be live for Thanksgiving and the busy holiday period,” recalls Dannica Hutton, Corra’s Solution Strategist. “But we really wanted to launch before the Halloween candy season.”
Corra started by adding functionality to the site’s checkout. Sugarfina customers love to send candies as gifts to friends and colleagues, so they added multiple gift-wrapping options: now customers can choose from multiple greeting cards, handwritten notes or even a ‘wrap it yourself’ option. Next, they improved product search with a visual site search tool from Celebros. Now, when ‘chocolate’ is typed into the search bar, all the site’s chocolate candies zoom onto the screen. Sugarfina, whose mission statement is “spread sweetness,” added other attractive touches, including an easy-to-use store locator that matched their new design.
The most interactive new function by far was the ‘Design Your Own Candy Bento Box®’ personalisation experience. In Sugarfina boutiques, shoppers can create their own gift box filled with their favourite candies, an engaging and highly customisable experience. With Adobe Commerce, Sugarfina was able to replicate the in-store experience online by allowing their customers to fill a virtual Sugarfina box with whatever candy their heart desires. On the back end, customised bento box orders appear as bundled products and warehouse workers pick and pack the products before delivering.
Meanwhile, the problem of Sugarfina’s static home page was fixed by implementing 10 customisable widgets. Now the team can dramatically change the overall appearance of the site with ease, adding new promotions for big candy-selling periods like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
“After a successful experience with Magento Open Source, we knew that Adobe Commerce was the right solution to support our growth,” says O’Neill.
Sell food online with astonishing results
The new Sugarfina site was finished earlier than expected and launched in time for October’s Halloween celebrations — Sugarfina shoppers purchased their Zombie Brains and Sugar Skulls with ease. “With Adobe Commerce, page load times were greatly improved,” says Hutton. “As soon as the site launched, Sugarfina started to see a lot of positive feedback from their fans on social.” The brand launched their U.S. and Canadian shops on one Adobe Commerce licence and have just finished building an UK store. Before she had a creative team, O’Neill once did all this creative work herself, from photography to web design. But now her candy business is in safe hands and ready to grow as big as Willy Wonka’s.
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