Plant-based chicken alternative Daring Foods is popping up in retail locations, restaurants, and is popular among celebrity investors. And with a mission-based product in the food space (what exactly is...plant-based chicken?) comes a unique ecommerce challenge.
As health-conscious consumers learn of Daring via word of mouth, they flock to the ecommerce site to learn more. The Daring team needed an ecommerce experience that doubled as an educational hub and offered smooth, lightning-fast shopping. Launching their ecommerce site before expanding into retail—with just a simple Shopify landing page—next, the brand turned to headless commerce to accelerate and future-proof their growth said Joe Tao, Daring's Head of Platform & Delivery:
“While going headless may have been a bit early for us, we knew we were going to go in this direction at some point. We decided to invest now instead of having to build another site later. We were confident that going headless would allow us to scale as we grow."
Using Shogun Frontend to pair with and complement their Shopify backend, the team went headless to balance brand differentiation, agility, and stellar site performance.
Daring wanted a unique frontend UI
Focused on educating the market with a site that would feel fresh, Daring had more robust content needs than most. The brand needed to showcase high-resolution how-to videos, vibrant imagery, and an ever-changing recipe library.
To be Daring, the site needed to look daring, too.
Going headless with a unified frontend solution—wherein the brand could expand beyond the design limitations of a template—would accommodate Daring’s growth and help them build a precise look and feel.
Plus, the team wanted to experiment with site content faster; without so much custom development. Using Shogun Frontend, Daring planned to simplify content creation with reusable sections and components, plus free up the team's in-house developers for higher-priority projects.
Improved shopability without tradeoffs
Daring’s existing site architecture was bulky because of so many ad-hoc updates and workarounds with custom Liquid themes. Often, changes to the frontend would break backend functions. Tao and team wanted to add more dynamic features to enhance the shopping experience without compromising performance.
With their Shogun Frontend-powered progressive web app (PWA), Daring can now add rich merchandising features—like this “quick add” button—anywhere on the site with reusable components:
“If you’re on a recipe page and see a product you like, you can now quickly add it to your cart,” says Tao. “This helps us incorporate products anywhere across the site.”
High-converting components like this typically slow down a traditional ecommerce site, but because Daring’s frontend is now a PWA, the heavy backend functions are kept separate from the customer experience. No slowdowns or interruptions for visitors.
With a flexible frontend, Daring can now seize more opportunities for educational or story-driven content faster. The brand has even more chances to convert traffic:
“When we see an opportunity for new site content—whether it’s an educational-type page or something we think will help our SEO—we can now spin that up pretty quickly with existing components,” says Tao. “Our lead developer has done a great job creating so many components in Shogun Frontend’s Experience Manager for us to reuse.”
A unified frontend solution simplified going headless
The brand was the first to use our Starter Kit for implementation, which helped accelerate the build tremendously. It supplied the Daring dev team components and mock APIs to build from, so they didn’t have to duplicate efforts and could execute faster.
Headless implementations can feel like a big undertaking—even when going the packaged route—but having a Starter Kit was a terrific jump-start says Tao:
“The Starter Kit is one of the key things that led us to Shogun. It accounts for what we call ‘the brilliant basics’—like collection pages, product detail pages, and account pages, and integrates with our third-party tools. For example, with Shogun Frontend, we already had the product detail page framework built out, which automatically connected to Shopify. The Starter Kit gave us a lot of out-of-the-box tools to work with, making going headless much easier.”
Daring’s ecommerce team now has more control with codeless store updates and a native content management system. The team can independently update site content without always relying on developer help. Site updates now take a fraction of the time:
“Whether we're launching a new page, or adding a module to a page, we try to use the same components," says Tao. "It's super quick. There’s a lot of backend stuff we don't want to deal with, and with those elements being available to us in Shogun Frontend, our team can focus on the customer experience instead. Plus, the authoring experience built into the CMS functionality is a game-changer for the team.”
Implementing Shogun Frontend increases sessions with product views by 39.8%
Within a month after launching their Shogun Frontend store, Daring's percentage of sessions with a product view is up 39.8% and average pages per session is up by 25%. Visitors are exploring the site content (recipes and how-to’s), but they’re checking out products, too.
Shoppers now browse the Daring site faster and view more pages in a single session. The PWA technology powering the site enables a speedy, app-like experience that helps customers along, says Tao:
“One of our goals was to make sure we’re telling our story in a cohesive way based on how customers navigate our site and learn about our products. Going headless with Shogun Frontend gave us the opportunity to look at each page as a whole and make it a more fluid experience.”
And focusing on cohesive navigation has paid off: average session duration has increased by 2% after launching on Shogun Frontend. Not only is Daring.com fast, but shoppers are staying on the site longer.
Overall, Tao says going headless isn’t as daunting as it’s often made out to be:
“Going headless is not as intimidating or complex as it seems. With Shogun Frontend, you get a complete understanding of the build process from start to finish and have a team in your corner to help at every part of the process.”
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