Form Factory Partners With Shogun Frontend to Build Cutting-Edge Ecommerce Experiences
Certified agency Form Factory has helped brands like Nomad, FLEO, and TULA go headless.
increase in ecommerce conversion rate
decrease in bounce rate
Form Factory is an ecommerce agency helping scaling brands build stunning experiences with headless technology and creative production. Founded by Duncan Fairley and Nathan Henry, they work with high-end consumer goods clients, like Nomad, TULA, and FLEO.
Designing one-of-a-kind ecommerce experiences is in Form Factory’s DNA.
The creative agency has been producing ultra-custom websites and stunning video for high-end ecommerce brands since 2018.
As a trailblazer and early adopter of leading-edge technology, Duncan Fairley, the Co-Founder of Form Factory knew headless commerce would be the next frontier for helping clients boost conversions:
“Because of our longstanding relationship with [client] Nomad, we got a very early look at what Shogun Frontend could do. It was clear immediately that this architecture would fundamentally change the way ecommerce sites are built. As that build kicked off, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the industry woke up to what’s possible with headless. Becoming a world-class headless development house became our top priority.”
Typically, headless sites require building an entire architecture from scratch, vetting several software providers, and a great deal of technology oversight long term—no small feat for agencies or clients.
With Shogun Frontend, the leading packaged frontend software, Form Factory has discovered a new way to launch more headless sites that achieve incredible client results.
Now, they’re taking brands to the next level of growth efficiently:
“Typically, with a headless build, brands need to glue together different solutions from various providers so making everything work in harmony is a real challenge,” says Fairley. “With Shogun Frontend, all the individual pieces—the CMS, the server-side rendering, all of it—are designed to work together perfectly.”
As one of the first Certified Shogun Frontend agencies, Form Factory now has access to world-class training, documentation, and a support ecosystem for offering headless services.
Before Partnering With Shogun Frontend
Form Factory saw how clients wanted to exceed the limits of ecommerce, and designed ultra-custom sites to suit. But this had drawbacks.
Building a completely custom headless site was time-consuming, difficult to maintain (both in scope and execution), and wasn’t an especially scalable offering.
Plus, the third-party SaaS and maintenance fees for clients added up quickly! An entirely custom headless build was a significant undertaking for both clients and the agency (which is why, traditionally, only huge brands could go headless).
What’s more, before, Form Factory had to work directly with clients for further site updates, no matter how small.
“That was why we got excited about Shogun Frontend,” says Fairley. “It was the first time we’d seen a platform that allows us to build a progressive web app our clients can change and modify on their own through a native CMS. Shogun Frontend offered an excellent solution to a problem we’d had over and over again.”
Long-term client autonomy is something Fairley ardently believes in:
“One of the most important qualities we’ve seen among fast-moving ecommerce teams is autonomy…If the people responsible for merchandising and content can directly manage their stores instead of relying on designers and developers, they just get more done.”
Fortunately, the agency found a way to make headless especially accessible to clients like Nomad and FLEO.
Headless commerce is now a repeatable service for Form Factory
With Shogun Frontend, Form Factory has access to industry-leading software for building progressive web apps. This is helping streamline client workflows, and unlocking creativity for eager brands.
Thanks to the Experience Manager built into Shogun Frontend, Form Factory can build reusable site components which clients can use or alter as needed without developer help.
“Our clients can add video, change the order of images on a page, a background color, you name it,” says Fairley. “They can add what they want without breaking the style guide or jeopardizing site performance. Plus, because of Shogun’s caching and asset optimization, we can add rich media without dragging down site performance.”
Reusable content blocks for building PWAs mean Form Factory and their client’s dev teams can focus on even higher-value projects.
Every build begins with the Shogun Frontend Starter Kit, which includes GitHub integration, mock APIs, and more. This ultimately means Form Factory can create flexible frontends much faster with a strong starting point.
Unlocked creativity without tradeoffs
Shogun Frontend gives Form Factory free rein to hone their creative genius and bring their clients’ site visions to life—all without performance tradeoffs.
“We’ve always wanted to build things that looked different. Everything in ecommerce is so similar with the same structure and format. There’s so much convention—and some of it’s helpful—but a lot of it goes unquestioned. You know, ‘this is the way ecommerce should look.’ And that always felt limiting to us. With this platform, we can take sites to a level we couldn’t before.”
— Duncan Fairley, Co-Founder, Form Factory
From repurposing high-res video across a site to customized remerchandising, Form Factory can now facilitate the creative content brands crave, all while keeping the store running at unparalleled speed thanks to the underlying PWA technology.
Higher-performing sites without compromises
Form Factory has taken several incredible brands headless, including lifestyle accessories brand Nomad (launched November 2020) and most recently, activewear brand FLEO (launched November 2021).
Since launching their new Shogun Frontend-powered PWA, Nomad has seen some impressive results:
Brian Hahn, the Co-Founder of Nomad, is thrilled about the move to headless and what the future holds for the brand with this tech:
“Speed aside, we had a lot of things that we wanted to do especially in merchandising that wasn’t possible before moving to Shogun Fronted. We got tired of conversations that ended with ‘if only we could have.’ Now, what we can imagine is what we can do.”
Form Factory’s enthusiasm for what’s possible with headless, coupled with what Shogun Frontend offers, lets their clients think bigger and accomplish more.
As a Shogun Frontend Certified Agency, Form Factory also assisted and consulted with TULA’s in-house development team to bring their brand’s stunning site to life. After launching the new PWA on Shogun Frontend, TULA now enjoys creative flexibility and custom feature development—like a robust site search feature—without hits to site performance.
Finally, for Form Factory client FLEO, site speed and creative flexibility were two main motivators for their recent move to a headless storefront.
As an activewear brand, including high-quality imagery of their apparel in use across the site without hits to performance was key.
Using Shogun Frontend, Form Factory built a super responsive site equipped to handle advanced functionality.
A great example is FLEO’s collection and product pages that instantly check real-time inventory across hundreds of variants to show customers exactly which colorful prints are available in their size.
Fairley says headless commerce has expanded what’s possible for an ecommerce experience:
“One of the most significant effects of going headless is that clients start thinking about the different ways they can change their online experience because they’re no longer bound to the rigid architecture they’re used to.”
A true partnership
Form Factory and Shogun have become a dynamic duo in the headless landscape. The agency’s organized, knowledgeable team can turn around headless builds using the software in weeks and they have an eye for creating exceptional ecommerce experiences.
“We’ve developed a deeply collaborative partnership with Shogun. And because we’re on the frontline of so many headless builds the team takes our feedback very seriously,” says Fairley. “It’s clear both merchant and agency feedback is shaping the future of the platform.”
As a Certified Agency Partner, Duncan and team have access to platform and go-to-market resources, documentation, and a dedicated support team to ensure each build is smooth and successful.
“The Shogun team is aligned with us on our desire to enable truly innovative shopping experiences,” says Fairley. “They’re willing to get into the weeds to figure out what stands between where we are and where we want to take our clients together.”
At Shogun, we’re excited to make flexible frontends more accessible, and we’re excited to have Form Factory partnering with us to lead this charge.
Duncan Fairley“The Shogun team is aligned with us on our desire to enable truly innovative shopping experiences. They're willing to get into the weeds to figure out what stands between where we are and where we want to take our clients together.”