Acceleration of developer velocity by 50% with FEaaS
About Zenni Optical
Zenni Optical pioneered the online eyewear business in 2003 to make prescription eyewear accessible to everyone. Based in Marin County, California, Zenni Optical lets its customers express their style and individuality through high-quality prescription glasses and sunglasses. With its curated collections and thousands of frames, Zenni has already sold over 25 million pairs of glasses worldwide.
Watch the full interview with David Ting, a CTO at Zenni Optical, talking about Zenni's composable commerce journey assisted by Vue Storefront:
Before making the composable shift, Zenni Optical was on Oracle’s all-in-one monolithic platform, ATG Web Commerce. Over time, the fast-growing company started feeling a lack of scalability, flexibility, and digital resources. Meanwhile, Oracle stopped supporting ATG and announced the end of its lifecycle, which became the key catalyst for Zenni Optical to make the shift globally from the ATG monolith to a truly composable commerce stack.
Slow page loads, lack of scalability and flexibility.
Bad developer experience on the old stack made hiring great people hard.
Optionality - needed a futureproof frontend with ability to integrate with new services.
Developer velocity - needed infinitely customizable solution with prebuilt components.
Oracle stopped supporting ATG (End of Life)
Needed a composable frontend as a service with enterprise level support and service.
Despite these obstacles, Zenni Optical decided to expand its business model by engaging health insurance companies that offer vision coverage to their patients and help them get special pricing on glasses. That approach required launching a totally new B2B experience on a tight schedule.
Then the company faced a real challenge: it should build a robust and highly scalable digital base for B2B in the extremely short term and eliminate potential risks simultaneously.
Since the company has an ambitious goal to achieve $1 bln in revenue by 2025, cooperation with market-proven vendors and a composable commerce approach was the clear path forward.
“We're not held hostage to any eCommerce platform” – API orchestration & portability
Zenni Optical opted for composable commerce architecture, and needed to choose the most suitable products for its commerce stack. They ended up making the decision to pull together the new stack with a frontend first approach. They asked Vue Storefront to help drive the evaluation by building a proof of concept focused on getting a product detail page for a new B2B experience live with Vue Storefront (frontend), Algolia (Search), Contentful (CMS), and commercetools (Commerce platform) in as little time as possible.
Because Vue Storefront is a backend agnostic, frontend as a service for composable commerce with a suite of ready to use commerce, content, search & payment integrations, Zenni Optical was able to quickly integrate and evaluate Shopify, CommerceTools & Magento in a matter of weeks.
Vue Storefront’s API orchestration gave Zenni the optionality to pull in multiple best in class services while keeping the customer experience untouched. After completing a 4 week proof of concept, Zenni finalized their evaluation, and decided to move forward with a composable stack that included Vue Storefront, Algolia, Contentful, and Magento.
"By starting with Vue Storefront, we were able to integrate and evaluate Shopify, commercetools and Magento on the backend while leaving the experience layer untouched. We are not held hostage to any eCommerce platform. That speaks to the power of Vue Storefront. Frontend as a Service enables us to move components in and out while the customer experience remains untouched. With Vue Storefront, we have portability on the backend, so we can focus our future on innovating the best customer experiences.”
CTO, Zenni Optical
“Vue Storefront shaved at least 50% of our dev timeline”
Operation with Vue Storefront helped accelerate ZenniOptical.com’s developer velocity by 50% while dramatically decreasing replatform risk and time to market.
"High velocity is another part of the availability of resources. Developers are hard to find, so that affects the time-to-market. But Vue Storefront’s simple and clear code and its developer-friendly environment make them more engaged. If you can develop 2x faster, it's a competitive advantage. That velocity is going throughout the performance. It speeds up the development cycle and leads to pretty fast load times. The Vue Storefront specialists are doing well with website speed. And if you look at our B2B website load time, it's better than our main site metrics right now."
CTO, Zenni Optical
During its composable commerce journey, Zenni Optical decided to use Vue Storefront Cloud to ensure better data security and reduce the total cost of ownership.
"We decided to host our website in the Vue Storefront Cloud, which was evaluated by the customers via electronic patient records. We need to have an isolated environment and do everything to ensure total customer isolation from each other. In this case, multi-tenant was not a thing, but Vue Storefront Cloud became a good option."
CTO, Zenni Optical
“It's really Frontend as a Service” – Broad integration ecosystem
Another advantage of Frontend as a Service that made it the obvious choice for Zenni Optical was the wide range of ready-to-use integrations that allowed the company to feel a truly agnostic approach and build a robust commerce stack at a fraction of cost and time.
“It’s really Frontend as a Service. Microservices in the backend are really treating the frontend the same way and allowing more developers to make that code accessible, which is key. It's very little code and very simple code to get started. Ready-to-use integrations are a huge key. For example, going from ATG Commerce to Magento in ordinary conditions would be like a 6-month project. But we can cope with it for pretty much a week and a half. It's amazing! We have portability which is good for me as a leader and this eCommerce platform.”
CTO, Zenni Optical
The Zenni Optical project is still in progress. However, the promising results of Vue Storefront Frontend as a Service usage were obvious from day one. Consequently, choosing Frontend as a Service, Zenni Optical managed to:
cut the development timeline
get portability on the backend side
achieve faster load time and better web performance
build a scalable frontend for a mobile-first experience
The company reported accomplishing more in a couple of weeks working with the Vue Storefront team and technology than it expected to achieve in the next several months. This real-life success story proves that starting with the frontend to cope with other elements step by step is the right strategy for a composable commerce journey.
"I think most eCommerce companies miss this opportunity. They don't understand the economics of operating eCommerce. Luckily, we went composable and jumped into the right carriage, partially owing to the Vue Storefront. We have good chemistry when working with each other."
CTO, Zenni Optical
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