Founded in 1995, Dita reinvented luxury sunglasses by creating a product that transcended the conventions of the category and has grown to become a true leader in optical design and craft.
In November 2018, with just weeks left until the end of the year, Dita’s global vice president of ecommerce Cody Cho was worried. He faced a gap in revenue that seemed irreconcilable — especially given that summer, the main buying season for luxury sunglasses, was far behind them.
Dita’s brick and mortar retail strategy reflects the brand’s luxury aesthetic and price point by relying heavily on well known premium partners like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue, and flagship locations in New York, LA, San Francisco, Japan, Sydney, and South Korea.
It had proven to be surprisingly difficult to find partners that could help them build a digital experience that captured the same concierge-like one they provide in their physical locations. “On the ecommerce side,” explains Cody, “There’s consistently a trade-off between creating a luxury experience and driving results.” A particular pain point was their long and cumbersome checkout experience, which introduced friction and the potential for doubt just as shoppers tried to pay.
"What Bolt provides is game-changing for companies like Dita."
Even more significant than the user experience challenge was the fact that Dita’s high price tag made it a prime target for fraudulent purchases. With an ecommerce team of one, Cody himself was forced to become well-versed in spotting discrepancies and patterns that indicated payment fraud. He quickly learned detection was only one part of the problem, though; after catching a fraudulent transaction, he was unable to get law enforcement to prioritize what for them was low-level crime, but for Dita was a potentially debilitating stream of revenue loss.
Dita evaluated multiple fraud protection tools and unfortunately they were consistently at odds with Dita’s desire for growth. One tool that they tried did automate decision-making, but it quickly became clear they generated far too many false-positives, negatively impacting Dita’s revenue and the experience of their shoppers. The other forced Dita’s team to manually decide which orders were fraudulent, which created a huge burden internally and hampering their digital growth. The Dita team was left fielding calls from legitimate customers who felt vilified after having their payment rejected.
It was just weeks before Dita was about to launch their first-ever Black Friday sale that Cody learned about Bolt. The ecommerce veteran thought it was too good to be true; Bolt offered a solution specific to the pain points they’d encountered trying to grow their online business while providing a premium experience.
Cody carefully vetted the Bolt platform and ran a test of Bolt’s decisions against his own knowledge of fraudulent payments, and each one matched. He considered the opportunity: if Bolt could do just 10% of what they promised, they’d make more money. Cody decided to give Bolt a try.
Within a week, Bolt was up and running, and the tests continued to check out. When Dita opened their VIP sales event on Black Friday, shoppers rushed to add the steeply discounted frames to their shopping carts. They didn’t stop there, though: they converted into customers.
Bolt not only held up to the high volume of shoppers, but it was fundamental to ensuring Dita surged past their aggressive growth goals. Dita experienced a 46% decrease in cart abandonment and a whopping 72% increase in checkout conversion. They also experienced an immediate 14% increase in order approval rate with Bolt’s more sophisticated approach to fraud. And the difference has held. Bolt continues to deliver a checkout rate much higher than it was before and has minimized their fraud issues to practically non-existent.
“When you’re running a lean team like so many independent digital retailers are, you just assume a certain amount of friction and burden,” says Cody. “What Bolt provides is game-changing for companies like Dita. Given the opportunity, why wouldn’t you provide a premium checkout experience and address painful fraud related issues, and solve for these pain points while making more money?”