From a few offline outlets to an all-Ukrainian optical chain with its own online store.

There is a prejudice that nothing is permanent in agencies - neither projects nor people. We could argue with both theses, but we have loyal customers waiting for us :)) So let's just share a case study busting this myth. 

How did it all start?

It was 2009. A time when people didn't know about coronavirus or the sound of air raid warning. However, the world was just recovering from another economic crisis, and Ukrainian entrepreneurs were mastering the Internet as a sales tool. 

That's when we met Kyivlinza, a local business that at the time had several small offline optical stores in Kyiv and very strong ambitions resonating with our team. 

The primary task was to have an online presence. Kyivlinza became one of the first customers for whom we implemented one of the most complex e-commerce projects at that time. But a website alone was not enough to get the target user to notice the company. To reach the maximum of organic audience, we already realized that a search engine optimization was a must. So, at the start of the project, CF.Digital specialists prepared the online store for SEO promotion. 

SEO promotion and new versions of the online store

There was an immediate match with Kyivlinza - as soon as we finished the website, we started launching promotions and attracting new customers. 

In parallel with the company's business development, our agency was actively researching and implementing new technologies. 2010 saw a real boom in the technology market: changes and the search for new solutions, leaps in progress and development of new features. At the same time, Kyivlinza's business was growing very fast. Already in 2013, we updated the online store for Kyivlinza, and that version had existed for almost 7 years. In case you ask where we were all those 7 years until... 

The development process was very different then and now. After all, the concept of prototypes was just being introduced, and instead of a clear detailed technical specification, we only had a sort of list of functional requirements. At the same time, the project was complex in terms of business specifics: its own bonus system for customers, many product parameters that influenced the development of the catalog menu and product cards. Many features were tweaked and modified during the development process.

This is not a story about a quick result, but about systematic growth, realistic goals, and, accordingly, the achieved result. There were already competitors in the market that we had to reach, but gradually we even managed to outperform most of them. 

Solutions that were ahead of their time

The client gave us the green light to test various hypotheses and implement technologies, and we were even ahead of our time with our ideas.

For example, we implemented an online glasses fitting tool that allowed users to see how well a particular frame suits them. However, the technology at the time did not allow us to process the fitting as nice as VR/AR does, which is no surprise today. Back in 2014, we closed this project because it did not bring the expected demand.

The period of coronacrisis

Now we are nostalgically recalling the period of coronavirus and lockdowns, which tested the business to the limit. While many people put their projects on hold and closed their offline stores, Kyivlinza decided to use this time to restart the project. 

While in the previous website modernization we had focused on technical improvements to the platform, at that time we needed to update the design and create a recognizable style. A small business like Kyivlinza was back then also needed time to define its own identity. In a year, we completely redesigned the website: the design was updated, and blocks for customer interaction and feedback were added.

Going beyond digital and full-scale invasion

Kievlinza's business continued to grow and expand into new regions of Ukraine: Lviv, Dnipro, Odesa. 

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Kyivlinza has once again confirmed its unbroken spirit and faith in Ukraine, the business and our agency team. Only within 1.5 weeks, the business was actively providing services to customers and continued to promote the brand. 

But besides the challenges posed by the full-scale war, there was another important aspect of the site that we could not leave as it was - the kievlinza domain. We had been planning to change it for a long time, but we were not happy with the prospect of losing the positions in Google we had gained over the years. Moving to a new domain is a disaster for any site. But the motivation was stronger than the risks.  

After taking our SEO specialist away from the screen, we still moved the site to the new kyivlinza domain. 

Today, thanks to the continuous improvement of search engine optimization, an increase in the number of high-quality natural links to the site, work on micro-markup, improvement of the loading speed of site elements, and other ongoing SEO efforts, the site is confidently holding its position. Thus, even during the full-scale invasion, the number of transactions and the average check has been growing organically, while the price of products has not changed. Today, we have an average CTR of 5.5%, which is a very good indicator.

In just six months of fruitful optimization, we have achieved higher results than on the old version of the site.  

We added outdoor advertising to SEO promotion: billboards, subway and TV ads. Despite the difficult circumstances, we expanded our cooperation and developed a communication strategy for the company. 

A challenge to tradition. Video production

Eyes are the mirror of the soul. A sense organ that says a lot about a person and opens up the whole world for them. Despite the fact that many people still believe that eye color should be natural, we decided to challenge this idea and make the look more modern and creative. 

Idea for the promo video

We decided to turn to Ukrainian folk songs to rethink the image of modern youth and show that even traditional and seemingly familiar things can be interesting and modern. 

We were inspired by the song "Black Eyebrows, Brown Eyes" by Kostiantyn Dmytrashko performed by Anatoliy Solovianenko. After the copyright legal examination and making sure that we could use the lyrics, we found a wonderful vocalist who sings in the Armed Forces choir and invited him to join the project.  The combination of vocal talent and professionalism of the team of sound engineers and arrangers created a modern sound for our upcoming video. 

In it, we aimed to show modern youth. The relationship between a young man and a young woman who are constantly changing images, and most importantly, changing colored contact lenses, emphasizing the lyrics of the song. To do this, it was important to choose the right images that combine youth, beauty, sincerity, and modernity. 

It should be noted that the entire process of working on the video was accompanied by air raids and the threat of massive missile attacks. Some of the locations we chose for the video were destroyed by russia. During the filming itself, we were most concerned about the safety of the people gathered on the set. 

Nevertheless, in cooperation with Mozhem, a video production company that helped us create the video, we got exactly what we wanted from the beginning - sincerity and authenticity, and our courage paid off - Kyivlinza consolidated its position in the Ukrainian market.

"In my opinion, the greatest value is the people who work for the company. A powerful team of professionals working for the result, while feeling responsible. The ability to quickly adapt to changes, both internal and external (and they could be weekly for us), is a testament to the team's well-coordinated work.” 
- Operations Director of COO SOLENTE LLC Serhiy Ivanov.