Rip Curl

Rip Curl is riding the wave of success with leading ecommerce tech from Searchspring.

Rip Curl Case Study featured image - blonde, female surfer in black rip curl wet suit smiling on beach; rip curl logo, searchspring logo; the words


Increase in Shoppers Using Search


Increase in Orders From Search


Increase in Revenue From Search

“My advice to anyone in ecommerce would be to think about the ease of the shopper experience and how to reduce friction. Technology like Searchspring can help shoppers find the products they want and get to checkout faster. This can all have a massive impact on reducing drop-off and lifting conversion rates.”

Daniel McLean
Ecommerce Manager, Rip Curl

two surfers standing next to each other with surf boards in front of the ocean, smiling. One man, one woman. Rip Curl wetsuits.

The Brand

Born at Bells Beach in Australia in 1969, Rip Curl is a true Aussie icon specialising in surfwear and surfing gear. Rip Curl has ridden a wave of success since its humble beginnings of shaping boards in a small garage and sewing wetsuits in a house basement behind the Torquay Pub.

In the ’90s, Rip Curl further defined what its brand meant to customers. The Search is the company’s driving force – an age-old surfing philosophy. It’s a communal ideal and a lifestyle quest for surfers to enjoy sun, sand, and surf – from coast to coast around the globe. The Search originated with the creation of Rip Curl and lives on in everything the company does as the ultimate surfing brand.

Woman surfer riding a wave

The Challenges

Ecommerce Manager, Daniel McLean, came on board in the early days of COVID-19 to optimise Rip Curl’s online presence. Ecommerce was seeing rapid growth, with consumers quickly forming new shopping habits that prioritised online channels. During this time, they came to the fast realisation that technology and processes needed to adapt.

“We could see there was an ecommerce boom on its way as the pandemic hit. We knew we needed to keep in front of changing shopper behaviours and maximise that boom. Improving our back-end systems was key to enhancing front-end shopping experiences.” 

Manual merchandising processes were a key candidate for enhancement. Rip Curl identified an opportunity to streamline processes for their lean team and drive efficiency internally and take their customers’ search and discovery journey to the next level.

male surfer in the middle of a large wave

The Solutions

Along with a re-platform to replace legacy code and processes that would increase efficiency, Rip Curl engaged Searchspring to implement a winning combination of enhanced onsite search experiences for customers and more productive processes for its merchandisers.

“When we got our hands on Searchspring, we quickly began making use of boost rules to automatically promote products based on best sellers, high margin items, stock levels and shopper segmentation logic. This meant much less manual merchandising work – and more time for us to spend on strategic initiatives.”

Searchspring’s synonyms and zero search results reports now help merchandisers identify and add or update related terms that shoppers use to search for products. Powerful search insights provide faster product discovery and a better overall shopper experience.

As a global company with websites across AU, NZ, the US, and Europe, the flexibility and efficiency of ecommerce tech-stack solutions are critical. With Searchspring’s help, Rip Curl is able to set merchandising rules, such as boosting products and markdowns within search results by individual or multiple domains. Rip Curl’s merchandisers have gained a new level of adaptability and have saved considerable time with Searchspring’s rules and automation.

Daniel elaborates, “Our previous systems relied on daily merchandising of items. A lot of time went into researching the performance of items, monitoring inventory, and other variables to then manually merchandise the site. Now, we can simply set our variables, let Searchspring do the hard work, and review performance to make sure everything stays on track. We’re also continuing to find incremental increases in conversions and growing our average order value.”

“Searchspring gives us the flexibility across multiple domains to show products in specific catalogue orders or dynamically re-order the display of products most relevant to shopper’ search queries. It helps us manage things from a global level more effectively but also caters to the preferences and behaviours of regional audiences. Especially when managing closely-related regions like Australia and New Zealand, Searchspring’s merchandising capabilities make everything much more efficient.”

Daniel McLean
Ecommerce Manager, Rip Curl

blonde woman in rip curl wetsuit smiling on a beach

The Results

Rip Curl shoppers are now discovering products and converting easier than ever before – and it shows in the numbers. From 2020 to 2022, Rip Curl has experienced a 55% increase in shoppers using search and an 18.75% increase in orders from searches. Even more impressive is a 20% increase in revenue driven by search over the same period.

Now that Searchspring has replaced manual daily merchandising of items with seamless automated processes, Rip Curls’s merchandising team has reclaimed significant time. As a result, they are able to put a stronger focus on strategic activities that provide an even more outstanding onsite shopper experience.

“Without Searchspring, we’d be doing a lot of manual reports to figure out the best merchandising approach. Instead, we’re now spending that time on value-add activities that further enhance the experience for our shoppers.”

Daniel also notes the ease of implementing and managing Searchspring, “We basically set things up once with Searchspring and then it just works. That gives us the confidence to quickly move on to the next improvement items.”

The technology partnership between Rip Curl and Searchspring is one that will continue creating results for years to come. As Daniel explains, “Searchspring’s implemented team did an amazing job of giving us exactly what we needed – even finding more efficient workarounds for our standard ecommerce platform functionality. They’re brilliant at making things work and have always focused their development around our needs instead of trying to fit our needs to their development. It’s rare to find technology partners as invested in working this closely. It’s a true partnership that brings real results.”

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