How Smash + Tess Used Shopify Metaobjects to Scale Brand Storytelling Across Its Online Store

Smash & Tess case study

Smash + Tess is a mother-daughter owned online retailer of super-popular rompers for women and kids, as well as comfy loungewear for men. It’s the brand's mission to bring comfort and style to all genders and sizes, and to produce its goods locally. 

Since 2017, the team at Smash + Tess has been working with Shopify to run their business. This has allowed them to focus on creating innovative fashions—including exciting fashion collabs with pop culture icons like Paula Abdul and Jillian Harris. 

In 2022, the Smash + Tess team realized that their products were not only popular, but the story behind the business was compelling as well. They turned to Shopify and Shopify Plus Partner Teifi Digital to rethink how they were displaying product information on their product pages.

By providing Smash + Tess with a more scalable content management approach, Shopify has helped the brand reduce their time to publish a new collection release page template from one hour or more to a few minutes. The brand has seen a 50% increase in "draft" to "active" product status publishing speed due to the increased efficiencies the metaobjects functionality brings.

Most importantly, conversions from its Collections page have increased by more than 12%, with more product exposure.

The challenge: Simplifying content management to bring the brand’s story forward 

Each romper that Smash + Tess creates has its own unique story and message. In the past, bringing these stories to life on the Shopify platform took significant developer and internal resources from the Smash + Tess team. 

Using Shopify’s metaobjects platform, Smash + Tess was able to scale their brand storytelling and reduce the time and cost that it took to share these stories. 

The solution: Brand storytelling everywhere 

Using Shopify’s new metaobjects platform Smash + Tess created custom models, populated them with content, and referenced them throughout a custom Online Store, built with Liquid.

Metaobjects are custom field models that can be associated with core elements of your Shopify store, for example "fabric type" or any other field that is associated with a product. 

Metaobjects are groupings of metafields that allow you to create a customized data entry for your business from Shopify admin. This entity can either be referenced on core elements within your store—like products, blogs, or collectionsor can be accessed on its own directly through Liquid. 

Smash + Tess used Metaobjects for three specific applications: influencer-created content, Product FAQs, and logic-based Collection banners. 

Integrating influencer content  

Smash + Tess wants to increase conversion on its storefront by using influencer recommendations as a form of social proof. They craft these stories by engaging with brand ambassadors to create unique product collections that are a reflection of their personal story and relationship with the brand.

Each brand ambassador has similar sections across the site. For example, the home page features row sections that highlight each individual with their name and image, a social handle, a link to their custom collection, and a link to their story. Furthermore, this same data composes sections that are used elsewhere on the site. 

To only have to upload each influencer’s data once and dynamically reference each field when applicable, structuring influencers as a metaobject composed of metafields was the way to go for Smash + Tess. Metaobjects ensure the data is captured in one centralized place and is available to anywhere on an online store via Liquid. 

Influencer collections are featured on the homepage as individual rows like this:

influencer collections

Under the hood, each influencer is structured as a metaobject. In the online store editor, each of these fields can then be assigned to settings directly or mapped as an entire object. The custom Liquid section then parses the object and uses the metafields within the associated metaobject to populate any section across the store. 

Product FAQs

Each Smash + Tess product is unique, but often the same frequently asked questions (FAQs) apply to a number of them. This is a great use case for metaobjects because each metaobject can be referenced to a respective core resource (such as a product) and can dynamically populate sections on the product’s detail page. 

On the Smash + Tess online store, each product has an FAQ section that populates a dropdown menu.

product FAQ Smash & Tess

Behind the scenes, each FAQ is structured as a metaobject composed of metafields. These are then referenced to products in the respective product reference metafield section. Finally, they’re available in the online store editor to map to settings as applicable.

Collection banners  

Smash + Tess drop new products frequently—weekly in fact. To keep up with this cadence, the team needs a streamlined way to add custom storytelling to each launch without creating new templates or diving into Liquid code. 

This is where metaobjects truly shine. Each collection page has a custom liquid banner that is dynamically mapped to a metaobject. This way, the Smash + Tess team can focus on crafting each collection with the proper assets needed for launch and when it’s time to go live, the section on the website will be seamlessly created – no theme versioning required. 

collection banners

And under the hood the banner is a metaobject entry, which is structured with all the primitives seen live on the site. To create a new instance of the banner for any upcoming launch, a merchant has to fill out the relevant fields for the promotion in the metaobject entry page, just like how they would fill out values when configuring a liquid page template.

Then the new instance of the metaobject can be mapped to its respective collections on the collection metafield setting panel, and will be live whenever the collection goes live, with a countdown timer to build FOMO and hype. 

The results: Simplified workflows and streamlined release cycles

Smash + Tess have seen gains in consumer experience, simplified developer workflows, and improvements in their bottom line as they streamline their release cycle, unlocking the ability to ship new releases on an almost weekly cadence. This, coupled with the ability to more seamlessly engage customers across their storefront, have made metaobjects a huge success for Smash + Tess.

In summary, metaobjects unlock: 

  • Faster, more streamlined product launches by re-using existing content objects to populate sections with similar structures of content.
  • Better versioning control, allowing the ability to stage assets behind metaobjects and populate dynamically once a product goes live. 
  • Less overhead; one JSON template can populate myriad instances of a page backed by any Shopify resource and enhanced with metaobjects and metafields to dynamically populate sections with content.
  • Empowering non-technical teams to create new instances of existing website sections and populate them with fresh, timely content.

Thinking ahead: What’s next for Smash + Tess?

Smash + Tess is always thinking about new ways to streamline operations with metaobjects. Up next, the team is looking at populating more sections across their site with metaobjects and introducing new sections, such as a size calculator, with net-new metaobjects mapped to custom liquid sections. The team will also be exploring back office use cases to streamline business operations with this new platform capability.