Choosing an eCommerce Platform: Magento versus Shopify
Magento LIVE Europe 2019 Technology Highlights
Magento 2 Pros & Cons: Is it right for your business?
Follow the journey of an online retailer who launched a Magento multichannel / omnichannel solution and more than doubled their eCommerce business to 7+ million.
TL;DR: Hot Tub Spa Supplies was progressive in investing time and money in technology like Magento – and their investment paid off – big.
HTSS has been our client for 3+ years. We built their first Magento 1 site, which helped establish them as a major name in the industry. But as time went on, HTSS needed new user experience and fulfillment features to stay competitive.
It was time for a change. A complete tech overhaul.
Chapter 1: Planning the Magento 2 Migration
HTSS wanted smarter and more convenient search, streamlined fulfillment logic and enhanced security. We suggested they migrate their site to Magento 2 and then helped them build an RFP that addressed all their needs.
“An RFP accelerates the kickoff process and ensures that you get the product you want the first time around.” – Malay Patel, Chief Delivery Officer
HTSS had a blueprint for their development and technology growth goals over the next three years. It was time to migrate, redesign, and deploy.
Chapter 2: Magento 2 Migration
The Hot Tub Spa Supplies migration project took approximately 6 months from kickoff to launch. This is typical for larger sites with 1,000’s of product SKUs.
This project followed our typical Magento 2 Migration process (with customizations). Check out our Magento Migration Webinar that covers the migration process in detail.
Chapter 3: Magento 2 Backend Updates
Part of the migration upgrade was an enhanced backend management system and fulfillment infrastructure cleanup.
First, we updated all their important extensions to the latest Magento 2 versions. Some were outdated, so we left them behind in favor of more relevant modules. This ensured that HTSS kept their profitable functionalities while making room for new site offerings.
Next, we updated all product data. This made data management easier for HTSS admins and made search features even more user-friendly.
The final task was to streamline order management. To do this we:
- Cleaned up the roadblock 3rd-party APIs
- Removed the third-party drop shipping
- Moved HTSS to ShipStation
- Connected Magento with a proper OMS/WMS
- Made the system compatible with the latest ERPs
These changes allow orders to be fulfilled seamlessly from the Magento admin and ShipStation.
Chapter 4: The Parts Finder
The centerpiece of the site overhaul was an optimized Parts Finder. With 3+ years of data analytics to draw from, we found that the parts finder is how most HTSS customers shop.
We redesigned the parts finder with a sleeker profile while providing more options for product searches. The cleaned-up data from phase 3 returned smarter answers to search queries.
Chapter 5: New Site Design & UX
Migrations offer an excellent opportunity to update website design and make UX enhancements.
Because the Parts Finder is the primary sales tool on the site, we made it sticky on every page. Customers are never more than one click away from the products they want.
Other UX upgrades include a streamlined navigation bar that declutters the shopping process and drives sales. There’s also a new category structure in place for easier sorting when customers land on product category pages.
The new site looks, feels and functions like a modern eCommerce store, which is critical for building trust with customers.
Chapter 6: Upgraded Hosting
To provide the speed, security and consistent uptime that HTSS required, we helped them move to an enhanced hosting provider.
MageMojo (an Amazon Web Services provider) delivered fast and flexible cloud-based hosting. MageMojo is also a preferred provider for Magento sites and together their eCommerce performance is unparalleled. Finally, HTSS’s security issues vanished as we installed the latest PCI-compliant security patches.
This is brought HTSS up to the highest 2019/2020 web hosting standards.
Chapter 7: Launch & Marketing
HTSS needed a seamless transition at launch so they did not lose SEO traction or sales at a critical time. We tested and retested the site prior to going live. Risks were not an option.
We also paused their Google AdWords campaigns during launch. Then we partnered with their marketing team to develop new content and keyword strategies that worked with the Magento 2 website.
Chapter 8: Results
It’s been 6 months (as of this writing) since launch and sales have been consistent day-to-day.
(To protect client privacy, we cannot use snapshots from their analytics).
Epilogue: Conversion Optimization and PWAs
Now that HTSS has the tools to do the heavy lifting in terms of sales (Parts Finder, M2 store, better APIs), they can fine-tune the site to increase sales month over month.
The next goal is adding Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to for fast-loading, reliable and immersive features that feel like a natural app on any device.
Thanks to their Magento 2 Migration, Hot Tub Spa Supplies has the tech foundation to support active growth for the next 5+ years.
If you’d like to discuss your eCommerce goals with us and learn how to achieve them, please contact us or call 201.880.6656. You can also leave a comment below and we will get back to you ASAP.
Thank you for reading.