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How We Replatformed to Shopify Plus… in 3 Weeks

When BlueSwitch became the developers of note for Flower Beauty we had mixed feelings. On the one hand, we were thrilled to be working with a fast-growing and coveted makeup brand. On the flip side, their site, built on Magento Community, was at a point that it was having stability issues that would need tackling, and we understood that when we became the developers of note, the stability of the site and responsibility for it would be ours alone.

The BlueSwitch name was on the line.

Our agency has had experience working with Magento Community. In this case, due to the nature of the platform itself – being open-source and having had multiple developers working on it – some of its strengths turned into obstacles which we saw right away when we took over the maintenance. Intermittent, unexplained site crashes were most concerning to us, especially because the holiday season was fast approaching, and we expected a significant spike in traffic.

Our first order was to try to stabilize the site which proved elusive. We reached out to a partner agency that specializes in Magento, but they wanted to spend over 200 hours just to do an initial audit. That was time we did not have. We needed to ensure that the site remained fast, secure and online during the holiday season, and if we could not guarantee that or even guarantee that we could get it back up when it went down, we simply needed to find a better way.

With Black Friday looming ever closer, we had only one resort. We decided to try to convince our new client to re-platform to Shopify Plus.

We took the re-platform so deeply to heart that we actually offered to absorb a portion of the cost just to ensure that we would be able to service our client during the rush. Surprisingly, the client agreed. Our happiness though was short-lived as reality soon set in.

On a call with their marketing agency, the conversation went something like this:

Marketing Agency: Wait, so let me get this straight. You are going to replatform from Magento to Shopify 4 weeks before Black Friday??

BlueSwitch: That’s correct.

Marketing Agency: Dear G-d.

We got in gear. The first thing we did was find a theme that we could customize and implement quickly, and not deviate too far from their existing site’s look and feel. We decided on a theme that has been successful in the past: Prestige. And while the theme worked well for the bulk of the design, there were the missing elements that were critical to the overall user experience.

For example, the look, feel, and functionality of color swatches were not as extensive as the ones they had on the Magento site. While we consulted with several apps to solve the problem, we ultimately custom coded the solution which produced a page that instead of a variant dropdown, shows multiple image squares representing the different colors. Clicking on an swatch image then changes the main product image. Additionally, we added a feature to the cart which adds the variant image that is displayed at the same time during checkout, for a seamless experience.
Another critical tweak was to the Flower Beauty reviews, powered by Power Reviews. Normally, the reviews are exported from Magento then reimported into the new Shopify Power Reviews implementation. Being extremely pressed for time, we did not have a day to waste working with Power Reviews or asking for any work to be done by them. Instead, we populated a product meta-field with the unique review identifier as it existed in Magento, then updated the front-end to connect that review with the active product. It worked!

Lastly, their 3PL integration remained. Thankfully, their 3PL provider was quickly able to port their integration that they created for Magento to Shopify.

It was working. But would it work? We believe the results of the holiday season speak for themselves.

  •  Site performance was smooth and stable
  •  Site revenue went up by 67%
  •  Email conversions increased by a whopping 81%
  •  Overall conversion up by over 20%

It is safe to say that at this stage of its development; the client is happy with the decisions and actions executed by the BlueSwitch team. In addition to eliminating the uncertainty of instability and scalability inherent with their previous site, Flower Beauty can now take advantage of the myriad of apps to instantly expand the site’s functionality, update design and functionality rapidly. And of course, as the Agency of Note, we could not be more relieved and excited to continue building this brand together with the Flower Beauty team.