The Raumschmiede planned the redesign of the .de and .at online shops as well as the migration of the backend from the e-commerce system Magento 1 to the successor Magento 2 – a completely new development, as all functionalities and connections were newly built and the code base was included all extensions need to be cleaned up.
Mobile first: meet user expectations with new technology
The Augsburg digital agency Team23 was commissioned to integrate the new technology. The digital agency and Raumschmiede have a long partnership that initially starts with SEO and marketing advice was based. The cooperation became closer with the shop relaunch of Magento in 2015, which made Team23 the technical lead agency. Since then, the online shops have been constantly developed, adapted to new requirements and looked after.
Changed user requirements required a new, specific focus for the web shops in the current project: The very important Mobile First approach should now be taken into account in design and technology. The key was to think of a mobile platform as the technological basis so that the website feels like an app to the user. The result of interactions must be available immediately and the data must be loaded in the background in advance. The prerequisite for this is a more promising platform and a new, mobile-optimized front end. In addition to the migration of the backend to Magento 2, the frontend was therefore built as a PWA solution, separate from the Vue storefront.
Mobile first: shopping experience with individual offers
As an enterprise system in e-commerce, Magento’s strength lies in its ability to easily adapt to different customer groups and industries. The scenarios can be expanded as required by the individual business case. In the future it will be more and more about getting the customer to act on them tailored shopping experience to offer with individual offers. Magento lays the foundation for this with its state-of-the-art functionalities.
As part of Adobe, there is also a lot of potential for PWA solutions in the system. Since both the Raumschmiede and Team23 had relevant experience and the front end Vue storefront offers good integration with Magento, the choice of Magento as the backend technology was obvious. This resulted in greater security for data migration and shorter learning times in the team.
Project with some construction sites
The project work began in early 2019 with an MVP, and the migration then started in March. The project with the migration of two more shops, piolo.de and betten.de, should be completed by the end of 2021. Around 1,400 man-days and 11,000 hours have gone into relocation and development so far – the .de and .at domains from Garten-und-Freizeit.de have been migrated so far.
Although the objective was set, the scope of the relaunch was not immediately foreseeable and the path was not predetermined, it was already that Choice of a suitable front-end solution Part of the job. Accordingly, at the beginning there was no classic requirement specification. Step by step, the best options were found together, and architectural questions were asked and answered. Adjustments such as new features changed and the functionalities also grew.
The front end was the first major challenge, as there is only little experience with PWA technology in the team and on the market. The team developed the know-how to find out which front end fits, is future-proof and how best to use it. Data migration and individual adjustments were also central issues. The project participants first had to get together to work as a Scrum team. Gradually, a smooth workflow developed from this, which turned out to be central to the success of the project.
Mobile First: Implement an ambitious schedule
The time frame and the seasonal business also presented major challenges. The business year of Garten-und-Freizeit.de, for example, is highly seasonal: the main sales are generated between March and July. Therefore, a relaunch of the system was not possible during this time. The relaunch should take place beforehand and with a little time lag so that adjustments to the new system do not have to be made during the main season.
The team therefore worked under time pressure in the first ten months. The .at domain was migrated in February, the German .de domain followed in October 2020. The procedure turned out to be intelligent, as experience was gained in the separate Austrian market, from which the later relocation of the main page benefited.
The focus is on online business
Garten-und-Freizeit.de’s online shops focus on online business – 95 percent of sales are made there. Since online is the most important sales channel, findability on the Internet is of central importance. Mapping the topics of SEO and performance in the PWA world differs from other shop systems. SEO filter pagesRealizing categories and descriptions in such a way that the content is delivered to search engines and users was another central task. Since the Magento backend is detached from the frontend, a bridge was created here.
Team23 developed a special SEO module and integrated the Google Tag Manager for an improved tracking result. The team also worked on numerous construction sites in parallel: In addition to developing the shop with a backend system and frontend, interfaces were set up in the background, the payment service provider changed because the old one couldn’t offer a standard connection to the frontend, and a new interface to the ERP was built.
The big and small challenges of the project were met by the good cooperation of Team23 and the Raumschmiede GmbH mastered – in a triad of expertise, routine and familiarity. A modern e-commerce solution, which is based on the usability of an app, offers users an attractive and individual shopping experience. With the PWA solution Vue storefront and the Magento 2 backend, the shops of Garten-und-Freizeit.de are set up for the future in order to meet the future requirements of the users and to be able to offer an individual customer journey. (sg)
About the author: Nadja Müller is a freelance journalist for Wordfinder PR.
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