British Footwear Retailer Takes a Big Step Forward with Magento 2
July 18, 2016
Kurt Geiger is a British fashion footwear retailer with over 80 stores globally and over 240 concessions within the world’s most prestigious department stores. The company is regularly listed in the IR Europe 500 guide, which ranks the 500 largest e-retailers in Europe, and is a significant player in the global fashion & apparel market.
Kurt Geiger manages multiple fashion brands across multiple channels globally, including popular online shops kurtgeiger.com, ninewest.co.uk and shoeaholics.com. The company is significantly investing in eCommerce to grow its overall business. A long time Magento client, Kurt Geiger selected ninewest.co.uk as the initial property to move to the Magento 2 platform based on their need to deliver a highly personalized site that could scale to support their growth goals while providing a unique online shopping experience. They also intend to move their remaining brands and properties to Magento 2.
Performance and Scale
Kurt Geiger took advantage of the platform improvements in Magento 2 to enhance performance and to reduce development costs, as they could leverage the rich set of features native to the platform and from available third-party extensions.
“Magento 2 is a modern architecture that will allow us to go further, and faster. It makes it easy for us to take advantage of out-of-the-box features, and for our in-house developers to create the unique shopping experiences we want for our brands,” said Tomas Griffin, Technical Lead for Kurt Geiger with responsibility for the Magento 2 project.
Performance and scalability of the platform were primary drivers of the move to Magento 2. The support for Varnish caching out-of-the box made it much easier to implement and maintain and ensure they can “pump out the pages” during peak selling seasons, like Black Friday or Christmas, when “strappy black heels” are flying off the shelves. The scalable order management system is particularly useful as they can easily add servers horizontally as needed to adjust for spikes in traffic. In addition, the modularization of the platform provides opportunities for additional scaling and performance improvements since the team can separate and scale out individual areas of the site, rather than scaling the “whole farm”.
Faster and Lower Cost Development
The flexible frontend development process, together with the modular code base, made for faster and easier development of specific functionality to meet the needs of the new site. The added flexibility allowed the team to evolve and change quickly and easily without sacrificing performance or scalability.
The new integrated testing framework made it easier to incorporate the platform into their standard development process and improved code quality while speeding up the QA process. The project QA Lead implemented the testing framework in their deployment pipeline that runs all their tests automatically. It only took a few days and is non-negotiable in their development process.
To help enhance the online shopping experience, Kurt Geiger leveraged the new Magento 2 checkout process “out-of-the-box” – as it was exactly what the team needed to remove a known conversion barrier by making “guest checkout” the assumed preference for the shopper. The responsive design reference themes were also a big bonus and their in-house designers love them because they are easy to implement and flexible to build on.
The last step in the process was to migrate customer data from the existing Magento Enterprise Edition 1.10 site to their Magento 2 implementation. The availability of migration tools and the quality support and documentation made the process less painful than wearing a pair of 6-inch stilettos.
Delivering Unique Online Experiences to Drive Sales
Kurt Geiger’s move to the Magento 2 platform will enable them to offer their customers a rich and engaging experience across devices, which will drive their growth goals. With the launch of the ninewest.co.uk site, Kurt Geiger has taken the first step in a critical journey that will empower them to quickly and affordably create unique experiences that will boost engagement, sales, and the bottom line across all their online brands.