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Best eCommerce Sites Soak&Sleep’s Magento 2 Upgrade
The UK’s #1 online bed and bath brand took the plunge.
When Charlie Hunt launched the Duvet and Pillow Warehouse back in 2006, he spent most of his start-up capital on a $99 website. (‘Duvet’ is the British word for comforter). But the entrepreneur had an epic business plan. He dreamed of revolutionizing the online pillow and duvet market by cutting out the middleman, to save customers up to 70 percent off in-store prices. “I had come from a background of shipping and international sales,” Hunt explained. “The plan was to have a truly international name that was scalable for our global ambitions.” After outgrowing their home-brewed solution and rebranding to “Soak&Sleep,” the company upgraded to Magento Commerce 1.
Over the last ten years, the family-run, online-only, direct-from-supplier retailer has increased turnover to a healthy £12 million. Their success revolves around helping customers discover products that support a great night’s sleep, like the Soak&Sleep Mulberry silk housewife pillowcases, likened by Britain’s Independent newspaper to “sleeping on a wedding dress.”
The secret, Hunt revealed, is how they “utilize technology to compress the supply chain, to buy and develop amazing products, and sell them direct through the Magento platform.” In 2016, with an aggressive target of achieving £100 million in turnover, Soak&Sleep decided to upgrade their customer experience even further.
I love the energy that’s behind Magento.Charlie Hunt
Founder & CEO, Soak&Sleep
Powerful eCommerce tools included in the box.
Soak&Sleep took the opportunity to perform a critical evaluation of other eCommerce platforms vs Magento Commerce. They didn’t like the revenue-share model of some vendors like Demandware (now Salesforce Commerce Cloud). “I looked around and Magento was still a no-brainer,” said Hunt. Soak&Sleep decided to upgrade to Magento Commerce (Cloud) but realized they needed to go live before Black Friday.
During Soak&Sleep’s development on Magento Commerce 1, they had built scores of customized functionalities, including countdown timers, personalization, cross-selling, and upselling tools. After some time, the heavy customization had slowed down the site. As they moved to Magento Commerce 2, Soak&Sleep set the following KPIs: they needed to minimize custom development, boost page load times, Average Order Value, and conversion rates.
With Magento Commerce 2 most customizations came in the box, reducing the need for custom code. “Before, we had thirty to forty customized modules,” said Hunt. “We have five customised modules now.” Soak&Sleep tapped several extensions from the Magento Marketplace, including Nosto for upselling, Klevu for search, and Braintree for online payments. “Those guys bring the value-add,” said Hunt. “These third-party businesses are ahead of the curve. It was a great decision. We believe in Magento Commerce 2. It’s head and shoulders above what we could do with Magento Commerce 1.”
By choosing Magento Commerce Cloud, slow load times were a thing of the past. “I took the view that Magento, if they’re offering integrated cloud, it's got to be better than multiple third party connections,” said Hunt. “The absolute crucial thing is to provide an experience to the customer that exceeds expectations from start to finish.”
With Magento Commerce Cloud, the CEO sleeps easy.
The new site launched during the first week of November, just in time for Black Friday. During the transition to Magento Commerce 2, the site experienced just 10 minutes of downtime. Thanks to Fastly, page load times became significantly faster, while creating a 20 percent boost in Average Order Value.
Soak&Sleep’s seven-person eCommerce team also rewrote product descriptions and reshot images for over 1,300 SKUs, giving the entire site a new look and feel. The site now recognizes if a user has a Soak&Sleep account or not, and only encourages a shopper to register post-order, instead of asking them to sign up before they know what they’re getting into. Magento Commerce (Cloud) also allows Soak&Sleep to be more competitive, allowing them to respond to their rival’s marketing campaigns and offers more quickly than ever.
Today, while Magento takes care of Soak&Sleep’s eCommerce operations, Hunt can concentrate on what he does best: “Reinvigorating busy people!” he said. “That’s my job. I focus on transforming sleeping experiences with the best possible bedding, all designed by Soak&Sleep and exclusive to our customers. Additionally, I want to continue to deliver amazing customer service. I want to continually improve the supply chain so my customers get the lowest prices. I want to ensure there’s no stock-outs, and that the satisfaction ratio on Trustpilot is the best in the sector.”
“I love the energy that’s behind Magento,” Hunt added. “To achieve long term goals you have to ride the rough with the smooth. Every time I come to Imagine, I leave inspired. I’m confident that Magento will be a great partner to Soak&Sleep right through to £100 million turnover.”