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Topping the tree with user-generated content

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About the Client

Christmas Tree World (CTW) sell high-quality artificial Christmas trees and decorations to businesses and consumers all year round. With a 40-year track record, this family-run business pride themselves on beautiful tree design and high-quality customer service. 

Beyond their national reach, CTW are also avid supporters of the Borneo Nature Foundation. For each artificial tree ordered on their site, CTW plant a tree in Borneo, to restore the rainforest and save the home of wild Bornean orangutans.

Business Challenge

Christmas Tree World is a seasonal business by its very nature. Their web platform has to handle thousands of transactions within just a few months. CTW must convert and upsell products during the peak season, to ensure the year-round success of their business.

Their existing site was built on Magento 1, which will reach end of life in June 2020. Therefore, the company needed to migrate to a new platform to ensure continued support and security. With a long-standing heritage and loyal customers, CTW needed to re-platform whilst retaining customer and product data. They needed a new site that would work smoothly with existing back-end systems and product management at the warehouse.

To meet these business requirements, our goals were to:

  • Migrate CTW’s product and customer data to Magento 2.
  • Increase successful transactions.
  • Increase average order value, with up-sold and cross-sold products.
  • Improve product management and back-end efficiency.
  • Place customers at the heart of the brand.

Magento 2 Migration

Magento 1 reaches end-of-life in June 2020, at which time the outdated platform will no longer benefit from security or quality updates. As such, we needed to migrate CTW to a new system. CTW wanted to keep as much of their customer and product data as possible, in addition to maintaining pre-orders. To streamline the transition to a new platform, they chose to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

We conducted a delta migration, using the Magento 2 migration tool. The delta migration enabled us to move the majority of data at the start of the project. This phased approach reduced the risk of losing any data. At go-live, we migrated finer details and more recent data, to ensure that nothing was lost in transition.

Our two-part Magento migration ensured that all product, customer and order data moved seamlessly to the new system. Beyond simplifying back-end processes, we were provided a familiar experience for existing customers as the systems swapped over.

Magento Theme Accelerator

Christmas Tree World required a host of standard commerce features. To save time and resources, we drew upon our experience working on many other commerce websites.

We utilised our supercharged Accelerator theme to kick-start the front end. The system comes complete with commerce features out-of-the-box, including:

  • Template style guide
  • Mega menu
  • Homepage
  • Product pages
  • Category listing
  • Account page
  • Blog

By utilising the Accelerator theme, we drastically reduced the time required to create the website’s front end. This efficient approach allows us to deliver the project for a lower cost, in a shorter time frame, than traditional Magento websites.

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Integration with People Vox Warehouse Management

CTW use a warehouse management system (WMS) called People Vox. This legacy system relied upon a middleman connector. But website managers struggled to maintain this bespoke connector.

Supporting a seamless transition, we integrated People Vox with the new Magento 2 site. Yet, by overriding the need for a connector, we reduced the overall cost and maintenance requirements for CTW. We also worked closely with People Vox’s team and Christmas Tree World, to ensure that the WMS met the specific needs of CTW’s warehouse setup.

People Vox tracks online orders and offline fulfilment in real-time. By integrating this warehouse management system with Magento 2, we automated product management. To make the fulfilment process even less resource-intensive, we also configured the system to recognise automatically where single products consist of multiple packages. By bringing together M2 and People Vox, we simplified website maintenance and warehouse fulfilment.

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End-to-End Process Testing

After integrating People Vox with Magento 2, we needed to test the end-to-end process. We defined our rigorous approach to testing, to highlight any areas of friction.

We conducted real-world testing of every stage in the purchase and fulfilment journey, from barcode scanning to mock-delivery. At each touchpoint, we monitored and verified the automated systems.

By testing the entire process, from order to delivery, we were able to provide a flawless fulfilment system. The detailed testing process gave Christmas Tree World confidence in adopting their new automation practices.

Yotpo Reviews and Loyalty Scheme Integration

Christmas Tree World strive to make their customers’ Christmases special. To celebrate the personal touch associated with this special event, CTW wanted to promote customer reviews alongside product listings. 

From various software options, we identified Yotpo as the tool for the job.  We built a custom integration between Magento 2 and Yotpo, to enable user-generated content. Christmas Tree World can now automatically add photos and reviews to individual product pages and a homepage gallery. 

Making the most of their new system, CTW ran a social media competition encouraging customers to share photos of their decorated trees. Customers loved seeing their photos showcased on the website. This campaign led to an increase in engagement and social buzz, ultimately turning customers into advocates.

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Animated Graphics: A White Christmas on Screen

Christmas Tree World's customers loved the animated snowfall on their commerce website. CTW wanted to maintain this festive element on the new platform. However, the existing animation relied on Javascript, which slowed the website’s performance, negatively affected SEO, and generally looked clunky. 

We used modern CSS practices to create a smooth 3D animation to replace the historical graphic. We crafted CSS snowfall that doesn’t affect site speed and overlays the new website header.

CTW were delighted to maintain their brand’s online personality whilst also improving site speed. Plus the new design and added 3D effect exceeded the client's original expectations.

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Cross-sells and Up-sells at the Checkout

In addition to artificial trees, Christmas Tree World sells a range of lights, decorations and accessories. To boost sales, CTW wanted to make it easier to upsell larger trees and to cross-sell relevant additional products.

We added a new page to the checkout process, to suggest a personalised range of relevant products. For example, if the user has a 4ft tree in their basket, the additional checkout page promotes 4ft storage bags, complimentary decorations, and the option to upgrade to a larger tree.

These recommendations are generated in the back-end interface, where CTW staff can assign values and connections to relevant and associated products. In this easy-to-use back-end space, users can also apply discounts to appear only on the dedicated cross-sell page. As a result, this additional checkout page has helped to boost customer awareness of CTW’s additional products and increase sales.

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Barclaycard Integration

We added a Barclaycard checkout to the new Magento 2 site, but we updated and streamlined the integration in the process. Our new integration allowed for easier maintenance and future updates. We also used the Magento data migration tool to transfer existing customer data, for a smooth checkout experience. 

Christmas Tree World (and their customers) were able to maintain a familiar, user-friendly checkout experience. The updated integration is fully PSD2 compliant, to provide a secure and reliable checkout experience. What’s more, the updated payment system also simplifies the refund process for both parties.

Quality Assurance

All of our projects undergo rigorous testing throughout the software development process. In order to deliver the utmost quality for clients and their respective users, our in-house QA team ensure that all end products perform accurately and reliably under normal and abnormal conditions. Testing is followed by continual monitoring of software performance, to prevent reoccurrence of any issues and to ensure efficient ongoing operation.

As such, we were able to confidently deliver a well-designed, scalable and technically stable result.

Results

The Christmas Tree World website receives orders year-round, bringing Christmas cheer to businesses around the UK.

The Magento 2 migration was a great success. It maintained thousands of data points and made no disruption to customers shopping or ordering experience.

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