The Sweater Shop is a family run business that was established in 1986 and offers a large selection of superb quality Irish Aran knitwear. The business originated in Dublin but the winning combination of outstanding quality and reasonable prices brought The Sweater Shop popularity with both locals and visitors. The business quickly expanded and now has outlets in Dublin, Kilkenny, and Galway city.
In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, The Sweater Shop has two websites - for the domestic and international audience.
In 2020, The Sweater Shop planned to migrate both websites from Magento 1 to Magento 2 to fully leverage the advantages of the latest platform version. Together with the migration, the project also included a full website makeover to incorporate all the great features of Magento 2 while keeping that warm and inviting appearance that is the trademark of The Sweater Shop.
One of the migration goals was to achieve simpler content and catalog management. As the business grows, the website content and catalog should grow together with it while maintaining effective performance and contributing to the creation of superb customer experiences. In addition, the makeover plan included improving certain SEO issues that the business faced before.
We developed a detailed migration plan describing all the new features, improvements, and changes that we planned to implement. The plan was based on Magento 2 using its vast ecosystem that guarantees better website performance and stability and allows building greater user experiences.
Once the new features and improvements were signed off by The Sweater Shop, our team started building the new website. The first step was to focus on catalog and data migration from the outdated system. Magento 2 offers extremely flexible catalog management functionality that we used to the max creating a customer-friendly, intuitive catalog for The Sweater Shop. The website now offers multiple filtering options, product images, and an effective search.
In order to improve product search and brand recognition, we enabled integration with Google Merchant Center allowing the business and product information to be discoverable via Google resources. This integration supports constant product information update ensuring that users always get the latest and the most accurate details. To enable this integration, we used a third-party Shopping Feed extension for Magento 2.
Speaking of extensions - the new The Sweater Shop website uses a custom Feefo extension developed by Pronko Consulting. Feefo is a customer review service that we used to encourage trusted reviews from customers. The stunning 91% of Generation Z customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. At the same time, customers tend to show lower trust in direct advertising in favor of online reviews.
For a customer-facing business like The Sweater Shop, online reviews play a significant role in building trust and shaping user experiences, thus we chose an effective platform to support them. A convenient extension allowed a smooth and flexible configuration.
The Sweater Shop maintains a blog to share the business’ thoughts about fine knitwear, warm gifts, and all things Irish in general. The blog functionality has been moved to the Magento Commerce admin to simplify day-to-day website management and improve the consistency of The Sweater Shop brand.
While working on the new website for The Sweater Shop, we also handled the SEO issues that were discovered previously. Before going live, we partnered with the Wolfgang SEO Agency to help Sweater Shop resolve historic SEO and backlink issues from previous rebuilds and migrations to ensure all legacy issues were resolved and the website's rank hasn’t fallen over.
To improve the customer journey, the entire site navigation and site map were restructured according to keyword research and popular product recommendations. Besides, we leveraged the powerful SEO capabilities of Magento 2.
The new websites of The Sweater Shop went live in July 2020, just 4 months after the initial start date. Magento 2 Commerce gave them the stable platform that the business wanted, as well as improved page load time by almost 70% and the streamlining of the customer journey from landing on the website to checkout. The results speak for themselves with conversions up by 27.5%, transactions up by 34.5%, and the average order value up by 14.5%.
After the website makeover, The Sweater Shop has seen a 34% increase in revenues in less than six months. The Sweater Shop team is spending less administrative time managing their pages thanks to the integrated Blog functionality and improved management capabilities of Magento 2 Commerce. This allows the team to focus on providing its customers with the best experience possible and continue to expand internationally.
As you can see, a website redesign, when done by professionals and based on a reliable platform, can work wonders for the overall business performance. If you feel that your online store can perform better, contact us for analysis, consultation, and eventually an update that brings you the results that your business deserves.