The Pleasure Chest
is pioneering a sex positive culture
From Crisis to Record Conversions
When The Pleasure Chest enlisted Command C to help with their site (years ago now), they were in a tough spot. They had recently launched a new site, and their conversion rate dropped after the debut. A lot. Things weren’t working, but they didn’t know exactly what. They needed to get their sales back on track asap. In addition to fixing the immediate issues, they also needed a technical partner to maintain and optimize their site into the future.
A few months after enlisting us, some exciting stats proved its success. In comparing a six month period before Command C’s engagement versus six months after, The Pleasure Chest experienced:
- 79% increase in conversion rate
- 150% increase in the number of transactions
- 153% increase in revenue
- 106% increase in mobile conversion rate
“Our site lost significant revenue and traffic following the launch. Command C came in with a strong plan to address the issues. They helped us recover sales and turned conversion around within a few months. ”
– Sarah Tomchessen, The Pleasure Chest
With this backdrop, the end-of-life for their platform, Magento 1, came into view. As of June 2020, neither Magento nor third-party feature developers would continue to support Magento 1.x. The Pleasure Chest had to replatform or risk site breakdowns without an easy fix.
While the platform needed to be updated, The Pleasure Chest team wanted to keep the look and feel of their Magento 1 site. The company also had years of strong SEO history, and it was critical to maintain their high SEO rankings. Additionally, one of the many reasons people love The Pleasure Chest is because they have something for everyone. The store’s product catalog features many items with custom features – different sizes, shapes, and materials. Often these unique features were buried within custom fields in the product data. Command C had to migrate this complex data seamlessly into the new platform.
Challenge: Find the best platform to grow The Pleasure Chest for the long term
Solution: Evaluate various platforms to determine BigCommerce as the winner
After reviewing different ecommerce platforms for The Pleasure Chest, we helped them define BigCommerce as the optimal one for their business. BigCommerce worked best for them for many reasons, including that it allows for onboard filtering for custom fields. As a result, we could set up the product search on their new site to include searches for unique product features. The Pleasure Chest is all about pioneering a positive sex culture. Now customers can search for products with specific features that appeal to them (think: size, material, and more).
As they migrated to BigCommerce, they wanted to replicate their former online store as much as possible. Command C was able to maintain the look and feel, extend the design to include new features, and offer under-the-hood improvements.
We reimagined the site navigation. Sometimes people don’t know where to begin in a store for adult play, so we added a Popular Products section. This is now in the megamenu so people can explore the most popular products quickly. We also reimagined the homepage “Shop by Department” section, including both subcategory and product suggestions. When customers click on any image in the product grid, they see subcategories, a product category description, and a carousel of their top products in this area. Plus, by having all this content on the site’s homepage, the Shop By Department section also supports their SEO goals.
Challenge: Maintain The Pleasure Chest’s long history of strong SEO ranking
Solution: Partnered with SEO agency and integrated WordPress blog into BigCommerce
With every store migration, it’s critical to maintain the retailer’s SEO history. Merchants often build SEO ranking over a long period of time. No one wants to lose this yearslong effort in the transition. To make sure we kept The Pleasure Chest’s SEO rankings intact, we partnered with an SEO agency. This agency worked closely with The Pleasure Chest and Command C to meet both the SEO and the human interaction goals.
Our original project plan included the migration of their existing, integrated WordPress blog to a standalone education site, also built on WordPress, but of course, no longer integrated within a Magento template. So we proposed this project as: we’ll build you a BigCommerce store and we’ll build you a blog. This blog is going to serve three purposes. 1) It’s the blog for The Pleasure Chest 2) It will house events and locations data (information that is not natively supported by BigCommerce and for which a suitable app did not exist) and 3) it will serve as the permanent home for a video archive, formerly a custom application, whose framework had lapsed and was no longer publicly accessible. If you go to sexisback.com, you’ll see (pardon the pun) it is back.
Since the old Magento site integrated WordPress data into Magento templates, the blog lived within the ecommerce site. The SEO agency helped us determine that hosting a separate WordPress installation for the new blog on a subdomain, we’d run the risk of undoing some of the SEO credibility that had been assigned to the old, integrated blog URLs which used the site’s primary domain of thepleasurechest.com. Leveraging BigCommerce’s native blog functionality would mean that The Pleasure Chest would lose WordPress’ robust blog administration capabilities, but as this blog is relatively straightforward, the benefits of migrating the blog content into BigCommerce outweighed the light feature compromises that needed to be made. This also gave The Pleasure Chest the opportunity to work with their SEO team to carefully curate and update blog content for maximum impact in the new environment.
The external WordPress installation that drives sexisback.com is still integrated with the BigCommerce store for Events which are loaded dynamically by location.
“I'm loving how the site feels. The speed is incredible! I can't tell you how many times I went on the old site and it would take eons to load page after page. Every time my heart would sink knowing that we were losing customers since people don't wait and losing value since we would get knocked for our site speeds. And we made it through a pandemic.”
– Brian Robinson, The Pleasure Chest
Challenge: Migrate volumes of custom data from Magento to BigCommerce
Solution: Wrote code to translate data between platforms without losing anything
The Pleasure Chest’s products are as unique as people’s individual sexual preferences. As a result, a lot of products needed to be defined beyond standard product labels, and they use a lot of custom fields. For instance, under a product’s features and notes, people can review specifications such as length, diameter, charging type, intensity, noise level, and more. The criteria is specific to each product, and it varies within the different product categories.
As Command C migrated The Pleasure Chest from Magento 1 to BigCommerce, it was critical to migrate all of the data, especially the custom fields that define product specification. In Magento, these are called product attributes, and they are created and defined by administrators. There is no one-size-fits-all mapping that can be applied when migrating this kind of data.
To solve for this, we wrote a program that took all of that data out of the Magento database directly, accounting for the stability of the (at the time) live Magento build, and the unique data structures used to house product data in Magento. (Simply put, it was not straight-forward.) Then we translated each piece of product information into the product data fields required by BigCommerce. We did this for thousands of products with buried product data, and we were able to accurately represent the entire product catalog within BigCommerce.
Plus, all of the product data integrates with their ERP, Epicor/Eagle, through their ecommerce connector, built and managed by Modern Retail. Throughout the process, we worked with these vendors to frequently test that the product inventory communicated back and forth to the ERP. We ensured that orders made their way back to the ERP as well. We did all of this behind the scenes, so The Pleasure Chest never felt stress regarding the data migration.
We also took exports of gift certificate values and worked with Modern Retail to set up a new custom gift certificate tool that integrates with their ERP. This ensured that gift certificates from the old site got recreated in BigCommerce, and people could still use them. Previously, customers could only redeem gift certificates at physical stores, but now they work both in-person and online.