No Man Walks Alone
is rejecting fashion conformity
If Humphrey Bogart were alive today, undoubtedly he would shop at No Man Walks Alone. Afterall, the retailer’s name is inspired by a line from Bogart in Sabrina. Founder Greg Lellouche says the name is a nod to men who value “original design, thoughtful details, quality of materials and craftsmanship.”
Command C has been working with No Man Walks Alone (NMWA) since 2014. Our work has resulted in strong growth for the retailer:
- 17% revenue increase
- 24% increase in number of transactions
- 40% increase in mobile sales
Previously, we migrated their store from Magento 1 to Magento 2. This year we moved NMWA to Shopify Plus.
After our previous migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, things were chugging along smoothly. But after some time, NMWA began to encounter some compatibility issues with particular Magento extensions and the theme they were using.
After an in-depth discussion, we determined that if we were going to put a lot of work into re-theming the site, it would be worthwhile to move over to Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus would allow the team at NMWA the ability to do things behind the scenes on the site that would have required development help on Magento 2.
We also wanted to provide them an opportunity to better communicate their brand through storytelling and imagery with a re-theme.
In migrating from Magento 2 to Shopify Plus there were a ton of moving parts, both for this project specifically, and in general, that we needed to consider.
We had a few goals for this re-platform project:
- Provide a comprehensive data migration plan to ensure data integrity with no unintentional loss of customer information, page, blog or other content. Every facet of data migration was planned in advance. We wanted to make this process as pain-free as possible for NMWA.
- Increase the stability of the website platform so as to require less maintenance going forward.
- Re-theme the site in a way that aligns with branding and design goals, as well as provide more opportunities for content marketing on the site.
- Determine the must-have features that needed to port over from the Magento 2 site to Shopify Plus, and create fewer app dependencies.
The Migration Plan
Challenge: Product data, as well as Customers, Order history and content dating back to 2013 needed to be migrated seamlessly to Shopify Plus
Solution: Create custom routines to migrate product data, including images, customers, order history, blog and other content
One of the trickiest parts of any replatforming project is porting data from one platform to the other. Typically the order histories on one platform are not a match to the other, as was the case in this project.
We have done multiple replatforming and rescue projects in the past to help store owners move customer and order data, so we knew what to keep in mind for this particular migration.
NMWA has order history going back to 2013, so it was crucial that all of this rich data moved over to Shopify Plus. It may sound simple, but there are many exceptions to consider such as orders that are tied to customers or products that don’t exist in the system any longer.
Product data needed to be exported from Magento 2, with all its legacy product attributes, mapped to the new Shopify values, and imported into Shopify. The migration also needed to be completed without negative impact to the production Magento system, which was still live during development of the new site.
We wrote custom routines for handling the export, mapping and re-import of blog content. There were more than 600 blog posts with images spanning 2 platforms and multiple formatting standards that needed to be moved to Shopify Plus. Magento-specific “shortcodes” and blocks had to be translated prior to export to ensure proper import. Manually moving this type of content could take months of work if the right migration plan isn’t in place.
Increase the Stability of the Platform
Challenge: Store owners had to rely on Command C for infrastructure management, routine maintenance and for making changes to the site on Magento 2
Solution: Leverage Shopify Plus’s infrastructure and cms tools to make it feasible for store administrators to make changes on their own
Another major goal of this project was to increase the stability and independence of the platform. One of the common pain points with Magento is that it often requires routine maintenance of infrastructure and software. This means a small team may need to hire an outside firm (such as Command C) or bring someone on internally.
With Shopify Plus and the intentionality of our build, this need for ongoing maintenance was minimized. Instead time and resources are redirected at developing interesting features and/or site content.
Shopify Plus’s platform also made it easier for NMWA’s team to make changes as site administrators, something that was more complex on Magento 2.
Re-Theme to Improve Storytelling and Content
Challenge: The prior theme didn’t allow for showcasing much unique content (at least, not without duct tape, a stapler, and a handful of tricky workarounds)
Solution: Identify a theme and create custom templates to allow for displaying rich content and stories
The impetus of this project was going to be a re-theme. One of the goals of this was to allow for more opportunities to storytell and showcase rich content such as photos and maker stories.
We were able to find a Shopify theme that allowed for more stories, content marketing, and rich imagery to showcase the brand’s clothing, makers, and ethos.
The new theme features more easily digestible information about the brand, allowing visitors to not only see the clothing, but understand who the brand is for and what they are about.
We also created custom templates for their “makers” to feature the creator of the particular clothing collection. This allowed for an image and story about the maker, to give more context to a collection, and provided for uniform management of content; makers data is pulled from the same source every time it is used on the frontend.
Since our replatforming project, NMWA’s founder wrote:
“The most significant result we’ve seen is a sudden increase in mobile conversions after Command C made the site more mobile-friendly. Now, that number is almost equal to that of traditional web conversions.”
Determining the Must-Have Features
Challenge: Too much dependency on extensions created increased site load and conflicts
Solution: Pair down and combine features into just a few apps while building other functionality directly into the theme
The final goal of this project was to eliminate as many dependencies as possible. An issue NMWA ran into on Magento 2 was discontinued support for certain extensions they relied on. An over dependence on apps can also lead to slower site speeds and conflicts among them.
We helped the team pair down their app list so as to utilize only a few apps for their “must-have” site features. These include things like a wishlist app, user-generated content app. A big improvement came when we were able to recommend an app that combined loyalty, store credit, and gift card functionality, functions for which NMWA previously had to use separate extensions with dramatically different user experiences, leading to unclear calls-to-action within the cart and checkout process
The virtual sizing tool that had been implemented within Magento, Virtusize, was implemented within the new Shopify theme. We worked with the team at Virtusize to customize the injection of the dynamic measurements content already stored within their system into the PDP. This has not only helped customers feel more confident in their order, but will also lead to fewer returns, and keeps the team at NMWA from managing measurement and fit data across multiple platforms and services.
At Command C, we live our values daily. Our “aim to empower” value directly translates to empowering store owners to be able to make changes to their site on their own. This replatforming project helped NMWA do just that, leaving them with more resources to use towards developing innovative site features that improve sales and customer satisfaction.
We’re so proud of this project and how we were able to turn a replatforming project into a chance to also improve the site’s content marketing capabilities, and reduce app dependencies. Not to mention the killer stats we’ve been able to help them achieve.