is recasting comfort shoes
Since 2004, Taos Footwear has been fulfilling its mission “to recast the comfort shoe category.” For much of that time, Taos leveraged Magento, first on M1, then on M2. But eventually, the company needed a platform with more consistent uptime and less routine maintenance needs.
To determine the best fit for the company’s growth into the future, Command C started with a technical discovery. Through this process, we arrived at Shopify Plus as the optimal solution for Taos – once we planned how to overcome some big challenges. More on those below, but some highlights of the migration included:
- 100% uptick in conversions
- over 50% of online orders processed through Shop Pay
- 117% increase in BFCM sales
Challenge: Sell Shoes with 100+ Variants on Shopify Plus – and Make It Easy for Customers
Solution: Innovate with Product Definitions and Collaborate with ERP Connector Team
The first hurdle was Shopify’s well-known constraint: the platform limits products to 100 variants. This limitation is tough for all sorts of product categories, but especially shoes. Shoes can come in 10-20 colors and 10-20 sizes, and often even more when companies like Taos sell in US and EU sizes.
Taos wanted to maintain a seamless experience for their customers. For example, they did not want customers to have to visit each shoe color individually. Case in point, the Star sneaker: when people browse the Sneakers category page, the retailer did not want to show all 20 colors of the Star sneaker as individual products. This would force customers to jump back and forth between the product collection and the individual product pages in order to browse. Instead they wanted to show one Star sneaker with all of its color options.
In order to free Taos of the 100-variant limit and make it easy for customers, we made each shoe color its own product. This required custom theme development to combine all the color options into what the customer could interact with as a single product. Now when customers look at the Sneaker category page, they see one Star sneaker with clearly outlined color swatch options. Plus the Star product page mirrors this flexibility, allowing seamless browsing of all color options without page reload or reverse navigation.
In addition to custom UX and UI on the frontend, Command C accomplished this by collaborating with the team behind Taos’ ERP connector. Together we developed a program that communicates this new definition of product by color with Taos’ ERP. Additionally, the middleware instantly updates product availability on an ongoing basis. Customers have no idea of the sophisticated mechanisms behind their experience. They simply get to browse and select products.
“The Command C’s team is an extension of our internal team, and they’re some of my favorite people to work with. They’re smart and conscientious, and the way that they approach every task is thoughtful and well done. I’m always confident that they can do tasks right — there’s a lot of confidence in their capabilities.”
– Gio White, Ecommerce Manager
Challenge: Display Sale and Non-Sale Product Variants on the Same PDP, Facilitating Shared Resources (i.e. Reviews)
Solution: Develop Tooling for “Combining” Product Variants on the PDP Based on Universal Identifier
In their previous store, Taos was not able to accomplish product pricing as they needed. For instance, the Star sneaker was one product. When variations of the Star sneaker went on sale, however, they had to be recreated as a second product in order to circumvent limitations of the old platform. This created customer confusion around pricing. (Products appeared on the PLP to cost less than they actually did in most cases, which led to a false sense of bait-and-switch.). The duplication of products to house sale colors created challenges. One major issue was that customer reviews could only be displayed for the regularly-priced sneakers, and not for the shoes on sale.
To solve this, Command C corrected pricing displays on the PLP and PDP. We also developed tooling that pulled product reviews based on a universal identifier. Now the reviews for any color of Star sneaker are displayed whenever the product is listed. This includes products on sale.
Now when customers browse the Star sneaker product details page, they see the shoe and swatches of all its different colors. They also immediately see which colors are out of stock, on sale, etc. Shopify pricing is much more intuitive than the previous platform. As a result, when customers click on a color on sale, the price updates with the selection.
Custom Product Filtering Experience and Integrate Shopify Pay
As part of the replatforming process, we developed a custom product filtering system to work with the revised 100-variant fields. This coding does not have any external components.
The new filtering system consolidates colors and sizes to give customers a seamless experience. For instance, some Taos footwear comes in US sizing, and other shoes come in EU sizing. We set up the filtering to show shoes in both types of sizing as customers browse. People can also search for wide width shoes, a popular query with Taos visitors. All of these product filters are custom built to go with the product structure as they’ve been created.
Lastly, we integrated the Taos store with Shop Pay, a very convenient way for people to purchase that greatly minimizes checkout steps. According to Taos’ ecommerce team, over 5o% of their online orders now go through Shop Pay.
“Switching to Shopify Plus has been great for business. Conversions have been up 100%. The reliability of Shopify is fantastic. I’m so excited with the success of the migration – kudos to the Command C for navigating the technical challenges of this replatform so smoothly.”
– Gio White, Ecommerce Manager