Case Study: PWA Migration of a Constantly Evolving eCommerce Store with Complex Customizations

How did we overcome the intricate web of challenges posed by complex customizations and an ever-evolving website in this eCommerce migration project? This case study reveals the strategic journey of adapting a myriad of custom features and extensions to align seamlessly with the ScandiPWA framework.

Rockler Companies, Inc., an esteemed woodworking brand rooted in Minnesota and enriched with nearly 70 years of craftsmanship, embarked on a strategic digital journey. This venture was centered around transitioning its website to ScandiPWA and Readymage hosting.

Business goals

Firstly, Rockler aimed to elevate user experience by migrating its website frontend to ScandiPWA, accompanied by a comprehensive redesign. The objective was to create an aesthetically pleasing platform that is also functionally robust—with better PageSpeed scores and overall performance.

Secondly, the company sought to enhance its website’s performance, reliability, and scalability by migrating to ReadyMage hosting, transitioning from its physical server setup to a more advanced cloud-based solution.

A key factor in this decision was Rockler’s requirement for stringent security measures. ReadyMage, in conjunction with Fastly and AWS, offered a suite of advanced security services that aligned with Rockler’s strict security protocols, ensuring that its new hosting environment not only improved performance but also adhered to its high standards for data protection and online safety.

Challenges

Integration of numerous extensions and customizations

Rockler’s existing setup relied heavily on various extensions and integrations, presenting a significant hurdle in ensuring compatibility with the ScandiPWA framework. The challenge was further complicated by extensive customizations on the old website that we had to replicate and adapt to the new platform.

The integration of SearchSpring was particularly crucial. This extension was extensively used for populating product data on Product Listing Pages (PLPs) and Search Results Pages (SRPs), including various filters essential for customer navigation and product discovery.

Two notable challenges we addressed involved implementing sophisticated product types, such as multi-configurable and bundled products featuring step-by-step selection processes, and refining the checkout experience with intricate customization. These features were essential for providing a seamless and intuitive shopping experience for customers engaging with Rockler’s diverse range of woodworking products.

ERP upgrade mid-project

During the final stages of the project, a curveball was thrown with the client’s decision to upgrade their ERP system due to internal reasons. This unexpected development introduced delays, necessitating a thorough resolution of issues arising from the ERP upgrade to ensure a seamless launch.

Constant evolution of the website

As we worked on migrating and redesigning the old website, new features were constantly being added simultaneously. Despite recommendations against frequent updates during this period, the client implemented several additional functionalities to meet evolving business needs. 

Approach and solutions

To address these challenges, the project team implemented a meticulous approach.

Comprehensive compatibility testing

A dedicated phase was allocated to assess and enhance the compatibility of existing extensions with ScandiPWA. Rigorous testing procedures were employed to identify and resolve conflicts, ensuring a seamless integration.

Adapting SearchSpring to work seamlessly with ScandiPWA required a detailed and time-intensive approach. The team’s focus was on systematic customization and testing to ensure that the transition to the new framework maintained the integrity of the user experience and the website’s operational efficiency.

Overall, the task involved not only developing individual module compatibility with the new PWA framework but also ensuring that these modules functioned cohesively. A critical aspect of this was integrating various extensions to work in unison, such as combining payment methods like Adyen with address validation services like AvaTax. 

This process was representative of the broader challenge faced by the team: maintaining the functionality and user experience of Rockler’s existing setup, while transitioning to the advanced capabilities offered by ScandiPWA.

Agile response to ERP upgrade

In response to the unexpected ERP upgrade, the team swiftly adapted their strategy. Delays were mitigated through efficient issue resolution, ensuring the upgraded ERP seamlessly integrated with the new digital infrastructure.

Rockler’s transition from their old ERP system to the more advanced MS Dynamics 365 presented unique challenges. Although the upgrade was managed by the client, it necessitated specific adjustments from us due to the introduction of Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) on the backend. Additionally, the new system’s reliance on a custom SFTP connection required tailored modifications on ReadyMage. These technical complexities demanded a nuanced approach from the team, focusing on detailed backend integration to ensure that the new ERP system functioned harmoniously within the upgraded digital ecosystem.

Adaptive development for evolving features

Acknowledging the constantly evolving nature of the old website, the development team took on an adaptive strategy. They carefully replicated and integrated new features, ensuring each was ScandiPWA-compatible while concurrently upgrading the Magento (Adobe Commerce) version.

Results

The approach taken and adaptive solutions implemented by the development team yielded significant outcomes:

  • The frontend migration to ScandiPWA, coupled with a redesign, resulted in a highly functional website that is easy on the eyes and with improved UX
  • The migration to Readymage hosting improved overall performance, reliability, and scalability, providing users with a seamless online experience
  • The project introduced new features enhancing both customer and client experiences and established a stable infrastructure
  • SEO wins after the go-live
    • Traffic increase
      • Homepage saw a surge of 5,980 clicks, mainly from the ‘rockler’ keyword
      • Retail pages experienced a traffic boost after being redirected to new URL keys
      • New pages showed improved or comparable performance compared to the old ones
    • Keyword and position growth
      • +33,932 keywords witnessed improved rankings
      • 1,117 keywords secured positions in the top 3, while 5,522 reached the top 10
      • Estimated traffic increase corresponded with the improvement of keyword rankings

Rockler now features an advanced digital platform that seamlessly aligns with its longstanding legacy of woodworking excellence.

scandiweb has not only initiated a comprehensive support process following the project launch but also commenced the planning and delivery of Phase 2 items. The support team, comprising the main project personnel including 3 developers, 1 QA, and 1 PM, continues to provide dedicated assistance to Rockler Companies, Inc. This includes 24/7 monitoring and support, ensuring ongoing stability and optimization of the digital platform.

Phase 2 of the project is set to bring further enhancements, focusing on integrating multiple warehouses, implementing store pickup delivery options, and displaying product availability in physical stores. These additions are poised to elevate the customer experience and operational efficiency of Rockler’s digital presence. This phase marks not just a continuation but a significant step in the ongoing journey of digital enhancements and success for Rockler.

scandiweb has developed, migrated, and updated hundreds of Magento (Adobe Commerce) stores in the past decade and a half. Book your Magento store upgrade with us, and rest assured that your eCommerce store is in good hands. Reach out for a free consultation.

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