Jan Kraus
21 January 2017Meeting notes6 min read

Notes from Magento 2 Migration meetup

Yesterday I’ve joined my first meetup this year, organized by London Magento Meetup Group at DotMailer office. The location and venue were fantastic. There was pizza, polish beer and many people to talk. Below you’ll find a short summary of my notes and thoughts from the meeting.

The main topic of the evening was related to Magento 2 migration. There were 4 talks more or less related to that.

Magento 2 Migration meetup by London Magento group
Magento 2 Migration meetup by London Magento group

Costs, challenges, process + short Odlo.com redesign case by Piotr Karwatka, Divante

Piotr gave a presentation about decisions on migrating shop to M2.

  • Divante is a company located in Wroclaw, Poland, they employ more than 150 people, focusing on e-commerce
  • Magento 2 appeared to be worth looking into migrating since release of version 2.1 which brought stability and lots of improvements
  • Magento 2 is almost completely new architecture, with many good concepts like dependency injection, new and redesigned admin panel, new frontend templates and architecture
  • That means migrations from version one is not that easy.
  • Site redesign is a good pretext to think about migration since you anyway need work on the frontend templates
  • Magento offers two tools to migrate: Code Migration Tool and Data Migration Tools
  • First one can help you migrate some of the code: adds namespaces, update directory structure, but it cannot migrate themes and custom modules
  • Data Migration Tools can transfer all backend data: products, categories, orders, customers, some of the CMS content but not all (eg. media, custom layout updates, API credentials
  • The main effort in migration is creation of the new theme (depending on complexity)
  • Also rewriting custom business logic and modules may be time-consuming, keep in mind that not all extensions (especially payment & shipping providers are not there yet)

Piotr Karwatka from Divante speaking about on Magento 2 Migration process
Piotr Karwatka from Divante speaking about on Magento 2 Migration process

Is it worth to migrate? How much does it cost?

  • Divante is not doing new projects in old Magento
  • Official support for Magento 1 will end in 2018
  • Version 2.1 offers some nice benefits like content staging, more customizable admin panel
  • New release may bring some interesting features for B2B
  • They estimate effort costs as high as 50–80% of the initial development costs that’s why site redesign is a good addition to the process because it may be easier to swallow the costs (additional business value)

Still, there are some things to watch out

  • Not complete, updated dev documentation
  • There isn’t one best way of doing something, best practices are still to discover (learn from for professionals like Alan Storm)
  • Need deeper Javascript understanding by frontend developers 
  • Not all modules are there yet (but market is growing)

Piotr also showed a case study of one of their redesign projects: odlo.com. Although it made the impression that it was done as Magento 2 project, but looking at the site now you can still see the old Magento platform in use.

Odlo.com mobile improvements
Odlo.com mobile improvements

They achieved very good results by focusing on major problems of the site: almost non-working mobile site and big bounce rate (optimizations of 404 page).

  • Mobile conversion rate 103%
  • Mobile traffic 26%
  • Bounce drop by 40%
  • Order increase by 37%

Scientific Redesign by Keith Scott, Nu-Hi

Keith presentation was mostly about applying data & science to the redesign and optimization process.

  • The first step is to have good data report, Nu-Hi prepares 20–30 pages report based on analytics as a first step, followed by 2–3 months long deep dive later to get into details
  • Consider risks going with Total Redesign, you may not anticipate results like conversion or SEO rankings drop that leads to lower revenue
  • Apply data-driven approach to reduce data driven approach
  • Focus on 3 core areas: Mobile Performance, Browser Compatibility, Value Proposition

Keith Scott shows significant disproportion on mobile conversion at the site he was working on
Keith Scott shows significant disproportion on mobile conversion at the site he was working on

Looking into analytics can help identifying major points where you could increase conversion. Some are obvious, like mobile performance, but some are less — for example, they found out the big difference in conversion between Firefox and Chrome. It turns out one of the tracking scripts was breaking the site only for that browser. Fixing that brought actually huge revenue increase £130k/month.

While there were few interesting examples in the talk, it mostly felt like was a sales pitch for their services…

A dive into Search and M2 by Niraj Aswani, Klevu

The third presentation by Niraj was about the usage of the search box. 

Searching and discovery are one of the most important parts of the process when buying a product. The problem with it is that the simple index based search doesn’t work because of the natural language people often use to search for the products.

In his presentation, Niraj referred to Baymard study about search queries in top 50 US e-commerce sites.

Baymard study about search queries in top 50 US e-commerce sites - Source Baymard.com
Baymard study about search queries in top 50 US e-commerce sites - Source Baymard.com

A simple search box implementation usually can search only on what it indexes, which means product titles, description attributes. However, people often use many other words that may not be available in your index:

  • Exact searches, by typing exact product model name they googled earlier
  • Type searches, like using names of product groups: sandals, dress,
  • Symptom searches when they try to solve specific problems: dress for a prom
  • Feature searches: red dress, bag under 50£
  • Non-product searches like shipping costs, returns, contact details
  • Thematic searches, eg: clothes for winter, wedding dresses
  • Compatibility searches: lenses for Nikon
  • Subjective searches: High quality shoes, Top rated bags
  • Also, order of the keywords in the query has a meaning too

Of course, for that kind of problems Klevu.com offers cloud bases, SASS solution. They offload your search to their system, indexing your data and enriching it with additional processing like synonyms, handling more attributes and processing natural language queries. Their solutions are compatible with M1 and M2. I guess this is quite similar to the offer of industry leaders like FACT-Finder.

Solar case study — Migration to Magento2 / fashion retailer, by Mateusz Blum, Divante

The last talk was quick. Mateusz presented case study of redesign of Solar, fashion retailer from Poland.

  • Redesign was the reason behind migration
  • It was the first project from Divante that launched on Magento 2.
  • The old site was based on Prestashop and had no mobile support.
  • The challenge was that it was a fixed budget project also with fixed deadline — launch of the new site was coordinated with new collection release for Fall/Winter of 2016
  • It was hard to estimate and plan, but they made it.
  • The metrics verified that it was success

480% mobile transactions increase simply by implementing working mobile site - Case study by Divante shows significant improvements
480% mobile transactions increase simply by implementing working mobile site - Case study by Divante shows significant improvements

Meetup summary

Overall it was a nice meetup. We’ve got a chance to see that Magento 2 is already starting to get some traction in the e-commerce world. I’ve met couple interesting people during networking session and exchanged contacts.

I could only complain that there was not enough time to ask questions after the talk about the presentation topics. Of course, it was possible to have a chat in the networking part but since meeting started with some delay, the networking part was already too short too!

But in the end, it was good time. And of course, the host and location were great too - thanks to DotMailer! I look forward to checking out next meetup in February.

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