Magento Redevelopment for Tool Manufacturer
- E-Commerce Development
- $50,000 to $199,999
- June 2016 - Feb. 2017
- Willing to Refer
"There’s been a 28% increase in revenue, 18% in page views, and 11% in sessions."
- Arts, entertainment & music
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- 1-10 Employees
- Phone Interview
Forix upgraded an existing site to Magento 2.0. The project team then imported data for 20,000 users, added address verification features, improved security, optimized the UX, and added live chat.
The project was a tremendous success by all relevant measures, including a significant increase in both revenue and online user engagement. This wouldn't have been possible without the concerted effort and proactive contributions made by Forix.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m a manager for a tool manufacturing company, and I handle everything related to internal technology. The tools we make are for the niche industry of paintless dent repair. Professionals use these “fancy pry bars” to fix the damage caused by hail and other impacts. We make about 450 different types of fancy pry bars. I'm in charge of everything from plugging in keyboards and mouses to managing AdWords, weighing in on technology issues, acting as a project manager, and interviewing companies like Forix.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Forix?
Forix helped us rebuild and upgrade our website from Magento 1.3.3 to Magento 2.0 for design and security reasons. They refreshed the whole design, built it from the ground up, imported our existing data, and then added some extra bells and whistles.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Our website was on Magento 1.3.3 for way too long, and we knew we needed to at least upgrade a couple of versions. I didn't know at first that we were going to go to Magento 2.0. In general, I have no desire to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading: I have to be able to tell the owner that an upgrade is going to be worth it. My selling point to the owner was that our website had to get responsive to be user and mobile friendly. More of our customers than ever before were visiting us on mobile, so if our website didn't scale, we weren’t going to win. Forix also helped us realize that we needed to go to Magento 2 for security reasons, and they added that our website needed somebody with a UX eyeball to look at it.
The website was a complete rebuild from the ground up. It started with the fresh install of Magento 2, and then Forix wrote a script to help us import the data of about 20,000 customers from the old website to the new one. The data included customer order history and addresses because our customers travel and chase hail storms, and so their addresses change a lot. We needed our customers to be able to say, “Yes, I have a new address,” or “Yes, that’s the old address,” or “Let me select it out of the 17 addresses I've shipped to before.” The database for Magento 1.3 and Magento 2.0 didn't line up perfectly, so I imagine Forix also had to clean up the data a little bit. They also added an address verification service to the checkout process. We’re working on a few more features, like a live chat add-on.
I'm now working with Forix on the site operations side. They’ve actually been great in renegotiating their contract when I asked them about it.This month we’re using Forix to modify the invoice to where when we print it out to box the items to ship, we want the invoice to look perfect and well organized for our shipper.
I have two projects I want to engage Forix for in the future. The first project is a WordPress storm-tracking website. They’re going to help us redesign that site with a mobile-friendly and responsive WordPress theme. They’ll have to do the same type of data import, but this time it’s purely blog posts, and they’ll have to clean the data by completely redoing our AdSense code.
The second project is an add-on to the website they just launched and built for us, and it’s going to be complex. It will be a subscription service for some of our durable goods. A lot of our tools have a lifetime warranty, so for items like that, it always makes sense to try and offer a subscription. So we’re going to have a subscription service using a whole specialized backend. That’s going to be a huge project, and I think that could be equally as costly as the website. I'm a dreamer, but I think it could double the revenues of the website.
How did you come to work with Forix?
I started online looking at Magento developers nationwide. I checked out their listed physical address on Google Maps to see what kind of building they were in. I skipped developers who looked like they worked out of a house. If I were going to go that low-key, then I could develop the website myself and hire some technical help, but it would take a year and a half, and by the time it launched, it would be out of date again. After I found people my way—which was going to Google and looking for organic results, people who knew what they were doing enough to rank organically for Magento developers—I went to Magento’s partner website and figured, “At least these people have been certified, whatever that means.” I found two or three developers there, and I probably interviewed about six or seven. The more I talked with Forix, the more comfortable I felt with them. Eventually, I asked them to submit their contract for review, which they did.
How much have you invested with Forix?
We invested right around $85,000 or $90,000 with Forix.
What is the status of this engagement?
Our kick-off meeting was June 20, 2016; the website launched February 6, 2017.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
When I came to the company in 2007, our old PHP company website was 80% phone call sales and 20% online sales. Needless to say, there was a huge opportunity to improve our web presence.
We didn't set the bar super high for Forix. When we started working together, I told Forix that we were already having success, and we couldn't do any worse. We needed our website to be maintained and just multiplied a little. We were OK with no increase in revenue as long as the metrics didn't fall off the cliff; if the time on the site went from 6.5 minutes to 2 minutes, or if the pages per session went from 12 to like 4, we would be in trouble. I think because we had success coming in, it enabled Forix to do what they do and not have to think about the business side of what we do.
We launched our website on February 6, 2017, and we’re up over 700 orders and hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’ve completely made our money back in a month and a half. Revenue is on pace. I did a five-day study, and it showed a 30 percent increase in revenue. I didn’t think that could hold out, but it did. There’s been a 28% increase in revenue, 18% in page views, and 11% in sessions. But comparing year over year for the last 30 days of Google analytics, all of those numbers hold up.
The new website is also able to charge people more appropriately for shipping. We were losing $3,000 or $4,000 a month on shipping before we built the new site. Based on the last report I did, I would guess we’re at least breaking even on shipping now, which is good. I also shared with our owner the stats on the visitors and sessions, the number of orders and the number of items per an order.
How did Forix perform from a project management standpoint?
I think there were two UI, wireframe-type people working for our team, at least for the color mockup. And then when they launched the demo site, we would have screen shares that would involve three different people with an extreme knowledge of Magento. They fixed any bugs we found with an insane amount of technical expertise.
I could tell that they knew we were on a fixed-cost contract and that they were working on a timeline. In the end, we had the smoothest launch I've ever been a part of, and this is the fourth version of the website I've seen. The website launched, orders rolled in, and it was pretty cool.
On the customer-to-Forix side, we used Basecamp 2. Every Wednesday they would call, usually using a GoToMeeting screen share, and we’d touch base for an hour or so in the afternoon. As we moved from the wireframe color mockup to the live testing, I could tell that they used a JIRA system on the backend for their bug tracking and internal messaging.
What did you find most impressive about Forix?
They stayed on for a whole extra week through our website launch, because our PCI.trustwave.com was taking too long. That wasn’t Forix’s fault; it was actually on our merchant’s processing. Eventually, the information we needed came through, and we had a new PCI-compliant website with security upgrades three times a year, and the website will work better on mobile.
Are there any areas Forix could improve?
I have no criticism for Forix. They were fair and upfront about everything, from payment to the weekly meetings.
Service & Deliverables
"<p>I feel like a schmuck by giving Forix all 5s, because I think people aren’t going to believe the experience I had.</p> "
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
"<p>The value we received from Forix is insane.</p> "
Willing to Refer5.0
"<p>I told Forix that if they ever work with another small to medium manufacturer, they should have them call me first. I’ll give them a good recommendation.</p>