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eCommerce Design and Development Case Study

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THE PROJECT

Minerva Beauty: Reimagining B2B eCommerce

Minerva Beauty is a leading manufacturer and distributor of wholesale salon equipment in the beauty sector. Featured in over 150,000 salons and spas worldwide, Minerva Beauty is constantly developing new products to better serve this fast-growing industry. They currently offer a selection of over 2,000 items – including styling stations, styling chairs, backwash shampoo systems, dryers and dryer chairs, pedicure chairs, manicure tables, stools and carts, skin care equipment and more.

THE CHALLENGE

Crafting a Unique Customer Experience

While the company features the largest beauty and spa retail equipment showroom in the world, they also knew the importance of driving their company into the future of eCommerce. Minerva Beauty’s previous online site was built on the Magento 1.0 Community platform, and it was in need of an update to improve product merchandising, enhance capabilities, and scale for rapid growth.

 

When Magento officially announced that it would stop supporting the Magento 1.0 platform, Minerva Beauty had already started to evaluate replatforming to Magento 2.0 Cloud. They knew that they had to quickly make the transition before support for the outdated version of Magento expired, potentially jeopardizing their growth trajectory. In addition, the company also saw it as an ideal opportunity to overhaul their website for direct-to-consumer (DTC) and business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

 

Not only did Minerva want to reveal a modern, easy to navigate design for their revamped online presence, but the brand also needed to reconfigure its site to better leverage product data and integrate industry relevant content. Understanding these aims, the team at Minerva selected Visiture to help grow their brand online with a modern shopping interface and user friendly functionality on the backend.

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THE SOLUTION

A Progressive Transformation

After reviewing Minerva Beauty’s existing site through the lens of its overall business goals, Visiture recommended a two-part solution: Migrating to Magento 2.0 on the backend to handle product data and business operations, and a decoupled frontend using the Visiture PWA Pro. 

This binary solution would help the company deliver a highly customized design experience on the frontend, while still providing the commerce management capabilities of Magento on the backend. 

The Magento-powered PWA layer would ultimately serve as the centerpiece for Minerva’s online presence moving forward.

By decoupling the front and backend through a headless architecture (thus enabling the PWA frontend and Magento 2.0 backend to operate independently), the site becomes far more flexible for the company, while also providing a powerful, cross-channel shopping experience for customers that was once only available via native applications. 

As a result of the separation, the frontend design was not limited by backend restraints, which would allow for a sleek and seamless user experience, one that was not available through Magento alone. Additionally, because the PWA layer would only pull information required for the particular page being loaded (as opposed to the entire heavy site), the result is a lightning-fast experience that is able to quickly react to user requests.

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Minerva was instantly able to recognize the advantages in investing in this new technology and decided to move forward with the project. Visiture’s team first started by auditing the company’s current site and the desired business goals, thus enabling us to map out how the new Magento 2.0 platform would need to function. Our team worked to find solutions for workflows and application architecture to ensure that their new site would meet all of their business objectives.

After a roadmap was put into place, Visiture’s team of CRO/UX experts started developing the new Minerva Beauty site. Since a new design was a big part of the replatforming, our team invested time to make sure that the look and feel accurately reflected their brand.

One significant upgrade for the new site was enabling configurable products. We stylized the drop-down menus on the site’s product pages in order to showcase all options for one product from a centralized page – as opposed to multiple pages for variations of the same product. This helped centralize marketing efforts to specific product models while providing an easy to navigate experience.

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In addition, we also added other features to the site to allow for better user and company control. For instance, our teams built out a mega menu that spans the whole site and allows for easy navigation to different product categories and pages. Rather than merchandising based on product groups, we merchandised based on customer profile - allowing professionals to navigate directly to the products that are most relevant for them. Visiture’s team also worked with Minerva Beauty to implement static boxes across the site, which granted easy control for merchandising and allowed the business to update the site as needed. 

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The Visiture development team took all the design specifications and requirements and started building the website to actualize their vision. The backend of the site utilized the Magento 2.0 edition, while the frontend PWA was built on the REACT framework. 

Our team made sure the two decoupled parts of the site could properly communicate with each other using GraphQL in order to operate successfully. In addition to implementing the Visiture PWA Pro, our team also worked on integrating several third-party tools – including Netsuite for the company’s ERP, Braintree for payment, Pacejet for shipping, Yotpo, Klarna, and Avalara. 

In the end, Minerva’s new Magento-powered PWA storefront had a tremendous impact on the company’s online performance.

 

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RESULTS

Increased eCommerce Performance

Visiture launched the new Minerva Beauty PWA site on June 10, 2020. The site featured a highly improved, more sophisticated design that aligned with the company’s goals, as well as increased usability for consumers. As a result of reengineering Minerva’s site, the company was able to achieve:

239%

Increase in Revenue

257%

Increase in Transactions

216%

Increase in Sessions

44%

Increase in Conversion Rate

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