Case Study - Magento 2 & iCenter Saop integration

Client & project specification

Client: Surf d.o.o. /

Revenue: 3.5€ mio / 10k products / 20 years of data

Tasks: Magento 2 customization for B2B / B2C, design, plugins customization, SEO & Speed optimization, ERP iCenter integration, B2B development, etc…

Why Magento 2? Because it is the flexible and most secure platform for ecommerce used by millions of popular stores. It is one of the best ecommerce platforms in terms of features, support, security. You can develop a fully scalable B2B / B2C ecommerce store.

Problems: Out of the box M2 is pretty buggy, slow and lacking a lot of functionalities. Especially in the hands of an inexperienced developer. And with adding custom code and plugins, those problems just multiply. So we took some time to get the exact specification and development/testing / go-to-market cycle. When developing for the M2 you can forget on free or cheap plugins. This was the lesson we learned the hard way a few years ago :). Even with the best-paid plugins, it is super important that you have support from them, as bugs are never-ending story.

Result: We developed super fast M2, with complete ERP SAOP iCenter integration and with all of the plugins working together in harmony. And still, stay in a reasonable budget. The results are amazing, the client is super happy. Win-Win scenario. But of course, there were some hard times in the development cycle, as connecting ERP with 20 years of data and 10k products is always a challenge and you will always have some unexpected situations.

Custom development

Out of the box, M2 is pretty standard and lacking a lot of much-needed functionalities. Especially in terms of B2B customers. So we customized the plugins and developed the M2 to client specifications.

  • PDF Documents – Customers receive a customized invoice / proforma invoice with all of the details. Support Barcode and QR code for billing documents or items to simplify management and cut down the workload
  • One step check out – Helps reduce the abandonment rate as well as increase the conversion rate dramatically. Ignore the back and forth that are the redundant motions when standing on your site
  • Google address suggestion – Filling addresses, mostly, is an essential step in the checkout process. To make it more convenient for buyers, we integrated extension with Google address suggestion via the API
  • Layered navigation – Allows shoppers to filter products by Categories, Colors, etc and even New, In-stock, On-sale or filter by Product ratings and filter by Product status. This helps customers remove unsuitable products from the result product page in order to save more shopping time.
  • Share cart link – Instant and simple creation of cart links for sharing offers with the client and having an instant buy option.
  • Follow up email – Generates and sends numerous triggered emails based on customer activity to build productive relationships with clients and increase the number of repeated purchases
  • Elastic search / autocomplete – Search result will is shown as a drop-down list after starting typing only the first letter of the keywords in the search box
  • Invisible Recaptcha – We’ve all tried to log into a website or submit a form only to be stuck clicking boxes of traffic lights or storefronts or bridges in a desperate attempt to finally convince the computer that we’re not actually a bot. Now, when you enter a form on a website that’s using ReCaptcha V3, you won’t see the “I’m not a robot” checkbox, nor will you have to prove you know what a cat looks like.
  • – Integration and stock sync of products
  • Payment options – Credit card, Contract Payment, At Delivery, Proforma (connected to Revolut business for automatic receipts), Paypal, at delivery
  • Shipment integration – Integrated with ShippyPro, for easier label printing. The customer automatically receives tracking numbers. Integrated with GLS, DHL, Gold Express and others
  • Shop by brand – Customers are given a chance to look for the brand they like easily as well as experience unique attractive brand pages
  • Sort order – The Improved Sorting extension allows you to effectively manage the products sorting on the catalog (example: by weight discount / new / price / in-stock first). You can set rules for the sorting of different product groups.
  • Multi-language & currency

Magento 2 Speed optimization

The speed of an eCommerce website plays a vital role in its conversion rate. Making an appealing website or offering deals only work if the website fast enough to show them. We managed to get the load under 1s, which is an amazing result. Still, we used a theme and we could manage to squeeze out a few milliseconds with custom theme and scripts. We decided “time to market” has more significant importance, so we went with a theme and customized it accordingly. There were a lot of bugs to polish, but still a faster way than starting from scratch. Using a fast, reliable, and powerful server is also a must for M2 and there can be no compromises here. Also, we used only the best plugins (do not even try with free plugins) and tested every plugin one by one and fixed the bugs. No shortcuts here.

Used technologies and plugins

  • Varnish (front end caching) – Cache helps boost up the speed of web applications. Technically, the proper term for Vanish is an HTTP accelerator, designed to accelerate content-heavy dynamic pages in order to improve the overall performance of the Magento 2 stores. With Varnish integrated, Magento does not have to dedicate time and resources to serving duplicate requests. As a result, the user experience improves significantly because from the user perspective, the requests are being processed much faster and the pages load much faster in their browsers.
  • Redis (back end caching) – Opting for either Redis or Memcached integrates a high-speed backend cache with full cache tag support, and no need for additional low-level file system cache. As a result, particularly on high traffic Magento stores, the performance is excellent and stable.
  • Cache warmer – Warming a Varnish Cache is a technique designed to shield users from this inconvenience by making those necessary but slow cache-refreshing requests yourself. You make a series of requests to your server for cacheable assets and you get the slow responses needed to refresh the cache instead of your users. We do the warming up before the main traffic hits the store via the cron schedule.
  • Other plugins – css & js minification, gzip, js defer, elastic search, CDN, image optimizer, etc…

Integration with ERP – iCenter (SAOP)

The integration of ERP and e-commerce systems allows the manager to perform a certain task in one system and let others catch up automatically. A well-integrated ERP system can optimize and automate repetitive manual tasks to increase the speed of data exchange and improve customer service efficiency. To achieve that, merchants are utilizing ERP integration solutions for their Magento stores to save time, minimize costs, and reduce the risk of errors.

Integration of orders, products, price lists, customers, etc…

  • Customers – Customers from iCenter are daily synced to M2. All of the attributes are transferred.
  • Orders – Are coming from M2 to iCenter in real-time synced together with customer details, discounts, postage, etc…
  • Products – Are synced daily together with stock attribute and all other details
  • Price per customer (B2B) – Every customer can have a special price list in iCenter. And every price list can have a special price (contract price) for designated products. So we are syncing to the M2 special price list for every customer and price per product is the same as they have it in the contact price list in ERP iCenter.

Results – SEO, Google, buy ratio, etc…

With all of the speed and SEO optimizations we managed to achieve amazing results.

  • Conversion rate – Went up to 3.08% which is well above for the industry standard. Total gain was 240% compared to the previous store
  • Revenue – Went up 1078%
  • Bounce rate – Went down significantly
  • Avg. Time on page – Went up to 3 min

Budget & Timeline

There is no exact quote for Magento Pricing. The main reason behind this uncertainty is the wide range of options and choices that store owners can avail while building their Magento stores. In this context, here is a rough estimate of M2 developed for Surf d.o.o. For your project or estimate, please give us a call.

  • Total budget: 20k (included all of the plugins, integration of ERP, design, speed & SEO optimizations)
  • Time to market: 3 months

Project manager & lead dev: Miha Lenasi

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