In case you haven’t heard, Stover & Company is one of the big players in the baking industry and a bakery supply distributor with a long history of success spanning back to 1948. With a fleet of their own refrigerated trucks and a 30,000 square foot freezer on top of another 20,000 square foot freezer, they are one of Pennsylvania’s (and the region’s) largest suppliers and distributors of bakery and confectionery goods and packaging.
With growing sales and operations through 2020, Stover & Company knew that something would have to give soon. For years, their online store had been hosted on Magento, an eCommerce platform that is extremely robust and allows for limitless customization. However, with an open-source platform like Magento, that capability comes at a price.
With Magento, users need to provide their own hosting infrastructure and security and need to devote an uncommon measure of resources to development and support. Sure, the code is out there for anyone to inspect, but without a pool of dedicated developers, keeping up with a Magento website is a true labor of love.
Stover & Company had those resources, business was growing, and they wanted to allocate them to business development as well as a website that better reflected their growing capabilities and was easier to manage.
Unfortunately, despite Magento’s glaring capabilities, it was too resource-intensive to maintain. Stover & Company needed to move to a platform that could offer similar customization and would be easier to keep up with, and for that, they chose the BigCommerce platform.
Ideally, they’d want to get their website up and running on a newly designed BigCommerce store without any disruptions, which is quite a task for an established online store with a huge volume of sales and customer accounts. What they needed was help moving from their old store on Magento to their new store on BigCommerce with no hiccups.
Lucky for Stover & Company, 1DigitalⓇ Agency has experience in that arena.
Making the Move
Stover & Company was operating a large, complex eCommerce website on Magento. To say it was full of data, product and account information and a variety of content would be an understatement. To make matters more complex, being an established business with a powerful online presence, Stover & Company had appreciable traffic to their online store that they couldn’t risk compromising – as in other businesses, web traffic to an online store is dearly earned and brings in revenue.
1DigitalⓇ’s specialists conducted a complex and thorough data migration for Stover & Company’s website, carefully transferring each item of valuable data to the correct location in their new BigCommerce store.
The scope of their eCommerce migration consisted of over 150 categories, 900 products, 15,000 customer accounts, and nearly 33,000 orders. Special steps had to be taken with each category to ensure the timely and accurate migration of the data.
For example, in order to protect the SEO value of Stover’s category structure, we had to take care to transfer not only the categories and descriptions themselves but also to move over the category metadata, including titles, descriptions, and keywords. We then did the same thing with their product information, taking care to preserve the fidelity of names, prices, images, descriptions, and options.
We also uncovered group products in Stover’s Magento store, which required careful configuration before being transferred. In order to be compatible with BigCommerce, we had to convert them into simple products and manually sync them to the BigCommerce store before combining them with BigCommerce’s product options.
Our process for migrating Stover’s customer and order information was every ounce as thorough. We took care to meticulously migrate names, addresses, email, and phone numbers, even sending each customer account an email informing them that they would need to change their account password since we would not be able to migrate the original, encrypted passwords.
No Traffic Left Behind
When executing a migration, especially for a well-established business with a successful online presence like Stover & Company, taking steps to ensure that no traffic is lost is critical. As a part of the migration process, we followed two particularly important protocols to ensure Stover & Company would not lose any traffic as a result.
For one thing, we scrupulously compiled all of Stover’s Magento URLs and created standard 301 redirects to all of the BigCommerce URLs that would correspond to them. This is a crucial step to ensure that Google knows where to send traffic when a user searches for a URL that may no longer exist. When done properly, it can completely prevent any loss of traffic that would otherwise result from a poorly planned migration.
In addition, after the migration, we monitored their Google Search Console for any potential shifts in traffic, as well as allocated a period of support to it in case any issues would arise or be uncovered. Needless to say, the migration and ensuing redesign and development projects were successful in tandem, and the company not only saw no loss of traffic but a boom in traffic to their online store.
Advanced Design and Development for Better Branding and More
Stover & Company wanted two things in particular from their new BigCommerce website. They wanted it to put forth a more professional, capable, front, and they wanted it to be better equipped to handle an influx of online orders as they planned for growth. For that, they’d need the help of an experienced BigCommerce partner. In conjunction with their migration, our designers and developers were busy at work creating a brand new BigCommerce website for Stover & Company that offered the same functionality as before, and more, for a significantly improved customer experience.
While our BigCommerce web design specialists updated the overall appearance of the entire website as can be seen from the image below, they also designed and developed some new features for their website to boost engagement, improve UX, and put forth a more professional front.
One of the big-ticket items that we created for Stover & Company was an advanced mega menu. Enhanced navigation is well known as a critical component of the customer experience, and this mega menu was reorganized to facilitate a customer’s search and pushed their highest selling category (chocolates) to the top, as you can see below. This new mega menu also featured updated imagery and eye-catching colors to hold attention and sync up better with the color scheme of the overall website.
Moreover, this advanced mega menu contained several different features and effects. You can see at the top of their homepage the way the menu displays; it expands with a second display of subcategories when the user clicks on “Shop by Category.” A third display of subcategories will appear when the user clicks on the category of interest. This is a significant experience-booster for Stover & Company’s users, as the company offers such a diverse collection of different bakery supplies.
As an additional positive effect on the navigational hierarchy of the client’s website, we also created subcategory landing pages. For example, if a user selects “Chocolate & Caramel” through the mega menu and then selects “Compound Chocolates” as a subcategory, the page to which the customer will be directed displays a variety of different subcategories within the original subcategory.
This facilitates a customer’s search, for example, for “Dark Compound Chocolates” or “Flavored Wafers,” which otherwise would be lumped together blindly into one collection. This neat and comprehensive compartmentalization of Stover’s products created a much better searching and shopping experience.
In accordance with the wishes of the client, we also created a Quick Order page to enable customers to complete large, complex purchases as easy as possible. Since many of Stover’s clients are also large businesses, many of them return frequently to make the same or similar large purchases. Streamlining this process, at least for these accounts, was a highly valuable initiative that we designed and executed for them.
In addition to redesigning their homepage, mega menu, subcategory pages, and more, we also created a few additional items that advertised their capabilities and customer service. For example, we created a new banner for the homepage highlighting some of the selling points of their business, such as their warehousing capabilities.
In addition, we created special badges for some of their product pages, such as what you can see in the image below. This particular product page, for one of their most popular products, shows the user that the product is in stock and also gives the option to add cold packing to the order, advertising the robust capabilities of the client and boosting confidence in their operations in specific and their brand in general.
1DigitalⓇ also completed several additional critical development items for Stover & Company, including business critical integrations and configurations. For example, our BigCommerce developers implemented ShipperHQ and configured it to their new BigCommerce store. As large businesses often rely on the operational efficiencies afforded by the shipping-based economy of apps like this, ensuring it was installed and configured correctly was critical.
The advanced mega menu described above was not the only item in the project that helped to foster a streamlined and effective navigational process for the client’s users. Our team also integrated and configured Nextopia into their new BigCommerce store so that they could afford their customers additional powerful site search features as a part of the navigational hierarchy.
To ensure the highest level of security possible for their online store, we also made sure that a new EV SSL was issued for their new online store, and then installed and configured properly on the Stover & Company BigCommerce website. We also added a few complimentary development items as a part of their larger project, including a new Favicon for their website and a reorder button for customer accounts, to improve customer engagement and retention.
Growing Organic Traffic with SEO
Stover & Company has been growing and planning for growth; in addition to setting aside funds for migrating to a more capable and freshly designed and developed website, they set aside some investment for digital marketing. Knowing that SEO is a long term gain that affords many business steady growth over time, they chose to partner with 1DigitalⓇ for BigCommerce SEO services for a particularly large SEO campaign targeting 120 keywords.
As with all of our comprehensive SEO projects, we conducted thorough keyword research and analyses before even beginning with onsite optimization and content publication. We began by identifying a large collection of carefully chosen keywords that were relevant to their industry, according to their product selection and customer searches.
We also conducted a competition analysis and initial benchmark to show the client where they stood in relation to key competitors and current rankings. Once we had identified key areas for improvement and keywords to pursue, we were ready to begin with our onsite optimization processes. Simultaneously, our content creators began suffusing their website with original content and building links to their website through the publication of offsite content.
As with our other SEO projects, regardless of the size, we audited Stover’s URL structure in order to uncover utilized keywords and room for improvement. We also conducted a site speed optimization discovery touching on numerous items that affect site speed so that they could be rectified and addressed.
As an additional component of onsite optimization, we audited the site for toxic backlinks and broken links and removed or disavowed them wherever found. As this was a brand new BigCommerce store, we were able to optimize title tags and metadata like meta descriptions, to ensure that pages were properly cached and that onsite content was visible both to site visitors and to Google so that it could be crawled and indexed.
In addition to this, our professional content creators undertook the process of creating a variety of onsite content to enrich Stover’s website and make it more attractive to search engines. We created a variety of long and short form content, including category page content and several different types of blog content, carrying both in length and keyword density.
In tandem with these other processes, our specialists also pursue an aggressive backlinking strategy to boost authority. Targeting a broad sweep of keywords, many of which were shared with onsite content, we created a variety of offsite posts and items that were distributed across a number of third-party sites containing backlinks to stovercompany.com.
We Can Tie It Together for Your Business
These are the types of multifaceted digital marketing projects and results we can accomplish for your business, whether you operate in a similar sphere as Stover & Company or in an entirely different industry. Our collection of eCommerce case studies is a sturdy testament to that claim.
Without lauding ourselves too immodestly, we welcome you to check the case studies link above. There, you can see some of our case studies and filter them by project and even platform. If you’re interested, you can also see our SEO by industry page, where you can find some of the industries we serve.
Our talented team of eCommerce web design and development professionals, much like our experienced team of digital marketing eCommerce SEO and PPC specialists, only wait for a call from you to get started achieving similar results for your online business. Whether you need a full-scale redesign or want to see how SEO can work to grow your business in the long game and connect better with your customers with targeted content, it all starts with a call. Contact us at 888-982-8269 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.
- Michael Esposito
- January 15, 2021