The toolcentre.co.za website is the online arm of a tool business with a 50-year history. This new Magento development is the fourth version of the tool company’s website that was first launched 15-years ago. The new store is an upgrade to the venerable Magento 1 shop and sells a comprehensive range of tools, hardware, abrasives, workshop equipment and automotive cleaners.
Reducing product location and search complexity for buyers was the core driver of the upgrade. A combination spanner for example comes in up to 50 sizes, each product differing only in price. The old system displayed these as 50 individual products. The new system now has a single image with a size dropdown and the price adjusts accordingly. This ‘simple’ change requires hard work and a good knowledge of the inventory to implement consistently. Time costs for this part of the upgrade were easily the biggest part of the budget.
The company recruited the services of leading Johannesburg-based e-commerce and software development specialist Syncrony Digital to oversee the upgrade.
Magento is an open-source e-commerce solution with enterprise options. It was released in 2008 and there are currently over 250,000 merchants that utilise the Magento platform around the globe, with over 150,000 trained developers.
Founded in 1999, Syncrony is one of South Africa’s premier Magento developers. Howard Rybko, CEO, Syncrony, said Magento 1 upgrades to the latest version can be expensive but cannot be ignored because payment gateway vulnerabilities will eventually cause the banks to withdraw service and effectively stop them from trading.
He explained, “We started with the upgrade just before lockdown in February and launched the new site in mid-October. The site is massive with over 10 000 products.”
It was an extensive amount of work said Rybko. “The SEO complexity was massive because Tool Centre products ranked so well in the Google Search Index. All the links for individual products had to be categorised and redirected to new pages that hosted a single version of these products. By the time we finished mapping all the existing links, page numbers of the site went for 20 0000 to less than 5000. 6000.”
Rybko says toolcentre.co.za decided to continue with Magento because the platform is able to effectively manage the level of complexity of the product set as well as having the capability to handle the next phase of planned B2B integrations.
As an enterprise tool, it is designed to handle highly complex inventory and high volume of product better than other systems.
By the time all the work had been done, the upgraded version of Magento addressed all key requirements, including far greater ease-of-use better navigation and search and a far more consistent customer experience.