How fashion retailer Iorane successfully replatformed in 5 days

Bernardo Lemgruber
Bernardo Lemgruber May 23, 2020
How fashion retailer Iorane successfully replatformed in 5 days

Brazilian fashion brand Iorane was born more than 20 years ago as a wholesale family business selling to other retailers. By 2012, the company started investing in its own retail venture. Today, they have 10 brick-and-mortar stores in Brazil and the US and have shipped worldwide since 2015. Their high-end style is rendered in clothes with unique designs and fabrics.

Due to serious instability issues with its previous e-commerce software provider, the company was unable to operate its online business and provide the top-class service its customers are used to offline. In order to keep a healthy relationship with their audience and avoid hurting brand reputation, they had no other option but to replatform.

It’s not by chance that the internet is filled with migration checklists, guides, and infographics. Errors in replatforming can be detrimental to a business: costs start sky-rocketing, the work gets more and more time-consuming and the horizon fades as the project stretches.

On the other hand, when you have a capable team and an open API platform at your disposal, it is possible to make the process painless and enjoy outstanding results.  This was highlighted by Iorane seeing an increase of 180% in conversion rates after its migration to VTEX Commerce Cloud.

Delivering with speed

In Iorane’s case, the negative impact on brand relevance and heritage prompted the team to take action and seek a better solution, fast. Partnering with VTEX’s certified agency M3, Iorane built a squad of four, representing the client and the agency, working around the clock to migrate and launch a new online store in just five days. Having dedicated resources from both sides was crucial to making this happen.

“Everything was in synergy: a good platform, an engaged team, and a partner who bought the challenge.”

Annelize Nogueira, Project lead and founder of Cult Consultoria

Adopting an MVP mindset, the team implemented just the essentials to start selling right away. The store layout was built on top of a front-end template that the agency had in-house, which was customized to fit the brand’s aesthetic. The first order came fifty minutes after launching the new website, on a Friday.

In order to save time, they chose to go with the agency’s template, even though it didn’t cover all the categories they had before. The impact was expected: after the migration, Iorane was struck by a decrease in store organic traffic. It turned out that the launch strategy combining promotions, communication with their customer base and the increase in conversion rates actually had an outstanding result, representing a 92% growth in revenue.

Migrating to VTEX Commerce Cloud enabled Iorane to immediately implement all their active promotions and commercial conditions. They took advantage of the platform’s powerful promotions engine to boost sales and configure their own promotions, including a wide set of new scenarios, such as flexible installments conditions, progressive discounting, and pre-scheduled sales.

After the launch, they initiated another project to draw a new store layout. With room to do it thoughtfully, all the store categories are being implemented following best-practices, the front-end components are being configured to fit their high-end customers, and additional functionalities are being customized to reach their expectations. The project will last 50 days.

Open APIs are key

Several details had to be considered during the migration. As they already had an online presence, they needed to retain their existing Google indexes for SEO – with the store categories changed by the agency’s template, the caution with redirects increased at the migration. They also needed to improve page load times and make sure all the integrations would work seamlessly.

One of the key aspects of their replatforming was how to transfer their entire product catalog and photos into the new platform. They had around 10k products and 50k image files. VTEX Commerce Cloud’s open API architecture made this critical part of the process smoother: all the photos and the product catalog were uploaded with spreadsheets, saving time, effort, and headaches.

“VTEX’s open APIs made everything easier. It’s very useful for the migration process and it was crucial to launching Iorane’s store in such a short period of time.”

Pablo Ribeiro, Founder of M3 Agency

A plus of using APIs to migrate was that they were able to import all the existing customer registrations to the VTEX Commerce Cloud. With this data in place, Iorane provided a better customer experience to their clients: they didn’t need to register again. They crafted a direct communication about the new store and added a 10% discount coupon, so the customer only needed to confirm the information. By doing so, no customer history was lost.

Thriving amidst the global crisis

Iorane never felt the need to unify their online and offline operations. Their relationship with customers is almost tailored so that each client feels special and unique – it is built upon trust and face-to-face conversations. At the end of the first month operating with VTEX Commerce Cloud, the Covid-19 struck Brazil, and, as in many other countries, all non-essential retail activities were shut down.

With all the brick-and-mortar stores closed, the online became the main sales channel for the company. The first and hardest adaptation was with the in-store sales teams: at first, there was a pushback from them. But once sales flow started getting more natural and they got acquainted with the technology, the adoption became higher and results started to arrive.

“We are getting ready for the growth that the digital is having because we see it’s here to stay.”

Carol Rigel, E-commerce Manager at Iorane

The business strategies Iorane employed not only worked but also made them grow. They created special coupons for each member of their sales team, applied aggressive discounts on past collections (up to 70%), offered more flexible conditions on installments, and activated free-shipping for the whole month. They also recurred to an unprecedented tactic: the new collection was launched with a discount on some products.

All the effort of engaging their sales team, along with the special conditions and the crisis management, not only allowed them to recover from the setbacks they were having before migrating, but also enabled them to thrive during difficult times. In a year over year comparison, VTEX Commerce Cloud helped Iorane see remarkable growth between 2019 and 2020. Conversion rates increased 200% and revenue grew around 100% in the same period.