TL;DR Eport Ireland relaunch results in a 25% year-on-year increase in traffic and a 44% increase in sales in the first month alone.
Eport Ireland retail products across a series of categories including fitness, electronics, clothing, jewellery and crafts. Dermot from Eport Ireland initially approached us with a server error that prevented correct operation of his online shop. We advised this error was caused when the hosting company correctly upgraded their servers but the online shop Eport was running used a deprecated, unsupported version of the Joomla content management system (Joomla 1.5). We hot fixed the error, returning the Joomla system to working order in the short term and also begun work on a long term solution migrating to the latest Joomla version (Joomla 3.4).
The features of major importance to Eport Ireland are retaining (and increasing) their search positions, having a super-fast and easy checkout process, and having a reliable online shop system underneath it all. We implemented a Joomla 3 system with Virtuemart 3 running the online shop. We used redirecting code to capture all search traffic from the old URLs and point it at the equivalent product or category in the new system. We moved the system to a new hosting platform and also implemented a one page checkout to streamline the purchase experience.
The majority of traffic to the Eport Ireland webshop is generated via Google search results. Joomla 3 provides search engine friendly (SEF) addresses for the product pages and category pages typically resulting in higher positioning in search results. Joomla 3 itself and the template framework we proposed for the project are also natively responsive, i.e. display well on all screen sizes. As discussed on our blog recently Google have incorporated a preference for mobile friendly websites when presenting search results to users on small screen devices. Finally, to retain traffic from pages previously indexed in search results, we implemented a series of permanent redirects pointing each old product and category page to its exact equivalent in the new system, ensure no loss of sales while the new system was indexed.
Faster and better checkout
Eport Ireland were also using the PayPal Express checkout option, which speeds up the checkout process at the expense of collecting customer data onsite. We swapped this process for a one page checkout, collecting the customer data onsite but also sending that data to PayPal so the customer would not have to reenter it. This process retained the speed of checkout desired with the added benefit of collecting customer data should they not complete the payment after exiting to Paypal. This allows Eport Ireland to remarket to anyone who drops out of the process before completing payment, whether thats because they assumed they needed a Paypal account (even though they don’t) or for any other reason. This has lead to a direct increase in completed sales, which was not possible in the previous system.
Joomla 3 reliability
The Joomla 3 system is natively mobile friendly as discussed. It’s also significantly faster than before and with the correct configuration of hosting and caching, the checkout process here saw superb gains in overall checkout speed, even though the actual process was one step longer. Being a large open source project, Joomla is highly reliable and support by thousands of specialist companies worldwide.
In the first month the net result of this project has seen a 25% increase in traffic, a 44% increase in sales resulting in a 29% increase in revenues in a year-on-year comparison. Impressively, the conversion rate has almost doubled due to the changes in design, speed and experience.
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