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Case Studies







Case Study: Why this Fashion Brand Migrated from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus

Offering trend-led fashion for every occasion, London-based womenswear brand Blue Vanilla are busy building a style empire throughout the UK and beyond. Find out how a migration to Shopify Plus freed this blossoming fashion brand from their WooCommerce woes.

Written By
Hannah Smiddy

In this case study:

  • About the client
  • The challenge
  • Why did Blue Vanilla decide to migrate from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus?
  • The solution
  • The launch
  • The results
  • What does the client think?
  • What’s next for Blue Vanilla?

About the client

London-based womenswear fashion brand Blue Vanilla deliver fast fashion at high quality and affordable prices. Their “Never get bored of new” mission means there are new styles arriving daily on their ecommerce store.

Blue Vanilla are passionate about helping their customers create their own unique styles, rather than simply buying fashion. They aim to flatter and fit every shape with their stylish and versatile collections, so that all women can stay on trend.

The Blue Vanilla site ships to 150 countries around the world, delivering on-trend pieces on a global scale. The brand also has concessions in stores such as New Look and House of Fraser, offering the latest seasonal must-haves on high streets across the UK.

The challenge

A fashion brand suffering WooCommerce woes

Before reaching out to Swanky, Blue Vanilla were struggling with a slow and outdated WordPress site with WooCommerce plugin. As a modern fashion brand offering stylish new pieces every day, Blue Vanilla needed to provide their customers with a slick online shopping experience representative of this.

In the words of Lucy Colgrave, Head of Ecommerce Growth & Digital Marketing at Blue Vanilla:

The main reasons for wanting to migrate were site speed and bounce rate. The site was outdated and very very slow. Average page load was +7 seconds. Functionality was extremely limited and bounce rate was ~60-70%, sometimes even higher.”

As well as feeling frustrated with page load times, the Blue Vanilla team found that simple tasks were devouring a huge amount of unnecessary time and effort.

“It was also very difficult to make any changes to the site without enrolling the help of  a developer. With Shopify, we understood that making changes would be much easier and give us more scope to improve customer journey.”

Why did Blue Vanilla decide to migrate to from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus?

Blue Vanilla needed an ecommerce platform that could better cater for their fast fashion business. Top of their wishlist was speed, ease of use and customer support. After comparing various enterprise platforms, Shopify Plus triumphed as the brand’s superior solution.

“After extensive research into the different platforms available (we looked at Magento, Big Commerce, Wix, Go Daddy, Shopify etc.), we decided to go with Shopify due to the extensive functionality offering, flow optimisations of processes, and the customer service support.

We also knew that Fashion Nova, Gym Shark and Kylie Cosmetics amongst many other great sites were using this platform, and felt it was right for our market/brand.”

Indeed, as one of the world’s leading enterprise ecommerce platforms, Shopify Plus is attracting more and more big-brand names to its impressive repertoire of clients. Some of the biggest enterprises in the fashion industry are thriving on Shopify Plus – what better recommendation for an ambitious and fast-growing brand like Blue Vanilla.  

How Swanky helped

Our team of experts got to work migrating Blue Vanilla’s existing website from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus.

Meanwhile, armed with a clear understanding of Blue Vanilla’s brand ethos, target market and ecommerce goals, our design team began working their branding magic on a stylish look for this new Shopify store.

Here are some of our site highlights:

Telling the story of Blue Vanilla

The Shopify theme we used is optimised for large, impactful images and visual storytelling. It brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to the design, reflecting the trendy, feminine nature of the brand.

The blue and white colour scheme, mix of elegant sans-serif typefaces and vibrant lifestyle photographs all complement the overall essence of Blue Vanilla, helping to tell the story of the brand and connect with target users.

Product focus

The simple colour palette and use of whitespace allows the products to shine on this store. Product images pop against the white page background, drawing attention to the unique details of each piece and encouraging click-throughs to product pages.

The photos are clear and crisp, alluding to the high quality of the products on offer.

Dynamic imagery

The moving imagery upon mouseover creates a dynamic, engaging experience for shoppers, without causing a distraction. This also allows users to see different product views without having to leave the page they’re on.


Image hotspot linking

A cool ‘shop the look’ feature allows lifestyle images to be tagged with hotspots for easier in-context product discovery. Users can simply click on the hotspot to find a link to the live product. Not only is this a great way to highlight key products and collections, but it encourages user engagement.

Shoppable Instagram feed

The shoppable Instagram feed further tells the story of the Blue Vanilla brand, whilst creating a sense of desire amongst shoppers. These polaroid-esque Insta images give shoppers real-life outfit inspiration, helping them to visualise products as part of their own wardrobe.

Streamlined route-to-purchase

As always, we combined form with function to deliver an outstanding customer experience for Blue Vanilla shoppers. User-friendliness was prioritised throughout the entire website migration and design process, alongside a beautiful aesthetic.

Through carefully considered design, layout and functionality, we wanted to reduce cognitive load for users and streamline the route-to-purchase. The key purchase flow is clean and simple, satisfying customers’ needs for fast, fuss-free purchasing.

As the before and after shots below demonstrate, the header has been subtly tweaked to provide an optimal UX. By moving the search functionality to the other side of the page, it is more immediately identifiable for search-users, thus streamlining their purchase journey. Search users are over 200% more likely to make a purchase than users who are simply browsing, so prioritising your search function like this is a must.

The header on Blue Vanilla’s old WordPress/WooCommerce store.

The shiny new header, optimised for conversions.

The visual mega menu facilitates simple navigation, and is ideal for users wanting to browse Blue Vanilla’s varied offering. Furthermore, the bespoke sub-categories filtration feature we built is perfect for narrowing down products according to users’ specific needs.

As the images below show, the new button-select filter design is a marked improvement from the previous drop-down list that was in place. The colour swatches create a much more engaging experience for users.

The drop-down filtration on the old Blue Vanilla site.

Blue Vanilla’s swanky new button-based collection filtering.

The launch

The big day had come – it was time to share Blue Vanilla’s swanky new store with the world. On 25th April 2019, the site went live.

What did Head of Ecommerce Growth Lucy think about how launch day went?

“When we launched on Shopify, we were all geared up for some down time and to have to put through test orders on all the different payment options… but we had orders through in minutes! When we sent the activation email this produced a significant traffic spike and we had a really strong weekend.

Plus, it was great having a member of the Swanky team down on launch day, reassuring us and helping us identify some key areas that needed attention.”

The results

After only a few weeks, the positive impact of Blue Vanilla’s stylish new Shopify Plus store became evident. Here are some of the improvements seen on site already, compared to the same period directly before launch:

  • Average page load time has reduced by 35%, from 6 seconds to 3.8 seconds.
  • Bounce rate has reduced by 25%.
  • The number of site users has increased by 18%, as has the average session duration.
  • The number of pages visited per session has increased by a staggering 69%.

Discussing these initial results, Lucy said:

“Overall we feel customers are landing and staying on site, spending more time browsing, and are engaging better than with the previous site.”

What does the client think?

For burgeoning brand Blue Vanilla, Shopify Plus provides all the key components of an enterprise-level ecommerce solution, without the need for development teams in day-to-day operations.

Talking about what the Blue Vanilla team like most about their shiny new site, Lucy said:

“We like the new look and feel of the site, and how smooth the journey has become from browsing to checkout.

The backend of Shopify is extremely straightforward and easy to use, which made a lovely change from the more complicated/busy WooCommerce system.

We like the analytics section where you can see trending products, products with high potential, and products that need improving.”

And what about working with Swanky?

“Working with Swanky has been fun and exciting – the team are knowledgeable, organised and friendly!

The project management has been excellent… site migrations are exceedingly complex and there are many moving parts but I felt comfortable everything would be considered.”

What’s next for Blue Vanilla?

With Swanky’s help, Blue Vanilla have escaped their WooCommerce woes with a stylish, streamlined Shopify Plus store.

Crucially, this new site will provide this fast-growing brand with the flexibility and stability that it needs to scale and grow. The ecommerce team will now be able to allocate resources to exciting marketing initiatives and improvements that were previously locked in maintenance of their WordPress/WooCommerce store.

We look forward to seeing this ambitious fashion brand flourish on Shopify Plus!

Looking to migrate?

If, like Blue Vanilla, you are looking to replatform your ecommerce store to Shopify Plus, why not get in touch with our Shopify Plus migration team. We can advise you on everything you need to know about migrating your store to a new home, from practical SEO considerations to automation must-haves once you’ve migrated.

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