The Retailer Perspective: KikiRio’s Magento 2 Story

| By: Sasha Butkovich

At Corra, we talk a lot about Magento 2. We’ve covered what to consider before you migrate, how to make your project less risky, and even how the results prove the value of the platform.

Today we want to share another perspective: the retailer’s point of view. What does it really mean to work with Magento 2 for your retail business?

We talked to Brian Nowicki, Director of Creative, Ecommerce & Technology for Miracle Ventures, a longtime Corra client and Magento user. He was kind enough to share the story of their latest project–building a Magento 2 site for their new brand, KikiRio.
 

The Background

 
Miracle Ventures, formerly Cyberswim Inc., is the largest women’s swimwear manufacturer in the country with more than 20 swimwear brands. Brian and his team are responsible for creating ecommerce and content sites for all of these brands, and that is where the partnership with Corra comes in.

Miracle Ventures has been a Corra partner for five years. Our two companies have worked on quite a few projects together, including migrating four existing sites for Miracle Ventures brands from various CMSs onto Magento. Their Magento sites include LongitudeSwim.com, MiracleSuit.com, MiracleBody.com, MagicSuitSwim.com and now KikiRio.com.

While most of the other Miracle Ventures brands focus on one-piece swimsuits and tankinis targeted at the women 40+ demographic, KikiRio is aimed at millennials. This new brand is an out-of-the-box idea to tackle the bikini swimwear market. Miracle Ventures was already enrolled in Corra’s TotalCare managed services program, so Brian decided to build the KikiRio site as a part of that contract.

“Well, we’re a different kind of client because I do the management of a lot of elements of the project,” Brian said. While his background is on the creative side, he has absorbed various IT and ecommerce roles as he progressed in his career at Miracle Ventures. He admits many of his skills are self-learned and self-taught, and he has learned from his fair share of mistakes throughout the process. But at this point, he has accumulated several years of experience working with the Magento platform.
 

Working with Magento 2

 

The other Miracle Ventures sites currently exist in Magento 1.13, with the intent to bring them over to Magento 2 for more stability and expansion capabilities in the near future. For KikiRio, Brian and his team went with Magento 2 in order to create a new server environment using Rackspace Managed AWS.

“By doing this project in TotalCare, I took on a lot of tasks myself,” Brain said. “I handled certain things, like configurations on the Magento side, while things like the heavy coding and server setup I left to the Corra team.”

Despite taking a less traditional route to launch the KikiRio site, the biggest driver of time on the project was a familiar one: product upload. Brian used an extension called uRapidFlow that he has used on Miracle Ventures’ other Magento 1 sites. However, the process in the new platform is different, and Brian admits that importing the product catalog took longer than he had anticipated.
 

The Results

 

So now that KikiRio is up and running on Magento 2, what are his first impressions of the platform? From a speed standpoint, Brian says Magento 2 is much better. His team is very happy with the speed and performance of the site.

Of course, with any new technology, there is a learning curve. One area where this is evident is the user admin, which Brian notes is a significant change compared to the Magento 1 admin his team is used to. He’s optimistic that any issues they’re encountering will change over time as people learn the new interface, though he does consider this to be a pain point at present.

But even Brian points out a potential solution to this problem, at least for other retailers thinking of making the move to Magento 2.

“I would recommend getting a demo of Magento 2, logging into the demo admin, and playing around there,” he said. “My advice would be to try and get familiar with the admin and accustomed to all the changes before you kick off your project.”

Ready to try a demo of Magento 2? We can help! Contact the Corra team today.

Corra is a digital agency creating transformative commerce experiences for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With headquarters in New York, Los Angeles and London, Corra provides strategically led creative and technology solutions to a growing global market.