Bardotti, a Polish e-boutique, was launched to fill the gap between luxurious high-end lingerie brands that few can afford and cheap imitations available in chain stores. Built with WooCommerce, it recently decided to bolster its eCommerce identity and get itself a robust tech stack consisting of a Magento backend and Vue Storefront at the front.
The Polish lingerie market is thriving but it is also challenging due to the high cost of the traffic acquisition and relatively low conversion rates. What’s more, the lingerie sector struggles more than general apparel from a poor reputation in eCommerce. Most stores are running on low-budget platforms that barely deliver the minimum UX required these times. With few exceptions, performance is slow and design sloppy.
Bardotti wanted to take advantage of this situation by launching bardotti.pl as a site which would gain and retain online customers’ engagement. The task was, however, not easy. Each client has a personal taste and preference in bra shape and cuts, which either require a professional fitting or implies product returns. Additionally, Bardotti offers also a range of supplementary products—such as pyjamas, robes, tights, socks, and swimwear—and that requires a very effective search engine and personalization approach.
BeeCommerce, the agency responsible for getting the job done, knew that in order to provide the better UX, the entire tech stack would have to be replaced. WooCommerce is often suitable at the beginning of a business but is not enough for scaling up eCommerce. The decision to switch it with Magento and Vue Storefront was taken fast, as the changes had to take into account redesigning the user interface, implementing intuitive search and navigation, embracing the whole mobile-first approach, and enabling the real after-sales support… There was a lot to do and the tech stack had to bear the burden.
From a technical point of view, there were two types of challenges: internal data quality and data presentation.
The first was due to the low quality of product data provided by the suppliers, which is even more problematic when product rotation is high. In lingerie, many products are only available for a few weeks and that requires a tremendous amount of work to make the product details card look complete. For example, in some online stores, many color variants lack images and very few products contain a description or any attributes whatsoever. This issue requires data enrichment mechanisms to be put in place.
The second was related to high product complexity: each product has colors, submodels, sizes, and related items from the same product look.
BeeCommerce was looking for open-source and fully customizable solutions able to handle over 200,000 SKUs and deliver blazing fast performance. A native mobile app was not an option since as it now seems obsolete for eCommerce; PWA, on the other hand allows sites to take a mobile-first approach that is crucial for delivering modern customer experiences.
BeeCommerce decided upon Vue Storefront as its an open-source, PWA frontend checked all the boxes. It was a choice that paid off.
There were, however, some challenges. It was initially difficult to develop the data structure for product details and optimize the frontend in a way that the user doesn’t see the background load of all the related products. It was also a challenge to deal with Magento API errors on checkout and data import. At the end of the day, all the obstacles were overcome; this was, partly, also thanks to the community gathered around Vue Storefront, which was a significant factor in BeeCommerce choosing the solution.
We’re really happy we chose Vue Storefront for our eCommerce. It enabled full frontend customization. On the other hand, most of the core functionalities were already there, which significantly reduced our work effort in creating the project.
Community backed projects have one primary advantage over corporate solutions: they are developed by the community and quickly adjust to market changes. While working on the project, we noticed that the growing community makes increments even bigger month by month. That substantially reduces our IT effort in developing the product