A fox wearing a baseball cap

Magento frontend development for a sports apparel store

Staylime migrates Gameday’s Magento 1 store, rendering Magento frontend development services to introduce bespoke features and a brand-new UI/UX design.

  • Domain Sports apparel
  • Market Sweden
  • Duration 3 months
  • Services Migration, extension installation, custom development, theme development
  • Technologies Magento 2 Open Source
  • Team Backend Developer, Frontend Developer, Project Manager, Client Relations Manager

Project background

Our customer, Gameday, is a specialized sports apparel store operating in Sweden.

Working with the leading suppliers in the USA, the family-owned company offers a great range of branded sportswear and accessories for North American League fans.

A collage of American sports players

With a Magento 1 store in place, Gameday clearly understood that migration to Magento 2 is inevitable in order to keep the business running smoothly.

Besides, the store’s design had remained unchanged since the company’s early days and could no longer meet customer expectations effectively.

An old computer

Aiming to launch a brand new version that would stand out from the crowd and attract more sport merchandise lovers, Gameday decided to outsource Magento theme development and migration to a reliable service provider.

The renewed webstore was to achieve the following mission-critical goals:

  • Pugs in a hockey goal

    Increase website traffic and conversion rates through a one-of-a-kind, instantly recognizable design theme.

  • Trainer showing strategy on a tablet

    Enhance user experience across all devices and screens via a highly intuitive and responsive UI.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
Thanks to a proven track record in delivering projects of a similar scope and impeccable references from previous customers, Staylime outpaced their competitors and embarked on the project.

Communication challenges

Here at Staylime, we pay particular attention to ensuring seamless two-way communication between our customers and project team members as we believe that it is a foundation of a successful and timely project delivery.

Referreee objecting players

On this project, however, we faced a range of communication issues beyond our control that had a significant impact on the overall project implementation outcomes.

We expected the customer to provide feedback on preliminary project deliverables and artifacts on time, but due to circumstances the decision makers’ availability was rather limited. Besides, a local Magento extension vendor was engaged in the process to implement a couple of extensions our client planned to employ.

As the extensions were initially produced by that vendor, Gameday was willing to have the same team take care of their installation and setup. Yet, the vendor continuously failed to meet the deadline, and as a result, this led to recurring delivery delays, extending the project duration to over one year in total.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
However, despite this frustrating communication gap, our team still managed to complete the Magento frontend development and migration tasks in line with initial customer’s requirements and expectations.

Magento 2 migration & extension installation

Magento database migration was the very first task our customer approached us with, so we got down to business straight away.

Upon assessing the current setup and customizations, we prepared a detailed migration roadmap and presented it to Gameday’s team for approval.

A trainer and players
Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
We carried out the migration with no hassle: upon installing a Magento 2 version on a staging server, we performed a set of beta tests to make sure all assets were transferred properly. With the new installation up and running, we then proceeded to the installation of the required extensions.

The following modules were installed and configured by our team:

  • Mirasvit Help Desk, enabling customer care and support in Magento stores.

  • Social Login, allowing for a quick login via social media accounts.

  • MLX-STORE Guest Wishlist, making it possible for users to create wishlists without logging in.

  • Magefan Blog, allowing the customer to create and manage a blog on the website.

Apart from that, we collaborated together with the customer’s local Magento service provider on extension delivery.

The local team was responsible for installation and setup of the two modules: Unifaun for shipment data management, and Klarna checkout for payments.

Having completed our part of the job, we prepared the required database dumps and handed the assets over to our counterpart to facilitate further deployment and configuration.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
Even though Staylime laid the groundwork for a fast and easy setup, the external vendor held off on getting back to us with the results. After continuous follow-ups and pings from our side, the extensions were finally installed, however, we shouldered the burden of configuring them on our own.

Regardless of the local vendor’s failure to deliver the installations, we managed to finalize the installation and put all the required third-party extensions in place.

Custom functionality development

We also delivered sophisticated custom Magento extensions to overcome existing functionality limitations and meet business-specific requirements Gameday had:

A sports news section in the newspaper

Product arrangement within a category based on regions and sport teams

Since the customer offered branded sportswear of various North America League teams from different locations, we implemented the capability to add new regions and/or teams within a category and split the corresponding products into groups based on these attributes.

NHL player card

Pop-up login form

Instead of redirecting users to a standalone login page, this feature triggers an easy popup allowing them to log in via social media accounts.

Match statistics

Custom API for Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics

The custom API enables integration with analytics tools from Google and Facebook helping admins to monitor website’s rankings.

Magento frontend development

No doubt, an eye-catching and fast user interface results in better customer engagement and loyalty, ultimately driving conversion rates and improving the bottom line.

So replacing the outdated theme with a user-friendly and modern custom Magento theme to represent the company in the best way was one of the major goals on this project.

A hand painting lines on a sports ground

Using unique templates shared by the client, we delivered a brand-new interface with custom product pages on top of Magento’s blank theme.

This provided for a fresh and catchy look-and-feel which were sorely lacking in the previous version of the store.

Footballs

User experience was another aspect we paid particular attention to.

As the catalogue featured a multitude of leagues and teams, it was important to ensure smooth and easy navigation on the website. Hence, our team worked out a unique navigation menu that would make browsing through the categories quick and effortless.

The idea of the navigation’s core element, the mega-menu, is that all leagues are split into first-level categories, each of them featuring groups of products and products assigned to specific clubs based on regions.

The menu elements can be easily managed from the admin panel: it is possible to swap regions, change the order of clubs within a region, choose icons for each club, and set category types. In addition to that, the dropdown menu looks different for each element on the first level.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
To facilitate website navigation even further, we have additionally implemented a filtering and sorting tool using Magento 2 Layered Navigation by Amasty. By customizing the ready-made extension, we made it possible to hide available filters into an accordion, display region/team icons as filtering options, and also animate this graphical control element.

Pre-launch challenges

Due to communication issues mentioned above, project implementation took longer than expected, so there was plenty of time for the product catalogue to evolve.

As the new positions were added and the assortment changed, the initially migrated database became irrelevant. Thus, we had to migrate the database once again prior to the launch.

A sportsman praying

As SEO considerations are always on the table when it comes to any online commerce business, we also suggested conducting a pre-live Magento SEO check.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
The customer approved the idea, so our team performed a thorough audit of the website and adjusted key settings to ensure that the new store scores high with search engines.

Hard times at Gameday & current state of affairs

In the ever-changing world of today, even the biggest and most prosperous businesses are not immune to risks and failures.

When starting this project, we had no doubts we would deliver it successfully within the timeframe and budget set. However, the business hiccups our customer faced made things take a turn.

Empty stadium

As of now, the company undergoes complete corporate restructuring with new people coming on board to take over the operations. All the existing projects, including the technology ones, are put on hold, and since the new board might take a different direction now, the future of the project remains unknown.

Staying on the bright side, we appreciate the experience and skills, both in Magento frontend development and project management, we gained on this project.

Jan Guardian
Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer @ Staylime
We genuinely believe that the Magento 2 store delivered by our team has a potential to bring the company to a whole new level and we do hope that Gameday will manage to get over the hard times rapidly. In the meanwhile, we are ready to proceed supporting their digital initiatives whenever they are.