Re-platforming for Connected Commerce and Agility

For one of USA's largest fireworks retailers, re-platformed website to Shopify Plus in just four months, making e-commerce headless and composable. Now effortlessly serving 250K visitors a day, while affording content creators extreme agility in managing and delivering impactful experiences without relying on IT.

Digital Customer Experience
Shopify Plus,
Business Impact
Agility, Scale, Time-to-Value

A nationwide fireworks brand was looking to re-platform its e-commerce website to

  1. Gain agility in managing and delivering engaging experiences through its website, while reducing, if not removing, the content team’s reliance on IT for publishing content.

  2. Reliably and predictably support the massive variance in the scale of their website’s usage due to the highly seasonal nature of their business.

  3. Upgrade their technology stack to, in the future, enable a composable and unified commerce experience across their website, brand stores, and seasonal franchise popup stores and tents.

  4. Achieve the above in a short duration of four months with an immovable timeline leading up to their biggest season of the year, i.e., the 4th of July.

Besides being severely constrained on time, the brand was severely constrained on resources as well. Along with being responsible for the day-to-day operations, its lean IT organization was burdened with several other concurrent transformational projects and did not have the time and resources to research and evaluate process, technology and vendors for this initiative.

GSynergy paired the brand’s IT leadership with a senior digital transformation consultant, who started with studying their current systems, people (org structure, skills and culture), and processes for creating, managing and delivering their digital content in the context of their past and their near-term and long-term goals from their digital transformation. The consultant also gauged their future ability to recruit and retain talent in the functions of content creation and delivery.

With that foundation, GSynergy first helped them layout the needs for the MVP and then a roadmap for their long-term needs from their content management and delivery solution. GSynergy researched and presented multiple alternatives that would deliver for their functional and technical needs, but in the context of their total cost of ownership (acquisition, maintenance, and growth), the future org structure and skill needs, and the kinds of work and effort their future teams would have to perform to grow and maintain those solutions.

GSynergy interfaced with technology vendors, designed and conducted POCs to demonstrate solution and vendor fit, and then finally helped leadership make an informed decision.

GSynergy then put together a dedicated team of front-end and back-end engineers under the leadership of a senior transformation consultant to build, performance test and rollout the solution. GSynergy’s team worked closely with the UX, IT and content teams of the client throughout the project to ensure they were enabled from the inception to maintain and grow the new CMS, content delivery and connected commerce system.

The re-platforming project was completed on time and under-budget while exceeding the expectations of the brand.

  1. The project was delivered in a very aggressive timeframe of just four months, complete with UAT and performance testing to reliably serve over 10K page requests per second. Within two weeks of launch the website usage effortlessly scaled to ~250K visitors per day with 10+TB of bandwidth consumption per day.

  2. Content creators gained the desired agility in managing and delivering its content to inspire and engage its customers. The content creation team was able to put together the content for the entire website, demonstrate and gain feedback and approval from leadership in a short period of three weeks. This included a complete redesign of the website, its color and component theme, and all its product, promotion and location data, including location data for 3000+ temporary tents and shacks across the country. Besides affording the ability to create the initial content on such a short timeframe, the solution afforded the content creators in maintaining multiple versions of the website content, and publishing content on demand or at a predetermined schedule without having to engage the IT team.

  3. The client was able to establish the desirable separation of responsibilities between content creators and IT. The IT team could now focus on on creation of presentation templates and fixing issues with the overall platform rather than adding and updating content on a tight schedule. The ownership of content creation and publication was easily passed on to then non-technical content creation and marketing teams who could now predictably create and manage the website content.

  4. The flexible, headless, composable architecture of the solution allowed the brand to effortlessly integrate with several of its existing services for accessibility, site analytics, chatbot, forms and surveys, and bespoke services for creating custom rich firework shows on their website. The brand was able to very easily integrate their e-gift card fulfillment services such that e-gift cards purchased online would be immediately usable in their stores, thus providing a seamlessly connected commerce experience to its customers.

The success of the project significantly boosted the confidence of the leadership in its IT organization to lead and execute a much wider digital transformation to improve their resiliency to a fast-evolving market.