Re-platforming E-commerce Website with Modern Technologies

SITUATION

A large outdoor recreational gear and sporting goods chain with more than $1.6 billion in revenue wanted to leap ahead of the competition by taking advantage of emerging technologies for their eCommerce website.

CHALLENGE

The website featured the leading technologies of several years ago, including HTML4, XHTML4, and CSS level 2. Replacing this code with best-of-class technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 required an experienced resource from a third party because the company wanted to keep its full-time developers working on new functionality. The company turned to AIM Consulting to provide up-to-date expertise in these technologies.

SOLUTION

AIM provided a senior consultant with Agile Development Framework expertise to help with the re-platforming. The consultant, with deep content management system (CMS) experience, led the way in developing a new user acceptance testing (UAT) environment and workflow. Using the existing website design, the site was rebuilt using the latest HTML5 and CSS3 techniques, with new templates that could then be used by the new platform. A new UAT phase was tested and put in place for final implementation. The templating was completed in a short 3–4 month timeframe.

RESULTS

After a company-administered code freeze in the final quarter of 2012, normal for a retailer in the fourth quarter, the website was launched on the new platform in phases throughout the first quarter of 2013. The new templates helped to improve client-side page-load times. CSS, JavaScript, and HTML markup have been reduced significantly, leading to smaller file sizes, less server time, and a faster customer experience.

The enabling of CSS3 and HTML5 in the website has laid the groundwork for the future. The company was prepared to offer a satisfying experience to its users when more advanced animation, video, and audio capabilities became more commonplace.