One of the strengths of Magento is the speedy time to market.
But in March of 2017, the luxury watch company, Jomashop,
astonished everyone by launching a Magento web store in just 10
days. This is the story of that remarkable implementation.

Yitzchak Lieblich of Web Solutions NYC was in his office in
Midtown New York when the call came in. It was his client
Jomashop, the major retailer and wholesaler of luxury watches,
fine writing instruments, handbags, and fashion accessories.
‘Yitz’, as he is known, had worked on several web optimizations
for Jomashop, a company that had risen to #161 on the Internet
Retailer Top 500 list. But this new project, his client said,
was going to be different.

Jomashop had acquired an ailing rival company, World of Watches. They needed to integrate the WoW
website into their own eCommerce operations, taking over its
sales without losing the valuable SEO juice sending customers
to the original site. In essence, Jomashop needed to be the
magician pulling away the tablecloth without disrupting the
plates. There was one complication. The WoW servers were
destined for shutdown in just two weeks. Ironically for the
watch company, the countdown had started.  

“This timeline was unheard of,” said Yitz. “This was an
emergency situation.”

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

Jomashop was torn between two solutions. Should they use
a basic SaaS platform to build the new site, or Magento? They
had grand ambitions for the WoW business and feared a SaaS
platform wouldn’t give them control of their product and
category pages, or support their merchandising and marketing
plans. Most importantly, the other platform’s limited SEO
capabilities could jeopardize the rich SEO opportunities that
were the whole reason for the project. Met with a difficult
choice, Jomashop decided to have the other platform as a backup
plan and told Yitz and his team to get started with Magento
2.

This was the project that Yitz had been preparing
for since the launch of Magento 2. For a whole year, he
and his 35-person team had learned the platform from the ground
up. “We didn’t want to do it with a client as a guinea pig, so
we built out the top 20 most popular Magento extensions that
people always ask for. Then, we knew we could fast track a
client into Magento 2, and install all of our custom modules.”
Essentially, Web Solutions NYC had built a ready-made car, with
a working engine. They just needed to add the bodywork.

What color they painted the car, Yitz explained, was a matter
of a few finishing touches to the frontend.

“It was the flexibility of Magento that allowed us to do this,”
he said.

Web Solutions NYC signed the contract on Thursday, March 23,
and immediately set about finding a hosting platform. They had
an emergency service provision built over the weekend, and on
Monday, March 27, they got access to the server. “Then it was
full steam ahead,” said Yitz.

“We had one team working on data import, moving over the data.
We just imported the whole Jomashop database. We had Varnish
working for performance, then we started installing and
configuring modules, adding a couple of third-party modules,
and then the big one was getting the functionality to work. It
was just grunt work. Getting it done.”

THE CLOCK WAS TICKING

The modules that Web Solutions NYC had ready to go
included Authorize.net CIM for payments. Then there were some
visual modules like Layered Nav, and Quick View, to copy the
original store’s user experience. They added a disabled
products module, to ensure that when a product goes out of
stock, the site would keep the page alive and suggest other
products, increasing SEO performance. Their Legacy Order module
made migration easy, and could be used not just for M1 to M2,
Yitz explained, but for “
anything to
M2.”

The new WoW store was built on the Magento Luma template,
though you couldn’t tell by looking at it. The Jomashop team
reused many product assets from the original WoW site to make
the new one look almost identical. It was a week of intense
work for the Jomashop and Web Solutions NYC teams, but the plan
was to get the site up first, then fix any minor issues.

The team finished the site at the Imagine conference in Las
Vegas on Tuesday, April 4th, adding the final touches at the
Magento booth. Yitz remembers changing the DNS and directing
the domain to the new World of Watches site, powered by Magento
2. The new website looked amazing, and Jomashop was overjoyed:
“It was great to see our two teams come together to hit this
aggressive launch timeframe to go live in 10 days,” said Osher
Karnowsky, General Manager of Jomashop. “Magento and Web
Solutions NYC came through in a big way to set a new record for
a Magento 2 implementation.”

JUST
IN THE NICK OF TIME

The launch happened so fast that the new site hadn’t even
been approved for credit card transactions. For the first
few
days, they had to go
old school’ and accept money
orders at check out. The site was so successful, they had to
throttle that back when they received more money orders than
they could process. But overall, the site was a massive
success.

“It was a relief,” Yitz said. “We had a deadline and we always
fulfill them, but on such a crazy one this was pretty
satisfying. This was our first M2 launch.”

Jomashop never had to use that other platform. Yitz says that
such a custom web store would not have been possible on any
SaaS platform.

“I love that I never have to tell a client that something isn’t
possible with Magento,” he added.

“Magento is open source. Anything is possible.”