Store spotlight: Magento as a natural progression of change
Hi there and welcome back to our ‘Store of the Month’ series. It has been always interesting to learn how our customers came up with Magento platform, what features attracted them most of all, and what issues they probably faced.
Today I had a chance to speak with Jerome Ng, an aheadWorks community member and a General Manager of online audio products shop TREOO. Jerome can be rightfully considered a pioneer for Magento, as they started to use the platform when Magento was at its infant stages.
In this interview, Jerome expands on moving from Zen Cart and his attempt to self code.
What: TREOO.com is a Singapore based e-retailer of genuine portable audio products. They provide an online platform that connects distributors & manufacturers of audio brands to audiophile clients.
Where: Singapore, Singapore
Q: How long have you been running your store?
A: We have been in business since October 2008, so up to 3 years and running.
Q: Tell us a little about your business, and how you became involved with Magento.
A: We started with simple accessories shop on Zen Cart, drop shipping products from Apple accessories to even sex toys during our startup period. It was a period of trial and error, learning to code and to design. Nobody saw it coming to today’s success.
We improved on our site design till we meet Logitech who wanted to utilize our platform to develop their eCommerce project. We realized that this was a great opportunity to tap on and to improve the site.
Magento was new but it was a platform that people were talking about. There were so many great things about an eCommerce store that allowed people to easily upgrade their sites (as compared to Zencart). So, it was a natural move (except for the harder migration part).
Q: So, you moved your store to Magento and started to use it practically from the start. What problems did you encounter?
A: Yes. We migrated from Zen Cart to Magento in 2009. During that time, Magento was still at its infant stages. Nobody thought how it could be possible to migrate from the popular Zen Cart. We tried to self code and attempted individualize shifting and reworking of the database.
It was a really messy move with over 500 SKUs. Luckily, at the point of the time, a new product emerged in the market. We managed to obtain some eCommerce Data bridge for free during one of the site trial period. It helped us save on a huge cost instead of engaging professional database coder.
Q: What is the most fascinating thing you find about Magento?
A: Magento provides almost unlimited flexibility with a really large pool of extensions and themes. It consistently renewed itself on new features that the old system did not do. Magento stood out as a natural progression of change.
Q: Why did you choose aheadWorks as a Magento extensions provider?
A: At that time, we stumbled upon aheadworks, providing little cools modules that improved our website. For example, On Sale. It provides great appeal to online shoppers to get the products. We took it and since then we can’t stop buying from this awesome site.
Q: Do you use only aheadWorks extensions in your store?
A: No. We tried many other extensions to provide holistic features of our site.
Q: Name aheadWorks extensions you use?
A: We own 7 AW modules:
Q: What extension had a bigger impact on your sales in the last 12 months?
A: On Sale provided high eyeballs and product traffic on our site, which translated to more sales in the early startup.
In the last 12 months, we purchased Points & Rewards to award our loyal customers. This module provided great return customers and return sales, up to additional 35% more return customers.
Q: What marketing methods do you use to increase sales?
A: We reach out to forums, Facebook and friends. Generally, we keep customers happy and turn them into ambassadors to help us promote our site.
Q: What extension would you like to use in your store that hasn’t been released yet?
A: An extension that will provide ERP system to our e-commerce site, help us automate and generate PO to suppliers when there’s an order, file a request with our courier to collect products and then provide statistics for us.
Q: Any last words you might have?
A: Don’t stop. Keep trying. With aheadWorks around, you are pretty much covered in Magento.
Q: Thanks so much for sharing your experience with our community.
P.S. If you would like to share your store with Magento society, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org