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Magento Development

Magento 2 Upgrade for Duke Cannon

Duke Cannon is a popular brand of men’s soap and grooming goods products, especially famous for their “Big Ass Brick of Soap”. They started working with Cadence Labs in 2015 and have been growing their brand rapidly ever since. Always wanting to stay ahead of the competition, Duke worked with us to scope out their Magento upgrade and the complete it before the 2017 holiday season.

By migrating to Magento 2 the team at Duke Cannon was able to take advantage of some of the great new features in Magento 2:

  • Braintree Payment Gateway
  • Improved Admin Panel
  • Improved PCI Compliance
  • Improved Indexing & Loading

Magento 2 Upgrade Process


To start we created a Scope of Work for the project to make sure all of Duke Cannon’s extensions, custom code and custom database tables would be migrated to Magento 2 and not lost.


We started the project by migrating the database and theme to Magento 2. We installed M2 compatible extensions. Then gave the client the opportunity to review and make alterations.


After the Duke team provided feedback we added new features like Amazon Pay and Reviews to the site. We also changed how their products were structured for better long term inventory management.


Finally we completed QA on the site and scheduled our launch for late at night. Once launched we worked closely with Duke to address any remaining issues quickly.

Challenges of Upgrading to Magento 2

While the upgrade process sounds straightforward, there were a number of challenges we faced in upgrading the Duke Cannon site to Magento 2. Let’s review some of the problems we faced and how our team came up with creative solutions to address these issues.

Magento 2 Extension Not yet Available

A number of different extensions that Duke Cannon was using on Magento 1 weren’t available in a Magento 2 format. To solve this issue we made a map of all the unavailable extensions and their features. We then researched potential candidates for replacement and consulted with the team to determine the best fit. Where possible we also consolidated replacement extensions to be from the same trusted extension company. Where there was no possible replacement we manually migrated the Magento 1 extension to Magento 2, as we had done with our custom code.


Migrating Custom Code and Extension Data

Magento 2’s migration tool is made to help you migrate the standard database tables from Magento 1 to 2. However, if you have custom modules or extensions installed, then this data and code needs to be manually migrated. To migrate data, from extensions and our own custom code, we wrote a supplementary database migration tool. We ran this tool many times during testing to ensure all data was correctly migrated. To migrate our custom code we needed to refactor our modules into the Magento 2 format. This step also gave us the opportunity to improve on and clean up our custom modules, which resulted in cleaner modules overall.


Migrating Subscriptions to Magento 2

In this case we had a much easier time migrating subscriptions to Magento 2 thanks to Subscribe Pro. Unlike other extensions which would have required us to manually migrate a large amount of database information to Magento 2, Subscribe Pro stores all of the subscription information on their SaaS platform. Our team worked with Duke to update customer address information to the correct format, but Subscribe Pro took care of the rest!

Migrating the Theme

Keeping a consistent design before and after an upgrade can be difficult. Especially when you consider how much a Magento theme needs to change in order to be compatible with Magento 2. Magento 2 requires the following, none of which was required in Magento 1:

  • Using React JS
  • Using Less
  • Changes to XML

Beyond this, theme and extension companies have taken the change to Magento 2 as an opporinity to change how their code is constructed and how it is displayed on the frontend of your website.

All these reasons are why migrating your theme Magento 2 can take just as long as building it the first time.

Take a look at how well we did at matching the theme, pixel for pixel, on Duke Cannon. In this case you can see the only change for Duke Cannon was the addition of reviews and more calls to action.  However, besides these additions the theme was a pixel perfect match to the original Magento 1 theme.

The Results

Duke Cannon launched the new Magento 2.1 site at the end of October. We took a sample of data from November to examine the improvement to their site year over year. Here are some of the exciting results:

  • Overall Conversion Rate Increase 17% 17%
  • Mobile Conversion Rate Increase 14% 14%
  • Bounce Rate Decrease 4% 4%
  • Average Page Download Decreased 28% 28%
While making the move to Magento 2 is not as easy as upgrading from Magento 1.8 to 1.9, the results of making the switch will be seen in the long run. Not only is upgrading a Magento site an excellent opportunity to clean up code and your database, it’s a time to consider big changes for your business. For Duke Cannon that change came in the form of switching their products from an incorrectly used product type to one that actually suited the way they sell their grooming goods. This change has helped them both with reporting and with inventory management.

Here at Cadence Labs we are exicted to see where Duke Cannon goes next! Each day there are more extensions, new features and other benefits to Magento 2 that will help their business stay competive online.


Interested In Working with Cadence Labs?

Cadence Labs is a digital marketing, website design and Magento eCommerce agency based in Boulder, Colorado.
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