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Mahogany Smoked Meats (smokedmeats.com) is a family-owned business making small-batch, premium smoked meats and jerky. Their Bishop, California store has a 100-year-old legacy and today Mahogany Smoked Meats still uses the old-fashioned deep log-pit smoking method. In addition to their two brick-and-mortar locations, they’ve also been successful selling their smoked meats and jerky through their website.
For several years, Mahogany Smoked Meats used BigCommerce as their ecommerce platform. While their online store was very successful, owner Brandon Mojarro says they felt a bit of FOMO seeing what other merchants were able to do on Shopify.
“We just saw many other great operators that were on the Shopify platform and the apps they were using — like subscription and rewards and different features that we just couldn’t find a good app for in BigCommerce, and using Shop Pay to speed up the checkout process for customers.
Our only concern was would we really find value in the migration to Shopify? Was there really an ROI in switching from one platform to another? In talking with many other ecommerce operators and even some development companies, they actually suggested that we didn’t migrate, that the gains wouldn’t be worth it.”
Still wanting the opportunities that Shopify offered and feeling that they needed a redesign anyway after having the same site design for several years, Mahogany Smoked Meats opted to go forward with finding someone to redesign and migrate their site to Shopify. Having been a listener of the Unofficial Shopify Podcast and familiar with Ethercycle’s work, Brandon says they had a lot of confidence that we could easily handle their needs.
They approached us in September 2022, proposing we move forward with the project in the new year. Not getting the store on Shopify in time for Black Friday and the holiday season had a significant opportunity cost, so we instead recommended that we proceed with the work immediately. We wanted to go live with the new site at the beginning of November so that they could more immediately see a return on their investment with us. Brandon notes that he was a bit hesitant about the timing.
“In our industry — probably in most — that holiday period of Q4 is peak season. We didn’t want to undertake an entirely new platform we were unfamiliar with and introduce the potential for bugs while entering our peak season. But Ethercycle assured us that they could pull it off, that this would probably be a 30-day project for them and we could go live in November before we really entered our peak season.”
We created a custom Shopify theme for Mahogany Smoked Meats, incorporating their branding into a new clean and modern design.
To make the shopping experience easier, we highlighted the main collections in the main menu and featured best selling products near the top of the homepage. We created a set of trust badges for the homepage and product detail pages (PDPs), which help the customer quickly see unique and important product features. We featured the trust badges immediately below to the add-to-cart button on the PDPs to encourage conversions. To add a bit of personality to the site, we used a font in select places that has the appearance of handwriting.
“Once we saw our first design that the designer sent our way, we were immediately just very happy with the freshened look and layout. We didn't have to go back and forth and make changes.”
We made several recommendations on what apps to use to help improve operations, profitability and customer experience.
We used apps created by Smartrr to implement subscription and rewards program capabilities, including fully-branded and integrated customer portals for people to manage their subscriptions and rewards.
To reduce customer support load, we added Track123’s order tracking app, which has the bonus ability to turn inquiries into cross-sell opportunities.
For BFCM, Mahogany Smoked Meats wanted to run a free-gift-with-purchase promo. We used the EasyGift app to add the gift item and Shopify Script Editor to power the discount without requiring coupon codes.
“Kurt was very transparent about what his recommendations were and why. We found confidence in that and didn’t really hesitate to use those recommendations given Ethercycle’s track record and experience.”
Once we completed the design and development, we took care of migrating all the data (including orders, customers, products, collections, and gift cards) and handled the Shopify Plus store setup. With our previous experience in BigCommerce-to-Shopify migrations, and with how organized the Mahogany Smoked Meats data was, it was a very smooth migration.
We completed the site design, development and migration within the promised 30-day timeline and in time to launch the new site on November 2.
“We immediately jumped into peak season and it was absolutely seamless — we had zero bugs or issues. We may have had a question or two for Kurt or his team, but they obviously helped us through that. We came out of Q4 having had probably the most successful peak season online that we’ve ever experienced.”
Looking at the 90-day period post-migration, Mahogany Smoked Meats saw significant year-over-year increases for their site, including:
Subscriptions are working great for customers, Brandon says, and their subscriptions are continuing to grow. There’s also been a noticeable improvement in the online shopping experience.
“We’ve received numerous compliments from our customer base. And with the ease of shopping and the checkout process, everything is running a little faster for our customers and they enjoy that.”
The backend of the Shopify store has also been easy for the Mahogany Smoked Meats team to operate. Before the migration, Brandon says they were concerned about how much of a learning curve there would be, but they found it was only a matter of hours before everyone felt confident and comfortable using the Shopify platform.
Shopify’s POS support is another benefit of migrating that Brandon is looking forward to taking advantage of. The POS system that they currently use works well, but involves constantly upgrading hardware and software and requires a third-party connector to integrate with their online sales, meaning there’s a time lapse in syncing the online and retail store inventory management. Once they make the transition to Shopify POS, it will be seamless and in real time.
Brandon says they’re glad they’ve migrated to Shopify, having already seen the benefits of doing so, and that everyone on their team recommends Ethercycle.
“Their expertise and the depth of their knowledge on the Shopify platform is hands down number one.
I also like that there's not a lot of fluff with Ethercycle. Over the past couple decades, we've worked with many web development companies and there is a lot of marketing going on, a lot of salesmanship. We just didn't experience that with Ethercycle. They let their actions and their work speak on their behalf.”
Ethercycle helped Mahogany Smoked Meats: