Adobe Commerce keeps Killer Ink ahead of a changing market.
In overall revenue
Upgrade a 10-year-old instance of Magento 1 Open Source to Adobe Commerce
Order and ship from Killer Ink warehouses in Germany and the UK using Adobe Commerce multi-stock inventory
Maintain a consistent look and user interface while substantially upgrading commerce capability and efficiency
+9% conversion rate
+33% average order value
+96% mobile revenue
+59% overall revenue
Navigating Europe's new B2B landscape
If you've had a tattoo in Europe in the last twelve years, it's likely your artist was supplied by Killer Ink. The Liverpool-based company grew from a startup to Europe’s leading supplier of tattoo equipment and supplies by delivering top-quality products — exactly as ordered, exactly when promised.
But seamless ordering and reliable delivery can be challenging in a market that — unification notwithstanding — spans 15 countries, speaks 12 languages and pays in 7 currencies. In partnership with digital commerce solution partner IGOO, Killer Ink built online stores under 14 domain names, offering 7,000 products to tattoo artists across Europe, all powered by a single instance of the free, downloadable open-source version of Magento 1.
Since Killer Ink’s worldwide growth objectives included establishing warehouses in multiple countries, the company needed a commerce platform that could support international commerce operations at the required scale. It chose Adobe Commerce for a seamless, secure transition.
Anxious to preserve the intellectual property and customer goodwill they had built up over a decade of business, Killer Ink resolved to upgrade their technology without rocking the boat for their customers. “Big UI changes can cost a company customers,” explains Managing Director Layth Safar. “The new site had to be just as good in every way, so we migrated passwords, pricing, links, and layout to keep everything familiar. We aimed for a transition that customers wouldn’t even notice.”
“Big UI changes can cost a company customers …. We aimed for a transition that customers wouldn’t even notice.”
Managing Director, Killer Ink
Up to date and up to speed
Digital commerce software has made a lot of progress in ten years, and Adobe Commerce has consistently led a fast pack. The capabilities of greatest interest to Killer Ink were:
- Multi-stock inventory locations, for independent management of, and shipping from, inventories at different stocking locations
- Tight systems integration, replacing third-party integrations with out-of-the-box capabilities that improve reliability, speed, and scalability
- More payment options, including Braintree, PayPal, and Apple Pay, plus debit and credit cards aligned to local preferences
- Content staging, for faster catalog updates and promotions, with no reliance on agents, and far lower risk of error
- Elastic search across 14,000 SKUs in multiple languages, with synonym decoding and priority assigned to in-stock products
- Adobe technical support, including guidance implementing multi-stock inventory for continental Europe from Killer Ink’s new warehouse hub in Germany
Solution partner IGOO retained all the multilingual offerings, search-engine optimization, and blog integrations of the legacy site, but built new user-friendly pages from scratch on a brand new scalable server architecture that spans data centers across Europe. As IGOO Managing Director Gavin Homan puts it, “We were careful to blend the best features of the legacy site into the expanded capabilities of Adobe Commerce.”
A powerful upgrade in a seamless migration
IGOO migrated the database of product SKUs and images, 8 years of customer orders and more than 400,000 customer records, under a unified style guide that standardized fonts, buttons and page styles to optimize file size and load speed, and present a high-quality appearance to customers using the device of their choice.
The IGOO team enhanced the site’s emphasis on customer generated content with a section that presented tattoo artists' Instagram images on the home page, and made the products they used shoppable with a single-click “add to cart” button.
“We were careful to blend the best features of the legacy site into the expanded capabilities of Adobe Commerce.”
Managing Director, IGOO
Streamlining B2B checkout and shipment
Using the pricing capabilities of Adobe Commerce, Killer Ink can now dynamically configure and display promotional offers to different customer segments, and show them at checkout. IGOO built years of experience and data from the original open-source website into its custom Adobe Commerce checkout, so customers can enjoy access to their order history, quick login, express payment, streamlined order summaries, and support for 7 different payment gateways.
The site also integrates with major couriers including UPS, Royal Mail, and Deutsche Post, displaying up-to-date courier rates at the time of purchase, supporting a range of shipping options including cash on delivery, and incorporating shipping charges in totals.
With its upgrade to Adobe Commerce, Killer Ink now has a multi-stock inventory system, integrated across its UK and German warehouses and synchronized with the site. As before, orders can be placed, verified, picked, and ready to ship from either location in just 15 minutes. But now, inventory at each site registers separately. Managing Director Layth Safar explains the significance: “Before January 2020, we didn’t understand the impact Brexit would have on our orders. If a German customer ordered two bottles of ink and one of them was at our UK facility, the two bottles would arrive separately. Adobe Commerce helps us make accurate delivery promises, and keep them.”
“Adobe Commerce helps us make accurate delivery promises, and keep them.”
Managing Director, Killer Ink
Marketing and analytics
The Adobe Commerce installation maintains integrations with a WordPress multisite to power 15 different blogs on one database. This multi-lingual integration is managed by a single administrator, and uses the market leading “Yoast” plugin for enhanced SEO.
IGOO ensured that the onsite and technical SEO optimizations in place on the Magento 1 Open Source stores were also implemented on the Adobe Commerce stores, including metadata, canonical tags, xml and html sitemaps, content, url structure, 301 mapping and site speed.
Analytics scripts such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager were all configured to maintain accurate reporting data and real-time analytics. Google Shopping and Merchant Center integrations were also migrated and optimized using the Adobe Commerce framework.
Results and plans
The site launched in September 2020, and has already shown impressive results. These include 10% faster page loads, 9% higher conversion rate, 33% increase in order value, 96% higher mobile revenue, and 59% higher revenue overall.
The upgrade to Adobe Commerce positions Killer Ink for rapid organic growth and expansion into new markets. Its “Killer Beauty” line of permanent makeup products is already up and running on the company’s single instance of Adobe Commerce, and killerink.com has been purchased for its planned entry into the U.S. market.
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