About Level Nine Sports
Level Nine Sports, a fast-growing e-commerce company, provides outdoor enthusiasts with affordable ski, snowboard, and biking gear. They’re valued for their passion and knowledge of the perfect equipment at the best prices on the market and outstanding customer service.
Magento 1.0 had been hosting Level Nine Sports’ e-commerce website for a while, but the version was being sunset. The company had to move to Magento Enterprise or choose a different platform. Nick, head of IT, explains that running on Magento 1.0 presented constant challenges, so they were also looking at other options.
“We wanted to get away from having to support the architecture to run Magento 1.0,” Nick says. “It’s just older technology where the caching system and the indexing are hard to contend with. The site would often go down. Every few months there would be an unexpected, decent sized outage. That was a big problem. We constantly had to do security patches to support the infrastructure. That’s the primary reason we wanted to get away from it.”
Nick says they were looking mainly at two options: Magento Enterprise or BigCommerce. If the latter choice, a cloud-based e-commerce SaaS platform with unlimited integration potential, they’d have to deploy a new website operating on a completely different technology than was used to run applications.
But for a large online retail company with complex back-office operations, a full website overhaul in terms of migrating apps from an internal database to going headless on a platform driven by APIs is a big undertaking.
Naturally, this kind of operation requires a lot of thought from choosing the right platform and finding the best exterior team to help with development. The decision and approval process can be slow, but an important catalyst sped it up
“Finally, we ran into an issue where we weren’t going to be able to accept payment,” Nick recalls. “There was a TLS (Transport Layer Security) update that made Magento 1.0 not an option anymore. For a short amount of time, we didn’t know if we were going to be able to accept credit cards.
To get the process started, Level Nine Sports’ sought a partner that could provide a particular kind of co-development relationship, with a knack for communication and an engineering edge. With multiple complex integrations to oversee, choosing the right solution provider was essential.
Mira Commerce showed up to be a fitting match.
“We were looking at companies that had some engineering wits about them,” Nick says. “Within talking with Mira Commerce, it seemed pretty clear that they were the best candidate to go for, especially in terms of custom development, which was important for us. One of the main reasons I wanted to go with them was also the communication level with the people doing the work. If you’re running the dev shop for an e-commerce company, you have to make sure your request is being understood by the end guy doing the development, or you’re going to waste a ton of hours and money.”
Mira Commerce helped with the initial template development. Architecturally, all the custom apps would be powered by Amazon’s Amplify. (See application architecture map)
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