Managing the Most Successful Migration in Dunelm’s History
Dunelm is a well-known home furnishing retailer with over 170 stores across the UK as well as a strong online presence.
To improve their online presence further, they decided to move to a new online platform that provides a more agile and improved user experience and allows for better technical implementation of new products and services.
This meant migrating the entire website to the new platform with a new design and a new technical structure.
We were tasked with supervising the creation of the new website alongside Dunelm’s internal dev team as well as managing the migration from the old site. The objective was to maintain Dunelm’s organic visibility and ensure that their online presence wasn’t damaged because of these changes.
When it came to migrating Dunelm’s website, we were faced with multiple challenges.
Firstly, Dunelm.com is a large and complex eCommerce platform with multiple product categories that each required specific attention when it came to the migration.
Secondly, the website received high volumes of traffic and so it was extremely difficult to test changes to the site without impacting sales.
Finally, Dunelm had a previous history of an unsuccessful migration prior to SiteVisibility’s partnership and wanted to avoid this happening again.
Planning for the migration
Planning for the migration started more than a year ahead of the actual launch date, with the SiteVisibility specialists and Dunelm’s development and digital marketing teams meeting to discuss the specifications of the new website, plan out the road map and agree on each team’s responsibilities.
One of the key successes of this project was the acknowledgment from Dunelm in the role that SEO plays in the company’s online presence and right from the beginning of the project they looked to the SEO teams (both at Dunelm and SiteVisibility) for guidance and support.
We, at SiteVisibility, strongly believe that SEO should always be considered with any meaningful website change and this was a great example of a company understanding the importance of SEO in their strategy.
We tailored the process mapped out in our SEO Website Migration Checklist and adapted it to Dunelm’s needs and challenges, making it the core of our plan.
In addition to the consulting provided by SiteVisibility for the creation of the new website, we also scheduled bi-monthly crawls of the beta site to identify how the latest changes were impacting the structure of the new website and proposed our solutions accordingly.
We also made recommendations to help reduce the impact of the migration, like avoiding content changes at the time of the migration or minimising the changes in URLs.
As much as possible, we tried to minimise the complexity of an already big migration.
During the year leading to the migration day, we provided guidance on the creation of the new website, keeping direct communication with the developers. We also produced multiple audits on the beta site and made recommendations for the new structure, robots.txt, and XML Sitemap.
When it was clear that certain URLs had to change or that some sections on the site were going to be removed, we also started working on the redirect map, one of the key pieces of any migration.
During the days prior to the migration, our team worked in-house from the Dunelm offices to enhance communication and ensure that we could work together on the last steps of the process.
Together with the Dunelm team, we completed the migration tests required for launch day.
Following the migration and the usual fluctuation right after a big change like this, we were pleased to see a slight increase in organic traffic (The goal of the migration was to maintain that traffic) and an even higher increase in organic revenue due to the user experience changes that the new platform had implemented.
The month after this migration we saw an increase in Organic Traffic of 11.13% MoM and 11.22% YoY and an increase in Organic Revenue of 14.39% MoM and 14.41% YoY.
The success of this migration attracted the attention of numerous publications, stating the increase of profit following the launch of the digital platform. You can read those by clicking the images below.
Dunelm Migration Media Coverage:
Listen to our Podcast with Dunelm’s Jamie Watson about the Website Migration
Thinking of Undertaking a Website Migration?
Website migrations can be tough. It’s a critical time for any businesses and needs to be carefully planned and considered.
If you’re thinking about a website migration and want to find out more, you can download our free Ultimate Website Migration Guide and Checklist here. It contains a checklist of everything you need to consider, complete with an explanation of why that step is an important part of your migration into one handy PDF. Plus, we’ve also included a bonus HTTP to HTTPS Migration guide.
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to a member of our team about how we can help you through your website migration, take a look at our migration service page here, give us a call on 01273 733 433 or leave us a message using the form below.
We’d love to help!