case study


How LANE EIGHT Outgrew Their Commerce Platform, and Moved to Shopify Plus to Scale Out Global Growth

LANE EIGHT partnered with Wave Commerce to migrate their store from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus, and unlock growth with the ultimate strategy and tech stack for global expansion. Our team also supported LANE EIGHT on activating some key Shopify Plus features, including Expansion Stores, and B2B on Shopify.

July 28, 2023


Shopify Plus

services provided

WooCommerce to Shopify Plus migration, Shopify Plus setup and development, Shopify 2.0 theme customization, International rollout strategy and planning, International Expansion Stores, B2B commerce, Checkout customization, Applications and extensions, Localization, Navigation and UIUX enhancements, marketing automation and flows
LANE EIGHT is a performance footwear brand founded on the idea of challenging traditional performance footwear and elevating activewear for everyday athletes.

By creating truly versatile performance gear that goes beyond the traditional categories of performance footwear and meets the real-world needs of everyday athletes, LANE EIGHT has fast become one of the hottest brands in Hong Kong. From collaborations with Shake Shack and global media coverage in the likes of Forbes, LANE EIGHT has built an avid following from top influencers, fashionistas, and athletes alike. There is not a gym nor track without a pair of LANE EIGHT afoot!

Growing Pains: when an ecommerce platform is no longer the right fit 

LANE EIGHT launched as a digital native brand in August 2018, with WooCommerce as the ecommerce platform. The following year, the brand’s first brick-and-mortar shop opened, requiring offline POS software, as well as more complicated backend infrastructure.

By 2021, LANE EIGHT had launched a further offline store and split the WooCommerce operations into 2 accounts, one each for Hong Kong and the US to enable localized experiences. 

LANE EIGHT was growing rapidly and quickly found that they needed an ecommerce platform that could better help them scale. They had a constant need for hiring developers to improve functionality and achieve their experience and operations goals. 

This resulted in new challenges for LANE EIGHT as they grew:

Increasing technical debt

  • Custom integrations and development lacked comprehensiveness compared to competitors
  • Each new integration required extensive time for maintenance 
  • New customizations and integrations often had to be scrapped when switching providers, resulting in time wasted
  • WooCommerce is self-hosted, and resources spent on server maintenance were valued elsewhere

Storage & Logistics

  • Costs associated were well above average ecommerce shipping rates
  • Inventory inaccuracies: poor visibility into inventory and stock at warehouses, stores, and pop-up shops, 
  • High storage fees due to additional inventory on-hand 
  • Returns and exchanges procedures were inefficient due to the inaccuracy of inventory 

Operations & Customer Service

  • Band-aid solutions and manual procedures were required for tasks that could typically be done with automation
  • Lengthy process for onboarding new staff due to bespoke systems and tools

“Shopify attracts the best talent in terms of developers and experts, and attracts the best software providers to its app store. Every new SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS provider of ecommerce solutions needs to integrate with Shopify first, almost as a go-to-market strategy, due to its cruciality”
Vivek Manglani, Chief Technology Officer, LANE EIGHT

Disjointed ecosystem: a tech stack that’s always playing catch up

As a popular and fast-growing brand, LANE EIGHT required enterprise-level software. LANE EIGHT understood the challenges of enterprise-level system integrations and how half-baked integrations created unnecessary complexity, ongoing patchwork, and that most tools had overlapping features, resulting in paying for the same thing twice as well as paying for many features which were not needed. 

For this reason, Shopify stood out as an ecommerce platform with its powerful ecosystem approach.

Migrating from WooCommerce to Shopify Plus

After evaluating different Shopify Plus partners, LANE EIGHT and Wave Commerce partnered together due to possessing the same values of dedication to quality, innovation, and attention to detail.

“LANE EIGHT is an iconic Hong Kong-based brand that is pushing the limits of traditional footwear, and that really gelled with us. We’re proud to have worked with LANE EIGHT to go way beyond ‘copy-paste’ customer experiences and instead, create a category-leading experience that raises the industry benchmark.”
Stuart Hsiao, Associate Digital Manager, Wave Commerce

LANE EIGHT’s goals for the project were:

  1. Sell Direct-to-Consumer on Shopify in 3 key markets: Hong Kong, Singapore, US
  2. Customized Shopify 2.0 theme that lives and breathes LANE EIGHT
  3. Automated 3PL and fulfillment
  4. Accurate inventory and order management (and fully automated)
  5. Facilitate new distribution and sales channels - B2B, wholesale, consignment
  6. Better insights between offline and online points of sale

With this in mind, Wave Commerce recommended Shopify Plus which could achieve LANE EIGHT’s goals, while bridging the gap with a small number of customizations, API, and solutions that would keep the tech stack light and agile, but high-performing. 

Key Shopify Plus features used by LANE EIGHT:

  • Expansion Stores - multiple localized stores under one account
  • B2B on Shopify - B2B and wholesale facilitation centralized within the same account
  • Shopify Scripts - customized discounts and delivery options at checkout
  • Checkout customization - checkout design and experience customization

Wave Commerce started with a deep analysis of LANE EIGHT’s current tools and technology. Together with LANE EIGHT’s CTO, Vivek Manglani, we worked backwards from the end goals and created a solid DTC and omnichannel strategy that was scalable and incorporated new sales channels such as B2B, wholesale, and consignment. 

The migration included transferring all web rankings (SEO), referrals, and products with images, descriptions, reviews, and metadata, minus the bugs! A Shopify 2.0 theme was heavily customized to suit LANE EIGHT’s iconic brand style and color palette, and we used data-driven evidence to modify the UX and UI to highlight the innovative footwear products.

As LANE EIGHT was expanding globally and also investing in new sales channels, the entire system architecture was redesigned from scratch to harness the benefits of one ecosystem - Shopify. This allowed us to look at the bigger picture, and create a long-term plan for success that could scale while remaining light with strong integrations and no patchwork.

LANE EIGHT also chose to migrate from their previous POS system to Shopify POS for their offline retail stores. With Shopify POS, LANE EIGHT was able to use the Shopify POS solution Stocky - an inventory management solution that facilitates both online and offline orders and optimizes inventory decisions.

Bridging the gap: Integrations and API

One of LANE EIGHT’s key goals was “keep it simple”, with Vivek setting a clear brief:

  • Avoid custom ad-hoc customizations
  • Don’t stray too far from industry (Shopify) standards
  • Careful selection of 3rd party apps and integrations

With our in-depth knowledge of the Shopify ecosystem of partners and solutions, Wave Commerce proposed 4 key solutions for integration, with LANE EIGHT leveraging Shopify’s native features and solutions for the bulk of their operations. 

The 4 key areas of integration were returns management, customer support and ticketing, marketing and automation, and reviews and user-generated content. 

Wave Commerce activated our relationship with key solutions in each of the 4 areas, creating a detailed analysis for LANE EIGHT of vetted solutions and lining up demos with the top choices. Following our expert advice and LANE EIGHT’s own vetting and approval, Gorgias was selected for ticketing automation due to the powerful Shopify integration, especially in regard to syncing and distributing Shopify data. Klaviyo, as the leader in marketing automation, Loop returns was selected for best-in-class RMA features especially in international markets such as the US, and for reviews and UCG. 

Our team carefully curated the app selection to ensure strong integration with each other as well as Shopify and other systems allowing optimal performance and keeping operational costs low.

Big things are on the horizon for LANE EIGHT, and Wave Commerce is proud to have been their partner of choice.

We had a fantastic experience with Wave Commerce. Their efficiency and expertise in Shopify were impressive, providing quick and effective solutions. They were highly accommodating, understanding our needs and ensuring everything was just right. Moreover, their knowledge-sharing empowered us to manage our Shopify account effectively. Working with Wave Commerce was a pleasure, and we wholeheartedly recommend them as a reliable Shopify development partner."

Vivek Manglani
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)