PhiAcademy: The Austrian Beauty Giant
PhiAcademy, one of the world’s leading beauty schools, pioneered a wealth of innovations, such as:
- Golden Ratio Divider, which calculates ideal eyebrow designs; and PhiApp, which digitally calculates eyebrow symmetry
- Safer pigments that contain no toxic metals and sustain long-lasting color fidelity
- Hexaplan, a six-step advancement strategy that helps makeup artists succeed in the international beauty industry
There’s much more to the PhiAcademy story. The company also sells a wide range of high-quality beauty products manufactured to EU standards and specifically tailored for beauticians.
One of Austria’s largest global companies, PhiAcademy ships at least 100,000 packages annually to over 160 countries and is one of the international market leaders in online B2B retail of beauty products. Products are sold on the online store at phishop.com and via Google, Facebook and Instagram shopping.
PhiAcademy's complex business processes create intricate requirements for the online store. While the company sells to beauticians and salon owners, not all items are available to every customer. Thus, customers need a special "Phi certificate” to access more products. Items subject to export bans or sanctions in certain countries cannot be shown to some customer groups.
Moreover, PhiAcademy's rapid growth requires internationalization of the company's website. Therefore, the system must support multiple languages and currencies while providing TAX and UUID validation.
PhiAcademy’s previous store system, Magento 2, could not resolve these challenges.
"Magento 2 was basically updateable, but due to agency changes and many plugins, the dependencies were huge,” says Paul Stuefer, head of ecommerce and marketing at PhiAcademy. “This meant that we had to do a lot of testing and therefore could not update as often as we would have liked. This massively slowed down development."
All these points propelled PhiAcademy toward a better ecommerce system.
Software 6 as a cloud solution
PhiAcademy placed a priority on simplifying content maintenance and system deployment. The company found both in Shopware 6, whose Experience Worlds feature allows creation of content pages that have an emotional impact on shoppers. Choosing the PaaS version of Shopware 6 made deployment fast and easy.
This model combines convenient cloud hosting with a fully managed infrastructure. Developers enjoy more flexibility and control over the company's applications and data. PhiAcademy also benefits from 24/7 monitoring and incident response, which guarantees rapid problem resolution, fast releases and minimal downtime. These additions were substantial improvements over the old system, which required manual troubleshooting.
Shopware PaaS also streamlines feature deployment and testing. Developers can use the cloud solution to set up multiple feature instances simultaneously and test the environments in parallel, accelerating deployments. Additional integration instances can be spun up without DevOps effort, allowing developers to quickly set up their own test environments.
AWS, the company’s previous cloud host, proved too time-consuming and expensive for the online store. Thanks to Shopware PaaS, PhiAcademy now has more cost control. Since the system scales flexibly and individually, the company pays only for functions it uses — a notable improvement over the previous structure.
The new look of PhiShop
The sleek, lightweight frontend of Shopware 6 helped PhiAcademy reimagine its online store. The website now uses attractive images and design elements along with a new category listing, all of which improve the customer's shopping experience.
Shopware 6 also centralizes control of the company's sales channels, from Google to Facebook to Instagram. Depending on the sales channel, the product assortment, currency and language can be easily adjusted. Likewise, discounts and promotions can be customized to target specific groups.
Im PhiShop kann in verschiedenen Währungen gezahlt werden.
Shopware 6 also helps define customer-specific rules. For example, customers with Phi certificates see different products than those without certificates.
The company's employees also save a lot of time in their daily work because Shopware 6 automates common business processes. The company also can easily integrate different language and currency options into its store. Other Shopware 6 enhancements include:
- DHL shipping live query
- TAX and UIID validation
- Additional checkout fields, depending on customer group and delivery location
Conclusion: For PhiAcademy, the future begins today
The successful, speedy project implementation resulted from smooth, efficient cooperation between Vanilla Reply, Shopware, Banibis and PhiAcademy. The partners worked closely to meet the company's specific requirements and launch the website on time.
"Because of good collaboration and planning, we were able to convert our store to Shopware in a relatively short period of time," Paul Stuefer recalls.
Meanwhile, the beauty company is already busy with Phase 2 of the relaunch, which plans to integrate more personalizations into the store.
To the online store