Modernizing Enterprise Ecommerce at Scale
To migrate to ReactJS on the frontend as part of a full-stack rebuild, we built a GraphQL API between the frontend application and the legacy backend
Restoration Hardware is a luxury home furnishing brand that has seen amazing growth in recent years. Though gorgeous physical stores – galleries – may come to mind when thinking of RH, the shop-at-home experience has become increasingly a part of how the customers interact with the brand, particularly on mobile. Our initial goal with RH was to craft a practical plan to deliver an improved mobile experience while accounting for complex technical considerations.
As we began, the technology group was in the process of replatforming off of an Oracle Ecommerce backend. As part of general code modernization goals, there was a desire to use the popular ReactJS library to build out new interfaces. Finally, a key UX issue we wanted to address – one that couldn’t be solved by improved UI designs – was load times. Many products have several material, color, and other variant options, sometimes with interdependence.
With these goals in mind, we set out to find a solution that would deliver a great mobile experience, use modern tools, and be future compatible with the forthcoming backend ecommerce platform. After some analysis, we determined the best option would be building a middleware layer with a graphQL API that could sit between the React frontend and the backend.
This architecture meant that the React code could remain virtually unchanged after the backend replatforming project was completed – it would continue to ask the GraphQL API for exactly what it needed, and the middleware layer would act as a Rosetta Stone in speaking with the legacy Oracle system. In the future, that middleware could be reconfigured to speak with the new backend.
Our team worked closely with designers and technical groups throughout RH to ensure we delivered a great solution, and we had fun doing it. We’re excited for the launch of the new mobile experience, and are excited to take the learnings and models from mobile and bring that to the Desktop experience as well. RH’s new mobile experience launched March 2020.