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Tony’s Train Exchange

A retailer of model trains and accessories, serving customers both online and in their brick-and-mortar store.

Since 1991, Tony’s Trains has been working with Command Control Systems to provide customers with the best quality products at a competitive price. Although based in Essex Junction, Vermont, Tony’s Train Exchange proudly serves model train enthusiasts all over the world.

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Tony's Train Exchange homepage on laptop

Project Details

    • MAGENTO 2
    • Website completed within a two-month turnaround
    • Migration to Magento 2
    • Strong increases in sessions, users, and transactions due to SEO

Here at Tony’s, we’re a full-service model railroad company. We’ve been doing this now for about 30 years, and we sell those trains around the world. As the business grew and more demands were placed on our homemade website, we needed something way more robust in order to reach our worldwide customers. We needed to have a website that could help us grow and reach those clients. That’s where Bytes came in. We needed to be able to access and load data easily. We needed the ability to list more products and be able to access those products easily for our customers. The biggest challenges that we have as an inventory company that sells and distributes our own proprietary products, but we also sell and distribute other manufacturers, is taking data, putting it onto our website, and then managing that inventory and keeping it live. So, Bytes has helped us navigate what Magento can and can’t do, and they’ve always been very responsive to the changes that we’ve needed to make to the website in order to make our processes easier.

So, in addition to working with Bytes on our Magento e-commerce platform, there was a transformational shift within how we marketed to our customers. When we started with Bytes in 2014, we were doing physical handmail mailers that we were sending out with our product. We were doing completely print ad projects in various publications. And then, in about 2014, after Bytes started hosting our homemade website that we had built, we started talking with them about marketing using Google and using Facebook. We found that after about a year of using Google, we no longer wanted to be in the print ad space, so we removed ourselves completely from any type of publications and went completely to digital formats. We were seeing significant growth because we were reaching a global marketplace.

I went with them because they were the kind of company I would want to do business with, and I think that’s pretty easy to tell when you talk to the folks at Bytes. In working over the last seven years with Bytes, the primary thing that has formed that relationship has always been their attention to detail and responsiveness. I would make no hesitation in recommending Bytes for the company that’s looking for premium service, responsiveness, and are just damn good people to work with.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In 2014, we began digital marketing efforts for Tony’s Train Exchange. Prior to working with us, Tony’s Train Exchange was primarily advertising to its customers via direct mail and print ads in different publications. With our SEO management, we were able to help Tony’s Train Exchange reach a global marketplace and achieve significant revenue growth. A year later, they made the decision to remove themselves from the print ad space completely.

In 2018, Tony’s Train Exchange launched a new website, creating a better experience for users. This would become exceedingly important in 2020, when our SEO efforts made it possible for us to capitalize on the surge in search volume for model train terms during the pandemic. As a result, organic traffic and sales on the Tony’s Train Exchange site reached an all time high. Pandemic aside, organic traffic has continued to grow in the three years following the new site launch. There have been strong increases in sessions, users, and transactions – especially impressive for a company whose many repeat customers often favor email or direct traffic channels.

SEO & Organic Traffic Improvements

Increase in Site Sessions

Increase in Site Users

Increase in New Site Users

Increase in Transactions

Increase in Conversion Rate

Increase in Revenue

Website Design

The Challenge

After being a digital marketing client of ours for years, by 2018 Tony’s Train Exchange had outgrown its old WooCommerce content management system (CMS). Increasing volume in orders and an ever-expanding product catalog had put a strain on their website, making it clear that a more robust solution was needed – especially going into the holiday season.

This new website would also ideally provide customers with an improved shopping and ordering experience, as well as better incorporate related content such as blog posts, videos, and resources in product pages.

Our Approach

To accomplish these goals, we first migrated the Tony’s Train Exchange website from its old WooCommerce CMS to Magento 2 in order to allow users to see the full breadth of products and their attributes. To help create a more user-friendly shopping experience, we built a mega menu, prioritized effective crosslinking within content, and added a filterable product grid so users could narrow down their product selection based on desired specifications and features.

In addition, we integrated several systems including Sage ERP, which allows the team at Tony’s Train Exchange to update their inventory in a single location. Other new features included Amasty product and order extensions as well as a FishPig WordPress blog integration. All in all, the new Tony’s Train Exchange website is a testament to our team’s dedication and commitment to quality work, even under tight timelines.

Tony's Train Xchange full homepage

Homepage Layout & Design

Communicates the breadth of the Tony’s Train Exchange product line as well as demonstrates the level of knowledge, expertise, and value provided to their customer base.

  • Mega Menu
  • New Production Sections
  • Featured Blog Posts

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