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Willemse migrated to Shopify Plus in just four months and measured a 10% increase in organic traffic the following quarter

In the field of online gardening, Willemse has become a respected authority. Established in 1962, this family-owned business from northern France puts the customer at the heart of its mission by offering the plants and services necessary to make gardeners happy, as well as by going the extra mile to ensure they can grow beautiful gardens and vegetable patches. 

With its green logistics platform and 60 years of experience, Willemse offers a wide range of plants (the selection is three to four times greater than in a physical store), sells quality roots, respects its shipping times, and provides advice and training to its customers.

While Willemse primarily operated through a traditional catalog model until the 2010s, evolving customer demands prompted the company to transition to mobile and ecommerce. Moreover, in an industry where the products sold are living, fragile, and highly seasonal, the challenges to updating the business model were significant.

At the end of 2022, thanks to Shopify Plus, Willemse:

  • Installed and configured its website three times faster than with its previous platform
  • Measured a 100% increase in site speed on launch day
  • Noted an improvement in natural referencing and a 10% increase in organic traffic three months after the migration


The Willemse website has been operating under SAAS (software-as-a-service) since 2017, with Oxatis, but in 2022, the company’s manager, Ludovic Dewavrin, began experiencing problematic technical limitations. Besides being poorly suited for mobile devices, the solution service also lacked innovation, resulting in considerable loss of time and flexibility. The unresponsiveness of the team raised further doubts.

Moreover, where Willemse’s initial clientele mainly consisted of connoisseurs looking for singular plants, the growing appeal of gardening led to a change in the profile and aspirations of their customer base. 

Previously, orders were placed well in advance during autumn or winter, while new consumers prefer to buy their plants at the very last moment, between March and June. With less experience, this new customer base also requires more guidance and advice and is more demanding about shipping deadlines. 

Seasonality also brings challenges: Good weather is often synonymous with spikes in demand, which means that Willemse needs to be even more responsive in such cases. 

While facing all these new challenges, Willemse could no longer afford to waste time with IT developments that were not directly related to its business and had to focus on its primary mission: supplying, guiding, and satisfying gardeners by sending them beautiful plants for successful gardens.

“Our core business is the plants. We are here to ship high-quality plants to the customers’ homes, so they are happy and satisfied. We therefore preferred to opt for a SAAS solution, a leader in the sector, which brings together an entire ecosystem that is interesting for us.”

Ludovic Dewavrin, General Manager, Willemse

The idea of revamping Willemse’s ecommerce website and migrating to Shopify Plus started to take shape in Ludovic Dewavrin’s mind.


In 2022, Willemse acquired Bakker, a Dutch competitor company whose ecommerce site was already based on Shopify Plus. The Willemse team had previously considered Shopify Plus as part of their range of solutions, and the acquisition reinforced their decision. According to Dewavrin, “its cool design and UX ergonomics, its good value for money, the quality guarantee offered by its market-leading position, and the numerous advancements and new features in its app library” tilted the scales.

“What I find really awesome/rich is having a well-designed and highly reliable initial Shopify platform, to which we can add several functional components with multiple apps. It’s this combination that makes it work really well.”

Ludovic Dewavrin, General Manager, Willemse

Among the large number of applications that can be found on Shopify Plus, Willemse really appreciated Pagefly. This intuitive drag-and-drop tool enabled the brand to easily create its website content, while making sure the final user experience would be optimal.

A reliable and flexible service provider, Mollie, also won the favor of the company, by providing a new payment solution that covers almost all current methods. This flexibility is crucial to satisfying all types of customers.

Finally, Willemse opted for Flits, a Shopify Plus app that provides an all-in-one solution for managing customer accounts. It allowed the company to enhance its customer support and after-sales service by generating, for instance, customized vouchers in case of any issues with an order.


The migration to Shopify Plus began in September 2022. Ludovic Dewavrin says that, compared to another CMS, the installation and configuration time of Shopify Plus went three times faster.

In December 2022, Willemse launched its new website, and from the very first day, the company noticed a significant improvement in its speed, by around 100%. Besides being one of the factors considered by search engines for SEO, the loading time of a website greatly affects the bounce rate. According to a 2017 Google study, a loading delay of one to three seconds on a site causes a 32% increase in the bounce rate.

In March 2023, just three months after migrating to Shopify Plus, Willemse also measured a 10% increase in organic traffic on its website.

In addition to reliability, Willemse’s transition to Shopify Plus generated an increased transparency for consumers. By involving the whole team in the creation of the new website and commercial platform, Willemse also redefined its corporate culture and stimulated its staff motivation. “We succeed in creating a new site when we all come together,” says Ludovic Dewavrin. “Everyone got involved, and it was an opportunity to make many changes.”

Thanks to Shopify Plus, Willemse’s ecommerce website has significantly improved its efficiency.

Six months after the migration to Shopify Plus, the results are very encouraging and Ludovic Dewavrin is considering strengthening his partnership with the platform by implementing new applications. Shopify Plus’s new checkout app is expected to improve Willemse’s average cart value (currently six plants per cart), as well as its conversion rate. 

The gardening e-store is also testing a new CRM, directly connected to the back office of Shopify Plus, to respond even more quickly to customers, and thus increase satisfaction rates. Finally, the integration of a new search engine, to facilitate navigation and display personalized recommendations based on visitors’ profiles, is also under consideration. 

Willemse’s future with Shopify Plus is blossoming.

In comparison to other solutions, we know it’s going to remain solid. It’s really reliable, there are no unpleasant surprises. We know we won’t have a server crashing or any loss of data or order. When we add an application, if it’s in the catalog, it means it’s been tested and that it works.


Ludovic Dewavrin — General Manager


Home & Garden

Previous platform


Use case

Migration, Speed to Launch, Apps and Integrations

With Shopify, Willemse saw results fast.


faster to install and configure than the previous platform


increase in website loading speed measured on launch day


increase in organic traffic (SEO) three months after the migration

What business challenges are you dealing with? We can help.Get in touch