How International Military Antiques notched record sales after migrating from Magento

Alex and Christian Cranmer wearing antique military outfits

After enduring a costly security breach and being told it must make an expensive platform upgrade, International Military Antiques (IMA) — the world’s largest seller of military collectibles and antique guns — migrated from Magento to Shopify Plus.

The company hit a record $6 million in sales in 2017 and since replatforming has achieved the following Q4 year-over-year performance gains…

  • Conversion rates: 19.16% increase
  • Average order value: 24.20% increase
  • Revenue: 35.85% increase

“Switching to Shopify Plus is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my business career. The record fourth quarter is very validating after having been on Magento almost seven years.”

Alex CranmerVice President, International Military Antiques


Six years after partnering with Magento, IMA’s site was hacked with a piece of JavaScript in the footer that was scraping credit cards, Cranmer says, across other Magento sites. While Cranmer was frantically searching for the cause of the hack — and simultaneously enduring the prospect of being fined by Visa — he believes Magento knew about the issue before going public and belatedly notifying merchants.

Shotgun ammo pouch and leather rifle sling
World War 2 helmet and vintage tin cup

“We spent $50,000 and three months of sleepless nights trying to secure the site,” Cranmer says.

Even worse, shortly after Magento’s new investors took over, Cranmer says the company announced it would no longer support the version of Magento powering IMA. It meant, according to Cranmer, that IMA would have to upgrade to a new more expensive version of Magento that would likely cost IMA six-figures and take months to complete.

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In August 2017, IMA migrated from Magento to Shopify Plus to provide customers and IMA a secure experience.

“I smile on my pillow at night knowing I never have to perform another ‘critical security patch’ or pay the equivalent of a mortgage on a small beachside vacation home each year for server space.”

Alex CranmerVice President, International Military Antiques

Alongside security and scalability, new ecommerce automation products like Shopify Flow and Launchpad, Cranmer says, helped him increase IMA’s margins.

Specifically, IMA’s all-in cost on Shopify Plus is actually $300 a month less than what IMA paid for server space while on Magento. When you take into account Magento’s fees and the development work necessary to build and maintain the old site, Cranmer says IMA’s monthly operating costs have been slashed in half.

“Shopify Plus wasn’t even on our radar at first,” Cranmer admits. “We thought Shopify was for teenagers selling stuff out of their parents’ basements, not for multimillion dollar enterprises like us. But once we did our homework we realized Shopify is actually a behemoth with seemingly unlimited resources. I couldn’t be happier with our choice to move to Shopify Plus.”


Since migrating to Shopify Plus and creating an ultra-custom site, IMA has broken every previous holiday sales record they possessed. In a year-over-year comparison of Q4, they’ve increased conversion rates by 19.16%, average order value by 24.20%, and revenue by 35.85%.

With a catalog of over 7,500 products, unique attributes such as type, time period, and nationality, and some products needing to be listed under multiple names and descriptions… with InstantSearch+, IMA created detailed rules that fit their shoppers’ behavior and requirements.

A custom search box displaying relevant products, categories, and popular searches

“We really love the Visual Merchandising feature as it provides the most flexibility in how our items are displayed,” says Alex. “Many of the products we carry can be identified by more than one name and this allows us to drag-and-drop products into a specific order for a given search term, creating a customized search results page. This really helps our users find what they want more quickly.”

The impact of InstantSearch+ speaks volumes: the conversion rate of visitors who use IMA’s custom search engine are 7 times higher than browse-only visitors.

All told, IMA closed 2017 with over $6 million in sales — another record-breaking number.

“Switching to Shopify Plus is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my business career,” Cranmer says. “The record fourth quarter is very validating after having been on Magento almost seven years.”

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