Hobbs Boosts Website Traffic Management Capabilities While Reducing Infrastructure Costs
About The Client
A contemporary British fashion designer and retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories, Hobbs opened its first store in Hampstead in 1981 and now has over 140 stores throughout the UK and Ireland.
Since its launch, the company’s UK website has proved a runaway success with customers. As a result, traffic to the site can surge dramatically at key trading times when thousands of visitors flock to the website to check out sales previews, new seasonal lines, and place online orders.
As a sought after brand, the sheer volume of traffic hitting the Hobbs website during peak sales events – like Boxing Day – had caused slowdowns and crashes. Aside from the potential revenue loss that resulted, Hobbs was highly concerned about how these performance failures impact on customers.
“We have a very loyal customer base – and they expect us to provide a consistent experience,” explains Sharon Lowrie, Technology and Business Change Director, Hobbs London. “If the website doesn’t perform against expectations – they are very quick to tell us.”
To fix the problem, Hobbs had considered building out more infrastructure capacity to enable the site to cope with 15-20 times its average levels at all times. But high implementation and maintenance proved prohibitive. An alternative solution was needed.
“It felt a bit like using a hammer to crack a nut. We needed a more intelligent approach to coping with seasonal and flash demand events,” confirms Sharon.
Having evaluated all available options on the market, Hobbs took the decision to implement Intechnica’s web traffic management platform. After a quick installation, overseen by Intechnica, the SaaS was monitoring traffic levels on the website. Hobbs also made use of Intechnica’s performance testing services to find the website’s threshold.
“Intechnica enable us to configure how many visitors can get onto the site – and we’re now able to easily manage this for ourselves in-house,” continues Sharon.
“While we have a pretty good understanding of the ebbs and flows of traffic during the normal trading season, if a celebrity is pictured in the media wearing one of our products we need to be able to respond fast. With Intechnica’s web traffic management platform we have the year round protection needed to deal with such unexpected events.”
Thanks to Intechnica, Hobbs is now protected against the slowdowns or outages that previously occurred during major sales events like Black Friday and Boxing Day.
Just as important to Hobbs, it now has a safety net in relation to website performance issues that has allowed them to reduce their dependency on expensive ‘spare’ capacity and right size platform resources.
“Intechnica gave us a very elegant solution to the challenge of dealing with demand peaks and unexpected events,” confirms Sharon. “As as result, we’ve been able to decommission resources – reducing our infrastructure by 20%.”
But that’s not all. Some unanticipated productivity benefits have also resulted from the SaaS implementation.
“We’re a relatively small IT team – so not having to pull all hands to the pump and constantly re-scale infrastructure means we’re all now free to get on with other mission-critical project work,” concludes Sharon.