Founded in 1999, Legendary Whitetails is a family-owned retailer offering unique casual apparel, gifts and gear for whitetail hunters and their families. While shoppers can place orders via the retailer’s catalog, the company’s web site is its primary order-taking vehicle. In fact, with no physical locations, Legendary Whitetails relies on its web site as its storefront. Consumers can choose from about 350 products represented by 4,000 unique SKUs on the site. January through September, the site attracts 60,000-70,000 visitors per month on average. During the holiday and hunting season – October through December – traffic spikes to more than 300,000 visitors per month.
Legendary Whitetails is always seeking ways to improve the site experience because it knows this leaves a lasting impression on shoppers. In 2010, it replaced the legacy order management and web platform it had outgrown with the MICROS-Retail Open Commerce Platform. Before making the switch, the retailer had problems handling peak traffic and simultaneous site visitors. Through performance monitoring and shopper feedback, the company was aware that site performance was sluggish. According to Ryan Johnson, eCommerce Manager for Legendary Whitetails, “We can’t afford being down for even a few hours during our peak season because it’s such an important time for our company.” Knowing it couldn’t sustain the company’s growth on its current platform, the retailer migrated to a more advanced ecommerce solution, and then sought a way to ensure optimal site performance.
Legendary Whitetails needed to meet three key requirements to support its objectives:
Enhance site performance. The retailer couldn’t afford to disappoint shoppers or
lose online sales due to a sluggish site.
Scale on demand. Legendary Whitetails needed to flawlessly handle traffic spikes
associated with holiday shopping and promotions.
Maximize value of ecommerce investment. The company wanted to realize the
full value of its investment in the MICROS-Retail Open Commerce Platform platform
by ensuring optimal site performance.
Going with the Industry Leader
The retailer contemplated paying for a load test to gauge site performance. Instead, it opted for the Akamai Dynamic Site Accelerator (DSA) Secure solution. “We went with Akamai DSA Secure because we know Akamai is the industry leader. Plus the choice allowed us to put our money toward a solution that immediately benefited our customers,” explains Johnson. In spite of operating with a small IT department, Legendary Whitetails was quickly up and running on DSA Secure. “We were under pressure to go live quickly in time for the holiday season so we didn’t lose sales,” says Johnson. The retailer appreciated that integration between the MICROS and Akamai platforms was seamless. “Everything went smoothly and we experienced no downtime,” continues Johnson. Increasing Page Views and Conversion Rates Legendary Whitetails selected DSA Secure to deliver all of its dynamic content and images. And it realized tremendous benefits as a result. For one, it offloaded 72% of its dynamic content, resulting in overall site performance improvement of nearly 200% on average. It also accelerated the delivery of dynamic content by 180%. These improvements made it possible to support 40,000 site visitors and over 650,000 page views on Cyber Monday 2012 – the most traffic yet for the company. By reducing load on the retailer’s servers, DSA Secure allowed shoppers to navigate through the site faster than before. The retailer experienced a 12% increase in page views while maintaining an 8-minute on-site average. “Shoppers are spending the same amount of time on our site but are engaging more with our brand. And the improved customer experience has without a doubt helped our conversion rates and boosted sales,” says Johnson.
Extracting Full Value from Marketing Investments
According to Johnson, Akamai helped Legendary Whitetails take full advantage of the sophisticated merchandising opportunities, content management system and great image serving capabilities enabled by the MICROS platform. “We mail millions of catalogs a year and run numerous promotions in an effort to drive traffic to our site. With Akamai in place, we can dream up any promotion, handle any amount of traffic, and see a full return on our marketing investments,” concludes Johnson.
About Legendary Whitetails
Legendary Whitetails® is proud to offer unique casual apparel, gifts and gear for whitetail hunters and their families. We live the hunting lifestyle ourselves, and you’ll see it reflected in the details and in the high quality standards of all our products. At Legendary Whitetails®, we share your love for the outdoors. Our commitment to design unique merchandise that reflects your passion is equaled only by our resolve to provide quality and service that exceeds your expectations. Around here hunting is not a season, but a lifestyle. Visit us at www.deergear.com and join our HUGE hunting community on Facebook, Twitter @deergear, Google +, and community.deergear.com.
Akamai® is the leading cloud platform for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. At the core of the Company’s solutions is the Akamai Intelligent Platform™ providing extensive reach, coupled with unmatched reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud. To learn more about how Akamai is accelerating the pace of innovation in a hyperconnected world, please visit www.akamai.com or blogs.akamai.com, and follow @ Akamai on Twitter.