Case Study: LuckyVitamin.com

"We're not an Amazon or a Facebook, who have entire elite teams of developers who specialize in front-end optimization. But with Strangeloop, we could get the same advanced expertise and insight that Amazon and Facebook have, via a product."

-- Sam Wolf, President, LuckyVitamin.com

LuckyVitamin.com was established in 2004 as a pioneer for the online distribution of health and wellness products in the vitamin and supplement industry. The company’s success is predicated on its commitment to giving 5-star service to every customer.

Speed is a critical component in delivering on this commitment. LuckyVitamin.com has a stated goal of “making the time between your final click and the arrival of your package seem like seconds.” To achieve this goal, the company’s fulfillment team works around the clock 7 days a week to get orders out the door as quickly as possible, and customer service representatives are always available to answer questions and offer support.

Challenge: Deliver exceptional performance automatically across a complex, dynamic site. 

Web performance isn’t a new topic at LuckyVitamin.com, where a passion for the subject goes all the way to the highest executive level.

“We’ve known for a long time that faster pages equal more revenue for our business,” says Sam Wolf, President of LuckyVitamin.com. “Customers want everything faster. If you can offer it to them, they’re going to stick around and spend more. Because of this, we’ve spent years manually optimizing our pages, simply because hand coding was the only option available at the time. But hand coding is time-consuming, never-ending, highly specialized work that requires some of the best developers in our company. We were more than ready for an automated solution that could deliver faster pages consistently and reliably across our entire site, and that could take care of us well into the future.”

LuckyVitamin.com was very aware of the challenges in optimizing performance across a dynamic and complex website. In addition to providing rich content for its entire inventory, the site utilizes sophisticated merchandising and directed product search facilities, personalized product recommendations, customer reviews, wish lists, live chat, a knowledge base, and comprehensive account management tools.

“The more complex a site is, the greater the risk of breaking pages,” says Wolf. “This was a huge area of concern for us in looking for a front-end optimization vendor. It’s not enough to optimize on a simple per-page basis. Pages don’t function as standalone destinations. Each page is just one part of a customer’s path through the site. An optimization technique that works on one page can slow down or break the next page in that path. We needed to make sure that whatever solution we chose was sophisticated enough to make the right optimization decisions for each page within the context of each unique visitor path. If this sounds daunting, it’s because it is daunting.”

Solution: The Strangeloop Site Optimizer service delivers automated optimization via the cloud.

LuckyVitamin.com was keen to find an automated front-end optimization (FEO) solution that could be deployed easily and deliver fast results. After a survey of the FEO landscape, the company quickly turned to Strangeloop. “We didn’t look into very many other solutions,” says Wolf. “After our trial and testing with the Site Optimizer service, the decision was a no-brainer. We liked the Strangeloop implementation process, and it demonstrated results right away.”

Benefits: Elite optimization, superlative support, reduced network costs, and improved productivity

Elite performance optimization, via a product
“We’re not an Amazon or a Facebook, who have entire elite teams of developers who specialize in front-end optimization,” says Wolf. “But with Site Optimizer, we could get the same advanced expertise and insight that Amazon and Facebook have, via a product. Site Optimizer removes the headaches of trying to code performance yourself, trying to stay up to date with the latest browser developments, and constantly tuning and re-tuning your code. Now we don’t have to worry about future optimization efforts. We can count on Strangeloop to stay up to speed on the latest techniques and developments with HTML5, CSS, and any other new tools.”

24-7 support throughout implementation and beyond
“The Strangeloop implementation team has been really responsive. They worked early and late and did whatever needed to be done.”

Eliminating network overhead
“Being able to optimize via the cloud is incredible. We’ve eliminated a huge potential network overhead. This alone makes Site Optimizer pay for itself right out of the gate.”

Improved employee productivity
“We’ve seen about a 10% increase in employee productivity. Now that performance tuning is no longer part of our developers’ workload, they can get back to concentrating on feature development.”

 

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