Sseko Designs, one of Forix’s clients, is more than an e-commerce fashion brand. It has a vision to promote ethical fashion. Sseko Designs supports women in Uganda by employing them to make beautiful sandals and providing a means to pay for college education.
Sseko was soon to be featured on the show Shark Tank. Shark Tank, a competitive reality TV series, has aspiring entrepreneur-contestants make business presentations to a panel of “shark” investors. Being on this national show would be great exposure for the brand. However, based on viewership stats on the show, Sseko could easily see a traffic spike of 30 times more than their Magento site was equipped to handle. Magento is also slightly notorious for slow site speed if not optimized correctly. This dream come true could quickly become a nightmare if the website went down. The opportunity could not be wasted, and downtime is never an option.
Spoiler Alert: Despite an over 1,000% increase in traffic on the day of airing, Sseko’s Magento site not only handled the surge perfectly, but additional optimizations were able to reduce page load times by half.
Forix teamed up with Bulletproof to ensure that Ssekodesigns.com didn’t crash during this huge opportunity. Michael Baker at Bulletproof was responsible for creating and configuring the server environment and monitoring the site during the launch. Below are the solutions that were implemented:
The Traffic Spike:
Compared to the previous weekend, Ssekodesigns.com site sessions during and after airing on Shark Tank increased by 1,173%.
Compared to the previous month, Sseko’s average page load time decreased over half, despite the huge spike in website visitors.
With a lot of pre-planning and work with Bulletproof, Sseko’s website was able to withstand a huge increase of traffic and even improve performance. Magento is known for being a bit sluggish, but with the right modifications, any Magento site can be optimized for site speed.
Ben Bohannon, co-founder of Sseko Designs, also had a chance to answer a few questions from the Sseko side of preparation for the airing of Shark Tank:
What sort of work was involved from a marketing/staffing/inventory side to prepare for the broadcast?
A lot when into the planning! From a staff perspective we added an additional Customer Care role. We wanted to make sure that new potential customers or people interested in the Sseko mission had a great experience with our team. We had our online marketing team prep our community, and encourage them to watch the show and show their support for #teamsseko. The night of the event we were following every major #sharktank on social media to make sure we could interact and most often thank new excited customers.
How long had you been planning and scheduling work in preparation for the broadcast, and how was that different than other major special sales, or holiday season preparation?
This was the first time we have every ramped up our environment for a major event. We knew we needed to optimize our codebase before we even started scaling out our server environment. We started on optimization work on our site 4 weeks before the show ended up airing, and Bulletproof had 2 1/2 weeks to build out a scalable environment that would be able to manage the influx of users to the site.
What were the most important functions or features of Magento that enabled your success?
This would probably be better answered by Cody at Forix and Michael at Bulletproof!
Have your own Magento site speed issues? Contact Forix today for Magento site speed optimization options.Raelyn Thompson+
We are obsessed with our clients' goals, and we move mountains to achieve their objectives. Our passion for achievement is what drives us and our customers alike.