• Online sales doubled
• 40% reduction in hardware and support costs
• Twofold improvement in website performance for customers
London, United Kingdom, 27 April 2009 - Akamai Technologies Limited, a subsidiary of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the global leader in powering rich media, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced that Office (www.office.co.uk), one of the UK’s leading footwear retailers with over 107 outlets in UK, Ireland and the US, doubled its online sales whilst using Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator. The company has also reduced its hardware costs by 40% and is basing its online business strategy – where online sales will equal 10% of revenue by the close of 2009 – on Akamai.
The Office website went live with Akamai in November 2008 and the results were almost instantaneous according to Paul Doeman, Head of eCommerce at Office; “We saw an immediate 20% increase in online orders once we went live with Akamai. This suggests that previously customers were, at certain times, leaving our website or were unable to complete a transaction, due to high traffic levels.”
“Akamai also helped us through the Christmas 2008 period, one of our busiest times of the year, with no performance issues or outages and with record transactions and visits to our website,” he continued.
Office previously relied upon a UK Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host its website and, as a consequence, was limited to a fixed capacity to support it, even during periods of high customer traffic. In August 2008, the Office website had a major outage due to the volume of visitors responding to a promotional email the company had sent out.
Doeman said; “With this major outage we realised our current website hosting and service model was inhibiting our online business and decided to search for an alternative. We also wanted to avoid having to make direct purchases in infrastructure or equipment as we didn’t want to have to develop an expensive in-house cost centre to support this. So we decided to look at content delivery providers and other service-based options.”
Having examined various options including a number of CDNs, as well as caching and hosting providers, Office, and Foresite e-Business Solutions – a UK-based e-business consultancy and solutions provider used by Office to manage its website and e-commerce infrastructure – selected Akamai.
Branwell Moffat, Projects Director at Foresite e-Business Solutions, said; “Akamai has allowed us to outsource almost the entire website acceleration and delivery package. Akamai’s monitoring and management tools were vastly superior to the other providers we evaluated and provide us with meaningful information on website utilisation and enable us to effectively manage the Office website. In addition, Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution allows transactional data to be delivered in real-time to site visitors, something that’s particularly important for Office as it has a rich media website with content and pricing information updated on an hourly basis.”
Third party tests to determine Akamai’s effectiveness show that users in the UK experienced a nearly twofold improvement in website performance while customers in the US had a threefold increase in performance. In addition, because more than 80% of all requests to the website are now served entirely from the Akamai network, Office has been able to reduce the amount of servers, network infrastructure and bandwidth required to support its website and, as a consequence has reduced these costs by 40%.
Ravi Maira, eCommerce Sector Manager, Northern Europe at Akamai, said; “The problems Office faced with regards to site performance and availability during peaks are not unique to them. Whether higher traffic levels result from seasonal activity such as Christmas or are generated by the company’s own marketing efforts, these are the times it is most essential for the website to perform, so as much revenue as possible is captured. We are thrilled with Office’s success and their validation that the Akamai solution was the best way for them to grow their top line while managing their bottom line through cost-effective scalability.”
Office plans to use Akamai as the cornerstone of its long-term online growth strategy. “With its global reach and managed website delivery services, Akamai is the perfect partner for Office as we start to push our brand and sales internationally online,” said Doeman. “We are particularly keen on the way that Akamai is helping many US footwear retailers with online sales kiosks in retail outlets, and we see this as also being part of our longer term strategy.”
Running on Akamai’s globally-distributed, highly-scalable platform of more than 42,000 deployed servers in over 1,000 networks across 70 countries, Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator solution accelerates and secures the delivery of the most dynamically-assembled websites to consumers without requiring costly IT build-outs. Unlike traditional datacenter-focused Web infrastructure, Dynamic Site Accelerator addresses the shortcomings of the Internet itself to reduce site abandonment rates and increase completed transactions.
Established in 1981, Office currently retails from 64 stand-alone sites throughout the UK and Eire; 8 Offspring stores and concessions; 9 Poste & Poste Mistress locations plus 25 Topshop & House of Fraser concessions in addition to a thriving mail order and world-wide website business - Office remains a firm favourite with the fashion-pack.
Ever since its inception, Office has gained a reputation for originality in its approach to shoe retailing. Uninhibited by the creative constraints imposed by the larger multiples, Office has always managed to effectively marry originality to commerciality in both product and store design. Both the men's and women's ranges encompass the whole style spectrum, from designer to sports. Own label designs offer affordable yet directional fashion, reflecting the massive legacy of a company founded on London style.
The Akamai Difference
Akamai® provides market-leading managed services for powering rich media, dynamic transactions, and enterprise applications online. Having pioneered the content delivery market one decade ago, Akamai's services have been adopted by the world's most recognized brands across diverse industries. The alternative to centralized Web infrastructure, Akamai's global network of tens of thousands of distributed servers provides the scale, reliability, insight and performance for businesses to succeed online. Akamai has transformed the Internet into a more viable place to inform, entertain, interact, and collaborate. To experience The Akamai Difference, visit www.akamai.com
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