A natural foods e-grocer’s pages load faster with a new technology
19.10.2015 303 views
Thrive Market uses a system from Instart Logic that gives priority to existing customers.
A natural foods online retailer has deployed a website-acceleration system designed to ensure that its best customers enjoy the fastest website response times.
Thrive Market deployed last month the One Time Cache service that Instart Logic made generally available this week. Thrive Market has seen a 196% improvement in the time its web pages displayed for first-time visitors using desktop computers, and a 227% faster response for mobile device users, and virtually the same results for existing customers, Siddhartha says. Thrive’s pages typically load in under 5 seconds on mobile devices and under 3 seconds on desktops.
During periods of high traffic, the system separates first-time visitors from consumers who have visited ThriveMarket.com previously, and gives priority to the latter group, which presumably includes the e-retailer’s best customers. Thrive Market co-founder and chief technology officer Sasha Siddhartha says that could be especially valuable during the upcoming holiday season, based on the 200% increase in the e-retailer’s sales in November 2014 from October. He declined to disclose sales numbers. Thrive Market, which sells natural foods and environmentally friendly products, says since its launch in October 2014 it has signed up 100,000 consumers to pay $60 a year for access to its e-commerce site.
When traffic is high, Instart Logic’s User Prioritization service shows all visitors online information about Thrive Market along with a sign-up form. The visitors go to a waiting-room page that tells them that the site is experiencing unusually high traffic, and they are notified as soon as Internet traffic clears enough to let them on the website.
“Our main concern is to deliver our constantly changing and updated website to shoppers during heavy traffic periods, rather than showing them a message that the site is unavailable,” Siddhartha says.
One Time Cache uses predictive algorithms to pre-load web pages to the Instart Logic’s caching servers located closest to the web user so they can be served more quickly than if all the content had to come from the e-retailer’s web servers.
Instart Logic chief marketing officer David Hsieh says the approach of segmenting website visitors is better than the alternative—either every shopper gets a webpage that takes a long time to load or they get some other result that will annoy them, such as a message that the site is unavailable. Hsieh likens Instart’s technology to the way airlines put frequent fliers into a special line to get quicker service, while other passengers wait in for a separate line and get slower service.
“That’s roughly how User Prioritization works. It identifies who should go in the faster line,” Hsieh says.
Hsieh says Thrive Market and many other retailers provide first-time visitors a page that includes dynamically generated content, such as a special offer, products that have regional appeal, or products likely to appeal to that shopper based on visitors with similar browsing patterns.
That dynamic content can slow down page-loading time, he says. “Generating personalized data is slower than showing static data that is the same for all visitors, but it provides a better more relevant content that can increase customer acquisition,” Hsieh says.
Instart Logic’s technology predicts how many new visitors will visit a retailer’s site and creates the dynamic pages in a staging area. When a new visitor arrives, they get a fast response because the page content is already waiting in the staging area and doesn't have to be generated by the web server. The service is continuously updating its prediction about how many new visitors to expect, Hsieh says. It uses a set of predictive algorithms that are part of Instart Logic’s proprietary technology.
The system streams information about the shopper to Instart Logic at a rate that’s three times as fast as such data would be sent back to Thrive Market’s servers, Siddhartha says.
Hsieh says that Instart Logic’s service collects data from each user continuously and uses it to improve performance. That data is collected from a small piece of code called the NanoVisor, that is added to each page of a client retailer’s site. The NanoVisor does not collect personal information, such as names or credit cards number; instead, it sends to the Instart Logic service information on such things as the kind of device and browser the visitor is using and the requests that the web page is making to the web server.
Thrive Market leases server space at Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure center in Northern Virginia. Instart Logic owns and operates 35 data centers worldwide, which allows it to cache web pages close to shoppers and therefore speed up the page delivery.
Siddhartha says, based on industry research, every second that a web page is delayed costs 7% in his company’s conversion rate. By giving shoppers information instantly, Thrive Market can capture more email registrations and engage those shoppers with personalized banner ads, he says.
Source: Internet Retailer
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