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Costume SuperCenter

With the majority of annual revenues riding on a single holiday sales season, an online retailer utilizes Limelight content delivery technology to drive the business forward.

Challenge:

When Timing is Everything

Solution:

The CDN that can connect to viewers faster than anything

Costume SuperCenter Brings a World of Costumes to the World with Limelight Networks

From superhero suits to mustache-shaped piñatas, retailer Costume SuperCenter offers thousands of costumes and party supplies through its many ecommerce websites. Though the company is in the business of selling fun, its web team takes the delivery of online content very seriously.

 

Costume SuperCenter has seen significant online sales growth in recent years. In addition to experiencing more inbound web traffic due to increased demand, the company is expanding its global presence with worldwide shipping and multi-language sites.

 

Michael Sole is the application development manager for Costume SuperCenter. He was recruited for the position to play a key part in identifying the technology solutions required to support company growth objectives-including adding new sites, and continuing to drive online conversions.

Costume SuperCenter’s Challenge: When Timing is Everything

With most revenue earned during September and October, Costume SuperCenter’s websites do not just have to be fast; they have to hold up under the pressure of tremendous traffic spikes as Halloween costume shoppers browse and make purchases.

 

The experience those shoppers have can mean the difference between profitability and loss for an entire fiscal year. “Our e-commerce business is the main driver of our sales,” says Michael. He knew they had to minimize latency wherever and however possible.

 

Analyzing the company’s technology infrastructure, Michael noticed that all content was being stored and served from a single data center. IT staff had to perform several steps of its workflow manually, such as uploading and replicating data to multiple locations. With an ever growing library of product images to represent its expanding inventory, Costume SuperCenter was faced with the difficulty of scaling up quickly without adding additional capacity.

 

Meanwhile, on the front end, the images and product descriptions on Costume SuperCenter’s websites had to be available to online shoppers at light speed; research reveals that 4 out of 5 users are ready to bounce after three seconds of waiting for a website to load.

“It’s really important for content to be available, fast. Timing is everything.”

 

“We saw a substantial lift in terms of conversion rate due to implementing Limelight solutions.”

MICHAEL SOLE, Application Development Manager at Costume SuperCenter

Costume SuperCenter’s Solution: The CDN that can connect to viewers faster than anything

Michael’s team was thorough in researching and testing potential vendors to speed up its many ecommerce sites as traffic grew and the business expanded into new regions. His criteria were very straightforward:

Speed

This was the #1 driver for Michael’s team. SuperCenter ran independent trials to validate the performance claims made by the providers under consideration.

Availability

Downtime can be devastating to online retail, particularly during periods of normally high traffic. Costume SuperCenter did not just need content to load quickly—it had to load reliably, too. That meant storing multiple copies of data in multiple locations without a messy workflow to go with it.

Customer Service

Delivering online content can be stressful, especially when sales are concentrated seasonally. Costume SuperCenter needed to know they had a customer advocate and responsive support team to call on.

 

In head-to-head trials, Limelight delivered content faster than any provider tested. With integrated website acceleration and on-network storage, the value that Limelight could provide to Costume SuperCenter was unmatched.

The Limelight Orchestrate Platform: 3x Faster, and Less Stress

A combination of Orchestrate Content Delivery, Orchestrate Performance, and Orchestrate Cloud Storage turned out to be just what Costume SuperCenter needed to deliver its massive amount of content at the speed of shopper expectations during critical sales months and throughout the year. Not only could Limelight cache content closer to online shoppers; on-network cloud storage allowed it to be stored closer to them, too. And with dynamic and front-end acceleration techniques to the delivery of content, performance gains were significant.

 

How has working with Limelight impacted Costumer SuperCenter’s business?

Increased conversions

Thanks to Limelight’s web acceleration technology, load times on the main e-commerce site have decreased by 3 seconds on average. “We saw a substantial lift in terms of conversion rate,” Michael states, “due to implementing Limelight solutions.”

Better brand equity

With a website that stays up and running despite high traffic, Costume SuperCenter bolsters its reputation as the online destination for costume and party supply shoppers. The secret: Limelight Orchestrate Cloud Storage, which automatically replicates data to be stored near shoppers everywhere, and Limelight Orchestrate Content Delivery, which can scale to meet demand across a high availability network.

Operational efficiency

Instead of uploading content from a single datacenter and manually distributing it, the IT staff at Costume SuperCenter can access Limelight POPs from anywhere worldwide and automate distribution, simplifying and accelerating workflows. Moreover, Michael does not need to worry about adding infrastructure to accommodate his growing storage needs; Orchestrate Cloud Storage is elastic.

 

With the pieces in place to accelerate delivery, Costume SuperCenter is better positioned than ever to achieve its business objectives of including adding new sites, and continuing to drive online conversions.

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