Missguided has quickly established itself as fast-fashion powerhouse. The online retailer first sought our help when it discovered that its sizeable advertising campaigns were driving thousands of users to the site, but resulting in high levels of abandoned baskets.
‘We used agencies that coded our site badly and we had so much more traffic than we expected’, explains Missguided founder Nitin Passi. 'The website was going down and customers were getting affected'.
Missguided urgently needed a stable online shop capable of supporting its sustained growth and ambitious plans for international expansion.
What followed was a partnership with Inviqa that supported the retailer’s phenomenal international growth.
What we did
Technical architecture consulting
Audits of the existing platform and backend architecture revealed that the legacy codebase was unmaintainable and was customised in such a way that couldn’t support the rapid growth Missguided was experiencing.
By refactoring the codebase, the team restructured the foundation of the website and introduced flexibility and control where previously there had been only disorder and deficiency. This resulted in more stringent practices and processes to increase visibility and control.
The team then turned its attention to the physical hardware supporting the site. After a thorough assessment of its server stack and infrastructure requirements, Inviqa completed the long task of streamlining its servers.
One of the biggest challenges facing Missguided was managing high spikes in traffic which were placing immense strain on the database. The team introduced Continuent, a load-balanced database clustering and replication platform which enabled the Missguided servers to have a highly-available cluster with built-in redundancy.
This not only reduced the risk of a server failure, but if an issue occurred, Continuent Tungsten could replace a failed master server within seconds ensuring continuous availability and no missed transactions. The use of Continuent Tungsten on the Magento Commerce platform was an industry-first and has since been adopted by other Magento-based ecommerce sites.
Once the UK site had been stabilised, Missguided began to outline its plans for international expansion. To enable its ambitious growth plans, we revamped and restructured its server stack to sustain the anticipated spike of traffic, and went on to propel Missguided across three continents with sites in the US, Australia, and a central Europe site featuring multiple currency options and localised shipping.
We also deployed a desktop site specific to the French market in local language to progress its ecommerce activity in a critical region for the business. And, with a predominantly mobile customer base, we also worked with Missguided to launch a mobile site to bring its fast fashion to shoppers on the move.
Performance and scalability improvements
We continued to help Missguided deliver an online experience capable of supporting the business and user needs and, in 2015, Missguided enlisted our help for Cyber Weekend, a critical date in the sales calendar.
Keeping its site transactional during Cyber Weekend was paramount. During previous sales its site had struggled with just a few thousand concurrent users, and with a target of £1m for Black Friday alone, Missguided couldn’t afford for its systems to fail again.
In the run-up to the cyber weekend, the Inviqa and Missguided team optimised the site’s performance, overhauling its backend systems to ensure users could complete transactions smoothly.
On top of its continuous site improvements, the Inviqa team identified a series of peak mitigation initiatives to manage the impact of rising traffic on the site’s servers. These were ranked and prioritised to deliver the most impact in the quickest time.
By building flexibility into Missguided’s online offering, Inviqa ensured that the retailer can now scale in line with fluctuating demand, and its team no longer need to firefight technical issues when traffic reaches peak load.
The ground-up refactoring of Missguided website saw site visits increase by 18%, boosting conversion rates by an incredible 73%. The fashion pure-play also secured a massive 104% increase in transactions over the Christmas period.
By the time the preparations for the cyber weekend came around, Missguided had a scalable, reliable architecture that could be fine-tuned to cope with the predicted traffic increase.
With our help, Missguided achieved:
- Over £1m in sales in one day
- A 180% uplift in sales year-on-year
- Zero downtime thanks to Inviqa’s thorough scalability preparations and on-call support team
This project went onto receive an accolade at the seventh annual eCommerce Awards for Excellence.