April 9, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online computer gear retailer pcRush.com retools its e-commerce platform

With more hardware and better content delivery, pcRush.com has an ambitious goal of shaving a full second off the time it takes a shopper to download a product page.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Online personal computer and electronics retailer pcRush.com has an ambitious goal of shaving at least a full second off the time it takes a shopper to download a product page.

The retailer, No. 241 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is currently rebuilding its e-commerce infrastructure, says chief operating officer Frank Khalili. The company is adding more servers and working with Akamai, its content delivery network, to expedite performance through more advanced load balancing and changes to its master SQL product information database. “We are working with Akamai to separate content and images and make the information we post on the site more real-time,” Khalili says. “If an item is temporarily unavailable, that information will now be instantly conveyed to the shopper.”

Today a shopper using a broadband connection can download the home or a product page on pcRush.com in about 1.81 seconds, according to web performance monitoring company Gomez Inc. But Khalili says a better back-end e-commerce infrastructure will help the company shave as much as a full second off of its current page loading time.

The retailer needs faster performance to keep pace with the addition of more detailed site content and new products, Khalili says. The site now carries almost 50,000 individual SKUs, a 30% increase from a year earlier.

“The products and services we are adding to the web site are more complicated and we need to convey more information to the shopper to aid them in their purchase decision,” Khalili says. “The new infrastructure will support the new content and improve performance.”

Web sales for pcRush.com reached $32 million in 2007, an increase of 15.1% from sales of $27.8 million in 2006.

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