November 1, 2012, 11:01 AM

AutoAnything drives down its response times

The auto parts e-retailer says the faster load times boost sales.

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When auto parts e-retailer AutoAnything.com in August launched new site architecture built using the HTML5 programming language it knew it could ill afford to have web pages load more slowly than in the past. Site performance is a critical component of the retailer’s focus on providing an “exceptional” on-site experience, says Parag Patel, chief technology officer for AutoAnything, No. 157 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“If the site isn’t performing quickly, it will have an impact on the customer experience,” he says.

To ensure the move wouldn’t cause any hiccups, the retailer used a web application performance management system from Compuware Corp.’s dynaTrace Software division to ensure it had the analytics and tools it needed to unearth any site slowdowns.

Almost immediately dynaTrace spotted a problem. The caching system the retailer was using to speed up the site was actually slowing it down. A simple tweak of the caching system helped cut the site’s load times in half, he says.

Because dynaTrace enables AutoAnything to monitor and manage site features provided by vendors, such as live chat, the retailer can regularly make tweaks to optimize its site performance. The result is that responses times are typically less than 100 milliseconds, he says.

A faster site ultimately results in more revenue, says Patel. Various adjustments the retailer has made have resulted in revenue gains up to 15% compared to before its site architecture revamp.  

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