Kwik Trip was experiencing significant performance issues on their e-commerce site on a consistent basis. Those issues continued to grow as a result of marketing campaigns. Before our initial involvement, the site struggled to serve a few hundred users at a time. It received approximately 100,000 requests a day and took several seconds to respond on initial request. When running marketing campaigns, Azure resources were scaled up to hundreds, if not thousands, per day and a dev resource was needed to "babysit" the site for the duration of the entire campaign.
Kwik Trip was spending a significant amount of time and resources (human and server) trying to stay ahead of it with very little success. Kwik Trip engaged HBS to help assess the cause of the performance problems, to help implement appropriate remediation steps and to get the site to a place where it would allow the marketing team to launch a Black Friday/Cyber Monday gift card
Kwik Trip partnered with HBS because we had breadth of service and depth of knowledge on the issues. We had the Linux, Nginx and WordPress expertise to help resolve immediate issues and the Azure expertise to not only help implement a far more scalable and optimal solution, but to help also take security and performance to the next level.
HBS rallied a team of veteran problem solvers who worked closely with the KT team to start from the bottom up. We started by assessing current benchmarks versus what is considered standard, addressed immediate issues in the servers and application layer and continued refining all the way up to the initial entry point for all users (Azure Front Door). We used load testing software to run simulated campaigns to refine and verify proposed changes. Incremental changes were made over several iterative rounds by the HBS and KT teams to provide immediate performance and stability benefits while moving toward a final solution that would handle the planned campaign traffic.
HBS and KT were able to immediately provide some performance stability to the site. After our involvement pushing to the "Black Friday/Cyber Monday" milestone, we were able to serve up several million requests per day without a change in resources. The site went from several seconds to load to less than half a second (consistently 200 to 400ms response) and for less than what they had been spending per month on web resources. The end result was a successful Cyber Monday/Cyber Week campaign with a KT record of gift cards sold and a net of nearly 20 million requests over the week.
Applications Director, Roger Kanel, says, “I like working with HBS, they have a strong team that is responsive, flexible and work well with our team in a joint effort.”