Swarovski, the Austrian maker of cut crystal, jewellery and related items, whose websites receive more than 600 million visitors per year in 24 countries, saw its online checkouts speed up by 20 percent, and abandoned baskets reduce dramatically thanks to application performance management software.
In the past, customers had to wait an average of 10 seconds for the site to respond when ordering online, and the company struggled to identify where the problems were. Customers wanted an instant response, but were being driven away by an unsatisfactory user experience. These slowdowns in web performance were impacting revenue, and Swarovski knew something had to be done.
In addition to customer problems, explains Rene Neubacher, Swarovski’s senior technology consultant, ebusiness (b-to-c), the company had a rudimentary and very technical dashboard that didn’t tell the company much about user experience. What’s more, the company itself was very fragmented with workers in different IT departments seemingly speaking a different language from one another.
In 2010, the business began a search for a solution to help the team see where around the world orders were coming from and what problems users were experiencing. Last spring it bought the Compuware dynaTrace APM system and installed it in summer 2011.
Immediate benefits included a business dashboard that gave Swarovski real-time data as well as historical information; the IT department could see where errors were occurring before customers could complain. The tool also identified where the checkout process could be tweaked, resulting in a 20 percent improvement in checkout speed worldwide and an 80 percent improvement in the customer care department in resolving issues. Using the technology, Swarovski was also able to identify the problems associated with slow order processing, and has subsequently witnessed a 30 percent decrease in wait time.
Neubacher called these improvements “low hanging fruit” with the next stage involving delving deeper into the software and getting more internal departments using it. For example, it can be used to predict load at peak times and arrange more server space if needed. Also, marketers can access certain parts of the dashboard to help them plan campaigns based on user data.
Crucially, Swarovski can now monitor the traffic and transactions in different countries, and use this information to make informed decisions about future business strategies and identifying new markets for future growth.
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