A Story of Site Stability, International Scalability and Record-Smashing Online Sales
Facts & Figures
- Founded in 1995.
- LUSH is a leading global bath, body, skin and hair care company devoted to creating fresh, ethically-sourced, cruelty-free, vegetarian, handmade, low-waste and effective products.
- With LUSH’s in-store sales far outweighing online, LUSH needed a scalable digital experience that would perform reliably during pivotal sales events, while showcasing the best of the LUSH brand.
- Web Development
- E-commerce solutions
- Solution architecture
- Technical consultancy
- Continuous Development
- Microservices & API
- Multi-platform Apps
- Multisite Web Platform
After the launch, the new LUSH website realized dramatic
spikes in both web traffic and online sales. Website
sessions increased by 75%, digital orders increased by a
whopping 64%, and shopping cart abandonment
decreased by 16%.
Ryan Kerry, Global Head of Engineering & Technology, LUSH
LUSH runs only one sale each year, which takes place on the British holiday of Boxing Day. In 2014, LUSH’s site was unable to handle the high volume of traffic—such as 12,000 users trying to check out at the same time—and crashed, causing LUSH to miss out on huge online sales profits. This, plus the need for a digital presence that would adequately serve their loyal customer base, led LUSH to seek out a vendor to build a new digital platform that would be capable of serving them every day of the year.
LUSH’s primary concern was to have a site that would be able to handle the heavy traffic loads that come with its sole annual sale. Additionally, because LUSH is a global company, they also asked FFW to deliver a high-availability commerce platform with the ability to spin up local country shops. LUSH wanted to allow each country to make adjustments and translations to its content, as well as ensuring consistent data flow and business intelligence reporting throughout all instances.
After thorough discovery, including reviewing the LUSH’s existing code, the structure and architecture of the site was assessed. From there, it was on to planning and implementing a scalable solution that could handle spikes and surges in traffic.
FFW planned and built a cloud-based digital experience platform to allow users to easily and securely make purchases and payments, across web and mobile devices.
A Cloudflare caching layer was implemented to reduce demands on the servers, which helped handle users’ frequent page refreshing for price changes during the sale.
A high availability queue system was implemented for synchronization of orders and data between systems, making it easy for users to file and track transactions across devices.
The new eCommerce platform built by FFW´s development team was able to quadruple the number of orders compared to the previous year.
The site had been prepared for the previous year’s traffic, but it received more than double the projected number of hits. After a few modifications by FFW staff who were on standby, the updated site performed beautifully. Ultimately, 90% of all products that were available for discounted purchase online were sold out, and the sale (and digital platform) was declared a success.
The new platform can support up to 100 different markets, and currently supports 17 different countries and their localized sub-sites. Though information is easily shared across different sub-sites and the platforms all work together, the site architecture is built so that each sub-site performs independently of the others—meaning huge surges in traffic from Germany will not disrupt operations in New Zealand.
To date, this is one of the largest and most complex Drupal commerce sites in the world, with nine different Drupal profiles working together and exchanging data across this international platform.