Electronics, Software & Telecom
How Wyze Labs Scaled a Small Business to New Heights With Magento Commerce
Wyze Labs needed performance and flexibility
Successfully disrupting a market takes unique discipline around two key principles: a customer-centric focus and operational efficiency. It’s a formula that Amazon has perfected over the past 25 years and which the founders of Wyze Labs brought with them to launch the company’s first product in 2017 after meeting in operations at Amazon. The Wyze Cam was the first wireless camera to combine exceptional performance and functionality for the incredible price of just $20. In the world of high-tech gadgets, blowing through a week’s worth of inventory in a day to sell over a million products is no small feat. And it’s become the norm for Wyze Labs as the company pursues its goal of becoming “the most customer-centric smart home technology company.”
As exciting as product launches were for the company’s growing community, seeing website traffic spikes ranging from eight to 15 times baseline, was giving the new Senior Manager of Development Anthony Potgieter heartburn and gray hair. “When you launch a product, the whole team is excited, but I was dreading the launches because, it’s like going against traffic on the freeway.” The company’s Woo Commerce webshop couldn’t handle the traffic loads and created a cascade of problems from database management and reporting to payment gateway delays.
Furthermore, with a business cadence that is very spikey like Wyze Labs, paying a hosting company $30,000 per AWS server for one launch is overkill. As a one-man ecommerce operation in a startup of 50 employees, Anthony knew Wyze had to find an ecommerce platform that could scale to support the company’s exponential business growth. He found Magento Commerce hosted in the cloud.
“I’m one person and need to look after a lot of other business aspects. So it was a no brainer to go for the cloud-hosted version with support and ability to track metrics and service,” said Anthony. “Looking at the technical stack and caching, I also wanted to ensure that the issues we had would be addressed.”
Scaling For Product Launch Spikes
With holiday sales season on the horizon, Anthony knew he had to move fast. “Everyone realized the value of replatforming but change is always scary,” he said. “When I said we could do this in six months, they looked at me like I was insane. But that’s the beauty of being at a start-up that is open to experimentation and driven by a passion for delivering the best customer experience.”
A chance meeting with Slava Kravchuk over breakfast at Magento Imagine, connected Anthony with the top contributing team at Magento Solution Partner Atwix and they kicked off discussions the Monday after Imagine 2019.
The team knew that while customer experience flow was important, site speed could make or break conversion for their small business, so they focused on ensuring that the new site is highly performant. While the old website took 8 seconds to load, the new site was screaming fast with page loads at 2 seconds. In preparation for future product launches, the team also did numerous tests on the server that closely matched the specs they expect to see at peak shopping periods. The old Wyze webshop could handle 20 orders per minute at maximum. The team tested a ton of different actions ranging from five to 50,000 users and emulated 50,000 customers per hour hitting the webshop. They were successfully able to support 850 orders per minute with no errors and no attrition.
The new site needed to support several business dynamics including integrating with the Wyze mobile app and Wyze authentication as well as shipping logic, and payment providers PayPal, Amazon Pay, Visa and Mastercard. The new site also integrates Bazaarvoice for product reviews. As customers get early access for product launches on the Wyze site and provide reviews, these are propagated to the sites of retail partners like Home Depot and Target.com.
There were important integrations and optimizations on the back end as well. Previously, customer support had to create manual orders through spreadsheets and couldn’t search users properly because the database was too big and would time out. This not only affected support but also accounting because reports would time out during launches. Integrating Zendesk now gives the support team instant status of orders. With integrations to tax and accounting, executives are able to log in to Magento Business Intelligence and see exactly what’s happening in real time.
Ready For Holiday Peak
The new Wyze webshop went live the day before the launch of the company’s newest smart gadget, the Wyze Plug, a voice-activated power outlet. The site was humming and easily served the needs of 70,000 visitors on launch day with New Relic and Google data showing consistently fast site speed and time between pages without slowed connections or errors. There were no trickle-down payment delays and very few support tickets.
“We’ve grown with every product launch and this was no exception,” said Potgieter. “But I felt so much more comfortable with this launch than the prior ones and I’m excited about what we can do now that we’re not always putting out fires.”
Potgieter can focus on UX best practices and really crafting a personalized experience tailored to the needs of new as well as returning customers. “We’re moving fast, rolling out one thing at a time and iterating quickly,” he said. Wyze is eager to take advantage of Product Recommendations Powered by Adobe Sensei as customer segmentation and personalization becomes even more important as the company’s user base doubles.
“It’s been great to work with a highly engaged and collaborative team like Atwix,” Potgieter added. “While I’ve worked with remote companies before, this has been really refreshing and unexpected. They’ve been launching things quicker than I can write requirements and developers and project managers have been coming to me and flagging errors in logic and making suggestions to improve our customer journeys. Having four to five additional people thinking outside the box has been great.”
With Magento Commerce and Atwix, now Wyze can extend the same high-quality customer experience consumers expect from its products to the shopping experience it delivers online.
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