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CASE STUDY

Switching to Instart Logic Boosts Dollar Shave Club’s Conversion Rates by 16.8% Overall and by 126% for Galaxy 3 Phones The Challenge When Todd Lehr joined Dollar Shave Club as VP of Engineering in October 2012, he was tasked with improving the performance of the company website to boost conversions. Dollar Shave Club successfully leveraged online viral video and social marketing campaigns, along with television ads, to attract visitors. Lehr had to ensure more of them signed up for paying subscriptions. He also needed to upgrade the site’s architecture to prepare for a push into the United Kingdom and Australia.

CUSTOMER PROFILE Company: Dollar Shave Club Location: Venice Beach, California Description: Dollar Shave Club is a web-based subscription service that ships shave razors, bathroom wipes, shave butter and a fast-growing variety of personal products to its 300,000 members on a monthly basis. The company is one of the most successful efforts to date at transforming an expensive and repetitive physical-world shopping experience into a much-loved online service with a repeatable revenue stream that is ripe for expansion. Launched only 2 years ago, the company has raised $22.8 million in venture capital from leading investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, and Battery Ventures. Dollar Shave Club’s humorous CEO videos have been viewed over 11 million times. The combination of great creative and market-leading, data-driven acquisition programs has won Dollar Shave Club a reputation as one of the smartest startups in the eCommerce space. The company’s web traffic ranks among the top 4,000 sites in the U.S. and Dollar Shave Club enjoys bounce rates below 40%.

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“I wanted to improve our website delivery because I knew that the less time customers wait to see a page or get to click, the more likely they are to convert,” says Lehr. In particular Lehr wanted to improve performance on mobile devices. “If you run offline ad campaigns (TV and radio) like we do, 45% of your traffic from the campaign will be mobile. If your site is not optimized for mobile, you’re flushing money down the drain,” explains Lehr. To improve web performance, Lehr made key changes to the architecture, including incorporating Node.js for some server-side tasks to speed up page loads and reduce wait times for users. Dollar Shave Club pursued aggressive A/B testing of its website to identify layout changes that could improve conversion rates. “Conversions are the only metric I really care about so I was constantly looking for ways to improve that,” says Lehr. “Mobile is a ‘black box’ so technologies that can help us there are very valuable.” For web performance improvement, Lehr signed up with Amazon CloudFront, a Content Delivery Network offered by Dollar Shave Club’s cloud hosting provider Amazon Web Services. While CloudFront improved results, Lehr suspected he could do better. Dollar Shave Club wanted a web performance solution that: • • • • •

Boosted to conversions across all users Specifically improved mobile conversion rates Delivered higher performance and better value than legacy CDNs Scaled globally to simplify expansion into markets overseas Provided exceptional support

Copyright © 2013 Instart Logic, Inc. All rights reserved.


CASE STUDY

The Solution

We ran an A/B Test against Amazon CloudFront and Instart Logic gave us a 16.8% increase in conversions over a very large sample set of hundreds of thousands of visitors. This was the single most impressive conversion win we have experienced to date for anything we have done.” Todd Lehr VP Engineering, Dollar Shave Club

Lehr, an alumni of MySpace, had heard about Instart Logic from other MySpace alums working at travel search engine Gogobot. Lehr researched Instart Logic and learned about the innovative Web Application Streaming Network. He decided to run an A/B Test of Instart Logic against CloudFront and compare conversion rates. In particular, he was interested in how Instart Logic’s mobile-optimized infrastructure would impact conversion rates for mobile users. “We wanted to see how they did and better understand if their technological difference could help us. The set up was simple and only took a few hours. “All we had to do was redirect our DNS for the traffic we wanted to test over to their network,” explains Lehr.

The Result A 3.5 week A/B test period measuring hundreds of thousands of visits to the Dollar Shave Club site yielded a 16.8% improvement in conversions for traffic served through Instart Logic. “This was the biggest single impact of any change we had made to our site,” says Lehr. “We were very, very surprised it made that much of a difference.” The duration and sample size in the bake-off, along with regression analysis conducted by Dollar Shave Club’s team, ensured that the results were statistically accurate and would hold up over time. Lehr says that the Instart Logic engineering team was fast, efficient and helpful, getting Dollar Shave Club set up on the service quickly. Instart Logic was responsive to all questions from Lehr’s team, delivering textbook customer support. With regard to the 35% to 45% of monthly traffic coming from mobile devices, Instart Logic delivered particularly impressive conversion results. “For the Samsung Galaxy S3, the most-used Android phone, we tracked a 126% increase in conversions and a 27% increase in conversions for the Nexus 7,” says Lehr. “It wasn’t even really a fair test. CloudFront had an EV (extended validation) Cert on it and we know an EV Cert increases conversion rates so we expect Instart Logic to convert even higher in the future.” Lehr is now moving all of Dollar Shave Club’s traffic over to Instart Logic. “Conversion rate for us is recurring revenue stream and so when it goes up, there is a real financial impact,” says Lehr. “Instart Logic juiced our conversion rates and delivered significant value that falls straight to our bottom line.”

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Copyright © 2013 Instart Logic, Inc. All rights reserved.


Instart Logic boosts Dollar Shave Club's conversion Rates Overall & for Galaxy 3 Phones