Famous British high fashion house Jimmy Choo’s company website lagged in responsiveness compared to its contemporaries and other retail outlets, something at odds with the pioneering brand. Inspired Testing conducted a full backend and frontend system review to isolate the reasons behind the performance discrepancies, implementing targeted and highly effective solutions that elevated Jimmy Choo’s online customer experience to one of the very best in its class.
London, United Kingdom
Web Performance Testing
Jimmy Choo is a British high fashion house specialising in luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and fragrances. The company, J. Choo Limited, was founded in 1996 by couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo and Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon. The brand is associated with an empowered sense of glamour and a playfully daring spirit.
“Inspired Testing was invited by Jimmy Choo to look for opportunities to optimise customer experience in a fast-changing mobile centric world.
Inspired Testing helped Jimmy Choo to ensure that they were adopting latest best practises to optimise customer experience. Jimmy Choo intends to continue working with Inspired Testing as a partner to help make sure this continues in a fast-changing online world.”
- Hannah Colman, CEO
Users expect instant satisfaction when interacting with websites. Research suggests that users expect a response within a second, and if something takes more than three seconds then users will start to leave. Faster websites feel more modern, and improving site speed has been shown to improve customer satisfaction, conversion rate, average order value and time spent on site1.
Jimmy Choo had to investigate and understand their primary website challenges. Without good data it was impossible to benchmark, baseline and prioritise areas for improvement. The company was using a combination of Google Analytics and Pingdom that provided a high-level view of performance, but made it difficult to interrogate performance data at a granular level. Complicating matters further, back-end response time was identified as the single greatest performance issue on Jimmy Choo-brand websites during the initial discovery phase of the project, and this would likely remain the case until the company procured an Application Performance Management (APM) solution that can integrate with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Inspired Testing initiated a comprehensive performance review of the Jimmy Choo website infrastructure using both synthetic testing and real user monitoring.
Synthetic testing was used to measure static performance such as Image, Java Script and CSS payloads, as well as basic network delivery statistics such as time to first byte. These tests are not representative of real user experience, as they cannot cover the range of devices used in the wild, nor emulate the full range of network, cache and battery conditions. Real user monitoring interrogates user browsers to measure the actual performance on-device. This data is beaconed back and aggregated to provide insight into performance by region, device, browser and even user state. These measurements were invaluable to detect performance issues which only affect a subset of users, and to determine the impact of performance on user likelihood to bounce, search, add to basket and convert.
In addition, Inspired Testing conducted:
- A full SalesForce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) analysis. We reviewed all SFCC pipelines to understand the main flows and their response times. We were able to optimise timings of several key pipelines by greatly improving cache hits by moving variable elements of pages such as Wishlists and Baskets to be served by AJAX posts. This greatly improved cache hit ratios and gave a faster user experience.
- A network performance review. Jimmy Choo brands are hosted on a managed platform: Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This platform includes delivery of content over a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which provided limited control and configuration to manage CDN configuration. Observations in this section focused on areas over which Jimmy Choo has control. Latency was optimised by using the CDN to minimise the geographic distance between clients and their nearest server, reducing the impact that client location has on performance.
- A full competitive analysis. Data was collected from multiple competitive websites in the same industry, specifically looking at performance information such as time to first byte, first contentful paint and the time taken to fully load the page.
- A front-end performance review. Improvements were made to optimise and prioritise visible images, remove redundant thumbnail images, review bandwidth-hungry video use and remove unused third-party service providers.
- Full dashboarding and reporting. Building a culture of performance is best achieved by sharing common data. Easy access to performance dashboards is the simplest way to share this insight. Site speed degraded over multiple years before it was identified as a customer-affecting problem. As a result, weekly site speed reports will now be delivered to the management team for all markets, which will allow continuing governance on key performance metrics and should prevent performance degradation in the future.
Benefit to the client after implementation
- A reduction of average page load times by over 60%. The home page now loads in just over six seconds across all geographies and device types, especially Android devices, following Inspired Testing’s advice.
- Largest Contentful Paint (FCP), is the loading of the largest visual piece of content on the website and Inspired Testing helped improve this metric by 78.7%;
- Time to First Byte (TTFB), was improved by 70,7% which allowed users to interact and engage with the Jimmy Choo website much quicker; and
- First Meaningful Paint (FMP), improved by 60%, ranking Jimmy Choo’s website higher than any of its competitors in this metric.
- Improvements in session length, duration and a reduction in bounce rate.
- A streamlined website with no unnecessary connections to external products.
Jimmy Choo and Inspired Testing are currently engaged in a consultancy retainer agreement where Jimmy Choo has access to Inspired Testing’s performance consultants at any time, drawing down from the agreed retainer. Inspired Testing is also supporting Jimmy Choo with changes to the Jimmy Choo Japan website, and in discussions on how to further optimise the company’s content globally.