Frank And Oak, Inc. is a Canada-based clothing manufacturer and retailer with a passion for style, design, and technology. Its mission is to help people dress better and affordably while using sustainable fabrics and ethical practices. Customers can purchase individual items or enroll in ‘Style Plan’, a subscription service for those looking for an extraordinary experience. But for Frank And Oak, delivering the extraordinary was challenging when overweight images took hours to prepare and slowed down site performance.
Fast and complete delivery of web content is essential for maximizing online conversions since visitors tend to abandon sites that don’t fully load in two seconds or less1. While high-quality images are effective in engaging online shoppers, they can also present a barrier to web performance and be labor intensive. This dilemma was experienced firsthand by Frank And Oak’s product and IT teams - they were confronted with a tradeoff between fast performance and site latency due to rich imagery. When the ‘extraordinary’ customer experience depends on both speed and quality to maximize customer engagement, mutual exclusivity was not an option.
Frank And Oak first sought to improve its manual image manipulation workflow. This process started with the Creative team. The in-house studio team took painstaking effort to photograph and touch-up the highest quality images to accurately reflect the value of their clothing. They would then resize and optimize those images for the web, often at a standard default setting of 80%. This manual process of manipulating and compressing 200 to 600 images per month became difficult and prone to human error. If images were inadvertently too large or improperly compressed, it negatively impacted both the web and mobile experience. These image-related problems could go undetected; but when found, IT was responsible for fixing and striking the correct balance between image weight and site performance.
Frank And Oak had three target goals in mind: 1. Deliver optimal images for every browser and device, 2. Automate the image transformation process, and 3. Increase web conversions while reducing churn and bounce. After partnering with Akamai, Frank And Oak saw automated optimizations across its site within minutes and progress toward its goals within days. Image Manager provided confidence that every image was being optimized for quality, format, and size. And because the team essentially “forgot about image transformation” with “zero images to manage”, they hit their production and marketing deadlines faster, according to Martin Helie, VP of Tech. Linking to one pristine image, versus managing high-res and low-res versions, has reduced storage and improved operational efficiencies. Lastly, Frank And Oak saw key improvements to its web performance, many of which are still being evaluated. But what was most noticeable was what it didn’t notice – it no longer experienced any unexpected image-related problems or performance delays after implementing Image Manager.
Frank And Oak chose Image Manager because it had already experienced the expansive, scalable, and resilient nature of Akamai’s cloud delivery platform. Since Image Manager works seamlessly with cloud delivery, it made sense to “keep it in the family”. Plus, having rejected other lackluster image management tools that required heavy manual effort, adopting an automated solution was critical. Frank And Oak is now able to take beautiful, high-quality images of its clothing and let Image Manager do the rest. It now has an automated and scalable solution that has decreased image prep time, increased speed to market, and intelligently delivers the best image to every end user.
Combining style, design and technology since it was founded in 2012, Frank And Oak offers collections of clothing and accessories for men and women that are thoughtfully designed and well suited to the lifestyles of its customers. Present on the web and in 23 boutiques across Canada, the brand provides a personalized online experience to hundreds of thousands of members, surpassing its role as a retailer to reinvent the customer experience.
Inspired by ethical thinking and with an eye to the future, Frank And Oak upholds the values of equity, diversity and inclusion and works to promote them in its communities.