Blueport Commerce is the only managed e-commerce provider focused on localized, big-ticket commerce – think about buying a sofa or an installed floor online. Its cross-channel platform and managed services – specifically designed for big-ticket retailers with complex delivery models and heavy reliance on their websites to drive traffic to local stores – enable clients to seamlessly integrate e-commerce into their overall cross-channel strategy. Serving retail chains representing more than 2,300 stores and over $8 billion in sales, Blueport helps its clients ensure that their online efforts serve to cost-effectively and measurably drive store traffic, generate leads and consummate online transactions.
To satisfy consumer demands, Blueport’s retail clients typically serve rich, interactive sites featuring high-resolution images and Adobe Flash. This is complemented by the deep online catalogs that Blueport maintains for its clients, along with data models, search results and marketing materials that support localization. With a single data center in Boston and reliance on a content delivery network (CDN) provider with a limited footprint, Blueport knew that guaranteeing quick display of its client’s sites would be a complex endeavor.
“At our conferences and user groups, clients were sharing their concerns. Localized sites were taking anywhere from 6.5 to 8 seconds to load. Consumers are growing less and less patient when it comes to load times, so we knew we had to find a solution,” recalls Morgan Woodruff, chief operating officer for Blueport.
Blueport needed to meet two key requirements to support its objectives:
Dissatisfied with its CDN provider, Blueport began assessing its options. After considering a few web acceleration providers, as well as the possibility of building out more data centers, it chose Akamai for its Dynamic Site Accelerator (DSA) and content targeting solutions. “We were impressed that many leading technology firms and retailers use Akamai services, along with the value we could get from the deep portfolio of services that Akamai offers. Plus, we knew Akamai could help us manage our complex platform and localization requirements without having to deploy more servers and data centers,” says Woodruff.
Blueport found implementation to be much easier than expected. “We budgeted one working calendar quarter to Akamaize our first retailer, but finished in less than a month. Now we can Akamaize new clients in a week,” says Woodruff.
Blueport first focused on the retailers who had voiced concerns during the conference and user groups. Immediately upon getting those retailers live on the Akamai CDN platform, their load times improved dramatically. In fact, localized sites now display in less than one second on average. At the same time, Blueport uses Akamai Content Targeting to pinpoint the geographic location of site visitors so it can serve a localized web experience. With Akamai’s advanced caching feature, it can even cache localized search results at the network edge. “Akamai DSA helps us ensure that no matter how sophisticated our localized sites are, they always load quickly and seamlessly for a fast, unified experience,” continues Woodruff.
Blueport’s goal is to offload as much as 90% of its day-to-day content delivery and Internet traffic to Akamai. According to Woodruff, “That’s a significant offload that translates into thousands of dollars per day because we don’t have to add any data centers.”
With Akamai by its side, Blueport is prepared to meet evolving consumer demands. “Every day, our customers expect new levels of personalization and localization. Because of Akamai, we can satisfy these expectations and support complex data models, robust catalog requests and personalization – all without building out our infrastructure,” states Woodruff.
In fact, Akamai is a critical part of Blueport’s e-commerce platform. “Akamai strengthens our positioning because the company is a leader in what it does, and our clients understand they will receive the highest levels of performance, reliability and availability as a result,” concludes Woodruff.
Blueport Commerce helps leading furniture retailers capture their e-commerce opportunity. We marry retailers' brick-and-mortar infrastructure and expertise with our decade of online furniture experience, innovative technology and unique marketing and sales solutions. $6.3 billion in retailers choose Blueport. For some retailers, Blueport's SaaS e-commerce platform powers their branded websites, driving sales online and in their stores. For other retailers, we drive online sales through Furniture.com, our e-commerce marketplace. For many retailers, we do both. Our technology is transforming furniture retail, for the 4% of sofas that sell online and the 96% that don't. Learn more at www.blueport.com.