Top online wine retailer Wine.com, which is based in California, has selected Vancouver’s Strangeloop Networks  to accelerate its website, delivering a faster user experience for its visitors. With more than a million registered users and an inventory of 13,000+ products, Wine.com has seen huge growth in the past year alone. In 2011, the company shipped more than two million bottles of wine, a 35% increase over the previous year. In addition to offering wine and wine-related gifts and accessories, the website houses a growing online community of more than 32,000 members who provide customer reviews and ratings, as well as creating and sharing personal wine lists.
“When we researched front-end optimization vendors, Strangeloop was by far the leading contender,” said Geoffrey Smalling, CTO of Wine.com. “Their Site Optimizer is the only product that can handle enterprise scale via appliance or cloud, and they are the only company with experience in accelerating global sites and an aggressive plan for further product development to keep sites like Wine.com at the front edge of acceleration. And on a day-to-day basis, Strangeloop’s customer service has been superb throughout the entire implementation process. Strangeloop has even developed optimizations based on our unique, regulated business.”
Tackling site speed for desktop users is just the first phase in Wine.com’s performance strategy. The company recently launched a robust, feature-rich mobile site that not only gives customers access to the full range of products, but also allows shoppers perform location-based searches, manage their accounts, and track orders. Accelerating this mobile site is a top priority.
“Wine.com demonstrates exactly why our product works so well for huge e-commerce sites,” said Jonathan Bixby, CEO of Strangeloop Networks. “Our Site Optimizer doesn’t just make individual pages faster. It takes a big-picture approach and analyzes all of a site’s traffic – looking at millions and millions of visitor paths – and uses this information to make sophisticated, on-the-fly decisions about optimizing a customer’s entire journey through the site. But optimization doesn’t end with one visit. E-commerce sites succeed or fail on their ability to attract return customers, but most websites don’t take advantage of this behavior. Site Optimizer takes what it learns about each visitor to serve pages even faster the next time that person comes to your site. Techniques like these are what separate advanced performance solutions from the rest of the field.”
Strangeloop offers a patented easy-to-implement solution to the complex challenges of web content optimization (WCO). WCO technology takes HTML that has been optimized for readability, supportability and maintainability and, while retaining these benefits, transforms it to HTML that is optimized for fast page rendering. This involves implementing numerous best practices such as rewriting object names, re-ordering when and how objects are rendered, re-ordering when scripts are executed, and optimizing content based on the requesting browser.
“We’re looking forward to the release of Strangeloop’s Mobile Site Optimizer at the beginning of 2012,” said Mr. Smalling. “We spent a long time developing our mobile site, because we wanted to make sure it could deliver a first-class experience to our customers. Making that experience even faster is our next order of business.”
In the past, this time-consuming work could only be performed manually by developers with specific performance expertise. The Strangeloop Site Optimizer and Mobile Site Optimizer – which are available as a cloud-based service, a hardware appliance, and a virtual appliance – transform web content optimization from a lengthy and complex coding process into an automated function performed in real time by an intelligent appliance.
Companies like eBay/PayPal, Visa, and Petco have implemented Strangeloop solutions to speed up their websites and enterprise applications. As a result, they’ve achieved dramatic gains in key metrics, increasing sales by up to 22% and growing organic search traffic by up to 10%.