Case Study: Warby Parker Cuts Average Load Time by 50% with Help from New Relic

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Founded in 2010 by four close friends, Warby Parker offers boutique quality, classically crafted eyewear at affordable prices. To avoid traditional overhead costs, the company engages with many of its customers directly. Through its website, customers can virtually try on frames, order pairs for a free home trial, or find a local Warby Parker showroom nearby.

The company also has a commitment to serving the larger global community. Over one billion people worldwide lack access to eyewear. For every pair of glasses it sells, Warby Parker gives a free pair to someone in need. The company also works to reduce its environmental impact and is one of the only carbon-neutral eyewear brands in the world.

Web Performance & Revenue
It should come as no surprise then that customers are eager to get their hands on the company’s reasonably priced frames. Each month, its unique site visitor traffic increases by 30 – 40%. This keeps Warby Parker’s rapidly growing engineering team under pressure to keep pace with its runaway success. “No matter our rate of growth, we’re committed to customer happiness,” says Ali Khan, Warby Parker’s CTO, “We’re not aiming for a satisfactory experience – we want to deliver happiness, period.”

Warby Parker recognizes that website performance has a direct impact on its revenue. “For online customers, a huge part of the happiness quotient depends on fast load times,” he explains. “We subscribe to the idea that the longer it takes to load a page, the fewer conversions we’ll see. Every 500 milliseconds of delay translate into a significant drop-off in the number of people who will proceed to checkout.”

Warby Parker Home TrialAs with any other successful eCommerce site, Warby Parker must find a way to maintain the best possible site performance, despite major spikes in traffic. “Our biggest days are generally not on the weekends,” says Ali, “but Tuesday through Thursday. And of course the holidays bring a major influx of traffic to our site, with a high proportion of holiday users being brand new to Warby Parker. So during these high intensity periods, it become more crucial than ever to make a great first impression in terms of website performance.”

In-Depth Insight
Warby Parker relies on New Relic to give them in-depth insight into the performance of their application. “New Relic enable us to measure like we’ve never measured before,” explains Ali. “Now, every time we deploy new code – which we do two or three times each week – we can see, in near real time, if load times increase or decrease. Besides that, we’re able to measure performance in terms of geography, so we can monitor our Canadian website with far more precision than before. We can even analyze data on a state-by-state or region-by-region level.”

With help from New Relic, Warby Parker cut its average load times by 50% in just three months. “We’ve been very aggressive in addressing any weakness across our site in the midst of exponential growth,” he says. “You can’t make that kind of improvement in such a short time unless you have the latest information available at your fingertips, with the deepest visibility into your systems. That’s what New Relic gives us.”

He sums it up this way. “We’ve always been a proactive organization. We’ve never taken the approach of just sitting back and letting things happen. That’s because we’re committed to customer happiness, which means discovering and fixing problems long before those problems affect users. New Relic gives us the data we need to stay far ahead of the curve – and keep those customers coming back for more.”

Read the full case study to see how New Relic helped Warby Parker decrease its load times by 50%.

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