Trunk shows have been a staple of the fashion world for a long time. Having crafted their latest collection, designers traditionally present their wares in an exclusive setting to a select clientele made up of private customers and retail buyers. To the untrained eye, such an elite shopping experience looks like the antithesis of modern e-commerce.

moda operandi logoBut Moda Operandi doesn’t see it that way. This New York-based e-tailer of luxury fashion broke the e-commerce mold back in 2010 when it invented the online trunk show. Giving shoppers unprecedented virtual access to the hottest new styles from designers like Marni, Jaline, and Leal Daccarett—months before they’re manufactured, let alone sold in stores—Moda Operandi today enjoys an average customer spend of $1,600 and an annual growth rate of 90%.

To meet the expectations of its discerning, high-end clients, Moda Operandi must provide an online shopping experience as flawless as the sleekest haute couture boutique. For Chief Technology Officer Keiron McCammon, that presents some challenges. But with New Relic in his trunk, Keiron can stay as composed as a runway model.

A well-coordinated outfit

When Keiron joined the company in 2013, he sensed it had underinvested in technology. “The wheels were starting to come off,” he says. Rebuilding the site from scratch in Ruby on Rails, Keiron put together a stack that contains very few third-party tools. “Everything we do—our website, our core e-commerce platform, our business systems—is built in house. It is a strategic investment we make, and continue to make. And that gives us a lot of ability to innovate.”

But there are some tools Keiron won’t do without. NetSuite for ERP, AWS for data storage and warehousing—and the New Relic Software Analytics Cloud for deep visibility into every aspect of Moda’s digital business.

Keiron relies on New Relic APM to get a constant health check of the company’s website, and on New Relic Alerts (hooked up to his team’s pager system) to flag any potential problems. Behind the scenes, New Relic Synthetics tests different parts of the site to identify potential problems before customers experience them. With an average of two deployments per week, Moda Operandi relies on these synthetic transactions for crucial pre-release testing—something that will become even more essential as the company moves toward a continuous delivery model.

Faster than a fashion trend

Equally important to the company’s e-tail strategy is New Relic Insights, which Keiron uses to gain visibility into user response times. “Page load times have a direct impact on our conversion rates and revenue,” he says. The deep, granular data that New Relic provides is integral to keeping those load times down—especially considering the significant number of high-quality images that each Moda Operandi page displays.

Just because Moda Operandi’s customers have the patience to wait for their high-end clothing doesn’t mean they’re willing to endure sluggish web pages. After launching New Relic, Keiron and his team were able to drive page-load times down from 4.5 seconds to 3.5 for desktop, and from 5.5 to 3.5 for mobile. When you’re targeting high-end customers ready to spend thousands of dollars in a single transaction, such improvements to the customer experience can make a huge difference.

To learn more about how this fashion-forward e-commerce company relies on New Relic to tailor its business to perfection, read the full Moda Operandi customer case study.


Ali Gerrard is a product marketing manager at New Relic. View posts by .

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