As any skier or snowboarder knows, both visibility and agility are key to successfully navigating a ski run safely to the bottom of the mountain.

planet sports logoRobert Ginda, head of online shops at Planet Sports, understands that visibility and agility are crucial to his business, too. “You wouldn’t run without looking where you’re going, or jump out of a plane blindfolded. Why would you run a business that way?”

Planet Sports is one of Europe’s premier retailers of action sports equipment and streetwear. That means skis, snowboards, goggles, and thousands of other products designed for the stylish, energetic, and adventurous. With 14 physical stores across Germany, and an e-commerce platform serving customers from all over the continent, Planet Sports has enjoyed strong growth over the past two years, and currently ranks as one of the top companies for German e-commerce sales.

With the company’s dynamic progress, Robert and his colleagues knew that it was time to commit to deep visibility and transparency—it was time for New Relic.

Moving at the speed of business

Planet Sports runs on the Magento Enterprise platform, with the development, staging, and operations environments all kept separate. Before deploying New Relic, visibility into site performance made troubleshooting slow and inefficient. Slow-downs and errors were leading to lost conversions—unacceptable at any time, but especially during seasonal peaks.

“We need to be agile,” Robert says. “We need to ensure a seamless process for our customers.” To achieve that agility, the company deployed New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, and New Relic Insights. By splitting transactions by path (frontend or API, for example), the Planet Sports team was instantly able to identify errors and fix them faster than ever before.

Making every transaction count

According to Pavel Rossinsky, one of the lead Magento developers at Planet Sports, CRON transactions can be especially problematic in Magento. For nearly two years, for example, an unidentified CRON process caused queries to run between two to five times slower than they should. “We just couldn’t understand it,” he says.

Thanks to New Relic APM, Pavel was finally able to identify the culprit: a single price-indexing query blocking several others. The fix required just one line of code, but led to a 100% improvement in performance.

New Relic Browser delivered similarly fast and valuable results. “A browser issue on IE9 was blocking users from clicking the checkout button,” explains Robert. “We noticed that in two weeks we had lost about €35,000 in conversions.” New Relic Browser immediately flagged the responsible JavaScript error, enabling a quick fix.

Delivering insights for the business

Pavel and Robert both love New Relic APM and New Relic Browser, but it’s New Relic Insights that has won over their colleagues outside of IT. “Management loves Insights,” says Robert. “The information is just so easy to read and understand.”

And with greater transparency has come a new level of trust between teams—devs and marketers, for example—as new lines of communication open and new, positive conversations are struck up.

It’s no surprise, then, that the company is excited to take its embrace of digital intelligence to the next level. “We’re looking to cover our whole stack”—including ERP and back-office systems—“and all other websites under the 21sportsgroup,” Robert says, referring to the parent company of Planet Sports.

From now on, Planet Sports will be able to clearly see the entire mountain, no matter how heavy the snowfall gets.

To learn more about how these action sports aficionados increased their visibility and agility, be sure to read the full Planet Sports customer case study: Planet Sports Takes Action to Optimise Performance.

german flagLesen Sie die Fallstudie hier auf deutsch: Planet Sports trifft Maßnahmen zur Leistungsoptimierung.

 

Don’t miss FutureStack Berlin

Planet Sports is one of the digital leaders scheduled to present at FutureStack: Berlin on June 22. For additional details and to register, please visit www.futurestack.com/berlin.

futurestack berlin

 

Note: Event dates, speakers, and schedules are subject to change without notice.

B.J. Hinshaw is a freelance writer based in Northern California. View posts by .

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