Friday, 19 March 2021 12:13

Peakhour protects and powers Kitchen Warehouse

Peakhour co-founder Adam Cassar Peakhour co-founder Adam Cassar

Kitchenware retailer Kitchen Warehouse is using Australian web acceleration and cloud security company PeakHour to accelerate its e-commerce site and protect it from attacks.

Peakhour offers a global content delivery network (CDN) along with website acceleration, cloud security and other services.

Thanks to Peakhour's CDN+ service, Kitchen Warehouse's website now runs nearly 80% faster, and is protected from many thousands of cyberattacks each day.

This contributed to the retailer's ability to cope with more than double the amount of online business during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

Kitchen Warehouse uses US-hosted NetSuite for its e-commerce site, and web page load times were approaching 10 seconds. The company tried using Cloudflare, but "While we were able to get page load times down to around six seconds, our goals were loftier," said Kitchen Warehouse technology consultant Luke Matthews.

A switch to Peakhour's CDN+ gave immediate performance improvements.

Approximately 85% of traffic was served directly from Peakhour's global cache, reducing page load times to three seconds and removing more than 1.5TB of traffic from Kitchen Warehouse's network.

Furthermore, Peakhour blocks around 10,000 cyber-attacks each day.

"Our online business accounts for around 50 per cent of our total revenue, and every month since COVID has been bigger than Christmas and Black Friday in previous years," said Matthews.

"Suddenly we were seeing unprecedented monthly web traffic with pageviews in excess of six million and orders up over 150 per cent year on year. We have an ageing e-commerce platform which never would have been able to withstand the sudden influx of traffic during the pandemic, if it wasn't for Peakhour's CDN+ solution."

He added "The results achieved with Peakhour directly reflect the care and attention its team took to understand our IT environment, our technical and business challenges, and our performance goals."

The importance of rapid page loading is highlighted by research by Deloitte and Google that found an improvement of just 0.1s resulted in a 10% increase in spending, and 8% greater user engagement on product pages.

Load time is one of the signals used by Google to determine search results, and the increased speed of Kitchen Warehouse's site has led to an improvement in the company's ranking.

Part of the speed improvement came from Peakhour's ability to block bot traffic. As much as 60% of Kitchen Warehouse's web traffic was previously generated by bots that exist only to scrape pricing data for the benefit of competing retailers.

"As the COVID pandemic spread across the globe, everyone was locked down and global internet traffic grew exponentially. Almost all business shifted online, and retail traffic went through the roof," said Peakhour co-founder Adam Cassar.

"Like many other businesses, Kitchen Warehouse had to close their physical stores but by using our service, they were able to not only survive, but thrive during the COVID era."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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