Waitrose improves website capacity to cope with growing demand

Waitrose has increased the capacity and performance of its website without increasing costs, by analysing which areas needed improvement instead of replacing systems.

Waitrose has increased the capacity and performance of its website without increasing costs, by analysing which areas needed improvement instead of replacing systems.

The retailer studied its e-commerce infrastructure last year and found it needed to increase its server capacity by 30-40% to keep up with growing online demand.

The company recently made delivery free for most online orders, which has increased web traffic. At peak times the website handles around 50,000 page views at a time.

By working out which parts of its infrastructure needed improvement, instead of replacing equipment, it is hoping to improve performance without increasing costs.

Waitrose targeted the under-performing SQL statements in its IBM-based e-commerce system and used a performance management database to find ways to reduce the amount of processing power needed.

Bharat Chavda, Waitrose IT project leader, said, "Our challenge was to increase performance by 35% to handle the level of increased customer visits. We were able to drastically improve performance without a commensurate increase in our costs."

The retailer used software from Precise to tackle the problem and analyse where the weaknesses were.

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