The objective was to use best-in-class architecture, monitoring and support strategies to help Jersey Mike’s digital e-commerce channels avoid significant downtime and performance issues that could impact the customer experience and risk the success of Jersey Mike’s most important day of giving back to local communities.
Slow connections, app crashes and network issues are not necessarily new issues that impact technology on a daily basis, but these specific situations have increased significantly as growing dependence on technology has boosted since COVID-19 became a household name over a year ago. Usage has grown, and traffic lines that were once distinguishable between the weekend and weekdays are completely blurred. How do you prepare an app for optimal performance, particularly during 5x the average load?
What we did/digital approach
Knowing the significance for our client's annual Day of Giving, e-commerce channel stability, improved responsiveness and overall platform performance were mandatory for the success of the event. The biggest priority was providing a seamless customer experience and re-engineering the JM (Jersey Mike's) platform to a new scalable AWS-based Kubernetes platform ahead of the event was the key.
Once the platform was designed, developed and migration was complete, ongoing load testing was performed before the Day of Giving. The established target goal for WWT (World Wide Technology) Digital and JM was to enable the support up to 5x of the previous highest sales day transactions. To ensure success, resources were scaled up and practice fire drills were completed with cross-functional WWT and JM teams.
The optimal configuration of application resources was identified to ensure confidence in the system to handle a high traffic day and keep costs down. After writing and running load tests against a production-like test environment, the results were used to identify bottlenecks in the system, as well as areas that were over-provisioned and could be further optimized to reduce unnecessary costs.
While the load tests were running, the WWT Digital and Jersey Mike's teams configured and assessed the dashboard, ran queries against the log search engine and performed other debugging techniques. This provided confidence that the monitoring system would perform adequately and helped strengthen team real-time triaging and application debugging.
Collaborative documentation was created for WWT and Jersey Mike's dev team access, outlining potential threats and outcomes that should be followed to avoid customer disruption and a negative business impact as much as possible. Once the team felt confident in the state of preparedness and the Day of Giving arrived, WWT Digital instituted a live war room support system which included the ongoing monitoring of sales and giving activity, technical load, stability and security metrics, in conjunction with Jersey Mike's, for ongoing support requested from the opening of the first stores on the East coast until the final stores in Hawaii closed later that same day.
This collaborative client-partner team evaluated the progress in retro analysis and making notes of the positive outcomes and additional performance, security and support tactics to consider as the scale and shape of digital commerce continues to grow and change year over year.
Jersey Mike's had record-breaking sales on March 31, 2021 — more than doubling their goal — and all the sales (not just profits) were donated to charity. JM Digital commerce channels saw a radical uptick in app requests, orders and loyalty profiles created than the daily baseline metrics and handled the extra activity securely and with zero disruptions.
While the success of the day itself was a huge in-the-moment win, the long-term strategic implications of engaging and delighting 3x the average volume of customers is also to be celebrated. Just one year ago, this same type of digital customer experience seemed nearly impossible. Many brands could increase customer awareness, but their technology could not handle the opportunity.
From business strategy to product design and development, Jersey Mike's and WWT Digital worked together to determine: What could our biggest sales day look like if handled perfectly? Now, 3x the average number of daily customers know the answer.