There’s scale and then there’s SCALE. Rihanna’s social reach of 80+ million is SCALE.
About Stance E-commerce
Stance is a small brand that easily maintained an infrastructure that supported their everyday traffic and holiday spikes, but when they signed Rihanna, they knew they were going to see an unprecedented rise in visitors to their site. “We needed a consistently high service level because we were selling limited edition socks.” Rihanna has over 80 million followers that are very engaged. Her online community, known as ‘The Rihanna Army’, generates a huge amount of interest with every post she makes. “We knew how to handle our normal traffic and spikes, but not scale like this.”
Time was big challenge for Stance. They knew they had to a lot of load testing to do, but they had less than two months to work with and they had to wait for final design. By the time the site was ready they would have about a week to test. That’s where BlazeMeter came in.
Stance had a reason to worry about the spike. “When we announced a partnership with the NBA earlier this year, we made the front page of ESPN and we didn’t handle the resulting burst very well. During the surge, our site was slow. Lots of people were trying to find the ESPN deal, but regular shoppers had no idea what was going on. In retail, you have to be ready for multiple audiences using the site in very different ways - occasional spikes along with normal E-commerce traffic —all at once.”
“If you’re not doing load testing, do load testing. It is not as hard or as difficult as you might think, and BlazeMeter is so easy to spin-up that you can be load testing in 5 minutes, which is really awesome. It removes any excuse for not load testing in my opinion.”
Stance immediately began building out new infrastructure, but new infrastructure is unproven, so they knew they had to load test it to be sure that it worked in practice, not just in theory. Load testing became a critical component for success.
“I’ve used a lot of load testing services, so I knew we needed to throw a lot of traffic at the new infrastructure and we needed to do it in 5 days. With BlazeMeter, we didn’t need to sign any contracts or wait for any approvals, we just signed up for the trial and launched it.” Stance used their existing user profiles and tested them on the BlazeMeter platform using JMeter, the popular open source load testing tool, so they knew right away that their new infrastructure worked. Then they set out to test it at massive scale. “We just ramped the profiles really fast from thousands to tens of thousands and the tests were successful. That gave us a lot of confidence.”
“BlazeMeter was a fast setup and the platform allowed us to load test 10x the our normal level of traffic. That traffic level proved to be real. We ended up getting an immediate 10x spike that lasted 18 hours when Rihanna tweeted and posted on Instagram. We sold out of the limited edition socks in under 24 hours. At the peak, we sustained over 100,000 simultaneous users per second, so hundreds of thousands of requests. Before BlazeMeter, we could probably handle 500. That’s given us a great deal of confidence.”