“AlertSite stands out from the all the other Web monitoring vendors we evaluated because of the data they provide, their impressive monitoring capabilities and their rapid response time in notifying us of any issues that may impact our customers’ experience.”

In the late 1990s, Bop, a brick-and-mortar clothing store located in Madison, Wis., became known as a fashion-forward hot spot in the region. Realizing the growing customer demand for easy access to the latest fashion trends and designers, Bop owners Bob Lamey, Martha Michelson and Ray Zemon made the move to the Internet in 1999 with an online extension of their Bop store: Shopbop. Today targets fashion-conscious women and features more than 100 high-end clothing brands, including Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture and Diane von Furstenberg. Today it is one of the most popular online retailers.

Shopbop receives millions of global hits every day from an average of 50,000 unique visitors and generates approximately 99 percent of its revenue from online transactions. Any slow-loading Web pages can impact the customer’s shopping experience and drive her to a competing retailer. Because this creates a negative financial impact on the company, it is critical is fully operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Challenge

As Shopbop grew in size and popularity, it became increasingly important to make sure the site was up and running at peak performance. To ensure ongoing success and positively impact the bottom line, it was necessary to respond quickly to any problems that might affect a shopper’s online experience.

Shopbop faced two major issues. First, the Shopbop technical team was unable to effectively monitor the site’s performance and respond quickly to errors while also trying to keep pace with necessary site upgrades and frequent additions of new features and offerings that create repeat shoppers.

With almost 100 percent of the company’s revenue derived from online transactions, Shopbop risked losing valuable customers each time the site did not perform as expected or experienced downtime.

Second, it was imperative that graphics and information loaded quickly and correctly. Shopbop needed to ensure its customers continued to have access to their popular designer collections.

The Solution

Shopbop needed a Web performance monitoring solution to warn about Web host and Web site problems, as well as provide information about the cause. AlertSite® provided the expertise and capabilities Shopbop required. By routinely monitoring the site from different, rotating worldwide locations, AlertSite measured response time and compiled real-time Web host performance data and uptime availability of the Web site. AlertSite’s comprehensive performance monitoring and immediate notifications of site problems or errors allowed the technical team to allocate the necessary staff resources to address issues before they affected a customer’s shopping experience.

AlertSite also played an integral role in measuring the load time of the site and its graphics, making sure everything loaded and displayed correctly. As Shopbop continued to add new features and new designers, AlertSite services were essential in tracking the Web host’s capacity to handle the ever increasing demands Shopbop and its growing customer base placed on its server. With AlertSite’s detailed metrics, the Shopbop technical team was able to analyze trends and anticipate any potential problems future site additions or upgrades might create.

“AlertSite stands out from the all the other Web monitoring vendors we evaluated because of the data they provide, their impressive monitoring capabilities and their rapid response time in notifying us of any issues that may impact our customers’ experience,” explains Keith Davey, IT Director for

“With about 1,500,000 hits a day, the traffic volume to our site can be overwhelming to say the least. AlertSite provides the support we need to make sure our Web host and, therefore our site, can deliver an outstanding online shopping experience.”

The Conclusion

Since October 2004, AlertSite has provided Shopbop with the critical Web monitoring services necessary to ensure its online retail success. It is important for the online store to provide a hassle-free shopping experience with friendly services such as customers receive in their brick-and-mortar store. Today AlertSite continues to support Shopbop’s effort to deliver high-end fashions and outstanding customer service.

Try AlertSite free for 30 days and see why Shopbop relies on SmartBear for critical Web performance monitoring.

Not ready for a trial? Watch our video, "Ensuring Quality User Experiences on a Budget: Why S&S Worldwide Switched from Gomez to AlertSite for Web Performance Monitoring."

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