[Case Study] How Dolls Kill Sustains 100% Uptime, Blazing Fast Performance, and Hyper-Growth with Webscale

by | Sep 27, 2019

Andrew Humber

Andrew hails from the UK, but headed for the warmer Bay Area climate over a decade ago. When he’s not being Webscale’s VP of Marketing, he’s a husband, father, dog walker, wine taster, and hopeless home improver.

Dolls Kill, a leading global online fashion retailer, celebrates a rebellious spirit and attitude, mixed with a bit of punk rock, goth, glam, and festival fashion. The company was named the “Fastest Growing Retailer” in 2014 by Inc Magazine.

Dolls Kill’s Magento website (dollskill.com) is the focal point of the brand and business. It evolved rapidly from a niche destination for edgy fashion to an enterprise-level site with thousands of customers shopping from all around the world, during all times of the day.

Killing Downtime was a Priority

Dolls Kill was previously using a managed hosting solution with dedicated servers. Scalability was a key challenge as the infrastructure was unable to cope with massive, unpredictable surges in site traffic, especially when Dolls Kill’s marketing team ran email promotions, viral social posts, and influencer campaigns.

Every year, Dolls Kill would witness multiple site crashes stretching into several hours between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which collectively cost the business millions of dollars in lost sales. The online store would become sluggish and prone to frequent downtime. What’s more, it took at least a day to spin up additional servers.

In order to support and sustain its hyper-growth, Dolls Kill needed a highly scalable infrastructure that could ensure their customers had a great user experience whenever they accessed the online store. “We have big plans for the Dolls Kill brand over the next few years and we already have millions of customers a month on our site. They’re more active than normal e-commerce customers in terms of page views and time spent on site. So it’s really important that our infrastructure is able to scale to support those big plans,” said Andrew Savage, Chief Operating Officer at Dolls Kill.

Webscale: The Tech and the Team

“We decided to use Webscale because of the tech and the team,” said Andrew.

Webscale supported Dolls Kill’s migration to AWS (from managed hosting) and helped design and implement the site’s AWS architecture, which offers them virtually infinite capacity and scalability.

Webscale provides Dolls Kill with a stable, secure, and scalable hosting infrastructure, without the prior overheads of designing, implementing, and managing it. Webscale also offers unlimited, real-time, and predictive auto-scaling, capable of forecasting traffic surges and scaling ahead of demand automatically to ensure 100% uptime, at all times. This enables the brand to prevent the loss of millions of dollars in sales due to downtime. Furthermore, it keeps page load times consistent, and the site blazing fast and always available, regardless of the traffic volume. “We see much faster site performance and much less downtime on Webscale than we did on managed hosting,” added Andrew. “What’s really great about that is that it frees up our team because we don’t have to worry about that aspect of our operation, to focus on the things that we do best.”

During subsequent Holiday Seasons (including Black Friday and Cyber Monday) after deploying Webscale , the site performed much faster, was more responsive, and witnessed zero downtime. “Webscale is instrumental in helping us get through the holiday season,” confirmed Andrew.

In addition, Webscale’s portal provides Dolls Kill with visibility into server load, and enables the identification and mitigation of cybersecurity threats.

Customer Support that Delivers, No Matter What

With Webscale’s 24×7 proactive customer support, Dolls Kill has acquired an extension to its own team – one that frees up their own employees, so they can focus on the business, and not maintenance and management of infrastructure, as the online merchant’s business grows exponentially. The brand has round-the-clock access to Webscale’s award-winning team of cloud and e-commerce experts, with more than 30 accreditations and certifications across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (CGP), and Microsoft Azure. “They’re really an extension of our team. We don’t think of them as a vendor. We think of them as part of the team,” concluded Andrew.

Hear Dolls Kill’s story, in their own words, in this video.

If you would like us to help you achieve similar results for your online storefront, drop us a note at sales@webscale.com.

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