Solution Case Performance

Small is Big: Visitors storm babymarkt.de


Baby and infant clothing specialist babymarkt.de launched an advertising campaign to achieve its targeted growth figures. The large-scale TV advertising campaign did not remain without consequence for the online shop of the Dortmund-based company: a massive flood of visitors pushed the capacity of the online shop to the maximum within just a few hours. Although a number of measures had been implemented in advance, the shop operators had not anticipated such a huge demand.

babymarkt.de launched its own online shop in 2003. 2010 then saw the dawn of a new era for babymarkt.de: retail giant Tengelmann acquired an interest in babymarkt.de GmbH. The Tengelmann Group, which also holds the brands OBI, KIK and Plus.de, has since then formulated clear plans and target specifications: babymarkt.de is to become the market leader among the portals for baby and children's clothing in Germany. Hence the launch of a large-scale advertising offensive in August 2012 that kicked off with a TV advertising campaign on the channels of the German ProSiebenSat1 Television Group.

Focus on multi-client capability and extendibility

Change of e-commerce platform

August 2012: Andreas Ziethen and his team were waiting for the first TV advert for babymarkt.de and watched the server access stats with baited breath. As soon as ProSieben ran the TV advert the load on the online shop's server jumped rapidly upwards. "I had expected to see a clear increase in traffic but was nonetheless surprised by its extent", says Andreas Ziethen, head of development at babymarkt.de. Suddenly, up to ten times as many visitors accessed the online shop, which is based on the OXID eShop 4.5 Enterprise Edition. Another advertising campaign a few days later generated a fourfold increase in online orders within just a few hours. This high traffic scenario, however, was no problem for Ziethen and his eight-strong in-house team as they had begun to prepare babymarkt.de for this kind of visitor peak well in advance. The old platform had been replaced even before the acquisition by Tengelmann as it had proved to be too inflexible and insufficiently scalable. "We were looking for a system that was multi-client capable and extendible with regard future requirements and functions. The OXID eShop Enterprise Edition was a particularly convincing solution thanks to its microcosm of modules and extensions that builds on the standard software", says Andreas Ziethen in explaining his selection criteria. The babymarkt.de online shop has been based on the OXID eShop Enterprise Edition since 2010. In preparation for the TV advertising campaign the babymarkt.de team initially deactivated some of the standard functions of OXID eShop that were not required, thus speeding up the system's overall performance. OXID handling was also optimized for the corresponding URLs.

"We have created a solid basis for future growth with the OXID eShop Enterprise Edition. The system is scalable and offers a variety of extension options. We can handle extreme visitor peaks outstandingly well thanks to the super-caching system."

Andreas Ziethen, Entwicklungsleiter babymarkt.de GmbH


Enhancing performance

Super-cache technology

The babymarkt.de team and hosting partner SysEleven collaborated on the development of a super-cache technology that stores complete pages intermediately in a cache for call-up. Specific pages are removed from the cache on an ongoing basis via a cache API as the information from the ERP system has to be up to date at all times. Dynamic includes were also integrated in the system to continuously update the contents of mini shopping baskets. "The interplay between the OXID eShop and the cache solution works very well", says Andreas Ziethen in summing up. The shop has more than 40,000 articles in stock. Inventory levels and product data are updated and details of customers and their order are transferred to the ERP system by the minute. Additionally, article-related data is exported via cron job to more than 15 product portals. 60 per cent of total website traffic is redirected from these portals alone. The head of development is convinced: "We would not have been able to cope with the rapid surge in visitor numbers without these conversions".

Fast integration of new functionalities

Module extensions

Integrating additional functions to optimize ordering processes was an essential task in view of the planned expansion. babymarkt.de integrated both customized module developments and existing module extensions to the online shop that are quickly connected to the OXID eShop. They included, for instance, a function that calculates express delivery times on the basis of the actual time of order placement under consideration of weekends and public holidays. Ziethen's team also implemented numerous other content modules such as a toy finder.

Sales increase of 50 per cent

The result

The TV advertising campaign was effective: online shop sales grew by 50 per cent in 2012 alone. The customer's shopping experience was never impaired despite the large amount of traffic: pages are compiled very quickly, and orders and transactions can be processed without delay. The shop is meanwhile online in nine countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, France and Sweden), and the shop in each country is based on its own client. Around 40,000 articles held in stock by babymarkt.de are stored in a central database; the ranges offered by each online shop are compiled from the database content with little effort. Integrating the country clients in OXID was "very simple", says Ziethen. babymarkt.de intends to expand its product range in the future and start preparations for mobile business activities. The shop was successfully converted to responsive templates in collaboration with WBL Konzept at the end of 2013. A proprietary babymarkt app is planned for 2014.

Greater flexibility for marketing campaigns

Facts at a glance

  • Greater flexibility through a new e-commerce platform
  • Multi-client capability enables shops in different countries
  • Simple module-based function extensions
  • Super-caching technology for enhanced performance
  • Handling of high traffic loads without additional servers
  • Convenient inventory management for worldwide shops