Sefamerve: Increasing ecommerce conversion rates by 20%

About Sefamerve

Founded in 2010, Sefamerve is a Turkish ecommerce site offering a wide range of women’s clothing including Islamic- and plus-size ranges.

Industries: Retail
Location: Turkey

About Global IT

Based in Los Angeles, Global IT is a tech support and cloud services company that has a wealth of experience in managing large-scale cloud migrations.

Sefamerve migrates its infrastructure to Compute Engine with Cloud Pub/Sub and Cloud Load Balancing to create a more flexible infrastructure and increase conversion rates.

Google Cloud Results

  • Helps enable easy scaling with Compute Engine to meet traffic doubling over peak periods
  • Reduces downtime from 24 hours to 2 to 4 hours annually
  • Cuts page load times in half, leading to twice as many campaign page views and increasing conversion rates by 20%

Page load times halved following GCP migration

With the Islamic economy growing at nearly double the global rate, according to Reuters and DinarStandard, and the Islamic clothing sector booming (from approximately $2.9 billion in 2010 to $266 billion in 2013, and a predicted $488 billion by 2019 according to The Global Islamic Economy report), many are jumping on the modest wear bandwagon.

In 2010, Turkish company Sefamerve identified this lucrative market and began offering stylish Islamic clothing, shoes, bags, and children’s clothes via its ecommerce site and mobile apps, which it now ships to 65 countries worldwide. “There’s a huge market for Islamic clothing in Turkey and beyond,” says Isa Semih Akçıra, CTO at Sefamerve. “Our customers want to be able to access a variety of styles through a portal that is simple to use and offers quick, efficient service.”

“We design a lot of our systems in house, including our ERP and CRM systems. We try to automate as much as we can: the challenge is to create a flexible system requiring as little maintenance as possible, as staff costs impact profits.”

Isa Semih Akçıra, CTO, Sefamerve

“We’re a very dynamic company in terms of business development, and we export around the world,” Isa explains. “That means we want to be able to adapt to the needs of different markets, and to be able to add a new supplier or shipment company quickly. That requires a system that is flexible and responsive.”

Sefamerve also has a dynamic marketing department that frequently launches campaigns and promotions at short notice, which can lead to spikes in traffic on the site. The company’s previous hosted servers were not able to cope with the sudden additional traffic, leading to reduced website performance at critical times. It looked for an infrastructure that was more flexible and could manage peaks in demand. With the help of implementation partner Global IT, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provided the solution.

“We design a lot of our systems in house, including our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relations Management) systems,” explains Isa. “We try to automate as much as we can: the challenge is to create a flexible system requiring as little maintenance as possible, as staff costs impact profits.”

“As our IT team is relatively small, we needed something simple to use, with an intuitive interface. With Google Compute Engine, it’s very easy to create servers or implement load balancing.”

Isa Semih Akçıra, CTO, Sefamerve

Scaling for unexpected peaks

For marketing campaigns to be effective, ecommerce websites need to be able to cope with peaks in traffic in order to translate page views into profit. “Sometimes, we decide spontaneously to shoot a TV advertisement campaign, and the finished ad can be ready within a few hours. That leads to spikes in traffic on our website, where the number of page visits can double,” says Isa.

Previously, Sefamerve’s infrastructure ran on a dedicated physical server hosted by a Turkish provider that was not able to cope with these peaks. It looked for a cloud provider that would solve its performance issues and provide more flexibility in terms of capacity, without requiring new in-house IT technicians.

To do that, with the help of Global IT, Sefamerve migrated its infrastructure to Compute Engine on GCP, with Cloud Pub/Sub and Cloud Load Balancing. “The migration took around a week, and we spent a week making sure everything was working. Then we hit the button and switched; it was very smooth,” says Isa.

“As our IT team is relatively small, we needed something simple to use, with an intuitive interface,” says Isa. “With Google Compute Engine, it’s very easy to create servers or implement load balancing.”

“Our downtime has decreased and our page response time has halved. That has meant that during campaigns, our page views have doubled, leading to a 20% increase in our conversion rate. In financial terms, the move to Google Cloud Platform has been a big success.”

Isa Semih Akçıra, CTO, Sefamerve

Reducing downtime from days to hours

One of the problems Sefamerve was experiencing was downtime, with 24 hours of downtime recorded in the year leading up to the migration. “It was a real problem for us. As for any ecommerce operation, downtime means lost sales,” says Isa. “The downtime was mostly related to problems with our data center. In the six months since migrating to GCP, we have only had an hour or two of system downtime at the most, mostly in relation to system management.”

Improved conversion rates

As well as solving its issues with downtime, moving to GCP has brought tangible benefits for Sefamerve. “Our downtime has decreased and our page response time has halved,” says Isa. “That has meant that during campaigns, our page views have doubled, leading to a 20% increase in our conversion rate. In financial terms, the move to Google Cloud Platform has been a big success.”

Now, Sefamerve is planning to implement a robust microservices infrastructure to offer even more flexibility and extend its use of GCP products. “We would like to move beyond our traditional structure and containerize our infrastructure with Kubernetes, as well as use machine learning services to automate further, and BigQuery for advanced data analysis,” says Isa. “Not many companies in Turkey are using those kinds of approaches, and we want to stay ahead.”

Isa concludes: “The big goal for us is to personalize our content for the global markets we sell to and adapt our website and mobile app to speak to those local customers and their experiences. With support from Global IT, we can achieve that by building a new agile microservices infrastructure on GCP.”

About Sefamerve

Founded in 2010, Sefamerve is a Turkish ecommerce site offering a wide range of women’s clothing including Islamic- and plus-size ranges.

Industries: Retail
Location: Turkey

About Global IT

Based in Los Angeles, Global IT is a tech support and cloud services company that has a wealth of experience in managing large-scale cloud migrations.

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Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

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