OneDollarOnly.com.sg - Case Study

Friday, November 22, 2019

Singapore’s Preferred Online Dollar Store

OneDollarOnly.com.sg is a 24/7 online shopping site. OneDollarOnly.com.sg is one of the sales channels of its parent company, Giftionery Internationals. It focuses on high-quality and low priced items such as stationery, gifts, corporate premiums, and children’s products. Combining this no-frills, no-nonsense philosophy with delivery provides a unique position in the eCommerce market.

The primary customers of OneDollarOnly.com.sg are the staff at public and private educational institutions. They purchase a large number of cost-effective gifts for students periodically throughout the year. Improving the online experience for them was critical.

To improve page load time, OneDollarOnly.com.sg used the image CDN, ImageEngine.

Here is what they found:

“Despite our own optimization of product images and Shopify having its own CDN, ImageEngine immediately improved results by reducing load times from 30s to 6.7s and bounce rate improved by 80%. With ImageEngine, we boosted sales by over 10% during our peak sales season.”

Christopher Tan,
VP of Technology and Operations, OneDollarOnly.com.sg

The Problem

OneDollarOnly.com.sg has gone through three incarnations and is now hosted by Shopify since 2015. They had experimented with various apps and approaches to the website. Page load-time was a particular problem, many mobile users’ pages took as long as 30 seconds to load. While Shopify ensures an acceptable first paint time, the time it takes for the first pixels to show on the screen, and slow page load-time was particularly painful for OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s mobile users. Mobile buyers make up over 80% of OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s visitors during peak period. Therefore, slow pages were causing missed sales.

Another problem generated by slow page-loading was its impact on search engine results. Since Google updated its ranking algorithm to factor in site speed, OneDollarOnly.com.sg felt more pressure to accelerate their site to improve rankings on important Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

A large reason for slow page-loading was the number of images and their payload size. In general, the images were larger than they needed

To improve their website user experience, OneDollarOnly.com.sg engaged in a trial of ImageEngine, a device-aware image CDN. They sought a solution that would accelerate their site, maintain image quality, and improve key marketing KPIs such as SEO, bounce rate, pages visited, and total time on site.

The ImageEngine Solution

Previously, OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) included with Shopify’s service. However, that did not have a focus on image optimization. OneDollarOnly.com.sg selected ImageEngine because it seamlessly combines three services.

First, ImageEngine leverages ScientiaMobile’s WURFL device detection to identify the devices coming to OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s website. Once requesting devices are detected by the network’s edge servers, ImageEngine uses intelligence about the device to drive image resizing and compression. For example, ImageEngine detects screen and viewport dimensions, screen resolution (PPI ratio), operating system, and image file types supported. It proactively detects device information without using slow, cumbersome javascript.

Second, ImageEngine leverages this device information to automatically resize, compress, and convert images to next-gen image formats (WebP, JPEG 2000) in real-time. It optimizes only when images are requested. ImageEngine also caches images, so there is no need to resize them for subsequent requests from identical devices.

Third, ImageEngine uses its global image CDN with device-aware edge servers. This means that ImageEngine’s logic is pushed to the edge of its global network. Images are cached as close to customers as possible, resulting in a faster mobile and desktop Google page speed score.

The Deployment

OneDollarOnly.com.sg operates its website on the Shopify platform. Shopify has a CDN integrated, but as noted, it was not addressing OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s need for image optimization. Even though it was the peak season for OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s sales, they took the risky decision to implement ImageEngine. They followed a short four-step process to replace the Shopify CDN with ImageEngine. ImageEngine provided responsive onboarding support OneDollarOnly.com.sg. This made the process quick and streamlined To customers and visitors, the CDN replacement was transparent. Likewise, image quality was unaffected.

Results

The risk of switching to ImageEngine during their peak season paid off for OneDollarOnly.com.sg. They can attribute that improved image loading increases sales by over 10%.

OneDollarOnly.com.sg reduced their total image payload, which improved performance and lowered CDN costs. Originally, the total image payload was 77GB per month on OneDollarOnly.com.sg. After implementing ImageEngine, OneDollarOnly.com.sg delivered only 42GB of images per month, which was a reduction of 41% savings.

And an increasing amount of OneDollarOnly.com.sg’s visitors are using mobile devices. Therefore, ImageEngine’s ability to optimize specifically for both Google Chrome browsers on Android phones and Safari browsers on iPhones is crucial. For example, ImageEngine converts the images to JP2 (JPEG 2000). For OneDollarOnly.com.sg, this resulted in a 46% savings on JP2 image format payload.

Similarly, ImageEngine was able to deliver images from its edge server cache more than 99% of the time. This means no delays caused by going back to the origin source and re-optimizing images. By serving optimized images from the cache of its edge servers.

OneDollarOnly.com.sg was able to reduce page load-time by many seconds. Where before many mobile users were waiting up to 30 seconds, ImageEngine cut the complete load time to 6.7 seconds.

OneDollarOnly.com.sg also saw huge improvements in many of their website engagement metrics. Their bounce rate on mobile devices dropped 80%: from 46% before ImageEngine to 9% after deploying. Also, visitors grew by 72% and pageviews per session grew from 5.45 to 9 pages, or a 70% increase. All of these improvements helped increase revenue for OneDollarOnly.com.sg.

ImageEngine’s simplicity and ScientiaMobile’s 24/7 support made this roll-out quick and streamlined. ScientiaMobile’s support team not only helped ensure a smooth transition during implementation, but they also helped OneDollarOnly.com.sg later on as they started to focus on optimizing their eCommerce site for mobile.