Original source: Layer0
Universal Standard is an online fashion retailer offering the most size-inclusive clothing assortment in the world. Driven by innovation and setting new standards, developers at Universal Standard sought out a modern Jamstack website solution to enhance their digital experience.
To benefit from site speed and web developer velocity, Universal Standard chose Layer0 as their all-in-one platform to develop and run their dynamic site. The fashion retailer now deploys their sub-second Nuxt store weekly and has lifted mobile conversion rate by 200%, on Layer0.
“The platform itself is very, very fast.”
Justin Metros, Head of Technology, Universal Standard
Prior to Layer0, UniversalStandard.com was a traditional Shopify site, written in its Liquid template language, hosted and served on the storefront’s servers, and deployed on its CDN.
As the site became more complex, page loads slowed down and quick iterations became more difficult on the monolithic architecture. The team needed more flexibility in all areas, from working with data, to UI display, to controlling the site itself.
The first step towards a better solution was decoupling the frontend from the backend for a headless architecture. By doing this, Universal Standard could leverage best-in-class tools in the Jamstack ecosystem, while still using Shopify for its headless eCommerce CMS and checkout system.
Hybrid Jamstack approach caching static and dynamic data at the edge
600ms page loads from PLP to PDP
40% lower bounce rate and passes Core Web Vitals
200% lift in conversion rate on mobile
Universal Standard Web Architecture with Layer0
Next, the team chose a hosting platform whose technology served their needs of website speed, CDN management and reporting, accompanied by a good developer experience. Layer0 became their powerful solution to develop, deploy, run, and monitor their headless frontend. Today, UniversalStandard.com is a Nuxt website with a GraphQL backend to fetch business data stored in Shopify and Prismic. Between the data layer and the frontend now lives Layer0, which caches GraphQL and Nuxt.js data.
The faster and easier a platform is to use, the more a developer can save time and do more. With the previous architecture, creating different staging environments became difficult and cumbersome and the development tooling was inadequate.
The Head of Technology explained that Layer0’s Git-based workflows and modern tooling meant faster and more frequent deploys. The team has the ability to work independently, run edge rules locally, preview them in pre-production, and provide feedback in real-time feedback.
“I have everything I need to solve problems and be productive,” Metros stated.
Deployments on Layer0 are accurate, accountable, and testable. Every time the team creates a branch in Layer0, they get atomic deploys and instant rollbacks. “The developer velocity has increased dramatically.”
Immediately after launching on Layer0, Universal Standard’s page loads dropped to 1.5 seconds, out of the box. Previously shoppers were waiting 4-7 seconds on average for a product page to load – even with good network conditions.
To further optimize for speed, the team leveraged edge caching through Layer0’s EdgeJS. By controlling caching within Universal Standard’s application code, the eCommerce website broke its record and achieved sub-second page loads. Additionally, the eCommerce site is passing Core Web Vitals on all key pages with the help of real-time monitoring.
Layer0 PoPs for Universal Standard
Like most eCommerce sites, Universal Standard’s product content (i.e. inventory and pricing) updates by the minute so dynamic pages are necessary for real-time updates. On Layer0, the retailer caches 95%+ of its dynamic content at the edge through nearly 100 global Point of Presence (PoPs).
“The number of PoPs reduces the amount of time it takes for those roundtrips to the network, making our latency and ping times extremely low,” stated Metros.
On average, UniversalStandard.com's homepage loads in 1.05s and transitions from product listing pages (PLP) to product description pages (PDP) load in 600ms.
Before Universal Standard made the decision to switch to a headless architecture and re-platform to Layer0, about 50% of traffic was going to both mobile and desktop. The conversion rate on mobile, however, couldn’t compete with desktop. With Layer0’s performance capabilities, Universal Standard now sees about 70% of traffic come from mobile, which has tripled the conversion rate, increased the average order value by 42%, decreased the bounce rate by 40%, and lifted revenue by 81% year-over-year. Mobile users are spending triple the amount of time on site, with durations up by 200%. “It’s clear, our users are enjoying their experience more with a faster site.”
Universal Standard has a shared Slack channel with Layer0 developers and solution engineers to quickly solve issues and offer help. “The Layer0 team is phenomenal,” Metros said, “The team always comes to the table with ideas and a willingness to help — and they’re super knowledgeable.” When our customers feel empowered to build best-in-class solutions for their specific needs, we win as a company. We understand the complexities of running a dynamic eCommerce website, and have dedicated teams providing support at any step of the way.
“As a customer of Layer0, I feel like we’re in really good hands.”
If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to develop, deploy, split test, accelerate and monitor your front-end we can help. Join industry leaders, including Universal Standard, Shoe Carnival, Sharper Image, and more, reaping the benefits of a simple developer workflow and an instant-loading site on Layer0.
***The whole is greater than the sum of our parts. Many of our client case studies and products were originally part of Limelight, Layer0 or Edgecast. Limelight acquired Layer 0 then Edgecast to become Edgio, the complete platform you have today, so we’ve aggregated those case studies in a single library.
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