Motorcycle Superstore Cuts Firewall Management Costs By 10%, Security Hardware Costs By 15%

  • June 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM EDT
  • By Alicia Esposito
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As consumers continue to browse and buy on their laptops, smartphones and tablets, it is imperative that retailers offer a scalable shopping experience — as well as one that prohibits application-level attacks and ensures PCI compliance. Motorcycle Superstore, an online motorcycle and powersports retailer, has implemented multiple solutions from Akamai Technologies, a cloud platform solution provider, to reduce firewall management costs, decrease attack traffic and improve overall site performance.

By leveraging Akamai’s Web Application Firewall solution, Motorcycle Superstore cut attack traffic management costs by 10%, due to “the ability to drop any potential threats before they ever get into the server,” according to Jason Miller, VP of Technology for Motorcycle Superstore. Initially, up to 10% of the traffic trying to enter the eTailer’s web site violates the company’s firewall rules, Miller stated. All threats are now tackled with the automated and layered application firewall safeguard.

In addition, with more secure protection, Motorcycle Superstore has reduced capital expenditures on security hardware by 15%, allowing the eTailer to maintain customer data integrity and PCI compliance more cost-effectively.

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“Now none of our firewalls or servers have to deal with risky traffic that needs to be filtered or dropped completely,” Miller told Retail TouchPoints. “This investment was a savings in overall costs as well as a terrific boost in performance.”

Web Application Firewall is part of Akamai’s KONA solution suite. Offering users a layer of protection against application-level attacks, Web Application Firewall was designed to mitigate business risks and improve customer confidence by ensuring shopper data — including payment information — is secure during the entire shopping journey. 

Through Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator, Motorcycle Superstore also has optimized site load times for its e-Commerce and mobile-optimized sites. Faced with high-traffic peaks during the holiday and spring seasons, the eTailer needed a robust solution “that didn’t require us to build up additional infrastructure during the rest of the year,” Miller said. “We wanted to provide a better end-user experience that was scalable and able to deal with those traffic peaks.”

Fulfilling Mobile Expectations

To create a more streamlined and enjoyable mobile browsing and buying experience, Motorcycle Superstore implemented Akamai’s AQUA Mobile Solutions, including AQUA Mobile Accelerator as well as Mobile Detection and Redirect. These solutions were designed to ensure shoppers receive mobile-adapted content when accessing the web site through smartphones and tablets.

“When consumers are roaming and trying to browse on different mobile networks, it’s really important to be able to give users content as quickly as possible,” Miller explained. “This is especially key because you don’t know their bandwidth or the quality of their network while they’re roaming.”

Since leveraging Akamai’s solutions for its mobile-optimized site, the eTailer has increased year-over-year sales in the channel by 200%. To better address this continued growth, the eTailer is continuing to utilize Akamai to make its mobile optimized site even more robust, Miller explained.

“Initially, we thought the mobile site would be used more for browsing and checking prices,” Miller said. “But once we launched the site we learned that consumers were very interested in buying through their mobile devices.”

To further optimize the mobile experience, Motorcycle Superstore is perfecting its mobile email strategies. Approximately 20% of the brand’s email messages sent to consumers are opened via some form of mobile device, Miller explained. Noting this, the company is recreating its email landing page content and optimizing layout for mobile devices. “This improvement will allow consumers to open an email via mobile device and go directly to streamlined versions of our marketing collateral,” he reported, “such as specials or deals of the day.”

Additionally, Motorcycle Superstore is running additional tests to determine the psychology and overall preferences of tablet shoppers. Results will aid the company in determining the most efficient investments for increasing conversions, engagement and the overall experience of interacting with Motorcycle Superstore on tablet devices.

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