Client Success Story

Men’s Apparel Retailer Increases Digital Capacity after Cyber Monday Crash

Cyber Monday turns into Cybercrash Monday for Bonobos. Zaelab steps in to assess and improve the site.

For online retailers, Cyber Monday marks a day of increased traffic, high sales, and heightened brand awareness. But when men’s apparel online retailer Bonobos had their site crash on Cyber Monday, they suffered damaging results. Zaelab provided digital advisory services and solutions to ensure that this would never happen again.

Continue reading to learn:
  • Why an architectural analysis conducted by a digital advisory is a key initial step
  • How Zaelab implemented a scalable, cloudbased platform for all volumes of site traffic
  • Why a new deployment process introduced better QA processes for Bonobos

Cybercrash airs Bonobos dirty laundry

Apparel brand Bonobos experienced one of the worst fates possible for an online retailer: on Cyber Monday, the Bonobos website crashed.

Under the heavy weight of traffic during one of the most anticipated shopping days of the calendar year, Bonobos was unavailable. Not only did the retailer lose out on significant sales, but their reputation also took a hit, calling into question the retailer’s credibility. The Bonobos chief technology officer needed guidance and support from a digital advisory to understand what went wrong, and how this could be avoided in the future.

Digital experiences need to be seamless across all channels. Nearly 20% of Cyber Monday sales were made on a smart device last year, at over a$120 average order price.

Zaelab steps in to help Bonobos

Bonobos called upon Zaelab to help with the situation. After explaining what had happened on Cyber Monday, Zaelab knew a swift plan of action would be required. The digital advisory called on its advisory and execution services and recommended a four-step approach to improve the Bonobos site:

  • Architectural Analysis
    Zaelab performed an architectural analysis of the Bonobos site in order to understand how the brand was using the current system. This allowed the digital advisory to provide Bonobos with insightful and relevant recommendations.
  • Cloud-Based Transition
    Zaelab implemented a scalable, cloud-based platform that could adjust to the ebbs and flows of traffic throughout the year so performance of the site would not be compromised.
  • Platform Tune-Up
    In order to ensure that all functions would run efficiently, the Zaelab team conducted a platform tune-up.
  • New Features & Flexibility
    Finally, Zaelab added new features and flexibility to the site that would meet user expectations and trends, ultimately driving more business for the brand.

Cyber Monday one year later: Bonobos thrives

The next Cyber Monday, one year from the crash, Bonobos had the biggest single day in the history of the brand. The platform was tested at 16 times the projected load for that day and increased sales by 17%. The successful collaboration between Zaelab and Bonobos also enabled the brand to overcome a backlog of feature implementations and enabled the company to increase their overall capacity.

The Bonobos platform was tested at 16 times the projected load and sales increased by 17%.

“That was our goal the whole time,” says Klein, “to not just meet market needs, but also anticipate them. With our advisory approach and implemented solutions, Bonobos was able to handle more traffic than what was anticipated the following year. And that’s a win for everyone.”

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Company Snapshot


Industry: Retail
Sector: Men’s Apparel
Overview: Bonobos is an e-commerce-driven apparel subsidiary of Walmart headquartered in New York City that designs and sells men’s clothing. The store has a specific emphasis on the sale of men’s suits, trousers, denim, shirts, shorts, swimwear, outerwear and accessories.
Challenge: After suffering a site crash on Cyber Monday, the most high traffic day for ecommerce sales all year, Bonobos needed to reevaluate their site architecture and set the business up for future success.

Further relevant reading

If you enjoyed this case study, you may also like to download the recording of our webinar Leveraging Your Commerce Investment. The content discusses how digital transformation is ever-evolving, and what the market demanded from commerce experiences five years, three years and even one year ago has changed. Platform provider SAP and digital advisory Zaelab have stayed one step ahead of innovation and market needs, to equip your business with the tools and insights you need to keep competitive.

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