GUESS? Inc. designs, markets, distributes, and licenses a lifestyle collection of contemporary apparel, denim, handbags, watches, eyewear, footwear, and other related consumer products. These products are distributed through branded GUESS Stores, as well as department and specialty stores around the world, and via e-commerce sites available to 55 countries. GUESS websites act as virtual storefronts that both sell their products and promote their brands, showcasing products in an easy-to-navigate experience that allows customers to see and purchase from its collections.
GUESS was having increasing difficulty delivering an exceptional user experience because it was relying on an antiquated image management system that was incompatible with modern browsers. While visiting WebPageTest.org, GUESS discovered how Cloudinary could optimize images and minimize page load time, and made the switch.
In this blog, learn how Cloudinary helped GUESS automate and innovate its image management process. Cloudinary significantly improved performance for the most image-rich pages, while making the workflow for the company’s creative studio, merchandising team, and developers more efficient.
For years GUESS had relied on Adobe Scene7 – a Flash-reliant product – to manage images for its online store. But with Flash being phased out, developers needed to find a new way to deliver the high-quality web experience it wanted to offer customers. Plus, their system was very volatile, creating bottlenecks because image upload would failed and photo editors had to individually crop photos with extra white space around them so they would appear properly on the site, and optimized photos were often larger in size than the originals.
These weren’t only a problem for developers; it impacted the user experience too. Heavier images meant slower page load times, and unnecessary bandwidth usage by visitors. “Optimizing images is important when people don’t have unlimited data,” said Sasha Mattison, senior front-end developer and UX manager. “We didn’t want our customers to incur unnecessary data charges or go over their monthly limits.”
As it assessed its site performance on WebPageTest.org, GUESS developers discovered Cloudinary and saw firsthand how its image optimization solution could significantly improve page performance. “It was exciting to have a new, modern platform, like Cloudinary, which was much more advanced than what we were using. Cloudinary is always innovating with new functionalities and is at the forefront of modern technology. With a company the size of GUESS, that’s exactly what we needed,” Mattison added.
In a global migration, GUESS replaced Adobe Scene7 with Cloudinary. Images are first uploaded in bulk via FTP directly to G-Image—a custom, homegrown solution that, via APIs, acts as a conduit to Cloudinary and allows images to be sorted and labeled properly. “The ability to organize in Cloudinary is so much more robust than our previous solution, which really improves our day-to-day workflows,” said Lidia Rojas, senior front-end developer.
GUESS uploads a single version of each image and uses Cloudinary to automatically scale images based on viewport, browser, and other factors without much manual intervention. Cloudinary automatically adjusts image URLs so that they all are optimized for size, format, and render properly, regardless of the device or browser.
Cloudinary’s Product Gallery also enabled GUESS to improve performance of product detail pages (PDPs) for both mobile and desktop users. Cloudinary’s auto-responsive Product Gallery provides GUESS the flexibility needed to deliver the same, high-quality user experience, regardless of device.
Since GUESS has started optimizing images with Cloudinary, they’ve seen significant performance improvement and a better customer experience. “That’s a priority for us. We are nothing if we don’t have great visuals. And with Cloudinary, we are confident that our customers are always getting the best experience,” Mattison noted.
Reducing page load time and improving performance of its product listing and detail pages has resulted in an increase in conversions because visitors are able to better navigate the store, whether they’re on a mobile device or at their desktop
With Cloudinary, GUESS is more agile because it streamlined its internal workflows with bulk upload and cache clearing capabilities, eliminating previously manual processes and saving many hours of time each week. And, Cloudinary’s team helped customize the store’s image viewer on product detail pages to achieve GUESS’s desired results. These features helped GUESS launch new products and deploy creative, interactive landing pages, which were not possible before.
“Cloudinary specializes in images. Learning from, and working with, a company that is an image expert provided us with knowledge and capabilities that we didn’t have on our own,” concluded Rojas. “It would have been expensive and resource-intensive to train developers and accomplish what we’ve done so quickly with Cloudinary.”