Case Study

Japanese Online Retailer Meets Global Demand For Latest Fashion Trends

Source: Dell Inc.

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Start Today runs Japan’s fastest growing fashion website, Zozotown. Having captured a youth market hungry for the latest trends and seeking advice on fashion recommendations, Start Today needed to ensure the site could sustain enormous increases in traffic during sale periods.

Since former rock musician Yusaku Maezawa founded the retail site Zozotown in 2004, it has become the largest online shopping channel in Japan, selling around 1,500 brands to subscribers located across 82 countries. Marketed as the ultimate shopping partner for hip Japanese youth, consumers are drawn to the site for fashion tips and advice, and the opportunity to buy the latest brands often modelled by Zozotown employees. Customers have enjoyed the highly personalized approach to online shopping on both zozotown.jp and its associated website spin offs and revenue growth has consistently improved by 150 percent every year since the company began.

Start Today began to maintain and operate its own database infrastructure at the same time that it launched Zozotown. Since then consumer awareness of the Zozotown brand has skyrocketed, when a television advertising campaign in 2010 brought the site to the attention of the entire country. As a result, the site’s 1.5 million registered users tripled to 6 million users within two years. Originally scoped for thousands of subscribers the existing database solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 needed to be upgraded to meet the explosive demand for Zozotown’s fashion brands. To ensure customers experience the same high level of service whenever they shop and to provide the needed scalability to support new company ventures and expansion in to overseas markets, a system upgrade was required.

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