YETI Coolers Keeps Focus on Cold Instead of IT Support

When Austin brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders got sick of replacing their cheap coolers after every hunting and fishing trip, they decided to build a better cooler.

YETI Coolers was born in 2006, and the high end, industrial strength coolers — they’re even certified bear-proof — quickly gained a cult following among fellow outdoors enthusiasts.

But with that popularity came a rapid increase in sales, and capturing that business with a versatile ecommerce platform became a challenge.

Lacking an internal IT team and the know-how to combine their multiple online sites, YETI needed a partner that could provide that expertise — so the company could focus on making and selling the world’s most rugged cooler.

Enter Rackspace, which in 2012 began working with YETI to launch a full redesign of their ecommerce platform, switching to a hybrid Magento environment that scales for traffic spikes and allows for seamless integration between the company’s web and mobile sites.

In the three years since, YETI’s online sales have increased more than 750 percent.

Sara Kenton, YETI’s director of digital, cites Rackspace Digital and the Fanatical Support it provides for Magento as one of the factors behind the company’s impressive growth.

“Making an ecommerce platform go responsive comes with a significant amount of performance risk,” Kenton said. “And we wanted to minimize that, so we knew from the beginning we needed someone with expertise in Magento.”

That led her to choose Rackspace, but Kenton said she soon discovered that the support she received both during the redesign and beyond has redefined the way she approaches her IT operations.

“Working with Rackspace is the closest thing to having a dedicated IT team on-site,” she said.

Kenton also knew that given YETI’s active audience, maintaining efficiency across multiple devices was the key to growing the business — a mission that drove YETI to work with Rackspace Digital experts to incorporate responsive web design into their redesigned ecommerce site.

Hear Sara Kenton speak at Solve Dallas on June 25th—Sign Up Below!

YETI’s responsive website streamlines and optimizes its site display across all electronic devices. By doing so, YETI is able to keep a lean internal ecommerce team that can adapt quickly for product launches as well as spikes in traffic associated with major holidays and retail events.

YETI’s new platform has also allowed it to more than double the amount of customers they connect with via mobile devices; today, two-thirds of YETI’s traffic comes from mobile users.

“And it all lives on Rackspace,” Kenton said, adding that when YETI updates things like products or merchandising units on their website, they only have to do it once, and it works across all devices.

“While YETI has grown, we still have the heart of a start-up,” Kenton said. “We want to grow and scale efficiently from a resource standpoint. Having a responsive site helps grow revenue without growing headcount.”

Now that YETI’s redesign is complete and the business is thriving, Kenton takes comfort in the service-oriented relationship that Rackspace continues to provide for YETI.

“I like to think that there’s a mission control somewhere in San Antonio looking at our metrics — and as soon as something goes wrong, even if I’m asleep, they’re resolving it,” she said.

Come hear YETI and other companies talk about how Rackspace has helped solve their ecommerce challenges at the free Rackspace::Solve Dallas event on June 25.

For more information about the solutions Rackspace provided for YETI, visit the newsroom here

Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at blog@rackspace.com.

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