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EdgeWorkers Use Story: Creating high-performing, individualized campaign responses in online retail

As campaigns and digital experiences become more individualized, they can create a challenge for delivering content to consumers at the highest velocity. Having each paid search, social media, and email marketing campaign add unique query string parameters to requests is critical for tracking the ROI of a company's marketing spend. This pursuit of granular user data can place a stubborn limit on the ability of B2C companies to maximize the benefits of cached content -- particularly in terms of maximizing offload of content delivery.

As one Akamai customer found, it is possible to take full advantage of the content delivery benefits of the edge without sacrificing the granular customer data garnered from unique campaigns -- through their utilization of EdgeWorkers.

The Customer:

As a major North American online retailer, our customer manages myriad marketing campaigns -- across social media, paid search, direct email, and other channels. Their success has created a new challenge: how to individualize customer experiences at scale. After all, the success of marketing campaigns is often measured in clicks and volumes of traffic, but increases in traffic to origin can often result in downgraded site or application performance.

The Challenge:

To track the success of individual marketing campaigns, forward-leaning B2C organizations often create a wide set of tags that are added to query strings. For our customer, the query string parameters added to paid search, social media, and other campaigns resulted in decreased offloads, as the unique values they created were going to origin rather than being served from the cache. These unique query strings -- created to track the performance of multiple, personalized campaigns -- generated 301 redirects and were causing edge cache fragmentation.

The Solution:

Working DIY, our customer quickly created and optimized a JavaScript function at the edge that satisfied both their traffic analytics and content delivery goals. The EdgeWorker they created granularly controls the edge cache key while ignoring the query strings that were causing fragmentation of user experiences. The function as a service (FaaS) they built temporarily removes the query strings that were the source of the slowdown in content delivery, allows cached content to be served to the customer, then adds them back to the redirect location to maintain the desired analytics visibility.

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The Benefits:

Using EdgeWorkers improved offload by granularly controlling the edge cache key, ignoring the SEO query strings that were causing fragmentation, but adding those queries to the redirect location to maintain analytics visibility. The removal of SEO URLs resulted in reduced end-user latency.

 

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