Case Study Pharmacy Direct

Pharmacy Direct is Australia's first online pharmacy, and has been providing medication and general products to the whole of Australia since 1996

Caitlin Probert, the head of online operations at Pharmacy Direct, was facing a serious challenge. Despite the company's investment of $900,000 and 2-3 years of effort to replace their legacy infrastructure with a new eCommerce platform based on Opencart 3 CMS, they were plagued with poor performance. Pages took up to 22 seconds to load, negatively impacting search rankings, user engagement, shopping cart values, and sales conversions. Caitlin and her team were desperate for a solution and even considered abandoning their platform redevelopment.

Caitlin was introduced to Dan, a representative from Peakhour, who offered a promising solution to Pharmacy Direct's website woes. He proposed implementing Peakhour's technology in three stages, promising to significantly improve the site's performance.

Stage 1 - Blocking unwanted traffic

Dan and his team suspected that Pharmacy Direct's website was bogged down by significant bot traffic, draining server resources and causing slow load times. By placing the site behind Peakhour's bot-blocking technology, they were able to immediately cut around 15,000 unwanted page requests per day. This led to immediate performance gains and revenue boosts, as well as eliminating frequent website crashes. Dan also provided advice on managing search engine crawler traffic to prevent double crawling, resulting in a significant drop in unnecessary page requests from Bing.

Stage 2 - Full Page Caching

Peakhour developed a custom caching plugin for Opencart 3 and implemented an optimal full-page caching strategy. This resulted in a dramatic improvement in page load times and overall customer satisfaction. Pharmacy Direct saw increased growth in key website performance metrics, including further revenue growth.

Stage 3 - Professional services deliver further gains

Although the first two stages significantly improved the website's performance, some uncached pages still suffered from slow load times. Dan's team at Peakhour's Professional Services examined the application source code, diagnosing and implementing several fixes in just four days. This reduced Opencart's average page generation time from 12 seconds to 1.5 seconds, making all areas of the site run at an acceptable speed.

After implementing Peakhour's solutions, Pharmacy Direct experienced a 30% increase in conversions and average order value, a 10x improvement in page load times, and blocked over 20,000 unwanted page requests daily. Their revenue increased by around 30-40% YoY.


Increase in Conversions &
Average order value


Improvement in page load times


threats blocked per day

Caitlin was delighted with the results and the collaboration with Dan and his team at Peakhour. She said, "Peakhour has delivered us so many benefits - our systems are fast and safe, and the customers are delighted. Net Promoter Scores ( NPS) are way up, and customer feedback on the site's speed and ease of use is very positive."

With the successful partnership between Pharmacy Direct and Peakhour, Caitlin and her team were able to overcome their website challenges and continue providing their customers with an exceptional online experience.

Web Vitals tell the story

Google Web vitals performance was measured in the Chrome UX report before and after Peakhour.

Largest Contentful Paint

Before Peakhour Largest Contentful Paint Pre Peakhour
After Peakhour Largest Contentful Paint After Peakhour

Peakhour Benefits according to the Customer

Caitlin Probert, who heads online operations at Pharmacy Direct, states:

"The business impact of our website's poor performance was very significant. Customer reviews & feedback showed that they were very frustrated. We were very fortunate to have so many loyal customers - it was honestly so bad that we were surprised anyone would tolerate it."

“We are delighted with what Peakhour has done for us, and are rolling their services out across all our online brands. We’ve also recommended them to Intellipharm for use with their other system clients. They have been a lifesaver for us.”

Caitlin Probert

Online Manager at

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