More than half of iOffer.com’s customers are from outside the United States. However, the company’s servers are in California. That meant that even though the web page load times for Stateside customers were at one second or less, until recently customers beyond U.S. borders were waiting up to four seconds for pages to display.
“The time it took to go across the ocean and get our data and get back to the customer in say, Korea, was affecting the overall experience,” says Ryan Boyce, CEO of iOffer, an online marketplace where consumers can buy goods from other consumers by naming their own price. “We wanted to speed access to our site and provide a consistent experience no matter where our customer was.”
The company analyzed what it would cost to add new data centers at locations nearer its customers but found it was too expensive.
In September, the company signed on to work with CDNetworks Co., a content delivery network that already had data centers in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as other areas where iOffer wanted to improve its response times. Now iOffer taps into CDNetworks’ platform so CDNetworks’ data centers acts as a proxy to iOffer’s data center in California. For example, a site request coming from a consumer in Singapore is answered by a CDNetworks data center in Singapore, rather than having to travel to the United States and back, Boyce says. “We’re piggybacking onto their network so that it seems like we are closer to every user in the world,” he says.
Since the implementation, iOffer says global page load times have dropped to less than one second, which means the site loads as quickly for international as U.S. consumers. The company says international traffic is up 4.5% and the number of repeat visitors has grown 4% and page views were up 3%.
“When we provide a consistent experience on the site, that improves the consumer experience and that helps them convert into real users on the site,” Boyce says.