March 10, 2011, 10:53 AM drives down its page load time and boosts traffic

Working with CDNetworks has bolstered the site’s performance.

Lead Photo

Electronics accessories retailer last year decided to move from the Yahoo Stores e-commerce platform to a custom-built site.

With the amount of work and investment required to build a new platform in-house, wanted to make sure it got it right and then get back to its main job—selling accessories on its site, as well as on eBay and’s marketplaces. Knowing that isn’t an expert in page load speed and image rendering, CEO Jack Sheng says he was happy to outsource it to someone who is.

“We wanted to have the site do a better job than established companies in the market,” he says. “But because it was our first year on a new platform, it was more challenging than before. We had to handle things we didn’t normally have to.”, a division of eForCity Corp., No. 255 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, decided to enlist CDNetworks Co., a content delivery network, to help make pages and images load more quickly through its content acceleration service. Typically, the farther a consumer is from an e-retailer’s server, the longer it takes for data requests to travel back and forth, which results in slower load times. CDNetworks’ data centers around the world act as a proxy to’s data center in the U.S. and cache site content, so that a customer in Britain—one of e-retailer’s largest international markets—receives the same site performance as a consumer in the U.S. 

CDNetworks also powers the image renderings on’s eBay store, which represents a significant part of the e-retailer’s overall business.

Sheng says he knew that if it took two or three seconds for a page or image to display, he’d lose customers. With CDNetwork’s delivery, Sheng says he now measures load time in milliseconds. “I’m pleased to say our load time is on par with any major e-commerce players,” he says. “We are a small business. Compared to Amazon, we are a fraction, but on the content side, we can load just as fast.”

Sheng says that page views on are up 25% year over year, which he attributes to the improvements the company made to the site, including site performance. is still building and tweaking site enhancements, but Sheng says he decides which features will get the green light based in part on what effect they’ll have on site performance. If an improvement looks like it will drag performance down, he then works with CDNetworks to figure out a way to minimize the negative effect. That’s because consumers are impatient, as  their expectation for speed has increased, he says.

“For any new site enhancement we work on we have a benchmark set to see if it can be delivered in a timely manner, so that it will not deteriorate buying,” he says.

CDNetworks also delivers photo content to eForCity’s other web properties,, and, which are still hosted on the Yahoo Stores platform.

comments powered by Disqus




From The IR Blog


Brian Smyth / E-Commerce

How online retailers can price for profit in the age of data

The first step to eradicate price warfare in the retail industry is to widen the ...


Rob Garf / E-Commerce

The end of seasonal promotions and what it means for retailers

Retail sales vary relatively little between January and October as consumers buy when it’s convenient ...