Re-platforming with Fastly brings 23% rise in basket performance to Dunelm.com

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Fastly, Inc., a global edge cloud platform, has helped Dunelm, the UK’s largest retailer of home furnishings and accessories, transform its e-commerce platform amid unprecedented expectations for digital experiences. Since re-platforming with Fastly’s edge cloud platform, Dunelm’s team has reported a 900% increase in web page load speeds, resulting in a 23% lift in basket performance. Furthermore, Dunelm’s software engineers can now make over 200 software deployments each month, compared with just one previously. As a result, Dunelm’s engineering team is able to create, and continually improve upon, new digital shopping experiences amid increased popularity of online retail services.

Dunelm’s team of more than 200 engineers builds and manages a portfolio of applications, including a robust customer-facing ecommerce website and a suite of tools for internal use. In 2017, the engineering team, led by Tom Hayman, Head of Platform Engineering at Dunelm, looked to re-platform in order to meet the company’s ambitious online sales targets.

Dunelm’s team determined Fastly was best placed to support its requirements across several criteria. Fastly’s Developer Hub, which makes it simpler for engineers to find the tools they need, was attractive to the 200-strong team. Because it is highly configurable, Fastly’s edge cloud platform is able to support Dunelm’s ambition to deliver highly personalised customer experiences. Meanwhile, Fastly’s API gives engineers programmatic access to innovative services, including its Image Optimizer, which allows Dunelm to deliver 100,000+ product images, optimized for device and connection speed. Security was another key consideration when Dunelm was looking to re-platform. “Put simply, Fastly makes it easier for us to enable WAF and DDoS protection because it’s built directly into the network,” explained Hayman.

“Consumer expectations are continually growing when it comes to online retail,” said Gonzalo de la Vega, VP strategic projects at Fastly. “User experience is business-critical. And this is underpinned by performance. During the nationwide lockdown, Dunelm saw new surges in web traffic and yet, web page load speeds increased by up to 900%. With a direct and significant impact on the retailer’s bottom line, the deployment of Fastly’s edge platform at Dunelm illustrates the importance of delivering a fast, seamless customer experience.”

In addition to improving the online customer experience, the platform engineering team needed the ability to deploy changes quickly. But Dunelm’s legacy CDN was not scalable and could support just one release per month.

“Purging our cache used to take 15 minutes, to one hour. With Fastly, it takes less than half a second. Fastly enables us to deliver 200 releases per month instead of only one. It’s a massive step up for our organization. Dunelm.com is now one of the fastest e-commerce platforms in the UK,” said Hayman.

Fastly helps the most confident online retail companies — like Shopify, Ticketmaster, and Etsy — exceed customer expectations by delivering high performance, secure digital experiences at scale. Find out more: https://www.fastly.com/solutions/retail