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MadeiraMadeira

MadeiraMadeira is an online marketplace specialising in home products and furniture. Founded in 2009 in Curitiba, it’s Brazil’s answer to Wayfair and Ikea. Now worth $1 billion, its route to success has included 100% year-on-year growth, even during the pandemic, as people switched to working and shopping from home.

Improving online access for shoppers and providing reliable uptime has been straightforward with Fastly’s solutions for expanding capacity. And it helped that MadeiraMadeira had started to put Fastly solutions in place ahead of the pandemic.

Fastly CDN helps unicorn company provision for 80% rise in ecommerce penetration in Brazil during pandemic

madeiramadeira.com.br
Industry: E-commerce
Location: Curitiba, Brazil
Customer since: Since 2019

Favorite features
Custom VCL
Image Optimisation
DDoS

The Unicorn mindset

Successful unicorn startups such as MadeiraMadeira understand when a business needs to pivot, move fast, and take advantage of new technologies. MadeiraMadeira’s 200 developers build systems in-house tailored to specific business area needs. And it has a growing tech stack to help it accomplish its goals.

With a “do it fast” mindset, the company switched its CDN provider to Fastly two weeks before Black Friday 2019. It realised it needed more bandwidth and processing capacity to deal with surges in website usage.

This put MadeiraMadeira at an advantage when it came to the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with an unprecedented volume of online traffic, it was in a strong position to ensure reliable connections and security with Fastly as its CDN provider.

“We have a methodology or a saying here, that if you’re going to make a mistake, do it fast and move on.” Ivan Zamban
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure, MadeiraMadeira

Why Fastly?

Following a recommendation, MadeiraMadeira decided to test out migrating static content from its legacy CDN to Fastly. Within two weeks, and in time for Black Friday 2019, 100% of traffic was passing through the Fastly CDN.

Pleased with the migration, MadeiraMadeira improved on what it was doing with Fastly — during December 2019 it moved its dynamic content, caching, and the business rules it had with Varnish to Fastly. Ivan Zamban, Head of Infrastructure and Cloud at MadeiraMadeira, says the main reason MadeiraMadeira moved to Fastly was the ease of use. Fastly’s management dashboard has helped his team easily program their own caching rules using VCL code.

The hot migration involved copying VCL code from MadeiraMadeira’s local environment and pasting it to the Fastly environment — it worked perfectly.

And because connection problems are not unusual in Brazil, especially away from the big cities, MadeiraMadeira’s tech team were pleased that Fastly’s solution only required 3 POPs. With fewer POPs, the tech team can make changes quickly without compromising page load time.

As a result, MadeiraMadeira increased its conversion rate by 20%, and the page load time improved 20%.

“We saw the possibility that all the things we do in our local Varnish can migrate to the edge on the CDN. It opened our minds and solved our single point of failure of having all traffic passing through one machine.” Ivan Zamban
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure, MadeiraMadeira
“My favourite thing about using Fastly is VCL online. We can program everything we want. Without a need to open tickets or wait for the partner to do it for us. This is a game changer for us.” Ivan Zamban
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure, MadeiraMadeira

Serving images faster with Image Optimiser

Following the success of migrating to the Fastly CDN, MadeiraMadeira adopted other Fastly tools. Image Optimiser instantly solved difficulties handling large volumes of images.

Before using the Image Optimiser, MadeiraMadeira’s tech team compressed, resized, and edited multiple images for its 2.3 million products.

The Image Optimiser means only one image per product needs storage space. Fastly automatically resizes and compresses the images, making them website ready. The benefits include reduced costs, improved productivity, and faster page load times, which generates a higher conversion rate.

“Image optimisation has been really beneficial to us. Improved page load time has had a direct impact on our conversion rates.” Ivan Zamban
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure, MadeiraMadeira

Fastly’s DDoS protection has helped combat DDoS traffic problems coming into MadeiraMadeira’s infrastructure over the Black Friday holidays. DDoS protection closes unwanted traffic at the edge, improving security without sacrificing performance.

Cloud strategy

MadeiraMadeira continues its digital transformation by implementing a multiple cloud strategy this year. Currently, 100% of MadeiraMadeira’s systems are hosted by AWS. The strategy will ensure the proper tools are available in the most appropriate cloud. This is reflective of MadeiraMadeira’s mindset of using the best solutions for the job, evidenced by its growing tech stack, which also includes:

Tackling the offline market with a digital mindset

The business's latest pivot is a new model to provide an omnichannel presence — online and offline. MadeiraMadeira has always been 100% online, but today it also has 60+ physical guide stores, and it’s aiming to have 200 by the end of 2021. The idea is to create a physical experience for customers, where they can get ideas, pick up samples, and try out furniture and products. Buying goods is still done online. MadeiraMadeira’s research indicates that conversions and product sales will increase with the opening of the guide stores.

This new model is another example of how MadeiraMadeira moves fast with its customers. It’s not afraid of ideas going wrong. It simply stops and moves onto the next thing — a mindset and strategy appreciated by its investors.

Scalability

MadeiraMadeira’s growth is helping Brazil in a time of economic crisis. With lots of companies shutting down, MadeiraMadeira is doing the opposite by growing and hiring people. Scalability is therefore essential, and Fastly solutions help with this. For example, MadeiraMadeira is no longer restricted by centralising actions and maintenance on its local Varnish environment.

Applying versioning to its code and splitting responsibility and accountability beyond its DevOps team gives even more confidence to MadeiraMadeira. And Fastly is becoming key to enabling that continued growth.

“With Fastly, you can roll back really easily. And we can have users that have different levels and actions, and because of that we can provide autonomy.” Ivan Zamban
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure, MadeiraMadeira