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More than 2 million active monthly users (and growing). 650,000 daily visitors. 7 million live listings. Trade Me is New Zealand’s biggest and busiest auction and classifieds site – the first place Kiwis go online to buy and sell everything from cars to houses.
Industry: Online Marketplace/ecommerce
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Customer since: 2019

Favorite features
Global delivery network
Customizable VCL
Image optimization
Next-Gen WAF
Enterprise support

Trade Me – lightning-fast content delivery for NZ’s #1 auction site

With more onsite listings than people in the nation, Trade Me is New Zealand’s favourite online marketplace and classifieds site. The success of such a large, busy, and image-heavy eCommerce site relies on optimising customer journeys at a fast pace.

Trade Me first approached Fastly for a CDN solution to keep content close to customers as it transitioned from data centres to the cloud. But leveraging Fastly as a platform on the edge also unearthed a host of holistic benefits to keep carts full (and customers happy) for the future.

The challenge – maintaining excellent CX during digital transformation

Trade Me has been in eCommerce since 1999 – when ‘cloud migration’ meant a cumulus drifting across the sky. The engines that originally fueled Trade Me’s operations were New Zealand-based data centres in Auckland and Wellington. But this relied heavily on onerous manual processes for configuring and maintaining their own servers and delivery.

A transition to the public cloud and a move up the stack would bring the delivery infrastructure automation benefits required for scalability, but this brought its own set of challenges:

  • The majority of Trade Me customers are based in New Zealand. However, the nearest Google Cloud servers are in Sydney, Australia. Instead of having their servers near Kiwi visitors, they were 2,223km away across the Tasman Sea.

  • Cloud migration also raised new and different security and reliability challenges. For instance, when operating with chunky New Zealand servers, Trade Me could still serve domestic customer traffic if the reliability of international connectivity was impacted by network failure or cyberattacks.

As well as establishing a new cloud-based delivery model, Trade Me needed an edge platform solution that would solve these unique security and reliability requirements.

Beyond content – an edge cloud platform that focuses on customer experience & protects assets

Trade Me felt reassured when their cloud partner recommended Fastly as the perfect CDN. Various other valuable cloud-native edge platform benefits followed.

For starters, Fastly’s integration with VCL enabled excellent functionality. By removing points of concentration and unnecessary appliances, it enhanced CX - Trade Me customers got from wherever they landed on the site to their ideal destination much faster.

It also provides robust cybersecurity. Fastly and their Next-Gen WAF powered by Signal Sciences, guards against DDoS attacks and uses automation to distinguish between false positives and genuine attacks. Easy integration with Google Cloud means assets can be spread horizontally at a large scale.

And with greater visibility to securing applications, pinpointing where threats on the edge are hitting the app (and neutralising them) is straightforward.

“Meet us where we are, not where you think we should be”

Did Fastly bring any unexpected benefits? You bet:

  • Fastly balances independent working with better centralised visibility. As Jason Keating says: “We’re a highly agile company and need to give our teams autonomy. But we also need some central visibility so that we can detect cascading failure, pull back control, and mitigate systemic risk.”

  • Fastly’s personalised support makes Trade Me confident to develop creative solutions. This is crucial for experts like Kate Pearce, who likes to do things differently: “Keeping up when we have our crazy ideas is a really, really valuable thing. Meet us where we are, not where you think we should be.”

So far, so fantastic. And those fleet-footed folks at Trade Me don’t rest easy. They’re already testing Fastly Compute to accelerate their journey to high-scale, serverless computing. We can’t wait for whatever’s next.

“When we moved our servers across the Tasman Sea to Australia, every back and forth added a lot of latency. We needed to get the content closer to our customers physically – at the speed of light.”

Kate Pearce
Head of Security, Trade Me

“Trade Me did not fully leverage its Web Application Firewall (WAF) previously, as it caused problems and blocked normal customer traffic. From a cybersecurity and customer perspective, the greatest compliment for Fastly is that when Trade Me turned on blocking mode, within weeks of implementation, nobody noticed.”

Jason Keating
Principal Cloud Engineer, Trade Me

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