Shopify Boosts the User Experience at Over 40,000 Online Stores Worldwide with CDNetworks

At a glance

Company: Shopify

Founded: 2006

Headquarters: Ottawa, Canada

Industry: Retail & Software-as-aService


CDN Services: Content Acceleration

Key results

  • Streamlined page load times for more than 22 million products
  • Optimized online stores performance globally, including those in Australia and New Zealand
  • Leveraged CDN capabilities to attract prospective customers
  • Realized 100% uptime of their CDN infrastructure

Can small businesses compete online to sell products against the online mega-stores? Today they can, thanks to the turnkey ecommerce website platform provided by Shopify ( In just seven years, Shopify’s innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform has helped more than 40 thousand small businesses sell over 22 million products to online consumers around the world.

Today, Shopify powers online retail sites including small business such as Github and The Chive to big ticket businesses including Tesla Motors and General Electric. Shopify credits its success to a laser focus on helping emerging businesses grow into successful companies. Shopify achieves this by creating great technology and making it affordable. The company delivers the technology through its SaaS platform, which removes the hassle of running online store infrastructure, so online merchants can focus on what they do best ― building and selling their products.

The challenge

As Shopify’s customer base of online merchants grew across the globe, the company recognized the need to ensure the best website user experience possible for shoppers in a multitude of different countries. This led Shopify to underpin its website content delivery capabilities with the service of a content delivery network (CDN).

Unfortunately, the CDN service provider lacked a cloud delivery presence in Australia, a fast-growing market for Shopify. To accommodate the needs of Australia-based merchants and their end users located in Australia and New Zealand, Shopify searched for a way to ensure optimal website performance in both countries ― without incurring massive infrastructure build-out costs; the cost to expand data center capabilities in the region was prohibitively expensive.

At the same time, website traffic was growing for Shopify in the US and Europe. To continue its differentiated capability of delivering high-performing websites, Shopify network engineers sought an affordable solution that could ensure fast website delivery anywhere in the world.

The solution

After evaluating the capabilities and pricing of several CDNs, Shopify selected CDNetworks to enable its SaaS platform around the globe. “We chose CDNetworks, because they had the people and infrastructure in all the countries we needed,” explains Neufeld. “Moreover, they were able to provide evidence of superior site performance in our core and growing markets.”

100 Percent Uptime

Since adopting CDNetworks, Shopify merchants have enjoyed 100 percent uptime of their content delivery network service. Not only does this optimize the end-user experience on their websites, it also helps Shopify grow its business. “We can attract those customers who want to focus on their business, not on the IT needed to run and optimize their website,” says Neufeld. In fact, as Figure 1 below illustrates, Shopify has found that current and prospective merchants value Shopify’s CDN capabilities so much that the company incorporates a description of CDNetworks in its website marketing.

The results

Today, Shopify’s SaaS platform continues to lead the global ecommerce market among small and emerging businesses. In fact, nearly 30 percent of Shopify’s merchants operate in markets outside of North America. According to Neufeld, Shopify welcomes its growing popularity around the world. “With CDNetworks local points of presence, our Australia-based merchants get the same performance as in North America. Neither Shopify nor our customers have to invest in datacenters or co-hosting,” says Neufeld. “We’re able to focus on core infrastructure improvements because we know the content (static assets) is being delivered without a hitch.”

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