How an eCommerce platform reduced their image-delivery costs by 86%

  • industry
    ECommerce
  • headquarters
    Walnut, California
  • employees
    20
  • tenure
    4 years
  • getshogun.com
Shogun is a drag-and-drop eCommerce landing page builder. Using Shogun, users can build optimized, high-converting landing pages for their ecommerce stores. Uploadcare allows Shogun’s users to upload images for their landing pages and serve them efficiently through the integrated Bi-Directional CDN©. Doing so allowed them to reduce their image-hosting costs by 86% and save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

A narrow use case: Uploading and processing user images

Founded in 2015 by Finbarr Taylor and his co-founder Nick Raushenbush, Shogun is a drag-and-drop eCommerce landing page builder. Using Shogun, users can quickly build optimized, high-converting landing pages for their ecommerce stores.

While Uploadcare offers a wide range of functionality, some of our customers make use of only a limited subset. For Shogun, that subset is accepting, processing and serving user-generated images. Uploadcare allows Shogun’s users to upload images for their landing pages and serve them efficiently through our integrated CDN.

Finbarr Taylor, CTO
Finbarr Taylor, CTO
We use Uploadcare to upload and process all of the images for all of our users. Any image they want to upload for any landing page they’re making with our site. These could be product images, promotional banners, social proof. It’s just that one thing, and we rely on it quite heavily.

Integrating Uploadcare: An easy path to reliable user file uploads

Having dealt with implementing file uploads before, Finbarr was wary to try and do so at Shogun. He knew that even with a properly built system there would be a recurring stream of problems. File uploads can fail for any number of reasons. Network issues cause uploads to stall or for partial files to be uploaded. Large file uploads and slow connections add more challenges. Building an in-house solution would be time-consuming and unreliable.

It’s very annoying to implement file uploading. Uploads fail. Uploads stall. There are network issues. Slow connections are very difficult to manage. It was pretty painful. We would get weird files and have to manage all different blobs of stuff people were uploading. It was just annoying.

Integrating Uploadcare gave Shogun an easy path to reliable user file uploads. With a single line of JavaScript, they implemented our user-friendly file upload widget into their application and were able to immediately start accepting images from their users. Additionally, our integrated image processing and CDN gave them all of the file-handling functionality they needed to manage their images after their users uploaded them.

It was a very straight-forward integration. Just a line of JavaScript. I think it only took us a couple hours to get it working initially. The integration was lightweight and didn’t require a ton of work. Very, very simple.

Drastically reduced infrastructure development costs

Being able to implement image-handling infrastructure in a day with Uploadcare drastically reduced Shoguns initial development costs. By Finbarr’s estimation, it would require a small team of 3 or 4 developers a few months to build just the limited functionality that they use to handle their users’ images. At an estimated fully-loaded cost of $125,000 per year per developer, this comes out to just over $100,000 in direct development cost savings.

For us to build the functionality we use, it would probably take a team of 3 or 4 developers several months. That said, I would never even try to build Uploadcare’s functionality in house. It would take a whole company to build it properly.

In addition to simply reducing development costs, Uploadcare allowed Finbarr to bring Shogun to market faster and ensures that they won’t have to spend time in the future developing additional functionality as their needs expand.

Using Uploadcare, we’ve basically taken a shortcut. We haven’t had to build any uploading or image-processing infrastructure ourselves, so we’ve saved a bunch of dev work. This part of our software is just handled. It’s not something we need to worry about.

Reducing Shogun’s image-hosting costs by 86%

For a company like Shogun, image-hosting costs mount quickly. One, all of their users are serving images through Shogun’s application. Two, ecommerce stores are notoriously image heavy. Multiply these two factors, and you get very heavy bandwidth usage.

The CDN image transformations are very helpful. People upload all kinds of images, and then we just hand them to Uploadcare, add the appropriate flags, and it automatically optimizes the images’ format, size and quality so we’re not serving up massive files.

Without Uploadcare’s image optimization, Shogun would have to serve 476 terabytes of images per month. With Uploadcare’s image size, quality and format optimizations, this bandwidth is reduced to 96 terabytes, a full 80% reduction.

When comparing the costs of serving the equivalent unoptimized traffic, like with traditional CDN’s, using Uploadcare lets Shogun reduce their image bandwidth costs by 70% to 86%. In 2018, this resulted in infrastructure cost savings of just over $200,000.