A Customer Cloudversations segment where Abby Douglass and Kayla Geigerman will interview Justin Burrow from Manduka about their usage of Cloudflare products and the industry in general.
Hi everyone, thanks for tuning into this segment of Customer Cloudversations here on Cloudflare TV.
If this is your first time to joining our series, Cloudversations is where we like to share and shine a spotlight on different customers, learn about what they do, how they do it, discuss industry-related topics and best practices, and then go over all the wonderful things that our colleagues here at Cloudflare and Justin Burrow from Manduka who's going to talk about all the great things that they're doing with their own products as well as how they work with Cloudflare.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty of that, let's do some introductions.
First off, I'm Kayla. I am on the Customer Advocacy team here at Cloudflare and Abby, if you want to introduce yourself.
Yeah, hey everyone.
My name is Abby Douglass. I work on the Customer Success team here at Cloudflare.
So my team works to ensure our customers are getting the most out of their investment.
So I've been working with Manduka since they joined Cloudflare as a new customer.
So I'm very excited to be here today and talk about Manduka's journey.
Awesome. Thank you, Abby. And Justin, why don't you introduce yourself? Sure.
My name is Justin Burrow. I'm the Senior Manager of Digital at Manduka. I've worked at Manduka for about two years or so now and we've partnered with Cloudflare since November of last year.
And so my background is in design, UX, and development.
So I act as the development lead as well and just kind of handle everything related to our customer-facing websites.
Awesome. So let's talk a little bit about what Manduka is in case people aren't familiar.
So why don't you go ahead and talk a little bit about the company?
Sure. So from a really high level, Manduka is a yoga brand.
We primarily sell yoga mats and accessories, apparel. It's a really interesting company I work for.
It was founded in 1997 by Peter Stereos, who was a yoga teacher and felt the need to solve the problem of the slipperiness of his own mat that he was using.
And through coming up with a mat of his own, he decided to launch a company and here we are now, 20-something years later.
And so what we aim to do as a business, making yoga mats, is really push for innovation in how our mats are made while also maintaining a strict ethos of sustainability.
So in a larger sense, we also aim to serve the yoga community in general and embrace the spirit of yoga and really push the idea of yoga for all.
So we've got everything from pro mats for people who are very experienced and have specific needs, mats for travel, all the way down to a beginner series that are a little bit more expensive and have a lower price point.
So we've got a lot of different materials and our apparel as well is made with only sustainably sourced materials.
We are certified for OECD techs for our PVC and our mats are handcrafted in Germany.
We have a line of mats called the EcoMat and it is made from tree rubber that's sustainable.
So yeah, in general, we like to do lots of things with sustainability and technology.
That's awesome. And to just double check, you guys sell to individuals as well as to other yoga studios and things like that.
So you do B2B and B2C kind of business?
That's correct. Yeah, we sell directly to consumer and as well, wholesale.
Like I mentioned, we're in about 4,000 yoga studios worldwide.
Awesome. So you just mentioned that Manduka is very obviously sustainability focused, but you also care about innovation and technology.
Why is that?
Well, when it comes to yoga, there's a lot of variables that require a lot of specific needs.
You know, for instance, if you think about the difference between like a more traditional Hatha yoga versus what you might find in a hot yoga class.
In a hot yoga class, grip obviously is going to be very important when you're sweating in a hot room.
And so finding ways to accommodate these things that will be needed in various scenarios, how to make mats that are comfortable or provide support in the right areas, how to make mats that are light for travel, you know, like that sort of thing.
That's really kind of where we like to innovate and find new ways of accomplishing those goals.
Cool. And out of curiosity, are you a yogi yourself?
I do practice yoga from time to time. I don't call myself an avid yoga practitioner.
You know, I've had back pain for most of my life. And so yoga is one of the ways that I've found to relieve that without having to resort to chiropractors, you know, or as much anyway.
That's awesome. I tried it a couple of times and it was embarrassing, but you know, there's always more time to try.
So why don't we talk a little bit about Banduka's use of Cloudflare products and how we help support you on this innovation journey that you guys are on.
So what problems were you facing before you came to Cloudflare?
Sure. So I can walk that back just a little bit prior to, initially we were platformed on Magento.
We re -platformed about a year and a half ago to Shopify.
So we've been Shopify plus customers and very happy with that platform.
And I think, you know, after we had gotten acclimated to the new platform, you know, for all of our departments from e-commerce to customer service and the like.
And also, we have three stores, one in the US, one in the EU, and one in Canada.
And each store also has a dual function for direct to consumer or B2B.
So that can get a little bit complicated and you're, you know, spending some time making sure we really had that dialed in.
And one of the things that we found was that our page speed was starting to suffer as a result of the apps that we were using to accommodate like the direct to consumer and B2B functionality in one store, you know, as well as various other things, you know, in Shopify, it's very common to use Klaviyo for email and things like that.
And so we were really interested in anything that could leverage to improve page speed.
And when we had a new CEO come on board, he had experience with Cloudflare that was extremely positive.
And it was his first recommendation to addressing that problem. Awesome.
So how are these like lower page speed times affecting your business and your customers?
Sure. I mean, there's a pretty common stat that's touted quite a bit in the e-commerce community regarding, you know, for every 100 milliseconds of page speed time, you know, you have a certain percentage decrease in conversion.
Obviously, that's a generality, but there is a correlation between page speed and conversion.
And so it's incredibly important to us to make sure that our pages are performing as well as they can.
And also just from a user experience standpoint, there's nothing more irritating than trying to go to a site and, you know, just waiting on pages to load or that whole thing.
And can you just let everyone know what Cloudflare products are you currently using?
Sure. So we are using O2O. And out of that, you know, what we've managed to establish on our site currently is caching.
We're using minification, rocket loader.
Let's see. We're using workers to a degree and looking to expand how we're leveraging that as well.
And we also moved our whole DNS over to Cloudflare as well.
And so because of the nature of Cloudflare's very wide CDN, our latency with time to first byte and things like that has gone down significantly.
Because, you know, Abby has been with you since the beginning and has really been on this journey with you, I'm going to pass some questions off to her because she definitely will add impact to this conversation.
Thanks, Caleb. Yeah, so I just, you know, I wanted to talk a little bit more specifically about the quantifiable benefits from using Cloudflare.
So I know you started to touch on this a little bit already, but, you know, could you dive in a little bit more about how, you know, have you noticed any improvements in performance or reliability?
Yeah, absolutely. So I actually went in our Google Analytics account prior to this, just to kind of look at a point right before we started partnering with Cloudflare to present day.
And what we're noticing is on average about a 50% decrease in page load time.
So that's certainly remarkable. And in addition, we have, you know, the ability to have full page caching that we didn't before, which is obviously great, you know, when a page doesn't have to render every time that you go to it, so.
Great. Okay, so, you know, what has this enabled you and your team to do or focus on since the switch?
Well, certainly, you know, site speed is kind of like an expedition, you know, for any digital team.
It's always, you know, you're looking for any possible factor that may be driving your page feed down, combined with the fact that there's no one real reliable source that says, you know, this metric or our measurement of the speed is, you know, the most accurate or, you know, depending on what you use, you'll get different numbers.
And also from just a user experience standpoint, there are certain metrics that are more important than others.
One of the common misconceptions is people look at full page load speed, for instance, and get really concerned about that.
Sometimes that can reach into like the 10, 12 second range, you know, or even higher.
And so we like to look at time to first byte and time to first paint.
And those are the metrics that we noticed immediate improvement with.
Right. Okay. And then so again, we kind of started diving into it too.
But what would you say were some of the biggest takeaways or wins with Cloudflare that made it, you know, a large game changer for you or your infrastructure?
Yeah. I think, you know, moving our DNS to Cloudflare was a big win.
Just to have it managed in a place where the functionality was more robust. And having those web addresses in the point of origin, having the latency reduced when a user accesses one of our websites just by the very nature of those DNSs being posted on Cloudflare is great.
Also, obviously, you know, page load speed being reduced by about 50% was a huge win.
Caching was a huge win. And there's, you know, things that we're looking forward to in the future as well.
Rocket loader is a really interesting thing.
And we're seeing how we can modify our site to make better use of it.
So, it really helps to reduce the time that it takes for your page to be rendered on screen.
We use a combination of Shopify and Vue.js for just sort of how our functionality works on the website.
We have, you know, like a persistent cart and things like that that don't require page loads.
And so, we're looking at the potential to potentially break that up into chunks, which would enable a rocket loader to have more room to play with there.
So, yeah, it's been a really great experience.
And I think there's a lot more that we can leverage. Yeah.
All right. I think we have time, Kayla, to... Yeah, absolutely. I'm actually kind of interested in a little bit about your relationship on a partnership level with Cloudflare.
How have you felt about the way that you guys work together to kind of build and grow?
Sure. It's been a really great relationship in terms of support.
You know, I feel like, you know, any questions that come up for us or any issues that we have, we get a response very, very quickly.
And unlike some partnerships, you know, where you kind of start by no matter how well-versed you may be, you know, in IT or no matter who you are, you start your question with a level one tech support, and then it gets, like, bumped after you've proven the validity of this issue to, like, level two tech support and eventually finally get to someone who can give you an answer.
And that's definitely not the experience that we've had with Cloudflare, which is very comforting for us.
So... Awesome. And, you know, you said that you are using a little bit of workers.
I know you're looking to do more about that in the future. Can you expand a little bit on what you think you want to use workers for or how you are using it or what you intend to do with it?
And thereby reducing the whole size of the payload, reducing, you know, further reducing the page load time and all that.
But those are interesting things to think about. Cool. Do you mind sharing some best practices with the Cloudflare products that you're using that you think other people should know about?
Yeah. I mean, I can really only speak to Cloudflare being used in conjunction with Shopify.
But I think there are some things that definitely tripped us up a little bit here and there that we kind of get familiar with and work through.
So, you really want to pay attention to your console and making sure that you're looking for errors as you're instantiating Cloudflare on your website with Shopify specifically.
I would also say that, you know, it's really important to pay attention to your caching policies.
Obviously, you don't want to cache any page that would be holding sensitive customer data, like checkout, you know, or my account page or things like that.
Yeah. That's about, I think, what I've got for best practices so far.
No, that's great. Another thing I think we'd all be really interested to hear about is, you know, obviously in the last year, a lot more people have been working out from home.
Everyone was working out from home.
But, you know, as studios start to open up and it kind of becomes more of a hybrid sort of model, how do you see Manduka growing and changing with that?
Certainly. We actually created a home practice headquarters section of our website that has just a collection of both mats and accessories that you might find useful as you set up a home practice in your home.
You know, obviously, it was very unfortunate that a lot of our yoga studio partners had to close during the pandemic as, you know, gyms and yoga studios and the like weren't accessible.
But, you know, now that we're seeming to turn a corner with that, hopefully that can open back up again and we can begin to start serving those customers more.
And I think maybe one of the changes that's happened since the pandemic is maybe opening the idea that you can have a yoga practice at your home, that there are materials available to you, not just from a consumer standpoint, but YouTube videos for lessons, you know, things like that, or practices.
And so for anyone, especially anyone new to yoga, you know, where, you know, the idea of going to a class where you don't know if you're going to be surrounded by people who are doing this for four years or, you know, it's going to be awkward for you or you're a little embarrassed, you know, you can always, you know, buy a mat, start at home, you know, and I think that's become more normalized.
Is there anything super exciting on the horizon for you guys that you'd like to talk about?
Hmm. We do have some new mats on the horizon and some that have some technology that we're really excited about.
Let's see. I think really what we're focusing on is how can we supply more accessories that make yoga a more enjoyable or functional experience for people?
And how can we further spread out into the yoga community space and address any needs and create the Manduka version of that and approach it from our Manduka standpoint of sustainability.
Cool. And to bring it back to Cloudflare, why don't you talk a little bit about if you were to kind of, and, you know, be honest as you want, if you were to meet somebody on the street who was in a similar space and looking for a provider or just starting out with this the first time and you did touch on best practices, but what would you say to them about how they can grow their business?
If they weren't a current Cloudflare customer?
Yes. Yeah. So again, you know, my experience is strictly related to Shopify.
You know, I have enough experience outside of Shopify to see how Cloudflare can easily be translatable in those arenas.
But, you know, if I met someone, typically a large amount of Shopify customers are small business owners, you know.
And so it would be, I think, critical to identify whether, you know, they had a budget for, you know, investing in, you know, digital tools like Cloudflare.
But, you know, if improving page speed and the experience of the site overall was a priority for them, Cloudflare is definitely something I would point them to.
Awesome. Abby, do you have any other topics you'd like to bring up?
Yeah. So, Justin, I did want to bring it back to, I know we briefly mentioned the O2O.
So O2O, or also known as orange to orange cloud here at Cloudflare, just for our viewers, an O2O is when you have one Cloudflare zone sending traffic to another upstream Cloudflare zone via Cloudflare.
So, Justin, I was just curious, you know, what are some, you know, do you have any best practices or what do you think others should know about using O2O if they were interested in it?
That's a little tricky.
You know, I would say to make sure that when you are migrating your DNS that you're being very meticulous about making sure that everything is migrated over, because that's going to be a big factor of whether you'll have success with O2O and, you know, the orange clouds kind of being accessible in various regions.
And I would also say, you know, just as with everything, keeping an eye on making sure that everything's functional as you make changes, as you integrate things, as you enable orange cloud on a domain, you know, does everything still work as intended?
Go back and, you know, do your field study on that site. And while we have a few minutes, I really want to make sure that we do put the spotlight on Manduka.
So why don't you go ahead and just tell us a little bit about what makes you guys stand out amongst in your space?
Yeah, sure. I really want to emphasize our commitment to sustainability.
You know, I've got some quick little facts here about, you know, just our commitment to things.
One of the first things right off the bat is every time that you purchase a map from us online, you have an option of adding a recycling kit, which we call a live on kit.
And that enables you to get a box sent with your mat to your home.
And you put your old box in it, and it's a prepaid shipping label, it gets chipped off, and it gets recycled.
And it doesn't have to be a Manduka mat, it can be any mat.
And so that's one way that we are making sure that our, you know, as we're encouraging people to buy new yoga mats, you know, we're not just taking old yoga mats and letting rubber and PVC just kind of sit around.
We have yoga towels that are one line of them are called yogi toes.
And they are made each they're each made from at least four discarded plastic bottles.
So we have a co tech certification for PVC.
That's huge, you know, and, and all our apparel is made with environment, environmentally responsible material.
So it's like, you know, across the board, I think we are always thinking about sustainability and not just creating products that have, you know, the cheapest cost of goods, so that we can generate the biggest profit.
That's awesome. So last question is going to be around Robin, because I'm curious to know, what is everyone's favorite yoga position?
I can go first while you guys think because I know that mine is child's pose, because it generally be going to sleep.
Do you have one?
Yeah, child's pose is a great one. Downward dog is a great one.
And I think it's also worth mentioning since we're on the topic, the company named Manduka came from Peter Starius.
While practicing Hatha yoga, there's a yoga pose called Manduka sauna.
And he was just so intrigued and kind of inspired by the name Manduka.
That's what the company Yeah, that is really cool.
Thank you for sharing that. Abby, do you have one? Yeah, I'm asking how to say child's pose is just a good one.
You know, it's just a good one to relax you and actually if I had to choose another one, I think it's I think it's called scarecrow.
I'm gonna have to look at my terms after this. Everyone watching, comment below or send in your thoughts on what your favorite yoga pose is.
We are almost we are running out of time. So I just want to say Abby and Justin, thank you guys so much for joining us.
Justin, thank you for sharing the Manduka story.
For anyone who's interested and wants to learn more, we do have a case study on manduka at Cloudflare .com slash case dash studies and you can find it there and read even more.
But thank you guys for joining and we will see you next time.
Thanks for having us. Bye everyone. So So You