Chrono24 saves money, accelerates website performance & improves security by consolidating under Cloudflare

Since 2003, Chrono24 has run one of the world’s largest online marketplaces for luxury watches. The company’s mobile apps have over 5 million users. The Chrono24 desktop marketplace, which is accessible from 46 regionalized top-level domains, offers content in 22 languages and attracts over half a million visitors daily. On an average day, these visitors can browse over 475,000 luxury watches listed for sale by more than 3,000 professional dealers and private sellers from over 120 countries.

Challenge: Poor performance and subpar service from previous performance & security vendors

Prior to partnering with Cloudflare, Chrono24 subscribed to a content delivery network (CDN) solution from EdgeCast and purchased DDoS mitigation and a web application firewall (WAF) from another vendor.

The CDN performed poorly, especially for users in Japan and Australia, who experienced significant latency. Chrono24 was also unsatisfied with their security vendor’s performance and customer service. Both products slowed down Chrono24’s site and app, and Sven Ferber, Director of Technology, did not find the vendor’s analytics helpful in monitoring or mitigating threats.

“Their customer service reps weren’t helpful at all when we had issues, which happened frequently. They kept telling us the problem was on our end, when it was actually their product causing the issues,” Ferber recalls. “Additionally, the statistics and insights they provided were of very poor quality. We had zero transparency into security threats or attacks.”

Ferber also felt that having two vendors was too costly. He decided to consolidate performance and security under one vendor that could provide a fast, reliable CDN, a WAF, and DDoS mitigation to secure and accelerate its website and mobile apps.

Solution: Cloudflare offers superior performance & service while consolidating solutions

Ferber chose Cloudflare’s core performance and security package, which included Cloudflare’s globally distributed CDN, WAF, and DDoS mitigation services. He was immediately impressed with Cloudflare’s customer service and the ease of use.

“Setting up our Cloudflare solutions wasn’t complex at all,” he recalls. “Cloudflare provided us with plenty of documentation and support during the onboarding phase. Compared to our past experiences, deployment was extremely straightforward. Cloudflare’s solution engineers used our data from our previous vendor to set up our CDN, and that has worked out really well for us. We had some questions regarding the details of the WAF. We weren’t sure what effect they’d have on our site, but Cloudflare’s engineers explained everything to us, and the outcome was great.”

“Cloudflare’s standard rules block the overwhelming majority of threats,” he continues. “It was easy for us to set up custom WAF rules for the few threats that Cloudflare doesn’t catch.”

After deploying Cloudflare, Chrono24 saw an immediate increase in site speed. “All of our sites got faster worldwide, but the improvement was especially noticeable in Japan and Australia, because that’s where we’d been having the biggest problems,” Ferber explains. “Site speed in Japan increased by 35% year over year. Average page download time before Cloudflare was 4.2 seconds; now, it’s 2 seconds.”

Ferber was just as pleased with Cloudflare’s WAF and DDoS protection. Cloudflare blocks approximately 1.4 million threats each month, and Ferber and his team can access insightful, actionable security analytics. “Cloudflare has made our cybersecurity much more manageable,” he says. “Previously, we lacked visibility into potential threats. Cloudflare’s security analytics dashboard gives us full transparency. We can see every security threat to our sites and app.”

In addition to performance and security improvements, Cloudflare is saving Chrono24 money. “Our base cost is much lower now that we’ve consolidated performance and security under one provider. I estimate we’re spending about one-third as much,” Ferber reports.

Ferber is also highly impressed with Cloudflare’s customer service. “We’ve been Cloudflare customers for about nine months now, and we haven’t needed to request support since we first set everything up. That’s phenomenal; it definitely speaks to quality of service and ease of use. Even if a company has great customer support, it’s not good if we have to call them all the time because we’re having issues.”

“Working with Cloudflare has been a great experience,” he continues. “They absolutely met our expectations regarding performance, security, and customer support. It’s been a huge financial and logistical advantage for Chrono24 to have all of our security and performance needs delivered by one vendor, on one infrastructure. If we need more security and performance services, we’ll definitely turn to Cloudflare.”

In fact, Ferber envisions expanding his Cloudflare security portfolio in the near future. “DDoS attacks used to be our biggest security issue, but now, it’s malicious bots, so we’re in discussions with Cloudflare regarding implementing their bot management solution.”

Key Results
  • 67% reduction in website security and performance costs.

  • Saw significant improvement in page load speeds worldwide, including a 35% improvement in Japan.

  • Cloudflare WAF and DDoS mitigation block approximately 1.4 million threats each month.

Working with Cloudflare has been a great experience. They absolutely met our expectations regarding performance, security, and customer support. It’s been a huge financial and logistical advantage for Chrono24 to have all of our security and performance needs delivered by one vendor, on one infrastructure.

Sven Ferber
Director of Technology