A true digital-native business, everything that London-headquartered MADE.COM does is shaped by its belief that great design should be available to everyone—a brand promise it fulfills by offering high-quality, exclusive home furnishings, and beautiful furniture. As the UK’s first online only furniture retailer, MADE is constantly improving the virtual customer journey through engaging visual experiences. As Edmund Kleiser, head of technology operations, states, “Strong and compelling imagery is everything to us to help us engage our audience.” Shoppers love to see ultra-high quality images of MADE’s 6,000 sofas, storage solutions, and floor lamps in exquisite, sharp detail. Huge care goes into defining the quality and aesthetic of product pictures, including the choice to deliberately limit the color palette.
MADE recently decided to upgrade its online shop in order to provide an equally immersive experience on mobiles and PCs using Cloudinary. Specifically, it needed to address potential issues around existing algorithms for proper orientation and sizing images, efficient loading of high-resolution images, and difficulties with uploading assets in multiple sizes and pixelation. Another issue was to meet search-engine requirements for ultra-fast and correct image display so high-resolution images would be available everywhere across the website, as well as full optimization of its (more and more commercially important) mobile offering.
As the firm’s head of digital experience notes. “We needed bigger, sharper images that really give you the detail of the texture of the velvets and the other fabrics we use. We also wanted the option to edit the images so we could easily change background colors, as gray backgrounds help frame product images while adding shadows gives depth. But we didn’t want to add such background effects to the images themselves as we also needed to be sure they’d be future-proof for any brand design updates.”
The good news is that with Cloudinary, MADE believes it has found the perfect solution for all of these needs. Multiple pictures can now be taken of a product (landscape, square, and a portrait crop), which are then loaded into Cloudinary at least 4000 x 4000 res. The system then automates the production of the most appropriate and most high-quality image for whichever device screen and channel (website, mobile, paid, social, etc.) the user is accessing. Cloudinary also helps online ads display better by dynamically adding backgrounds to images at scale after each photoshoot.
“We don't want our development teams sitting and looking at compression libraries and algorithms—we want to leave that to the experts to suss out properly. Delegating that to a team that specializes in image compression and can deliver images optimally is ideal for us,” adds Kleiser.