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Skyrocket website speed: How DAM and CDN optimize content delivery

by Canto  |  May 9, 2024

10 min. read
A graphic composite of a browser window displaying an online fashion store page with a person modeling a floral-patterned blouse, accompanied by product details and an illustration of a stopwatch, set against an abstract teal background.

Shoppers demand speed and convenience, so your online shop better keep up. You need to deliver on-brand content quickly and accurately; otherwise, there’s a risk that customers will jump to a competitor. You also require the ability to make quick changes to time-sensitive promotional content. And you must be able to publish a new version of a product image without it taking ages to track down and update the right asset.

If these solutions resonate, you’re ready to upgrade your e-commerce tech stack. Pairing your DAM and CDN streamlines content workflows so you can meet consumer demands and scale operations.

Ahead, find out what a DAM and CDN are, why you need both, and all the benefits these technologies bring to your digital storefronts.

What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) stores content across a network of servers geographically closer to global customers. This proximity significantly reduces the time it takes for media and web pages to load and helps provide a better user experience.

CDNs also improve your website’s reliability and security.

Some examples of popular CDNs include Cloudflare, Akamai, and Canto’s Media Delivery Cloud.

Why are CDNs important?

CDNs are essential for delivering a speedy, reliable, and secure online experience. By spreading content over several servers around the world, CDNs make sure your website loads quickly and runs smoothly for users everywhere. A fast-loading website or e-commerce store keeps visitors engaged and reduces the chance they leave without interacting, which is vital for increasing conversions and boosting revenue.

However, you’ll need more than a CDN to go beyond enhancing customer experiences and site infrastructure. E-commerce teams that wish to optimize content workflows and deliver multichannel, on-brand shopping experiences will need a DAM (digital asset management) and CDN platform.

DAM vs. CDN: What’s the difference?

Both DAMs and CDNs are core components of any marketer’s tech stack.

A DAM (digital asset management) platform makes organizing, finding, and sharing digital content easy by centralizing files into one searchable library. DAM platforms streamline creative, marketing, and e-commerce workflows. Also, DAM makes brand assets, product media, and time-sensitive promotional collateral simple to find and use.

CDNs speed up digital asset delivery to worldwide users by caching website content geographically closer to users. CDNs improve e-commerce user experiences, page load times, and content workflows.

E-commerce stores need both a DAM and CDN platform for fully-optimized digital storefronts.

Ten benefits of pairing a DAM with a CDN

When you implement a DAM and CDN, you’ll completely transform your digital storefronts. The benefits of pairing a DAM with a CDN include improving site speed, better user experiences, streamlined content workflows, a cohesive tech stack, and robust content controls, to name a few.

Here’s a complete list of the benefits you’ll gain by implementing both a DAM and CDN:

1. Create a cohesive ecosystem to optimize content management

You’ll need to create a cohesive tech ecosystem to completely transform your digital storefront experiences and streamline content workflows at scale. Teams scaling e-commerce stores should implement a DAM as the foundation of their content stack.

Industry-leading DAMs like Canto connect content to your existing tech ecosystem. Canto centralizes your files into one searchable library, speeds up content production workflows, and integrates with the tools you already use. Canto further streamlines content publishing by offering Media Delivery Cloud, a game-changing CDN solution that integrates with your content library.

Make sure your DAM and CDN integrate with your CMS and PIM platforms to speed up your sites and improve the shopping experience. Ultimately, this cohesive ecosystem helps your team be more efficient and improve content management.

2. Transform and publish your digital content instantly

A graphical representation of a digital tool for embedding responsive images, showing interface options on the left, a laptop screen with a web browser preview of a living room in the center, and the same image adjusted for a mobile display on the right.

To streamline your content workflows entirely, you’ll need more than a traditional CDN can provide. Canto’s Media Delivery Cloud instantly transforms and publishes content to your digital storefronts, and it caches your content around the globe for those site speed benefits your stores need. For example, when you update product photos, graphics, or promotional assets inside Canto, they also update in real-time across your stores and sites in the correct sizes and ratios.

Amorepacific, one of Canto’s customers, easily coordinates with creative agencies and efficiently delivers digital assets to teams in different markets using Canto’s DAM and CDN. These delivery efficiencies mean their online presence always reflects the latest, most relevant content, so it’s easier to engage customers and keep their store fresh and attractive.

3. Speed up page load times to enhance the shopping experience

Fast page load times are critical to conversions. Research from Portent highlights that an e-commerce site that loads within a second converts 2.5x more visitors than a site that loads in 5 seconds.

By pairing a DAM with a CDN, you boost your website’s loading times while retaining control of your brand content. A faster store speed keeps customers happy and reduces bounce rates, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

4. Accelerate content to market with streamlined workflows

Speeding up content production and channel delivery is crucial for publishing your digital assets at the speed of business. By using Canto and Media Delivery Cloud, you’ll streamline content workflows with the following tools:

  • Collaboration tools: Canto includes collaboration tools like upload links, Workspaces, annotations, and Workflows to accelerate content production for your creative team
  • Style Guides: Ensure your digital storefronts are always on brand with Canto’s interactive and shareable Style Guides
  • Powerful search: Stop trying to search for your assets across cloud storage. Canto’s DAM can help you search through hundreds or thousands of e-commerce files fast
  • Portals and share links: Set up curated, branded file collections with Portals for dispersed teams, or share files quickly using share links — both tools include user permissions, too
  • Integrations and APIs: Canto has a plethora of integrations to tools like monday.com, Slack, and Hootsuite, and a REST API for any custom integration needs you might have
  • Smart Cropping: Ready to get images live? Quickly and intuitively set your image region of interest with Smart Cropping. Next, watch Canto’s Media Delivery Cloud auto-crop images into the correct sizes across your stores for your most impactful store photography ever
  • Templates: You can set up predefined ratios and sizes for images to display correctly across stores and channels, so you don’t have to worry about blurry, fuzzy, or oddly cropped photos showing up in your stores anymore
  • Media Delivery Cloud Embed Tool: Quickly create unique URLs that are plug-and-play for your CMS or storefronts, and watch as the magic of Media Delivery Cloud delivers content for you where it needs to go

5. Set up or revamp storefronts quickly

Setting up an efficient content management system doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, with Canto, you won’t need to deal with complex webhooks to connect your ecosystem.

Whether launching new digital storefronts or refreshing existing store pages, the process is exceptionally user-friendly. This ease of setup ensures that your team can quickly benefit from all the features without the typical content launch delays or new tool learning curves.

For example, assembly and logistics solutions brand Böllhoff uses Canto’s Media Delivery Cloud to get products online and in front of customers faster. Media Delivery Cloud automatically delivers responsive image sizes — without Böllhoff’s editorial team lifting a finger.

“I used to have to open each image, edit, save, and upload to the CMS. All that work has disappeared. It’s unbelievable how much time we’re saving.” – Corporate Marketer Kevin Schmelzer, Böllhoff

Böllhoff didn’t only streamline their workflows for their editorial team –– Media Delivery Cloud compliments their website’s new responsive design, too.

6. Scale operations and content ROI

As your business grows and your content demand increases, you need tools to keep up. DAMs and CDNs provide a scalable solution that supports your content operations as they expand.

DAMs help organize an ever-expanding repository of assets, ensuring that content remains searchable and accessible. For example, Canto’s powerful metadata search and filter tools help global teams find content quickly. As more teams use your content across channels, your content ROI increases, too.

Need to move even faster? Canto AI Visual Search is a revolutionary AI search tool that allows your teams to use natural language to find and access the most relevant content instantly, even within vast media libraries. When you pair AI Visual Search with Media Delivery Cloud’s intuitive Smart Cropping and Embed Tool features, your e-commerce content workflows become scalable and agile.

7. Manage your brand content at scale

 A visual blend of a cozy home interior with a chair and decorative items on one side and a digital rights management interface on the other, illustrating the concept of copyright and digital asset protection.

Managing your brand assets becomes even more essential as you expand your team, channels, and audience reach.

DAM platforms like Canto include digital rights management tools to ensure only approved, on-brand, and compliant content appears on your storefronts. That’s right — no more version control issues with your content. Plus, with content circulation controls, you can embargo or expire content with just a few clicks. This level of control means you keep promotions and digital content accurate and can manage perfect content launches across channels and teams, too.

8. Gain SEO benefits

Search engines favor responsive websites that load quickly. Using a CDN like Canto’s Media Delivery Cloud ensures that your site responds quickly, regardless of user device or location.

Improving user experience can significantly boost your site’s search engine ranking potential. For instance, Böllhoff experienced SEO improvements due to the responsive design and faster page loads facilitated by Canto and Media Delivery Cloud. More people can now discover Böllhoff’s products through organic search, which means more potential sales.

9. Focus on higher-value work

Integrating a DAM with a CDN helps your teams avoid time-consuming manual tasks. Now, your teams can tackle more valuable strategic work, such as market analysis, product innovation, creative development, and customer engagement. These strategic tasks further drive mission-critical business objectives.

10. Lower your costs and use resources more efficiently

Combining Canto with Media Delivery Cloud also reduces costs and allows you to use resources more efficiently.

You consolidate your resources by eliminating the need for separate platforms, simplifying operations, and reducing expenses. Additionally, you’ll save on cloud storage costs. With Canto, you only save images once in your library because Media Delivery Cloud can display them in the correct sizes and ratios across your storefronts.

Improve your speed to market with Canto and Media Delivery Cloud today

Canto is the leader in digital asset management and can transform how you run your digital storefronts from the ground up. Canto makes it easy to keep your e-commerce content organized, searchable, and accessible so your teams can quickly grab what they need and get to market. Canto AI Visual Search delivers your best content right into the hands of any team member instantly. Media Delivery Cloud includes intuitive and powerful publishing features for faster stores and teams. And with Canto as the central hub of your content ecosystem, your content will always be accurate and on-brand.

Ready to transform your e-commerce operations now? Get your free copy of our guide to digital asset management for retailers today.

Content delivery network frequently asked questions

1. What is the difference between CDN and digital asset management?

A content delivery network (CDN) caches content across a network of global servers to reduce latency for any website or application user. Digital asset management (DAM) centrally stores digital content for organizations, making it easy to organize, search, and access images, videos, documents, and more. Essentially, CDNs optimize content delivery externally, while DAM systems optimize content management internally.

2. How does a CDN improve website performance?

A content delivery network (CDN) improves website performance by caching static content on servers close to users’ geographical locations, significantly reducing data travel time and server load. This proximity minimizes latency and decreases load times, ensuring an optimal user experience.