E-Commerce on AWS

Meet Our Customer

The Site is a fashion company on a mission to offer a unique, high-touch, luxury shopping experience, and eventually, an online shopping mall and social network where customers can join a live video room with a live host who displays luxury items in an intimate setting.

Challenge

The team at The Site needed to launch a scalable, highly available SaaS platform on which it could onboard fashion brand merchants to host virtual storefronts in an aggregate via a virtual mall. The sophisticated eCommerce platform would require a low-latency video streaming experience, a modern responsive and adaptive UI, and be scalable enough to support thousands of stores and millions of shoppers.

Leaders at The Site were familiar with the AWS Cloud and eager to leverage the full suite of AWS services to help them move their business further, and faster. What they needed to get started as a partner with proven expertise in architecting and implementing AWS-based infrastructure and applications.

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Vision

The Site’s vision is to expand the offering into a full-fledged social network, where shoppers can watch product demonstrations and purchase them in real-time inside the video experience. Additionally, thousands of shoppers can join Influencer demonstrations, then purchase the same products.

Implication

To realize their ambitious plans to revolutionize the shopping experience, The Site needed a scalable, highly available SaaS platform —and they needed it fast. They also required separate environments for development, as well as for giving demonstrations to prospects, investors, and other key stakeholders.

Solution

As an AWS Premier Consulting Partner with more than 350 AWS certified employees, leaders at The Site knew that NorthBay was the right partner to architect a highly available AWS-based infrastructure and application.

They were enthusiastic about the widely lauded NorthBay “One Team” model, whereby our team works hand-in-hand with client teams, so they have ample opportunity to learn from and actively engage with our experts. It’s our belief that only through knowledge sharing and mutual accountability can both NorthBay and our clients gain a shared sense of ownership. Additionally, this type of team structure better supports the agile development process needed to accelerate time frames. Finally, The Site needed a partner who would take on the management, operations, and support services for both the infrastructure and the application post-deployment, which NorthBay is equipped to do.

Our joint team began reviewing the code and functionality of the existing prototype. We decided to utilize Twilio for video streaming and Vue.js for responsive UI, along with AWS services including Fargate, S3, CloudFront, IAM, Aurora, CloudWatch, EventBridge, API Gateway, Parameter Store, CodePipeline, and CodeBuild.

Other efforts included building integrations with Stripe for payments, and Twilio video for the video conferencing capability. Security best practices, such as the principle of least privilege and multi-factor authentication were used to protect both the environments as well as related intellectual property.

From the outset, we used CloudFormation to enable an infrastructure-as-code approach to all infrastructure for the development and operational activities. AWS Control Tower was used to build out the multi-account strategy.

Once the new infrastructure (AWS IaaS) and business application were deployed, we turned our attention to providing ongoing operational and technical support to ensure that all environments are available and performing as needed. We configured CloudWatch and Sentry performance monitoring services to ensure that the AWS Infrastructure and applications are operating at optimal levels. Additionally, NorthBay monitors and reports on monthly budget utilization to optimize resources and spending.

Benefits and Next Steps

As a result of the decision to partner with NorthBay, The Site achieved its aggressive goal of deploying a highly available and scalable environment. And, they now have the ability to rapidly enhance the platform with changing requirements and priorities.

Our successful partnership with The Site has just begun. We continue to collaborate in pursuit of their vision for the future of shopping by developing additional capabilities including the ability to:

  • Accept cryptocurrency payments.
  • Broadcast appointments to thousands of simultaneous users.
  • Integrate merchant inventory and order management systems.

Fast access to actionable data for informed decision making:

A user-friendly dashboard displaying KPI metrics, along with corresponding detailed reports, enable stakeholders to access accurate, actionable data in real time.

Organizational alignment on business objectives:

Associates across all areas of RE/MAX INTEGRA have access to powerful data visualizations of KPIs, sales targets, and benchmarking information for managing operations and gauging performance over time.

Access to centralized, normalized data:

All relevant data from disparate systems is cleaned, normalized and integrated into one warehouse for querying across multiple datasets.

Reduced duplication and labor costs:

Redundant tasks related to correlating data and developing reports were automated, resulting in significant time savings.

Elimination of bottlenecks:

By implementing a robust, self-service reporting function, stakeholders are no longer reliant on IT resources to get the data they need to make important business decisions.