Kmart Australia has finished replatforming its online store, reducing infrastructure operating costs by two thirds and freeing up engineers to deliver personalisation improvements for customers.
General manager of customer technology Vicki Miller told the Amazon Web Services Summit in Sydney that the final component moved across to the new platform in March 2022.
Kmart picked Commercetools as its new ecommerce platform in December 2020 to ensure it could meet the increased demands of online shopping that occurred during the pandemic.
“With that surge in online, it meant that we needed to maintain the current platform, as well as move to the new platform,” Miller said on Wednesday.
“So, we used a strangler approach to move component parts across piece by piece, and we were really running both of those platforms simultaneously.”
“And in March of this year, we moved the final component part across.”
Vicki said that Kmart had adopted “cloud, native, serverless-first design principles” for the platform, with the backend now “fully event driven”.
“We used services like AWS Lambeda, Amazon SQS and SNS, and we’ve also used container technologies like Amazon ECS on Fargate and that helps serve pages back to our customer,” she said.
Miller said that by transitioning to a serverless design, Kmart had “taken the burden of maintenance away” from its engineers, allowing them to focus on work that elevates the customer experience.
“Our ability to really move our engineers into high value work means we have been able to focus on bringing our data forward in a much more meaningful way to our customers and contextualise that experience for them,” she said.
“We do have an enormous of a data available to us, and a good example of where we’ve used it recently was with Amazon Personalise.
“Once we’d done the evaluation on Amazon Personalise, it really only took us a matter of weeks to get that service in and from there, we were seeing about a 30 percent improvement on the conversion rates with customers.”
Kmart was also able to reduce operating costs for its ecommerce platform by as much as two thirds as a result of the project.
“The outcome of that program was that we had three times the volume, we were double the speed of the site and we doubled conversion,” Miller said.
“And just as importantly, we were operating at a third of what our previous infrastructure costs were.
Miller also used her keynote to touch on Kmart’s work to migrate a “40-year-old mainframe across to the AWS cloud”, which involved moving 30 critical applications.
“Just to give you a bit of context around the size of that, it was about five terabytes of data, and it took about 14 months to undertake that process,” she said.
“What that allowed us to do was to make available the data that had been trapped in our legacy environment.”