Introduction

To be a successful global retailer, providing a world-class customer experience is a must. This major retailer hit the mark, melding a unique brick-and-mortar vibe with a modern web presence. The retailer also stood out as a customer favourite on Black Friday, kicking off the busy holiday season with a flurry of sales.

Yet with so much shift happening in the industry to digital commerce – particularly on Black Friday which recorded $7.4 billion in 2019 e-commerce sales¹ – the retailer was feeling the strain on its systems. They knew it was time to revamp their technology strategy, overcome their peak traffic problems, and take their commerce infrastructure to new heights.

Challenges

While the retailer had success on past Black Fridays, they had also experienced challenges that caused the company to miss out on valuable revenue opportunities.

The enterprise wanted to be better prepared for future online spikes, and with good reason. Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping grows every year, and even Thanksgiving Day has become a peak traffic period (in 2019, large retailers experienced a 244% increase in online sales.

As the retailer strategically reviewed their systems, they realized that their limitations were largely due to the constraints of their on-premise Oracle (ATG) Commerce implementation. Interested in the cloud, the company began to evaluate Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a secure and scalable option.

To ensure the project was completed without a hitch, they sought help from Pivotree, the managed services provider with the most experience successfully migrating Oracle Commerce to AWS.

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The Solution

With FlashGrid excited to work with Pivotree and the global retailer, the team got to work to begin unlocking the potential of Oracle RAC on AWS.

Four key actions included:

  1. Refining requirements and determining proper sizing of the database cluster.
  2. Performing an analysis of Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) reports from the datacenter cluster.
  3. Deploying a test SkyCluster to familiarize Pivotree’s and client’s infrastructure and database teams with the system.
  4. Establishing a joint 24/7 client support framework carried out by Pivotree and FlashGrid teams.

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The Outcome

As the fall season moved along, the retailer knew that online traffic spikes were just around the corner, as well as the resulting load on their databases. So, did they pass the Black Friday test? The proof is in the numbers:

  • Record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Week – with zero downtime.
  • Shattered previous Black Friday revenue levels by high double-digit percentages.
  • Total user sessions on Black Friday rose nearly 5x higher than their average traffic for the previous months of the year.

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