Zulily
TECHNOLOGY

Fast-growing online retailer boosts experience with the cloud

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Zulily is banking on the cloud to enhance its online shopping experience.

The fast-growing online retailer launches over 100 events a day, each featuring 9,000 styles for 72 hours, and serving a personalized experience for every customer — all while holding minimal inventory. To uphold this rigorous business model, Zulily moved business critical workloads, including its store, mobile application, and supply chain, to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Zulily is using AWS services, including databases and analytics, to manage every part of the business, from marketing and merchandising, to vendor operations, security, and supply chain. The solutions will enable it to make real-time decisions and continuous improvements.

The company is gaining a scalable architecture that will save Zulily “thousands of dollars a month,” and deliver the performance needed to provide shoppers with a reliable experience. Since moving operations to the cloud for example, Zulily has seen a 30% to 40% performance improvement per request made across its website and mobile application.

In addition, the company’s IT team pushes code multiple times a day across a variety of applications and services, and tests and verifies system functionalities every five minutes, which cuts down the code-to-production push time by over 30%, according to the company.

“With AWS’s highly scalable and flexible infrastructure, Zulily is able to store and analyze large volumes of data and deliver enhanced experience to customers without taking away from key business operations,” said Luke Friang, CIO, at Zulily. “Our strategic relationship with AWS gives our team the tools they need to maintain our culture of constant and nimble innovation.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon expands free ultra-fast grocery delivery

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon and Whole Foods Market are adding four more markets to their two-hour grocery delivery program.

Starting June 12, the online giant launched free two-hour delivery of products from Whole Foods through Prime Now in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond. The service first launched in February, and was available in seven cities by April.

With the additional markets, the service is now available in 14 cities. Amazon plans to continue expanding the service across the United States throughout the rest of the year, the company said.

The service extension comes on the heels of another program expansion across the Whole Foods Market chain. Starting this week, Amazon will introduce its Prime discounts program to Whole Foods stores across 10 additional states, a move that gives members an extra 10% off sale items.

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Sears revs up Auto Centers partnership with Amazon

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sears is going in deeper with Amazon.

The department store retailer is expanding a partnership with Amazon that enables customers to receive full-service tire installation and balancing at Sears Auto Centers for any brand of tires purchased on Amazon. The program, called Ship-to-Store, was introduced in 47 stores in May. It is now being rolled out to an additional 71 locations, bringing the total to 118.

“Amazon customer reviews have been very positive and we are two months ahead of schedule,” said Mike McCarthy, VP and general manager of Sears Automotive. “Customers are taking advantage of additional services during the tire installation process, such as oil changes and alignments. We are meeting our 60-minute tire installation commitment, and over 90% of the Amazon customers are new Sears Automotive customers.”

The Ship-to-Store tire installation service will continue to roll out to customers across the United States over the coming weeks, according got Sears.

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