Why MongoDB is a Perfect Fit for Retail

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Rebecca Bucnis
June 02, 2014
Category: Business

Leaders in retail are realizing that they need to ask new questions. “How can we capture photo reviews, incorporate them into our website in a way that makes sense, and use them to drive business decisions?” “How quickly can we turn a popular Pinterest Pin into a selling bundle?”

The industry is like a deer in the headlights – stunned by the reality that new channels, rapid information exchange and consumer interactivity are taking over retail.

Retailers must come to terms with the fact that they now face new challenges and increasingly demanding consumers:

  • They must strive towards the Omni-Channel Imperative, both in selling and delivery to remain competitive
  • They must deliver real-time information on products and inventory
  • They must aim for personalization of content and information for every visitor and customer
  • They must provide a brand-consistent mobile experience because that is where their customers now live, 24/7
  • They must make use of social sharing and customer co-creation of content to expand their brands

These goals demand innovative solutions, yet many retailers are using tools that were created decades ago. For example, traditional databases that were designed to ingest pre-defined, highly structured data can make it very difficult for organizations to quickly adapt. The result is that projects start, take months if not years to move forward and often ultimately fail. Meanwhile, consumer demand and the need to do interesting things with an increasingly complex information landscape continues to grow.

This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning. Modern technologies like MongoDB make it possible for organizations to adapt their applications to the evolving needs of the digital consumer, and allow them to execute ideas that were impossible only years ago. MongoDB is a leading open-source database technology, built for modern applications in the digital era where rapid information exchange is the norm.

Let’s take an example of a recent announced MongoDB retail customer – Otto Group’s Otto.de in Germany.

A long-standing company, Otto is the largest online women’s and children’s clothing producer and second largest eCommerce provider in Germany. They have long held the customer as the focal point of their retail strategy, but found that their conventional tools to support eCommerce were failing to provide differentiated, personalized offerings. Otto needed an alternative infrastructure that would allow them to:

  • Easily innovate by quickly testing new visitor experiences
  • Provide real-time production information for over 2 million products
  • Deliver personalized experiences to each of its 30 million unique users

“With MongoDB, we chose a partner who could really support us in this process with MongoDB consultants helping us in both design and training. As a result we have a modern, digitally-oriented application development environment which will allow us to implement our innovative ideas as quickly as we create them. We have made the right decision in opting for MongoDB.”
- Mr. Peter Wolter – Head of Ecommerce Solutions

After extensive trials, Otto Germany decided to use MongoDB to support its next generation eCommerce platform, a commitment that represents a large component in the company’s overall plan to execute on new retail strategies.

MongoDB allowed Otto to meet several goals that would have been difficult to accomplish with a relational database:

  • MongoDB allowed Otto to easily capture data from different source systems in a highly flexible ‘document’ structure
  • MongoDB allowed Otto to easily construct and share all encompassing single views of its products
  • MongoDB met Otto’s tight latency requirements, allowing the organization to serve millions of products to its millions of customers.
  • MongoDB was able to accomplish all of the above with scalability and high availability in mind

Due to the increasing number of retailers turning to MongoDB, we have created a blueprint of best practices in a Retail Portfolio with Reference Architecture details. This portfolio is based upon experiences from past retailers using our capabilities to re-invent the seemingly ‘impossible’ and our expertise as the company behind the MongoDB database.

To learn more about MongoDB and how it can help your retail business, view this past webinar in the Omni-Channel Retailing Webinar series.

For additional information about new retail challenges and how MongoDB addresses them, read the white paper below.

Serving the digitally-oriented consumer

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