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Vestiaire Collective & MongoDB:
Reimagining Pre-Loved Fashion with Data

INDUSTRY

e-commerce and Retail

PRODUCT

MongoDB Atlas

INITIATIVE / USE CASES

Business Agility
Catalog
Consumer Services

CUSTOMER SINCE

2020
INTRODUCTION

Using digital to ensure style always meets sustainability

Vestiaire Collective started with a few simple questions: “Why should so many fashion pieces lie unused in our wardrobes? And could there be a way to extend the lifespan of these beautiful pieces?”

From its conception, Vestiaire Collective has encouraged consumers to consider resale as a smart and sustainable alternative to throwaway fashion — driven by a core belief that one’s authentic, vintage Gucci handbag should be cherished and re-used, not thrown to the curb.

The firm has grown its e-commerce platform and community to more than 11 million fashion savvy and environmentally conscious members. Its website helps put buyers in contact with online sellers and authenticates goods for verification. Today, it has a presence in 80+ countries and over 550,000 new listings per month. It all means buyers can peruse coveted fashion pieces from 7,000 brands and ensures that for the Vestiaire Collective community, style always meets sustainability.

“Buy less, buy better. Wear more, sell more.”

THE CHALLENGE

Becoming a true tech-led fashion brand

This impressive growth led to a huge increase in activity across the business. More products, more authentications, more users, and more purchases. It was all data that the Vestiaire Collective’s engineering team had to store, manage, and analyse. As sales rose across the platform, challenges started to arise in the business. From what had been a seamless customer experience, the increased activity began leading to delays and friction. Processes like authentication were becoming more complex and taking up considerable resources. The team was also having to deal with a far higher volume of purchases — admittedly a great problem to have — but that left buyers waiting weeks for their vintage products to arrive.

The team knew that with this increased activity, things had to evolve. Upgrades in the core technology infrastructure and new digital services were a clear route to improve customer experience.

“Our vision was to create a true tech fashion brand with a flexible tool that would improve the customer experience so they could navigate the site much quicker,” explained Sardorbek Pulatov, Head of Engineering, Vestiaire Collective. “At the same time, we wanted to launch a new product catalogue and a customized social newsfeed to bolster the community aspect and drive engagement.”

“Buy. Sell. Share”

THE SOLUTION

Scaling seamlessly to meet growing demand

To do this, the team required a modern database to set about building a microservices architecture. This was to manage the increasing product catalogue, evolving shipping requirements, and much more. However, the legacy data platform that had been at the heart of the company since its foundation was no longer fit for purpose. Managing and analyzing insights here had become a real challenge. The structure of the data wasn’t easy to work on and requests were taking several seconds to process, not the instantaneous real-time data-driven experience consumers had come to expect.

“We knew moving to a document database was the right solution for us. It would be easier to work from, more flexible and more efficient for our developers,” said Pulatov.

It led Vestiaire Collective to evaluate the market for a document database with the versatility and functionality it needed.

“I remember our newsfeed product owner searching for the right solution. We were really on the lookout for a document database that gave us more,” said Pulatov. “With the community and e-commerce platform growing so quickly, we really didn’t want to be managing database clusters. We wanted to be designing and deploying new offerings for our customers. That’s when we came across MongoDB Atlas.”

Following a quick phone call and a subsequent four-day training course for its developers, Vestiaire Collective migrated five core projects to MongoDB Atlas in just a few hours. These included core components like its content management system, product catalogue, rule engine manager, and the social newsfeed.

Now working with MongoDB Atlas on AWS, the global cloud database service, the team focuses its efforts on making those very products better rather than managing infrastructure.

“Our internal developers loved MongoDB Atlas from the start. The fact that it doesn’t need to be patched or updated means there’s zero downtime – even when migrating across critical functions. It’s seamless and was exactly what we were looking for.”

Sardorbek Pulatov, Head of Engineering, Vestiaire Collective

“Fresh Finds” on The Vestiaire Collective Mobile Application

THE RESULTS

Reducing costs and carbon emissions with one data platform

The team saw immediate results. It found MongoDB Atlas to be significantly cheaper than its predecessor and much greener in terms of reduced energy consumption. All because Vestiaire Collective was able to decommission ageing servers and decrease its overall server footprint.

“Not only has MongoDB Atlas saved us resources, but it has also helped us reduce our carbon footprint,” said Pulatov. “It’s an important consideration for us. Sustainability will always be at the core of Vestiaire.”

The company’s MongoDB Atlas deployment now handles around 17,000 new products every day -- a feat that helped the company double its sales in 2020. And it doesn’t stop there: Pulatov and the team expect this growth to continue and have their own plans to support the business with a new tech hub in Berlin.

From a developer’s point of view, MongoDB remains intuitive to use and easy to maintain. “MongoDB Atlas uses infrastructure as code, which means we can write infrastructure directly and give our team lots of flexibility,” continued Pulatov. “We enjoy optimal availability because of the downtime-less maintenance, and we can scale clusters up and down effortlessly. It all means we can provide the very best experiences for our community.”

“Our goals for 2021 are to take a look at updating our search and analytics capabilities for better customer experience. As part of that, we’re reviewing MongoDB Atlas Search and MongoDB Charts,” concluded Pulatov.

“We really want to be the leading global brand in sustainable, pre-owned fashion with technology at our core. MongoDB is helping us realise that ambition.”

Sardorbek Pulatov, Head of Engineering, Vestiaire Collective

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