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Empowering DevOps to foster customer loyalty in modern retail with MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud

November 23, 2021
Mark Porter

CTO, MongoDB

Consumer demands are becoming more complex, driven by high expectations for personalized experiences that strike the right chord at the perfect time. One study from McKinsey found that nearly three-quarters of consumers demand personalization when interacting with retailers.

Retailers old and new of any size must embrace the challenges head on and learn to capture customer loyalty. While each business has a unique modernization journey, all of them share something in common: Effective approaches to DevOps and data analytics underpin their success.

Established retailers sometimes struggle to change previous retail models into the much more intimate, personalized, and real-time retail experiences that consumers now want, whether shopping in-store or online. At the same time, these retailers and many newcomers are jumping all in, and devising exceptional experiences that transform shopper experiences and elevate expectations even further.

MongoDB and Google Cloud have been helping retailers of all sizes better address quickly changing market opportunities. As retailers continue to need more powerful systems of engagement and data analytics, the combination of MongoDB Atlas and Google Cloud solutions have offered retailers such as 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. a solid mix of proven IT infrastructure and expertise.

Maximizing data value for developers

DevOps is increasingly tasked with creating experiences that will bring customers to a retail website and guide them through the purchasing process. Along the way, they need to build in steps that keep customers fully engaged in the buying process and discourage actions like cart abandonment. A successful build depends a lot on how much quality data is available about customer shopping experiences and how easy it is for DevOps teams to derive insights from that information.

Google Cloud is very much a developer’s cloud, and we at MongoDB are very much a developer’s database. We like the breadth of Google Cloud services, which pair well with our products. Our collaboration with Google Cloud feels very natural both in terms of the technology we develop and how we approach serving our clients’ needs. Together, we give DevOps teams at retailers a modern toolkit to maximize the value of their work.

The cloud-based environment supported by Google Cloud and MongoDB Atlas increases the speed and success of experimentation and ultimately delivers solutions with the greatest impact. With agile environments like ours, teams experiment much faster, leading to more innovative shopping experiences that differentiate a retailer from their competitors.

Any cloud solution has to be usable for retailers of all sizes so that they can develop services according to their unique needs, expertise, and visions. The goal should be to empower a retailer’s DevOps team to be as self-sufficient as possible, and not have to rely on a third-party every time changes need to be made.

In an industry facing extremely tight margins—and where a two percent efficiency gain or 2x acceleration of time to market can make or break the success of a project—gaining any edge is essential for retailers. Google Cloud and MongoDB provide that edge to retailers, as well as to other companies across many industries.

Cultivating a vision at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. is an exceptional example of what can be achieved when going all in with modern data and DevOps solutions. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Abi Sachdeva, has pursued emerging technologies to support his business teams with the latest technologies to drive value for its customers.

Abi has been laser-focused on delivering new personalized experiences by continually innovating customer-facing services. Driven by a commitment to foster engagement across its industry-leading brands through a centralized customer experience, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. built an e-commerce platform that is inclusive of both products and resources aimed at improving how people connect and express themselves.

To best manage all the eCommerce environments associated with its family of brands and ensure outstanding customer service, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. has been working with MongoDB and Google Cloud to revolutionize its DevOps.

“With the help of MongoDB and Google Cloud, we transformed people, processes, and our technology. It has been a very stable experience requiring little administrative work,” says Abi. “Traditional technologies weighed us down in the past. MongoDB and Google Cloud deliver data models and DevOps solutions that accelerate our development and deployment.”

MongoDB Atlas provides 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. with aggregation pipelines and a distributed system design that help it to scale quickly, while Google Cloud made its new approach to agile and DevOps a reality.

The speed and agility that come with cloud services helps companies like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. keep up with the constantly changing customer preferences. With proven cloud solutions that at once increase overall IT effectiveness and decrease the burdens on IT teams, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. is better positioned to constantly experiment, innovate, and deliver experiences that delight customers.

“The fully managed MongoDB Atlas database on Google Cloud has unlocked tremendous potential in our IT architecture,” says Abi. “From agility in scaling and improved resource management to seamless global clusters and premium monitoring, MongoDB and Google Cloud reduce complexity and allow our teams to stay lean and focused on innovation rather than infrastructure.”

Looking toward the holidays and beyond

The very same systems that encourage experimentation and innovation can position retailers and other companies to excel during and long after the holiday season. Companies need elasticity, scalability, and agility to facilitate experimentation and to navigate the turbulent external factors across their marketplace.

Every holiday season is challenging for retailers, but current supply chain concerns combined with massive changes to how people shop as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will make 2021 a particularly important year for the industry. I believe that companies that have increased their backend elasticity and improved their DevOps culture will fare especially well amid the market upheaval.

As organizations modernize IT, it will be increasingly important to pair the possibilities of software and infrastructure to enable smaller DevOps teams to act independently and quickly. This improves culture across the business as people are more empowered and supported.

In addition, I encourage DevOps professionals to place more importance on understanding customers, driving business values, and taking a people-first approach to work. By combining this level of business experience with great coding skills, smaller teams can bolster a retailer’s performance this holiday season and beyond.

We are proud to work with Google Cloud to develop and deliver new ways for DevOps in retail and other industries to experiment, innovate, and deploy groundbreaking experiences that transform how people achieve their goals.

To learn more about the future of retail innovation, watch this video featuring members of the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., MongoDB, and Google Cloud teams.

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