FiloBlu: Tailoring the perfect fit for an omni-channel fashion consultancy focused on growth

About FiloBlu

With an ecommerce focus, FiloBlu helps organizations maximize technology for extraordinary results in four business areas: Strategy/Internationalization, Business Intelligence, Business to Business, and Drive to Store.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

About Nohup

Based in Italy, IT consultancy Nohup specializes in the design and implementation of digital solutions based on new technologies, mainly targeting the B2B market.

FiloBlu migrates clients to Google Cloud Platform for improved uptime and faster page loading, delivering enhanced data analytics and insights thanks to BigQuery and Google Data Studio.

Google Cloud Results

  • Delivers improved stability and reduced page load times with a scalable infrastructure based on Compute Engine
  • Supports quick deployment of infrastructure for new clients, ready to go live in under a week
  • Aggregates multiple data sources with BigQuery for improved analytics delivered via Google Data Studio

Black Friday turnover up 54% on previous year

For fashion brands looking to keep up with consumers' new purchasing habits, establishing an omni-channel strategy that not only gives customers a choice of where to shop, but also creates new touch points across digital and in-store activities, is crucial. Italian partner FiloBlu helps brands such as Elisabetta Franchi and Automobili Lamborghini increase their profits using the latest technologies to coordinate online and offline sales. Thanks to its international strategies and integrated marketing campaigns across ecommerce and physical stores, FiloBlu grew its turnover by 800 percent between 2013 and 2016, and now works in over 100 countries.

"Besides helping us aggregate online and offline data, we want a cloud provider with an ecosystem of tools for developing new services and catalyzing growth. Our strategy involves analyzing data from all relevant sources to give end users a brand and shopping experience that's as comprehensive and satisfying as possible."

Fulvio Barbella, Business Analyst and Project Coordinator, FiloBlu

The company has developed its services to cover not only ecommerce, but also customer analytics, logistics, and sales assistance activities. "We've achieved our exceptional growth by diving deeper into company and brand processes," explains Fulvio Barbella, Business Analyst and Project Coordinator at FiloBlu. To help its clients keep up in this fast-moving market, FiloBlu analyzes large volumes of data to provide up-to-date KPIs and BI insights. This paints an increasingly detailed picture of the unique customers of each brand, around which the entire experience can be developed.

FiloBlu wanted to improve the performance of its big data analytics by aggregating online and offline data to address the whole customer journey for its brands. It also wanted a flexible, scalable provider that could keep up with its pace of growth. Working with implementation and managing partner Nohup, it chose Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as the perfect fit.

"In addition to optimizing our big data strategy by helping us aggregate online and offline data, we want the support of a cloud provider that offers a whole ecosystem of tools," says Fulvio. "Developing new services is key to maintaining our current rate of growth. Besides helping us aggregate online and offline data, we want a cloud provider with an ecosystem of tools for developing new services and catalyzing growth. Our strategy involves analyzing data from all relevant sources to give end users a brand and shopping experience that's as comprehensive and satisfying as possible."

Accessing key data insights

To access insights that can really make a difference, brands need to understand customer journeys from a 360° perspective. Previously, FiloBlu wasn't able to integrate all the datasets to achieve the level of big data analysis it was looking for. It also needed to improve the stability of its system.

"Google Compute Engine is great: scalable, available, good value for money. So far, we've migrated around half of our 60 brands, and our uptime is about 99.7 percent. Our infrastructure is definitely more stable. FiloBlu was also one of the first European companies to deploy Magento 2 in Kubernetes."

Dino Allodi, CTO, FiloBlu

With the help of Nohup, FiloBlu built a scalable infrastructure based on Compute Engine and Cloud Storage, using Stackdriver Monitoring and Cloud CDN for website content delivery, and more recently, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) as well. As for internal tools to manage the deploy procedure, FiloBlu relies on App Engine to get this done.

As the infrastructure scales easily, FiloBlu has no problems absorbing traffic peaks around major retail events and advertising campaigns. "Google Compute Engine is great: scalable, available, good value for money," says Dino Allodi, CTO at FiloBlu "So far, we've migrated around half of our 60 brands, and our uptime is about 99.7 percent. Our infrastructure is definitely more stable. FiloBlu was also one of the first European companies to deploy Magento 2 in Kubernetes."

For its data analytics pipeline, FiloBlu uses BigQuery, preparing data for analysis with Cloud Dataprep and Cloud Dataflow, and using Google Data Studio to deliver easy-to-understand dashboards to its clients. "Using BigQuery, we can give clients insights on how customers navigate their websites," says Fulvio. "That helps the brands understand user behavior, and improve their journey. Although we have a custom BI tool, we prefer to use Data Studio as customers find it easier to understand." And to manage the database, in-memory caching system, and filesystem of all its websites, FiloBlu uses Cloud SQL, Cloud Memorystore, and Cloud Filestore.

FiloBlu combines this comprehensive dashboard with machine learning algorithms on Cloud AutoML to deliver integrated customer suggestions, for an even more tailored customer experience. "We're able to better understand individuals' purchasing habits, and serve up offers that might interest them," says Fulvio. "If someone buys a bag or a dress, we're able to suggest similar styles, or accessories to go with it."

"Using Google Cloud Platform, we can now define targeted strategies for marketing campaigns, drive-to-store, and merchandising activities. That enables timely investments, measured in real time, and shared with the whole working team. Compared to the previous year, our revenue for Black Friday in 2018 increased by 54 percent."

Christian Nucibella, CEO, FiloBlu

Collaborating for fast deployment

Working closely with Nohup is helping FiloBlu get the most out of its infrastructure. "FiloBlu is one of the most forward-thinking companies of its kind in Italy, and is growing fast," says Riccardo Fabbri, CTO at Nohup. "So when we began the collaboration, expectations were high on all sides."

Thanks to the modular services on GCP, Nohup was able to put the infrastructure in place in just two weeks. It has designed the infrastructure to make it easy for FiloBlu to add new clients on GCP, by reducing operations as much as possible.

"With around three new clients going live every month, easy deployment is a priority," says Fulvio. "With GCP, we can get the infrastructure for a new brand up and running in under seven days, which is really important for keeping up the pace of growth."

Moving faster for more growth

Thanks to improved data insights and better performance, FiloBlu has been able to deliver increased profits for its clients. "Using Google Cloud Platform, we can now define targeted strategies for marketing campaigns, drive-to-store, and merchandising activities," says Christian Nucibella, CEO at FiloBlu. "That enables timely investments, measured in real time, and shared with the whole working team. Compared to the previous year, our revenue over Black Friday in 2018 increased by 54 percent."

As well as greater stability, since migrating clients to GCP, FiloBlu has seen an improvement in website page response times. "One client project saw its response time halved, while another is down by around two thirds," says Dino. "We're really happy with the improvements we've seen."

Now, FiloBlu is planning to migrate all its clients over to GCP, and expand its use of machine learning to deliver even more insights for its clients. The company also aims to make more use of GKE for ecommerce website delivery, from one brand currently to most, if not all, of its projects. As the company grows, it's now managing domain names with Cloud DNS for more scalability and flexibility.

"To lead the market, we need to move even faster," says Fulvio. "We've found that Google Cloud Platform is able to provide the right answer at the right moment. We feel confident in continuing to grow together."

About FiloBlu

With an ecommerce focus, FiloBlu helps organizations maximize technology for extraordinary results in four business areas: Strategy/Internationalization, Business Intelligence, Business to Business, and Drive to Store.

Industries: Technology
Location: Italy

About Nohup

Based in Italy, IT consultancy Nohup specializes in the design and implementation of digital solutions based on new technologies, mainly targeting the B2B market.