Daffodil develops an m-commerce app with modern database architecture for one of India’s biggest online retailers
Established in 2013, the client is one of India’s biggest e-commerce retailers for official, licensed merchandise including apparel, footwear, and accessories. It produces licensed merchandise for some of the biggest businesses and brands such as Disney, ViaCom18, Warner Brothers, Netflix, etc. The retailer receives over five million monthly visitors on its web and mobile applications.
The retailer had been delivering its services to customers via a web application. After having built a formidable presence through its web application, it was now looking to extend its market penetration through an m-commerce application and was looking for a reliable state-of-the-art technology partner to help facilitate this goal.
Additionally, the technology partner was also expected to re-engineer features of the e-commerce retailer’s web application such as wallet, search, and other mechanics. Another requirement was the efficient setup, deployment, and management of its database in the cloud, for which it had been looking for an advanced cloud services partner.
Daffodil Software’s versatile expertise in developing cutting-edge e-commerce solutions, cloud database services, and infrastructure modernization made it the go-to option as the retailer’s technology partner. A brainstorming session with the retailer led to the formulation of the following key requirements:
- Develop a mobile application that can encapsulate the entire product buying journey from search to the purchase step
- Automate the deployment cycle and integrate measures for the scalability of the mobile application
- Streamline catalog management, sales, and campaign management with a mobile CMS
- Upgrade the web application to enable omnichannel commerce
- Facilitate measures to enable cost-effective relational database management
- Enable high-availability for the platform
- Set up measures to boost database performance, scalability and storage throughput
The Daffodil team set about facilitating the retailer’s requirements by first analyzing their existing web application to prepare an initial feature roadmap for the mobile application. The UI/UX experts from the team analyzed the application’s workflow and identified limitations in its functionalities to later enhance them through upgrades.
Mobile App Features
After the above-mentioned analysis, a wireframe for the mobile application was created, mirroring the web application’s workflow. The mobile application’s development involved the following feature integrations:
- Automated Transactions & Scheduling: Product exchange and returns management is now part of an automated module. It includes a digital wallet that contains points collected from purchases and credit amounts. The m-commerce app also includes an automated system for workflow management of sales, and it auto-schedules banners, prices, other timers, etc.
- Custom Search: The Daffodil team built a custom search engine to overcome the challenges of the previously used third-party search engine service. These limitations included slow search functionality, recurring costs, and overall manageability hurdles.
- Mobile CMS: A Content Management System (CMS) was developed that manages product catalogs, campaigns, side menus, offers, widgets, coupons, vouchers, etc. The CMS leverages Python libraries to ensure that the content is managed at run-time.
Web App Enhancements
The gaps identified in the web application were examined in-depth and the following improvement strategies were formulated and implemented seamlessly:
- Omni Channel Integration: The data around all the transactions made across the entire e-commerce platform, over the mobile app and the web app, were synchronized for a platform-independent omnichannel experience.
- DevOps Workflow: As the legacy method of deployment was leading to issues of downtime and manageability, the deployment cycle was automated with DevOps. This also solved the problem of the potential scalability of the overall platform.
- POS Modernization: The Point Of Sale (POS) system was customized to follow compliance and standards. The former challenges of feature limitations, recurring costs, and manageability were resolved.
The retailer was facing issues with maintaining platform high-availability, and managing database capabilities such as synchronization, user security, etc. The Daffodil team identified the AWS services of Amazon RDS for re-engineering the database infrastructure cost-effectively and overcome the associated issues, in the following ways:
- High-Availability: The database instances for all the workloads generated over the web and mobile apps were made available by the team across widely distributed geographies and for longer periods without downtime. With read-write replication of instances across Availability Zones (AZ), multi-AZ deployment further boosted the availability of the platform.
- Enabling Auto-Scalability: The database capacity can now be adjusted when the data volume exceeds the preconfigured levels. AWS Auto-Scaling enables this by constantly monitoring the mobile and web applications to maintain steady connections with the database.
- Infrastructure Cost Reduction: The Amazon RDS service known as Cost Explorer was employed to visualize, understand and manage the AWS expenditure of relational database setup, management, and potential scaling, as well as usage metrics. Using graviton instances, the cost was optimized, while also boosting the performance of the cloud database itself.
With the newly implemented improvements in the web application and the freshly developed mobile application, the retailer managed to post growth figures four times the former rate. The database architecture enhancements helped bring infrastructure expenses down by 10% and vastly reduced downtime. The Daffodil team was commended by the retailer for the versatility of service delivery and extensive support along the way.
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