Online electrical retailer AO.com is driving hyper-personalised experiences with the support of Confluent and Apache Kafka, furthering its mission to be the world-wide desired destination for electronics. The on line electrical retail professional, which serves hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the British isles and Germany, observed a sharp increase in advancement thanks to the dramatic change in customer buying behaviors all through the pandemic and required their technologies to assist this surge whilst continuing to concentration on turning every single consumer pay a visit to to its web-site into a one-to-one marketing option.

AO.com utilised the flexible, extensible architecture provided by the Confluent System, which has the power and smarts to combine historic consumer data with real-time electronic alerts from customers. “With Confluent powering our Kafka deployment, we can liberate data from our heritage programs and combine it with real-time alerts from our customers to deliver a hyper-personalised experience,” states Jon Vines, Head of Facts Engineering and Integration at AO.com.

Facts in motion unlocks a environment of chances

Starting out with a self-managed atmosphere based on the Confluent System, AO.com recently moved to Confluent Cloud, a completely-managed cloud support, enabling the on line retailer to proceed its purpose of innovating consumer experiences by means of party streaming.

Vines states by enabling onsite clickstream data as a real-time data feed, the system allows us to thrust an acceptable voucher to the consumer in real time to create much more powerful propositions. “You just can’t do that with a data lake and batch processing,” he states.

AO.com has uncovered that real-time data in motion give unique consumer intelligence which can unlock chances and increased performance for businesses – crucial to providing excellent brand and the consumer experience. But it wasn’t normally this way.

When the on line retailer very first begun with party streaming, a proof of principle was run to extract data from heritage programs, like buy processing, employing change data seize (CDC) connectors to observe updates in Microsoft SQL Server dedicate logs. This produced uncooked party streams, which have been taken care of by a homegrown Kafka cluster hosted in many AWS EC2 scenarios – considering that replaced by Confluent Cloud. Kafka propagated these functions to a established of .Internet companies, which processed the data for numerous focused use conditions and stored the outcomes in MongoDB.

Just after the accomplishment of its preliminary period, AO.com determined to leverage the power of the Kafka Streams API to enrich its uncooked party data with extra context, making much more enriched party streams. Both the uncooked and enriched matters are despatched by way of connectors to downstream individuals and S3 buckets. The party bucket is used by AO.com’s data researchers for analysis and evaluation, even though the downstream individuals apply extra business logic ahead of propagating the outcomes to MongoDB.

This obtained them closer to the close purpose – real-time hyper-personalisation. To do this, AO.com deployed Confluent to acquire clickstream functions from its net server, yet again making equally uncooked and enriched matters. The enriched matter then feeds AO.com’s backend Lambda/MongoDB/S3 architecture as ahead of. It then goes to Kafka to stream the resulting functions again to the net server, injecting the abundant, hyper-personalised written content into the consumer experience.

Buyers like what they see, with AO.com getting they react positively to the own touch and has witnessed enhanced conversions. “Our hyper-personalised technique is providing measurable outcomes,” states Vines. “That’s proof that our choice to adopt a real-time party streaming technique was the correct one.

Unlocking chances and efficiencies

And right after the effective deployment of its very first party streaming use case targeted on hyper-personalisation, AO.com also labored with Confluent Specialist Providers to development quickly in party streaming maturity, building to the level exactly where reuse of data, efficiencies of scale, and the platform influence are reinforcing one a different.  This has authorized the retailer to accelerate innovation throughout the board without the need of pricey or time-consuming technologies upgrade and transformation jobs. “Utilizing the Kafka Streams API allows us to create up distinctive views and create new stream processing purposes. And with Schema Registry, we get a clean separation amongst producers and individuals, so we can quickly include new types of data without the need of worrying about breaking existing purposes,” Vines states.

Owning Confluent regulate its party streaming infrastructure usually means AO.com has also taken off an operational burden, liberating up its developers to concentration on building new purposes. It also allows the retailer to leverage Confluent’s Kafka experience and to get seamless updates, giving it uncomplicated accessibility to the most current functions.

“Just before Confluent Cloud, when we had broker outages, it needed rebuilds,” he states. “With the resulting context switching, it could get up to a few days of developers’ time to resolve. Now, Confluent takes treatment of every little thing for us, so our developers can concentration on building new functions and purposes.”

Eventually, AO.com has witnessed distinct positive aspects from Confluent’s experience in data in motion, built on the Kafka technologies formulated by the company’s founders. It is supporting the businesses deliver excellent customers experiences in real-time. Some of the business outcomes contain:

  • Purchaser conversion rates enhanced
  • Builders targeted on value-include functions, not operations, which include the rollout of new business abilities
  • Facts at the speed of business – integrating stock availability data to improved tutorial consumer journeys

Vines sums it up properly, “The most crucial result is that we can deliver abilities at speed. Pace became even much more very important all through the pandemic due to the fact the environment moved so quickly from predominantly in-keep buying to on line. The speed at which we can create new use conditions that enhance the consumer journey with Confluent Cloud is supporting us to cement our on line market management posture. And that is due to the fact it allows us to take care of each individual moment as a one-on-one option to give a terrific consumer experience. And we’re not completed nevertheless. The probable is pretty much limitless as we proceed to understand and innovate.”

Discover how Confluent technologies could support you innovate and build hyper-personalised consumer experiences in real-time to maximise consumer gratification and revenue advancement.