Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 49 - Page 75

INDUSTRY WATCH

Emma – The Sleep Company , a leading directto-customer sleep brand , has selected commercetools and Fluent Commerce to provide a new e-commerce platform for its rapidly growing business .

The retailer , which sold 1.5 million mattresses in 2020 in more than 30 countries , is famous for its foam Emma Mattress – which are commonly ordered online and delivered to consumers in a box . This business is rapidly growing with an annual revenue of € 405 million in 2020 which is a 170 % increase on the previous year .
Committed to providing the best shopping experience for customers , Emma decided to replace its e-commerce platform to better support business growth plans . The company selected commercetools , a MACH Alliance member , whose platform is built on modern MACH principles – Microservices , API-first , cloud-native and headless – and supports Emma ’ s technology strategy , as its online store backbone .
Alongside commercetools , Emma selected a distributed Order Management System ( OMS ) from Fluent Commerce ( also a MACH Alliance member ) to streamline online and offline order management , providing a single view of global inventory and the ability to fulfil and return customer orders in the future more efficiently .
AyataCommerce , a technology services company , helped Emma with the rollout of the new distributed OMS . Fluent Order Management will be rolled out to more than 30 countries , including the USA , UK , China and India . The rollout kickstarted in Colombia in August 2021 , just a few months after the partnership was formed , and will incrementally cover all current and future markets . Emma aims to complete the rollout in 2022 .
Andreas Westendörpf , CTO , Emma , said : “ The commercetools platform is one of the cornerstones of Emma ’ s new composable e-commerce architecture . In this partnership , we share a high degree of strategic principles and practices of software engineering with the goal to provide agility to our rapidly growing business .
“ commercetools is the first e-commerce platform to be designed for headless and cloud-native from inception , with excellent developer tooling and thus our choice for the e-commerce backbone . We are happy to have found the perfect partners for Emma ’ s e-commerce platform of the future .
“ Emma is on a steep growth trajectory with the aim of doubling in revenue every 12 – 24 months . Ensuring we build the best technology platform that enables our business to scale and stay agile is key to our success .
“ With Fluent Commerce , we found a partner that shares a high degree of strategic principles and practices of software engineering with the goal to not only meet customer demand , but exceed expectations .”
We caught up with Westendörpf , to find out more about the implementation .
What challenges were you experiencing with your existing e-commerce platform ?
If you start like Emma did in 2013 – as a startup – you design your IT systems with tools and knowledge available to you to get the business running and growing . In only a few years , we successfully scaled our business to more than 30 countries , to € 405 million in revenue and 1.5 million mattresses sold in 2020 .
Although already running on the cloud , the existing e-commerce system had a legacy monolithic architecture with many customised extensions developed over the years , servicing the business as it grew . This inevitably accumulated a lot of functionality that did not provide distinguishing intellectual value to the company , but that nonetheless needed to be maintained and operated .
In this setup there were a lot of hands involved to implement even simple changes and that prevented us from scaling our organisation . We had more than 30 market teams going through the same bottleneck of software development . That needed to change . Beyond scalability , another issue holding us back from becoming business-agile was fragility .
The technical debt of the old tech stack became a burden – often up to 30 % of development capacity was necessary to fix bugs occurring by unwanted side effects during development . And more than occasionally , the platform would break .
Reviewing the status quo and anticipating Emma ’ s highly ambitious business goals , it became apparent that the current technical landscape would not enable us to further scale our business as quickly as we did in the past . That ’ s why we took a leap forward to modern software development and designed the e-commerce architecture of the future .
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