Amazon Cloud Technology: Originating from Retail, Empowering Innovation

Under the epidemic, more and more retail companies are aware of the importance of digital assets and digital real estate. At the same time, the traditional retail industry is gradually being replaced by emerging live sales, VR/AR technology, product visualization in 3D and store virtualization. At this time, it is particularly important for traditional retailers to rethink and find new ways to build stores in line with market trends.

As a global cloud service provider, Amazon Cloud Technology works with thousands of retailers. These retailers are distributed in different retail areas, including general consumer goods, food, pharmaceuticals, as well as fashion products, apparel and digital products, and handle a variety of retail business workloads through Amazon Cloud Technology’s cloud services.

“Retailers choose Amazon cloud technology mainly because of Amazon cloud technology’s ability to promote unique innovation in retail business.” Tom Litchford, head of Amazon cloud technology global retail industry market strategy, said in an interview with the author. From a technical point of view, Amazon Cloud Technology not only has advantages in cloud infrastructure, such as computing, storage, network, database, security and other fields to provide customers with good services, but also has modern cloud services that meet the current business needs of enterprises, such as Microservices, dedicated databases, and application environments running large enterprise-level SAP in the cloud.

Innovation makes Amazon e-commerce more successful
It is worth mentioning that behind the success of Amazon’s e-commerce website, it is inseparable from the service support of Amazon cloud technology, which provides many innovations based on the e-commerce field, such as reducing the checkout time for guests, and innovatively providing Amazon e-commerce services. The retailer’s website enables contactless delivery in the last mile delivery, i.e., the ability to pick up items purchased online at the driveway, and enables Amazon Alexa smart services.

Before that, Amazon e-commerce had been one of Oracle’s database customers. However, with the entire application reconstruction of Amazon’s e-commerce, including microservices, including the development of business volume, in 2019, all 75PB of internal data stored in 7,500 Oracle databases will be migrated to Amazon Cloud Technology’s own database services.

During such a migration process, more than 100 teams participated in the migration work, and the migration covered the key systems of Amazon’s e-commerce, whether it was procurement, catalog management, order fulfillment, advertising, financial systems, wallets, video streaming , all workloads are migrated from Oracle.

“The success of Amazon’s e-commerce is inseparable from the technical support behind Amazon’s cloud technology and the upgrade of customer experience.” Tom Litchford said. After switching from Oracle to Amazon Cloud Technology, Amazon e-commerce also saved 60% of costs, while the latency of consumer-facing applications was reduced by 40%, and the management expenditure of the database was reduced by 70%.

Continuous innovation empowers retail industry transformation
“As originating from the retail industry, that is, Amazon’s e-commerce website, we also hope that Amazon cloud technology can be rooted in the retail field and strive for the digital transformation of the retail industry. Retail enterprises’ entire IT application environment is clouded, because it can bring them additional Cost savings. On average, about 30% to 50% cost savings compared to an on-premises IT environment,” said Tom Litchford.

Tom Litchford also revealed that Amazon cloud technology will empower the transformation of the retail industry from three aspects: First, it will help retailers optimize operations and modernize applications, that is, the process of enterprise applications going to the cloud. Specifically, the enterprise’s very large existing applications and basic services based on dedicated databases and cloud servers are divided into several parts, and all of them adopt a microservice architecture.

Amazon Cloud Technology has a wide range of cloud services and plays an important role in the transformation of the retail industry. Based on artificial intelligence and machine learning services, retailers can gain more insights and increase stickiness with consumers. At the same time, Amazon cloud technology can help retail companies transform their interactions with end users, and use technologies such as voice, computer vision, AR/VR, Internet of Things, and robotics to create a better user experience.

At the 2021 Amazon Cloud Technology re:Invent Summit, many new services and new functions were released. Among them, Amazon Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift (ADX for short) can easily find, subscribe and use third-party data in the cloud in the Amazon Data Exchange service. For retailers, ADX is a very important cloud service, which can help retailers use third-party data to strengthen their own customer data.

Amazon Private 5G can meet the needs of retail stores for geographic coverage, and by using Amazon Private 5G services, it can help retailers gain cloud capabilities in their end stores.

Amazon QuickSight Q enables mid-level managers of retailers, such as store directors, sales area managers, etc., to use natural language to query corporate databases for data.

The Amazon Personalize feature is a fully managed machine learning service. The optimization of the algorithm for the retail industry can enable customers to better conduct one-to-one customer relationship management, intelligent user segmentation, etc.

“Classic algorithms that used to be used on Amazon’s e-commerce site, such as frequently viewed similar items, best-selling items, and items that are frequently bought together, have been added to Amazon Personalize,” said Tom Litchford.

In general, the retail industry needs comprehensive digitization of all businesses, processes, and touchpoints, creating an enterprise-level data lake and realizing real-time data synchronization.

“In the past, multiple applications of retail enterprises were independent and separated, and each application also had its own data, thus forming multiple data islands. Amazon Cloud Technology helps retail enterprises to integrate these data and put them in a unified data pool. , forming a single source of truth for data.”

Tom Litchford said that on this basis, the key to the second step is to use machine learning technology to mine insights or value from data.

Take Footasylum, a British fashion footwear retailer as an example, by using the cloud service of Amazon Cloud Technology, the data is first injected into the data lake, and the second is the use of machine learning technology to try to do pilot promotions, put some inventory of shoes sold to specific types of users, and by managing promotions in this way, customers saw a 20% reduction in same-day inventory, a four-fold increase in return on investment on social media advertising, and a 28% increase in revenue from promotions.

write at the end
The transformation of Amazon’s e-commerce can be used for reference. However, because the situation of each retail enterprise is different, it is still necessary to start from the enterprise’s own enterprise needs, through the professional customer team of Amazon Cloud Technology to help enterprises choose suitable products and services. Ability to innovate business and create the ultimate customer experience.