A cross platform mobile ecommerce experience.

Executive Summary

Petco is a leading national pet specialty retailer with more than 50 years of service to pet parents. Everything they do is guided by their vision: Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. The company operates petco.com and more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Committed to the overall health and wellness of pets, Petco strives to serve as pet parents’ trusted partner in their stores as well as online. In 2017, Petco was actively developing a mobile platform to complement their strong eCommerce business. With the help of JBS, the company was able to significantly accelerate the original project timeline, reduce workforce needs and successfully launch a user-friendly mobile app that efficiently supports pet parents’ needs. By leveraging services provided by AWS, Petco saved on operating expenditures, allowing them to stay at the forefront of new technology.

Challenges

In an increasingly competitive and digitally driven retail landscape, consumers want and expect seamless, multi-channel experiences that allow them to shop and interact with brands and retailers when, where and how it’s most convenient for them. To that end, Petco was in the middle of a year-long development of their mobile application. The goal of the mobile project was to develop a personalized commerce experience on all mobile platforms. This would differentiate Petco from competitors and improve its in-store and online shopping experiences, in turn improving overall ROI. The new application was focused on adding value to local store interactions and providing additional convenience to mobile online shopping and scheduling of services. One year into the project and with less than 25% of the project complete, Petco turned to JBS for help.

How JBS helped

JBS was brought onto the Petco mobile project with the goal of making a timely and successful launch. JBS first brought in experienced senior management consultants to analyze and diagnose Petco’s project. After a month of thorough analysis, JBS recommended changing the structure and size of teams working on the mobile project to make more efficient and effective use of talent supporting the work. By implementing the changes recommended by JBS, the project was finished on time and with less staff.

JBS also leveraged modern AWS infrastructure to speed development efforts and improve operational outcomes. The new mobile platform was centered around AWS services that provide highly available, reliable, and fault-tolerant systems. As a result of architecting a serverless-centric platform, JBS and Petco leveraged numerous services including AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon S3, and Amazon Route53. These services enabled JBS engineers to keep the cost and timeline for the project under control and deliver the highest-quality project possible.

Results

JBS incrementally replaced an existing team of 50 with a hand-selected team of five, with an average of six to nine years of experience. This new group, working collaboratively with Petco’s in-house team, went on to consistently hit 100% of their project deliverables on Petco mobile. The success of the new, blended team drove the project to completion within four months. Not only had staffing been reduced by 90% but the overall delivery timeline shortened by 75% under the new group. This shortened timeline provided Petco an opportunity to focus on core features and functionality of the mobile project and solution.

Completing the mobile application initiated profitable platform growth by increasing frequency of cross-sell and upsell revenue. The Petco mobile project also served as an example of how to successfully leverage serverless technology powered by AWS. The result is a scalable and resilient system powered by AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway. Using serverless as a foundation, the teams were also able to efficiently performance-tune the application by using Amazon ElastiCache for caching and Amazon Aurora for improved performance and reliability. Overall, the Petco mobile project provided a clear template for future success in mobile development efforts at Petco, from team structure and resourcing to infrastructure and operations.