New products are launched every minute around the world. Some are great, others are mediocre, and much of the time we don’t know the quality or value of a product until it has been in market for awhile. To help us discover the best of the crop, we rely on trusted retailers who curate the type of innovative, high-quality products that meet our standards. We want to walk into a shop or browse an e-commerce site and feel confident that we’ll get great ideas, excellent products, and the best value for money. Sometimes, it’s the retailers with the deepest experience in their market that can truly inspire such shopper confidence.
JML is one such retailer. They’ve spent forty years showcasing the best products to consumers worldwide through in-store demonstrations and video as well as e-commerce sites. Their integrated marketing approach helps consumers discover new products through familiar channels, and helps manufacturers and resellers drive brand awareness and revenue. One of the most important channels today is mobile – consumers are using phones and tablets as their primary source for new product discovery and purchase.
Optimizing the “M” in “M-Commerce”
The Singapore branch of JML understood the importance of m-commerce for their regional market and wanted to upgrade their technology infrastructure in order to maximize this opportunity. The engaged Heroku partner RobustTechHouse to help them improve the capacity and flexibility of their commerce platform and better support mobile customers through a more sophisticated shopping experience on device. The company also wanted a scalable system that could help them more easily expand to other markets. They found it difficult to accomplish these goals with their legacy PHP system.
Curated Shopping on Heroku
As a Heroku implementation partner, RobustTechHouse was already very familiar with the Heroku platform and PaaS approach. They recommended using Heroku to run JML’s technology stack due to its scalability and flexibility, which would support a sophisticated mobile shopping experience as well as expansion to new markets.
It is extremely easy to monitor server capacity and timeouts on Heroku. Now we can focus on pushing out new enhancements, cut down the work for scaling up servers, environment management, deployment and other devops process. Matt Robust, Tech Lead, RobustTechHouse
The development team built JML’s new Singapore site using Ruby on Rails and the Spree Commerce framework tied to a Heroku Postgres database. They heavily customized the Spree Commerce framework to fit JML’s design and requirements, ensuring that the UI would work well on both desktop and mobile browsers. They modified the existing API to work with native mobile apps to further enhance the m-commerce user experience.
Rounding out their implementation, the team choose several Heroku Add-ons, including: Heroku Scheduler to help them run scheduled tasks, and SSL and Expedited SSL encryption services to help keep information safe. Currently the app uses three dynos to handle current traffic but may need performance dynos in future as business grows. The HireFire service provides autoscaling for Heroku dynos, both load-based and schedule-based. This means that the new system can elegantly handle traffic surges that come from special promotions and flash sales, reducing customer complaints and drop-offs.
We very much love the ability to add on additional dynos easily to scale for higher performance needs, for example when JML is running a sales promotion and expecting higher server load. Matt Robust, Tech Lead, RobustTechHouse
The new system went live in May 2015, and now JML is set up for easy expansion into other regional markets, such as Malaysia, where the team can provide a customized, fully localized shopping experience.
Running our site on Heroku allows us to quickly roll out the new functionality that our customers have been asking for, such as guest checkouts and payment by installments. Winson Lee, Head of Direct TV, JML Singapore
Browsing the polished JML website, customers enjoy a sophisticated, visually rich shopping experience whether they are on a desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet. The shopping cart and purchase experience is smooth and state-of-the-art, requiring minimal steps to completion and offering a high level of data security. With the new site, customers experience greatly improved performance and fast response times regardless of the number of concurrent users.
Quality products and a quality commerce experience – together they inspire confidence in Singapore shoppers.