Peak Achieves AWS Retail Competency, Grows Retail Opportunities by 113%
Decision Intelligence company Peak wanted to expand globally and develop its ability to provide artificial intelligence (AI) to retailers. The company saw Amazon Web Services (AWS) Competencies as a way to achieve both these goals in tandem. An AWS Partner, Peak has grown quickly and emerged as a force in the retail business sector, and gaining AWS Competencies is helping Peak differentiate itself to customers.
Going All In on AWS from the Start
Headquartered in the United Kingdom and with offices in the United States and India, Peak powers commercial decision-making for companies around the world with its full-stack AI platform, Connected Decision Intelligence (CODI). It relies on machine learning (ML) across sales, marketing, planning, and the supply chain to accelerate revenue and profits for its customers. Essentially, Peak helps businesses unlock the power of their data and make commercial decisions using AI. “We enable customers to get a view of their entire business —starting with the shopper and working all the way back through the supply chain—by connecting data across the organization,” says Martin Sutton, Business Development Director at Peak.
Data and AI have always been core to Peak’s identity as a business. That’s why Peak has been an AWS Partner since being founded in 2014. In 2017, when AWS launched its AWS Machine Learning Competency—which recognizes AWS Partners that have demonstrated expertise delivering ML solutions on AWS—Peak was among the first members of the program. “That’s when we really started to gain some momentum by building industry solutions that both organizations wanted to take to market,” says Sutton. And two years later, in 2019, Peak carried that momentum to achieve the AWS Retail Competency, which recognizes AWS Partners that provide innovative technology offerings to accelerate retailers’ digital transformations across their entire enterprises, including marketing, merchandising, supply chain, store operations, finance, and information technology.
“Being accredited by having the AWS Retail Competency means our retail customers and prospects can feel confident in the knowledge that they can rely on our solutions built on AWS infrastructure.”
- Martin Sutton, Business Development Director, Peak
Peak is the only company in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa that boasts AWS Competencies in both ML and retail. “We acquired a number of high-profile retail customers early on and started to understand the dynamics of a retailer’s world really well,” says Sutton. “It has a lot of core ingredients that are great for AI and ML.” This helped Peak achieve the high standards of AWS Competencies. “The AWS Competency Program is a really tough program to get into,” says Sutton, “so it feels like you’ve really achieved something.”
Putting AWS Competencies to the Test with a Challenge
With those achievements comes growth. From January 2019 to December 2020, Peak’s employee count increased by 147 percent—a trend that has continued, with the company seeing a 33 percent increase in employees in the first seven months of 2021. Since becoming an AWS Retail Competency Partner in January 2020, Peak’s retail opportunities have grown by 113 percent. Gaining this AWS Competency has enabled Peak to improve visibility in front of retail businesses that fit its ideal customer profile, helping it land customers such as Nike, KFC, PepsiCo, Superdry, and PrettyLittleThing. This increased exposure enables more retail businesses to discover Peak’s CODI platform. “Being accredited by having the AWS Retail Competency means our retail customers and prospects can feel confident in the knowledge that they can rely on our solutions built on AWS infrastructure,” Sutton says. For example, PrettyLittleThing, a fashion retailer based in the United Kingdom, wanted to expand its ecommerce in the United States, but it needed to better understand the marketplace to attract new customers. The retailer engaged Peak to use its CODI platform to analyze customer data and use AI insights to create a predictive view of customer purchase behavior, including identifying potential buyers. This enabled PrettyLittleThing to effectively personalize its advertising. As a result, PrettyLittleThing saw an increase in new customer acquisition, website sessions, and campaign click-through rates. The results surpassed expectations—so much so that the campaign, originally planned for one weekend, remains active.
As an AWS Partner, Peak gets support from AWS product teams and industry vertical teams to help facilitate innovation. “Our two product teams are building industry solutions that are game changing and driving transformational growth in retail,” says Sutton. One Peak initiative is the 21 Day Challenge, in which Peak uses an AWS service alongside CODI to show tangible benefits to a business through the power of ML in just 21 days. For example, the 21 Day Personalize Challenge uses Amazon Personalize alongside CODI to demonstrate how ML can boost a business’s ecommerce revenue. Amazon Personalize is a fully managed ML service that enables developers to build applications for near-real-time personalized recommendations. Peak also offers a 21 Day Forecast Challenge using Amazon Forecast, a fully managed service that uses ML to deliver highly accurate forecasts. “Providing a competitive edge by turning masses of complex data into results is probably the best thing we do for our customers,” says Sutton.
Through the 21 Day Challenge and Peak’s other offerings, Peak provides its customers with reports that make it simple for them to track the impact being made. Customers have reported positive feedback and noted that they appreciate the ability to see how much money they’re saving with Peak on an hourly basis.
The company attributes its projects’ success to its close alignment with the people and technology of AWS. Because of the collaboration Peak put into achieving its AWS Competencies, the company developed a close connection to multiple AWS teams and used these relationships to strengthen its offerings. “Our aim is to take advantage of every service and opportunity that AWS presents to us,” says Tate Gibson, Partner Marketing Manager at Peak. “The market development funds available through AWS Competencies have been great for us to strategize how to go to market and orient our business thinking. These opportunities also enable us to be more creative and try new projects.”
As Peak continues to grow as an AWS Competency Partner, the benefits trickle down to its customers. For example, Peak has created high-quality promotional videos alongside its customers. Because Peak is an AWS Partner, those videos can benefit from being shown on AWS Partner Network TV—a collection of videos from AWS and AWS Partners that are building new and innovative solutions on AWS. As a result, Peak and its customers can widen their reach.
Expanding Globally from a Position of Strength
Peak is looking to capitalize on its growth by establishing itself in the United States. “North America is a key growing market for us, so the timing of the AWS Retail Competency was brilliant,” Sutton says. “We saw it as a great way to showcase what we’re doing to a US audience. And the increased level of engagement from AWS sellers has exceeded our expectations.”
APN Program Participation
Published August 2021