Marketplacer Drives Social Commerce with Online Marketplaces on AWS
The Growing Social Commerce Buy-In
E-commerce is often defined as the buying and selling of goods or services via a website or shopping app. As the world of e-commerce evolves, social commerce—which enables buying and selling on social media platforms—begins to thrive. “Social commerce is about enhancing the experience of a social media interaction and providing the ability to then transact off the back of that,” says Andy Kelk, Chief Technology Officer at Marketplacer, a company that provides online marketplace platform technology for its customers. While very much the smaller sibling of e-commerce, social commerce is growing fast, with the industry valued at $474.8 billion in 2020 and a predicted compound annual growth rate of 28.4 percent.
Based in Australia, Marketplacer equips organizations with all the tools and functionality needed to build a successful and scalable online marketplace through its full stack of connected marketplace platform solutions. The full stack solution effortlessly integrates front-end and backend technology to help customers launch a marketplace from scratch or re-platform their current e-commerce engine. On the other hand, the connected solution integrates Marketplacer's core technology into its customer’s existing e-commerce interface and allows customers to dropship from third-party sellers and increase their product range without replatforming.
The team loves watching AWS re:Invent to see upcoming launches, particularly around AI and ML. New AWS services always make us put our thinking caps on—inspiring us to drive more innovation.”
Chief Technology Officer, Marketplacer
Launching a New Marketplace in Just Six Weeks
Initially, Marketplacer’s challenge was finding a reliable cloud platform that would support the necessary scalability for running its solution. The platform needed to be highly available and stable to avoid disruption to the sales process. Different cloud providers proposed their solutions, but Marketplacer chose Amazon Web Services (AWS), which satisfied its requirements, including cost-efficiency and high performance. Kelk explains, “Compared to the market, AWS offered a wider range of services and an infrastructure spanning the areas where we wanted to grow the business.”
With support from AWS Solutions Architects, Marketplacer launched its application programming interface–enabled marketplace platform on AWS. The company relies on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and Amazon CloudFront to provide the scalability, reliability, and connectivity speed its marketplace platform needed to run seamlessly for its customers. Moreover, the flexibility of its AWS Cloud architecture meant that customers could launch their social commerce offerings in under a couple of months.
Speed of delivery is evident in the work Marketplacer provided for Fishbrain, a social network platform for anglers globally. Fishbrain has a website and mobile app providing a platform for users to discuss different fishing-related topics, such as equipment and angling spots, and they can even upload photos of their catches. “Initially, Fishbrain wasn’t selling anything at all. However, it found itself in a unique position to become a one-stop destination for anglers and fishing brands to fulfill each other’s needs,” says Kelk. With support from Marketplacer, Fishbrain launched its online store with over 30,000 products from more than 100 brands in just six weeks.
Leveraging Microservices for Faster Deployment
As Marketplacer grew, the company started moving to a microservices architecture with applications containerized and deployed as Docker images to speed up its DevOps process. As such, Marketplacer widened its focus beyond the core AWS services to those designed to support microservices. The company adopted Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) to orchestrate the application containers, with AWS Fargate to automate scaling and improve security by isolating workloads. It also began running test environments on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, lowering compute costs by 75 percent compared to using On-Demand Instances.
By moving to a microservices architecture on AWS, Marketplacer has reduced deployment times by 33 percent, saving about 20 minutes per software rollout. Furthermore, Marketplacer developers spend less time waiting for code to deploy and can attend to more tasks. “We can develop more features to help customers deliver greater value through their marketplaces,” adds Kelk.
Helping Customers Maximize Their Online Sales
Marketplacer’s ability to help sellers maximize sales by increasing their reach through listing on different marketplaces is also helping drive its solution’s success. Marketplacer often measures sales as gross merchandise value (GMV), which provides a figure for the total value of merchandise sold over a given period. As such, a higher GMV score is a key indication that a customer is doing well. Maximizing GMV for its customers starts with optimizing the category tree that helps potential buyers on a website find the products they want. Marketplacer uses machine learning (ML) models to automate and expedite the process of building category trees to onboard customers faster and help them achieve a high GMV score as quickly as possible.
Kelk looks forward to the future of social commerce and helping the market continue to flourish. He remarks that his team often voices excitement around the services being developed by AWS that will help Marketplacer serve customers better down the line. “The team loves watching AWS re:Invent to see upcoming launches, particularly around AI and ML. New AWS services always make us put our thinking caps on—inspiring us to drive more innovation.”
To Learn More
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/ecommerce-applications.
Marketplacer offers a plug-and-play marketplace platform that allows companies to launch their own online marketplaces. The startup helps these marketplaces connect thousands of sellers to their website audiences.
Benefits of AWS
- Deploys new marketplaces in just 6 weeks
- Lowers compute costs by 75%
- Reduces code deployment times by 33%
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.
Amazon Elastic Container Service
Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications.
AWS Fargate is a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine that lets you focus on building applications without managing servers.
Amazon Relational Database Service
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.
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