"For day-to-day innovation, we’re 5 to 10 times faster."
MatHem maintains its market-leading position with an AWS environment that lets it bring new features to customers up to 10 times faster. The company is Sweden’s largest online-only grocery retailer. It has divided its e-commerce site, warehousing, distribution, and transport applications into microservices running on a serverless environment on AWS.
MatHem is Sweden’s largest online-only grocery retailer by market share. “We sell groceries, but what we really do is save people time,” says Fredrik Sewen, chief technology officer at MatHem. “My team is dedicated to finding new ways to make online grocery shopping more convenient.
In 2016, MatHem was at a critical point. Its monolithic, on-premises application was slowing down development. Testing ideas took weeks because the IT team had to set up a new environment for each experiment.
Sewen and Lead Developer Lars Jacobsson attended an Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent Recap event in early 2017 and were impressed by the AWS serverless application model.
“We knew serverless was what we needed. At that time, no other cloud provider offered anything close to what AWS had. We decided to refactor the applications that run our business into microservices. That’s when things really accelerated,” says Jacobsson.
The team quickly began rewriting code to run using AWS Lambda functions, which operate inside AWS CloudFormation stacks along with Amazon DynamoDB tables. By spring 2017, MatHem had launched its first microservice for internal product information management. Others quickly followed, including order, transport, and warehouse management—and finally the company’s e-commerce site.
Crucial to the success of the move was the help MatHem got from AWS. “Experts at AWS showed the team how best to configure serverless services, which helped us iterate quickly and efficiently,” says Jacobsson
By decoupling services, MatHem has simplified the way developers work, so the company can offer new services to customers faster. “Each independent service has a smaller code base, so developers don’t tread on anyone’s toes when they change things,” says Sewen. “For day-to-day innovation, we’re 5 to 10 times faster.”
Recent experiments include new ways for customers to choose delivery slots and better systems to inform customers about delays to their orders. “It’s little optimizations like this that keep us ahead in the market,” says Sewen. “And our tech team is 100 percent dedicated to development, rather than infrastructure management.”