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Modelorama Deploys Omnichannel Solution on AWS to Deliver Digital Shopping Experience, Strengthen Connections


Modelorama, a division of Grupo Modelo, part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, is Mexico’s second-largest convenience store chain, with 10,000 retail outlets across Mexico. These outlets are mostly family run and have strong connections to their neighborhoods and communities.

Modelorama wanted to develop an online storefront as a complement to its physical locations, giving customers the option to shop online or in store. The company needed to build out a direct-to-consumer omnichannel solution with the flexibility to support digital sales while providing an extraordinary customer experience. Rather than reconfiguring its existing servers and adding to its infrastructure, Modelorama used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a serverless solution. Modelorama can now support spikes in shopping traffic, creating a better customer experience and also lowering overall operating costs.
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In the future, if we continue using this approach on AWS, we can invest in first-class products for our consumers instead of spending money on an on-premises solution.”

Daniel Zárate
Chief Technology Oficer, Modelorama

Transitioning to Serverless Architecture to Facilitate Growth

With a mandate from parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev to grow future-focused products and services, Modelorama was determined to modernize its infrastructure to meet customer needs. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, impacting the company’s 10,000 brick-and-mortar stores, Modelorama needed technology that supported a direct-to-consumer sales strategy and was capable of scaling quickly. Daniel Zárate, Modelorama’s chief technology officer, knew that Modelorama’s current on-premises architecture couldn’t support what the company needed to do.

In 2019, Zárate saw a presentation about omnichannel architecture and knew that the ability to plug in different channels would benefit Modelorama. The company’s first task was to create a serverless architecture. Zárate chose AWS over other cloud service providers because AWS had the agility and flexibility that Modelorama needed to create a successful online sales channel for consumer goods.

Now, using AWS services, Modelorama’s applications scale up or down based on the amount of traffic on its web channels. The company uses AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service that lets users run code without provisioning or managing servers, to automatically handle the compute resources needed for applications, offloading work from Modelorama’s team. Using AWS Lambda for microservices and then splitting the solution into a federated architecture offers flexibility. “The idea is to plug and play different services according to our needs,” Zárate says.

Avoiding Service Interruptions While Reducing Overhead

In the past, with 2,000 stores using on-premises points of sale, Modelorama had to support the architecture 24/7 regardless of traffic, which was not cost effective. The company would have typically needed 15 months to develop and implement the necessary changes to its on-premises architecture to facilitate growth. By using AWS, Modelorama instead developed its products from scratch in 6 months. Within the first 3 days of launching the pilot program, Modelorama was able to process 500 transactions without interruption. And because there is no need to operate on-premises architecture, operating costs are lower.

Modelorama anticipates $5 million in savings over the next 3 years as a result of using AWS, giving the company more capital to spend on development. “In the future, if we continue using this approach on AWS, we can invest in first-class products for our consumers instead of spending money on an on-premises solution,” Zárate says. One innovation Modelorama is considering is a click-and-collect system that relies on serverless architecture, which it expects to improve customers’ online shopping experiences.

Embracing the cloud made room for benefits in other areas as well. For database management, Modelorama now uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. Scaling using AWS means that Modelorama no longer needs to worry about service interruptions from high traffic—an improvement that is vital for its direct-to-consumer strategy. The company also uses Amazon API Gateway, a fully managed service that makes it simple for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.

Modelorama also uses AWS to protect its new cloud environment. The company uses a full suite of AWS services for its security posture, including Amazon GuardDuty, a threat detection service that continuously monitors for malicious activity and unauthorized behavior to protect AWS accounts, workloads, and data. And oversight is simple, because Modelorama uses AWS Security Hub, which lets users automate security checks and centralize security alerts.

Staying Ahead of the Competition with Omnichannel Architecture

After the success of its pilot program, Modelorama plans to roll out the full solution to 2,000 stores by the end of 2021. Using cloud-based serverless architecture on AWS, Modelorama anticipates it will be able to process 500,000 orders per day without interruption and is on track to become a $1 billion business by 2025.

Modelorama is experimenting with artificial intelligence using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service that helps developers and data scientists prepare, build, train, and deploy high-quality machine learning models quickly. “We want to learn from our consumers and then suggest specific promotions, specific products for merchandising, and specific events,” Zárate says. “This is one of the key ways that we are innovating direct-to-consumer sales.”

About Modelorama

Modelorama is the second-largest convenience store chain in Mexico and the largest beer retail chain inside Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Grupo Modelo in Mexico. It is a $600 million business with 10,000 locations around the country.

Benefits of AWS

  • Developed products in 6 months rather than 15
  • Plans to deploy full solution to nearly 2,000 stores by the end of 2021
  • Enhanced consumer experience
  • Improved security
  • Facilitated innovation of new products
  • Facilitated fast growth

AWS Services Used

Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.

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Amazon RDS

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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AWS Security Hub

AWS Security Hub is a cloud security posture management service that performs security best practice checks, aggregates alerts, and enables automated remediation.

Learn more »

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