StoreHub Helps Food and Beverage Businesses in Malaysia Overcome Lockdowns
The Business Impact of Lockdowns
On March 16, 2020, the Malaysian government issued a Movement Control Order (MCO) that restricted the movement of people during the COVID-19 crisis. All business premises except for essential services were instructed to close, and food and beverage (F&B) operators were only allowed to make deliveries. StoreHub, a startup headquartered in Kuala Lumpur that offers a cloud-based retail management platform, saw the sudden impact of the MCO on some of its small F&B retailers. “Some of the establishments that didn’t offer a delivery service had their revenues fall to zero overnight,” says Wai Hong Fong, co-founder and chieftain at StoreHub.
Launched in 2013, StoreHub supports more than 15,000 retailers and F&B customers across Southeast Asia. The company’s service offering includes a tablet-based point-of-sale (POS) system, inventory control, customer relationship management, and business analytics systems. It decided to launch on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud based on the provider’s scalability of services and ease of use.
Whenever we need the building blocks for a new feature, we turn to AWS because it allows us to innovate at speed.”
Wai Hong Fong
Co-founder and Chieftain, StoreHub
Capability Ready in Two Days
To help small F&B operators survive the crisis, StoreHub immediately began developing its Beep Delivery mobile app, a POS-integrated food delivery feature for F&B businesses that enables users to order food online. It completed its app development in just 48 hours after the MCO was announced and successfully launched the app to its F&B retailers. “We could provide our customers with a solution quickly because of the agility of our underlying infrastructure running on AWS,” says Fong.
StoreHub’s core infrastructure runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to easily scale and resize its compute capacity on the AWS Cloud. The company’s Beep Delivery app uses Amazon Elasticsearch Service to enable users to locate the items they want to purchase from store menus, with Amazon CloudFront as a fast content delivery network service to send menu images to customers. It also relies on Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) as the messaging service for delivery orders.
“With AWS, we’ve gained the uptime to ensure service reliability and the flexibility to scale our backend to meet demand at all times,” comments Fong. “Today, we are using about 20 AWS services and we’ve never had a reason to look at another cloud provider. Whenever we need the building blocks for a new feature, we turn to AWS because it allows us to innovate at speed.”
Over 200,000 Orders from Customers
With Beep Delivery, customers order from StoreHub’s F&B retail partners, select their preferred payment option—such as debit and credit cards or GrabPay—and then StoreHub’s logistics partners like GoGet, Lalamove, and Teleport fulfill deliveries. “The difference between Beep Delivery and common platform alternatives such as WhatsApp is that Beep integrates from the web-based ordering site right through to the kitchen. This seamless backend process translates to cost savings that we pass on to our customers in the form of low service fees,” says Fong.
More than 200,000 orders were placed via Beep Delivery while the MCO was in place. “We easily scaled our AWS infrastructure as the number of orders increased to ensure there were no issues with service performance,” says Fong. “The small F&B retailers that adopted Beep Delivery saw a substantial increase in their sales—some as high as 10 times greater than before the lockdown.”
Powering Analytical Workloads
After the success of Beep Delivery, StoreHub plans to focus on building up its analytics capabilities using AWS. “We have all this data sitting in different silos and we want to start analyzing it,” says Congyu Li, co-founder and chief technology officer at StoreHub. The company is using Amazon Redshift, a cloud data warehouse, which is growing and currently stores more than 500 GB of data.
At present, Amazon Redshift powers two types of analytics for StoreHub. Li says, “One is internal, so we can see how customers are using our product. The other is for F&B customers, so they gain a 360-degree view of sales data.” Queries against that data reveal insights into sales that can be categorized by product types, customer profiles, and offline and online channels. In particular, it also has an employee performance feature that enables retailers to gain insights into their employees, allowing them to identify the highest-performing staff member based on metrics like total sales achieved.
Looking ahead, StoreHub plans to build a data lake on the AWS Cloud for business intelligence. The data lake will provide a centralized repository to run big data analytics and machine learning software to give StoreHub customers highly accurate predictive capabilities. “One of the biggest benefits of AWS is the number of analytics and business intelligence services that you don’t have to build yourself,” says Fong. “By using AWS, we have time to experiment more and fail fast, allowing for swift iterations and quicker adaptation to market demands based on data insights acquired from analytics. This equips us to help our retailers optimize conversations and refine online recommendations for their customers.”
To learn more, visit AWS Startups.
StoreHub, a startup headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, offers a cloud-based retail management platform with point-of-sales and ecommerce functionality for retailers and F&B customers.
Benefits of AWS
- Supports more than 15,000 retailers and customers
- Allows new mobile delivery app to be built in 48 hours
- Scales easily to handle more than 200,000 orders
- Enables development of analytics features
AWS Services Used
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 Redshift is the most popular and fastest cloud data warehouse. Redshift is integrated with your data lake, offers up to 3x faster performance than any other data warehouse, and costs up to 75% less than any other cloud data warehouse.
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to deploy, secure, and run Elasticsearch cost effectively at scale. You can build, monitor, and troubleshoot your applications using the tools you love, at the scale you need.
Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.
Companies of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.