The Shonet

The Shonet Builds a Highly Scalable Ecommerce Network on AWS

2020

Bringing Social Commerce to Indonesia

Influencers and bloggers are prominent in the lives of millennials in this current age of social networks. Based on the belief that millennials make shopping decisions through communities, CEO and Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Kurniawan started The Shonet in 2017 as a social networking platform focused on fashion and beauty.

Elisabeth had worked as a fashion buyer in the US before returning to her native Indonesia. Frustrated by the lack of trustworthy ecommerce sites back home, she introduced the concept of social commerce with The Shonet. Her strategy was to build an audience and future customer base through content before venturing into ecommerce. She made that move in 2020, with a solid network of 3 million unique users and 11,000 contributors in their fashion and beauty community.

The Shonet
CustomerReferences_QuoteMark

By running a serverless architecture on AWS, we only have to develop the system once, and we know that it will work no matter how many concurrent users we have.”

Elisabeth Kurniawan
CEO and Editor-in-Chief, The Shonet

Building a Highly Secure and Scalable Site

Elisabeth had seen firsthand how fellow startups quickly launched their businesses in the cloud but incurred heavy resource costs—both time and money—in altering their infrastructure as the operation grew. With a founding team of three, The Shonet built its infrastructure base with scalability and security in mind. The team also wanted to alleviate the maintenance burden on engineering staff and plan for future workloads.

The Shonet was born on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud, which the team chose for its high security standards and breadth of modern services and serverless resources. The startup uses Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to limit internet access to its applications and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to fine-tune groups and roles for its employees. The ability to protect a merchant’s sensitive business data is key to building The Shonet’s ecommerce operation, which is the focus of the business going forward as it evolves from a content-first approach.

Saving Time and Money with Serverless

The startup took a serverless approach to architecture, taking advantage of Amazon Aurora Serverless to host its primary database and AWS Lambda with Amazon API Gateway to automate code-based deployment. “By running a serverless architecture on AWS, we only have to develop the system once, and we know that it will work no matter how many concurrent users we have, even during peak periods such as holidays or shopping sales,” Elisabeth says. Serverless configurations offer built-in auto-scaling and have the added advantage of being cost-effective, because The Shonet pays only for the resources it consumes.

Attracting and Retaining Users

High availability was important to attract and retain users. Images and product-sharing posts make up the lion’s share of The Shonet content, and users should have a seamless viewing experience to keep them loyal and open to purchases. “As we expand and scale, we can’t afford to have a server down. That has been our KPI from day one,” Elisabeth says. “If we are down for just an hour, that could be an audience of 20,000 people, or a couple hundred dollars lost on an ecommerce transaction.”

Since launching, The Shonet has had 99 percent uptime on its site. The startup has big plans for building its ecommerce business and continues to consult with AWS on how to optimize costs, security, and databases as it gears up for expansion.

Learn More

To learn more, visit Ecommerce Applications.


About The Shonet

The Shonet is an ecommerce and social networking site based in Indonesia with a solid network of 3 million unique users and 11,000 contributors in their fashion and beauty community. Founded in 2017 by a former fashion buyer, the company provides a trustworthy outlet for social commerce.

Benefits of AWS

  • Maintains 99% uptime
  • Protects sensitive business data on a highly secure website
  • Keeps costs low with serverless architecture
  • Auto-scales to support growing business
  • Offers seamless viewing of videos and heavy images

AWS Services Used

Amazon Aurora Serverless

Amazon Aurora Serverless is an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration for Amazon Aurora (MySQL-compatible and PostgreSQL-compatible editions), where the database will automatically start up, shut down, and scale capacity up or down based on your application's needs.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers. You pay only for the compute time you consume. With Lambda, you can run code for virtually any type of application or backend service - all with zero administration.

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AWS Identity and Access Management

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources.

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