Cart.com empowers brands with a unified ecommerce platform

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Cart.com empowers brands with a unified ecommerce platform

Establishing an ecommerce strategy for many retailers is often a complex and challenging task. Traditionally, retailers that have wanted to operate their online store, order fulfillment, customer service, marketing, and other essential activities have had to cobble together disparate systems in a hub-and-spoke model. The result is costly, siloed applications that are difficult to manage and scale.

As an end-to-end platform, Cart.com offers a fully integrated suite of business solutions including online store software, growth marketing, fulfillment, financial services, customer service, multichannel management, and unified analytics across all areas of commerce, all under one roof.

“Our mission is to put brands back in charge of their ecommerce journey,” says Chase Zieman, Co-founder and Chief Data Science Officer at Cart.com. “We’re democratizing ecommerce by giving brands of all sizes the full capabilities they need to take on the world’s largest online retailers.”

Founded in 2020, Cart.com is creating a unified ecommerce platform that already provides value to 3,000+ leading or up-and-coming brands such as Dr. Scholl’s, GNC, GUESS, and Whataburger. Expectations for Cart.com are high, with a goal of building a world-class company that can scale.

Business challenge

Cart.com’s early success and growth is attributed to its technology-first approach. “Because of that, we’ve had to build things ourselves, make strategic partnerships, and buy things,” says Zieman. “Making sure that these best-of-breed solutions are integrated and work well together at every layer of technology is absolutely critical to the success of our customers.”

In fact, Cart.com has acquired nearly a dozen companies in the past two years. When some of these entities first set up their technology infrastructure, the current lineup of cloud providers didn’t exist. For instance, one of its earliest acquisitions, Americommerce, had moved to Rackspace 10 years ago and grew to 40-45 virtual machines (VMs) and 30 terabytes of storage.

“This particular application had a historical production data footprint that we’ve carried forward over the years,” says Brian Bell, Director of Technology, who transitioned from Americommerce to Cart.com with the acquisition. The antiquated infrastructure created an inherent capacity issue for Cart.com as it prepared for the future.

“It was imperative that we build a modern architecture that could scale our systems, meet customer demand, and support our rapid growth,” says Zieman. “From a storefront perspective, we wanted to migrate out of Rackspace to a modern cloud provider. Additionally, we were seeking enhanced data analytics capabilities, new automation functionality, and superior security.”

Solution

In selecting a data platform, unlocking the capability to be cloud native was Cart.com’s primary goal.

But equally important, we are building a solution that puts data at the core of our offering. Google Cloud has always been the top when it comes to analytics, its global network, and nearly zero downtime.

Chase Zieman | Co-founder and Chief Data Science Officer at Cart.com

A complete migration would have been too cumbersome given the timeline. Google Cloud introduced Cart.com to SADA, a three-time Google Cloud Reseller Partner of the Year, to identify the initiatives with the greatest impact and potential.

The team evaluated how to best integrate Cart.com’s current Microsoft Windows-based application with Google Cloud, while also building an infrastructure that would be able to seamlessly integrate future acquisitions.

SADA provisioned net-new VMs in Google Cloud using Terraform infrastructure-as-code to enable a move-and-improve instead of a lift-and-shift migration. This allowed Cart.com to deploy and configure their apps with existing automation tools.

“Google Cloud is the first to come out and support multicloud–kudos to them,” says Zieman. Over the course of the four-month project, the team was focused on respecting the legacy system and creating incremental gain. “Google Cloud was able to take these non-trivial Microsoft-based workloads and fully support them end-to-end,” says Bell. 

Results

“The support of SADA’s experienced engineers was critical to this project’s success,” says Zieman. “It allowed us to move quickly, ensure effective decision making in a new environment, control potential costs caused by technical debt, and build long-term scalability.”

The foundation laid during this project will immediately touch Cart.com’s brand customers, because so many Cart.com customers are using Storefront. The company established a modern production data center environment that will be able to support tens of thousands more storefront customers. Additionally, SADA helped Cart.com:

  • Deploy and configure their applications into net-new VMs
  • Increase security with services available through native Google Cloud firewalls
  • Protect their applications and website from denial of service and web attacks with Google Cloud’s Cloud Armor network security services
  • Create a roadmap for multicloud interconnectivity for future acquisitions

We have developed a strategic playbook for M&A that allows us to quickly migrate all future acquisitions to the cloud–something that was only made possible through this close partnership with SADA. The support Cart.com obtained through the Google Cloud for Startups program and SADA’s SaaS Alliance Program has been outstanding.

Chase Zieman | Co-founder and Chief Data Science Officer at Cart.com.

By partnering with SADA and Google Cloud, Cart.com transitioned to a truly scalable technology platform that will meet current and future customer demand as the company incrementally innovates all aspects of ecommerce for brands worldwide.

SADA’s SaaS Alliance Program is an industry-leading initiative aimed at helping independent software vendors (ISVs) and SaaS organizations scale their businesses faster and maximize the value of their partnership with Google Cloud. The SaaS Alliance Program guides software companies to drive innovation, enhance their product offerings, accelerate customer acquisition, and amplify their marketing efforts. As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, SADA has formed powerful and impactful partnerships with ISVs by filling the increasing demand for go-to-market support and expertise. Learn more about SADA’s SaaS Alliance Program.

/ AT A GLANCE

INDUSTRY Retail

MIGRATED >40 VMs & 30 TB of data

SCALED Infrastructure for acquisitions

The SADA team brought a ‘get it done’ mindset to the table and was able to work on an aggressive timeline and deliver success. We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this partnership and the success we know we’ll be able to achieve together in the future.

— Chase Zieman | Co-founder and Chief Data Science Officer at Cart.com

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