Enhancing search application to better support customers

Company Profile

Kroger is the second-largest general retailer and the seventeenth largest company in the United States.  They are 450,000 associates who serve nearly nine million customers daily in 2,793 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger has been recognized as one of America’s most generous companies for our support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools.

Business Situation

Kroger needed to provide a scalable search platform to allow their online customers to find the items they are looking for quickly and easily. They wanted this platform to handle seasonal and promotional spikes.  Their existing on-prem based solution struggled to handle such spikes in volume and they turned to Google Cloud Platform and SpringML to re-architect this solution.

Google Cloud Implementation

The project to migrate to GCP involved both lift and shift components as well as new development to leverage GCP’s managed services. The key components of the new architecture stack included Elasticsearch, Google Kubernetes Engine, Dataflow, and  PubSub. The architecture for this new search platform provided a scalable and fault-tolerant system that integrated with their eCommerce website on the front end as well as their backend application database that provided product and pricing information.

Results

In addition to performance and scalability advantages, some legacy, batch-oriented ETL jobs were replaced with real-time integrations. This allowed information to flow to end customers quickly and seamlessly. The SpringML team partnered with Kroger’s data engineers during the development cycle so that the Kroger team is set up to support and enhance the solution.

Thought Leadership

Check out our recent blogs and videos on best practices and implementation approaches.