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How One of the Largest Global Retailers Achieved Agile Engineering at Scale

Digital transformation requires building the right teams and the right services. See how Publicis Sapient led the charge for change.

Engineering transformation is a constantly evolving process. As a premier strategic technology partner, Publicis Sapient transformed one of the world’s largest retail organizations for the digital age, expanding engineering capabilities and establishing the brand as a leading algorithmic retailer.

The Imperative for Change

In 2015, the retailer’s goal was to double down on engineering capabilities as they continued to scale digital transformation efforts, with ambition to reshape how the business approached developing new products and services for consumers. Publicis Sapient tapped into years of deep technological expertise to redefine engineering operations, leveraging agile methods to build lean, focused teams dedicated to delivering high-value outcomes with speed and efficiency.

The Transformative Solution

With a new way of working, Publicis Sapient was able to continue to scale and optimize transformation projects – introducing new capabilities that allowed the retailer to put shoppers first while reducing operational cost. Notable innovations include:

Shift to microservices: Built, re-structured and transitioned global legacy online grocery and general merchandise platforms to an enterprise API and microservices-based system.

Global content management system: Created a custom global CMS to manage millions of SKUs, promotions, transaction data and cross-channel content delivery.

Custom general merchandise e-commerce solution: Implemented a bespoke e-commerce platform for non-food businesses, creating a dedicated marketplace and reducing reliance on third-party e-commerce partners.

Algorithmic retailing: Leveraged best-in-class emerging technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimize grocery operations, including batch/van scheduling, in-store picking, warehouse & order management, enterprise-pricing APIs, promotions, demand planning, partner/supplier relationships and mobile application upgrades.

The Business Impact

An engineering focus gave the retailer ability to scale efficiently and rapidly respond to change. During the COVID-19 outbreak, faster go-to-market capabilities allowed the retailer to quickly mobilize online delivery, scaling to accommodate 1M+ online orders and 1.2M+ delivery slots in as short as a week.

With more than a decade of partnership, Publics Sapient continues to work with the retailer to further engineering transformation initiatives.

US dollars annual revenue from general merchandising solution
US dollars annual revenue from international grocery e-commerce
US dollars annual revenue from UK grocery API
improvement in e-commerce order picking rate
improvement in on-time delivery
Guy Elliott
Guy Elliott
Executive Vice President