Wayfair Completes 16-month Migration to Google Cloud

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  October 18, 2022

Digital transformation is a priority across all industries today, including retail. As retailers shift from traditional environments that required customers to shop in-person at the store to more digitally enabled environments that feature a variety of customer-centric engagement strategies, they need a plan to adapt and transform their capabilities around modern digital technologies.

That strategy leans toward cloud services, such as Google Cloud, which enable retailers to adapt to the digital change, leverage data to become more customer-centric and drive operational improvement across the business.

To that end, home goods retailer Wayfair laid out an innovative strategy to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing landscape and completed a migration of its data center applications and services to the cloud. Google (News - Alert) Cloud the foundation of Wayfair’s overall cloud strategy.

Migrating fully to the cloud will help Wayfair handle burst capacity and ensure a smooth customer experience during times of heavy web traffic. This includes major sales events, like Wayfair's annual Way Day sales, and the anticipated peak holiday shopping season ahead.

Google Cloud's AI solutions, including Vertex (News - Alert) AI Feature Store and Vertex AI Pipelines, will help Wayfair reduce the time it takes to create and deploy fraud and scam detection machine learning models, which detect payment fraud, post-order fraud and other types of scams and abuse.

With Google Cloud AI, Wayfair created an enhanced customer identification model, which is helping the retailer uncover professional customers through real-time machine learning-models, based on customer on-site journeys and purchase histories. Better identifying professional customers helps Wayfair to increase its B2B orders and revenue per enrollment.

Wayfair will also scale more of its machine learning models that help the retailer understand individual customer needs and preferences, which drives more effective advertising and outreach to the company's growing customer base.

Additionally, with the use of Google Cloud's data analytics, Wayfair is better able to remove technical roadblocks its developers face and create solutions more quickly for its customers and partners.

"The complete migration of our data center operations to Google Cloud is an essential part of ensuring Wayfair's long-term competitiveness and resilience,” said Fiona Tan, chief technology officer, Wayfair. “With this partnership, we're better able to handle sudden traffic, empower our engineers with more autonomy and use AI and machine learning to create a better shopping experience for our customers."

Wayfair's migration involved successfully migrating or retiring 330,000 CPU cores, 23,000 operating system instances, more than 8,500 applications and more than 5,700 Kubernetes namespaces as well as retraining Wayfair staff on the new technologies. It wasn’t an overnight task – it all took 16 months to complete, but had zero impact on Wayfair's customers during the process.

With the migration, the retailer will increase business agility and technical innovation, handle burst capacity and scale new uses of AI and machine learning for scenarios ranging from fraud detection to personalized customer outreach.

Edited by Erik Linask