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Customer Stories

Thursday, April 18th 2024

How Global Retail Brands cut development time from months to 1 week with Vercel

Learn more about how Vercel helped GRB improve their digital infrastructure and modernize their ecommerce.

Global Retail Brands (GRB) is one of Australia’s fastest-growing retailers, specializing in homeware and kitchenware goods with over 250 physical stores throughout the country. GRB is known for its flagship brands such as House, MyHouse, House Bed & Bath, Baccarat, and Robins Kitchen.

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Overcoming fragmentation to enhance customer experience

Prior to Vercel, GRB's web infrastructure was split across a number of different platforms. The primary sites, House, and Robins Kitchen ran on bespoke, local systems, while MyHouse was a Shopify Plus storefront. This divided setup led to challenges in maintenance and updates, particularly during high-traffic periods such as promotional sales events.

This tech stack also led to significant silos within the IT team. Each platform required different skill sets, which hindered efficient collaboration and knowledge transfer. And fragmentation significantly slowed down site changes and new feature releases since each iteration had to be tailored to multiple platforms.

GRB recognized the urgent need for a streamlined digital platform to improve their online presence, enhance customer experience, and maintain a competitive edge in the ever-changing retail market.

A strategic shift to become unified and scalable

Together with their solution partner, Convert Digital, the team decided to migrate to Vercel based on multiple factors:

  • Vercel’s Managed Infrastructure promised a huge improvement in uptime, a critical requirement for GRB’s online operations
  • Next.js offered GRB the flexibility to build a dynamic, responsive frontend, which would led to an enhanced user experience through a modern and agile website
  • Security and PCI compliance reassured GRB of Vercel’s capability to handle sensitive customer data securely

Using Vercel has made deploying the Global Retail Brands codebase incredibly straightforward for the development team. The Preview Deployments and fast build times are extremely beneficial when it comes to building and testing new features.

Dan WebbTechnical Lead at Convert Digital

While GRB considered other solutions such as AWS Amplify, Vercel’s strengths in uptime, scalability, security, and modern development tooling made it the clear choice. GRB viewed this partnership with Vercel not only as a technology upgrade, but as a strategic investment in their future roadmap, ensuring GRB’s infrastructure could support growth plans and evolving market demands.

Enhancing performance and agility

GRB’s partnership with Vercel marked a significant leap forward, notably increasing GRB's site uptime to nearly 100%. This surge in reliability bolstered customer trust and ensured uninterrupted access during peak traffic periods.

Thanks to Vercel, GRB's site uptime is nearly 100%. Our feature development time went from months to a week and can deploy in under 10 minutes. Vercel is a total game-changer.

Romeo CotaSenior eCommerce Project Manager at GRB

Developer processes also improved, with development time for new features released in as little as a week, a more than 75% improvement from the previous timeline. Deployment times reduced from 1 hour to under 10 minutes. This agility allowed GRB to swiftly adapt to the market and user demands.

The incremental migration of three key GRB websites was accomplished within six months. Focusing on moving one website at a time, GRB was able to enhance performance and page load speeds, with the scalability and reliability of their new setup easily handling high traffic volumes.

In conjunction with Prismic as their CMS, GRB utilizes the following key Vercel features:

  • Domain Hosting: Streamlined domain management, ensuring consistent website accessibility and contributing to nearly perfect site uptime
  • Developer Experience Platform: Efficiently manage website updates with reduced deployment times, fostering better collaboration within the IT team and quicker market responsiveness
  • Speed Insights: Real-time performance monitoring, identifying and addressing web performance improvements to enhance user experience and improve SEO outcomes

The introduction of Preview Deployments was also a notable addition to GRB's development toolkit, allowing for testing and refinement of new updates in a controlled environment before going live. This reduced the risk of post-deployment issues, ensuring a smooth and stable rollout of new GRB functionalities.

The next steps for GRB

Today, GRB is focused on expanding its online presence and enhancing user engagement through its partnership with Vercel. This collaboration has improved GRB’s digital infrastructure, enabling the upcoming launch of a loyalty program in 2024 aimed at boosting customer retention and increasing sales.

By leveraging Vercel's capabilities for rapid feature deployment and site performance, GRB cements their position as Australia’s fastest homeware and kitchenware retailer.

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