Prioritizing the managed services from Amazon Web Services, Amway has built a microservice-based composable e-commerce platform on a wide choice of cloud-native services that is capable of flexible service composition, automated deployment, and elastic scheduling of cloud resources. A leading direct selling company, Amway manufactures and distributes more than 450 types of nutrition, beauty, personal care, and home products in over 100 countries and regions. Amway seeks a digital transformation strategy to provide premier customer experience and empower Amway Business Owners (ABOs). It relies on Amazon EC2, Amazon EKS, Amazon App Mesh, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Aurora, Amazon RabbitMQ, Amazon OpenSearch Service, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Glue, Amazon Athena, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Transit Gateway, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Managed Grafana, Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, Amazon X-Ray, Amazon Cognito, Amazon Web Application Firewall, Amazon Network Firewall, and Amazon Cloud Development Kit, among others.
Amazon Web Services has helped Amway to build a microservice-based composable e-commerce platform on an assortment of cloud-native services. This platform, capable of flexible
service composition, automated deployment, elastic scheduling of cloud resources responds quickly response to Amway’s changing business requirements. It empowers the ABOs and other functional departments and boosts the business growth.”
Vice President of Information Technology, Amway Greater China Region
Amway has been a direct selling company since its birth 62 years ago. This business mode is more of a solution to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and consumers than a way of life that incorporates their emotional interaction, personal growth, and social needs. The future form of direct selling will be one that combines online and offline businesses and connects people and the Internet. In response, Amway proposed a global digitalization strategy in 2012: “Applying cutting-edge mobile Internet technologies to help ABOs better conduct business, serve customers, and gain competitive edge.” This strategy has laid the foundation for Amway’s digital transformation policy—to provide premier customer experience and empower ABOs.
To this end, Amway has built the new-generation e-commerce platform in the Chinese Mainland which, comprising the three major sectors of ABOs, products, and markets, offers both offline and online marketing to provide full-process support for business and thus empower the continuous development of Amway’s direct selling. Amway’s e-commerce platform in Taiwan still employs monolithic architecture deployed in traditional server rooms. With this system, development and testing are simple since all back-office business logic is centralized in one application. This system was sufficient in the early days of Amway’s e-commerce development when the business functions were limited and codes were simple. With the boom of Amway in Taiwan, the weaknesses of its e-commerce platform surfaced primarily in the following three aspects: (1) The platform was not flexible enough to respond quickly to the changing business needs, and any new function requires changes to the entire platform; (2) ABOs are under-supported for concurrent expansion of online and offline businesses and best services to customers; and (3) Network congestion occurred during seckill promotions or other promotional events due to performance bottleneck, resulting in poor user experience. In order to address these problems, empower ABOs and the functional departments, and promote business growth, Amway decided to use Amazon Web Services to create a microservice-based composable e-commerce platform. This platform, built on an assortment of Amazon Web Services cloud-native services to achieve flexible service composition, automated deployment, and elastic scheduling of cloud resources, can respond rapidly to the changing business needs and provide ABOs and consumers with better services.
Why Amazon Web Services?
Amway, a pioneer in the direct selling industry, boasts a wealth of direct selling experience and has survived different economic development cycles. Amazon Web Services, a precursor in the global cloud services, enjoys a good choice of cloud-native services and global presence. Their cooperation indicates a combination of experience and technology which will better empower Amway’s business development through IT innovation.
From the angle of business development, the new e-commerce platform designed for Taiwan will be promoted and deployed in other business areas of Amway around the world. In this regard, Amway prefers a cloud service provider whose cloud platform is capable of global coverage and will meet the security and compliance requirements. Present in all areas where Amway has left a footprint, Amazon Web Services can meet the latency requirement of Amway’s e-commerce platform. In fact, with global infrastructures serving 245 countries and regions in 84 availability zones across 26 geographic regions, there is no better choice than Amazon Web Services for a global company like Amway.
At the technical level, Amway’s new e-commerce platform adopts a microservice architecture to break complex system functions into multiple microservices. Each microservice can be separately deployed and scaled to enable more scalable system. To deploy a new function only requires modifying and releasing the specific microservices, without restructuring and releasing the entire system. This architecture allows much simpler system modification, more agile system, and shorter cycle from microservice development to release.
For complex large-scale applications like Amway’s new e-commerce platform, how to effectively monitor and manage the performance of microservices, reduce the intrusiveness of SOA governance to microservice codes, and reduce the coupling between microservices is of paramount importance to ensure the stability and high performance of the system. Amway expects technological innovations when migrating the new e-commerce system from the original cloud platform to Amazon Web Services cloud—leveraging Amazon Web Services cloud-native services, establishing a middle layer compatible with multiple cloud platforms, returning to the open source community, embracing mainstream open source middleware, and maximizing the automation of site deployment, in a bid to further improve the openness, stability and automation of the new system.
After a thorough communication with Amazon Web Services’ professional service team, Amway development team decided to prioritize Amazon Web Services’ managed services for architectural design of its new platform, with a view to maximizing the operation and maintenance efficiency of its IT team and delegating the routine maintenance tasks to focus more on business support and innovation. Specifically, Amway uses such services as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to program microservices and Amazon App Mesh for application-level networking, to make it easier for microservices to communicate with each other across multiple types of computing infrastructures. Amazon App Mesh provides consistent visibility and network traffic controls. It requires no update of application code to change how monitoring data is collected or traffic is routed. It configures each service to export monitoring data and implements consistent communications control logic across your application. As Amazon App Mesh provides a solution to intrusiveness of SOA governance to microservice codes, microservice developers can concentrate on the applications instead of being distracted by the communication between microservices, pinpointing the exact location of errors, and re-routing traffic after failure. In addition, Amazon App Mesh uses the open source Envoy proxy and is compatible with mainstream open source tools, enabling a more open e-commerce platform.
Premier technical support is another major aspect that Amway values. Amazon Web Services’ consulting service team has been working with Amway’s development team from the start, offering timely solutions. Amazon Web Services Training & Certification team has organized trainings on assistant architects and senior architects to 104 developers throughout the course of development. Thanks to these trainings, over 40 developers obtained SAA and SAP certificates, improving the technical capabilities of Amway China.
Amway’s Amazon Web Services based e-commerce platform kicked off in July 2021 and was completed by Amazon Web Services’ professional service team in November 2021. In February 2022, some functions of Amway’s original e-commerce platform in Taiwan had been migrated to four microservices of the new platform. By June 2022, the entire system had been switched to the new platform, accomplishing the goal of a microservice-based composable e-commerce platform with flexible service composition and automated deployment. Amazon Web Services’ professional services team of Amazon is highly recognized by Amway’s project team for their high-quality delivery of services. The figure below shows Amway architecture on Amazon Web Services. For the Amway platform, Amazon EC2, Amazon EKS, and Amazon App Mesh are used for computing and SOA governance; Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Aurora, Amazon RabbitMQ, Amazon OpenSearch Service, and Amazon Kinesis for middleware service; Amazon S3, Amazon Glue, and Amazon Athena for big data storage and analysis; Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Transit Gateway for network services; Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Managed Grafana, Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, and Amazon X-Ray for monitoring and analysis; Amazon Cognito, Amazon Web Application Firewall, and Amazon Network Firewall for security; and Amazon Cloud Development Kit for automated deployment.
Amway China uses Amazon Web Services to achieve the technical and business goals for its new e-commerce platform.
Technically, the new e-commerce platform, enabled by an assortment of Amazon Web Services cloud-native services, is a microservice-based composable e-commerce platform that features flexible service composition, automated deployment, and elastic scheduling of cloud resources. It sees significant improvements in the security, reliability and stability of the system. Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) enabled by Amazon Cloud Development Kit shortens the time for new site building from 1 month to 8 hours. For future global deployment, this Amazon Web Services based core function will facilitate quick deployment of e-commerce platform in other regions of the world and thus greatly save the workload of repeated development and the cost of application development.
On the business side, with premier flexibility and scalability, this microservice-enabled composable e-commerce platform allows quick development of microservices in response to new business requirements and thus enables new functions and supports continuous business innovation. Compared to the former e-commerce platform, Amway’s new platform takes on a new look in the four aspects of customer experience, transaction security, efficiency improvement and sales growth.
On this new platform which lays a particular emphasis on customer-centric experience design, the trading center responds faster and is capable of handling more concurrency tasks. The average response speed of shopping cart settlement is less than 1 second, significantly cutting the waiting time of customers. The 3D-secure electronic payment method ensures safer transaction. The modern cloud development technology, tripling the system efficiency and quintupling the number of simultaneous orders placed by customers and the number of online users, has effectively supported the fast-growing online sales business. In addition, the marketing center is capable of flexible scaling and support of a high-performance promotion and rule engine. When innovative online marketing events are required, new modules can be quickly released to improve the efficiency of marketing activities.
Empowered by Amazon Web Services, Amway’s cloud-based e-commerce platform provides customers with smoother shopping experience. Its personalized reminders such as repurchase reminders and recommended match help ABOs better serve their customers.
It is Amway’s original aspiration to help people live healthier and better lives. The new e-commerce platform facilitates both consumers and ABOs to truly realize the “total wellness” concept advocated by Amway.
Amway, a direct selling company headquartered in Ada, Michigan, USA, manufactures and distributes over 450 nutrition, beauty, personal care, and home products in more than 100 countries and regions. Starting 27 years ago when it entered the Chinese market, Amway has been improving its quality management system across the entire chain from raw material planting, R&D, manufacturing, to logistics, delivery and after-sales service. It has been awarded the title of “Top 100 Integrity Demonstration Units ” by China Food Safety Annual Conference for 12 consecutive years. As the Internet technology evolves, Amway has established an e-commerce platform that supports its entire business process, in a bid to accelerate integration of offline and online resources, optimize the purchase, logistics and after-sales service systems, provide consumers and ABOs with comprehensive online and offline supports, and improve consumer experience.
Why Choose Amazon Web Services?
- Global infrastructure
- A wide choice of cloud-naive services
- Premier and comprehensive supports
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud, that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
Amazon Kinesis makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze real-time, streaming data so you can get timely insights and react quickly to new information.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) makes it easy to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on Amazon Web Services.
Amazon Glue is a serverless data integration service that makes it easy to discover, prepare, and combine data for analytics, machine learning, and application development.