Walmart turned to Cognitect to build an omni-channel data management system with real-time transaction information and buying behaviors, integrated across in­-store, e­-commerce and mobile points of sale.

Opportunities to improve the customer experience are nearly endless

Walmart has a complex system architecture distributed across multiple geographies, organizational boundaries, and technologies. Accessing multi­channel information about buying patterns and consumer needs was prohibitively time consuming. Walmart recognized an opportunity to be more responsive to their customers with a more personalized​ shopping experience by taking advantage of the data that was just beyond their fingertips.

the solution

Real-time OmniChannel

Walmart brought in the experts at Cognitect to design and implement an architecture that would scale to support over 5,000 stores in the U.S., would scale with the growth of the company, could support transaction volumes on a “Black Friday Scale,” and would integrate in­-store, online and mobile data.

Design to Deployment in 6 Months

Cognitect’s developers worked side by side with WalmartLabs to develop an adaptive data infrastructure that works with and aggregates data from Walmart’s existing systems. A small team of just 4 developers built the robust data management system—from design to deployment—in just six months.

Rapid Delivery of New Customer Apps

The new architecture enables Walmart to easily add new applications spanning multiple backend systems and data stores as customer’s shopping needs evolve. For example, Savings Catcher, Walmart’s consumer application for price matching, uses the data platform to power automatic rebates to consumers.

The Result: Personalization in Every Channel

Real-time customer data from over 5,000 stores, integrated with online and mobile transactions creates a wealth of marketing opportunities.

Using Clojure as the programming language and Cassandra as the backend data store, Cognitect and WalmartLabs created a robust data management system that enables faster decision making and improved responsiveness to its customers:

  • Fast ​– Clojure uses anywhere from 5 to 10 times less code than other programming languages, while achieving the same functionality. This speeds development time, reduces the instances of bugs and also cuts maintenance time.
  • Familiar ​– Since Clojure runs on the JVM, all of the libraries that Java developers are used to are still available. At Walmart, the Clojure­based apps were able to communicate over existing message queues and middleware, such as Tibco.
  • Reliable ​– The architecture maintains data integrity and continuity, even if a remote data feed is temporarily offline.
  • Scalable​ – Over 5,000 physical stores, online shopping and mobile commerce, all sharing information in near ­real time, even during peak transaction levels around Black Friday.
  • Responsive ­​ – Walmart can now implement new ideas more quickly, helping them lead the way in an increasingly competitive marketplace.