Kohl’s eliminates omnichannel friction

Kohl’s is managing data with Google Cloud to offer a more seamless customer experience.

As part of an effort to more closely unify its digital, mobile, and brick-and-mortar experiences for customers, Kohl’s sought supporting cloud services that would drive its data center infrastructure and enable large-scale data management. In addition, the department store retailer was interested in deploying cloud-based analytics and machine learning tools to evaluate real-time data streams and help personalize the customer experience.

Kohl’s decided to leverage the Google Cloud platform to support its real-time customer data management and personalization efforts. This included building applications to automate deployment, scaling, and operations, as well as using monitoring capabilities to track metrics like response time. In addition, Kohl’s ran its cloud-based infrastructure, which could be elastically scaled to match site traffic, across multiple regions for high availability.

In addition, the Kohl’s team partnered with Google’s core engineering team and services organization to optimize applications and make them more reliable. Google customer reliability engineers (CREs) worked with Kohl’s in advance of peak time frames to test the cloud infrastructure for performance, scaling, and fault tolerance.

In 2017 and 2018, record-setting numbers of customers visited during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and the digital platform experienced high double-digit growth both years. The capabilities provided by the Google Cloud Platform and Google’s data center infrastructure supported Kohl’s servers and systems during these key timeframes.

“At the time, I was looking for an open and scalable platform to partner with our Kohl’s technology team as we transform our business by shifting to the cloud,” said Ratnakar Lavu, Kohl’s senior executive VP and CTO. “Google has great engineering talent as well as demonstrated experience solving stability and scale in its own ads and search business. At Kohl’s, we need to be bold and innovative in today’s retail environment, and therefore need partners who deeply understand how to manage risk.”