Retain market leadership with personalised, time-sensitive offerings to a user base that includes more than 48 million active customers.
With evidence showing that delays in outreach impact conversions, Groupon must ensure campaign delivery of millions of daily emails and push notifications to users in 500+ markets across 15 countries.
Maintain a resilient and responsive user experience, especially when scaling out to handle large peaks in demand–2-3 hours of 7-10x increased traffic is common–during the holidays and special events (i.e. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Super Bowl).
Previous monolithic application architecture was painful and slow to update, difficult and expensive to scale in light of increasing demand, and unable to handle concurrency and parallelism without running into programming errors and vulnerabilities.
Replaced legacy monolith with a Reactive microservices architecture based on Akka and Play Framework.
Ensured predictable and timely personalised engagement with millions of customers at just the right time by integrating various data sources.
Reactive microservices architecture increased developer productivity for daily deployments (compared to every few weeks in the past).
Increased throughput across multiple VMs deployed on very few physical hosts serving more than 600,000 requests per minute.
Big data enrichment workflow decreased from 30 to 10 minutes–using 25% less compute resources–enabling faster engagement with millions of customers at just the right time.
Stable service delivery capable of scaling up for the 7-10X spikes in demand during special events, without facing any downtime in over 3 years.
Some Background: Groupon
Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) is building the daily habit in local commerce, offering a vast mobile and online marketplace where people discover and save on amazing things to do, see, eat and buy. By enabling real-time commerce across local businesses, travel destinations, consumer products and live events, shoppers can find the best a city has to offer.
With $2.6B in revenues in 2018, Groupon helps shoppers find the best-personalised experiences a city has to offer by enabling real-time commerce across local businesses, travel destinations, consumer products, and live events. Groupon is redefining how small businesses attract and retain customers by providing them with customizable and scalable marketing tools and services to profitably grow their businesses.
With a complex network of over a million merchants distributed across multiple geographies, the Groupon platform (Groupon and LivingSocial) connects a very elaborate and complex engineering infrastructure at the top of the business funnel with merchants serving over 48 million prospective customers daily across 500+ markets in 15 countries.
We talked with Aditya Athalye, Senior Software Engineer at Groupon, about the company’s digital transformation from legacy monolith to Reactive microservices with Akka and Play Framework by Lightbend.
The Challenge: A Brittle, Unscalable Monolithic Architecture
Reaching out to millions of people each day at the right time–while meeting the stringent SLAs–is critical to the functioning of Groupon’s business. All user outreach is made possible by a set of delivery services which deliver millions of emails and push notifications for the app on a daily basis. These numbers go up even further during the Holiday Season (Black Friday Sale, Cyber Monday, Christmas sale) or special events like Super Bowl.