Costco uses UK e-commerce model to drive international sales

Costco has optimised its new Mexico wholesale website to help drive more sales, using a UK model.


Costco has optimised its new Mexico wholesale website to help drive more sales, using a UK model.

Costco brought in design and development firm Reply and SAP's e-commerce data management subsidiary hybris to complete the roll-out of the website.

The site is part of a group that generates a total of $102.5 billion (£61.7 billion) of sales every year, with Costco billing itself as the third largest retailer in the world.

The group runs an international wholesale membership club that is only open to members and their guests, using a chain of 600 warehouses around the world.

Reply has built for Costco a secure, cloud-based e-commerce platform that also enables warehouse and fulfilment capabilities. After deploying Costco’s first e-commerce offering in the UK in 2012, Reply built the Mexico e-commerce solution with hybris software, using the blueprint developed for the UK site and tailoring it for the Mexican market.

The platform is entirely integrated with the warehouse management system powered by Reply’s proprietary SaaS (software-as-a-service) WMS SideUp Reply, which allows efficient order management and real-time visibility on stock levels.

The site is cloud-hosted on Google Cloud Platform services, including Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud SQL, configured by Reply. The project was managed via an international team that operated in each of the four global locations to run the implementation.

The hybris Commerce Suite is said to offer Costco a proven and robust platform to support its expansion in Mexico. Hybris supports internationalisation and localisation capabilities, including collaboration with local, native-speaking implementation partners who are familiar with the cultural, technical, legal, political and governmental issues in Mexico, to help facilitate the development process.

The new e-commerce platform, said Costco, has enabled Costco Mexico to expand its product range online and the number of customers it serves, operating with a more rapid time to market.

The scalability of the solution is said to deliver "huge cost savings" to Costco, with the company only having to pay for actual use, rather than constant payment to cover the highest projected bandwidth levels that might be needed.

Don Burdick, senior vice president at Costco, said, “The solution developed by Reply, hybris and Google has allowed Costco to open a feature rich, dependable and scalable website using a fully outsourced model. The Mexico and UK sites have exceeded our expectations for performance and extensibility, and Costco will continue partnering with Reply, Google and hybris in other geographies in the years to come.”

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