Moonpig Case Study

Moonpig Case Study

Introduction

Moonpig is an online retailer, which allows customers to create personalised cards and gifts online. They launched in the early days of e-commerce in 2000, weathered the dot-com crash and by 2007 the business was the leading online greetings card retailer, as well as having introduced a catchy jingle to the nation via their television ad.

However, Moonpig came to Infinity Works with a pretty big challenge. Their website and platform was hosted in a data centre, where they had used all of their rack space. Instead of upgrading to more space, the business decided to invest in cloud technology, which would allow them greater flexibility in terms of being able to scale in the future.

The gift and greetings industry is very seasonal, with major peaks around Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother's Day, all fairly close together. The Mother's Day peak in 2018 had brought the existing infrastructure close to breaking point and with very strong growth year-on-year, the infrastructure probably wouldn't have stood up to the following year's Mother's Day and Valentine's Day peaks.

'Our teams are so closely intertwined and if they can work on a new service or product from its conception, through to development, then it makes collaboration, creativity and efficiency even easier.'

– Jay Patel, Director - IT & Delivery, Moonpig

So what did we do?

Infinity Works was brought in to migrate Moonpig to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-based technology with extremely tight timescales, and no room for error or delay. By using cloud-based AWS, and re-architecting certain parts of the application stack, this would allow the online business to scale indefinitely.

The infrastructure had to be migrated before the end of November in order to cope with the Christmas period, closely followed by Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. It would have been catastrophic for the business if we did not hit the deadline.

However, we had a number of technological issues to resolve. The first was that the website and hosting structure had been set up before cloud data storage was created, so some technologies weren't compatible to moving into cloud-hosted platforms. We also had tight compliance requirements for GDPR and PCI-DSS legislation.

Infinity Works set up a cross-functional team of engineers who worked on-site closely with Moonpig's own IT team. The cross-functional nature of the team (development, operations, DBA and architecture) allowed us to move rapidly, maturing all layers of the tech stack together as the project progressed.

The mixed working team of IW consultants and client IT employees allowed Moonpig to help steer the direction, learn new technologies as we went along, and gain a deep understanding of the end result so that they would be able to support it once the migration project was finished.

'Infinity Works embedded their consultants within our team so they completely understood how our business operates and worked closely with our teams, which ensured the right solution was delivered in a timely manner. The solution delivered has supported the transformation of our business, and has enabled it to keep growing.'

– Jay Patel, Director - IT & Delivery, Moonpig

The results

  • The timescales were tight, but together we delivered the solution without any compromise in a five month timescale, ready for Moonpig's peak periods.
  • Moonpig successfully delivered a stable and responsive web experience to their customers over those three peak periods, with no outages, served out of AWS.
  • Although improving the site wasn't part of the brief, we ended up cutting response times by a third, which was an amazing bonus to customers and for usability.
  • We created a number of highly secure cloud services, creating a more secure environment than the previous physical network, and fully GDPR and PCI-DSS compliant.
Written on November 12, 2018 by:
Steven Harper
infinityworks.com