AWS becomes preferred cloud for e-commerce giants Mercado Libre and Zalando


Amazon Web Services Inc. today divulged that Mercado Libre Inc. and Zalando SE, two major players in the global e-commerce market with millions of users each, have selected it as their preferred cloud provider.

Mercado Libre is the largest online retail and payments provider in Latin America. It’s also the region’s overall largest company by market capitalization. Germany-based Zalando is the operator of Europe’s most popular fashion and lifestyle e-commerce marketplace.

Mercado Libre is building a data lake on AWS’ S3 object storage service to help internal business teams analyze data about its operations and find opportunities to improve efficiency. The data lake uses Amazon EMR, AWS’ managed service for running open-source analytics platforms such as Spark, to ingest more than 25 terabytes of transaction data daily. Mercado Libre is also working to analyze information from its e-commerce delivery network, online payments platform and other divisions to give business teams a more complete picture of operations.

Artificial intelligence is another component of Mercado Libre’s public cloud initiative. The company, which has more than 76 million users across 18 Latin American countries, uses AWS’ AI services to translate product listings automatically between Portuguese and Spanish, as well as to help with fraud prevention.

Zalando, the other e-commerce company that featured in AWS’ announcement today, uses machine learning as part of its own operations to optimize product suggestions. Its engineering group relies on Amazon SageMaker to build AI models that recommend items to shoppers based on inferred fashion preferences.

Zalando also relies on AWS to help it suggest items in the right sizes. AWS said the company managed to “significantly reduce size-related returns” by using machine learning to predict if an item will be a good fit.

As far as its back-office operations are concerned, Zalando uses SAP SE applications to manage key processes such as logistics. The company has moved those applications to AWS to analyze the records they contain using the cloud provider’s data-crunching services. As an added bonus, AWS claims that Zalando’s information technology team now spends 30% less time on SAP workload management than before.

The Mercado Libre and Zalando deals draw attention to the strategy behind AWS’ continued investments in data center expansion. Enterprises with customers across multiple countries need to run applications on infrastructure close to those customers to avoid latency issues, a requirement that’s especially important in competitive business-to-consumer markets such as e-commerce. AWS, with its large existing data center network and regular expansions into new regions, has the scale to accommodate such enterprise customers.

Similar considerations are driving the data center expansion roadmaps of Inc.’s cloud rivals. Moreover, in the interest of letting enterprises deploy workloads even closer to customers, the major cloud providers have recently started offering application deployment options outside their own data centers. AWS, Microsoft Corp. and Google LLC all offer services that enable customers to run applications on infrastructure at the edge of the network.


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