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From manual entry to ElasticSearch of a retailer’s address finder

9 minutes read
case-study
ClientNDA
IndustryRetail

Our client, a leading retailer, fulfills over a million online grocery orders each week. Each order depends on a correctly entered address for delivery. Customers chose manual entry over scrolling for their address in the previous drop-down UI design, leading to higher operational costs and delivery delays. VirtusLab replaced this with a simplified single-search field, reducing manual entry by 75% and reducing issues associated with the old system.

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The challenge

Our client grappled with poor address data quality, resulting in higher operational costs due to delivery delays. The existing system, reliant on a dropdown address selection, struggled with vast address volumes for specific areas, forcing the customer to scroll. This led 4000 daily users to manually enter addresses, increasing the likelihood of errors. 

Faced with the increasing reliance of stakeholders on accurate data, our client understood the importance of a new solution. The implementation of the new solution should avoid disruption of ongoing operations. That is when the retailer asked VirtusLab for assistance.

The solution

VirtusLab simplified the address entry process by introducing a user-friendly single-search field, eliminating the complex two-step postcode-address selection. This upgrade enabled a dynamic search-as-you-type feature, providing a fuzzy search for queries including typos. 

We used AWS ElasticSearch to optimize system performance in an iterative approach. This was the foundation for the next steps, which included rewriting our client’s services in Java and launching them on Kubernetes to establish a unified platform. We further improved the platform's service architecture to ensure better integration.

The next stage centered on strengthening the retailer’s team and processes. We cross-trained our client's staff to broaden their skill set and implemented consistent coding practices. With a capable team and streamlined processes, we integrated data from diverse sources across various countries.

At last, we prioritized data security and governance. We enacted procedures to protect data and established governance protocols to guarantee its availability and accessibility.

The results

VirtusLab’s solution reduced the amount of manually typed addresses by 75%, leading to enhanced accuracy and reduced delivery costs. We also designed the solution to be applicable beyond addressing issues, such as address comparison for fraud detection and database migration. 

As ElasticSearch requires adjustments, we iteratively refined the solution to meet the client’s expectations. This led to:

  • Indexed Documents: Decreased by 70%
  • Infrastructure Costs: Reduced by 15%
  • Response Time Latency (P99): Improved by 50 times
  • Search Result Accuracy: Increased from 60% to 90%

The tech-stack

Languages: Java, C#

Database technologies: Elasticsearch, CosmosDB, MongoDB

Infrastructure: Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure

The tech-stack

Languages

java-logo
C++logo

Database technologies

Azure_CosmosDB
ElasticSearch-logo
MongoDB-logo

Infrastructure

Kubernetes-logo
Microsoft_Azure_Logo

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VirtusLab's work has met the mark several times over, and their latest project is no exception. The team is efficient, hard-working, and trustworthy. Customers can expect a proactive team that drives results.

Stephen Rooke
Stephen RookeDirector of Software Development @ Extreme Reach

VirtusLab's engineers are truly Strapi extensions experts. Their knowledge and expertise in the area of Strapi plugins gave us the opportunity to lift our multi-brand CMS implementation to a different level.

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Leonardo PoddaEngineering Manager @ Facile.it

VirtusLab has been an incredible partner since the early development of Scala 3, essential to a mature and stable Scala 3 ecosystem.

Martin_Odersky
Martin OderskyHead of Programming Research Group @ EPFL

The VirtusLab team's in-depth knowledge, understanding, and experience of technology have been invaluable to us in developing our product. The team is professional and delivers on time – we greatly appreciated this efficiency when working with them.

Michael_Grant
Michael GrantDirector of Development @ Cyber Sec Company