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How BigCommerce Upleveled Kafka Management for Digital Retail Innovation

“We started wondering, can we offload all of the management of Kafka—and still get all of the benefits of Kafka? That’s when Confluent came into the picture.”

Mahendra Kumar | VP of data and software engineering, BigCommerce
BigCommerce

Challenge

Difficulty scaling architecture with open source Apache Kafka® to meet real-time demands of merchants. Resulting in over 20 hours a week managing low-level Kafka infrastructure and not enough time spent innovating new products and features.

Solution

Switching from self-managed Kafka to Confluent Cloud gave BigCommerce a cloud-native, fully managed data streaming platform that is cloud agnostic with pre-built enterprise features.

Results

  • Time and cost savings, industry-leading reliability with a 99.99% uptime SLA, and seamless integration with third-party systems—in short, more innovation for far less effort.
  • In just five months, BigCommerce migrated 1.6 billion events a day to Confluent, and saved 20 hours a week in Kafka management, along with the scalability savings gained from no longer having to overprovision clusters to accommodate seasonal traffic spikes.
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When it comes to smooth e-commerce capability in the modern era, BigCommerce provides the technology behind the technology—the platform that’s ultimately the backbone of buying for tens of thousands of merchants, including Solo Stove, Skullcandy, Yeti, and a lot of other incredibly popular brands and products.

For a company that enables varying levels of demand for merchants in the digital age, timeliness and accuracy of data are crucial. Inventory has to be accurate to the millisecond, and when data is delayed by a day, or even a minute, it results in lost revenue for merchants and damages to the organization’s reputation.

That’s only one of the reasons BigCommerce pursued Apache Kafka for their data streaming use case. The modern, open SaaS, e-commerce platform works with tens of thousands of merchants who serve millions of customers around the world. Its digital commerce solutions are available 24/7, all year long, for B2B, B2C, multi-storefront, international, and omnichannel customers.

As Mahendra Kumar, VP of data and software engineering at BigCommerce, puts it, “Real-time data is critical for current business. The value of data drops almost exponentially as time goes by. The sooner you can act on data, the more valuable it is.”

Recognizing the need for real-time data while understanding the burden of self-managing Kafka on their own led BigCommerce to choose Confluent—allowing them to tap into data streaming without having to manage and maintain the data infrastructure.

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