elevating sports direct to a future-ready platform

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Frasers Group started as a small store in Maidenhead in 1982 and from there, grew into a global powerhouse, with a vision to serve customers with the world's best sports, premium and luxury brands. The group continues to re-think retail through store experience, digital innovations and an unrivalled product offering across a diverse brand portfolio.
the challenge

As Frasers Group has grown over the years, with online revenues exceeding £1bn, it has increasingly encountered challenges to innovate the proprietary in-house commerce platform, which serves multiple businesses and brands, across multiple geographic regions. In order to address the challenge of reducing time to market, Frasers Group engaged Lab Digital to explore modern composable ‘microservice’ architecture and consume API services a la carte.

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the project aimed to explore the following:
  • Leveraging best in class 3rd party technology and capabilities
  • Enabling a new organizational structure through the introduction of microservices, ultimately speeding up delivery
  • Cloud-native scalability and reliability

technology & tools

At the core of the platform are the eCommerce engine (Commercetools), the CMS (Amplience), search (Algolia) and the deployment framework MACH Composer. MACH technologies allowed us to create a real separation of concerns in the architecture, and by engaging fully with our partners we have delivered truly composable commerce and a solid foundation for future expansion. Of course, the landscape foresees in connections to necessary tools like payment providers and shipping/warehouse solutions and all required back-end connections to existing Frasers solutions.


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Working together

Demonstrating the value of the MACH philosophy in the shortest time possible was central to the early success of the project with Frasers Group. Our approach of building MACH best practices into our development tools and being opinionated on driving MACH ways of working was a natural fit for Frasers Group.

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The result is that our combined engineering teams were reorganized into smaller teams, to enable a higher degree of organizational autonomy. Whilst the full impact of this transformational shift is still very much underway, the creation of additional teams based on composable architecture provides the framework to scale teams with much greater ease. The scaling of the teams is exemplified by hiring of engineers in Malaysia, who have been able to address local market opportunities to improve the SEO performance. The project has proved that distributed development teams can work on and deploy* components to production independently, which is feasible on demand.