Braving the odds

Published November 10, 2021, 8:55 AM

by Lionell Macahilig

Emerging mother-centric platform Edamama leverages Amazon Web Services to scale up amid COVID-19 pandemic and competitive ecommerce market

Key people behind Edamama, an ecommerce site dedicated to mothers, have recently talked about how leveraging Amazon Web Services technologies has helped them address the pain points moms in the Philippines are experiencing when shopping online.

During an exclusive press conference via Zoom, Monica Otayza, Edamama’s public relations and marketing head, and Seaver Choy, the company’s senior tech manager, spoke about how their emerging ecommerce platform rose amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the help of AWS.

While the pandemic has affected many businesses in the country in a negative way, it has helped Edamama accelerate its growth as an ecommerce platform. People have more time with their phone instead of going outside to buy what they need.

Established in May 2020 by the husband-wife duo Nishant and Bela Gupta D’Souza, Edamama is now the number one vertical platform for mothers and children in the country, said Otayza. “Curating products, content and services for households, we want the process of decision-making to be easier for moms amid the pandemic with an array of products, including toys, clothing and homeware,” she added.

Today, Edamama has more than 27,000 stock-keeping units of various products and over 150,000 registered users on the platform. The site boasts more than 650,000 monthly web sessions and over 150,000 followers on social media where it has over seven million monthly reach.

To achieve these, however, the workforce behind Edamama has to focus a lot on technology. Considering itself as a tech-first company, such behavior is reflected in how it hires and takes care of its pool of talents, which now has a total of 20 developers who are fixing bugs and maintaining the platform.

While currently limited to catering to customers in the Philippines, Edamama also aspires to expand its reach in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world soon. To do this, it would need a multidatabase, serverless, microservice architecture from a monolithic backend that supports global reach in a way similar to how streaming platforms like Netflix is servicing the world.

This is where AWS comes in. Even though Edamama has not yet expanded outside the country, AWS has been helping the company through the various technologies that it offers. “Only with AWS we see a serverless architecture and there is no need to meet a lot of people just to maintain a server. AWS offers a managed, automated way to maintain a server. We do not have to upgrade the hardware specifications of a server since AWS is doing that immediately, which is the kind of infrastructure that we want,” said Choy.

Edamama has multiple AWS Relational Database Services and AWS Lambdas that are running to take care of the different components of the platform. Aside from not having to put up an infrastructure from scratch, Edamama is using AWS to scale up as it begins to cater to customers from other countries, for example, those who would want to order gifts for their beloved children.

Being part of the AWS Activate Program, Edamama developers have the capability to explore new technologies under the AWS platforms such as AWS X-Ray and Machine Learning Solutions Lab, which are not found on conventional type of servers that you would rent online but are the kind of infrastructure that you would see from cloud service providers. AWS enables Edamama developers to develop and deploy faster, as well as monitor up to 80 percent of bugs before users could notice and report them.

Currently, the ecommerce platform can handle 2,000 concurrent users and is targeting to handle over 20,000 users as time goes by. With the help of AWS, Choy and his team want to horizontally scale its database and are looking forward to building new features. “With AWS, we do not have to worry about infrastructure concerns but focus more on what Edamama is all about and that is creating amazing features for mothers,” he said.

Edamama is aware of the cutthroat ecommerce scene in the Philippines but this does not faze the new player. “There are a lot of growth areas that we need to cover, as well as people whom we should attract from other ecommerce platforms and make them understand that Edamama is a custom-built platform exclusively made for mothers just like them,” said Choy.

“We are fighting against ecommerce players that are capable of handling a million of orders a day. Most of them have years ahead of them and here we are, coming out amid the pandemic in May 2020, and we need to catch up quickly. AWS has helped us stay competitive, eliminate the complexities and enable us to provide the usability that mothers are expecting from an ecommerce platform like Edamama,” he added.