Today we’re hearing from Nuuly, the subscription-based clothing business of URBN. As a new brand within an established company, their small technology team had the opportunity to build their infrastructure from scratch. Here’s how they did it.
When URBN was developed Nuuly—launched in 2019—it chose to create everything from scratch on Google Cloud. Despite being part of a larger organization with decades of history and expertise, the company recognized the limitations presented by legacy systems and, more importantly, the necessity of building a wholly new platform that could be fully responsive.
The company has to react not only to new fashion trends but, crucially, the changing behaviors of customers. And not just their evolving tastes but also shopping habits, delivery preferences, unexpected customer service requests—is this a pattern, or a stain?—and social media chatter.
From a technology perspective, we had different challenges and goals as a subscription provider than URBN does as an online and in-person retailer. We decided to put a team together to totally focus on this new retail rental model and its unique requirements. That meant we could make our own decisions about the platform and frameworks we’d use. We first had to think about the business model we were building, then assess what technology would best fit with that model.
Our business is still evolving, so we’re just scratching the surface in terms of all we can offer our customers. What’s great is that with managed cloud services, we’re able to focus on the business side of things, rather than the technology side. With Google Cloud, we don’t have to manage resources, so we can provision resources up front and use the utilization model.