Management

Dia Sin IVA breaks records: increases orders by 5700% for VTEX stores in Colombia

Sorana Gheorghiade
Sorana Gheorghiade September 17, 2020
Dia Sin IVA breaks records: increases orders by 5700% for VTEX stores in Colombia

Colombia’s economy has been one of the fastest-growing in Latin America. To keep the high economic growth rates despite the general slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the low purchasing power, president Ivan Duque and his government offered the population a tax exemption loop. On top of a set of measures that include a cut to corporate rate and tax rebate for the poorest 20%, the government had declared a “tax-free day” on the 19th of June and the 3rd of July,  or Dia sin IVA in Spanish.

Value-added tax, which in Colombia is set at 19%, was suspended on all retail sales to boost demand and nudge Colombians into flooding shopping centers for the best deals for 24 hours. Notwithstanding, Duque’s plan to stimulate the economy was sharply criticized by the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, who urged the entire event to be moved online since it can aid in the spread of the virus.

Push finally did come to shove and online became the main vehicle for the second Dia sin IVA—July 3rd. While the event in itself posed quite a challenge to e-commerce managers, reaching the proportions of a Black Friday in the number of viewers, orders, and transactions, VTEX clients slept tight knowing that their platform will take care of the tremendously high traffic spike. 

Scale, scale, scale!

VTEX provides platform and software services for about 140 retailers in Colombia, most of which participated in Dia sin IVA, battling in sales percentages and attractive offers to the average shopper. The technical challenges involved in an event of this proportion are no easy task. When it comes to our success story, there is only one secret: anticipation. 

VTEX is built on top of AWS’ high-performing infrastructure, which enables the platform to scale as traffic increases in the stores. For  Dia sin IVA on July 3, VTEX was ready to support the 1,006,409 sessions the Colombian retailers had within 24 hours with a seamless experience for the consumers.

To run a cloud platform, one should take into account that every business has its own particularities and needs to scale in different ways. Databases, search systems, payment methods, ERPs, multiple integrations, all of these services can scale along the platform, because of VTEX’s multi-tenant and distributed microservices architecture. 

‘How in the world did you manage it?’

In these times, working hard is redundant. More important, though, is to work smart. By that we mean reducing the time of preparation for big online events like Dia sin IVA, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and others from a few months to only 10 days. We map in advance whether we know of any possible mishaps and we receive from the Customer Experience team a detailed forecast of how big the event is going to be. With that in hand, the engineering team can scale our platform in advance.

Then we fix any remaining issues and run low-tests—a test where we stress our platform intentionally, to make sure everything is ready for the big event. What defines us best is precaution and forward-thinking.

“It is rare to see 200,000 orders in such a short period of time, but we were definitely overly-prepared to take them all.” 

— Bernardo Heynemann, Director of Engineering for VTEX IO

The most accurate way you could picture our software engineers during Dia sin IVA is imagining a hyperactive tech beehive. But in this case, every single honeycomb hexagon is a huge screen with graphic indices going up and down within split seconds.  

The pink platform with a gold standard

Colombia’s performance in orders, sessions and selling stores was almost double compared to the last Black Friday in Brazil. On the 3rd of July, at exactly 2:20 AM local time, all Colombian stores under VTEX’s watch were running at an impressive +5000% increase in orders and +2000% increase in sessions.

The results cumulated on the first two quarters of 2020 show the readiness of our customers, in addition to the strength of our ecosystem of partners and integrated solutions. We do our best to provide our clients with higher performance and more operational efficiency.

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