Program Operation Performance
Market Kurly, known for its dawn delivery and purple branding, joined Startup KAIST for May’s Startup-ting. Market Kurly is an online commerce company that is well-known to customers. The company has grown exponentially after its establishment in 2015, and is about to be listed on the U.S. stock market. Customers can receive fresh products before 7 am if they order by 11 pm the night before. Market Kurly is the first to launch a fresh product delivery service.
Startup-ting is continuing through Zoom due to COVID-19. If you are interested in the development and rapid growth story of Market Kurly, pay attention to the review of Market Kurly’s Startup-ting!
1. Market Kurly’s ultrafast growth: a realistic service development story that increased daily sales from 500 million to 6.7 billion won – CTO Sangseok Lim
Beginning with an introduction of Market Kurly’s services, CTO Lim also gave a lecture on the logistics service. CTO Sangseok Lim joined Market Kury at the series C stage to manage and systemize the organization operation. (The lecture below is described in the perspective of the speaker).
Market Kurly is known for its dawn delivery mainly in the capital areas. Dawn delivery is a service that delivers by 7 am if users order before 11 pm the night before. Now, we are expanding dawn delivery to Chungcheongnam-do regions such as Daejeon and Sejong, and looking for ways to expand to areas like Ulsan. After Jeon Ji-hyun’s TV commercial, Market Kurly’s reputation has increased. The CEO of Market Kurly checks products meticulously every Friday to pursue high quality products and create user friendly contents. We provide all information necessary for customers to understand the products in detail, and before COVID-19, we would even go to the United States to take photos of products.
Market Kurly is working hard for a unique branding through innovating packaging. We provide the freshest delivery compared to Rocket fresh and Oasis. Our goal is to deliver Hagen Daz ice cream with a hard surface, the tail of mackerel still frozen, and abalones as fresh to the customers. In May, dawn delivery boxes will be changed from paper boxes to Kurly’s purple box (recyclable packaging).
Market Kurly experienced a rapid business growth as well as a rapid traffic growth. There is still a 5% chance of growing, and the basket size (the amount of items in an order) will become important. Market Kurly is currently in the series E funding stage and preparing for Pre-IPO. Even in the competitive online fresh food market, Kurly is maintaining its lead. Kurly is transforming from a functional to an agile organizational structure, increasing developers from 20 to 200, and introducing an audit-level service development process. The daily orders have reached 120,000 nationwide, and we are considering expanding categories and upgrade into a Kurly Market Place. In 2018, we transferred from IDC to AWS while maintaining out monolithic service structure to take advantage of the cloud.
The rapid growth of Kurly is greatly due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In parallel to the rapid business growth, the traffic volume and volatility have amplified. We experienced the limitations of a monolithic structure, replacing and upgrading to MSA. We have also achieved efficient handling of traffic and operational reliability through expanding AWS Cloud on-demand EC2 and RDS. On the topic of building and evolving the Kurly commerce development team, it is showing a cocktail effect, and both JAVA and PHP exist. It is necessary to understand and use various languages and frameworks to know the limitations, and consider costs for recovery. When there is a large scale traffic, CQRS (command and query responsibility segregation) is required. After the introduction of a DynamoDB and ElasticCache based CQRS, the traffic has changed. Lastly, although there is a shortage of developers, we are working on the problem of growing the basket size.
In the recommendation section, Kurly used to mix curation-based and rule-based automation methods, but has introduced an AWS Personalize system (a personalized recommendation system at a minimum cost in a short period of time). After developing the system and deploying A/B tests, the system showed an improvement in shopping cart conversion rate to 358%, but at the cost of a decrease in the size of the shopping cart by 0.002%. Originally, the customer center tasks were done manually through excel, but is now being optimized through AI/ML based task optimization and order automation.
Amid the growing number of automated distribution center technologies, Markey Kurly uses a PDA picking system, QPS (Quick Picking System), and Cross Belt Sorters to handle the large-scale orders. However, robot systems have not been fully introduced. We still need logistics processing technology and logistics center SW technologies to handle large-scale orders. We are currently developing various algorithms, and methods to minimize picking when stacking products.
Data Analysis Team (Advanced Analytics Team) – Sangrae Noe
I am currently working at the Advanced Analytics Team at Market Kurly and joined the company since September 2016. I also conduct algorithms, analytical data, and decision making on data trainings. I will explain about the teams related to data analysis, and how the data teams contribute to the business. Kurly is internalizing its capabilities to provide the best service, and data analysis takes an important role in this. The amount of data and the complexity to solve issues are increasing. The Advanced Analytics team predicts data Ops, data policies, data & ML infrastructure in the data front end, and also designs dashboards.
I will also explain about the trial and errors over the 5 years of Kurly’s data. In 2015, we used to work with excel. The work was fast, but the system was weak. Due to security and safety issues, we connected the business and data using AWS since 2016. We created a system to collect the necessary information and solve problems in a timely manner. Since then, the era of Data product has opened, and we have been solving advanced problems using the M&L Dashboard. We are now working with a data governance system. For data policies, the information needed for each team design and analytics tasks are required. We develop and analyze data infrastructure, design systems for data analysis, and lastly, develop infrastructure systems for Kurly services.
Q&A and Discussion
Since there were many customers using Market Kurly’s service, there were more questions than any other startup-ting. Besides the pre-registered questions, there were many live questions in chat, making the Q&A session very lively. The session was followed by a variety of topics, including development, Kurly’s service, and changing jobs (Please refer to the video for more questions).
CTO Sangseok Lim replied to various questions during the Q&A session. He added that the review board is being redeveloped completely and that Markey Kurly is the best in PHP development, continuing to challenge and develop new areas.
Due to COVID-19, Market Kurly had a surge in customers. Today’s Startup-ting was a time to learn about how Market Kurly has developed since 2015. It is amazing how fresh products are delivered by dawn, and the meticulous system that allows it. Kurly will continue to develop its service and expand nationwide to deliver fresh products. We hope Markey Kurly challenges new areas and grow further. Please look forward to the next Startup-ting!