eBay and Walmart Adopt Neo4j: The Graph is Transforming Retail

Neo Technology, creators of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database, today announced that large retailers including eBay and Walmart are using Neo4j in mission critical business applications with great success. eBay is using Neo4j to speed, streamline and improve its popular same-day delivery service to end-customers globally. Walmart is using Neo4j to make sense of online shoppers’ behavior in order to be able to optimize up and cross sell major product lines in core markets.

eBay has a bold vision to redefine local commerce, as approximately 75% of commerce happens within 15 miles of the consumer’s home. While E-commerce is quick and convenient, delivery is not. The advent of same day delivery promises to disrupt the entire process of local commerce. This convergence between online shopping and the in-store consumer experience is revolutionizing commerce by creating a seamless relationship between the retailer and the customer. Selected for its flexibility, speed, and ease of use, Neo4j helped eBay address the biggest roadblock between its retailers and online shoppers: the wait.

Due to eBay’s explosive growth and new features, the company needed to rebuild its service platform to guarantee the fastest possible delivery times. Its previous MySQL solution was too slow and complex to maintain, and the queries used to calculate the best route additionally took too long. The eBay development team knew that a graph database could be added to the existing SOA and services structure to solve the performance and scalability challenges. The team turned to Neo4j as the best possible solution on the market.

“We found Neo4j to be literally thousands of times faster than our prior MySQL solution, with queries that require 10-100 times less code. Today, Neo4j provides eBay with functionality that was previously impossible,” said Volker Pacher, Senior Developer at eBay.

Large retailers such as Walmart are also using Neo4j in production. In the past, buyers were largely dependent on information provided by manufacturers in the form of marketing. Today, thanks primarily to user-generated reviews and people’s tendency to consult social media friends about purchases, buyers have other options. The wealth of peer-to-peer information and the unprecedented availability of expert opinions give them access to a rich, specific sense of what it’s like to own or use the goods they’re considering. In order to make sense of all of this connected data, Walmart has committed to using the Neo4j graph database.

“Neo4j helps us to understand our online shoppers’ behavior and the relationship between our customers and products, providing a perfect tool for real-time product recommendations. As the current market leader in graph databases, and with enterprise features for scalability and availability, Neo4j is the right choice to meet our demands,” said Marcos Wada, Software Developer at Walmart.

Graphs Are Everywhere…(and so is Neo4j) As graphs are becoming publicly recognized for their ability to solve a lot of seemingly intractable technology problems across a broad range of industries and use cases, Neo4j continues to see significant mainstream adoption. In fact, Neo4j is ranked as the most popular graph database available by database monitoring site DB-Engines. According to the firm, “When we look at how much various categories of database management systems increased their popularity last year, Graph DBMSs are the clear winner with more than 250% increase.”

To view the full eBay case study, go to: eBay Now Tackles eCommerce Delivery Service Routing with Neo4j

# # # Contact: Tanya Carlsson Kulesa Faul for Neo Technology (707) 529-6139 tanya@kulesafaul.com ¹McKinsey & Company: “Retail 4.0: The Future of Retail Grocery in a Digital World,” Parag Desai, Ali Potia, and Brian Salsberg, 2014. ² Harvard Business Review: “What Marketers Misunderstand About Online Reviews,” Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen, 2014.