Modcloth, the innovative online retailer of vintage-inspired fashion and décor needed to scale systems to meet the growing demands of its global business.


ModCloth came to Pivotal in October with an extremely tight deadline for the Thanksgiving holiday rush. In that short time frame we turned around a product that let site administrators activate free shipping promotions at a given threshold, a tool the company used to increase average order value and delight customers throughout the holiday season. The software is easily adapted to changing conditions; ModCloth continues to use it by simply adjusting the threshold that triggers a promotional offering.

Over the longer term, ModCloth committed to the demanding task of segmenting its e-commerce platform into smaller, more manageable pieces to support sustained growth, including a complete restructuring of the company’s internal procurement system.

ModCloth was launching dozens of new items daily and needed a more efficient and scalable system for product sourcing and procurement. Pivotal built custom software adapting a spreadsheet-based process into a robust, integrated web application to scale with the demands of the business.

Training was a critical factor in the success of ModCloth’s engagements with Pivotal. We focused on building the skills and experience of the company’s developers and product managers, getting them up to speed on sustainable development practices that would serve over the long term. We left the ModCloth team well equipped to advance the company’s business goals, building on the software we developed together.

“Your team will be stronger when you leave Pivotal. Not just your engineering team, but your product managers, your designers, and your engineering leadership. Your entire technology musculature will be much stronger. Pivotal sets you up for long-term success. It’s a velocity gain over time, not a short-term fix.”
Fiona O’Donnell-McCarthy, ModCloth Product Manager


ModCloth’s leadership was intent on training the technology team, so fostering an agile culture was top priority throughout the engagement. Pivotal pair-programmed with four ModCloth developers at a time in three-month rotations, profoundly altering the practice of the engineering team. When it came to breaking down the company’s monolithic e-commerce platform, we collaborated to shift ModCloth toward a service-oriented architecture that would instill sustainable patterns and services to better address team needs. Together, the programming pairs rebuilt the ModCloth data warehouse in Ruby, and helped develop a business intelligence application, product catalog, and updated storefront.

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