Client

Based in the UK, the client is a technology startup that aims to deliver software solutions to retail and e-commerce industries.

Background

E-commerce marketplaces were seeing unprecedented growth. Since marketplace apps and websites allowed consumers to compare goods from different providers, check out reviews and ratings, and make payments in one place, they generally preferred to use this type of platform for online shopping.
Businesses, in their turn, could receive a convenient sales channel and reach a large audience without launching costly advertising campaigns.
Recognizing the opportunity to earn profit through monetization, the client wanted to build an online marketplace. After conducting market research, the startup decided to develop a software solution that would match cosmetics manufacturers and distributors with customers.

Project goal

The primary objective was to launch a multi-vendor marketplace for delivering beauty, grooming, and health products to consumers across the UK. To boost user engagement and gain a competitive advantage, it was important to create a user interface (UI) /user experience (UX) design with multiple custom and interactive elements.

Project duration

5 months

Team

3 frontend developers, 3 backend developers, 2 UI/UX designers, a quality assurance engineer, project manager, 2 mobile app developers.

Technologies

Python, TypeScript, Django, AWS, Elasticsearch, Docker, React, Redux, Redux-Saga, Storybook, SVG, styled-components, RabbitMQ, Redis, Memcached, PostgreSQL, React Native.

Solution

After collecting and analyzing the project requirements, our team got a clear understanding of the customer’s business-specific needs. To help our client identify the key functionality, we created impact maps and user personas describing in detail what vendors and customers should be able to do when interacting with the platform.
As a result, our software experts recommended building two solutions: a website for online beauty retailers and a mobile application for consumers. Then, we prioritized features and outlined a roadmap for e-commerce marketplace development.
Aiming to implement a user-friendly design, we worked out a convenient information architecture for both software products and provided intuitive navigation. Furthermore, our specialists ensured a seamless user experience across all devices and operating systems.

During the project, our team solved the following challenges:

  1. Since a web marketplace platform would serve thousands and potentially millions of users, high availability was a top priority.
    Our software developers used RabbitMQ — a message broker tool — to enable data parsing. Thanks to this, our team made it possible to ensure the fast processing of large data amounts. We also employed this technology for data caching, vital to server load optimization.
    In order to provide efficient data management, our engineers used a PostgreSQL database. With Memcached and Redis, we were able to achieve improved page load speed.
  2. As the client aimed to deliver the system to hundreds of UK stores and potentially — to European countries — it was essential to achieve scalability and fault tolerance.
    By creating a microservices architecture, we enabled system scalability and resilience to heavy loads, as well as high availability. Thanks to microservices, our software development team ensured ease of maintenance without the need to rewrite the whole platform.
  3. It was important to enable dynamic data analytics, so that vendors could track sales and control the availability of goods.
    With the view of providing dynamic data analytics, our engineers worked out a comprehensive algorithm that allows for:
    • collecting historical data on the number of goods in retail stores
    • gathering data on the number of goods already sold in each shop
    • generating reports on any periods, for example, sales per month or year
    • creating detailed reports for different time sections
    • visualizing sales data using charts, graphs, diagrams
    To implement this functionality, our developers had to process data aggregated from hundreds of vendors’ APIs. Furthermore, we implemented a notification system that alerted companies about various issues, for instance, if some goods were about to end.
  4. Delivering an engaging shopping experience was crucial to boost user engagement and increase the conversion rate.
    Our team created a beautiful UI/UX design with multiple custom and interactive elements. In order to ensure ease of use, we worked out an information architecture (IA), organizing content in such a way that users could easily find everything they needed without thinking. Thanks to this, our software experts provided usability and smooth navigation.
  5. According to the customer’s requirements, users had to be provided with a variety of payment methods while ensuring data security.
    By integrating the Braintree payment gateway, we enabled payments with cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as via Apple Pay and Google Pay. Furthermore, our team provided the possibility to pay through QIWI and WebMoney.
    Aiming to prevent any issues, our quality assurance engineers tested a software platform for all possible scenarios, for instance, “a card is blocked”, “not sufficient funds”, “order s expired”. In addition, we improved the security of sensitive data and transactions by using 3-D Secure.

Features

We built an e-commerce marketplace platform consisting of a website (for online beauty retailers) and a mobile application (for customers).

Features of a marketplace website:

  1. Registration and authorization
  2. Company profile
  3. Possibility to add stores and goods to the platform
  4. Content management (adding, editing, deleting information)
  5. Data analytics
  6. Report generation
  7. User dashboard
  8. File uploading
  9. Online transactions
  10. Store verification
  11. Verification of banking details
  12. Two-factor authentication

The functionality of a mobile app:

  1. Registration and authorization
  2. User account
  3. Search with multiple filters
  4. Catalog of goods with dozens of categories
  5. Reviews and ratings
  6. Comparison of products and their prices
  7. Shopping cart
  8. Online payments via Braintree, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, QIWI, and WebMoney with the support of 3-D Secure
  9. Adding goods to “Favorites”
  10. Geolocation
  11. Two-factor authentication

Result

Cooperating with Arateg, the company launched an e-commerce marketplace platform consisting of a website and mobile app. With this solution, the startup managed to attract investors and raise funds.
By following Agile best practices, it was possible to deliver new features every 2-3 weeks and test their operating feasibility on the go. Together with our team, now the startup is making the second version of its online e-commerce marketplace.

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