AddShoppers is a startup that provides retailers with a social-sharing and analytics platform to help them identify their main influencers and increase their revenue through social media channels. By providing a range of social tools that display a number of key social media metrics, AddShoppers’ clients are able to optimize their conversion rates, drive more traffic to their site, and increase their average order value.
The platform is able to be easily integrated with social media services, such as:
It can also be integrated seamlessly into all major e-commerce systems, such as:
These integrations allow retailers to accurately track their presence on social media, their campaigns’ ROI, and gain a better understanding of the different social channels.
The main challenge AddShoppers faced was finding a software development company to become their technology partner. The company had to have the necessary skills and experience required to build and deliver a quality minimum viable product (MVP).
Another critical requirement from AddShoppers was that the software development company needed to have a solid background in developing quality analytics-based platforms.
After speaking to a number of software development companies, AddShoppers decided that based on our experience with building analytics platforms and our full-service development services, we were the best fit to help them build their MVP.
So in August 2011, Clearcode started work on AddShoppers’ MVP.
AddShoppers were seeking a company that could:
- Help them plan, design, develop, maintain, and expand their platform.
- Build their minimum viable product (MVP) in under 6 months.
- Become their Technology Partner and handle all aspects of software design and development.
- Assist them in feature selection and further development.
- Provide platform support, maintenance, and monitoring services after the MVP was released.
AddShoppers came to us with an initial idea of the functionalities and goals of the platform, but lacked the technical resources required to take it from concept to launch.
We took the AddShoppers project through our tried-and-tested agile development process.
Here’s how it looked:
Understanding the goal of the project and its features was the first step. After consulting with AddShoppers, we created a high-level project roadmap that outlined the project’s functionalities.
This was in an important part of the process as it allowed both AddShoppers and us to fully understand the project’s direction and ensure everyone knew the direction in which the project was headed.
Feature selection for the MVP
We began the MVP feature selection process by focusing on the true goal of a minimum viable product (MVP) – to offer the highest customer value as possible from the most minimum set of essential features.
From there, we outlined a list of required features and analysed which ones would provide the best return, both from a financial perspective and from an end-user perspective, in the shortest amount of time possible.
During this process, we constantly abstracted feedback from the AddShoppers team – this allowed us to establish the final set of features for the MVP.
Designing the platform
AddShoppers already had an original design for the platform but it needed to be enhanced to provide a better user experience. Based on the user roles defined in the planning phase, our designers created a user journey that centered around ease of use and visual information (graphs, pie charts, tables, etc.).
This enables users to quickly and easily identify key pieces of information and understand how their campaigns are performing.
Building and Launching the MVP
Within a software project, there are a number of critical cross-over periods that need to be executed precisely into order to avoid the project stagnating or worse, failing. One of the main cross-over periods with the AddShoppers’ project was from design to development.
At this stage, it is crucial for the design team and the development team to work together and maintain open channels of communication as without these 2 elements, any number of problems can arise and have a detrimental effect on the project’s outcome.
The fact that we are a full-service team definitely assisted us in developing and launching a quality product as our designers and developers were able to ensure a smooth transition from design to development and avoid the many number of issues that most teams face at this transitional phase.
Post-launch Support and Further Development
The first weeks after launching a product are the most critical as it’s a time when it’s introduced to users and showcased to potential investors. If an application is riddled with performance and user-experience issues, it’s going to alienate users & investors and severely affect its growth.
Here’s what we did after launching the AddShoppers MVP:
- Adapted the platform to the growing demand for the product.
- Resolved technical and optimization issues as the client base grew and as the system gathered more and more data.
- Acted quickly and delivered new features to help AddShoppers adapt to their customers’ needs.
- Monitored the platform and reacted to incidents in order to maintain uptime.