About the project:
Topof, an operator of the biggest Russian tire online hypermarket. Client’s need: to develop a packaged business solution, including a marketplace for partners, affiliate program, required CRM features, and customer portal equipped with all necessary search and buying tools.
During the first encounter, the client presented us with a detailed list of requirements. However, there weren’t any prototypes of UI in those requirements. First of all, we made a preliminary estimation based on our vision and assumptions, and it was received well. As we learned after, there was a kind of informal tender procedure, and our proposal looked better than the others.
Shortly after the start, the Topof execs were satisfied with the first real results. So, we continued the development process in a full swing.
Aims and objectives:
- Develop a marketplace portal that is convenient for the end-users.
- Equip it with smart filters and calculator tools to raise the conversion rate.
- Develop the affiliate program as the main monetization tool.
- Create a custom admin panel with the necessary CRM features
At the very beginning, no one knew what exactly end-users of the forthcoming portal want. We conducted research on the existing competitors and found some dependencies. Based on both the results of research and the list of required features, we built use cases and then develop wireframes. The Topof execs found these prototypes pretty ok, so we quickly designed slices. The end-user portal development process itself was quite routine. Thanks to agile methodology, we delivered it in stages. There were some small issues, however, but nothing special.
Smart filters and calculator
This part was much more interesting than the previous one. There was no detailed description of these features in the initial requirements. As a result, we brought the creativity into the plan.
As a result, the smart search feature combines several different approaches. Faceted search helped to build intellectual filters without a zero result. It means that the user never got the ‘nothing was found’-like result. Another cool search feature is a full-text search with autocomplete and real-time recommendations. Moreover, the full-text search is available over the voice.
The calculator feature is an advanced recommendation service. The user selects a car model, and the service shows only relevant goods from the database. The feature turned out to be really demanded among the users with insufficient tech skills.
The main monetization feature of Topof required a careful piece of work. Working closely with the Topof marketing and product team, we developed the most appropriate rules of the program.
Once the affiliate request is granted, the new partner is able to upload its price lists in Excel, Yandex YML, or CSV format. The service fee is adding to the price provided by the partner automatically. All the local partners of the Topof service are shown on the special map.
Admin panel with CRM features
The custom-made admin panel includes rather a complex role system. It helps the company to keep all the personal data secret from the third party. Every partner gets its own personal account. All the orders, including the clients’ contact data, are available here.
Necessary CRM features help partners to manage their orders and process them in their own software. The feature list includes client status update, remarketing and upsells features, sales promotions, etc.
After the MVP was delivered, the client began to receive positive feedback from the fist users. In a relatively short time (2-3 months) the marketplace got a pool of partners sufficient to cover the needs of end-users. At the end of the first year after the release, the sales volume became enough to pass the breakeven point.
The project is still ongoing, and we continue to improve its features to make the marketplace more profitable for its operator.