Redpolka – Curated Fashion & Lifestyle Marketplace website
Redpolka is one of the upcoming fashion & lifestyle marketplaces that prides itself on displaying only handpicked set of products for its users. Brands share information about various products they sell & only a few tasteful designs make it through the Redpolka’s curation filters.
The Problem and an Idea:
While Redpolka had gone live with an initial version of the website, they were growing very fast & their first version of the site was unable to keep up. They wanted to massively improve the user experience & performance of the web portal as well as provide a very intuitive & simple backend management system for their merchants as well as themselves. Essentially, they needed a team with a product mindset to build out a scalable marketplace (three key stakeholders – Users/Customers, Merchants & their Admin team) with a whole bunch of feature & performance improvements, while not affecting the growth.
In their own words, they were looking for someone who could “change the wings of a flight that was already up in the air”.
The Solution and Implementation Challenges:
Given the fast growth in terms of visitors & engagement levels Redpolka was noticing on its website, it needed a scalable system that handled a lot of traffic & one that provided a lot of flexibility to manage & curate products.
Post evaluation of its current website, we recommended going for a fresh start to their website from a technology standpoint. There were multiple interesting & challenging aspects of the website to consider while building out.
The Redpolka team wanted an extremely scalable, mobile responsive website & had an in-house team that would take over at the end of the project. Knowing this, we use a cloud infrastructure (AWS, Heroku, CloudAMQP) along with specific focus on distributing the web traffic & heavy computational loads across different servers & queues to handle scale effectively. Also, we adopted the language & framework of programming (CakePHP) that their in-house team was comfortable in, while giving advice on changes in tech stack where necessary.
Product Curation Workflow
Curation formed a key differentiation aspect for Redpolka & it involved multiple levels of filtering by their team. Along with their team (involving content managers, business developers & admin users), we built out a unique workflow that eased out the entire flow to improve the speed of updating & curating products while requiring minimal extra admin effort.
Fashion & Lifestyle Themes
Fashion & Lifestyle vertical relies on regular updates to the website & always having new, fresh content to keep a user engaged. On the backend, we provided a very strong theme management section, that allowed the Redpolka team to manage multiple themes on a weekly manner and only surface select themes from their past.
80% of the traffic for Redpolka’s website came over mobile devices. It was key to ensure that users of the portal over a mobile device had a great experience. Using the responsive framework offered by Twitter bootstrap & a bunch of front-end customizations, we improved user experience in terms of usability & speed on mobile screens.
Based on a bunch of different attributes like product visits, clicks, buys, favorites, etc., an elaborate algorithm was devised to display unique recommendations for different products on the website.
It’s been a few months since the new version of the Redpolka website has gone live & their key website metrics (page speed, load times, visitor traffic, engagement levels) have all seen an uptick. Their admin team has been able to manage the website reliably & been able to categorize their products better than ever before.
We provided strong support to their small in-house tech team along with multiple training sessions to enable them to be able to drive Redpolka to its next level of growth.
With a stable & reliable underlying architecture, the Redpolka website is evolving with greater insight of their visitors & is progressing towards providing an entire e-commerce offering in the near future.