A fashion marketplace with a massive social element
Boothapp is a unique mobile fashion marketplace for users from Middle East combining the best elements of ecommerce platforms and social networks. The application provides sufficient tooling for managing goods and purchases in vendor profiles.
With Boothapp people can discover and buy new looks, cool accessories, and much more to drive in more style to their lives. Users are also able follow the vendors they enjoy buying from and learn about the updates along with new products. Moreover, Boothapp provides secure selling and purchasing processes, so that users could focus on the fashion shopping and be sure they get the products they need to express themselves.
“Yalantis are excellent collaborators who, unlike many other offshore developers, are strong communicators with nearly around-the-clock availability and clean coding capabilities. Their prices are reasonable, and they are prime candidates to serve a Middle East market lacking in quality developers.”
Collaboration in numbers
- Core Data
- Xcode Bots
- PHP 7.0
- Eloquent ORM
- Amazon S3
- Aramex and Armada
- Laravel queues
About the client
Fashion designers and bloggers often use Instagram and Facebook for promotion and sales. But social media apps still provide insufficient functionality for managing goods and purchases in vendor profiles. This is why Yousef Hamadah decided to build a mobile fashion marketplace to combine the best elements of ecommerce platforms and social networks. Our task was to help Yousef bring his idea to life, developing a mobile app for iOS and Android with compelling UI and UX design.
Challenges to overcome
- Enable privacy
- Create an effective delivery system to suit users around the world
- Set up a convenient payment system that would suit both the iOS and Android versions of the app
- Reduce the amount of spam from vendors
- Build a flexible app architecture to maintain a huge amount of functionality
The target audience of Boothapp is women in Middle Eastern countries. That’s why we needed to secure selected content (intimate photos, for example) from the eyes of strangers.
To provide more privacy to content producing and exploring, we added a force blur feature so users can blur photos in the feed. So if a user just scrolls the feed the photos are blurred. They can unblur a photo with a long press on it, when no one sees.
Create an effective delivery system to suit users around the world
We used the Aramex API for the Aramex delivery service, which works worldwide. This service allowed us to add a list of all cities available for delivery into the user interface. Using Aramex, we were also able to provide a delivery price calculation feature that sends a PDF file with order details to buyers.
Boothapp also works with Armada, a delivery service that works only in Kuwait. This service doesn’t provide price calculations but sends a message to Boothapp admins so they can contact the customer.
Set up a convenient payment system that would suit both the iOS and Android versions of the app
To implement purchasing functionality, we chose the CyberSource Payment system that enables payment management and safe purchasing. We also added a second payment method via Knet, a local Kuwaiti payment system. Just like for the delivery system, we created a mechanism for payment data processing that helps to define the optimal payment method.
Reduce the amount of spam from vendors
To reduce the amount of spam from vendors, we decided to create cells in the feed. We called these cells booths. Each user has their own booth that contains multiple photos, each featuring a separate look. Those photos can be swiped through instead of appearing one by one in a user’s feed. This makes the feed look neat, saving users from spammers who post looks hourly.
Build a flexible app architecture to maintain a huge amount of functionality
We divided the app into logical flows. This way we could construct a big application from smaller flows with the ability to freely reuse, include, exclude, and change the order of flows in the application. We called these logical flows modules.
A module is responsible for routing and can handle a flow’s common logic. Each module contains a list of screens (or a single screen). A module creates, removes, configures, and orders screens. A module can also create, remove, and present other modules. This means that the architecture has a tree- based structure, which simplifies understanding and orientation throughout the application.
For screens and views in modules, we used the Model–View–ViewModel (MVVM) architectural pattern, which helped us reuse the same views and screens with different content and logic.
Here you can see a diagram of the application’s architecture (the module structure):
Screen architecture (MVVM):
Today, Boothapp is a ready-to-use marketplace software platform that’s available on both iOS and Android platforms. We’ve provided several updates since its launch, adding a new delivery vendor and new payment methods. We’ve also added deep linking that lets users share content such as photos, products, and profiles on other sites.
In addition, users can now find the number of items left in stock for each size and see the expected shipping time for each item. As a result, Boothapp has been welcomed by users and has received positive feedback. However, in one year, our client decided to stop supporting the app. So now is temporarily unavailable.
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