A social networking with an open, free marketplace for micro-businesses all over the world
We had been working with the client since 2012 on the first version of a social commerce application. Our client approached us with a business idea that relied on social networking to create an open, free marketplace for micro-businesses all over the world.
The client asked us to transition to Node.js to improve Ezebee’s performance, primarily on mobile devices, given its constantly increasing traffic and need for scalability and higher speed. The transition was to be made seamlessly, through data migration, and it would also involve a simplified user interface.
For the second version of the application we developed the following features:
- Guided smart search: autocomplete option & results are listed by trend factors, popularity and trustworthiness of the seller
- Popularity search ranking algorithm and tag system
- 4 basic offer types: Products, Rentals, Services and Courses
- Prices are converted in real time into any selected currency for easy price comparison
- Chat-to-buy" system instead of "shopping carts" makes transactions faster, more transparent and doesn't require Terms and Conditions or other legal information
- Possibility to transfer files or money directly through the chat application
- B-Coins serve as gift and discount points on ezebee.com. Sellers can purchase, transfer or cash-out B-coins to a PayPal account, from which they can transfer it for free to any bank account or CC.
- Automated translation for offers, chats and comments
- Possibility to import offers directly from other websites like Etsy, DaWanda, ArtFire, Amazon, Airbnb by just entering their product link
- The seller can choose to either link to another shop or to his "chat-to-buy" messenger
- Presentation options: in addition to image gallery, users can now upload PDFs, videos and sound files
- Sellers' pages and all their offers and content are highly SEO optimized
- Offers, events and blog posts can be simultaneously shared with one click to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter
For Ezebee version 1 we had used an MVC architecture based on a Zend framework, in PHP, with a relational SQL database. To achieve the improvements that the client needed for version 2, we adopted a service-oriented, RESTful, Web API architecture based on a Sails.js framework, in Node.js and the back-end relied on a NoSQL, graph database, OrientDB, which enabled elastic search. The UI was implemented in Knockout.js and to support real time chat, we used Web Sockets. To enable money transfers directly through the chat application, we used Braintree and PayPal APIs.
The graph database and the tag weighting system - depending on how many products are associated with that tag - enabled a dynamic search, faster and more flexible, using tags’ popularity scores, preloading results, suggesting criteria to refine the search and loading the results at a very high speed.
Both v1 and v2 used MySQL, jQuery, CSS3 and HTML5, as well as Amazon Web Services hosting.
For the second version, our team included 8 specialists:
For project management we used Scrum with 3 weeks' Sprints, based on priorities set by the Product Owner.
- A team that understood his vision, resonated with it and contributed ideas to advance that idea
- Thanks to the migration to Node.js, the new Ezebee is faster, more scalable and more mobile-user friendly
- An accelerated growth in the number of Ezebee users, thanks to the new UX improvements
- Solid trust and smooth communication: thanks to the excellent results with the first version, the client was confident that it would be a better idea to keep the same team and have them transition to a different technology than to look for a new Node.js - focused partner.
We first approached Roweb with a broad description of the social commerce platform we had envisioned and we were happy to find that they quickly grasped the concept and were as excited about it as we were. What we liked best about working with them is the fact that they delivered a tight-knit team that’s used to working together efficiently, instead of individual developers, as it is the case with many outsourcing providers. Read More We have a great communication and they’ve been very receptive to having the team travel to our headquarters whenever we thought it was necessary to work together in person. We regularly keep in touch through frequent skype meetings and we really get the sense that we’re all part of the same team. Working with Roweb has made it easy for us to access multiple technical skills. The team proved capable of making a smooth transition from PHP to Node.JS as Ezebee grew and we needed to scale up, and they quickly learned new skills and adapted to our requests. I would readily recommend Roweb for their innovative mindset fuelled by passion for their work and love of new challenges.