Location: Silicon Valley, CA, the U.S.
Project duration: From 2010 to 2016. Since 2016, the delivered product has been part of another solution, developed by SPD Group.
Size of the project team: 30+ experts.
Software product: eCommerce Functionality, Promotional Functionality, Reporting Functionality, System Integration.
Expertise delivered: Custom Software Development Services from scratch, software support, maintenance, eCommerce expertise.
In 2008, the Silicon Valley, CA-based eCommerce startup NimbleCommerce approached SPD Group to implement a website that would allow shoppers to source products and services based on other shoppers’ reviews and recommendations.
As the website was delivered to the client, they decided to entrust us with implementing a larger-scale and more aspiring derivative idea: design and develop an infinitely customizable, white-label promotional and eCommerce platform. The platform was to enable vendors to create promotions and make online sales through a website that looks precisely like one of their own.
The Client’s product
The client’s product is a high-scale and extremely feature-rich B2C and B2B solution. It allows vendors and merchants to create a full-blown and narrowly tailored Web presence that has the look and feel of their own branded website. A vendor or merchant can create this website on their own in the application’s Administration module, or request the solution’s development team to create the customization they need.
The newly created website automatically becomes part of the NimbleCommerce platform.The site allows the vendor or merchant to sell virtually any products or services, track shipments, and use the related data for marketing purposes.
Simultaneously, the bulk of the platform’s functionality is intended for creating sophisticated promotions for products and services.
By configuring a diverse multitude of parameters in the platform’s Administration module, a vendor can create a tailored branded offer and generate a specified number of coupons. These coupons can then be made available through their platform-related website. The areas that contain such configurable parameters are the Title, Detailed Description, Images, Price-to-Coupon Codes, Shipping Options, Target Audience, and others.
The solution allows a vendor or merchant to launch targeted promotional campaigns. For this purpose, they can segment their customer base using multiple criteria (such as Age, Sex, Interests, the customer’s previous purchases, and others) and apply a discount for a specified period of time.
The system also makes it possible for vendors and merchants to notify selected segments of their target audience about a forthcoming offer. One can do this by sending an email, or displaying a corresponding message on the website’s UI.
The platform supports a lot of additional eCommerce features. They include the email campaign creation capability, multiple offer types (Shippable Product, Online Coupons, Offline Coupons, and Services), and the Refer a Friend and Virtual Money functional capabilities.
In addition to the B2C promotional and eCommerce functionality, the NimbleCommerce platform provides no less sophisticated B2B functionality.
The B2B functionality of the platform allows a vendor or merchant to create a detailed B2B product or service offer, and then make this offer available to those interested resellers that don’t have a product or service of their own, or simply want to expand their product or service range. To make a B2B offer available to resellers, the vendor places it in the platform’s B2B network.
Additionally, the B2B part of the NimbleCommerce platform allows vendors and merchants to attract affiliates by providing them with a set of affiliate management tools. Among others, these tools include affiliate offer links and a widget that affiliates can deploy on their websites to earn a commission.
Lastly, the platform provides advanced reporting functionality that includes AI/ML analytics and a forecasting capability.
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During the project’s initial phase, NimbleCommerce was on the lookout for a software development provider to replace the agency they initially engaged. They wanted to find a software provider that was capable of delivering the end-to-end solution they needed. As a consequence, we became the client’s only custom software development provider for the entirety of the project.
We started implementing the project with a small team of just 2 developers. The initial team was growing at a fast pace, and more developers were added as it became clear what kinds of experts were required. In the course of the project, the size of our project team varied quite significantly and peaked at a total of 30+ software developers, QA engineers, and other experts.
Our Lead developers and Project Managers served doubly as software architects. They took part in shaping the vast bulk of NimbleCommerce’s product jointly with the product managers, designers, and engineers on the client’s site.
SPD Group’s dedicated development team was split into several self-managed project teams. These project teams worked in close contact with the client’s CEO, Head of Business, Product Managers, software engineers, and account managers, responsible for the client’s interactions with vendors and merchants.
There were several reasons that made it necessary for a part of our project team to be constantly present on the client’s side. These reasons included the complexity of the client’s product, the need to collect the requirements for it very thoroughly, and the need to assist the client technically and otherwise in onboarding major B2B clients.
While implementing the project, we’ve encountered a host of formidable development challenges.
One of such challenges was ensuring the flexibility and limitless customizability of the platform’s while-label functionality. This challenge took our developers a great deal of additional effort to solve. However, the results we delivered exceeded all expectations. They proved to be by far superior to the similar while-label functions, provided by most of the client’s competitors.
The offer pages contained a large number of diverse details. This made it difficult to design and develop them without cluttering up the corresponding UIs.
Two more parts of the functionality that posed very significant development challenges were the functionality-intensive Nimble B2B Network and the platform’s reporting functionality. The latter needed to remain sufficiently flexible, while spanning many types of clients, geographies, and multiple other related factors.
As the solution quickly became popular across a diverse array of geographies, our engineers had to integrate it with a total of 27 payment systems. For this purpose, our team devised a special workflow that enabled us to perform the payment system integrations in record time.
Our experts interacted with NimbleCommerce’s B2B clients not only during the discovery phase, but also during the project’s later stages. This was needed to help the client negotiate with, and onboard major merchants. For instance, we took part in the client’s business negotiations with, and the technical onboarding of a major U.S. restaurant network.
SPD Group has played an instrumental role in bringing NimbleCommerce’s business plans to life.
The client received a best-in-breed product that soon after became a great success across an array of geographies, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Greece, the U.K., and some other EU countries.
The NimbleCommerce platform started being used by millions of B2C customers and thousands of B2B clients. The superior quality of the white-label functionality we designed and developed helped the client win the competition against more well-fixed market players, which resulted in the acquisition of one of these companies by NimbleCommerce.
In 2016, NimbleCommerce was acquired by BlackHawk Network Inc. (BHN), the U.S.-headquartered, global leader in branded payment technology solutions that focuses largely on gift cards. After the acquisition of NimbleCommerce, BHN became our client too.
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