Full-Cycle Mobile App for Direct Marketers
Building an innovative mobile app for sales teams that drives revenue, engagement and productivity through experience.
CUSTOMER STORIES / BIOMETRIC SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Create a cross-platform mobile application that proactively delivers sales enablement, training, consumer-facing product information to help direct marketers connect better with their customers and boost sales volume.
The launch of the Xamarin-based mobile application to its pilot group was a huge success, demonstrating a marked increase in sales performance, distributor retention, and revenue growth.
Gig Economy Group (GEG) is a company bringing innovation to network marketing and direct marketing companies by giving independent distributors a way to get closer to their customer and act faster to customer demand.
With the evolution of social media, handheld devices, consumer transparency and mobility, the ways that consumers find, learn, decide on and purchase products has dramatically evolved in recent years. However, the direct marketing industry has been lagging far behind in evolving with its consumers. Distributors selling products and services for direct marketing companies have been limited in the way that they could reach the consumer, learn about their needs and sell solutions.
GEG realized that distributors and the companies that they represented in this industry needed a more flexible and responsive way to find and respond to customer demand on a global scale.
GEG’s envisioned creating a mobile tool which would give the direct marketer the ability to identify buyers in their community, match them with a product or service, educate them on a solution, gain their trust and transact a purchase when they were ready to buy. Furthermore, they wanted this tool to also provide back-end coaching and support for the distributors and help them achieve success.
“The mobile development team expertise combined with the seamless orchestration with UX, back-end and QA teams made the delivery of the final app possible in half of the time that a project of this type usually requires”
GEG’s first customer was LifeVantage, a Nutrigenomics products company which embraced its concept of bringing the sales associate closer to the customer. The GEG LifeVantage app would be a multi-platform application that will run on iPhone and Android devices.
The app would interact primarily with the GEG backend, a collection of Graph Databases, Messaging, Enrollment, Transaction and Social Monitoring tools that integrate with LifeVantage operations and its services provider, Info-Trax. GEG would implement the Backend services in .NET, on a collection of services and a social graph databases. These components collectively were known as the GEG Platform and Application.
The app was required to integrate with following services:
The backend for messaging, sharing, social monitoring, transaction and shopping cart preparation in addition to contact management.
LifeVantage vanity sites
Complete shopping cart orders.
LifeVantage distributor management and transaction order processing system
Easy of use of the app was paramount and the challenge was to enable such functionality with the least number of screens and user actions (taps) as possible.
The decision was made to develop the app on the Xamarin framework based on the requirements and how well Xamarin.Forms fit them. In addition, the choice would be clearly be the most economical solution as compared to any other tech stack given the app elements.
AccelOne assembled the project documents from GEG and met with their team leaders to discover the scope of the engagement(s) which we broken down into tow (2) phases. We assembled the appropriate team for the phase 1 delivery which consisted of:
Scrum Master, Senior Xamarin Developer
Senior Xamarin mobile developer
Mid-level Mobile Developer
The Phase 1 feature deliverables would be geared towards and MVP and would generally be described as:
Authentication, Dashboard, Notifications, Media Library, Sharing, Messaging Tools, Calendaring Tools, Contact Import tool, Prospect and Distributor Management Tool, Shopping Cart
Sharing, Enrollment, UI Customization, Help & Support. Settings, Startup Process, Menu and Localization.
UX and UI was to be provided by a 3rd party UX|UI agency.
The backend was to be developed by internal resources to GEG.
Delivered was to be via Xamarin Forms and C# for iOS, Android and Windows Universal Apps. The delivery was estimated to take three and a half (3.5) months in total with test and deploy phase in month 3.
The Phase two (2) delivery and implementation would follow the same feature deliverables but with far greater parameters of functionality providing a far greater and in depth user experience with extended capabilities.
Xamarin Forms limitations: Xamarin.Forms was the selected platform. Xamarin has become mature and robust, but it is limited in terms of number of different UI elements that it can render or provide features for on the different platforms which use it. To divert this limitation, AccelOne’s expert Xamarin team created a framework for MVVM support and the required platform specific renderers in order to provide the UI defined by and required from the UX / UI team.
Short Timeframe for the number of features of the app: MVP was required after 4 months of development work kickoff.
Project organization: Work was done in parallel of backend, using a Kanban agile approach, including several change orders, to improve UX during the different product iterations.
Main processes should be fast: Many complex processes are involved in the generation of the information and screens of the app, and in order to keep a good UX lot of optimization work was required on both, the App and the Back end.
Considering the incredibly tight project timeline and strict product requirements, the delivery of the final application was an overwhelming success. The mobile development team expertise combined with the seamless orchestration with UX, back-end and QA teams made the delivery of the final app possible in half of the time that a project of this type usually requires.
The MVP was beta-launched to a select, high-performing group of LifeVantage independent distributors. The response from the group was overwhelmingly positive. They reported not only satisfaction with the features and UX design, but there was a measurable boost in sales performace, improved distributor retention and revenue growth among members in the group. The end customer, LifeVantage, was extreemly satisfied with the result and is currently working to add more features to the application.