Countdown mobile shopping app increases conversion by 40%

Paul Scott

Paul Scott

As previously published on clearpoint.digital

Countdown is one of New Zealand’s leading supermarket brands, with 183 supermarkets, 20,000+ team members and more than 3 million customers choosing to shop with Countdown every week. The ‘CountdownX’ business unit manages the digital and eCommerce aspects of the business, including online shopping, Onecard loyalty programme, digital marketing, customer personalisation and customer care. Countdown is part of Woolworths New Zealand, a subsidiary of Woolworths Limited in Australia.

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The Challenge

CountdownX wanted to support customers shopping from their mobile app in the same way they use the web application. This would give the customer a complete online shopping experience from a phone, tablet or other smart device while being away from their desktop computers.

CountdownX had already embarked on a journey to move away from legacy technology, modernise the design of their system and use the latest technology for their user interface. The original idea was for Countdown to have a development team that would rebuild the user interface for each supported mobile device.

ClearPoint were asked to help CountdownX with this journey, and with time-to-market constraints in place, ClearPoint needed to identify the best way forward to achieve the overall goal of providing a complete mobile online shopping experience within the required timeline.

“ClearPoint has again proven its strong technology capability in providing us thought leadership to unlock a new channel and revenue opportunity.”

— Adam Hatley-Owen, Head of Digital Experience, Woolworths NZ

The Solution

Having worked with CountdownX on other projects including Olive, Countdown’s virtual assistant, ClearPoint was chosen because of its expertise in digital innovation, proven track record in delivery, industry experience & the high calibre of their team. ClearPoint worked closely with CountdownX stakeholders during their delivery planning stage to help map out the set of deliverables and timeframes for release, working in with their existing delivery cadences for development cut-off dates and regression testing cycles.

The project commenced with a discovery phase which included a technical appraisal of the current architecture and codebase, along with some analysis of what skills were already available in-house at CountdownX. ClearPoint helped to identify resourcing bottlenecks and legacy technology restrictions within systems at CountdownX which suggested early on that optimising the existing web application for mobile would be the most suitable solution. The alternative of building a completely new set of APIs as well as the native app experiences would not have been feasible given the time-to-market constraints.

ClearPoint delivered a successful outcome for Countdown by focusing on the design and development needed to embed the new Angular front-end inside the mobile app. This involved continuing the development of the set of web apis and front-end components that implemented the UI/UX designs on the product roadmap.

The Outcome

Countdown customers now have a greatly improved mobile shopping experience and can take full advantage of the benefits that shopping from mobile devices offer: they are able to look through their cupboards or a pantry at home and  add items to their trolley without needing to move back to their desktop. Customers are able to take advantage of being able to create customised shopping lists based on a recipe they may have seen in a magazine when they are away from home and immediately place an order for those items mentioned in the recipe, and have them delivered that same day.

As part of this project ClearPoint increased the automated and unit test coverage in the code bases, and extended CountdownX’s ability to run these tests by building an additional Azure Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline. This pipeline runs the suite of automated and unit tests in a staging environment, giving instant notification of a failure and therefore increasing confidence in releasing new and modified functionality.

During development of back-end apis, technical debt was identified and reduced through refactoring of existing services. New services were also designed to facilitate the move away from legacy technology and respond to requests from the new front-end components.

As a result, Countdown is pleased to observe 12% of all online commerce through the new mobile shopping experience.

Facts & Figures

  • 12% of all online commerce now flows through the Countdown mobile app.
  • 16% of people visiting the app ended up making a purchase compared with 9% of visitors to the desktop site making a purchase.

Tech Points

  • Angular for the new front end, providing a richer user experience.
  • Microsoft .NET Core Web Api to support the new front end.
  • Increased coverage of automated testing using Cypress.
  • Microsoft Azure Continuous Integration pipeline to run the automated testing suite on each build.
  • Large refactors of legacy code, contributing to a better codebase and a reduction in technical debt.

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Paul Scott

Paul Scott

Chief of Platforms and Partnerships & Head of Marketing at ‎ClearPoint

ClearPoint

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ClearPoint is a digital design and engineering company, creating world-class digital solutions for NZ and Australia’s leading organisations.

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Application modernisation services address the migration of legacy to new applications or platforms, including the integration of new functionality to provide the latest functions to the business. Modernisation options include re-platforming, re-hosting, recoding, rearchitecting, re-engineering, interoperability, replacement and retirement, as well as changes to the application architecture to clarify which option should be selected.

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