The making of How Brain Station helped become top ranking B2C eCommerce Marketplace in Bangladesh

Friday, December 29, 2023

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The making of How Brain Station helped become top ranking B2C eCommerce Marketplace in Bangladesh
Statistics #1
Serves 2K concurrent visitors and 4 million visitors/month
Statistics #2
Increased 300X times order processing capacity
Statistics #3
50X times business growth in eCommerce

The Background was launched as an eCommerce platform, back in 2015. The platform initially started as a limited feature online store exclusively selling PRAN-RFL products online. Gradually, it turned into the country’s leading online marketplace, selling items from both its own-production line and from merchants across the country. It has brought a whole new dimension to the online shopping experience of Bangladeshi people as it merchandises and sells almost everything— from groceries to industrial items today.

The Key Challenges

The first release project at a tight schedule & budget: The client is a manufacturing giant in both food processing and industrial items manufacturing. Despite having one of the biggest teams who have vast experience in typical production and distribution channels, the client lacked the experience of regular eCommerce workflow. The client wanted the initial project to be launched with a very tight budget, within a very short time and without a borderline list of requirements! nopStation is a nopCommerce Solution partner who implemented this project.

The fight against performance downgrade & downtime: Soon after launching the platform, the client faced huge performance issues and downtime throughout the mid-2016 to mid-2017 period, as the number of visitors to the website and its business data was growing. The monolithic application was hosted on a limited resource server and the application was not optimized for such increasing traffic and business operation.

The marketplace business logic renovation: As the platform started getting popular with a growing number of customers, the client started transforming their business operation into a marketplace business. On top of marketplace features, the client needed to have custom business workflows such as — allowing to add/remove items from order items in the case ordered items are not available in stock after an order is placed while supporting bi-directional order total and discount calculation, multiple shipping channel type, shipping charge calculation logic and fulfillment channels, unlike any other typical e-commerce operation. The client presented an intensive development and architectural design challenge for creating a smooth user journey and back-office operation management.

1. Our Solution

The first release development and technology stack: With all the requirements from our client, we proposed nopCommerce to the client as we found nopCommerce to be more suitable to fit in all the business logic of the client than any other platform available in the market. It is an open-source eCommerce solution developed with ASP.NET and SQL Server Database, a trusted, fast, and reliable software development technology stack from Microsoft. Accepting our recommendation, the client selected a nopCommerce platform for their eCommerce solution. We designed the user interface, developed the back-end business logic, and deployed the first release of the solution back in 2015, using nopCommerce version 3.40, within a short development life cycle of fewer than 2.5 months.

The marketplace revamps roadmap: As the client, due to the increased traffic and back-office operations was facing huge performance issues and lacked the custom business logic for their operation, we migrated their business data from their initial nopCommerce version 3.40 and designed and deployed a futuristic solution with a completely revamped frontend and custom business logic based back-end on top of nopCommerce version 4.00, in 2018.

We made the nopCommerce monolith solution cloud-fit and helped the client host it on AWS cloud. We have developed custom services and plugins on top of default nopCommerce to store the high volume of product images from inside server filesystem to AWS S3 bucket and made required changes to nopCommerce to run multiple instances of the application under a load balancer on AWS Cloud.

The new application contains the custom business logic as well as the functionality of the legacy application. The result was a performance-optimized solution with the improved customer journey, enhanced customer experience, redefined order processing with suborder-based order processing against individual shipping channel-type at the back-end.

Our team of specialists performed an analysis at every stage of implementation, starting with requirement gathering to analyze the business workflow for building the new app. We developed impersonate order placing by admin users feature on behalf of the customers from the public store and a bi-directional order-flow in the new app which facilitates adding/removing items from an order from the admin while keeping the discount and shipping charge calculation inline against the add/remove operation.

With our team’s efforts, including technical architects and cloud experts, the new app could handle traffic from the concurrency of 300 visitors to 4,000 plus visitors per minute. The site manages 80K SKUs, 70K index pages in Google Search Engine, 1K plus categories and operates with 600 registered vendors today. As a result, the client could handle more than the expected number of orders and do more business. We provided proper consultation throughout our engagement that helped in building as one of the top-ranking eCommerce marketplace businesses in Bangladesh.

The eCommerce Application features:

  • OTP verified sign-up and login process.
  • Simplified 4-step checkout process - once registered, always hassle-free checkout.
  • Advanced Product Search Engine integration with Algolia Hosted Search Engine.
  • EMI Product purchase implementation with multiple tenure & interest options against 16 banks.
  • Fastest loading full cached homepage with Cloudflare CDN Integration for static content.
  • Browse product by category and filter products by a broad list of filters, namely filter by Color, Size, Vendor, Brand, EMI Availability, Applied Discount, Rating etc.
  • High-Resolution products images with image storage integration with AWS S3 bucket.
  • Mini Cart with splitting the possible number of shipments and shipping eligibility control.
  • Payment method integration with City Bank Gateway, EBL Gateway, and bKash MFS Gateway.
  • Multi-level, multi-team access control and Order Processing flow for back-office operation.
  • Batch Order Operation for updating Order Status, creating shipments, and updating shipping Statues.
  • Email notification for Customer & Vendor for different order events.
  • Live Chat Integration & Ticket Plugin feature for managing customer complaints.

2. The Business Benefits

  • Ensured seamless checkout journey for the customers.
  • Enhanced user experience across the website— from the homepage to the checkout page.
  • Increased traffic handing capacity from initial 100 visitors to 4K plus visitors, totaling 3.5 million visitors a month.
  • 300X times order processing capacity increase.
  • 50X times business growth from its initial launch to date.
  • became the top-ranking B2C eCommerce Marketplace in Bangladesh.

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