Feelunique.com turns to Inviqa for scalability and a best-in-class development team

Ranked one of the UK's fastest growing private companies, feelunique.com is the country’s largest online beauty and cosmetics retailer, processing over 5,000 online orders a day.

Safeguarding success

Feelunique.com’s growth was showing no signs of slowing down and with technology constantly evolving, it was keen to safeguard its success. Looking to invest in its processes and people, feelunique.com approached Inviqa in April 2013.

As experts in the latest software development processes we were engaged to upskill the team in software tools, best practices and methodologies, including Scrum, Git, Behaviour Driven Development and Behat to free them from an unsustainable platform and the need to firefight bugs in legacy code.

Best practices

For more than a year, Inviqa’s engineers worked alongside the feelunique.com development team to guide a gradual migration from the old site (built with pure procedural PHP) to a new site built on Symfony2.

While Inviqa’s trainers upskilled feelunique.com’s development team in Symfony2, Konstantin Kudryashov, Inviqa’s BDD Practice Manager, worked closely with both its technical and management teams to introduce Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) - an approach designed to help drive business value from technical projects. As the team’s confidence in its technology and methodologies grew, attention turned to upgrading the site.

Initially, the feelunique.com team had planned to update the site page by page. Having implemented BDD, the team instead chose to prioritise development based on user behaviours and to improve features that would deliver most impact for both the shopper and site.

It was noted users would search repeatedly for recent and related products, so the team enhanced on-page recommendations by including complimentary items as well as previously viewed products.

Implementing new features with confidence

With a wealth of new features, it was important the feelunique.com team could accurately measure the impact of their changes. Restructuring the navigation, for example, was a large step; if done wrongly, the new structure would impact user experience and have ramifications on the site’s revenue.

The Inviqa team introduced A/B testing as standard for enabling features such as the new navigation to be tested on a small number of users at a time. Then, using engagement and sales data, the team were able to measure impact and make informed strategic decisions whether to roll out the feature across its entire user base. Sales metrics showed a significant upturn with the new navigation which was eventually rolled out to all users.

As well as improving quality and introducing coding standards, the Inviqa team helped to introduce more collaborative development with pair programming and code clubs to encourage knowledge sharing.

“At the end of this process we have a sustainable, scalable platform - a platform we’re confident in and something that can deliver features for the business,” said Neil Landon, CTO, feelunique.com.

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