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HomeCase StudyAvocado — Belarusian Consumer Goods Marketplace

Avocado —

Development of the Belarusian marketplace from scratch: easy administration and product quality control

Avocado is an online hypermarket in Minsk where you can order high-quality consumer products with home delivery. Main principles: environmental friendliness and product safety.

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Field: food and consumer products sales   Country: Republic of Belarus   Website Avocado

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Client’s problem

The client had an offline storage business for a wide range of products: its warehouse space stored products from different sellers and shipped goods to customers. The idea arose to organize a marketplace according to the fulfillment-by-owner principle, as in the Ozon marketplace. This means that sellers will bring products to Avocado warehouses, buyers will place orders through the marketplace showcase, and the marketplace will consolidate the products from the order to ship it to the buyer. The client considered the quality and safety of products as the main criteria for trading on the marketplace. Therefore, the verification of product certificates had to be made fast, seamless and convenient for both sellers and marketplace administrators.

The project was launched during the spring restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, so another task arose – to introduce the possibility of express delivery of products by courier, based on the time of day.

Our work progress

1. Briefing

The first stage in the development of a marketplace is briefing the client and translating his desires into technical tasks for design and development specialists. The client and us agreed on the most simple design in natural colors: the buyer will be able to easily navigate the catalog, find the necessary information about the product, while the green color and the corporate logo with avocado will emphasize the environmental friendliness and product safety.

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2. Prototyping

The client came to us with ready-made design requirements for the pages. From our experience, we knew that even if the client had formulated wishes for the future design, prototyping is still a mandatory step. It always helps to identify inaccuracies and correct them before design integration. This assures that the project timeline will not be delayed.

Since the client already had his own vision, it was possible to immediately draw the most detailed page prototypes. That’s when we found the error. It turned out that if you directly follow the wishes of the client, the pages are displayed incorrectly on laptop screens due to the difference in extension: blank areas and blurs appear, wide white stripes along the edges, there was no emphasis on prices and discounts. We offered a different product page structure: we moved the price and product name, added additional blocks. And as a sample, we chose prototypes of pages for laptops and made them adaptive. As a result, each page was stretched accordingly to fit the computer screen, the layout did not go wrong and all the information was displayed correctly.

Prototypes helped us immediately make a better product for the client, eliminate errors at minimal cost and find the best design solutions.

This is what the final prototypes looked like:

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3. Design creation

Based on the prototypes, we developed the design of all website pages. Special features and design accents are made while taking into account the marketing research of modern online stores and marketplaces:

  • Functional catalog with visual effects and banners
  • Personal customer recommendations
  • Product card with functions: add to favorites, compare and rate products, shift to all vendor products.
  • Significantly highlighted key buttons
  • Easy and clear shopping cart to checkout even for new customer

We have developed a separate mobile version of the marketplace for mobile devices so the desktop versions of pages do not shrink to fit the phone screen and instead they look like an application with a convenient navigation bar.

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4. Basic CS-Cart setup

When the design of all pages was ready and agreed on with the client, it was necessary to carry out the basic setup of CS-Cart. It is impossible to launch additional functionality until the main business processes of the marketplace are already running.

Basic setup is needed not only to demonstrate the platform capabilities. The most useful thing is that we have written instructions for the client for each item. According to them, he will be able to independently work with his marketplace after launch.

5. Refinement and improvement of the stock delivery methods

In order to deliver products as quickly and safely as possible during the pandemic, the client needed a new delivery method: express delivery by courier. It features delivery on the day of order. But if the buyer places an order, for example, at 19:00, then it is obvious that the products cannot be delivered on the same day. We have improved the regular features of CS-Cart so that the delivery methods change depending on the time the order was made. For example, express delivery by courier automatically becomes unavailable in the evening.

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6. Establishing a quality control system

In order to guarantee the product safety to its buyers, the client decided to request quality certificates from all vendors for each product placed for sale. It was necessary to provide such an opportunity in the functionality of the marketplace so that it would be convenient for both sellers and moderators.

How we implemented that: when placing the products on the marketplace, each supplier must upload a scan of their quality certificate and indicate its validity period, otherwise the products will not even go for moderation.

If everything is fine with the certificate and the moderator confirms it, then the product goes to the storefront. When a quality certificate expires, the vendor receives an automatic notification asking them to upload a new certificate. If this is not done, the product will be unavailable for order and will disappear from the storefront.

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check quality

Along with the ability to add a certificate, each product has a set of fields that the seller must fill out. By default, CS-Cart has three available product statuses: enabled, disabled, hidden. For such a thorough moderation of products as our client wished, these statuses were not enough.

We have expanded the variety of product statuses in the administrative part: new, under review, not moderated, published, reviewed, removed from publication.

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Each product is sent for moderation. If there is something wrong with the data, the moderator can leave a comment and return the product to the vendor. If, after the publication of the product, the vendor edits any significant fields, the moderator will receive an e-mail notification that the product has been changed.

When logged into the control panel, the moderator will also see alerts for items that require their attention and response. He will be able to click on the alert and go to the list of such products. Changed fields will be highlighted so that the moderator can easily detect changes and check them faster.

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7. Development of a convenient customer loyalty system

We decided to introduce a bonus system to motivate users, and at the same time the question arose of how to keep the marketplace attractive to vendors.

Here’s how it was prior to our changes: the vendor pays the marketplace a commission on each purchase. If you introduce a bonus system in its classic form, then when paying for the purchase with bonus points and deducting the commission, the vendor could be left with no profit at all.

The way out was found: the use of bonus points is taken into account from the income of the marketplace and is limited to 25% of the order total.

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By the way, bonus points are available only to registered users and are immediately visible in the cart. This motivates them to buy more and increases the average check.

Our work results

Convenient trading platform

Previously, the customer made a profit only from renting out his warehouse space to offline sellers, and now he also earns on commission from each sale made in the marketplace. The sellers themselves, without large investments, have received an additional source of sales for their products.

Product range expansion

When the project was launched, only dry breakfasts, bars, and cereals were sold. Now there are a lot more categories of groceries, household chemicals. Decorative cosmetics are also on sale. It is planned to implement the possibility of the perishable products trading.

Product quality

The product quality is guaranteed by certificates and improved moderation. The results are reflected in large numbers of satisfied customers and their brand loyalty.

Business growth six months after launch
Potential for scaling and promotion

Six months after the launch, the project proved its success and its potential to be developed further. A system of own pick-up points has already been introduced, and there are plans to introduce a fulfillment-by-seller system that will allow selling perishable products directly from the vendor’s warehouses.


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