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How Rootstrap Helped Ownable Rebuild Their Website To Quadruple Their Black Friday Sales

Objectives/App Overview

Streamline “Become A Member” flow to increase user retention

But the remote team they hired to build their website nearly destroyed that potential.

Ensure platform is well-supported to handle increased traffic from Black Friday

Rebuild website from scratch

Fix technical problems preventing users from completing purchases

Redesign website to better highlight Ownable’s offerings

Ownable’s unique service, which allows people to try before they buy or keep devices only for as long as they needed, had the potential to be an industry game-changer.

It quickly became apparent to Ownable that the overseas team was fragmented and lacked leadership and project management. The team consisted of new developers hired as needed but had no vetting process to ensure compatibility with Ownable’s unique requirements. 


Due to the significant time difference, communication between them and Ownable was limited and chaotic. Ownable had to review all of the code themselves because there were so many mistakes. 


Development dragged on much longer than it should have.

Challenges

Poor infrastructure

Broken communication

Confusing design

Frequent crashes

I had panic moments about features being released and that they weren't going to work. We had lost confidence. Management had lost confidence. Our internal teams had lost confidence in believing that any of it was going to work.

– KEITH

In a last-ditch effort, Ownable scaled the team to more than 20 people. But even though the site was finished in four months—just in time for Black Friday—it had poor design, was unstable, and unresponsive. It simply couldn’t handle the influx of users.


Load times were terrible—more than 30 seconds per page, to the point that many pages would time out. When it did work, users got lost in the confusing, arduous sign-up process, leading to a high drop-off rate.


To make matters worse, the website ended up crashing only hours into Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, causing Ownable to potentially lose out on thousands of customers and sales.


But with only three months left until the following Black Friday, the stakes were high. Ownable could not afford to lose out again on the most traffic-heavy ecommerce day of the year.

With time, it became clear that the relationship with the remote team was untenable, and they turned to Rootstrap for help.

Instead of a fragmented offshore team, Rootstrap brought developers, tech leads, and project managers that had been working together as a cohesive and tight-knit team for years.

While Ownable was still engaged with the process, their experience went from nightmarish to productive.

Solutions

New website with rock-solid architecture

Timely, clear and immediate communications

Streamlined design

Quick rollout of new features

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We were quickly discovering that there were hidden bombs in our code base and some architectural challenges. So we added more Rootstrap developers to the project and immediately saw productivity gains. 

– KEITH ELLIOTT

CTO, OWNABLE

Although cleaning up the mess required constant communications between Rootstrap and Ownable to prioritize their workload, with Rootstrap being nearshore, this was easy to accomplish.

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