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Rebuilding the online shop for one of the UK’s largest retailers

Migrating the app to a modern technology stack, we helped create a future proof solution supporting rapid innovation, A/B testing, and the regular release of new features. With over 100K reviews and a 4.7 star ratings, the app has received exceptional user reviews for its ease of use and accessibility standards.

This retailer generated over £55 Billion in annual revenue last year and serves over 80 millions customers every week through physical and digital stores. It was one of the first to market an app revolutionising grocery shopping in the UK and generating over £1 billion every year. While the app evolved and improved from its origins, the technology stack remained dated, limiting the customer experience and pace of improvement.

The app allows customers to:

  • Shop their favourite products in a few seconds and make changes to orders on the go
  • Restock your kitchen cupboards using a barcode scanner
  • Add products instantly from previous orders for easier repeat shopping
  • Arrange delivery 7 days a week or arrange to Click+Collect

"I am blind and this app is beautiful! Everything works like a dream! Just want to say a huge thank you the developers, this makes a huge difference to blind people so thank you."

App Store Review

Around 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability. Which is why building truly accessible digital products and embedding these requirements early in development is so crucial. The joint team took advantage of native accessibility tools to ensure the app was able to reach and serve a large portion of their customers with vision impairment or physical disability. Besides adopting accessible colour combinations and legible text sizes as standard, we designed flexible layouts that enabled us to intelligently support dynamic text sizing. App content was structured logically and optimised for mobile screen reader technology (Talk Back and VoiceOver) to make it easy to use via switch control. The app has not only proven its robustness, withstanding the current surge in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis, but its accessible design has proved vital in ensuring the app serves today's most vulnerable customers.

A co-sourced team of designers, engineers, agile delivery leads and testers worked in close collaboration. As a distributed team across India and the UK, the high levels of collaboration and team unity were facilitated through key ways of working:

  • One-team mentality: Encouraging responsibility and technical ownership across regions and building team meeting cadence to fit both timezones ensuring participation from all team members regardless of location.
  • Communication: Representatives from both locations were involved in decision making from the get-go ensuring conversations and ownership were not siloed by location. This ranged from low-impact decision making on acceptance criteria to larger decisions around timelines and communication to c-suite stakeholders.
  • Feedback loops: Regular and interactive retrospectives utilising online boards and worksheets to ensure feedback on ways of working and processes were captured across locations.
  • Breaking cultural barriers: Simple team bonding activities such as “Take a photo on your way to work” or “If the last sprint was a film, which film would it be?” succeeded in creating camaraderie, friendship and reduced potential barriers caused by cultural disparity.

When looking at results, we focused on futureproofing the app and making the existing app substantially better than it was. We successfully future-proofed the app by using native components that will enable the internal team to develop new features and keep the apps up to date with new releases. We provided a solid foundation for future development of new features, form factors that were all A/B tested with business insights capability built-in. 

Since launch, the new app has outperformed the old in these ways:

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