Live shopping marketplace with built-in banking services

red_mad_robot and humex in partnership with the bank and shopping platform Eyebuy launched an innovative marketplace in Kazakhstan based on the live commerce model. We tell you what it was like — to launch a new innovative application for buyers, sellers, and bloggers — a marketplace with a built-in banking service.

Idea and Challenge of the project

The idea to combine virtual shopping and live broadcasts of the manufacturer, seller, and blogger was exactly the basis of the project — at the end of 2021, a service for online shopping appeared on the market, the model of which is built on viewing video content from influencers and the ability to quickly order the product you like. In a few months we needed to:

  • find and package the idea,
  • get funding,
  • launch the product in startup mode,
  • synchronize all product, business, and IT teams with each other,
  • set up the core team on the client's side — organize and help with hiring managers and developers in the in-house team,
  • hand over the product to the client with follow-up support,
  • launch the project on the market.

Spoiler alert: it all worked out.

Visual concept of the marketplace app

One of the client's strategies is to develop the ecosystem. Already at the stage of acquaintance, the bank realized that there were a large number of players in the market. The nuance is that all of them are standard - a user goes to a website or application, chooses a product and either buys it immediately or receives a favorable installment offer.

The client wanted to move away from such a scenario, so among the goals of the new strategy, he emphasized the desire to become a trusted assistant and navigator in the world of shopping. The bank also wanted to create a single platform where people and businesses could solve their tasks.

Market research

In the course of hypothesis testing, we found what the people of Kazakhstan really need. Today the country looks very developed in terms of digitalization, but in any market you need to take into account the specifics and context and check the needs of users. For example, we found that the most obvious consumer pain points were the high cost of goods, doubts about quality, and long free delivery.

After conducting another series of interviews - and there were a total of 34 in-depth interviews with representatives of three target audience groups - we found the actual pains and needs on which to build the new product idea and value proposition. It turned out that Kazakhstan residents rely on the opinions of Influencers and bloggers while choosing goods.

Buyers want to easily find what they need, streamers and bloggers want to make content and earn money, producers want to increase business efficiency, and sellers want to sell and earn more. The live commerce model answers all of these needs at the same time. While strategizing, we worked not just on the app, but on the concept of an entire ecosystem that could be built on top of it. 

"This is such a complex change management project, in which we act not just as researchers and developers, but as partners — we conduct facilitations, gather stakeholders, first help sell and promote the idea inside, and then realize it", — Konstantin Kolotov, Chief Business Development Officer red_mad_robot
Figures of the first phase

Conclusions on the stage: initially, the client came with a request to create a joint shopping service. It was a potentially promising idea, but we offered to test the hypothesis, thanks to which it became clear that such a product was not relevant for the residents of Kazakhstan. In total, we spent about a month on market research and another month on finding the final unique idea and turning it into a product concept and ecosystem with a prototype and business case.

Design concept

The design team faced an ambitious task — they needed to create the first visual concept for the app when the marketing and brand strategies for the product were still being worked out. We decided to reduce uncertainty with the help of interviews with users: we found out that most people from our target audience associate online shopping with three main words: "fun", "dessert" and "roller coaster".

"We realized that we wanted to create a dynamic, friendly, and lightweight interface that responded to familiar associations and was easy to use", —Nastya Nechkina, UX/UI designer red_mad_robot

After the visual language of the project was developed, we received a new brand book for the bank, which meant that the entire design had to be adapted to the updated style of the company. The result was a fundamentally different view of the product: it became more youthful and, in a good sense, bold. Having worked out the visual concept, we defined five main characteristics of the product:

Exclusive value for users

The functionality similar to ours, in different formats and products, is available in many international services, such as Ozon, Shein, and Instagram. But on these platforms, the live commerce model is an additional feature that is not always convenient to use. In our case, the key value is the ability to quickly get a full picture of a product with a subsequent purchase. It is a good opportunity to conveniently sell goods to the audience and track statistics for bloggers and stores.

Modern navigation

We took into account UX best practices to make the user journey within the app as simple and intuitive as possible. It took several iterations of testing, as this is a relatively new and unfamiliar product. But in the end, we honed in on all the rough edges in the design so that the user could perform the targeted action as quickly as possible.

Clear and easily accessible content

For ease and simplicity, we adopted the TikTok mechanics — the video feed can be scrolled with a single gesture, which is good for engagement and depth of viewing. Inside each video, a quick access preview and list of products the blogger is showing on the stream.

Quick and convenient checkout

If while watching a live stream a person wants to buy some product, it can be done literally in a couple of clicks.

Tips and pooches about live broadcasts and novelties

Scheduled broadcasts were implemented in the application — you could subscribe to them, and when the stream started, the user would receive a push.

Financial services are also built into the app, personal offices for sellers are available, and integration with fulfillment and delivery has been thought through — all on the engine of a conventional marketplace. At this stage, the client's operations team was also involved in selecting the assortment and setting up logistics within the application.


"We have repeatedly launched projects in other markets, so developing a service for Kazakhstan was not a barrier for us. In this project, the challenge was tight deadlines, technical implementation in conjunction with the bank's ecosystem, and coordination of the work of several teams at once", — Konstantin Kolotov, Chief Business Development Officer red_mad_robot

In joint processes, our task was to become a guarantor of the correct operation of all components of the product, including boxed systems, banking, and external services with which we had to integrate. And to guarantee that this bundle would work efficiently and withstand the load, and that the team would meet the deadlines. And so it happened — five technical teams worked on the project in parallel. Several features can be emphasized among the features:

  1. Personalize stream feeds by point system. Aggregates both streaming and products. Formed on the backend to suit the client's tastes and interests, depending on what tags he chooses when entering the application.
  2. Payment in equal installments according to BNPL (buy now, pay later) mechanics. Some products can be bought in installments - it is mentioned in the product card. To do this, the buyer must pass certain limits: there are no debts, there is a sufficient amount on the account for all installments and it does not exceed the maximum limits. After processing, the buyer goes through the scoring stages on the bank's side and receives a spreadsheet with a payment schedule in four equal installments for a certain number of months.
  3. FOMO mechanics in the product.

We based our Backend application on the principle of reliability and scalability — the application is made with a plan for further support and development by the in-house team. We also set up monitoring and logging of events, which allow us to provide operational support, eliminate bugs, and automatically release new versions in a few minutes with dozens of code checks to eliminate bugs at the build and delivery stage.

Project Management

In most cases, we took the lead — managing our own streams, connecting and building work on related technical blocks, and managing a bundle of all the common streams. In parallel with the development of the marketplace, the client got a legal entity, CEO, and operations team. 

"Throughout the project, we tracked key changes in the timing and quality of project teams' work that impacted the target outcome and successful product launch. We synchronized the teams according to the master plan, monitored task completion, and took timely action in case of threats to deadlines, budget, or quality", — Igor Ivanov, Senior Project Manager red_mad_robot

The work was based on Agile principles — short, rhythmic sprints with constant synchronization of participants. In each sprint we planned regular meetings — daily standup meetings, a project staff, an architectural committee — everything was described in a separate map.

More than 50 people were involved in the creation of the marketplace at the same time. To avoid confusion, we put together a matrix of roles and reflected the key participants from each team - their contacts, areas of responsibility, and participation in regular meetings.

Overview: key indicators and development plans

In December 2021, we began to gradually transfer the product to the client and withdrew our team from the project. The period from December to January was particularly indicative — by that time, 17 thousand unique users had registered in the app, and the total library of videos had increased to 559 videos.

As a further development of the product, our team proposed not only to focus on the B2C segment but also to focus on the formation of the B2B experience. In this case, the platform could fully engage both buyers (individuals) and third-party services and merchants. The general idea was formulated as the development of a single service that would allow some participants to sell goods, others to buy them, and others to participate in marketing. In this model, the bank could take the position of a conditional aggregator providing financial services.

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