2016 - 2018
Flash sales aren't new, and apps similar to Frenzy already exist. So how does Frenzy differentiate itself from the rest? Our answer is location-based sales.
Frenzy has a few established competitors in its space and although most of its competitors have slightly different offerings, Frenzy wanted to stand out further. We decided to achieve that with location-based sales which we referred to as Dropzones. A dropzone required a user to be within a predetermined geographic area in order to attempt a purchase through Frenzy. The idea was not to make all sales function this way, but to create high profile events out of those that did.
Sneakerheads have a few different methods for attaining the products they desire, none they trust more than physically standing in line and waiting for it themselves. There is a big problem in the industry with items being purchased unfairly. Apps have issues with developers creating bots that snatch up products faster than humans can and stores host raffles shrouded in secrecy.
We set out to be a trusted method of getting hype goods and to do this we severely limited the ways in which you could get them. We already knew that the checkout process on devices could be botted fairly easily, which is why Frenzy is Apple Pay only, unique ids are required as well as a fingerprint, a script just won't do.
Frenzy's audience is generally speaking very committed to attaining the products they are seaking out and have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to get them. Many sneaker releases require you to wait in line outside the store sometimes for days in advance for the chance to get a pair. Frenzy's original goal was to eliminate the need for waiting in line, but what we saw was users still waiting in those lines but with our app in hand for a second opportunity to cop.
Team & Role
We set a lofty goal of launching this new feature within a month of deciding to build it. This meant that the entire team (PM, marketing, dev and myself) worked closely to plan it out before beginning design.
Because we had very little we could reference for this feature, we relied on feedback from users (this included merchants). We talked to several of our internal users and discussed what was important to them when trying to get the latest and greatest item. What made the experience and what built trust.
Merchants wanted the ability to give their local, loyal customers first dibs on new releases, however doing this was difficult and doing it in a way that was perceived as fair was even more complicated. This is where Dropzones found their first use case. We would allow a merchant to set up a perimeter in which a user must be within to participate.
1. How would users become aware of these special drops?
They would be announced by the merchant across various social media platforms and email as well as by Frenzy's social accounts.
2. How would Dropzones be differentiated from normal sales?
They would only become visible within the app when a user has entered the location of the sale.
We identified key specs that had to be included in order to implement our MVP, and mapped out user flows based on those specs. At this point we found our previous conversations with real to be very helpful.
We knew that this had the potential to be confusing and this concern was quickly confirmed when we tested our first version internally, however, deadlines made this the most viable option. Time constraints forced us to reserve most of our time for development.
The objective was to clearly indicate a location-based sale and we tested this internally with fun sales that the company could participate in. Because we didn't test our hypothesis earlier, we immediately ran into issues. People were seeing the sale but weren't sure where it was.
Our MVP turned out to be quite confusing however it functioned well and creating the excitement in the sneaker community that we were after. From this, we learned to dedicate more time to research and testing for future features.
Having already implemented the base functionality of Dropzones and tested in multiple circumstances, we were aware of key areas for improvement. We took what we'd learned and increased the functionality of these special releases. At this point, sale previews had launched and had changed how sale cards were interacted with. This meant that there were suddenly many more states a sale card could be in and a new list of interactions needed to be considered.
The initial version had a Details button on each card that would take you to the sale information. This was later removed and a smoother transition was added.
Sale details were no longer accessible 30 seconds prior to the release and a countdown took over.
A later version without the details button made the entire card actionable.