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Work / 03/14/2018

DOOR3’s Implementation of Xamarin Cross-Platform Mobile Architecture Delivered the Goods for FreshDirect

If the coders that handle your mobile apps are spread too thin, cost too much, or can’t maintain quality because they must support divergent code across multiple mobile and tablet device platforms, DOOR3 can show you how Xamarin can save you money and time, and provide a higher-quality, more unified experience for your customers. Just ask FreshDirect, where DOOR3’s work earned the 2015 Webby Award for “Best Mobile Shopping App.”

Making a Leader Even Better

From its very beginning, FreshDirect grabbed the leadership role in online grocery delivery in New York City. Their brand promise of convenience was easy to convey and after initial skepticism, enthusiasts began to adopt the digitally enabled food delivery model: order today, and get timely scheduled delivery the day after.

New Competitors Loom

With business growth on the upswing, it wasn’t long before the competitive environment began to heat up with well-funded startups and global names (Amazon, etc.) promising same-day or within-the-hour delivery of food and groceries.

By the time its new competitors entered the market, FreshDirect had already built up a massive infrastructure with separate teams of coders to service its mobile apps on multiple platforms—each one requiring its own maintenance and testing team to handle new monthly releases, user-reported defects and a host of separate issues, including less than stellar customer reviews.

At the time, DOOR3 already had a highly productive long-term relationship with FreshDirect providing custom software development solutions that helped them adapt and grow their business to meet growing demands.

New Services; and a Better Idea from DOOR3

To stave off new competitors while maintaining its market share with its growing customer base of young families of meal planners who were loyal to the core business, FreshDirect planned to compete aggressively for younger, more impulsive food buyers by taking the wraps off a new brand promising faster delivery… FoodKick.

FoodKick allows users to specify when they want to get their food delivered in as little as an hour as opposed to the following day like FreshDirect.

DOOR3 saw what was coming: Take two teams of coders already handling the FreshDirect Android and iOS apps, then add two more teams of coders to handle the FoodKick Android and iOS apps, and then multiply all that by two (for Phone and Tablet code bases) and it was clear FreshDirect had the makings of a giant, highly expensive food fight.

We knew that Xamarin, a cross-platform .NET-based native app coding framework, provided FreshDirect with enormous advantages compared to most native applications by maintaining a unified feature roadmap across all devices, helping to increase productivity and save them money on coding costs, while improving customer satisfaction, app store ratings, and brand perception. We understood that the sheer magnitude of maintaining multiple coding teams for FreshDirect’s two separate food delivery services would split attention from where it could be better served—on product improvement—and make testing and satisfying their user communities more difficult. Xamarin’s mature, well-supported development model accommodated rapidly shifting market conditions while adding flexibility to their product feature roadmaps.

Consolidate Cross Platform Coding

With DOOR3’s guidance, FreshDirect saw that for all their differences in branding and mechanics, the FoodKick apps shared many features with the FreshDirect apps, and tablet and phone apps just varied from each other in form factor.

Having moved clients to a Xamarin footing to create strategic enterprise value before, the DOOR3 team pointed out that in the case of FreshDirect and FoodKick, the need for a centralized code base was urgent and business-critical. While the user interfaces between FreshDirect and FoodKick were very different, most of the business logic and features could live in one place, given good architectural choices. Xamarin’s cross-platform coding framework and robust .NET development model made it the clear choice.

Long-Term, Trusted Partnership Leads to Joint Success

The close, strategic relationship—in which DOOR3 received regular insights into FreshDirect’s product and business planning—enabled our account team to see the upcoming challenges and recommend timely remediation steps. And once we had moved FreshDirect to a consolidated, sustainable high-performance architecture, we helped to transition this new platform expertise to FreshDirect’s internal developers so they could maintain the product long-term.

DOOR3 has proven themselves to be resourceful and flexible, offering digital solutions that make sense for our business and internal stakeholders.
Jodi Kahn Chief Consumer Officer, FreshDirect

By being able to cross leverage most of the code base to support phones and tablets (iOS and Android), and cover the needs of the FreshDirect and FoodKick brands, we proved once again that the best solutions are behind DOOR3.

Let’s discuss your next mobile development project.

DOOR3 creates digital solutions that empower users, engage consumers, elevate brands, and enhance businesses. We have extensive experience crafting custom software solutions that succeed on every level. We can do the same for you.