Europe’s premier Sneaker Marketplace
Nike Dunks as an investment. Limited edition sneakers have become a collectible and prestige item in recent years. Our client wanted to develop a fast, easy, and secure platform for the European market where users can buy and sell their shoes in a verifiable way.
We developed the entire marketplace with listings and numerous features such as different memberships, connection to third party software, an exact filter and search function, and the possibility to get the payout in crypto.
Thanks to all this, Sneakit has quickly grown into Europe‘s first choice for limited, authentic sneakers.
Sneakers have long since ceased to be just shoes: an expression of individuality and subculture, a status symbol, and a collector's item. It is, therefore, not surprising that entire communities soon developed around the coveted kicks, in which sneaker aficionados swap, buy, sell and value their best pieces. While there are already platforms for the simple buying and selling of sought-after sneakers in America, there was a big gap in Europe, which the founders of Sneakit wanted to fill quickly. In addition to the requirement that the marketplace is built as soon as possible, there were many other benchmarks to meet. The selling and buying process should be as uncomplicated and, simultaneously, as secure as possible because the site’s trustworthiness is a top priority. During the payment process, sellers should also have the option for the offered sneakers to be paid out in cryptocurrency. In the course of the project, a compelling requirement was added: we were to design the internal organization management system and warehouse system. This means that we were allowed to work with hardware. Exciting!
The biggest challenge in development had nothing to do with programming itself. We had to be fast. The market was young and untapped at the time of first contact, but it didn't have to stay that way. Every month counted as an early market entry would ensure large segments of an almost starved target group. In addition, in such a young and evolving market, new product requirements were constantly emerging. So for our initial developer Hanna and her team, it was a matter of showing agility and being prepared for all eventualities with a rock-solid software architecture!
"The challenge, especially at the beginning, was to come up with a software architecture that is scalable to respond to new features on the one hand, but also to a growing user base."
Hanna, Web Developer at Dotbite
The marketplace must be solid in terms of usability and intuitiveness. This includes well-organized listings and a precise search function that allows you to find the right shoe in the design, color, and size. It’s also imperative that the code scales along. So think big from the beginning.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned internal organizational management presented us with entirely new challenges. We always joke in the office that among 20 devs, none can operate the printer properly. And now we were supposed to program some for labeling? Really cool challenge.
"The vision of the logistics of the platform raised exciting challenges that needed innovative and sophisticated solutions."
Paul, Co-Founder & Head of Development at Dotbite
The system was also a great challenge for our dev and cryptocurrency fan Lukas, as he got to take care of implementing an optional payout option in cryptocurrency. Of course, this wasn't entirely new territory for him, but he got to delve deeper into the clutches of the blockchain than ever before.
"Implementing the crypto payout without a sandbox environment was a bit scary but mega exciting."
Lukas, Fullstack Developer at Dotbite
- Simple buying and selling shoes.
- A fast marketplace for a fast market.
- Cutting-edge tech for the best usability possible.
- Build trust through secure transactions.
A good marketplace needs a good design. Especially in such a visual subject area as sneakers, a suitable environment that puts the shoe in the foreground is vital.
That's why the design comes from a graphic designer we've worked great with and trust completely, especially for a youthful project like Sneakit: Lara Langner.
Lara kept Sneakit's visuals to a minimum, with muted pastel colors and a clean build elevating the shoes to center stage. But pictures are worth a thousand words:
“It was very nice to have the opportunity to design something so reduced and clean, especially for a sales platform.”
A marketplace simply works, or it doesn't work at all. There’s nothing in between. Therefore, we have equipped Sneakit with sophisticated features so that users and sellers love the platform.
With hundreds of thousands of products listed, a precise search function is vital. For this purpose, we have implemented Meilisearch and configured and specialized it to search for sneakers. You can search from the pure brand search, colors to the exact description of which special limited edition it must be.
We have developed two variants for sellers to sell their shoes. Registered sellers can access an input mask via their profile, where they can select the shoe, size, and color and price it. In this mask, sellers are also shown the current lowest price to keep competition high on the platform. If a shoe is offered at a lower price, sellers also receive a notification in real-time about the new price.
In addition, we have integrated an API for a common third-party software (restock.gg) for Marketplace Hubs so that vendors with external systems can communicate with Sneakit and sell their shoes that way.
Depending on the products sold, sellers can be divided into different memberships, giving them more opportunities on the platform.
Besides the secure buying and selling options, server security is also essential. That's why we have secured the platform with Cloudflare because there is extremely high traffic on the site, especially with new releases. Likewise, Cloudflare helps us to better protect the website from possible attackers.
Ultimately, a marketplace is always about how to pay and get paid. For good usability, it is, therefore, necessary to leave buyers as many options as possible regarding how they can pay for their new sneakers. Lukas, who already knows a lot about e-commerce thanks to previous jobs, has integrated payment by credit card (Visa and Mastercard), Klarna (Paynow, Later, Sliceit), Apple Pay, and PayPal via Mollie so that users willing to buy can definitely get rid of their money.
Sellers get the money for their shoes via instant bank transfer, so they get paid no later than 48h after the buyer was receiving the shoe. For the most advanced sellers, we have also integrated the possibility of getting paid in cryptocurrency.
While we were in the process of developing software for the e-commerce platform, our customer approached us with an interesting requirement: please build us a warehouse organization system. Besides the software, this also included the configuration of the hardware.
Here, we tried to relieve warehouse employees of as much manual work as possible. To do this, we equipped both incoming packages and all shelves in the warehouse with QR codes, which were to be the main point of interaction with the logistics software.
Warehouse workers can register on the platform and then communicate with logistics in the following system:
- scan package with sneaker
- scan desired shelf
- all required interfaces are automatically accessed in the background
Depending on the scanned object, different behavioral mechanisms have been implemented. These include the automatic creation of send orders, printing of shipping labels, and automatic notification of buyers.We have been tinkering with this system for some time and are extremely happy with the final product and its ease of use. Initially, the idea was to equip all sneakers and warehouse shelves with barcodes, which would then be scanned using our barcode scanners. However, we finally decided to use QR codes so that every warehouse worker can easily do the logistics interactions from their smartphone and does not need a barcode scanner.
Connecting the dots
Fast, safe, and sleek. The Sneakit marketplace combines all the features its products stand for. The beta was launched quickly, while quickly changing requirements were easily implemented through agile teamwork and well-thought-out software architecture. On top, we kept doing quality sprints throughout the process to maintain and improve quality through code refactoring. As a result, the platform has become Europe's premier sneaker marketplace, with hundreds of sneakers changing hands daily and no end to the growth. The reduced design, which really only puts the shoe in the foreground, and the perfect usability round off a great success.
Users want their limited edition dream shoe fast. So we made sure they find it in under two seconds.
Sell shoes, and get paid fast, exactly the way you want it, even in cryptocurrency.
Behind the scenes
Sneakit ships thousands of shoes every week. We created the process to make logistics easy.
Sneakit is part of a larger sneaker culture withits own software. We connected it to all the big third-party players.
great moments working together
Sneakit was our first official foray into the depths of cryptocurrencies. Line goes up!
Lots of shoes
Speaking of sneakers, we do have a few sneakerheads on the team, but how many different versions there are per model almost floored us when we were building the listings.
Fast and clean
That's not only the Sneakit website but our approach to coding. Of course, a project with such tight deadlines and changing requirements has to be coded as cleanly as freshly polished sneakers.
You have a great idea. We have the means to make it real. Let’s talk about it: no pitch, no nonsense, no strings attached.