Grow by leaps and bounds while helping others. How we created the marketplace for INTERTOP
Trends around the world clearly demonstrate the growth of the e-commerce market. The average figures for different countries show an increase in sales in this promotion channel by 40-50%. For example, in Ukraine the number of online sales in 2020 increased by 50% compared with 2019. According to statistics, in 2020 a user spent on average about $ 703 to buy goods online.

Very much influenced by the growth of sales through sites lockdown, when people began to make purchases more often without leaving home. So it's only natural that sellers have also become even more eager to start selling online. But it's very difficult for small sellers or startups to compete with the big players, who have long ago and firmly established their position in the market and have continued to increase turnover despite the unstable economic situation.

Going online for small sellers is a whole story: you need to make a website, optimize it, develop and run advertising creatives, build a sales funnel and a system for communicating with customers. All of this requires an investment, but small companies often simply don't have budgets (or they're very modest), nor do they have the time to learn and start everything, virtually from scratch. In each case, it is necessary to take into account both the characteristics of the store itself and the business processes that already exist in the company

- It's impossible to ignore the trends: the small inevitable is flowing into the big one. In the U.S., 85% of the e-commerce market is already concentrated between the three big retailers: Wallmart, Amazon, Ebay. Of course, small companies could set up their own online stores, try to do advertising, and so on. It's much easier and more profitable to join a retailer where you can upload your products and sell them. You get a ready-made platform for sale, with no cost for advertising or search engine ranking - all this is done by the marketplace. The idea of creating a marketplace came from both of us. After all, INTERTOP already have a reputable site, the main online store, which could be used to generate additional revenue.
Konstantin Perepichaenko
Project Manager AniArt
In this article we want to talk about a unique case for Ukrainian market: creation of the marketplace, which combined the interests of INTERTOP and its partners, as well as provided business development opportunities for sellers-partners. And also - what benefits have brought the model of "cooperation instead of competition" INTERTOP.
INTERTOP Marketplace today in numbers
  • 1
    6 months from idea to implementation
  • 2
    24 hours for registration and moderation of a new merchant
  • 3
    300+ INTERTOP partners are already connected to the platform
  • 4
    350+ brands are represented on the Marketplace
  • 5
    5000 orders are received daily through the Marketplace
  • 6
    50,000,000 people visit the Marketplace each month
How it all began
INTERTOP is the largest footwear chain, which has more than 200 offline stores in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Online, the chain has been working successfully for a long time and has gathered a large and loyal audience.

Cooperation between INTERTOP and АniА began back in 2014. At that time, we had a very ambitious task: to transform the "showcase" website that existed at that time into a full-fledged sales channel and create a single information space: both for online and offline visitors.

This task was successfully completed: online store, which we developed for INTERTOP, works and continues to be updated with new functionality. Read more about the process of creating an online store for INTERTOP here.

Creating and launching the marketplace was the next step, the main purpose of which was to enable INTERTOP partners to grow in conditions of instability and crisis, thus developing the whole market. Confirmation of the correctness of the chosen direction was the fact that more and more often other sellers began to contact INTERTOP, offering to consider opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

"Ecosystem logic yields results when we think not only about how we grow, but also about how to provide a value proposition to both our partners and customers. We position INTERTOP as a fashion retailer: we sell clothes, shoes, accessories, products from the Beauty category, and very soon we will also develop the Home category. We wanted to unite everyone who is a producer and consumer of fashion goods on an open technological platform where sellers can grow and buyers can be excited about shopping.

We have big partners, we have small partners, but we pay attention to all of them. In the past, when we opened several offline stores in a mall, we worried about whether they would compete with each other. But then we realized that the customer would find their store anyway, and the wider our presence online, the higher our sales. It's simple: the more vendors and products we have, the more we will grow.»
Konstantin Perepichaenko
Project Manager AniArt
At one of the strategic sessions at INTERTOP, they decided: the market is asking for change, so it's time to act! And they approached us with the idea of developing a solution that would allow the retailer to sell not only goods from their warehouses, but also to launch sales partners to their site, giving them all opportunities to quickly start selling and making money online. And customers would be able to choose from the widest range of products and find exactly what suits their needs.
The beginning of implementation. SCRUM - the head of everything
Work on the project began with the most important stage, drafting the assignment. But already at the start we understood, based on our experience, that such a large project cannot be done "from start to finish" in one go. That is why we decided to use the SCRUM project management methodology. We clearly knew that it would allow us to productively solve the tasks that arise in the process, and at the same time to move as quickly as possible to the final result.
Initially, the scope of work was as follows:
  • 1
    Create platforms for product placement by merchants-partners with subsequent publication in the online store INTERTOP
  • 2
    Make the "Upload Items" functionality as convenient and fast as possible
  • 3
    Create the most simple and clear algorithm for adding new sellers to sell on the site
  • 4
    To implement a system of access rights so that you can provide the necessary roles for users (administrator, content manager, partner, etc.)
  • 5
    Integrate the marketplace with the existing site INTERTOP
Thus, the initial stage was necessary to develop a product in the amount of MVP for the seller-partners through which they could upload goods to the "showcase" online store INTERTOP, where customers could choose goods and place an order.
Sales Management Center. What the marketplace looks like for the seller
Already at the end of the first iteration, we presented a user-friendly interface with all the basic options that sellers need to get started. Interface design is made in accordance with INTERTOP corporate style, which is one of the elements of brand positioning in the market.

When developing the design we were guided by the principles of creating UX/UI interfaces to make the work comfortable for "advanced" users as well as for those who encounter online sales fo the first time.
We have developed a Dashboard with these main sections where all the necessary data and materials are stored:
  • List of users
  • Directories
  • List of products
  • Settings
  • Order list
  • Reports
  • Services
In order to get started on the Marketplace, you need to take a few simple steps:
  • 1
    Register on the site.
    Every seller who plans to work on the Marketplace must first register on the site. After registration, the application is processed by a manager on the INTERTOP side.
  • 2
    Conclude Cooperation Agreement
    The contract regulates all terms and conditions of work on the Marketplace. Moreover, without conclusion of an agreement the API data exchange option will be closed for a customer.
  • 3
    Upload goods via personal cabinet
    Once the seller has gone through the registration and confirmation process, he can begin uploading items to the site. When the items are published, they can receive bids and start selling.
«It's very convenient for sellers because they get to sell to customers right away. In this case - to clients from absolutely different segments, and who are already quite loyal because they trust our brand. Also at the beginning of cooperation we give opportunities for free promo, place information about partner on the pages of brands, offer additional services (photo and video content creation, photo studio, logistics). In addition, if necessary, sellers can get support from a leading specialist on all issues related to working on the platform.».
Purchasing Manager INTERTOP.UA
Now the work with sellers is carried out by two models. The first involves maximum independent work with the service, the second - the use of INTERTOP marketing tools (photo and video materials, running ads, email marketing, online support). At the same time, the company is already considering additional benefits for sellers with high ratings. For example, for sellers with statistics over 80% of positive products will soon be available auto-loading products (without moderation), which will further speed up the service.

Currently we're working on developing functionality that allows the marketplace to work using the pre-pay model. What does this mean? On account of the seller there should be a certain amount of money. For example, this 10000 hryvnia. After each purchase should be immediately charged for the service. That is, in fact, it should speed up the process of crediting funds to the account of the marketplace. However, there are a number of issues to be solved: which payment systems must be integrated, how data will be exchanged, how companies will regulate and control the process of crediting money, and so on.

Immediately after registration, the user receives the status "New", after verification the status changes to "Confirmed". Each seller fills in information about themselves: name, actual and legal address, contact information, working hours. And, if desired, holidays. This is also a subtle but important nuance: knowing that your company has a day off, the buyer will not worry that he did not answer today. Or he will be able to choose another vendor if the purchase is urgent.
Uploading the goods is carried out through a personal account of the seller. First you need to fill in the product card: name, description (in Ukrainian), brand, article, type, color, size, style, material, technology, collection, country of production, trade offer, as well as - add photos.
Initially, the product is added to the status of "Draft", after verification by the administrator INTERTOP it can be published, thus making it visible to customers. All - from that moment you can sell!

If the card of the product does not have the necessary data, the administrator clicks the button "Send goods for revision". Goods can be uploaded to the site both one by one and as a whole package. If the submitted item is no longer relevant, it can be hidden by pressing the "Deactivate" button.

For the convenience of sellers implemented functionality to create templates. You can create one template for a similar group of products, then change only some of the necessary fields. For example, you can create a "Shoes" template with the following fields: size, color, style, collection. When adding the next product, it will be enough to select the necessary parameters from the list, without having to create the card from scratch. This significantly speeds up the process of adding the whole assortment to the site.
As soon as the buyer places an order, the request appears in the "Order List" section. The seller is also notified accordingly.

Information on the time and date of the order, the selected product, and the buyer's contact details are displayed here.

When making a sale, the seller is charged a certain commission which is set depending on the type or price of the item. Commission is paid for using services of INTERTOP marketplace.
How to combine business processes and online sales
At the first stage of development it was decided to launch small sellers (up to 100 goods) in order to debug the system as a whole.

It was at this point that it became clear that the marketplace should not only sell, but also comply with the business processes within the company. Business processes in large companies are quite complex, and not always universal for other sellers. Based on our experience in managing and implementing large projects, we were able to quickly give the necessary advice and make changes to the ongoing development, taking into account the new wishes that appeared in our partner INTERTOP.
- It was necessary to integrate the personal account on the marketplace with the main site via SAP. But each system has its own list of requirements, so it is important to carefully describe all the specifications, describe how the data exchange will happen, to collect the general requirements. When there is a clear understanding of how everything must work, the development itself does not take much time. Senior Developer
The more we dug into INTERTOP processes the more we understood what kind of improvements would be necessary. And first of all it was about adding functionality for mass loading of goods.

For example, to add 100 products in manual mode could be a day. But if it is a large seller with more than a thousand (or even several thousand) products in the assortment, adding manually becomes inconvenient. Therefore, it was decided to make the uploading through a file.

Currently, adding products to the site is as follows:

● The seller prepares a file of a certain format, which has fields: name, description, price, images. Goods are added in the "Draft" status, and there is automatic pre-moderation: the system will check whether all the required fields in the file are filled in.

● Moderator checks the name and description of the product from the status of "Draft", and if everything is OK, publishes directly on the site. In this case, the pictures are pulled in the background. As for the loading speed of products: 100 items - for 3 seconds, 7000-8000 - up to 10 minutes.

● After confirmation by the moderator the item is published on the site and becomes visible to the customer. All orders are received directly in the seller's personal cabinet.

Uploading of goods via API was also implemented later. This solution was especially convenient for sellers who keep records in separate systems. Data exchange via API allows you to upload products to the site and update information about them, and you can not even go to your personal account on the marketplace.

Check the delivery status of items can also be checked using the API. Just enter the number of "Novaya Mail" waybill in the required field, and then the system will update the status of the parcel: Sent, En route, Delivered, Returned. In the future it is also planned to connect delivery modules of other postal services (Ukrposhta, Justin).
Monitoring the effectiveness of work on the marketplace. Functionality "Reports"
The "Reports" functionality has been developed to easily track the effectiveness of transactions.
This section collects all the most up-to-date information on each seller:

Order Statuses. The seller receives notifications at each stage of the sale and delivery of goods: from order and shipment to direct receipt by the buyer or return.

Goods. Each of goods gets its own status. Actual and verified goods are placed on the Marketplace, while unconfirmed items are not displayed on the site.

Categories of sales. Here displays the number of units sold in each individual category (sandals, dresses, sneakers, blouses, suits, etc.).

Sales. This block is a graph - for how much sales were made during the reporting period.

Commission. It shows the amount of commissions that are charged to the seller for using the service.

Top sales. One of the most useful blocks, which allows sellers to see which categories of goods are in the highest demand among buyers.
What's next. Immediate plans for the development of the marketplace
All of the improvements that take place as part of this project are directly related to business processes in INTERTOP. The marketplace has been working successfully for 2 years, providing an opportunity for sellers to sell their products on the site of a major retailer. But it is important to understand that company processes as well as the market situation may change, therefore new functionality will help the marketplace to develop and gain additional benefits.
We are now working on the important task of creating a notification system. Currently notifications are sent by default to the merchant's email address. In the process of implementation - creating a single interface, which will receive all notifications: a buyer's request, change of product status or its delivery. developer
In addition, a merchant rating service was added. Initially on the partner side was the understanding that such rating is necessary, but it was necessary to solve a number of issues, for example, how to calculate the points, what they should influence, how often should they be updated.

At the moment the rating is based on the following principles:

Speed of response. A salesperson can get a score due to his or her responsiveness. For example, how quickly he responded and moved the order from "New" to "In Progress" status.

Fast delivery. If the goods are delivered to the buyer within 5 days of payment, the seller gets points. If the buyer rejects the order for any reason, this is also reflected in the rating.
«The year 2020 was a turning point, and it's not just about the crisis. This year gave us opportunities for growth. For example, we set ourselves an ambitious goal of increasing our turnover share by 5% in one year. You should always set big goals in order to motivate to achieve them. We were able to achieve our goal back in the first quarter of 2020, and we plan to grow at least 5 times more.».
Head of Procurement Department INTERTOP.UA
Building a marketplace for a large corporation is a strategic move that opens up new business opportunities while strengthening the company's position in the market. The successful technical execution of such a project requires a highly skilled and dedicated team of professionals who can bring the vision to life. Effective project management is crucial in ensuring that the project stays on track and meets the desired outcomes. A traditional project management approach that relies on detailed project plans and schedules can often result in unforeseen complications and a less-than-optimal outcome. That's why we recommend using the SCRUM methodology, which prioritizes flexibility and continuous iteration. SCRUM encourages a cross-functional team approach, where specialists from various areas such as architecture, frontend and backend development, testing, design, marketing, and analysis work together to create a cohesive product. Daily sprints keep the team members accountable and allow for seamless collaboration and problem-solving. At the planning stage, a road map is created to outline the development plan and estimate release dates. This tool provides clarity and structure, making it easier for the team to execute their tasks efficiently. If you have a market place idea but need assistance bringing it to life, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experts will be happy to discuss your project requirements and suggest the best solutions and implementation strategies.
The work on the project involves specialists in different areas: architecture, frontend, backend, testing, preparation of real data, user interface design and development, SEO specialists, marketers, and analysts. But it is important that everyone not only be responsible for their own area of work, but also get to the heart of the project. Maximum involvement of the team allows the quality of the product to improve at each stage of development and implementation. Daily sprints allow us to see what tasks each team member accomplished, what difficulties he faced, and to find and implement a solution in the shortest possible time.

Even at the planning stage we make a so-called "road map", which helps to visualize the product development plan and roughly plan the release dates. This tool helps to organize the effective work of specialists from the very beginning of a project.

If you already have an idea, but do not know exactly how to implement it and what you want to get as a result, contact us. We will discuss your task and suggest the best solution and ways to implement it.


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