Namshi's Second Hackathon 2018

Written by
Junior Software Engineer

A recap from 2 days of hacking at Namshi’s Headquarter in Dubai with an incredible bunch of hackers. The best weekend of the year!

During the first weekend of October, Namshi hosted the second internal Hackathon at our lovely TECH team office. It was time for our software engineers to celebrate the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-team collaboration and rapid prototyping – We had a lot of fun!

Theme and Challenge

Back in January 2018, Namshi’s senior backend engineer Joe Jean founded and organized Namshi’s first hackathon. Although our team was smaller, the first hackathon concluded with success and saw the potential of thinking outside the box and sparks for business innovation. We felt strongly that the hackathon needed a sequel and so came back with bigger teams, crazier ideas and more excitement. We looked to invite product managers and data scientists to join for an interdisciplinary experience.

Our theme this year is Dream it, Build it, Ship it. It sees hackers come up with new solutions or features that are implemented within two days. At the end of the two days, each team presents their progress with slides and a demo to a team of four judges who evaluate based on three criteria:

1) How crazy is the idea?

2) How much value does it provide?

3) How well executed is the idea?

Based on assessment against these metrics judges decide on the winning teams. Not only do the winning teams get rewarded with some amazing prizes, but the selected few ideas also go live in our app.

This year Namshi encouraged ideas not only limited to e-commerce. With the freedom to brainstorm and work on whatever they want, hackers have proposed some unique ideas.

Brainstorming and Hacking

Brainstorm! The outburst of ideas before hacking begins. This year, one of the most sought after ideas was to use the power of social.

One team makes use of social networks to drive sales. The idea is that customers will share products they buy on Namshi and get rewarded with Namshi credits if their friends buy the same products using their link.

Another team increases conversions with the psychological phenomenon of social proof to ease the minds of worried customers. Similar to and Airbnb, the idea was to display a badge such as “5 other people are currently viewing” or “Only 3 items left” to give users social insights as well as a sense of urgency of the popularity of the products they are viewing.

Besides updates on social, hackers also came up with ideas such as integrating Augmented Reality to display products; or recommending personalized products based on customers’ viewing history; or introducing a monthly subscription mystery box with a customer’s preferences, etc.

With the hack underway, free food and drinks were provided ;)

An overview of the 7 presented projects:

  • Shop Connect – helps you connect with your social media circle so that you can take informed buying decisions when shopping online

  • Personalized Shopping – provides you a personalized shopping experience by recommending products based on your viewing history and activities

  • Make Your Style – involves you in creating new styles and designs as well as reward you for your creations

  • Share and Earn – allows you to share products you order from Namshi on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media timeline, and reward you Namshi credits for successful referrals

  • Surprise Box – introduces you a subscription based product that allows you to receive curated fashion accessories that follow certain themes or trends

  • Express Checkout & Direct Payment Links – simplifies checkout process to one screen, with possibility of delayed payment so you can pay for your friends or pay for your orders later

  • Social Proof – provides you more information on the social interest scarcity and satisfaction on Namshi products to help you make buying decisions

And the winners are…

Four judges made up of the management team selected two winning teams. Whilst all ideas were met with enthusiasm, it came down to the value add and how well executed it was in the end.

🥇 Social Proof 🥇

This team builds on the idea of social proof to increase conversions and revenue. It’s a simple idea with a huge impact. We saw their great work as a product of teamwork: Carles and Ala from the backend team, Noor from the mobile team and Anastasia from data science. With the combined skills and enthusiasm of each member, they were able to implement the social proof feature to its full extent and presented its unlimited potential to us.

This feature will be live soon so won’t disclose too many details. Wait for our next post to find out!

🥈 Express Checkout 🥈

Namshi uses a three-step checkout on all platforms as it was proven to be our customer’s preferred model couple years ago. As time has changed, we redesigned the UI for a simpler checkout process and also added a feature to allow others to pay for your order! Stay tuned for our next blog for more details :)

See you next time!

We were excited to see participants from five departments working together and building innovative solutions across the disciplines of tech, design, marketing, and business. It was a fun weekend and we definitely want to have another one in a couple of months!

If you like our hackathon and are interested in joining us, check out our hiring blog now!