Today’s online shoppers are always looking for the best deals. But with so many sites offering promotions and discounts, how can shoppers quickly and easily locate the ones that best match their personal tastes and needs? Blue Kangaroo is reducing the online clutter and noise – and helping put the right deals into the hands of the right shoppers at the right time.
Headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, Blue Kangaroo offers users a unique shopping experience, acting as a shopper’s “personal deal-hunting concierge.” Using advanced matching technologies, Blue Kangaroo searches out the deals that match a shopper’s individual interests, including favorite brands, stores, products and loyalty programs. Blue Kangaroo also serves as a social shopping network, allowing users to create a circle of “shopping pals”. Here like-minded users can share their shopping preferences and rally around certain brands or categories. And those brands are able to craft specific discounts for those shoppers.
Attention online shoppers
Founded by former Yahoo executives with backgrounds in online marketing, data mining and search technology, Blue Kangaroo uses intelligent matching to simplify the process of searching for, choosing and sharing the most relevant offers available. Of course building the databases and systems that could support these activities was not so simple.
So Blue Kangaroo turned to OSF Commerce for assistance. Working closely with Blue Kangaroo executives to understand the business issues and customer needs, the OSF project team focused initially on the database that would form the backbone of the system. Using a sample application provided by Blue Kangaroo, the OSF team designed the intricate database using several technologies, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB.
OSF developers then collaborated with Blue Kangaroo to develop and optimize the matching technologies that are at the heart of its system. And OSF built a dynamic website using the PHP scripting language, Apache platform, and tools such as Zend Framework, Yii Framework and Memcache. The Nginx platform was later used to develop version two of the website. OSF team members were also responsible for ensuring seamless integration of all the system elements, including the integration to Facebook, other websites such as YellowPages, and internal applications, including its recommendation engine and browser toolbar.
Once the initial design was completed, OSF added new functionality, including those related to the social networking component of the site, the development of a mobile application and search engine capabilities. OSF also ensured the seamless integration of these new elements within the Blue Kangaroo structure. And today OSF continues to deliver maintenance and support.
The result of this highly detailed effort is a fast growing service that is used by thousands of visitors who have access to more than 1,600 of the world’s top brands. Launched in the summer of 2012, Blue Kangaroo’s merchant partners span the full range of retail and hospitality firms, including AARP, Adidas, Avon, Disney, Gap, HBO, Kohl’s, iTunes, Lamps Plus, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Marriott, Rubbermaid, Sony, Staples, TomTom, Zazzle and the Fairmont, Hilton and Marriot hotels.
“What sets Blue Kangaroo apart is our focus on helping consumers make sense of the bewildering deals marketplace,” explained Nick Weir, CEO and cofounder. “We are de-cluttering the online deals marketplace with our highly personalized deal-discovery service that matches consumers to the most relevant offers. Blue Kangaroo also allows users to manage their loyalty and reward memberships with the companies they already have a relationship with, significantly improving the value exchange between consumers and the brands they love.”
Turning the company’s vision into reality required more than technology expertise, according to Mr. Weir. “OSF came to the table with a triple-dose of energy, business knowledge and process expertise coupled with technical abilities that complimented our own IT team,” he said. “OSF was instrumental in helping us achieve our goal, which is to lead an entirely new space intersecting deals, social shopping, data and mobile services.”