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Jusan Store – phase of rapid growth

Online sales is one of the areas where the quality of IT tools directly affects business profitability. Kamza Nugumanov, CIO Jusan store, talks about the experience of deploying a fast-growing Kazakhstani marketplace.

What will be discussed:

The technological platform, promotion models, peculiarities of the marketplace itself and the team that develops it: the Kazakh experience has quite a few interesting nuances.

How the Jusan store came into being

This is a project of Jusan Bank Financial Group. This marketplace sells more than a million products, from food to household appliances throughout Kazakhstan. It is a project of Jusan Bank, it is more than three years old. Most of the buyers are the bank's clients.

The store grew out of an IT company. It emerged in 2018 under the financial group, where we provided IT services to all companies in the group. When a large bank appeared among the assets, the support was transferred to its IT department, and our company began to carry out individual development projects. One of them was the Jusan store. This business turned out to be very successful, grew rapidly, and now we are engaged in it alone.

Differences from other popular marketplaces

The main thing is the customer journey. We have one product card, not many, like OZON or Amazon. Going to the card of a certain product, you can immediately see all the sellers who supply it, their prices and delivery times. This approach saves buyers a lot of time. In addition, directly on the online marketplace you can apply for a credit or installment within a minute.

Our priorities are to increase our customer base, improve customer experience, and expand our assortment. We are actively developing logistics so that our goods are available in every Kazakh village. For this purpose, we are designing the financial side of logistics so that it would be profitable for us, logistics operators, sellers and, above all, customers to cooperate with our marketplace. These schemes are just being built: somewhere we will deliver ourselves, somewhere a logistics operator, somewhere a supplier itself.

Technology platform

We have always developed in-house and continue to do so until now. We use outsourcing very rarely, only if we lack some narrow competencies. When we started online sales, we took a ready-made open-source platform. Before that, we spent four months analyzing tools, including ready-made online stores, including software, product range, and supplier base. But such solutions were expensive for us and contradicted our reliance on in-house development. We wanted to fully manage the store, not deal with a "black box".

We deployed the store in a month, found the first suppliers and made the first sales. Of course, most of the functionality in the platform we took was already there. Now we have completely switched to our own microservice architecture - this is our code, there is nothing borrowed. Everything has been rewritten for our business processes.

The decision at the beginning to take a ready-made platform was the right one, because, first and foremost, the business must grow. It was only when we started selling that it became clear which processes needed to be customized.

First, we made an app for the store and a store within the bank's app. From a sales point of view, it was the right thing to do in the beginning. We moved much faster inside our app and it was clearer to the business where we needed to go. Then we closed that app and fully concentrated on our module inside the bank app. The main thing is that we already had a big enough customer base there.

From the very beginning, we had a web portal. We rewrote the front-end solution for it, made it on Web View, and the web portal is updated regardless of the bank. This is a clear advantage of this product.

Staffing issues

We have about eighty developers. I wish we had more, but there are budget constraints. Over time, we have found a middle ground between wanting to hire as many people as possible and do as much functionality as possible and the returns that can be obtained.

The most important thing for an IT executive is to be able to adapt to change quickly, learn quickly and be able to motivate people. People should enjoy their work, and of course it is desirable that they don't look around for another place. Among many known factors, I consider the relationships within the team to be important. Behind each person is his family, his interests. If you work with this properly, more will be the pluses.

In addition to traditional recruitment methods (pre-selection by HR, a series of interviews, with the final one conducted by myself), we have such experience: we invite the applicant to the office for a day or half a day. He interacts with the team, does something together with it. The guys look at him, and he looks at them. The decision is made, among other things, on the basis of the results of such a trial day.

Further development

From the IT point of view, our plans are to build up our staff, increase the speed of launching the functionality required by the business, accurately plan deadlines and ensure the required quality of development. For an online store, the stability and speed of the application are very important factors, and that is what we are focusing on.

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