TAB partnered with dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer data science platform to revolutionise the way they generate customer insights from data collected via mobile. Applying cutting-edge technologies including Flutter, Firebase, Serverless Architecture (GCP) and Google Cloud Vision, TAB helped dunnhumby create its new consumer-facing app HuYu within 12 weeks.
With over 50 offices in 27 different countries, dunnhumby is a global leader in customer data science, providing insights to the world’s largest retailers and CPG’s including Tesco, Coca-Cola, Procter&Gamble and L’Oréal. In the UK specifically, dunnhumby analyses purchase data from top retailers such as Tesco, to provide clients with powerful insights to help them better understand customer needs, product performance and category trends.
What is HuYu?
The HuYu app (available on iOS and Android) invites shoppers to scan grocery receipts from selected retailers and answer surveys in return for rewards including shopping vouchers. All data is anonymised and aggregated before analysis, enabling the creation of insights for retailers and brands, to help them understand customers and improve their products and services.
A deep partnership
Led by Karyn Mukerjee (Director of Data Innovation) dunnhumby came to TAB with the vision for HuYu – their first proprietary data asset that would provide a wide market view of shopping behaviour across the UK by rewarding users for sharing data by scanning their receipts and taking surveys.
dunnhumby looked to leverage TAB’s delivery expertise to rapidly get the product to market enabling them to start building a user base. In practice, this meant using a collaborative problem-solving approach and building trust in order to make key technical decisions to enable the team to move fast.
TAB’s design and engineering excellence complemented dunnhumby’s own specialism in customer data science creating the foundation for the perfect partnership. A trusted relationship grew as the joint teams collaborated across design, engineering and delivery.
“We had a clear vision for the HuYu app and focused on the need to balance user experience with the needs of retailers and CPGs – for example, which features would be good for users and generate data which could create the most powerful insights? As a team relatively new to mobile app development, TAB listened to our requirements to help translate them into the features we had in mind. We built a strong joint team and were able to deliver a great product in a very short time. The project has built a solid foundation and we have exciting plans for the future”
Director – Data Innovation and Partnerships at dunnhumby
Taking a startup approach
While creating a consumer app was a new venture for dunnhumby, the team was set up to embrace this venture with a lean startup model. Through identifying the business outcomes and an experimental mode of working, the joint dunnhumby and TAB team were able to learn and adapt quickly to the market and minimise waste.
Rapid learning and iterations were facilitated through key ways of working:
● Establishing clear business and user outcomes and KPIs from the start
● Taking an outcome-driven approach to prioritising features and analytics
● Choosing technologies that enabled fast delivery and change
● Focus on reducing cycle time (the time from starting work, to delivering value)
Quality and innovation at speed
dunnhumby was eager to release the first iteration of HuYu quickly in order to start gathering data and learn what worked for users and understand the potential for clients. As speed became a critical success factor for the project, TAB recommended and implemented a series of new cutting-edge technologies to deliver the first release of HuYu in just under 12 weeks. Optimising development speed, learning and iterations, the technologies including Flutter, Serverless Architecture, Google Cloud Vision and Firebase.
Growing capability at pace
The joint team of TAB and dunnhumby product owners, engineers and designers were uniquely cross-functional and collaborative. Bolstered by the guidance and expertise of TAB Lead Engineer Swav Kulinski, a trusted leader and ambassador of Flutter, the team delivered:
Value at pace through unblocking problems and upskilling fast in a cross-functional manner as designers and testers picked up coding, engineers learned new languages like Dart and delivered full-stack stories.
Rapid capability growth, as the team learned and adapted quickly facilitated by the cutting-edge tech stack (Flutter, Serverless Architecture, Google Cloud Vision and Firebase).
Quick problem-solving through tight feedback loops and the decision to adopt serverless architecture, removing the provisioning or managing of physical servers.
An exceptionally smooth handover to dunnhumby at the completion of the project due to the collaboration and extensive upskilling within the team.
High levels of user satisfaction - 87% found the app easy to use while 80% would recommend HuYu to a friend (source: in app survey to 2,000 users, Dec 2018).
A successful first release in 12 weeks allowing users to scan receipts, fill surveys and earn points followed by a second release enabling rewards redemption (gift vouchers etc) and customer spending insights.
Entire architecture was built using Flutter and Serverless Architecture based on Firebase and GCP enabling TAB to deliver iOS and Android with one code.
Use of native components making it easier to develop new features and keep the app up to date with new releases.
Quick and easy app testing facilitated by the Flutter and Firebase relationship resulting in tight feedback loops and immediate deployment of changes.