Dhruv Mathur is the Co-Founder and Head of Product at LBB, a marketplace for customers to shop Indian brands and discover new products. LBB boasts 2 million monthly active users shopping 200,000+ SKUs across 3,000 businesses.
Behind the scenes, a lean team of less than 10 people works on every area of the marketplace. The Marketing and Visual Merchandising team curates a personal and visually stimulating experience for every shopper.
The Merchants team helps brands sell more goods. Finally, their Finance team manages thousands of payouts and keeps up with constantly changing e-commerce regulations.
This is the story about how different teams at LBB moved their workflows to Retool to give engineering more time to focus on growing the business and improving the product experience—not redundant tasks.
A need for rapidly evolving tools
With a lean team, Dhruv knew that the most effective way to help each team operate faster was building better tooling.
At the same time, he didn't want engineers getting bogged down on making changes to buttons or workflows. He needed to create an environment where each team could participate in building their own tools.
Engineers are most leveraged when they’re free to focus on what adds value, helps us scale, and provides customer and merchant delight—not on solving internal operations problems.
After testing Retool himself, he felt it was the right tool to roll out to the team. He adds, "Where there's a will, there's a Retool app."
And, together with the team, LBB has built several Retool apps. Each team uses Retool to make workflows faster:
- The Marketing and Visual Merchandising Team use a Retool app for offer and collection management
- The Merchants Team relies on Retool to onboard merchants, manage merchant information, and moderate the catalog
- The Finance Team has a Retool app that helps them reconcile records, make ledger entries, and detect errors
- The Logistics Team uses a Retool app to manage pin codes
Deep Dive: Visual Merchandising
The Visual Merchandising team is responsible for making sure that when customers come to a product, they’re delighted by what they see. This includes promoting products with offers and banners, as well as making sure all inventory is displayed clearly and correctly.
Before Retool, the team relied on Magento on the backend. As a result, making any changes to content involved diving into a taxonomy that was very deep, with unclear blocks of content.
“Nobody was entirely sure of how the information they inputted would display on the site—unfortunately, what they saw in Magento was rarely what they’d get on the frontend,” Dhruv explains.
Adding any new content blocks involved a heavy lift of coding on the backend, which was a cumbersome task for engineers and slowed down the operations team. Both teams became frustrated at the bottlenecks.
In addition to struggling to add new content blocks, the team lacked an easy way to highlight certain products because of the ranking system—any rank implemented on the backend would be proliferated to all parts of the product, making it unruly to manage.
“The process of ranking products kept leading to having to build more solutions in engineering, which took additional time and slowed our teams down even more,” Dhruv says.
So the team switched to Retool with the goal of moving as fast as trends change. They built their Visual Merchandising Manager App in Retool.
It shows content and sections based on the platform itself and enables operations team members to search, add, and remove fields and attributes.
What’s more, the process for highlighting products is completely streamlined—a team member can easily navigate to the product, grab its ID, and then set the position for highlighting with a drop-down.
The changes are immediately visible on the LBB platform and don’t create any knock-on effects. The process isn’t just easier, it’s faster, too—so customers can see the most relevant and desired products faster, and merchants can close more sales. A win for everyone.
A tool that adapts as quickly as operations evolve
Using Retool, everyone on the operations team feels more empowered. Folks understand what they’re doing, the apps are intuitive, and it’s easy for operations teams to make changes themselves instead of bogging down engineers.
What’s more, those changes happen fast: updates are immediately live in production, so shoppers have the newest items and merchants can start selling faster.
And, using Retool, the apps and workflows stay relevant. As the operations team’s needs change (from responding to customers to analyzing conversion rates or adding new products), so does their Retool app.
In the future, Dhruv hopes to make several updates to LBB’s Retool apps, including integrating data visualization into their tools. That way, instead of looking at information in Google Data Studio, all of their data will be housed in one place.
He’s also working to build common building blocks that can be used throughout Retool, including a library of components and queries to reduce duplication and further empower the team.
“Our goal is to empower our customers and merchants—the best way to do that is to empower our teams, first. Retool helps us do that.”
If you'd like to hear more from Dhruv, check out his recent lightning demo where he explains even more about their visual merchandising use case.