Camden Market

Camden Market: Taking steps towards a digital future

The results are already speaking for themselves. Within four days of launch, the bounce rate has dropped by 18% and average session duration increased by 53%

Lily Walsh

Product Owner, Market Tech

Camden Market

The project

Built in just ten weeks, Camdenmarket.com relaunched in May 2016 to drive more footfall from Londoners to the physical market by showcasing the eclectic range of goods, food and events.


Background

Kanban board to visualise and optimise the flow of the work in progress

As the fourth most-visited tourist attraction in London with around 500,000 people traversing the stalls and shops every week, Camden Market is a sightseers’ heaven. The new digital offering has been designed with Londoners, shoppers and foodies in mind. Property development company Market Tech, who own the area have a strong belief in the on-going value of Camden Market in the community and London as a world-leading city.


Challenge

Market Tech came to Red Badger for help in discerning the complex digital needs of the market, especially as the incumbent online offering was underperforming. Having bought Camden Market in 2014, Market Tech had aims to improve traffic at the market from Londoners, increase website traffic from Londoners and change perceptions of the market.

Red Badger’s challenge was to help Market Tech understand how they would achieve their business aims via the Camden Market website. Red Badger’s fully integrated team started the project by framing the aims and aligning them with the purpose of the site via a series of User Experience and Design workshops. Working with Market Tech’s team, it was decided to focus on a content-driven site.

Planning sketches
Uncovering key insights to understand the user

Collaboration

Close quarters efficiencies were created by building a team in one location with communication across the whole project. Within three weeks of changing to this arrangement, productivity increased by over 100%.

Having designers and developers sat next to each other meant queries could be solved instantly. For example, a bug fix or design tweak could be delivered within a working day, rather than waiting for off-shore teams to come online and pick up the ticket, which could take up to four days.

Having a full team on-site, including design, UX, development and our Product Owner made a huge difference as it meant that the answer to all questions and detail around all business requirements were accessible from within the same room. This kind of collaboration creates super-efficient teams who can do really fast work. As an example, throughput ramped from an average of shipping just two features per week to a high of 15 once the team were all on a single site.

Lani Shamash, Project Manager

Switching from using an online project management tool to using a physical Kanban board on the wall of the office encouraged conversations and kept everyone up to date with changes. Transparency and shared understanding of project progress and working practices of the team are hugely valuable in a tight delivery schedule. Any issues could be quickly identified and solved by the whole team.

Despite working to a hard deadline, which is often a reality, the team were able to stick to their usual working day, the backlog was completed not just on time but a day in advance and in the last week before launch throughput reached a 650% increase to project start rates.

Having a co-located, cross-functional team also dramatically reduced the lead time for a user-facing feature; from a high of 25 working days to an average of 7 from request to go live.


Solution

In ten weeks, many features and complex functionality were created because each component was handled separately. It also meant components could be updated and altered without having to suspend the whole site.

Red Badger used web technologies including React, Redux, Flow, CSS Modules, ECS, ECR, Terraform, Prismic.io, Solidus Commerce and Flipper to build the site utilising stateless functional components, meaning it could be implemented faster and adapted easily.

A pre-built CMS was chosen to reduce development time. With a beautifully simple interface, Prismic.io gives the content editors preview functionality without requiring additional hosting, allows grouping of edits to schedule a release with more than one change and is flexible within the suite of technologies.

The site is built fully isomorphically

Separating the business logic from the user interface via stateless components and the combination of bleeding edge technologies meant both can be best designed for their own users and not compromise for each other. The code underlying the site is easier to maintain and less prone to bugs.

Red Badger is never afraid to use bleeding edge technologies. It means we are always learning, but clients see value so much faster. What we’re using is all immutable in its infrastructure so we can update individual software to their latest version and have confidence that it won’t break anything when it goes into production. The benefits include better server response times and security updates being in play as soon as possible.

Jon Yardley, Tech Lead

Built fully isomorphically, the site has the same functionality no matter from what device the user is viewing.


Business benefits

We put Londoners at the heart of the project and the website has been designed to be on par with what digitally-savvy Londoners expect in 2016: exceptional user experience, easy-to-navigate and a customer-centric design. In turn, we hope this will remind people about the unique stalls and experiences that Camden Market has to offer. The results are already speaking for themselves and within just four days of the launch of the new site, the bounce rate has dropped by 18% and average session duration increased by 53%.

Lily Walsh, Product Owner at Market Tech

Key statistics after launching the new website:

  • Users increase 13k vs 10k WOW (week 1 vs week 2 post-go live)
  • 61% traffic through mobile, 29% desktop and 10% Tablet in comparison to 36% from mobile prior to launch
  • Organic search = 38% of total traffic
  • Direct traffic +98% WOW, = 37% total traffic

Camden Market is such an iconic destination, visited by a truly diverse audience, from teenagers on their first trip to London to old rockers who’ve been in the area for over 40 years. To take something with such deep cultural heritage and translate it into a successful online experience we needed to adopt bleeding-edge technology as well as create something that’s easy-to-use by all. We hope the experience stays true to Camden Market’s heritage. We’re pleased to see the site is already getting tangible return on investment and we’re looking forward to what the digital future will bring.

Cain Ullah, CEO

View the website for Camden Market

The tech

The team

Lani Shamash
Lani Shamash

Project Manager

Jon Yardley
Jon Yardley

Tech Lead

James Hopkins
James Hopkins

Software Engineer

Chris Gray
Chris Gray

Tester

Greg Stewart
Greg Stewart

CTO

Monika Koziol
Monika Koziol

Visual Designer

Selina Bans
Selina Bans

Project Manager

Melissa Marshall
Melissa Marshall

Software Engineer

Jun Taoka
Jun Taoka

Visual Designer

Claire Murray
Claire Murray

Visual Designer

David Wynne
David Wynne

COO/Founder

Federico Capaldo
Federico Capaldo

Web Developer Intern

Peter Balazs
Peter Balazs

User Interface Developer