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Project Overview

Background
The “DropIt” project aimed to develop a Shopify auction plugin, introducing the innovative concept of a reverse auction. This unique approach initiated a product at a higher price, gradually decreasing it over a minute. The participant who placed a bid at a specific price first would secure the product. The development of this groundbreaking auction plugin involved leveraging the Rust programming language to enhance the system’s performance and reliability.

Objectives

  1. Update Legacy Packages
  2. Bug Fixes
  3. Multi-Currency Selector: Allow users to choose their preferred currency.
  4. CSV Upload Feature: Enable the creation of multiple auctions simultaneously using CSV files.
  5. Frontend Overhaul: Rewrite the frontend, previously running within an iframe, using React to eliminate numerous bugs.
  6. Responsive Design Implementation
  7. Demostore Automation: Develop a script for automating the push of auctions. The demostore served as a testing ground to simulate live auction scenarios.

Additional Features

  1. Authentication Requirement: Participants can only join an auction if logged in.
  2. Reporting Dashboard: Utilized Apache Superset and MySQL to track live auctions, winning bid amounts, and overall auction summaries.
  3. Draft Order Email: If a user wins, a draft order email is sent, resembling an invoice. Clicking on the email allows finalization of the order.

Solution
The desired features were successfully implemented using Rust, React, TypeScript, MySQL, and Apache Superset.

Rollout IT’s Contribution and Team Size
Rollout IT’s integral contribution to this project was solely carried out by developer Bíró Dávid, who independently executed the entire development process.

Progress and Results
The project, initiated on January 23, 2023, has been ongoing with continuous development. The implemented features have resulted in a more robust and user-friendly auction platform.

Technology Stack

  • Backend: Rust, MySQL
  • Frontend: React, TypeScript
  • Reporting Dashboard: Apache Superset

Future Developments (Expected Completion: End of 2024)

  1. Fix Price of Term: If a participant wins an auction, other participants receive a fixed offer (higher than the winning bid) for the same product if available.
  2. Tilt Pricing: Implement a gradual decrease in the product price over time.
  3. Extension Compatibility: Extend the plugin to work with technologies beyond Shopify.
  4. Mobile-Responsive Admin View: Enhance the admin interface for better mobile responsiveness.
  5. Modify Auction Duration: Allow customization of auction durations, such as extending beyond the default one minute.

Client Interaction and Feedback
The collaboration with the client was highly positive, characterized by upbeat meetings. One key contact from the client side was Matthew (E-commerce Manager), while Dávid served as the developer from Rollout IT, providing continuous testing and feedback, thus shaping the project’s evolution.

Website
The live implementation of DropIt can be explored on the client’s site: DropIt Auctions
This case study underscores Rollout IT’s ability to enhance e-commerce experiences and create innovative solutions in the competitive online marketplace, with Rust playing a significant role in the project’s success.

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