Engineering Zip’s mobile future with Flutter

The Challenge

Zip makes it easier for New Zealanders to shop by providing a modern approach to traditional layaway. The startup provides customers with the option to take their goods straight away, but pay in four fortnightly instalments over a 6-week period.

With full transparency and no interest or fees, customers can get the products they want today, but with the ability to spread the cost over six weeks. At the same time, Zip helps merchants provide customers with more payment flexibility, so they can increase sales and average order values. Some merchant partners have seen over 60% increases in average order value compared to standard payment methods.

Zip had already made a strong name for themselves in New Zealand’s eCommerce market, working alongside Kiwi favourite retailers like The Warehouse,, The Sleepstore and Rockshop. Like many startups, they first established an online payments offering, but demand was increasing from both customers and merchants alike to activate Zip in physical store environments.

Outside of core retail, Zip had also seen demand increase strongly for their instalment payment solution from businesses such as dentists and optometrists, who did not transact via e-commerce websites, but required a slick in-store solution. With over 100 dentists alone around New Zealand already accepting Zip and with strong customer demand, the need was there to deliver the best experience possible.

To grow, Zip really needed a mobile experience that both customers and merchants could trust and that would really open up a fantastic in-store experience.

The Solution

Zip needed a great mobile experience for both iOS and Android customers that was fast, intuitive and secure. The FlutterShop team suggested developing the Zip app using Google’s UI toolkit, Flutter, as it would meet Zip’s essential needs and more.

FlutterShop worked alongside Zip to map out customer journeys and prioritise an initial backlog of features. With a single code base that targets both platforms using Google‘s Dart programming language, designing and developing using Flutter meant an app with superior performance, reduced code complexity, and a consistent look and feel across platforms.

FlutterShop employed a CI/CD (continuous integration, continuous delivery) approach with modern testing and deployment pipelines. This means that the team can quickly and safely make changes, learning quickly what works and what doesn’t. We also employed agile working practices, small batches and fast feedback loops to make sure we focused on delivering value early and often for Zip.

To ensure high quality, FlutterShop also developed a fast test automation framework, which runs throughout the build process and verifies the app continues to perform as expected. This accelerated the design and development process, continually incorporating refinements while safely adding value with additional features.

The key focus was engineering a solution that delivers a great user experience for Zip’s customers today while making future changes to their app faster and safer, allowing Zip to grow into the future.

The Outcome

The FlutterShop team quickly delivered a pair of apps for Zip customers to download for iOS and Android platforms. These were built in record time under three months. In the first week — and with only a soft launch (no marketing push) — the Zip app ranked in the top 5 of New Zealand finance apps on both Google Play and the App Store.

Zip also saw immediate uptake of the mobile app for its in-store product, with over 70% of in-store usage now coming via the two mobile apps. With major New Zealand retail chains, The Warehouse and Noel Leeming, having already deployed Zip in-store since the launch of the app, it is delivering an intuitive and streamlined checkout experience in-store.

Zip now have the capability to quickly and safely deliver new features and iterate on their design with a first-class automated testing suite, continuous delivery pipelines and a fast and efficient codebase for their app. Future release cycles will be fast and efficient, and simultaneously available across both iOS and Android.

How we can help

Ready to talk about how we can help you with a new or existing Flutter app? Sign up for our FREE one-hour workshop. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet and learn about the vision for your app. At FlutterShop, we turn your ideas into phenomenal customer experiences, and this journey starts with establishing where you are on your app journey. It’s also your chance to find out more about who we are and how we can work together.

Sign up for free workshop here

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