Marketplace transformation in less than six months

Ampersand understands the fine balance between working at pace and following a process to ensure quality, usually you can’t have both.

Andy Christodoulou

Head of Product

The Challenge

Long standing client, Secret Sales, were traditionally a flash sale business, uploading masses of stock onsite and time-based online sales. Using a subscription model, their audience signed up to emails, receiving alerts when deals went live to drive traffic to their site. However, their bespoke platform was struggling to cope with the spikes in demand.  

Secret Sales decided to change tack and shift their proposition, making the move from flash sales to hosting an online marketplace. They needed a platform that could facilitate this change and help their brand go global.   

Our Approach

Working in collaboration with the team at Secret Sales, we needed to understand their long-term goals and create a tailored approach to ensure they were met. Once key objectives were agreed upon, we worked together to outline a roadmap to success.  

While defining the scope of our Accelerator programme, we worked with their legacy platform, looking at how to move forward with Secret Sales new business model and objectives. We then created a tailormade Accelerator solution. The key to a successful site lay in finding the perfect integrations to support Secret Sales pivot to an online marketplace.  

Using our Accelerator programme, we replatformed to Magento 2 and created a package of world-class systems that would support Secret Sales’ move to marketplace.  


The Solution

Product management had become an increasingly difficult pain point for the team to manage with thousands of products across the site causing product information to constantly change. We knew without correct management that their merchandising efforts would suffer. Integrating their site with Akeneo, a product information management platform, allowed for better descriptions and product attributes to be effectively managed. Akeneo was then linked with their internal ERP facilitating smoother processes across their product management.  

As a retailer, regardless of your business proposition, your objective is to sell. Lacking the correct search and merchandising tools can be detrimental to the overall success of your brand but the right platform can boost your sales. Integrating with Attraqt, we ensured Secret Sales were delivering the ultimate shopping experience on their site.  

Moving to an online marketplace required the integration of one vital platform, Mirakl. This system was essential in connecting Secret Sales with different sellers who could upload products and bid to put their stock on the Secret Sales site. 

Our proprietary software Snow was the final component to create a solution for Secret Sales. With a myriad of systems in place to support Secret Sales business model, Snow enabled smooth communication between all systems. Created to pass relevant information between tools, Snow prevents overloading their Magento site with unnecessary information and allows for seamless connection across the board. 


Client Testimonial

The Results

Introducing new product management and data mastering processes reduced operational costs dramatically, while relevant brand-based content and visual merchandising enhanced the entire shopping experience. By moving from flash sales to a brand-driven marketplace business, we created more than just a website – we built the foundations for Secret Sales’ transformation and growth. Our Accelerator approach meant the site went live before the Black Friday deadline and it turned out to be their most successful Black Friday to date.

Looking to the future, we also recently supported Secret Sales’ international role out. Expanding to more markets meant all data needed to be localised. Mirakl and Akeneo were able to translate product content across multiple languages, starting in the Netherlands and Belgium. As they continue to expand into further markets, their systems are set up so they can drive forwards without the need for additional support from the Ampersand team.  

Next on the agenda? We’re working together on moving to a Progressive Web App frontend to bring their storefront in line with key competitors. Watch this space for more…