As some of you may be aware, Sivasdescalzo (SVD) is a Spanish retailer offering raffles and releases for all the major sneakers. A few weeks ago we conducted one of our ‘Raffle Reviews’ on their newly released app. This app was designed to battle the bots and try to make it difficult for bots to operate on their site.

After that post, SVD got in contact with us and we said we’d love to understand more about the app with the process behind building it, some of the difficulties and discuss the release of the app.

We spoke to Rubén who is SVD’s purchasing director.

What lead to your decision to invest/develop an app and move away from a web-based raffle procedure?

The main idea was to isolate the launch of raffle products so that web performance and our regular customers would not be affected by these moments of stress, generated principally by bots.

The app also allows us to have each user related to a device ID, so we have more layers of information to protect and distinguish real users from bots.

Why was tackling the bots such an import feature that had to be part of your app?

It’s our responsibility as a retailer to protect real users so that the products we sell arrive to those who really want the item. It’s very difficult to guarantee this 100%, but we will never stop trying.

What were some of the challenges in developing the app and what steps did you take to make sure bot developers would have a harder type cracking your app?

We recreated all the possible susceptibilities and established the necessary barriers, but until it faces real users, it’s difficult to understand the full magnitude of the problems. We’re still working to this day to increase the layers of security.

What stance does SVD take on reselling?

It can’t be denied that reselling exists and has helped give visibility and notoriety to this culture. As we mentioned before, our objective is to get our products to the final consumer, who wants and will enjoy it. What happens next, unfortunately, is something that we can’t control.

With our content, we try to offer different points of view on the product, so that the consumer has a critical outlook and decides for themselves with which product they most identify with.

In your opinion how smoothly did the app launch go? Were there any hurdles you had to overcome that you didn’t expect?

We understand that there are still many things to improve and we knew that the launch was not going to be an easy one. We tried from the start to offer a stable version of the app, but as previously mentioned, the behaviour of real users and the volume of downloads is difficult to recreate. The volume of downloads and requests was something that we, without a doubt, did not prepare for too well.

What does a successful release look like from your perspective, do you have aims and goals for these big releases?

We didn’t want to have a simple product catalogue, the main intention was to connect with consumers from a different perspective. The speed at which business moves these days makes us miss a lot of information and it’s important for its sustainability to give value to what has helped to create it. Therefore, we’ve always considered that generating our own content and sharing the points of view of people who live this culture day to day was as important as the management of these special products.

For us, it was important to have a stable version after the first three months and during this time learn from and improve the performance. Getting feedback on the content is also necessary to know we are going in the right direction.

Apps are an expensive thing to develop and run, has the reception and download rate made it a worthwhile investment so far?

When you make investments of this magnitude you know the return is more long term because the timings to reach the final product are lengthy and the project will go through many evolutions until you achieve what you want.

Within six months we hope to be able to say the investment was worth it.

Having created this unique experience with the new app, what is next for SVD? Do you have any plans to bring a unique in-store experience for major releases too?

At this moment, we’re working on a new website which we hope takes a giant leap forward in terms of user experience. If everything goes well, we hope to have the first version in September (we’ve been working on it for nearly a year).

Following the new website, we’re looking into opening a new store outside of Spain, where we expect to deliver a new shopping experience based on the insight of the app and the new website.

We hope you enjoy this small interview and please let us know about any retailers you would like us to interview next on Instagram @thatsoleretriever. Take a look at our raffle review on SVD here. Keep an eye on SVD for all upcoming raffles. Check SVD’s app out here.