Walmart Checkout

Making online shopping easy--and fast

A.The Challenge

Legacy code.

Those two words can strike panic in the heart of any developer. Unfortunately with most established companies, legacy code and older technology are just parts of the job. But most of us know that when a critical part of a system is older technology, that upgrading it to a newer, modern one can reap lots of benefits (such as improved performance and a better user experience).

This was the case with Walmart’s website.

Looking Ahead

Walmart had made the decision to build out their website using React.js because they knew that adopting a more modern technology would allow them to capitalize on years of lessons, be better for their customers and increase revenue.

Numbers Tell All

A key part of this was their checkout system. When you work in ecommerce you know that the speed of checkout and ease of purchase is critical to conversions and sales. So when they built out the new checkout in React, they expected to do better. However, once it was launched they noticed a small traffic increase of about 1-4%; which is good, but they knew there was still room for improvement.

And that’s where we come in.

B.The Results Are In

We got to work right away—in two weeks, we assessed the app, looked at what areas could be improved, and how we could make it better. What we saw was pretty impressive. At the beginning, Walmart’s checkout bundle (of code) was 1.1MB, which is huge. After only the first week, we were able to reduce it to 617K.

This reduction meant that the time it takes for a page to load would drastically improve performance, and therefore conversions (and thereby sales and revenue). After our analysis we found we could even reduce it further, but some of those changes required a lot more effort so we ended up recommending against those changes.

But the really interesting thing wasn’t just that we helped them optimize and improve their code, but this was done in a collaborative way sharing our knowledge and lessons with the Walmart team. That way these same best practices could be applied throughout their code base.

The Extra Mile

It’s one thing to write an application, and prepare it for production, and to roll it out. When we work with you we get into the nitty-gritty details that will make a huge difference in your customers’ experience.

Choose the Experts

For example, do you really know what the code is that you’re running and is going to your customers? How do you know the code is the most efficient? Even the most talented and seasoned developers won’t be able to catch things like this, because the tools we use at Formidable are custom-made. Finding these inefficiencies in code cannot be done by hand.

Because our Formidable team has a deeply nuanced understanding of how applications work and the way they are built, the solutions we provide are one-of-a-kind, and can result in huge improvements for what matters most—your customers.

We Are Formidable

Formidable is a Seattle-based consultancy and open source shop, with an emphasis on Node.js and React.js. We deploy a mixture of consulting, staff augmentation, and training to level up teams and solve engineering problems. Whether it’s transitioning to React, moving off Flash, or helping a startup build and scale an MVP, we’re ready to help teams of any size.

Interested in hiring or working for us? Get in touch or view our careers page.

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