Children rapidly grow out of clothes and shoes, many of which are only worn a handful of times before they are no longer wearable. Furthermore, a huge proportion of high-ticket children's items such as car seats, changing stations, buggies, prams, cribs etc, are used for a matter of months before they are grown out of.
In the advent of sustainable and responsible shopping habits, it is becoming increasingly popular for consumers to re-sell their second hand goods. And, for large families, parents on low income, or those purely interested in sustainable consumerism, buying second hand goods is on the rise.
The most popular methods of buying second-hand goods for children are split into two camps: physical and digital. The former involves purchasing items at car boot sales, charity shops and at swap shops. While great for getting a bargain this is not very convenient especially for people with busy family lives. Digital solutions include eCommerce sites like Gumtree, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace etc. These sites are extremely popular but cater for the entire e-commerce world, not baby/children's goods specifically.
myTOT came to Bad Dinosaur looking to build an online marketplace for used baby and children's goods, filling a gap in the market and providing a dedicated platform for users to create a community of buyers and sellers of second hand products for children.
myTOT worked with their own interface designer and had produced a mature business case, so when they first met the team they had a good understanding of how the app should look, and what features they envisioned. From there we worked together to whittle those features down to a strong minimal viable product (MVP).
Scoping down the product to its minimum feature set is something we do at Bad Dinosaur to make sure clients are spending as little as possible to quickly get their first product into users hands. This involves de-prioritising features that rely on an established user base. In myTOT’s case we chose to remove any filtering or following functionality that would limit how many items are presented to the customer because there was risk of limiting how many items were seen while the application had its first, small user base.Ian Henderson, Head of Product, Bad Dinosaur
The myTOT app was built using Xamarin, a Microsoft mobile app platform that enables developers to build both Android and iOS versions of their apps in parallel, using .net. Xamarin is part of the vibrant .NET ecosystem, used by millions of developers worldwide.
Every week the myTOT team were able to see the latest version of their application in co-design sessions with Head of Product and Lead Developer, Ian and Lead Designer, Lindsay in Bad Dinosaur’s Edinburgh office. What began as rough storyboards evolved into static screens, and then eventually into a fully fledged app that they could download, test, and feed back on. Weekly releases enabled the Bad Dinosaur development team to quickly adapt and change in response to feedback.
Alongside the mobile application, Bad Dinosaur built an API and a web application so the myTOT team could build a library of different categories of product, and respond to any reported items and view user behaviour. The API also enables the myTOT team to host a web application, accessed directly from the browser in the future.
On the 10th of November, 2020, myTOT was launched into the App Store and Play Store. The team continues to work with Bad Dinosaur on further features and enhancements to their app.
It's been great to see myTOT evolve from a concept to a functioning platform. With the support of Bad Dinosaur, we were able to quickly convey, mobilise and build a functioning Marketplace whilst building strong relationships with the Bad Dinosaur team. Having been warmly received by the market, we look forward to the next phase of work with Bad Dinosaur as we strive to build our users a unique shopping community.Kirsten Bell, Co-Founder, myTOT