Wanamaker's

Live thoroughbred horse auctions

Wanamaker's asked Magnet to build a robust thoroughbred horse bidding platform that would combine the magic of a live auction with the convenience of online bidding.

Strategy

Wanamaker's wanted their web platform to be on the cutting edge of horse auctions by offering an experience not currently available in the US. An immersive discovery phase taught us what international competitors were doing well and areas that could be improved upon to create a better user experience for buyers, sellers and industry experts.

The solution needed to be modern, dependable and user-friendly, with a robust CMS and powerful, reliable real-time bidding software that would catapult Wanamaker's into the forefront of the online horse auction industry.

We employed the following services:

Strategy

  • Digital strategy
  • Analytics and research
  • Brand Strategy
  • Content Strategy
  • SEO

Creative

  • Flowcharts and wireframes
  • UX - Experience design
  • UI - Interface design
  • Behavioral design

Engineering

  • Full-stack development
  • CMS integrations
  • Custom auction platform
  • Live bidding
  • Systems architecture
  • DevOps
  • Performance and security

Support

  • Training
  • Monitoring
  • Analytics and insights
  • Feature rollouts
  • Hosting

Prototyping

The Wanamaker's brand is modern and refined, so the website design needed to reflect the sophistication of the brand while increasing its credibility, since it was new to the market.

The type selection and color scheme were chosen to be readable and reflect the brand values that Wanamaker's carries. Mid-century prestige was the order of the day. Tan orange with light cream leather, contrasted with a dark classical navy.

The main catalogue page was designed with active filters, optional grid, list and map views, and was optimized for reader scannability. Horse buyers need to track open and close times as well as prices with ease.

The single horse listing page needed to quickly and easily show all the most important pieces of information a buyer might need, weighted by importance.

Type, sex, breed and heritage were primary, along with photos, videos, a mapped location, a clear description, pedigree information and any race history. Alongside these key pieces of information, real time bid information is displayed in a fixed panel to the right. By showing these side by side the buyer can easily make a value judgement on a bid.

For auction power users and consigners we designed a quick modal shortlist of all the horses a buyer is watching, along with the ability to bid inline, available on any page of the site.

Interface elements were designed to be breathable, spacious and communicative. This was to counter the common online auction experience of cramped outdated UI with a calm, modest interface.

Email notifications were a critical part of the user experience, and so the email templates were hand coded to match the Wanamakers brand and contain just the right information needed for buyers and sellers, without overloading them.

Implementation

Building an auction from scratch was no small thing. The project was a first in the US; an online auction for thoroughbred pedigree racehorses.

We developed a custom Laravel, Nuxt and Stripe platform for high-concurrency, low latency bidding, setting ourselves a performance benchmark for the system of 10,000 active bidders within 100ms of each other with no discernible lag. Websockets was a foundational technology in meeting this metric, with bids updating near instantaneously even at scale.

Highly complex bidding scenarios were modelled and tested for months to ensure the Wanamakers platform would be flawless, balanced and fair at all times.

Wanamakers by Magnet

The platform was built using websockets on Laravel with a Nuxt JS frontend with Tailwind CSS for the UI elements.

Tailwind
Tailwind
Vue
Vue
Laravel
Laravel
Apache
Apache
Websockets
Websockets
Stripe API
Stripe API

Outcome

The Wanamaker's website and bidding platform was built and launched in a six month production cycle, and is continuing to attract more customers every month. They had their first online auction in June 2020, where they successfully listed and sold prominent thoroughbred racing horses.

Wanamakers team

"Magnet is an exceptional partner and asset to my co-founder and I's business. Our business is dependent on the technology behind it and Magnet has been there from the start to ensure our website and the operations related to it are seamless and effective. The interest taken from Magnet and their constant collaboration has made an intimidating process feel easy. I would recommend Magnet to anyone and enjoy my continuing relationship with their team."

Jack Carlino, Wanamakers Jack Carlino, Wanamakers
Wanamakers team

"The team at Magnet is incredible! We found them online after inquiring into multiple web development agencies. I’m so glad we decided to go with them. They’re extremely professional and dedicated to their jobs. I would highly recommend them to anyone."

Liza Hendriks, Wanamakers Liza Hendriks, Wanamakers

Clients

We have had the privilege of working with large and small companies from around the world, spanning education, philanthropy, travel and tourism, retail, entertainment, professional services and the sciences.

McGraw Hill Education
McGraw Hill
Ford Asia
Ford
Ikea
Ikea
HGTV
HGTV
Gotham
Gotham
Expedia
Expedia
Cox
Cox
Explore
Explore
directv
Directv
Ebookers
Ebookers
AOL
AOL
nashville
Nashville Airport
Ovation
Ovation