8 minutes

First published: December 29, 2015

The Need

Mobile purchases can be painful and time-consuming for consumers, with as many as 10 or more steps involved to purchase one item. Frustration reigns on both sides of the transaction; for the consumers who end up abandoning the purchase process without ever completing a transaction, and for the merchants who end up with fewer sales.

The Solution

The aim of one start-up working with Softjourn, is to make the consumer mobile buying process as quick and as painless as possible, resulting in happy customers because they get what they want easily, and happy merchants who achieve lower abandonment rates.

This US start-up is focused on developing a platform which would eliminate unnecessary steps in the purchase process and let customers buy quickly and easily. One of the challenges was to tie in the payment process and the actual sale but at the same time not have the customer jump around to different pages. The solution was to develop a mobile browser app called LightningBuy that would kick-off with a pop-up box when a consumer clicks on an ad (on a news page or other content page) or rolls over marked-up text for a particular product for sale. All the consumer needs to do then is to fill out a few fields and click through a limited number of pop-ups to make their purchase.

The initial app is interfaced to both PayPal and Amazon payments; additionally, consumers can use a credit card to make their purchase. Challenges included integrating to the payment systems and limiting the movement away from the app to the payment systems and back. Due to security reasons payment systems make buyer complete transaction on their website, but that would totally change the initial goal of the application – to have a buyer stay on the same page where he initiated the purchase and make the purchase process as seamless as possible. 

One of the supported payment systems – PayPal, already had its own pop up for entering payment information developed, but since Amazon didn’t support this functionality, Softjourn developed an iFrame (Frames enable a browser window to be split in to segments) to create a seamless purchasing process.

After the buyer chooses their payment method (PayPal, Amazon Payments, credit card), JavaScript sends a request to the server to generate the payment system’s URL, which is displayed to the buyer as an iFrame. After he/she fills out all required fields, the data is sent to the server of the payment system, which either approves or declines the transaction. The Yes/No answer is sent back to the app server, which generates a new pop up telling the buyer whether his transaction was completed or not.

Merchants also have control over how they use the system as well. They can choose to generate their own JavaScript code for a particular product they wish to advertise.  The code can then be simply embedded into an advertisement, or a new page or another content page. There is also an admin section of the application which lets merchants easily manage their product lines, product attributes (size, colors, quantities, etc.) payment methods accepted, etc. 


  • Coding language: J2EE, JQuery
  • Database: MySQL
  • Framework: Spring, Hibernate, JUnit
  • API’s: Paypal, Amazon
  • Feature/bug tracking: Redmine

The Benefits

The developed app is a mobile browser-based e-commerce platform that enables consumers to purchase products in just a few clicks from a mobile device without registering or creating an account.

It was great to find someone to work with us as a collaborative partner. We have never done this before so sometimes we didn’t know what we were asking for and we were figuring things out as we went along. When you’re creating something totally new it is absolutely necessary to have a partner offer suggestions, be proactive, and think 3 steps ahead instead of merely executing what we said. I can’t thank you enough! -  CEO/Founder at LightningBuy

Softjourn gives the excellent cost-savings of off-shoring but with the discipline and accountability of a US-based business. They are very responsive and went above and beyond for the platform. - CEO/Founder at LightningBuy