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Using React Native to Build Two Native Apps & Increase Paid B2B Subscriptions for Itemize

Case Study
  • Software & Hi-Tech
  • Business Information Services

Offering an engaging, intuitive mobile experience to customers can have a serious impact on a brand’s bottom line, especially when mobile application sales are an important source of revenue for a business. For Itemize, whose groundbreaking application captures and categorizes ‘Receipt Data in the Snap of a Photo,’ the challenge was not only improving its iOS offering, but also developing a native Android application for the very first time.

Itemize sought to transform its existing web-based Android and native iOS applications with quick time-to-market on a start-up budget. Itemize and EPAM agreed to use React Native as a solution to develop both applications with a shared codebase, and the result has been over 2,500 new customers on Android alone since launching in the fall of 2017.

Key Challenges

At the outset of the project in early 2017, Itemize was struggling with a hybrid application solution implemented by a former vendor, which included a web-based Android application that was not optimized for mobile and an iOS application that, while serviceable, had considerable design flaws and bugs. Itemize partnered with EPAM to solve the following challenges:

  • Offer a better, bug-free customer experience through its mobile applications
  • Fix existing iOS bugs and develop an Android app from scratch
  • Reduce the forward-looking maintenance costs of maintaining two mobile apps and a web app

EPAM suggested the React Native framework as a cross-platform development solution to save time and budget on the project. Seeing the potential and power of developing two different native applications – one Android, one iOS – with a shared codebase, Itemize agreed to move forward.

Solution Highlights

The EPAM and Itemize teams utilized an iterative approach and collaborated to pin down UX requirements for new features and rebuild existing functionality for the reimagined apps:

  • Ingestion of image files through a camera
  • Use of Itemize API to access the machine learning core engine to read images and return structured data in 15 seconds
  • Receipt storage and presentation screen
  • Receipt detail and photo editing
  • Expense categorization, coding and tagging
  • Mileage management and reporting
  • E-mail oAuth Integration
  • Major accounting software integration
  • User settings management
  • User requests and chat support
  • Facebook and Google single sign-on authorization
  • Venmo integration to enable Pay-Me-Back feature

The results

In the first quarter since launching the transformed applications, Itemize increased its overall brand recognition, sales and revenue in the following ways:

  • Gained over 2,500 new customers on the Android platform alone, which is expected to result in more than 250 paying subscribers
  • Earned a two-star increase – now 3.9 stars – on the Itemize Google Play app listing
  • Received a top-10 ranking from Gartner on its list of Expense Management solutions

Itemize can now easily maintain its mobile and web apps in-house with a single developer while continuing to develop new features. Now, the Itemize Expense Management app is the basis for white label banking and payments applications, tailored to institutional needs.

Technologies used

  • JavaScript, ES-6, JSX, React Native, React Native router flux, React Native camera, Star Micronics SDK, WebStorm
  • Swift 2.3, Xcode 8.2.1, CoreData (to support legacy code)
  • Objective-C, Xcode 8.3, iOS Simulator, TestFlight, AppsFlyer Analytics

Hear from the Customer

“Working with EPAM made this project possible. EPAM reached into their very talented pool of developers, testers, managers and UX experts to staff our project as needed and to fit our budget. What was helpful to me, was their ability to augment our strong technical team with resources that we could not find on our own. I also feel like working with EPAM enabled us to fly the plane and fix the engine at the same time – a difficult feat!”

Jessica Haller

Chief Strategy Officer and Project Sponsor, Itemize

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