Please tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get into coding?
I’m Jankin Wang and I like shopping, bodybuilding, and movies. The Internet has entitled us an infinite space to communicate, study, and entertain. I’m an Internet addict. I benefit from the all-sided convenience it offers. However, the highly efficient interconnection is always somehow blocked by outdated technology and product in many ways. I, therefore, try to realize my thoughts by computers and share my ideas with more netizens like me. The computer has changed the world while engineers are those who dominate computers. For me, coding is a kind of art and I’m making artworks every day.
What is the Technology Stack behind CouponBirds.com like? Please feel free to be as elaborate as possible.
We constantly keep following and learning the cutting-edge technology and apply new technologies to the optimization and iteration of our project. The whole CouponBirds project is based on two technology stacks: Algorithm and Software Engineering. Several points are worth a mention here.
First, we applied a powerful text search technology to optimize on-site search function. Just input the brand name and users can be taken to the corresponding page instantly. Secondly, we adopt an algorithm which can recommend highly related coupons to users based on their previous browsing history. Therefore, we encourage people to log in so we can provide better and more accurate coupon service with the help of algorithms.
When visitors vote on the brand pages, CouponBirds System will record the results and automatically send them to Coupon Specialist work lists, then Coupon Specialist Team will check and adjust the currently presented coupons based on the given score without delay. In addition, we also resort to listing the order of coupons according to the user’s click-through rates so that the users can find workable coupons more easily.
In conclusion, we have a real-time impeccable monitoring system, overseeing each and every aspect of our project. With this mechanism, bugs can be fixed in time and matters can be solved promptly.
Considering your core product is providing coupons, do you have a process of automating the Coupons’ validity check and hunting new coupons? If yes, please share a bit on how it works?
Sure, we are always devoted to providing a great number of fresh and verified coupons. The validity check is operated with both machine and manual work.
We do our best to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the program assisting with human work. Code verification depends upon coupon specialists in CouponBirds. Those young and talented coupon specialists are responsible for manual verification of displayed codes.
In the meantime, user voting scores and feedback messages are also one of our important action benchmarks.
As for new coupons, plenty of those are offered by our superior partner merchants. These coupons go through data processing and synchronization, then get online for display. Next, we are honoured to have a bunch of faithful users who submit coupons every day. Submitted coupons show on CouponBirds after the verification process. The whole process is supported by automatic programs created by us. The program monitors the traffic, assigns the work and checks the results step by step, which saves a lot of human work and time.
What are some challenges that you faced while building the product?
We keep making great efforts to provide massive verified coupons to our visitors. However, sometimes CouponBirds does not get ranking positions on search engine result pages in comparison with the best coupon quality we are offering. Hence, visitors can hardly be led to corresponding pages at CouponBirds, where they could find the coupons they need. Obtaining equal recognition from the search engine and from users is our current challenge.
We did a lot of work in optimizing coupon data quality and improving user retention. And we hope those who have found coupons on CouponBirds are willing to share the platform with friends and family, so more people could get chances to save. Their feedback and approbation are our impetus to higher achievements.
What do you think is the next big challenge for Coupon websites like yours? How do you plan to overcome them?
I think the greatest challenge for us and for all coupon sites is user engagement and retention. We are currently trying to connect better with users by all means. Over 5,000 visitors have created their accounts at CouponBirds after login function was launched. They can be notified when new functions, campaigns and holiday promotions go online. CouponBirds team also held a Giveaway campaign which allows visitors to win $500-worth Amazon e-gift cards. We sincerely appreciate those who trust and use CouponBirds. These new functions and campaigns result in an obvious increase in returning visits.
Tell us a bit about your company’s work culture. How many people run the show, where do you operate from, and a bit about your user demographics?
I have to say that it is the best place I can ever imagine working. We are a team with around 100 people, and each one of us is talented and hard-working. The achievement-oriented atmosphere makes me feel excited when we are working towards a great common goal.
My team is based in Beijing with branch offices in Hong Kong and other cities. Working at different locations helps us think from a global view and also allows us to come up with even better solutions to serve local and global users.
Over 60% of CouponBirds users are from the United States and about 15% are British shoppers. In recent days, we also see a quick increase in the number of Asian and Australian users.
What is the best part of working with CouponBirds team?
For me, the best part is that our team has very strong cohesion. We are united to overcome every difficulty that we meet. Second, all the team members are kind and easygoing, and we like sharing new knowledge with each other. Last but not least, people here have a strong sense of responsibility. Everyone is committed to the best results. When things go wrong, people here won’t pass the buck. Instead, we figure out solutions with might and main. I remember last New Year’s Day when a bug was found on CouponBirds homepage, engineers at my team all came to work from holidays. We looked into it and fixed then in several hours. It was an unforgettable experience for me, and it strengthened the unity within the team.
What is the top 3 advice you would have for an Engineering team of a Technology startup?
First of all, one should have a good programming habit. Be responsible for each line of your own code and for overall engineering logic. Second, one should lend the greatest importance to users’ needs instead of only coding for product requirements. Third, learn from successful products. Their experience is valuable for us to make up for any deficiencies and shortcomings. A startup engineering team should also try to achieve technological innovation to obtain its own edge in the industry.