A Closer Look: Jimmy Jazz’s Raffle App

  • Technology
  • December 20, 2021
  • by Julia Friesen & Freyja Wedderkop

Jimmy Jazz is a US-based footwear brand known for its limited edition ‘sneaker drops’. With re-sellers often buying up all the stock and selling at a markup, Jimmy Jazz wanted a fair way of making the sneaker releases accessible to all. Read on to discover how we created the Jimmy Jazz Raffle App.

As one of our long-term clients, we’re no stranger to Jimmy Jazz and their highly anticipated sneaker drops. Selling brands like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, New Balance and Puma, to name a few, Jimmy Jazz prides itself on being the premier destination for all the biggest sneaker releases.

With the sneaker-culture phenomenon continuing to grow, so did customers’ anticipation of getting their hands on limited releases, with people queuing outside Jimmy Jazz stores for up to two days to get their hands on their dream sneakers. The sneaker drops needed a digital glow up to allow them to reach more customers, improve the drop process and keep up with the e-commerce movement.

What’s more, re-sellers would often buy all the stock up and sell them on for a high markup, making the shoes less accessible to sneaker-seekers everywhere. Jimmy Jazz wanted to minimize the possibility of this to make it fair to their customers and to allow them to get the sneakers at the retail price. 

The Jimmy Jazz raffle app

The solution? A digital raffle, where customers could enter their names via a form powered by a custom app on the Jimmy Jazz website to be in with a chance of winning their dream sneakers. We partnered up with Pixelcabin, who did the back-end creation, while we worked on the front-end features.

The front-end features

When designing the app with us, Jimmy Jazz kept the customer experience at the forefront of their decision-making to ensure it’s a positive one throughout. So, let's get into some of the features we implemented to make their vision a reality.

The app’s ‘notify me’ feature displays a countdown on the product pages to when the raffle opens, giving shoppers plenty of notice so they can ensure they’re ready to enter when the time comes. When the raffle goes live, this interface switches to ‘Enter raffle’ with a countdown until the raffle is drawn. Each of these countdowns helps to boost shoppers’ anticipation, creating an exciting and memorable shopping experience.

When the time comes to enter the raffle, we’ve made sure that just one entry is saved per account to avoid multiple entries per customer. This helps to make the raffle fair and prevents the app from using extra computing power.

Another nice touch to the shopper experience and slick piece of integration is a Google map integration and store list feature which shows customers the stores closest to them, based on their zip code. Customers can then select 3 stores where they can pick up the shoes if they win, making it convenient for them.

In addition to the google integration with the raffle app, we included a feature that allowed the app to talk directly with Jimmy Jazz’s inventory. When entering, raffle entrants provide their shoe size. The raffle is then drawn by selecting entrants' credentials (shoe size and preferred stores) that match the available inventory, to ensure that the winner will buy the pair set aside for them as opposed to getting a size that won't fit. 

Finally, we had to consider the UX/UI of the app not only on the site but optimizing it for mobile. We made sure all of the information for the raffle could fit onto a phone screen and still look great, as we know that Jimmy Jazz shoppers are mobile-first.

Currently, we’re increasing the amount of customer information (e.g. birth date) required to enter the raffle. This is so that store workers can check against customer ID to minimize the impact of bulk buyers and resellers

Buy vs Build

When looking at integrating a bought app or a custom-built to your store, there are a number of things to consider: 

  • Monthly vs upfront build costs

  • What are the needs for a customized UI

  • Accessibility (not all apps are made accessible)

  • Site speed impact (apps can inject a lot of code that isn’t necessarily optimized to work with your other features)

  • Need to integrate features with other apps (does the out-of-the-box option talk to other apps as needed?)

When it came to Jimmy Jazz, a custom-built app was the only option. 

Don Cooper, one of our developers who worked on the Jimmy Jazz raffle app, shares some insight into how it works with Shopify: 

“Before working with us, Jimmy Jazz only offered their raffle on their native mobile app, so we brought it to Shopify. Whilst installing third-party apps from the Shopify App Store allows store owners to incorporate new features and enhance the customer experiences, there are limitations. For example, they can be expensive, slow your site speed and generally cause a lot of unknowns. 

That’s why we built the new raffle into their existing Shopify theme, which also meant that we had full control over visual customization.”

The outcomes

The Jimmy Jazz raffle app has been a resounding success, with 40,000 people entering the first draw for just 40 pairs of shoes. The countdown feature means shoppers are given plenty of notice to enter and also helps to amp up the hype surrounding the draws. Of course, the fact that Jimmy Jazz are known for their sneaker drops (which bring in a huge proportion of their customer base) probably helps too!

Despite the huge engagement levels, the app’s functionality meant that every entrant had just one entry each, and their credentials were matched against available stock in their preferred stores for a simplified, seamless and fair draw, just like Jimmy Jazz envisioned. 

By implementing this bespoke functionality, we’ve helped uplift the Jimmy Jazz sneaker drops in the ever-evolving digital age. This has allowed them to reach a greater proportion of their target audience and given each of their valued customers a fair shot at fulfilling their sneaker dreams at the retail price.

Whatever your industry or company, a raffle-style functionality will build excitement and engagement amongst your customer base. Maybe your brand produces limited runs of certain products, such as original artworks or luxury fashion pieces, and you’d like to give each of your customers a fair shot at getting their hands on one. Perhaps you could take a more ‘common’ product and raffle off special editions, such as books signed by the author, or even hold meet-and-greets with noteworthy people.

Whether you want to create a more seamless brand experience between your brick-and-mortar and online stores, are looking to increase engagement and anticipation amongst your target audience, or make your products more accessible, bespoke functionality can tackle it all. Why not talk it through with one of our Shopify experts?


Julia Friesen

Julia joined We Make Websites at the end of 2020. She has a BBA and is a certified Scrum Product Owner. She has worked in E-comm for 4 years, helping young Shopify Stores improve their dev work flow, app purchasing and customer UX.

Freyja Wedderkop

Freyja joined We Make Websites in 2021 and brought over two years of B2B marketing experience with her. She has an MSc in Marketing and specializes in digital marketing, social media and content marketing. She also has a passion for design, events and, outside of marketing, loves cooking up a storm.

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