Boatyard is a pioneering customer experience platform tailored for the marine industry. Established in 2014 and later acquired by MarineMax in March 2020, the platform has been recognized as the Top Product of 2022 by Boating Industry Magazine. Boatyard's primary mission is to give boaters more time to relish their boating experiences. By connecting boat owners with marine-industry service providers, such as mechanics and marinas, Boatyard simplifies the process of booking marina slips, scheduling fuel deliveries, requesting boat washes, and more.
Navigating the Chat System Conundrum: Boatyard's Pursuit of Seamless Integration
Boatyard's commitment to providing a seamless experience for its users led them to develop an in-house chat system. However, as the platform's user base expanded and the digital communication landscape evolved, the misconception that building a chat system in-house would be more cost-effective than investing in a ready-made solution soon became apparent.
Maintaining and updating the chat system to keep up with the latest features became a significant drain on resources. This diverted the attention of in-house developers from focusing on the platform's core functionalities.
Recognizing these challenges, Boatyard embarked on a journey to find a third-party chat solution that could seamlessly integrate with their platform, offering modern chat features while ensuring reliability and scalability.
“The longer you have your home-brewed chat the further behind you fall behind from the (expected) experience because you’re not doing this full time.”
Founder & CEO, Boatyard
CometChat's User Friendly UI Kit - A Developer's Dream
Message Exchanged Monthly
Average Time per Work Order Saved
In response to the challenges posed by their legacy chat system, Boatyard sought a comprehensive chat solution that would seamlessly integrate with their platform while offering modern chat features.
The companies they evaluated included PubNub, SendBird and Stream.
They went on to build a proof of concept with Stream, SendBird and CometChat. The engineers ruled out SendBird, because they lacked a UI Kit at the time. “Stream claims to have a UI Kit for React, but it wasn’t as good as yours,” Heber said, adding “CometChat’s UI Kit is a real differentiator…the devs loved CometChat more than the others.”
He was equally reassured by CometChat's robust documentation. “You can tell a lot about a company by how clean the documentation is,” he said. “If a non-technical founder can navigate and understand the documentation, we’re in good shape.”
After a meticulous evaluation, CometChat emerged as the ideal partner for Boatyard.
Modern chat capabilities
CometChat's suite of features, including real-time messaging, file sharing, and video calling, ensured a seamless communication experience for boat owners and service providers.
CometChat's user-friendly SDKs facilitated a smooth and rapid integration with Boatyard's platform, aligning perfectly with their existing UI.
Robust support & documentation
Boatyard was particularly impressed with CometChat's comprehensive documentation and responsive support, which played a pivotal role in their decision-making process.
The ease of use and comprehensive nature of CometChat's UI Kit received positive feedback from Boatyard's development team, further solidifying their choice.
Boatyard's choice to partner with CometChat was influenced by a combination of technical excellence and unparalleled support. Nathan Heber, Boatyard's founder & CEO, emphasized CometChat's commitment to ensuring smooth integration and post-deployment experience as a key differentiator.
“One of the main reasons why we chose CometChat is because chat is crucial to our platform, so it had to work well and fulfil the needs of the users. The support was instrumental in why we chose CometChat. ComeChat's fully-featured SDK, UI Kits, and robust documentation compared well with competitors. From the initial deployment to the release of our platform, we didn’t see that level of support with any other chat solution.”
Founder & CEO, Boatyard
Boatyard's Quantum Leap in User Engagement
The integration of CometChat into Boatyard's platform catalyzed a series of remarkable improvements, with tangible outcomes underscoring the success of this partnership:
Explosive user engagement: Post CometChat integration, Boatyard witnessed a staggering 152% increase in user engagement quarter over quarter. This surge indicated that users were not only spending more time on the platform but were also actively utilizing the chat functionalities to communicate.
Active communication: The platform became a bustling hub of conversations with up to 4.2k messages being exchanged monthly between buyers and sellers. This volume of communication underscores the platform's role as a vital bridge between boat owners and marine professionals.
Operational efficiency: One of the standout results was the time-saving experienced by sellers. With an average of 10 minutes saved per work order, this efficiency boost translated to significant time savings over multiple orders, allowing sellers to optimize their operations and serve more customers.
Nathan Heber, Boatyard's Founder & CEO, encapsulated the transformative impact of CometChat, stating, “CometChat has allowed us to scale quicker than ever — serving our mission of building connections between boaters and the marine industry. It lets us focus on innovating without the burden of building chat.”
In essence, CometChat didn't just enhance Boatyard's communication capabilities; it drove tangible growth, efficiency, and user engagement, solidifying Boatyard's position as a leading customer experience platform in the marine industry.