How We Boosted Delivery Business with Logistics App
November 01, 2019
Rapid expansion of mobile market and its integration with predominantly off-line spheres of human life resulted in a relatively recent phenomenon—on-demand application. Peculiarities, typology, key-features of this prominent quickly developing branch has already been covered in one of our previous posts.
In this post, openGeeksLab is going to make emphasis on online delivery marketplace and tell you about on-demand logistics app development illustrated with our own example.
Points of Interest Regarding Logistics App Development
- Problems Retailers Face
Many startups or small companies often meet problems concerning inhouse delivery. Still, if your budget doesn’t allow delivering goods by your own, there is a number of vicarious options. Possible solutions include making logistics app with, e.g., Fedex API, Google API, payment gateway integration, which helps in building optimal routes and logistics. Besides, automating sequence of loading boxes, optimizing their size contribute to overall reduction of delivery prices, which is always a benefit while attracting more clients.
- What Characterizes On-Demand Marketplaces?
Delivery logistics app market is aimed at fast and cheap service supply to compete with traditional providers. This goal determines priority of mobile user experience over other variants because logistics mobile app allows customers to get everything at one, including in-built payments and developed feedback systems (ratings, commentaries, complaints). Moreover, such cooperation attracts independent contractors, who can adjust working hours up to their liking.
- Market Analysis
Market analysis is a must before logistics application production. Profound field research help in designing productive development line. Besides, it is a nice way to acquire vicarious knowledge of the sphere (typology, key features, demand issues), understand its pitfalls to avoid. Thus, another important constituent while business planning is SWOT analysis. Dealing with logistics apps for Android or iOS retailers should consider both benefits (competitive advantages comparing to traditional variants, customer loyalty, mutual profits) and drawbacks (substantial transportation expenses, time to acquire clientele database, demand/supply balance maintenance). Opportunities and threats research also contribute to project’s successful future.
- Top KPIs
To make your logistics delivery app successful KPIs identification and tracking is almost vital. Despite the segment of market you aim at (transport logistics app, shipping app or courier app), there are three basic circumstances to consider: transportation expenses, ways of their reduction, buyers attraction and retaining. Having these three issues in balance you may count on fast productive growth of initial startup idea.
- Retaining Customers/Contractors
The best way to retain your clients is good motivation, though it is different for customers and contractors. Buyers prefer stable qualified companies that will satisfy their needs in a short period of time. Thus, to retain customers it is important to support them, to offer as specified products as possible. Besides, level of credibility increases when users directly interact with suppliers, give their feedback, etc. Loyalty programs, sales, special offers are also welcomed. Contractors also like feedback and interaction options, though they are of minor importance. Flexible schedule and expense coverage play the leading part. Many providers are concerned about rates, especially while working with startups, and transportation costs which constitute an essential part of a budget, so proper financial support makes them loyal.
World-known representatives are Cargomatic, Catalant, UberDELIVER, etc. A huge segment of market is also represented by Amazon delivery apps in their various manifestations, e.g. Amazon flex delivery app, Amazon grocery app, Amazon logistics app, etc.
Must-Have Logistics Delivery App Features
- Real-Time Analytics
Relevant information is very important to be aware of functions available and their efficiency.
A core function while dealing with logistics as far as you always stay in picture about your product’s location, track whether it follows a prescribed route or there are some troubles on the way. Both checkpoint system and GPS are handy in tracking.
- Payment Gateway
Instant mobile payment is important while ordering services not to delay operation. Here in-built card payment can be accompanied by third-party payment APIs.
Technical support or simply a communication channel through which customers get necessary information or assistant consultation online. Chat is necessary while making inquiries about order status, etc.
- Push Notifications
Push notifications help to inform buyers about their orders, current events or even new services and sales available at the moment.
- Ratings & Reviews
Ability to rate both suppliers and buyers plays a leading part in on-demand delivery services, because customers, as well as contractors, can judge upon other people’s ratings or commentaries. Moreover, feedback is a strong tool while service improvement.
- Activity List
List of orders together with wish-list are significant while budget planning or finance control. Regarding their previous actions, buyers often decide onto repeating them or contact the same company for further cooperation. Besides, if calendar view implemented, clients observe activities diachronically and make daily lists inside the program itself.
- Profound Search System
Convenient categorization and advanced filter introduction affect productivity of the program as well, as far as they take into account even minor client’s preferences contributing to their loyalty.
Personal data insertion and profile settings allow users also adjust application up to their liking, e.g. manage preferences, add delivery addresses, leave specified notes etc. Modern outlook designed according to UI/UX standards and custom solutions contribute to intuitive ordering way.
How We Developed Logistics Delivery App for the UK Marketplace
The Story Behind
A client came to us with the idea of Shift, an on-demand truck logistics app for private offers in the UK. We had to design a user-friendly platform where a client could simply insert departure place, place of arrival, select type of load, pay a fixed fare for mileage and, voila, get his load delivered.
Development Process & Software Solutions
We did not join at the very start of idea implementation, as far as project was ready to some extent.
Our tasks included:
- Web application development.
- Design update.
- Functionality extension.
Development process took four months and comprised several stages demanding from two to five programmers to be involved.
Final product consisted of:
- Admin panel (used by our client/his team to manage the process).
- Web application (used by end users) that we made mobile responsive to make it convenient during making orders from smartphones in a split second.
- Mobile application (used by drivers providing transportation services)
We conducted weekly stand ups to make sure everyone was on track with current workloads and planned our weekly springs at the end of the current sprint.
Web Application Functionality (Used by Customers)
- Two-Factor Authorization
Regular registration and login are accompanied by phone number authorization to achieve higher security level.
- User’s Profile
Customers can edit personal information (e.g. e-mail, name, etc.) and preserve important data about orders.
- Select Departure/Destination Point
Clients should insert the starting point and the destination for program to build the optimal route.
- Personal/Commercial Transportation
Convenience is guaranteed by both private and commercial logistics options available.
- Lists & Filters
A list of things to be transported comprises various category filers and sizes of goods. Besides, we added custom solutions, so users can add things not mentioned in the list, specify box size, choose suitable vehicle, etc. If customer chooses already existing item, corresponding fields of box size, volume, weight, vehicle type are filled automatically.
A fixed fare per 1 km determines time and conditions of transportation process.
- Transport Type
Users can pick up suitable transport type regarding the number of boxes to deliver.
- Delivery Time
Users can set desired time by themselves.
- Payment Gateway
Ability to perform in-built payment operating card, through third-party payment API integration.
Tracking feature is of key importance while using trucking services to know where load is and stay in picture in case of troubles.
- Notes for Drivers
Not all addresses are supported. Besides here additional information about house, floor, flat etc. is placed.
Initially, users could choose things for transportation only in the first step. We added ability to edit the list in check-out, before the payment itself, so user can change/add/delete items or even cancel action.
- In-Built Messaging
Provides chat with technical support assistant, which is useful in emergency or while getting additional information.
- Rating System
Users leave their feedback by rating drivers or commenting upon services provided.
In addition, we have developed new design according to modern UI/UX requirements. It is interactive, i.e., has graphical visualization on the site itself. Users see a nice movable picture while forming their orders.
Mobile Application Functionality (Used by Drivers)
- Two-Factor Authorization
Users should pass both traditional registration procedure and authorization by phone number to get access to account.
- Orders Search
Driver can choose among existing variants suitable options for themselves.
- Received Orders
List of accept tasks includes not only current events but works like in-built calendar, scheduling future orders for a specific period of time.
- Activity Record
Represents a list of completed tasks, arranged by different criteria (time, day, week etc.)
In case of problems, drivers can communicate with support assistant via telephone or chat.
- Availability Indication
Contractors set their working hours to guide customers while ordering.
Driver’s location is transmitted to server and is observed through admin panel.
Contractors should change the status while delivering loads, e.g. ‘received the load’, ‘on the way’, ‘delivered’, ‘unloading’, ‘order completed’ etc. Besides, driver’s status is updated automatically after a certain period of time.
- Logistics Functionality
Includes combined trips and route optimization to minimize expenses.
Initially, all logic was written in jQuery, but as far as we added new components and pages, we used React.js. Still legacy code was preserved.
We aimed at making maximum profit for our client. Thus, we implemented a fixed fare per 1 km of rout, and inserted driver’s payment calculated out of a whole price percentage. Such solution guaranteed transparency of process and allowed both parties being satisfied with their profit.
Create Your Own Delivery Marketplace
Modern mobile market is wide-open to prominent on-demand delivery solutions, so consider the key factors and examples given above, or contact us for further cooperation to find a variant suitable for your business case.
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