Finding the Right Partner
To build the platform, they reached out to several app developers around the world, including Net Solutions. Net Solutions stood out because of their extensive experience in mobile app development along with their work creating technology for the Food & Beverage industry.
They asked probing questions that showed they were interested in building a future-proof platform—one that could seamlessly handle upgrades and enhancements in the years to come. Blair and Lauren also needed a platform that could scale quickly, since they planned to launch in the booming metropolis of London.
Finally, Net Solutions was the only company that was transparent about the project timeline. While another company promised to deliver the entire project in three months, Net Solutions explained how, and why, only a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would be possible in that timeframe.
The founders decided to put their trust in Net Solutions, and they commissioned them to start work in an Agile engagement, beginning with an MVP.
Determining the Scope of the MVP
Net Solutions began by working with Lauren and Blair to build out the scope for their MVP. Working interactively, the Business Analyst team discussed:
- Pros and cons of different approaches
- Details of proposed features
- Business impacts
- Other design implications
In the end, they whittled the scope of the entire platform down to its essentials—an MVP that would enable them to introduce the product to the market, allowing them to gather feedback and work toward an even more powerful platform.
While Net Solutions finalized the scope, their UI team expanded on the wireframes to create a UI framework. They then implemented the UI framework across various screens, creating a consistent UI for the entire app, which had the following features.
Easy Customer Signup: The mobile-based app allowed customers to sign up using an email address or phone number.
Helpful Search Features: As a customer, users could either search for a specific dish or browse sellers near them. The app showed the closest vendors by default but allowed customers to expand their search radius to move beyond their neighborhood. The customer could also search for, and provide, a specific area for delivery. When they did so, the app showed the closest sellers to that geographic point.
When there were many sellers within a specified area, the app grouped them together so the customer could see a list of all the vendors and scroll through them. Of course, the customer could find specific sellers by name as well, regardless of distance.
Seller Profiles: When searching for a dish, the customer could tap on the seller’s name to view a complete profile. The seller profile provided key details, including their location, the dishes they offered, different delivery methods, etc.
Customization Options: Based on the seller’s preferences, the user could custom-order specific items. They could also place a single order with multiple delivery options.
Delivery Designed for Small Businesses: Since most small shop owners do not have dedicated delivery fleets, Scoff integrated a delivery service called Shutl into the platform. When the seller received an order, they could use the app to specify a pick-up time for each order.
Payment Integration: When customers placed an order, the platform used Stripe to handle payment processing and send electronic receipts in real-time, holding commissions and Shutl fees if applicable.
This saved the seller from having to chase the platform for payments or trying to remember when or how much to pay the platform. It was transparent and consistent, and sellers loved it.
Customizing Hours: Unlike big chains, small shops sometimes vary their hours. To accommodate this need, Net Solutions made it easy for shops to change their listed hours of operation whenever they saw fit.