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    magento-hyperlocal-marketplace-guide

    How to Create On-Demand Hyperlocal Delivery App?

    On-Demand app or hyperlocal delivery app has become very popular in recent years. With the high degree of smartphone adoption, GPS-location data, and wireless internet availability, people can now connect with local businesses more quickly.

    There are many successful startups who have created a new industry of hyperlocal market, where consumers can get products or services as quickly as possible when requested.

    COVID-19 Impact on Grocery Shopping

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in the online deliveries of groceries and other essential items. Instead of visiting local shops & supermarkets and touching the items, people are now ordering online.

    Image Source – Pexels

    Nearly 80% of U.S. consumers shopped online for groceries since the COVID-19 outbreak, Read News Report. It is also reported that the supermarket industry will be changed forever as more shoppers will be pushed online.

    People who have never ordered groceries online are now using grocery apps. Further, new product/service categories and industries will also come along in the hyperlocal apps. Read CNN Report.

    Convenience to Customers

    If I’m hungry I can now quickly find nearby restaurants in DoorDash or GrubHub who can deliver hot-food at my address. Or I can order groceries from Instacart or Peapod and get it with the express delivery service, so I can cook the meal myself.

    Or maybe I want to go to a restaurant, so now I can get a ride from Uber or Lyft. Using my phone’s GPS, I can find rides anywhere to go. Or use Google Maps to view public transport directions.

    Image Source – App Store

    Now, what if I want to improve my diet plan and ask for a preventive health consultation. I can use Doctor On Demand, to do virtual visits and talk face-to-face from the app. And later buy vitamins and supplements from PillPack, an online pharmacy acquired by Amazon.

    With the growth of apps, our smartphone has become more versatile than ever before. We can now literally do 100’s of things with it.

    Especially the native apps take full advantage of the device’s capability as they directly interact with the operating system to deliver the best performance.

    Backend Order Management System

    In order to build a hyperlocal delivery app, the first thing is you need to set up an order management system to handle incoming orders, manage fulfillment, and track sales. Basically, you need a web-based backend system to manage the mobile app sales channel.

    If you don’t have any order management system (OMS) within your business or starting from scratch, there are many options to choose from. You can either build a custom OMS software for your business and integrate with the mobile app or work with e-commerce platforms.

    Open Source E-commerce Frameworks

    You can select any popular open source e-commerce shopping cart platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, PrestaShop, CS-Cart, which allows you to build a custom online storefront.

    Plus they offer a feature-rich content management system (CMS), omnichannel integrations, and various tools to manage orders, customers, payments, shipments, inventory, and much more.

    But please note, you need to have a certain additional set of features in the hyperlocal order management system:

    • Detecting a customer’s location via. GPS.
    • Showing nearby businesses, establishments, and stores.
    • Displaying products and services that are available at a specific geographic radius.
    • Fast delivery option at checkout.
    • Choosing a preferred delivery time slot option.
    • Tracking delivery boy’s real-time location.

    Since these above-mentioned features are not available in the standard e-commerce platform, you need to customize or install Hyperlocal Marketplace Extension. You can learn more about creating a hyperlocal marketplace.

    Mobile App Development – Tech Stack

    Once your backend order management is functional, you can start the mobile app development process. Using APIs, you can interact, authorize, and synchronize data between your web server and mobile app in real-time.

    The first step of the mobile app development process is to decide what type of app you need for your target audience (native app, web app, or hybrid app). As today there many different brands/models of smartphones with various configurations, specifications, and screen sizes.

    So while selecting the mobile app development framework and platform, you must consider the features, performance, user experience, and development skills needed.

    Native App Development

    The native apps are mobile applications that are specifically made for the intended mobile operating system. Such as an iOS app will only run and work on iOS running iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. Whereas, an Android app will only work on Android running devices and smartphones.

    Native apps are considered to be the best app development technique. Since they offer the best performance, features, user experience to consumers.

    These apps are directly integrated with the mobile OS and take leverage from the device’s hardware – cameras, GPS-location, compass, microphone, Bluetooth, wifi, sound, notification, GPU, AI chip, NFC, and other sensors.

    Mobile App OS & Frameworks

    Developing a native app takes individual development time and resources. Many different tools, frameworks, and programming languages are needed depending on the platforms. For each Mobile OS, distinct frameworks are used to make apps for:

    Image Source – Apple Developer
    • Android phones and tablets
    • iOS devices – iPhones, iPads
    • Windows Mobile
    • Blackberry
    • Palm
    • Tizen
    • Amazon Fire OS
    • Nokia Symbian

    For the iOS apps, developers use Apple’s official software Xcode, an integrated development environment (IDE) with Swift or Objective-C language. For Android apps, Google’s IDE – Android Studio tool is used by developers with Kotlin or Java language.

    Cross-Platform Frameworks

    Besides, the official tools and SDK (software development kit) – Xcode and Android Studio, there are other open-source frameworks available that allow mobile developers to build Android, iOS, Windows, macOS apps using a single framework. Such as:

    Building native apps using cross-platform frameworks saves time and cost as a single code is written and used by both the platforms – Android and iOS. You can learn more about Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development.

    PWA (Progressive Web Apps)

    PWA are web applications that run on web browsers. These apps are light, takes less storage, and require less development time and cost. The end-users don’t require installing or update PWA apps from Google Play or App Store, they can be added to the home screen from the web page URL easily.

    • PWAs are built on common web technologies – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
    • Support many devices and hardware.
    • It feels and works similar to native apps
    • It offers some of the features like push notification, offline cache, and limited hardware access.

    PWAs are very useful for low-end or mid-tier smartphones or where there is poor internet connectivity. Since its app size is also less, it takes less storage space in the user’s device. You can learn more about PWA.

    Hyperlocal Delivery App – Core Features

    Since you now have some basic concepts about mobile app development. Let’s discuss some of the core features that should be there in an on-demand hyperlocal delivery app.

    GPS-Location (Geolocation)

    This is one of the main features of hyperlocal delivery or on-demand apps. With Google Maps API integration, your app should connect customers with nearby service providers.

    Serviceable Area – Here, based on the customer’s GPS location, the products and services should be made visible in the app. So, customers can quickly receive products and services without waiting too much.

    Detect Customer’s Location – Once the customer login to the app, the first step is to detect its current location and customize the results based on the entered address.

    Store/Service Provider/Seller Selection

    Just like any online marketplace, multiple parties, or service providers will be available to a customer. So in the app, the customers should select the store or seller first and view the products/services offered specifically.

    If a customer is from ‘Location A’, then he should only see those sellers or service providers or local stores that are near to the ‘Location A’ region only. This will save time and costs for both customers and businesses.

    Location-Based Catalog Filtering

    While browsing the products and services in the mobile app, every customer should see only those items that available around their precise GPS location. This is important because it will allow the service providers and businesses to reach out to nearby customers much faster and save time.

    Serve Local Community – While running a hyperlocal business model, we should only think about serving the local community in the neighborhood. It is a system made for customers to quickly obtain goods and services within the proximity of home, office, or some other user’s specific location.

    GPS-Based Products/Services – If a customer orders a product or service and waits for several days or a week, it is not a hyperlocal business model, it is e-commerce. Therefore, the products and services shown should automatically update based on the customer’s GPS location and provide localized offerings.

    Fast Shipping Method

    On-demand or hyperlocal delivery app, both have a concept of quick and fast delivery. In this, customers don’t wait for the product or services, they are required immediately or as soon as possible.

    While shopping for clothes, electronics, and other merchandise items, customers generally wait for the shipment to be delivered. It may take days or weeks, as products are may be shipped from the warehouse located in another region/district. Further, the delivery process may use multiple modes of transportation/logistics.

    Same Day Delivery – You can provide multiple fast shipping options with the date and time selection, or even add a surcharge for a faster shipping option such as – Same Day Delivery, One Day Delivery, Next Day Delivery.

    Delivery Slot Time Selection

    But, in the on-demand and hyperlocal delivery app, the customers should have an option to choose the Fast Delivery shipping method with delivery slot option. So that customers can pick the right time to collect the ordered items.

    You should have multiple slots with one or two hours gaps between them. So, the delivery guy also gets enough time to process and fulfill the orders at the promised time.

    Multiple Payment Methods

    In online shopping apps, a smooth and secure payment gateway is essential such as Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, Mangopay. You should have all the popular payment options that are specific to the country and customer’s preferences.

    Accept Cards/Wallets – Your mobile app should accept multiple credit/debit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Maestro. Support payments via. net banking across banks. Payments via. third-party digital wallets like Apple Pay, Paytm, Google Pay, Alipay, etc.

    Offline Payment Methods like – cash or card on delivery, pay later option, can also be included. The main objective here to simplify the customer’s payment process with less waiting time and more convenience.

    In-App SDK or Web View – There are two ways the developers integrate an online payment gateway into the mobile app.

    In the first method, the developers receive a Mobile SDK from the payment company. Here, the payment processes within the mobile app UI. There is no redirection to another website or webpage. It is fast and more convenient for customers and developers.

    In the second method, the developers use web view integration, in which the customers will see the payment gateway web page in the mobile app via, browser. The Web View UI is similar to the desktop browsing experience. You can learn more about the Mobile Payment in-App SDK vs. Web View.

    Mobile Wallet Cash

    Besides having third-party wallet account integrations, your app should have your own wallet system. In this, the customers can load the funds as Wallet Cash and use it later to place orders.

    Store Credit Points – Moreover, service providers or sellers can offer it as a Store Credit Points system, where customers can get a refund or any other amount in the form of wallet cash or store credit points.

    Faster Checkout – Choosing Wallet Cash as the payment method also allows the customers to place orders much faster. As there is no need to enter the card details and wait for the payment gateway authorization or further processes or redirects.

    Delivery Guy Tip

    Many on-demand hyperlocal apps have a tipping option. Where customers can give some percent of the order amount to the deliverer. Giving a tip depends on country to country, but it is a norm in the United States and Canada.

    You can either provide some options such as 10% or 20% of the order amount. Or have the option to enter a custom tip amount with minimum and maximum value specified.

    Tips are not mandatory, but it is encouraged to help the delivery guys or service personnel whenever customers are happy with their services.

    Seller Dashboard Panel

    The service providers and sellers should also be able to use the mobile app for performing tasks and managing their business activities.

    New Seller Onboarding – From the app, the new sellers should be able to register themselves and create a seller account to start offering products and services to customers.

    Product Management – Within the mobile app, the sellers should be able to add new products/services, upload pictures, edit a product description, or make quick changes.

    View Orders – From the app, the sellers should have the feature to view complete order information and manage it. Assign the delivery agent to fulfill the order and deliver it to the customer.

    Sales Dashboard Analytics – Sellers can view the latest orders, total revenues – daily weekly, monthly, yearly, and payouts in a more organized way via. graphs and charts.

    Customer Chat Support

    Within the mobile app, the customers and the service provides should have the functionality to quickly communicate with each other.

    Live Chat System – Instead of using another channel like email, call, ticket system, the customer live chat communication system should be integrated into the same on-demand hyperlocal shopping app.

    This improves the customer shopping experience further during issue resolution and problems.

    Push Notifications & SMS

    Implementing push notifications and SMS services are important to send information about the latest offers, grab customer’s attention, or inform them about the latest updates.

    Push notifications can also help the customers to inform them about any updates related to their order. Such as – whether the order is accepted, dispatched, ready to pickup, etc.

    Run in Background – The main advantage of push notification is that, even if the customer is not browsing the mobile app, notifications can still be received in the background and viewed by the customers from the lock screen or notifications centre.

    No Internet – SMS gateway should also be integrated into the hyperlocal system for updating the customers about any important information such as – order payments, refunds, or offers. An advantage of SMS is that, to receive a message, the customers don’t need to stay connected with the internet.

    Order History, Transactions, Refunds

    In the mobile app, both the customers and service providers should be able to view previous orders. See complete transaction details related to orders.

    So that customers and service providers can view ordered items list, payment method, seller/store name, shipping details, delivery slot, order date & time, address, etc.

    Report Order Issue – It should also allow customers to initiate a refund request within the app. Report an issue related to order – amount deduction, pending cashback, incorrect items delivered, price issue, etc.

    Offers & Promotion Section

    Besides showing products/services in the app, the customers should also see the latest offers and discounts available. Multiple banners or a separate section should be visible in the mobile app, where customers can shop for products at discounted prices.

    Show Coupons List – Further, during the checkout process, there should be an option the apply the coupon codes or view vouchers related to bank or card offers. Show coupons list mentioning min. order value and other conditions.

    Order Tracking via. Maps Location

    From the app, the customers should see real-time information and GPS location about the delivery guy. Push notification alerts can be sent when the delivery guy arrives at the restaurant, or picks up the item, and arrives near the customer’s address.

    Mobile OTP & Social Login

    The account creation process or customer sign up form should be simple. The mobile app should offer a mobile number login feature via. One Time Password SMS. Or use social login via. Facebook or Google.

    QR-Code Login – You can also implement login via QR-Code feature allowing customers to sign in to the web store using the mobile app camera.

    Customer Reviews & Ratings

    Getting feedback and customer reviews are important for new sellers and service providers. If a shop or business receives good ratings or positive reviews, getting new customers will become much easier.

    Positive Feedbacks – From the mobile app, the customers should have the feature to rate the delivery guy service, write some feedback, or share some information that may be helpful for the service providers.

    Summing Up

    So now we have discussed the features that an ideal On-demand hyperlocal app should have. Now the task is to decide which features you want to include or add some more custom features.

    While discussing and sharing the requirements, you need to provide some prerequisite information to developers. You need Apple Developer account for the iOS app and Google account for the Android app. Get API credentials for Google Maps and FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) for push notifications.

    Provide icons, images, theme color preferences to match your branding. Share payment gateway integrated method to use- SDK or Web View. After that, once your apps are completely built and tested, you can publish them on the Google Play and App Store.

    Also note, if you are already using an e-commerce platform for your business, you can directly get the Hyperlocal Mobile App for Magento 2 and Opencart. It’s a complete white-label solution to develop customized mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms.

    Contact Us

    If you are looking to build an On-demand, hyperlocal app for your business, you can contact us. We have many years of experience in e-commerce and have dedicated teams for Andriod & iOS mobile app development.

    Share your project requirement and talk with our sales team to get started with building your own customized on-demand hyperlocal mobile app.

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