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How to Build a Scalable Solution for the Food Delivery Sphere
The demand for innovative solutions for restaurants and food delivery is skyrocketing as the level of service expectations is high. Despite the quality of food, customers also pay attention to the simplicity of ordering and speed of delivery. Therefore, having a solution for web and mobile is necessary if you want your business to succeed.
In the article, we continue sharing our experience in building a .Net solution for our client, who is one of the leaders in the food delivery industry. We also discuss the issues our client encountered and what implementations helped solve these challenges.
The main challenges for building scalable solutions for the food delivery
In this case, the client faced technical and administrative issues, which led to poor platform performance and significant financial expenses on marketing which did not justify their expectations.
The Agiliway team performed business analysis and marketing research to produce the most appropriate solution to boost the client’s operations and automate ordering and communication processes between them and their customers. Next, the technical issues analysis was performed to fix and optimize the website’s performance and its architecture.
The scope of requirements was quite extensive and outlined the following problems:
- Data exchange and synchronization
- Central system overload
- No central hosting
- Absence of automation of the business processes
- It was hard to impossible to add or edit the content of the website
- Absence of data analytics
- The delivery tracking option did not work although it was integrated into the platform, and others.
How we optimized and improved the functionality of the system
The development process for this project has been exceptionally long and complex and consisted of multiple stages. After the initial analysis and outline of the requirements, our engineers rebuilt some of the older functionality and improved its performance and flexibility. Among the most recent changes introduced to the system were
- Updated notification system. When the application is updated, customers receive notifications of a new version available. It is not mandatory, and users can opt whether to update or not.
- Deep-links feature. Internal linking no longer requires redirecting customers outside the mobile applications.
- GMSU/IVR implementation. To authorize, a user needs to confirm their phone number. They receive an SMS with the confirmation details or an IVR call.
- Application for the call center. The specialists in the call center now can not only process orders that come from the website but also create new orders within a single application. The dashboard in the application allows tracking all order details within a chosen time, e.g., one day, from different restaurants or regions, viewing the activity of a particular operator, preparing statistics on orders, their processing and delivery timing, cancelations, etc. Moreover, the loyalty program was implemented. All available or used bonuses can be tracked. The bonuses can be spent on online orders or in restaurants for registered users.
- Payment service. The client can view and analyze the payment status across regions or separate restaurants. Therefore, they receive statistics on the daily incomes of a particular location. The service also allows saving customers’ card data in their accounts; therefore, they will not need to add this data during the next orders.
Additionally, we focused on creating something that will satisfy the needs of all departments within the organization including Marketing, Sales, Call center, etc., and bring maximum benefit to the business. The following steps ensured that there will be minimal to no economic loss for the client:
- Data synchronization between a restaurant and a website. In case of an emergency, when a restaurant is unable to fill an order, the latter is sent over to the closest restaurant. In the older version such orders were cancelled. Now such orders are processed and delivered to the customers. Their status can also be tracked in the customer’s account.
- Fixing delivery address issue. The system failed to validate an address if it was not in the system, or a symbol differed from the one in the system. Such orders required additional processing via the call center, which led to the overload of the latter. The Agiliway team optimized this issue so that there would not be multiple names for the same address. In case the address is still missing, the call center processes such orders.
- Improved SEO. To avoid duplicate content during platform migration or updating, a redirect map was created, and canonical tags were written. This step helped to improve the overall website ranking. In addition, the system now allows sharing content across different locations with just a few clicks. So that any updates on the menu or other news are easily added to chosen locations or all of them at once.
- Optimization of business hours management. Administrators can easily change the business hours data for various locations in different regions using just one file in the system. Since the client’s business includes call centers, restaurants, and delivery, it is vital to have all the schedules synchronized to avoid financial loss due to missed orders. Now, if a customer places an order and chosen restaurant is closed, their order is redirected to the nearest location that is still working.
After introducing the final changes and updates and releasing them to the world, the client received a lot of positive feedback from its customers regarding the accuracy and speed of the system performance as well as improved more user-friendly design.
Working on a solution of such complexity presents both challenges and rewards. The Agiliway development team put a lot of effort to ensure that the system is free of issues that disrupted its performance, all data are easily transferred or synchronized, and the overall performance of the platform is top-notch.
Owing to the changes in the front-end the time spent on development and support was reduced drastically while the overall response speed was enhanced. Using the ISR approach streamlined both the updating of static pages and the content management process. The new system provided greater insight into order readiness and delivery, eventually resulting in taking the workload off the call center.
One of the major advantages of the renewed system is the comprehensive structuring of the client’s data. This step adds substantial value to the business, enabling the utilization of this data for marketing, smoother website management processes, and ultimately attracting a larger customer base.
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