“Custom built website or WordPress”

Ask a non-tech founder what is his biggest dilemma, he won’t say “his wife’s bad mood”, rather it would be to decide the technology best suited for his idea. You talk to a dozen people and you will have a dozen options all mutually exclusive, completely driven by one’s own opinion. And in all honesty, it is not their fault. Well, the answer completely depends on your requirements and the stage of your startup. But don’t worry I will take you through it with a completely non-technical explanation (Custom built website or WordPress).

Before we start: Don’t go Shopping with an undefined list!

Before we start, know that almost all the technologies can create just about any idea that you might possibly have(90% of times), however, what matters and what we will look at in this article is :

  • Cost of development,

  • Duration of development,

  • Scalability of the product for long-term use,

  • Application Speed that the tech can deliver,

  • And the tech being SEO friendly,

These are also the parameter which is considered when the GodFathers of the tech industry create a new or update a framework or a language. See not so tough to understand is it? Let’s grow your confidence with 1 bit at a time

This cake has 3 layers of icing

Website/Mobile application is always done in 3 phases and you need to know this because you will have to choose the technology for all the 3 differently. One is Frontend, this is what you see on your browser (what you call a website or an app), another is Backend this is what is hosted on the server (this handles your logic and connection with the database) and then you have Database (this hold all the data of your application).

This is the real deal

With the above learning let’s dive right into what you to read about what to select and when to select. The IT companies will always give you 2 suggestions: Ready-Made Solution or Custome Development, the late will generally be more expensive than the prior.

Ready-Made Solution:

When: The idea is not validated, the industry is new to you and you are not sure if this is the thing you want to be doing for the rest of your life. Choose this when you are looking to experiment and just want to test the idea and market reaction. Or if you have really less time for the launch. 
Some famous examples: WordPress, Shopify, etc.

The Problem: The problem with these platforms is that you will have to go with custom development sooner or later if you are doing the startup for the long run. The development will mostly be from scratch so it will be a complete reinvestment.

Custom built website:

When: Idea is validated, an established business, the startup is profitable, you are enjoying it and you want to do this startup for the long term. Choose this no matter how big your business grows you won’t have to recode the complete platform from scratch; Some tweaks and you will be good to go.

The Problem: It is expensive and like building a house, you want to make sure you use the right material (technology and languages) since you don’t want to rebuild the complete thing.

I won’t bore you with the explanation, since for you what matters is what is the most suited tech for your purpose.

Think of it like a horoscope you first have to find your zodiac sign and then read the horoscope. First I will tell you which languages suit what kind of need and then you can read about those languages based on your affordability and requirement.

For E-commerce:

Front end: EmberJs/React.JS, HTML, Bootstrap

Backend: Node JS/ PHP / .Net

Database: MongoDB/ MySQL

For Marketplaces:

Front end: Angularjs / JQuery / Reactjs, HTML, Bootstrap

Backend: PHP/ Python/ Java

Database: MySql

For Analytics/Statistic/Algorithmic systems:

Frontend: React.js/ JQuery, Ajax, HTML, Bootstrap

Backend: Python(highly recommended)/Java

Database: MySql

For Static/Informative website:

Frontend: Angularjs/JS with Ajax, HTML, Bootstrap

Backend: PHP / WordPress

CMS:

Frontend: Reactjs/JS/ Jquery, Ajax, Bootstrap

Backend: PHP/WordPress/Drupal

Database: MySql

For Booking Systems:

Frontend: Angular/ JS, Bootstrap

Backend: PHP/Nodejs/ Python

Database: MySql

Too many options, aren’t there? So just how do you decide? Well, now you know your zodiac sign (the development language), its time to see the prophecy. Websites are built with a combination of Frontend, Backend, and Database.

When to use which technology:

Technology in Frontend:

ReactJS (Recommended): It is really fast and highly efficient. It is your perfect love when you talk about the SEO on your website. I could give you some more technical pointer but let’s keep this non-tech. It works great with other latest technologies and has a lot of powerful tools. However, for new people, the learning might take some time and if you are using legacy technologies with React you might face challenges.

Best combination: ReactJS with Node.js or ReactJS with Python

AngularJs: It is easy to learn, has a strong community. Use it when you are not working with a lot of data or data-heavy applications. The language has not been very stable as there have been completely new releases with complete deprecated support and no compatibility with older versions. But since it has Google tag to it, you certainly can’t ignore it. (Not something I recommend)

Technology in Backend:

PHP: PHP is a wear language of the slot. It is good for basic website development and CMS development. Since it is easy to learn, it has a huge community and amazing support. Hence creating an abundance of resources, this makes the development work cheaper. So if you have budget and time constraint or if you are creating a never-seen-before feature and want to trial run it, go for PHP.

Some of the famous frameworks of PHP are: CodeIgnitor and Laravel

.Net and Java: These are some of the oldest and highly mature languages. Most of the legacy and very stable projects are builds on this. The community is vast and ever thriving. If your application deals with a lot of data and needs high security this and our next superstar language are your go-to languages. Also, you can choose this if your application is expected to handle millions of users. Most of the banks use these languages for their development work.

NodeJS: It is another powerful language and is the youngest. Nodejs is fast, secure, and can handle small to medium applications. However, application with lots of data, like a stock market analysis application it would not be recommended. For everything else, you can pretty much rely on and it’s strong integrations with other languages. After Python, it is the next best thing IMO.

Python (Recommended): Python is the star. It takes time to learn Python but once you do there is no holding you back. Python has most privileges compared to any other language with any OS. Use this for the project which needs integration with hardware, or if your application is really big and has a lot of complicated logic. Do not use Python for static or basic websites.

PROS AND CONS OF WORDPRESS AND CUSTOM BUILT WEBSITE –

CUSTOM BUILT WEBSITE-

PROS:

When the owner of the website wants to do some specific modifications that WordPress website not provide these websites are built.

1. The custom built website is more search-engine friendly than the WordPress website.

2. This website is able to grow with the business so that one can make a change in its website which is unique.

3. It has more support than the WordPress website built from inbuild templates.

4. It will provide one’s company branding by using such designs that are unique.

CONS:

1.  The websites built by the custom built website are more expensive than the WordPress website.

2.  Making a customize website takes a lot of time than creating the same website through WordPress website.

WORDPRESS WEBSITE-

PROS: 

1. It takes less time as compared to build from scratch. WordPress has an inbuilt library of themes so you can pick any theme directly rather than creating it on your own.

2. WordPress provides a secure platform to build a site, by the large group it can detect any loop or bug and then provide security in the system.

3. The WordPress website brings up updates quickly which will help you to update your website and use new features.

4. It has responsive themes to make the site effective and attractive on mobile devices.

CONS:

1. In the WordPress website choosing themes according to yourself is good but its customization is tough for which you need an experienced web developer.

2. It is unprotected to hackers though it provides security. Its quick updates make it an open way to hackers and also it requires regular maintenance which is not possible for everyone.

Hence, Custom built website and WordPress both the websites have pros and cons now you have to decide which you have to use according to your work looking at the budget and features.

               “Hiring your first web developer in a startup is like a Marriage. Where the developer wants to run wild, get cozy and drop the guard while the founder should be able to be a strong pillar and guard the other’s back.”

I have been on both sides of the tables. While I was working, I had offers from some of the best MNCs while the startups were offering up to 100% hike. And as a bootstrap solo founder, I have hired some extraordinarily talented people at market standards rates.

I will give you the gist of what I am about to explain next. Really talented people are motivated by ideas, dreams, and confidence rather than money. Of course, everyone expects a decent package to justify their career projections.

Let’s first understand Challenges as a Founder:

  • You have money crunch,
  • You want a developer who is an expert in his domain so that you don’t have to repeatedly cross-check or explain things,
  • Web Developer should take ownership of things and reduce your burden,
  • He/She should be fast, proactive and understanding,
  • Someone you can trust (since you may or may not be technical and you don’t want to lose your code),
  • He/She should understand the product inside-out and be able to suggest improvements and find loopholes.
  • Basically, you want a CTO without an Equity, High Salary or too much commitment.
  • Hiring takes a lot of time, consultants take a lot of money, finding organic candidates takes a lot of effort. Hence you want to hire them asap.
  • Also, because you are going crazy thinking about the idea, and what all you can do to grow it and the excitement of how the market is going to react to your product/service is uncontainable.

Well, all points are valid and you feel you have all the right reasons to be able to deserve the best developer suited for the role.

Now, let’s enter the shoe of a web developer to see their challenges: (assumption the developer is good)

  • The candidate is registered on very limited job sites, which he visits rarely,
  • He/she has too much work (as a hobby or official work) to dedicate in searching where is that great idea that could excite him,
  • He/She doesn’t want to be just an employee or be overpowered, rather all they want is respect and acknowledgment.
  • They know they can always get good offers.
  • The biggest risk for them is that the startup may shut down in some months or a couple of years. An early job change will affect their resume.
  • They have worked too long on the tech and always want to push forward in learning new things and implement something challenging.
  • Not having a tech senior means that there will only be self-learning and it might be slow.
  • Can he/she learn something by being with you that can help him/her in her career going ahead?.

What is web developer looking for:

1. Security:

The developer wants to look into your eyes and feel the confidence that the startup is not shutting down any time soon.

2. Respect and acknowledgment :

They hate politics and unnecessary hierarchy or bootlicking. They want to be acknowledged for the work they do and the quality they bring on the table.

3. Leader:

They are employees because they need someone to guide them. Someone’s shadow to work in. Hence in the discussion, they will always look if you are someone with whom they can drop their guard and focus core-ly on working and technology.

Some Platforms to help you meet your Candidate:

1. Indeed: Free + paid, Feature to filter candidates based on custom Questions (Very useful), Has own Database of Developers, Give organic reach, gives a public URL that can be shared on other platforms, Great Dashboard to review applications and manage profiles.

2. AngelList: Free, No custom questions, Has Own Database, Gives Organic Reach, Gives Public, Not a great dashboard, Gives you open access to developer Database to filter the one you like

3. Naukri: Paid Only, No custom Question, No Organic Reach, No Public Link, Management Dashboard is good, After paying Gives access to Developer database where you can find your developer. (Not recommended for startups).

4. LinkedIn Jobs: Paid Only, No Custom Questions, Paid Reach to candidates, Decent Management Dashboard, you can find food candidates here.

5. Consultants: A decent consultant will charge you 6% of the annual CTC and a good consultant will charge you 8.33% (Roughly 1-month salary). And you have to pay only if you hire a candidate referred by the consultant.

6. Social Media: Another common practice is to do a job post on any one of the above free portals and share its link in a post on the social media like Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, WhatsApp with compelling content on why a candidate should join your startup.
Here is a great example.

How to ensure that the web developer is the right fit and convince them to join:

1.Technology:

Problem: You don’t understand the technology that well and are unable to judge if he is the right candidate. Possibly you might as well just show your reluctance towards talking about the tech aspect.

Effect: Developer feels insecure.

Solution: Don’t interrupt and just hear what he has to say. Talk more about his past work and the features he has implemented rather than the technology he used.

2. Salary:

Problem: You don’t have a lot of cash to spend and yet you need a good developer fast. Due to which you show weakness by being too over-powering or being too needy.

Effect: If you show neediness they will never join you. If you try to be too over-powering they will push you more on salary bracket.

Solution: You need a friend, not an employee to show them that you understand his need and you acknowledge that they are good in their domain. You can give them a six-month raise offer or a future commitment for the same while meeting their base expectations.

3. Motivating them to accept the offer:

Problem: It is a common sight to see developers not join a company even after all the demands were fulfilled. There are multiple problems while doing this.

Solution: It is a human tendency to be a part of something big, to be a part of something important. You need to open up and tell them what your vision is, what change do you want to bring. How is your idea going to stand out, what have you planned for the next 2 years?

4. Test Before you hire: (Applicable for Non-Tech Founders as well):

Problem: Resumes can be a bluff, people can manipulate the information or exaggerate the tech and project they have worked on. The test is not always about coding, it is also about work ethics, approach to a problem, commitment and delivery and for that, you don’t need to be technical.

Solution: Design a small problem like a review and rating portal (which is hardly 4 pages: List of Company,   Review List Page, add Review and Add Company) and allocate a time like 3 days or 4 days for the candidate to develop it.

1. Timely delivery means they value time and stick to words.

2. Proper communication/updates mean they are professional.

3. Asking questions means they take ownership and is good at management.

4. Adding elements or enhancing the given features mean they are proactive, talented and have a good experience.

5. If they ask for more time that shows that they are honest.

Conclusion:

A good web developer will always value the dream, vision and learning more than the money. Because he knows that he always be able to find a better and higher paying job. A candidate who is motivated by money can never be a good fit for any startup. Hence you can never buy them with money, you have to rather motivate them with the goal.

Hiring is more about finding the best fit rather than the best coder. Teaching someone how to code is easier than teaching someone the work ethics.

To filter the right candidate always gives them a small task. Find the most important and critical tech part of your idea and give it as the task applicants. And based on how they approach the task will tell you all the things you need to know about hiring your first web developer. Again the one completing it or doing it fastest may not always be the best choice.

 

“Benefits of Chatbots”

Trust Chatbot Like You Trust Your Car Breaks

Artificial Intelligence is growing at a high speed. It can now solve your queries in minutes via Chatbots. Chatbots are developed to communicate with people for various different reasons. Benefits of Chatbots have come a long way from virtual assistants to sophisticated bots in every existing field and industry.

Ah! Are you struggling to get the basic details about Chatbots? You can find it all here.

So, now you know that chatbot is a platform used to communicate with humans for various reasons and its types. But how many of us trust bots with our eyes closed? Not many of us, right? Chatbots are robots trained to resolve queries. So, the life of chatbots depends on us.

This article will help you understand chatbots explicitly. Trust it just like you trust your car breaks. Furthermore, There has been a study which shows that youngsters trust chatbots more than older generations. However, the other half of the youngsters is a pretty high percentage to be ignored.

Before going to the benefits of chatbots, let me tell you about two surveys. A survey conducted by HubSpot showed that 57% of interviewed people trusted humans over Chatbot. Rest would not mind whether they are talking to a bot or human. Another recent study conducted by Ubisend showed that 69% of interviewed people trusted chatbots over humans.

messaging apps social networks-min

Image Courtesy: BI Insider

This shows a positive growth of people towards Chatbots. However, it has also been studied that trust towards bots. It depends upon secured conversations and confidentiality maintained by the Chatbots.

Trust is the base of any relationship(Benefits of Chatbots).

Trust is an important factor for business. where a relationship is developed between a customer and the company. Likewise, businesses aim at easing things for their customers and potential clients using technology. Chatbots is a similar platform developed to ease the activities of both the included parties. Here are the benefits of Chatbots:-

  1. Saves time: The second option to solve customer queries is to call a customer service executive. Well, we all have experienced that calling CSE is a time-consuming process. Chatbots saves your time and solves your query in real-time.
  2. Good listeners: Chatbots are developed to help humans. They are trained in such a way that they form an integral part of your problems. They are good listeners who give accurate and efficient solutions to your problems.
  3. Personalized services: Chatbots provide one-to-one and personalized services to the customers. It is a platform that resolves your queries with a high level of personal attention.
  4. Cost optimization: It helps in reducing cost as it mostly uses the chat system to resolve queries.
  5. Maintained privacy: Chatbots helps in maintaining a level of privacy and confidentiality throughout.

The above benefits can help you to trust bots and pay attention to its positive sides.

The risk is only if the breaks fail.

Where is the risk if chatbots are so secured? The risk lies with the confidentiality and privacy policy of the chatbots. People are afraid to share their personal or financial data with chatbots due to these two reasons. However, Chatbots come with added security. There are privacy policies defined by the company that takes care of the customer data. These policies have a set of limitations that needs to be adhered to by the operators.

Also, confidentiality is the prime area that is taken care of by the operators. The information gathered is strictly for official purposes. If any information is leaked, there are strict rules which might affect the working of the business. Moreover, we humans treat AI just as an object. This should not be the case as AI is created by humans for humans. Once we understand the importance of the system, it becomes easy for us to trust it. Some of the most trusted bots to date are Hipmunk, NatGeo Genius, Whole Foods, Baby Centre UK, DuoLingo and many more.

What can a start-up do to boost their Chatbot service?

It is important for start-ups to concentrate on a good chatbot model, Which would help them to increase their sales? Chatbots have helped many businesses to boost their client engagement and have a positive impact on their revenues.

A proven chatbot can create wonders for start-ups. Let’s see what can a start-up do to boost their chatbot service.

1. Defining the aim:

Chatbots are created for various reasons. Define your aim accurately and you’re halfway for the entire procedure.

2. Focus on developing trust:

Training the bot in such a way that it gains customer’s trust is the second step to a successful bot.

3. Align tone with the business category:

Each business has a different set of rules and tone. It is important to set your business tone in the right direction. This will help in increasing customer satisfaction.

4. Make them feel important:

Bots should be trained in a customer-centric way. The entire focus should be on making the customers feel that they are important for the company. This will lead to increased satisfaction and customers will be loyal to the brand.

5. Continuous improvements:

Technology keeps on improving and bringing in advancements. Continuous improvements in chatbots can increase the curiosity factor for the customers.

Concluding Lines

Benefits of Chatbots are boon for customers and businesses with equal positive sides. Therefore, Trusting them may seem challenging at the moment. But once you start trusting this advancement, you will always look up for chatbot over any other option.

Start-ups are always in a money crunch. Chatbots can help them save a lot of money and invest it in something more important. The decision of developing a chatbot can help start-ups is increasing:

  • Client engagement;
  • A high number of leads;
  • Increased revenues;
  • High conversion rate.

Explore chatbots and build one matching your needs. Experience wonders happening with your business. Meanwhile, do not forget to post your views below in the comments section.

Image Credits: AppliedAI

The key is to keep the customers engaged.

The chatbot is a program that simulates human conversation. Chatbots are also known as conversational agents. They have proved to be beneficial in various ways. For instance, it helps in reducing employee workload and increase efficiency. The main agenda of the chatbot is to acquire basic information from clients without any human intervention. By doing this, a business can save a lot of time by outsourcing this job to the computer program rather than employee sitting in call centers.

It is a known fact that there is a huge investment in establishing a call center. Also, it is difficult for a start-up to establish a call center. As a result, the entire team or the founders spend a lot of resources in redundant and repetitive tasks. In this scenario, chatbots come in as a great alternative at a fraction of the cost.

In a more efficient way the investment of time and money can be utilized for Focusing on growth, client acquisition strategies, or improving the delivery. You will be able to convert leads even when you are sleeping.

85% of customer interaction will be made without humans, Granter forecasted this. This figure that once seemed imaginary now seems possible to attain within a short period of time. So, chatbots are the new generation tool of customer interaction using artificial intelligence.

Choose the best fit for your needs.

The Chatbot is basically a family of two which includes Scripted Chatbots and Artificial Chatbots. These Chatbots are helpful in meeting the diverse needs of the business. They both are different from each as one is having question fixed and on the other hand one resolves the queries in real-time. 

Scripted Chatbots:

The script or a set of questions fixed, in which an aim is attached are Scripted Chatbots. It can be anything like solving basic queries, helping visitors to discover the best products, sell deals faster, convert leads to customers, and many more. You want visitors to easily find the best deals of their interest in seconds?. In this case, you just need to design a script that will eventually take the users to your landing page.

An example of the scripted chatbot is Landbot. You can see the image below about how scripted chatbots work.

landbot

 

Picture Courtesy: Landbot.io

Artificial Intelligence Chatbots:  

This type of chatbot helps the users to resolve their queries in real-time. Artificial intelligence is a technology that reduces human efforts and to resolve basic queries without human interference in the business, Artificial chatbots are used which are computer operated chatbots. The special feature of this is, it reduces the human effort. 

AI is that technology that creates humans out of machines which seems like a dream but now it turned true. The things which were in the reel world are now in the real world. Magic now can’t look like magic because now nothing in dreams remain there only it comes true. Technologies like Chatbot are making life easier for one to live.

Some of the popular AI chatbot platforms are WeChat, Amazon Echo, Operator, Slack, Allo from Google and many more.

Insomnobot 3000

 

Picture Courtesy: Insomnobot 3000

What makes chatbot different?

We can easily customize the chatbot which is highly efficient. We have the power to create a unique chatbot with our imagination which can be really versatile and building a thing with our imagination is fun. The customization is easy to make it efficient. Some positive traits of chatbots are explained below.

  1. It improves the way your customer feels about you. Apparently, helping with conversion rates.
  2. Induces personalized treatment to your customers.
  3. Chatbots helps in streamlining customer preferences while shopping.
  4. Who does not like a quick response?. A chatbot can convert 100% of messages without any employees.
  5.  Most of the questions asked on chatbots are repetitive hence it is helpful in saving time.
  6.  It helps in reducing the workload of your employees.
  7. Clients are not converting even if you are hard?. Chatbots have shown high accuracy in converting potential clients into customers.

So, have you already made up your mind to try your hands on chatbots?. Since you now know all the positive sides, you should at least give it a chance and experience a new era of communication. It is really cheap to build a customized chatbot. I know because I have done it for 10+ websites already.

What could be more satisfying than getting a pizza delivered in 10 minutes?

Chatbots have formed a unique place in the market for all types of businesses. Life is nowadays is a business and when we talk about marketing it seems a hard work to do but Chatbot makes it easy for the business-minded people so they can learn and explore.  It can help the business to gain customer information in real-time. This real-time information will be helpful for the one in the marketing business. The key reasons for this are:

  •  Increase in productivity.
  •  Humor along with help.
  •  Curiosity factor.
  •  Real-time information.
  •  Independent performance

Chatbot in Real World.

There are some great examples where MNCs have saved millions of dollar and startups have increased their sales. Let’s take a quick look:

AUS-based AT&T increased customer satisfaction by 22% by decreasing call volume by 50% using Chatbots. By a study, it is claimed that Chatbots will have 60% more penetration in the Telecom industry. Similarly, US-based company Casper’s Chatbot Insomnobot has helped patients suffering from insomnia by understanding the struggle of the victim. Below is an example of how Insomnobot works to keep the patients engaged and motivated.

Chatbots are entering in almost every field some famous examples are Nike, eBay(e-commerce), SnapTravel(travel), Accenture(IT), Slack(Management), Freelancing.com(Marketplace). How can we forget about startups?. it is a growing trend to include chatbots in developed countries like the US, Canada, Singapore, UK, and Australia.

Summing up(Chatbot)

Chatbots have helped millions of users in distinctive ways. It has various positive sides that help the business to conquer their aim and manage their time efficiently. If you are unable to add chatbot yourself, you can always hire the right professional services.

The aim while selecting should be to provide a smooth and unique customer experience. On the other hand, it should be beneficial for the business in terms of efficiency and saving time. Below are some tips that can help you to select the best fit for your needs:

  1. Determine the goal of the chatbot?
  2. Finalize a budget.
  3. Evaluate what suits you best: scripted or AI chatbot.
  4. Create a script in which you want the chat to progress?
  5. Find a SaaS product, or hire a development team to create a chatbot.
  6. Decide what works best, a small chat icon on a website; a complete chat page or integration with some social media or chatting application.

There are various platforms that can help you to build your unique chatbot. These platforms have a user-friendly attribute which makes it easy to develop a chatbot. You can create your chatbots using below platforms:

  1. Beep Boop.
  2. Botsify.
  3. Smooch.io.
  4. ChattyPeople and more.

Furthermore, you can even build a custom chatbot of your specific needs or website or even, mobile app. You can hire a professional company who can help you to meet your needs in the most efficient way.  

Read More about: Benefits/Uses of Chatbots

What is Instacart?

Instacart is an online platform to get groceries and other living place essentials at your doorstep. It is one of the most efficient and trusted platforms in the USA with its headquarters in California, USA. It is on-demand e-store having grown tremendously since incorporation.

This grocery store has set-up an example for budding entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are keen on learning Instacart’s business model and plan the next big thing. Are you one of them? Are you looking forward to learning and set up an example just like Instacart?

Indeed, the article will guide you to plan your next big thing. Below are the details of the big brand Instacart and a guide to lead you to your destination. Furthermore, the first part will help you in understanding the brand value. The next part will take you to the pathway to your dream project.

What does Instacart have in store?

Instacart was incorporated in 2012 and is successful in growing at a constant pace since then. Also, It has various distinctive features that make Instacart stand out from other platforms. Before going to how to create such a platform let’s first understand their business model.

Key Activities:

  • Buying from local vendors;
  • Customer management;
  • Customer service;
  • A dedicated counter at stores for faster checkout;
  • Hand-picking the products for each order;

Channels:

  • Website;
  • Mobile App for iOS and Android.

Target Segments:

  • Store;
  • Localities;
  • Shopper.

Cost Structure:

  • Salary to employees;
  • Delivery based delivery personnel;
  • Set-up and running cost;
  • Payment to shops.

Revenue Stream:

  • Surcharge on store price;
  • Delivery cost;
  • Discount pricing from shops;
  • Membership plans.

The above structure shows the main agenda of Instacart. Furthermore, the idea behind it is to reach maximum people with quality service. At this stage, you can figure out the resources you will need to build a start-up grocery store. Also, you should now have an idea about the flow of major expenses and income streams.

Now, let’s get to the main agenda of this article which is to build an app like Instacart.

A guide to an explicit grocery home delivery e-store.

The grocery home delivery business is a big opportunity for budding entrepreneurs. However, It can be looked like a master plan for a start-up due to the size of the market which creates enough space for multiple big players to co-exist. Another strong reason is limited competition. However, it is important to have both – an efficient website and a mobile application for all operating systems.

For you to reach to Instacart like website, ensure that the below aspects are taken care of by your developer. However, before you reach out to your developer, you should be prepared with the help of these 4 ways.

1. Flexible payment options:

Make sure that you give your customers the liberty to choose from multiple payment options.

2. Push notification:

Intimate your clients regarding new products through push notifications

3. Scheduled delivery:

Let the customers choose their convenient time for delivery for the ordered items.

4. Advanced search option:

Let the customers have the honor to search the products in no-time with an advanced searching algorithm.

5. User sign-in:

Introduce a sign-in option for users for easy tracking or cancellation of products.

6. Categorization of products:

this feature will help the users to save their precious time searching for products in your e-store.

7. Easy order placement:

Keep the order placement procedure simple yet unique. Easy and quick steps will attract a regular and number of customers.

8. Scan QR codes:

This feature will help to speed up the shopping procedure.

9. Barcode Scanning:

With the advancement in tech, you can have a barcode scanner in-build in the app.

If the above areas are taken care of, it will help to boost customer experience and gain customer loyalty. Grocery brands like Amazon Grocery, Wal-Mart, Kroger and Instacart are killing the market with salient features. Below are the features that these big brands offer to their customers.

What unique do my competitors offer?

Amazon: Amazon has won the market with its one-click payment method. It saves the card details except for pin or password with a secured platform and allows quick payment.

Kroger: Kroger with the implementation of beacon technology is doing really great. It also has features like grocery list based on a location basis which helps customers to select their products wisely.

Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart helps the customers to scan the QR codes for quick search of desired products. Also, it has personalized wish-list, product location feature, and many more which helped the brand to gain loyal customers.

Instacart: Instacart was the first brand to implement grocery home delivery within an hour. This is the major advantage that Instacart offers and makes itself stand out from other brands. Here a real person goes and shops the products to ensure good quality products are purchased.

Instacart has proved that start-ups can be successful to compete with big brands. Also, Their idea has boosted the confidence in budding entrepreneurs. However, there are various websites and app features that helped the brand to reach where they are today.

By combining the salient features offered by various brands, you can come up with a whole new idea. Amazon, Kroger, and Instacart are setting an example of how a brand should work for the benefit of its customers.

Instacart customers acquisition?

  • Word of Mouth Advertising;
  • Internet Marketing;
  • Free first delivery;
  • Various discount offers.

Possible Challenges

  • Retaining Delivery Personnel;
  • Meeting Delivery Time;
  • Managing Peak Hours;
  • Stores running out of stock;
  • Regular Inventory Updates;
  • Shore’s cooperation.

Concluding Lines

After building apps for 3 Grocery home delivery related startups we can confidently tell you that the market is enormous and this is what investors are looking at. With just a click of an idea, you can make the change. It’s all about knowing the customer problems and preferences. Once you research the market and come up with a unique solution like Instacart, it wouldn’t matter how long you have been in a market or what is your valuations. Till the time your services are good and timely, you can win the market. Moreover, Instacart researched and found out the main problem for customers was the quick grocery home delivery and handpicking the right product. Hence, they introduced a 1-hour delivery option.

Likewise, you can create your own brand value by market trend and research to reach an ultimate solution. Moreover, This will help you to reach your destination by over 40%. The entire process will demand a hell lot of time and effort. But, it’s all worth it in the end.

Image Credit: Image1

“5 Innovative Tech features for Grocery startups in 2019”

Before we enter this discussion let me clear you 2 things that the ideas we are going to discuss are not theories. They have practically applied by our team in our client’s projects. And second that it is not a Newton Science that costs a fortune to implement; just a couple of hundred dollars and it can be developed.

The world is moving towards automation and you definitely don’t want to miss out on it. However, Grocery is one of the oldest and biggest markets. Be it a Brick and Mortar or an online store, everything is at a boom and new features are popping out every day to help customers shop easy and fast. US online grocery market is hitting $40 Billion and is expecting to grow at 150% annually reaching $220 Billion by 2025. While Indian grocery is hitting $4 Billion and is expecting to grow at 300% with the increasing penetration of internet users and acceptance of online shopping. Nonetheless, Stats are pretty much the same for different countries around the globe.

As the market is growing and maturing with time, the expectation of the consumers is also increasing at the same pace. Furthermore, Consumers want things to be more automated and easy to check out their carts. Imagine if your customers can shop and checkout on their own without having to stand in the long ques. If they could discover products in 1 action.

New features:

1. Barcode scanning based product Identification:

Problem: The main aim of any application is to make the customer reach the end goal as soon as possible. Moreover, Product discovery is the most time taking process for the customer, where they have to enter the category. Then subcategory and scroll through the different variants of the same products to place an order.

Solution: All this hassle can be removed if the customer has the product in his hand. He can just scan the barcode and the product will automatically pop out on the screen and get add to the cart. Also, If the customer wants multiple quantities they just have to place the product multiple times in front of the camera.

2. Store map to locate the product:

Problem: Frequently I have so visited big stores and got completely lost. It becomes more inconvenient when you hate to ask people where to find things. Therefore, you get tired and irritated.

Solution: An app that has an in-build store map. The user can scan the barcode of a wrapper or manually type the name of the product and the application could navigate the user to the specific shelf in the store. Where the product could be found. Moreover, In a general observation, the sale has observed to have increased by 14% in 3 months of experimentation.

3. Using AI’s Object detection based Product Identification:

Problem: In grocery fields, there are products that may not have a barcode or you might have thrown away the wrapper. In that case, you have to go through the hassle of selecting the right product manually which takes time and is a bit annoying.

Solution: What if you could just show your camera the image of the product and it could tell you all the brands offering that product. Something like Soya Chucks or beans, etc. Or if you could show your camera the packaging and it could find the exact match for you.

4. Face Recognition/ Fingerprint-based Login systems:

Problem: With the rising trend of digitalization there is an application for almost everything. It is humanly impossible to remember all the passwords for such a wide range of apps. For too long we have been using the traditional ways of logging in and registering through phone numbers or email ids or Social Media logins with passwords.

Solution: All the smartphones these days have equipped with front cameras and fingerprint scanners. We can create login systems that are fast and do not need any effort in remembering the long cumbersome passwords.

Futuristic Tech:

100% Automated Shopping Experience

  • Imagine a time when you just enter the store and the store camera can detect if you are an existing customer or a new customer.
  • When you enter, the system will search your face to see if you have ever entered the store. However, before if it finds a match your profile will have fetched from the database. In case you enter the store for the first time, the system will create a profile for you.
  • As you shop, the store camera will detect your activity and update your cart,
  • Once you have finished shopping you can go to the mobile app and check out the order by online payment or cash on the counter.

The advantage to Brick and Mortar Shops:

  • Better Customer Recognitions

Features that have become obsolete:

  • Searching for product
  • Typing inside the app
  • Manual Product verification
  • Paper-based invoicing
  • Waiting in long ques
  • Roaming around the store to find product

Technology is as big as our imagination. If we can image it then technology has the capability to make it happen. Hit is if you have new ideas we are always on a hunt.

For the love of technology let’s build something incredible.

The aim to share these stories/growth hacks is to help you realize that no one is an exception to the journey of startups. Even these, today’s world, behemoths have once struggled to tractions and a steady customer base on their platforms. Even they have faced the problems that you are or might face in the future. However, what differs is how they chose to fight against the odds.

It may be tough to imagine that these startups could every face such a crisis. But they did and they still do. The challenge of having more and more active customers on the platform never fades away. When you are at 1,000, you want to reach 100,000. When you are at 100,000 you want to reach 10 million and then you want everyone on board. Once you have everyone then you want to find new ways to get them more and more engaged.

5 biggest startups:-

1. Facebook:

Facebook is arguably the biggest social media platform that there is on the internet today. Before the launch of the “Facebook”, Mark had already made a name with “FaceMash” so instead of “Facebook”. We will see how FaceMash got its first users. However, Facebook only made use of some word of mouth publicity and email campaign to gain its first users since the platform was already set.

*FaceMash

FaceMash started as “Hot or Not Game” for Harvard students. Since the game was already popular it did not require any explanation. Mark first gathered the data of all the students from the existing Harvard Site which had student database. Then he showed it to his friends and took them to a bigger gathering. The link quickly started circulating to several campus groups in a closed network. It was a matter of time before students from other colleges wanted to try it. Although FaceMash got shut down pretty soon. Mark had already created trust, credibility and brand image. Since it was a closed group Facebook got full advantage of the platform set by FaceMash.

2. Alibaba:

An e-Commerce startups giant, its recent Single’s day sale, signature annual sale, broke all records to report a rise of 27% y-o-y growth to revenue of $31 Billion. Unlike Mark, Jack Ma was a complete failure without any strong background. But he was a fighter and an ambitious man, nonetheless.
After the launch, Jack Ma hired an army of sales executives and sent them to every Manufacturer in China. Given that China is the world’s Largest Manufacturing Country you can imagine the scale and brute force required. Manufacturers were not internet friendly at that time. Hence Jack had to really motivate the salespeople to first believe in the idea and second convince manufactures about the impact Alibaba can make.
Salespeople showed manufacturers different ways in which the platform could be used. And how it could grow their business multi-fold. Once Manufacturers started using the platform they even became its customers.

3. Uber:

One of the most valued startups of the era, the ride-hailing app Uber, had not just 1 but 2 smart strategies. The first strategy was applied in 2013 when bus workers in Boston went on strike. Uber offered free service to the stranded kids of Boston Public School for which it got massive publicity and word of mouth, and the bookings shot overnight. More than offering free-ride the thing to note is the cause and timing.
Second, a brilliant move was a simple campaign, on National Cat Day. Uber delivered Kittens to its customers who would agree to a 15 minute Kitten petting session. The cause was focused to raise money for kitten shelter and it raised $14,268 in a single day. The campaign was a massive success. It enticed customers to try Uber services.

4. Airbnb:

Airbnb today may be very popular and widespread but just think about it. A concept where the website let’s owner rent their rooms/houses to “strangers”. How tough would it be for people to accept that and how long would it take to become comfortable with the concept. No one likes to share their personal space and we are talking about space in their own house. And yet Airbnb cracked it brilliantly.
The founders went door to door to every person who showed interest and used professional photographers to take pictures of the property. They even stayed at the guest’s houses to make them understand the concept and become comfortable with the same. Instead of doing a bulk user acquisition they focused on the handful of people and made sure that they get the best experience.

*Airbnb chooses good targets as well,

like New York at the time on DNC, it hosted parties and meetups in the Spring Break and Christmas to build trust and loyalty. They knew that if they could convince a few then a spree of word of mouth would start. Which would be organic and at 0 costs. And it did work out to be that way for them.

5. Tinder:

Tinder’s growth hack is something that is the most fascinating to me. It went from 5,000 users to 15,000 users in just 1 trip. It is not the numbers that amaze me but the way Whitney Wolfe, the co-founder, came up with this strategy and it’s execution. She was bang on in identifying her target audience and the places to find and interact with them.

*Target Audiences

The obvious target audiences were the college-going students and the most common place to find students were parties. Hence Whitney organized Parties at different places on the campus with 1 simple rule that everyone has to download Tinder and use it once. Now, this idea would have been a complete flop. But Whitney knew that in order to attract users she needed attractive girls and boys. Before throwing a party Whitney would go to Sororities to convince girls to create a profile. And then to fraternities to create a buzz about the app and then the parties, acting as the container for the explosion. Where things got into action. The idea was phenomenal and the result was a hockey stick growth.

Conclusion:

The things I want you guys to take away with you is not memorization for the smartness. That these founders showed but the thing they all prioritized on. If you observe for the common trend in all the above startups. You will find that they all focused on giving customers a great and personalized experience. Instead of doing bulk marketing they rather focused on a group at a time with a goal to gain Word-Of-Mouth publicity. The strongest of the genre, which comes at 0 direct costs and lasts much longer.

However, another very important thing to note is that their portals were completely ready and well tested before approaching these audiences. Founders made sure that they provide such a service to the visitors which should be hard to forget.