Satellite has been a key part of the UrbanPiper experience for — tracking orders, handling order lifecycle, and controlling item stock.
While our responsive web app has been serving its purpose, we live in a fast-changing ecosystem. So, it’s only natural that our products & platform keeps pace with it. One such pattern is the rise of mobile/tablet-first products. Mobile phones & tablets have the advantage of being pocket-friendly over laptops and expensive POS hardware systems. This reduces the barrier of entry for small & medium scale businesses. Keeping that in mind, the product & engineering team started envisioning a native app for Satellite.
The motivation behind Satellite app was to bring the core value proposition of operational efficiency on mobile & tablets.
Before getting into the workflows, let’s walk through the few underlying principles that we kept in mind while building the app —
Behavioural design is a combination of design process and behavioural economics.
Design process explores user experience and goes wide on the end-to-end journey, like the complete lifecycle of an order— from landing till completion.
While behavioural economics zooms in on the specific moments of decision making and applies small nudges (visual or audio) strategically, like informing about new orders, updating orders that are critical, violated etc.
Navigation is the vehicle that takes users where they want to go.
It should help users find the information that they’re seeking from the app without sweating.
A well-designed search is the most natural way to interact with an application.
When it works well, it’s just like having a conversation with a person: You tell it what you need, and it gives you the information you’re looking for.
Micro nudge is a well-timed visual or audio indicator that prompts the user to do a “small” task that they may have otherwise not have taken notice of.
With the core principles established, let’s dive deep into key workflows of Satellite app:
Orders can land from various sources like Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats, FoodPanda, self-branded website & app etc. With Satellite’s order tracking dashboard— all can be processed in a standard way, irrespective of their source.
Single dashboard for tracking orders helps in the following ways:
It’s common for store operators to miss accepting the orders as they have to juggle between multiple dashboards. Unified order tracking cuts down the number of screens to focus on, and thereby reducing the chances of missing orders.
Reduce manual overheads
If orders aren’t processed through a unified layer, they have to be punched manually into a central repo(like POS, excel sheets, etc.) for reconciliations against aggregator payments. Which isn’t the case when Satellite is being used, as all orders by default pass through the UrbanPiper Hub layer— making an automated central repository.
Order Lifecycle Management
Each order has to go through a defined status lifecycle from being placed until delivered. These lifecycle states are not only for the customers to stay updated about their order, but they also play an important role in restaurants operations.
Let’s understand how the restaurant's operations are anchored by order lifecycle:
This is a bucket is for new orders that the restaurant is receiving. The key action for the store operator is to acknowledge the order. Usually, the operators look for the availability of the ordered item(s) at the store and then take the decision.
A dedicated bucket for newly placed orders allows the store operator to stay on top & ack upon incoming orders.
This bucket is for all the orders that are either being prepared or pending pick up by the delivery agent.
The key actions for the store operator are: (1)— Mark food ready when the kitchen is done preparing; (2)— Lookup for the status of an order when a rider reaches the store.
This bucket is for all the orders that have been picked up the delivery agents. This is mostly used for support queries from customers/aggregators.
This bucket is for all the orders that have been delivered by the delivery agents. Again, it is mostly used for support queries from customers/aggregators.
Orders are usually cancelled by the restaurant when an item ordered isn’t available.
Proactively updating the item stock can drive down cancellations. However, it is prone to manual errors when store operators have to the same across multiple platforms.
This is where the Satellite app provides a unified stock controlling interface. When an operator updates the stock of an item here, it gets published across all the platforms one shot.
While a direct integration into POS systems remains the preferred model at the storefront for large and enterprise businesses. We saw a large chunk of small, medium & cloud-kitchen business (that usually don’t have a POS system) latch onto the online commerce wave of aggregators with Satellite.
Satellite app is our attempt to provide an economical way to small and medium businesses to operate their online business.