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OneCart refreshes Web site, mobile app

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In an effort to offer customers a tailor-made shopping experience, South African start-up OneCart, the “Uber for groceries”, has refreshed the design of its mobile application and Web site a year after its launch.

OneCart is an on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service. The online service was created by Lynton Peters and his partner, entrepreneur Ariel Navarro. The company was launched in August 2018.

OneCart chief technology officer Tay Zombulovich says the original version of the portal was designed to test the concept and market. The new Web site and mobile app were launched this week, he adds.

Zombulovich notes the previous Web site was built on content management system WordPress, bundled with a range of plugins, in order to make the concept work.

“We gathered a lot of traction and a lot of knowledge along the way and decided it was time to build a business that was ready for scale. OneCart 2.0 is built on top of all the customer feedback and lessons that we learned during the year,” says Zombulovich.

The new platform is built as an API-first micro-service architecture platform, and the API layer is built using Node and Express, he adds.

“Our new Web front-end has been built using React and our mobile applications are still native Android and native iOS. OneCart 2.0 is built on top of AWS's Cloud infrastructure and is ready for rapid scale.”

He says the site receives around 3 000 orders per month and it hopes to grow this number after the technology upgrades.

“We have around 60 shoppers spread around Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, and 1 000 daily active users. Groceries are delivered with a minimum of two hours turnaround time, obviously depending on the size of the order. Alternatively, customers can choose the time they would like their order to be delivered,” says Zombulovich.

According to Zombulovich, user experience is one of the most important factors for the company, which has enhanced and added features to the Web site and mobile app, including improved search functionality, shopping lists and digital couponing.

“Search has been a big focus for us in this new release. We wanted people to be able to find exactly what they are looking for in every store without the requirement of browsing around. This will greatly improve the time it takes to shop on OneCart,” says Zombulovich.

“Customers have the ability to create various shopping lists for items they order regularly and will then have the ability to add this shopping list to their cart with one click and then move swiftly through to payment.”

Digital couponing gives customers discounts on a wide range of products across many categories on the platform, he notes.

Zombulovich says future online features will include the ability to add products to user-generated subscriptions.

“Customers will be able to choose the frequency in which they would like to receive those subscribed products. Another future feature will be the ‘shop by lifestyle’ feature.

“Part of our personalisation effort, this will allow customers to view products across multiple stores that are related to lifestyles that they choose. Examples include: vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halaal, braai night and date night,” says Zombulovich.

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