MobileAppDaily had a word with Gregg Temperley, Founder. We spoke to him about his idea behind such an excellent app and his whole journey during the development process. Learn more about the ParcelBroker app here.
1) How did you come up with the idea for this app?
I was on holiday, sitting by the pool, and noticed two couriers trying to fit a large box through a small doorway. From where I was sitting I could see that they just needed to turn the box 90 degrees. I wanted to help but only had my swim shorts, a book, and a smartphone on me. When one of the guys pulled out his phone (to call his boss and explain their predicament I imagine) it clicked. Why can’t we use a phone camera to measure something? Even if you’re in a swimming costume you’ll still most likely have your phone with you!
2) What problem do you think you are solving and how is it going to impact the e-commerce market?
Being charged the wrong amount due to inaccurate measurements is the second largest complaint after late and damaged parcels. We created the app to try and combat avoidable inaccuracies that affect the price we pay for shipping. With clear and concise shipping charges available instantly to everybody, overcharging for shipping on online marketplaces should be a thing of the past.
3) What kind of roadblocks did you come across while developing your app and how did you overcome those?
We had to find a solution for the Necker Cube Effect on our wire-frame “box”. The Necker Cube is an optical illusion that makes it difficult to decipher which line or face is close to you in a 3D space. We tried a few solutions using shadows and lighting but the most effective was when we used different colors for the bottom, top, and connecting lines to form our “box”.
4) Are there any particular features of ParcelBroker AR that you find most impressive, or that you think make it stand out?
We’re proud of the fact that we’re the first delivery company to provide an end-to-end smartphone solution using augmented reality. A user can measure an item, compare discounted prices to send it anywhere in the world, and book a courier using only their smartphone. We think that’s pretty cool.
5) What is the cost of building this app, and where could it start to get more expensive?
We used a specialist AR/VR development agency which accounted for most of the cost. However, it is easy to underestimate the hours required to test each version and provide feedback. Over the course of the development of our testing and feedback amounted to over 50 hours.
6) Who are your competitors in the market (if any) and what is it that you’re doing differently?
Most other courier brokers in the courier comparison marketplace have websites only, however, one of our largest competitors recently launched their app in July which appears to be a port of their website with no additional functionality. We decided that we should be solving a problem and providing additional features using a phone’s technology rather than just giving customers another way to use our existing services. The functionality of an AR box measurement tool added to the original courier comparison service we’ve offered for the last 12 years has set us apart from the competition.
7) What is the recipe for building a successful app according to you?
The core focus for our app was intuitiveness. Being able to use the app right away without any complex instructions to follow was a big deal to us. A vast majority of our user base are people who aren’t necessarily tech-savvy, so we made sure to focus on only showing the user what they needed to see at every step of the user journey, reducing screen clutter and leaving more room for vital information.
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