Mochi: Pet Supplies

Stephen Chung, an entrepreneur from the U.S., needed software engineers to build an iOS mobile app that helps pet owners buy supplies on Amazon. The main requirement was to use React Native so that later the client could create an Android version at relatively low cost.

Client's Background

Our client is the owner of a startup marketing business that creates shopping websites and apps on top of the Amazon Associates Programme. The idea for their first project was suggested by Stephen's sister, who had a Maltese called Mochi. Similar to other animal fans, she would spend a lot of time choosing and ordering food and goods for her four-legged friend on the Amazon website. A pet supplies app could make this process faster and easier.

mochi-pet-app-shopping-pet-supplies

The challenge

To create a React Native app from the ground up, DA-14 carried out a thorough analysis of relevant third party libraries, APIs, and other tools. However, given that the project was designed around buying goods on Amazon, our developers had no other choice but to use Amazon Product Advertising API Scratchpad. As we were working on Mochi, the tool had poor documentation and was available in beta version only, so it took time to integrate it into the application.

From the project management viewpoint, our team initially faced the problem of working across time zones, with an 11-hour difference. However, we quickly solved this issue, scheduling regular clarification calls and messaging the client via Slack.

Importance

Pets have become an integral part of people's lives worldwide, with an increasing number of owners treating their cats and dogs like people. In 2018, Americans alone spent over $70 billion on their animal companions  — more than ever before. The UK and the Asia Pacific region are reported to be the second and the third largest markets in the world for the pet industry.

The global growth of the pet market is attributed to the humanization of animals. Nine in ten Americans consider their pet to be a part of their family. People's care for their animals goes far beyond basic needs, especially when it comes to millenials who act as pet parents. They are more willing to buy premium foods, designer costumes, and holiday gifts for their four-legged 'kids' than for themselves.

By 2025, the global pet care market is expected to reach $202 billion. The growing demand for pet organic foods and premium care products will drive the wider use of pet apps to search for the most relevant offers.

Our Approach

Building an MVP

Having received mockups and basic specifications from our client, we did deep research into available technologies and offered cost-effective solutions for an MVP. To enhance development speed, reduce expenses and ensure scalability, we ended up running the code on AWS Lambda. We also decided to implement Amazon Cognito Identity, a secure ready-to-use tool for user registration, authorization and authentication.

Managing scope changes and filling in specification gaps

During the MVP phase and at the next stage, when adding new features for release on the web, our team was dealing with frequent changes to requirements. These changes were driven by many factors such as feedback from test users, competitor analysis, advice from a designer, outcomes of the previous milestones, and so on.

For our client, Mochi was a part-time project, and due to his busy schedule, he lacked the time to specify every aspect in great detail. To ensure a quality product, we took a proactive approach to the development process, filling in gaps, making adjustments and completing tasks based on our technical expertise.

Adding push notifications

After releasing the initial version on the web and receiving feedback from real users, the client decided to add push notifications to inform pet owners about discounts and remind them to replenish supplies.

At this stage, we had a QA engineer to fix bugs caused by time zone differences. When the problem was resolved, the app met all market expectations set by the client. In the future, we're planning to implement new functionality as well as release an Android version.

The project

Mochi is an iOS app built with React Native for searching for and ordering pet supplies on Amazon. The application creates personalized recommendations to match the pet's unique preferences in food, toys, and more. It helps owners find highly-rated products and track discounts.

Mochi can be used for any category of pets  — dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, reptiles, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. The project is donating 10% of their revenue to animal welfare and wildlife preservation organizations.

Main Functionality

Pet's profile

The app allows new users to create a personalized profile for their pet and set individual preferences in food, toys, and treats.

mochi-pet-mobile-application-development

List of customized recommendations

Based on the pet's preferences, the app creates lists of personalized recommendations, choosing from products with the largest discounts or  highest ratings.

mochi-pet-application-development

Search and filters

Pet owners can:

  • search for pet products using a search bar
  • sort results by rating, prices, etc
  • predefine and apply different filters (pet category, brand, price range, discount percentage)

mochi-pet-application-cat-supplies

Favorites

Mochi lets pet owners save products to Favorites for quick access. After tapping on a favorite item, a user can immediately order it on Amazon, configure reminder notifications or delete the product from the list.

mochi-pet-app-for-pet-supplies-shopping

Alerts and reminders

The app sends three types of push notifications:

  • Favorites Price Drop  — an alert when products from the Favorites list drop in price.
  • Favorites Reorder Reminder  — reminds users to reorder certain products at custom intervals.
  • General Reorder Reminder  — reminds users to stock up on supplies from Favorites at custom intervals.

mochi-pet-mobile-app-development

Involvement

Duration: October 2017 - March 2018

Team:

  • Project manager
  • 2 full-stack developers
  • QA engineer

Contract type: Dedicated development team

Project investment: $10,000 to $49,999

Technologies & Integrations:

  • React Native
  • Node.js
  • React Navigation
  • Redux
  • Facebook SDK
  • MongoDB
  • Product Advertising API Scratchpad
  • Amazon EC2
  • Amazon Cognito Identity
  • AWS Lambda

Project type: Shopping application for iOS 

Industry:  Consumer Services / Pet Supplies

Country: USA

↑ Go up