Floorwatch: How We Developed an Uber-Like Application

11 December 2017 • 6 min read
Floorwatch: How We Developed an Uber-Like Application
Slava Vaniukov
Written by Slava Vaniukov
Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii

Uber economy, Uber-like apps, Uber, Uber, Uber. It’s amazing how often the company has been brought up over the years of its brief claim to world domination. The disruptive effect Uber had on business and world communities inspired a large number of success cases for those who have adopted the formula. Inevitably, we too have had the chance to create an Uber technology app and, of course, it had been a success.

Floorwatch is a brand new customer service solution that allows tech stores to maximize the power of their sales teams.

Let’s think about the retail store client experience in a regular setting. The person comes to your store to buy a piece of tech. Does he or she want to talk to the assistant at a given time? What if the entire team is busy? There is always guesswork at play and sometimes the timing or the approach don’t exactly meet the client’s expectations. All these lost leads are the price that you don’t have to pay anymore.

Floorwatch empowers your clients to call for the assistant whenever they feel that they need one. In addition to that, they can also rate their experience. The sales team gets a new way to reach out to the client and offer timely assistance. At the same time, personnel managers get their hands on a versatile database that measures the feedback rating of employees. The superadmin arrives at a holistic picture of the staff performance in all stores within one’s network.

These are but a few of the ideas we had to fully flesh out in course of our development. So how do you create an app like Uber but for something other than cabs? In this piece we will go into more detail on how we’ve built the Uber clone for shopping:



So, what’s the recipe for awesomeness? As always, it all starts with preparation. We’ve had discussions about the custom app for retail stores ever since 2016. Of course, the cost to develop a taxi app that’s destined to deliver a world-class innovation can actually be daunting for startup teams. In pursuit of the next Uber it can be expensive to hire taxi app developers in USA. The kind folk at Floorwatch have reached out to us for a more iterative development process which was one of their top priorities. And so in June we’ve started prospecting.

First of all, we came up with the structure and worked out the business logic that we’ve built upon ever since. Together with our UX/UI designers, we’ve devised the architecture that would deliver the unique value offered both to the client and the company in the most effective manner.

Floorwatch was meant for three types of users and, going from this, we’ve designed the separate front end chamber for each.

cloud service

Client Cabinet — designed for the client to request assistance in the most convenient manner and obtain useful information.

Admin Cabinet — created for the sales representative to receive the client request and do the initial communication.

Superadmin Cabinet — a dashboard for the owner to view the stats and manage multiple sales teams across different locations.

When talking coding, Floorwatch consists of the back end that runs on Ruby on Rails. It packs the entire logic structure and interactions of databases. The back end stands separate from the front end.

Floorwatch is also using real-time data transfer in order to track the nearest shop locations and display them as a dynamic hierarchy in the search that shifts positions depending on location.

The user and team member versions are made native for both iOS and Android, while the admin is made for web usage.



After we’ve settled with the general layout and the database structure, we moved on to projecting the functionality and every minor detail therein.

When thinking how to create an app like Uber, the most sophisticated part is the client experience. We had to build maximum value presented in the most seamless fashion. All to encourage the client to install and use the app. No one would get a mobile app for taxi service and have it installed if this proposition wasn’t sufficiently useful. After the download, all the user has to do is to sign up using a social media account or just email address.

What one gets afterward is the most essential piece that makes Floorwatch so exceptional. It’s the same thing that changed the world of taxi with the rise of Uber and has so much in common with taxi booking app development.

With Floorwatch, the service provider is getting the user’s location and knows how close the person is to the shop. In return for signing up, the app offers a unique feature called geo-fencing which unlocks a special functionality when the shopper is close to the physical location as well as the working hours of a specific store. In addition, Floorwatch tips the user that the store within the Floorwatch network is near even if they are just passing by on some other business. The end-goal is quite similar to that during the taxi app development. Now the person doesn’t need to wave their hands around and has the option to summon the assistant just by tapping the get-help button. Meeting the client in person is of course preferred but in case there is no one on location, the call-by-phone option is made available.

Afterwards, Floorwatch empowers your client to rate their experience with the salesperson. In addition, the app is:

  • Providing the list of shops, starting from the ones that are closest with result filtering options;
  • Displaying the individual store’s address and fetching directions when the address is clicked;
  • Showing the working hours of the selected shop for the current day and all days of the week upon clicking;
  • Providing the official site for online shopping as well as the Home Depot page of company.

As for the stores, the massive advantage of having the user onboard opens up a whole different world of opportunity.

Among other things, the sales team can now interact with the client thanks to the chat. Before passing the request to your employee, the chat is used to specify the query, opening up a few branches of dialog that the client has to choose. These options don’t offer excessive variety as not to confuse the user and lead to the major part of interaction being held in person. By default, there are only 3 dialog options at the start that identify that the request is meant to ask for help, product information or seal the purchase. Thanks to this, user gets to categorize the query and gives their personal location to your representative. Eliminating the need to repeat the same questions manually towards each client.

After the client is done answering, your salesperson gets the flare with all the needed chat history before confirming the request and heading out to meet them. When this happens, the 5-minute timer sets off to ensure that the response is rapid. When the counter has fallen down to 0, the question pops up, asking whether adequate help has been given and the rating menu is displayed afterward. If the associate has failed to arrive and the time is up, the client can confirm that no adequate help was given and then proceed to the rating menu. These steps will provide the additional time your employee can use to make it on time.

app view on mobile

There is no special hardware needed for the team members to use the app and they can install it on their Android and iOS devices. In case the company doesn’t allow its employees to carry their own mobile devices during working hours, the design is also adapted to work on tablets or browsers.

At the end of the day, owner gets the essential tools to gather detailed information about the rating of different team members as well as the metrics of an entire shop within the chain of your store locations. The actionable metrics that you receive about your employee are the score of user satisfaction, ability to respond within the designated timeframe offered to the user and the number of cases solved by the person.

So that’s our Uber like app development story. It took us roughly 10 months of active development to make it happen. Some of the trickier parts in creation of Floorwatch were working out the SQL request to arrange the hierarchy of shops by their changing vicinity as well as arriving at a thought out system of metrics that would pass on the data from the user to the salesperson and then all the way to the superadmin. The same also applies to the somewhat difficult interaction between databases but nothing we couldn’t put together in a seamless fashion.

All in all, our developers did their best to create this awesome mobile app, and we are very happy with how we’ve managed to embed a whole array of useful features based on the given concept. Right now you can sign up for Floorwatch and get your free 30-day trial by following this link . Should you find this piece interesting, don’t forget to check the post on our work with JibJab.

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