While many large companies are able to operate through COVID-19, many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. We thought that they need support and innovative options to stay competitive, without any crazy fees or monthly costs.
What it does
It is a centralized platform that allows small businesses to set up their store to be, so customers can browse between multiple shops and their items. When placing an order, customers will be asked to select a time slot for curbside pickup.
How we built it
Back-end: Node.js, Express, CockroachDB, Sequelize
Front-end: Vue.js & Vuetify (Material :-) )
Mobile App: Flutter (Dart)
We utilized the Vonage SMS API to send notifications to customers when their orders are confirmed & ready. We have plans to do more Vonage integration as we feel it’s necessary for our platform like ours.
To deploy our platform, we used Google Cloud Platform (thanks MLH for the credits!), specifically Google Cloud Storage to host the images for products/business-related images and App Engine to host both our front-end and back-end API.
Challenges we ran into
Even though we were able to finish a workable version of our app, we faced some setbacks when our database service went offline early in the morning and we had to rebuild some of our infrastructure. As well, we faced a lot of difficulties hosting the app online. Fortunately, we had a solid work ethic and sense of humour about dealing with these challenges.
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
From brainstorming to developing a unique idea in less than 36 hours, we developed an idea that we believe can help small businesses. Through collaboration, we were able to brainstorm multiple sessions which allowed us to achieve an interactive demo.
We’re really proud of the UI especially, it’s quite clean and intuitive, keeping it simple for both customers and businesses. Our goal was to not overwhelm businesses especially with features, and to keep it as simple as possible.
What we learned
One of us learned and used Node.js for the first time this weekend and finished writing more endpoints than we knew what to do with.. I think we all learned how fun, stressful, exciting, and crazy it can be when you have a team where everyone is willing to stay working and figuring things out for an entire weekend with just enough sleep to remain functioning X’D
What's next for curbshop.online
We are planning to complete the development of the platform in the next 2-4 weeks and then launch. We hope we are able to support small businesses to go through these difficult times and to allow them to increase their digital presence, especially on mobile devices.