"Save money, live better!" Everyone buys groceries.The team takes more trips to Walmart than any other retailer in the world for our day-to-day needs, including home appliances, entertainment, stationary, and more recently... groceries! As the largest corporation in the world, Walmart saves us both time and money by being a one-stop-shop, having all the ingredients we need to make that perfect meal. What if we said we could save the consumer even more time and money while shopping for meals, making Walmart their primary go-to stop for making dinner tonight? We made Meals For Deals to do this.
What it does
Meals for Deals Mobile finds the consumer delicious recipes based on current Walmart sales and specials, finding them a delicious meal for less! Not only does this save the customer time and money, but it also promotes Walmart's latest deals and products!
Meals for Deals targets those who are looking to save money when cooking meals, who are also excited to try already-highly-rated-recipes based on whatever is on sale. Among these demographics are students and mothers with dependent children. Now they'll not only know what's on sale ahead of time, but they'll also know what they can make with the ingredients, giving the consumer even more reason to come to Walmart for their grocery needs specifically!
How we built it
We used the following Walmart Open APIs:
Walmart Search API - Provides price, availability etc of the item
Walmart Paginated API - to fetch items by category, brand and specialOffer (i.e rollback, clearance, etc)
Walmart Taxonomy API - Exposes the category taxonomy used by walmart.com to categorize items
We also used:
- Recipes API - database of popular recipes from food.com
Challenges we ran into
- Navigating and generally figuring out the open Walmart API
- Processing and using a large set of data
- Accurately finding products, all the while keeping in mind a positive customer experience
- Android Studio constantly crashing and updating itself
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- We had a lot of fun
- Created a Walmart-focused product that directly benefits the user & company; specifically something that we'd use all the time!
What we learned
- Walmart is more than a retail corporation. Until today, the team had no idea that Walmart had an open API.
- Always keep the user/target demographic in mind; it's not all about the technology itself
- Balancing fun and work at a hackathon
What's next for Meals for Deals Mobile
We've realized that there's more potential in terms of what can come next with Meals for Deals Mobile.
Expanded features - more intelligently suggest recipes based on gathered user data, such as common purchases, general app use and expanding the database for more popular, top-rated recipes from other sources (e.g food.com, etc)
Feedback - a feedback system where consumers can rate Walmart products/recipes can be created.
The Meals for Deals concept can also be adapted into other consumer purchasing processes, for example, finding cost-effective gifts or crafts. All of these features would work to improve customer experience, streamlining their process to help them find exactly what they're looking for.
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