How ShopyGen assisted Bridalope to commence their Search engine for all things wedding?
To achieve great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan but also have faith in. In the real sense, marriages take place in the hearts, not in the church. It’s a day that reflects your choices and makes you feel happy about it over and over again. So that when you see into this day decades after, you would remember how special you both are as a couple.
A wedding, a great wedding, a memorable wedding, is a blast of emotions that last for the whole life. There is love, romance, feelings, and emotions attached to a wedding. Everyone wishes to make this celebration of romance and love, a memorable event with every Tom, Dick, and Harry involved in it. The people who come to join you, the arrangements you make, the planning you do to let everyone feel the pre-eminence of this day for you.
A dream wedding is everyone’s fantasy, and someone who is accountable to make this dream come true would be a flawless wedding planner. Trust me, it’s a burdensome profession and more complicated is the path to find a picture-perfect planner for your wedding. Juan Carlos Tudose, the owner of the Bridalope, understood the necessities of offering perfectly accessible wedding planning solutions and took no time to realize the profitable scope of taking this niche to the online world.
Yes, we are talking about online wedding planning that laid the foundations of the very successful project – Bridalope. Bridalope was indeed an effortful project that did not only required our technical expertise but also our comprehension of feelings attached to every dream wedding ceremony and pre-eminence of this event for the people involved in it. Juan Carlos Tudose knew this eminence impeccably and had some splendid ideas to launch a perfect online wedding planning service, which is not only accessible but immensely affordable for every class of people.
Bridalope was a mix of technical and demonstrative implementations. We were introduced to the concept of Bridalope as a central location to find everything one needs to plan a perfect wedding event. The client had a great comprehension of the wedding planning and knew how difficult it is for people to find a good wedding planner without risking their chances.
The rapid change in the internet and on-demand online services has propelled a need to introduce a more accessible and transparent source of wedding planning services. The traditional mediums are difficult to accommodate and require a plethora of research. In particular, many wedding planning services have their own websites or yellow page Ads, but these medium do not provide them enough information and transparency of the how they do the stuff and how much they spend on it.
The Project Objective
With Bridalope, Juan had a vision of connecting two sides of the people involved in a typical wedding planning-
- The service seeker- wedding couple
- The wedding vendors of services – catering, music etc.
Traditionally, a wedding planner has his/her connections and arrangements with different wedding vendors. A planner acts as a medium of connection between the wedding couples and the wedding vendors. Juan intended to become that link as an online wedding planner and let wedding couples access his services for their events.
Wedding planning involves a plethora of tasks for an array of events involved in it. If you break down the combined services of a single wedding planner, you would find tons of other services in it, which are generally taken care of by the planner as a single package. These services may involve sub-tasks like –decoration, flower suppliers, musicians, beautician, catering, dress supplier, photography, videography, and transportation.
Our client wanted to change this notion. Instead of offering a whole package, he wanted to let the couples choose each service separately and pay only for them. By doing so, he had the vision of letting the wedding couples have control over their expenses and book the wedding services that are required and correspondingly affordable too.
Considering the business plan, we could conclude that Juan wished to launch an online service marketplace of all the wedding services one would need to realize a perfect ceremony. The marketplace should let-
- Search the service vendors
- Book a service
- Pay to admin for the service
- Create their vendor profile
- Accept the service request
- Receive the payment
- Deduct the commission
- Pay to the service vendors
The business operation and vendors curation was a challenging task for the client. However, for us, the only challenge was to fit our turnkey solution “Gentask – Thumbtack clone” into his business model. Fortunately, the requirements given by the client were extremely similar to the Gentask platform. In fact, Juan found us through a Google search with the keyword “Thumbtack Clone script’.
We had developed the Gentask script in response to various queries in the past for a Thumbtack like service marketplace solution. Undoubtedly, people wanted so, as thumbtack is one of the most popular service marketplaces in the US with more than 10 million users and 250,000 vendors and 1000 types of services. We found our Thumbtack clone script superlatively suited for the project’s requirements.
Business Requirements, SRS Documentation, and Application of Thumbtack business model-
Based on the requirements analysis and solutions we proposed, an SRS document was prepared and shared with the client. After three iterations of approval and modifications, we finalized the final document and started with the Implementation phase.
Luckily most of the requirements were being automatically fulfilled by base Gentask script. Credit goes to our marketing and research team who spent day and night researching the necessary features required to build a Thumbtack like service marketplace.
Following are the client’s requirements that were already present in the base script-
1. On-demand or later request services-
Customers can post an immediate service requirement or can also schedule a service requirement for a later time. Just like Uber cab where you can schedule a ride for later.
2. Separate dashboard for vendors-
Separate control panel for wedding vendors in the front end. The dashboard must offer all the access required to accept and fulfill and service request.
3. Questionnaire for users & service providers-
Different questionnaire for service provider and customers to filter the search results or submit a requirement. This questionnaire also involves mentioning the budget range for the service by the couple, and service acceptance budget by the wedding vendors.
4. Matching algorithm-
Algorithm for matching the answers of the questionnaires and filtering out best matching wedding vendors. And vendor’s algorithm to get the best leads and service requirements according to preferences stated in the vendor questionnaire.
5. Revenue model-
Vendors are required to subscribe to a membership plan before signing up as a service provider on the platform. It includes one month free trial for vendors by adding their credit card for the free subscription. Moreover, the vendor can choose to continue or discontinue the subscription anytime.
In addition to the subscriptions, vendors are also required to pay commission to the marketplace owner on pre-bookings they get. The Thumbtack clone is equipped with an inbuilt commission management systems that take care of the whole process.
For example, if you are a musician you would need to do the following things-
- Subscribe to Bridalope as a vendor with a monthly fee.
- Once you get a booking and payment is made to the admin by the couple, the admin can deduct the commission from the booking charge and pay the rest amount to you at the time of pay-out.
6. Scalable architecture-
A service marketplace for wedding planning is a huge site. It will receive a huge number of requests in a single day. To keep the experience uninterrupted, the website was meant to be highly scalable for any number of users and service requests.
7. Stripe payment gateway-
The script comes integrated with one of the most popular payment gateways – Stripe. Stripe is one of the latest and simplest payment methods across the globe. The wedding couples can always choose to pay by card through the Stripe method.
8. Reviews and ratings-
No service or product based marketplace is complete without letting the customers share their experiences with fellow customers. Likewise, the client wanted and we had the integrated ratings and review management in the script. The system enables wedding couples to write reviews and give ratings to the services experienced through the platform. This system also optimizes the site SEO with a huge number of user-generated content on it.
9. Switch online/offline-
No wedding vendor can afford to stay online for eternity. There are times when even these vendors need to suspend their services. This feature lets a wedding vendor switch to offline mode so that they do not get the service request when they are unavailable to fulfill it.
10. Social logins-
Integrated social media API to let wedding couples create a user account without having to fill the lengthy registration forms. They can simply log in using their social media accounts.
11. Report abuse-
Just like Upwork and Thumbtack, the platform was also supposed to be capable of collecting abusive requests from the customers. It was done to let the admin filter out unwanted or spam content/activity on the platform.
With most of the requirements being already fulfilled by Thumbtack clone script, some of the requirements required extra customizations. Hence, we moved to the next phase of re-shaping a few features according to the client’s requirements.
Video slots & uploads-Admin and vendors interface to upload videos and images from their side.
We offer the clone script as white-label. The organized codes make it highly accessible to customize the UI without much of the effort. We were supposed to customize the UI of –
- User/customer’s side web view interface
- Wedding Vendor’s web view interface
- Both interfaces on Android and iOS mobile apps
Sign up process-
The default sign up process was a typical one. Fill up the registration form to create an account and then search for your required service. However, the new requirements were to first ask the customer to answer a questionnaire about the service and then fill up the registration form. This was done to prevent spam sign-ups.
The default questionnaires were similar to that of Gentask. However, as Bridalope is a niche service provider, we had to customize the questionnaires to match them with a wedding niche. For example, instead of “what’s your budget for the task”, we customized it to ask something like “What’s your budget for the Catering?” or “How many people you are expecting to come for the event?” etc.
In addition to Admin interface for updating the banners and headers, we were also supposed to add some static images specifically provided by the client.
The base script is well-optimized to update the SEO content. However, we were required to do some modifications to make the interface for updating meta-tag and Meta description more accessible for a non-technical user.
Technologies utilized in the project
Process and Approach
The Agile model was selected to develop the final script. After each phase was completed, the raw script was sent to the client for review. We managed the communication and project progress with Skype and Trello board Project Management System.
A team formed for the project consisted of the following members with corresponding expertise-
- One project Manager
- One SEO expert
- One graphic designer
- One web designer
- Two coders
- One tester
- One Android developer
- One iOS developer
With all these arrangements, we continued with the project in the following sequence-
After multiple reviews and interactions SRS document, we finalized the design for the website, and both the mobile applications.
We prepared an exact replica as a prototype design using HTML and sent for review to the client.
Strictly according to the SRS and features approved by the client, we continued with the development phase. All the customizations mentioned in the above section were done during this phase.
In addition to the final functional and regression testing, each feature was made to go through Unit and integration testing post development. After multiple testing and development movements back and forth, the final Automation testing was done by the testing team for regression and strain capabilities.
5. Beta Phase-
Beta phase or you can also call the acceptance testing was conducted to determine if the script is ready for public release. We exposed applications in full-fledge to a group of 50 people from our workplace and asked them to use it the way they want. Post that feedback was taken from every participant using Google forms.
The final iterations were made post-beta phase release. The project was again moved to the testing team for final overall testing before delivering it to the client.
In addition to the web application, the following mobile applications were also delivered to the client with the same features as the web version. We synchronized these applications with the web version a web service script.
- Android Mobile App
- iOS Mobile App
Outcome and the Current Status
The stable versions of the website and all the mobile applications are available publicly as of now. The service currently offers the following subscription plans for the Service Providers-
- Join as a Vendor and pay $79 for the first 12 months (Limited Time Offer).
- After that, pay $179 for the next 12 months.
- Add $15 for every additional state you want to be featured in. (Feature in development)
- Service operation location: Indialantic, Florida, United State of America
- Time for the first phase of project completion: 3 months
- Service option of Bridalope:
Current Status and Upgrades
The first phase was completed in three months. Currently, after 7 months, we are still proudly working with the company and planning the second phase. The second phase actively includes the process for Digital Marketing, where we would be customizing the SEO friendly URLs and perform other search engine optimization tasks, mostly the marketing part.