Friday, 12 November 2021

Back to Basic

We have a good news that we are shortlisted to enter an online accelerators for businesses.

So I would like to share what kind of learnings or takeaways from the materials they are provided:

Well, firstly, after I go through the materials, it's so much so like going back to basic, or like flashback to the point of time that Orderla (our SaaS business) was started. 

1. Business Model Canvas (BMC):

This is considered as the universal language on the framework of building a business.

BMC starts from :

i) Value Proposition. What kind of value to you want to server your (ii)

ii) Customer Segment : identify your ideal customer, what are their persona

iii) Channels : how do you deliver your (i) to (ii)

iv) Customer Relationship: how do you let your Customer Segment know you, and how do you maintain the relationship.

v) Revenue Steam: how do you charge your (ii)

vi) Key resources : what is your resources to provide your (i), you must have the advantages on providing goods or services to your (ii) in term of knowledge and networks.

vii) Key partners : who else that you need to partner to make sure you can build up the business. You do not build everything from scratch if needed. You can focus on your USP. 

ix) Cost Structure : what cost do you need to spend in order to provide your (i) and (vi)


2. Go To Market 

We had developed the platform earlier than the pandemic. The idea was to create a simple, free platform the send the order as a message to WhatsApp. At first I even didn't know is anyone would like to use that. It was quite a self-doubt of where it could be.

But, on the other side of the world happen there is also the tool on our pipeline pops up and create such a buzz.

From there, we can be certain that our product pipeline could have the potential users or customers. I started to solidify to make the product in term of UX good enough for user to get on board. 

So to flashback, I used social media, and some social media friends helped in term of introducing the system on the group, and it has some initial users.

Feedback from initial users are critical, and make sure to work on them as early as possible to address the concern. Be grateful that your users reaches to you to talk about their concerns otherwise they just can leave you, without you know a clue why they left.

There is good article about how big apps started:

https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-the-biggest-consumer-apps-got?

And for Orderla it was slow process, but we also polishing the app so that it can cover the most of the issue with early users.

At first the product is not good enough for everybody. But eventually it can be better overtime and can be on par or better with other players.

3. Marketing 

Marketing is everything in business. Even sometimes, you might did not noticed you do marketing.

It's the heart of your business. 

Marketing not necessarily ads, as you can start as Zero Cost Marketing (ZCM), which might consuming time. 

Your product is also marketing. Are they happy with your product, are they feel proud to share their links?

But eventually when you have enough confident that it's good enough for wider audience than we have to pump some ads budget on Facebook for example.

.

That were 3 points of the things that I just reflect back while I got the material of the accelerator.

It can be refreshing to look back and learn how we got until now.




 







Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Orderla.my Hits 10,000 Merchant Accounts

Early this month, Orderla.my hit another milestone of we are having 10,000 merchant accounts. 

We would like to say thank you for using this system and also all the technological partners that we have collaborate to make this platform more meaningful.








Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Maturing the Platform

Orderla has been on business already for more 1 year and half.

We have good tractions from micro, small and medium enterprises in Malaysia. And still grew the market ever since.

However as technological product and service. We faced some internet / technical challenge so far, and quite tough actually when the customers are keep complaining and reports on the support group.

Fortunately, we did go through the challenge fairly well after researching, try and error, seeking advices from our circle. I would emphasize how much circle is important in bringing the right knowledge to solve your problem.

So what was the problems: 


Not Optimizing the Database

Sometime the basic thing, we didn’t realized how much important it is when the database got bigger and not optimizing properly could lead a significant slowdown when fetching the data.

Optimize & Protect Your Base

As a services provided from cloud, we have to know the operational of the cloud / server. 

What we buy from the cloud provider not necessarily what we use. For example when we buy a X GB of RAM, or Y Core of processors, it’s not necessarily we use it. So we actually have to configure our server to make use the resources that we are actually paying for. 

Moreover we also need to protect it from being attacked from the outsider. At least know the basic good practice when managing the server.

Other that, there is another layer, for example from DNS standpoint, that we can protect it via firewall. Not only need to connect with the protection service but actually to enable the right configuration so that it would working properly. And also need to monitor if any regression happened along the way. 




Solving the Issues

Sometime people called it technical debt, even you don’t realize it, when you don’t do it right at first, it doesn’t break anything. But when the situation is on the peak, the issues has been escalated so bad that your customers keep reporting to you and give bad reviews. 

So what I can say here is be careful, realize is anything that is vulnerable that could harm your system. 

Sometime we could be in denial syndrome, saying that it was intermittent or using some not solid reason as an excuse. 

Keep learning, seek advice from experts, treat them right. It’s especially from your circle where you can trust to seek help. 

Slowly, we could find the problems on our side and slowly fixed the issue until we receive no more reports and even praise from our customers.

Moving Forward

Building technological services is really about knowing your tech stack.

Tech stack is not build in matter of days, it took years. Many years to master your subject. When we master it, we can build something faster. Evolve, and do some breakthrough along the way. That’s what the competitive advantage that we have in this scene. 

And lastly just want to say that we are always motivated to build what people want, and of course more motivated when people are willing to pay, better pay more on certain things that we build that could help them in solving their problems. 

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Orderla's New Form Type : Cart-based

We are happy to introduce you a brand new type of Orderla Form: Cart-based.

It might seems obvious, but Orderla just started as a small ordering system that allows customer to select and submit the order. 

We could not have advance add-on or put remarks on each of the selected items. 

It is still the limitation of the Select-and-Go form type. However it's super simple to start with.

In this times, we have a lot of F&B based merchant who are using Orderla. But they want more flexibility when choosing product. 

Thus we have to think about making adjustment or make a new type. So we chose the second. 

We still keep the original version but for the cart-based it's an option for Pro plan.

So by having this option hopefully can help more people in F&B line to sell on Orderla platform.


Monday, 12 July 2021

Kemaskini Orderla Julai 2021

Berikut antara updates untuk sistem Orderla untuk Julai 2021:

Latest Updates:

* Orderla sudah support international number untuk sales person

* Enhancement untuk form dengan pin.

Orderla Pro menyediakan lebih features dari Plus ( 😀 )


Antaranya:


Local Delivery (Google Map based)

 ⁃ Merchant boleh set had kawasan penghantaran setempat dalam border geografi atau dalam radius dalam Google Maps.

 ⁃ Bila pelanggan order, mereka akan cari alamat mereka dalam Google Maps, nanti sistem akan kira berapa jarak jalan dari peniaga ke pembeli. 

 ⁃ Merchant juga boleh set pricing mengikut jarak. Boleh juga follow pricing seperti Lalamove dan Mr. Speedy. 

 ⁃ Dalam invoice, di mobile app akan ada button untuk terus navigate ke lokasi pembeli melalui Google Maps. Tidak perlu susah-susah nak type nak cari di Google Maps lagi. 


Manager Account:

 ⁃ Jika anda ada staff untuk menguruskan akaun Orderla anda, anda boleh create satu akaun manager. Di mana akaun ini boleh manage semua aspek dalam sistem Orderla kecuali untuk lihat My Profile akaun anda.

 ⁃ Boleh buat up to 5 accounts.


EasyParcel / Delyva Integration

 ⁃ Seperti mana integrasi Send Parcel PosLaju, kini anda juga boleh membuat integrasi dengan sistem EasyParcel dan juga Delyva.

 ⁃ Kerja-kerja integrasi ni sebenarnya agak rumit, jadi kami terpaksa masukan dalam versi pro ini. Jika ada-ada issue boleh berhubung dengan kami.


Extras:

 ⁃ 30 custom extra customer questions. Untuk merchant yang nak tanya perkara-perkara lain: dia macam buat Google Form di mana anda boleh set soalan dalam bentuk text, paragraph, dropdown, pilihan dalam radio atau checkbox. ( Plus boleh buat 2 custom questions )

 ⁃ boleh set 30 options untuk weight-based delivery ( Plus boleh buat 2 options )


Orderla Admin Mobile Apps:

 ⁃ kami juga telah update mobile apps utk support Orderla Pro juga.



Dan untuk bulan May yang lepas ini juga antara telah di update untuk Plus juga ( Pro pun sekali dapat):


 ⁃ Kita dah boleh remove top header di form. Jadi kalau ada header banner yang cantik tu mungkin boleh remove title dan details lain.

 ⁃ Boleh add meta tag pada homepage. Ini untuk kegunaan pengesahan FB ads domain.




OK, itu sahaja untuk newsletter bulan ini. Semoga kita sentiasa bertabah dan berusaha lagi dalam tempoh lockdown ini. Semoga sistem ini sedikit sebanyak dapat membantu anda dalam mengharungi situasi sebegini.


Jumpa Lagi!


p/s: hari ni juga Orderla juga dah ada 7000 lebih merchant users. Juga sales terkumpul yang menggunakan payment gateways pula dah mencecah RM3juta. 


Terima kasih semua 🚀

Sunday, 20 June 2021

How Did I Launched Orderla

Orderla was born 1 year and 6 months ago. 

Now it has more than 7500 merchants.

I knew it was not easy to make a product that can be viable. Some might think it's luck. 

Before WhatsApp has been a hype last year. I have been building for fun ordering system. But not as polished as now. In fact was not good in term of UX for anyone new to use it. Just only built for developer as only the developer know the golden path.

As I learnt this product was build because of the emotion and motivation.

As I just playing around building this at first I did not know the potential. I know I model quite a strong brand in ordering as they served big brands. You know, the total addressable market is quite huge. So I was thinking it could be the best bet. And the addressable market I know is still large and untappable yet.

But just let go back in time, being a sole developer how can it be done.

Social Network / Circle of Friends

I start getting serious about to build this product seriously when there is post that asking is anything around about his idea. And actually his idea was being built silently for fun. So I tell him that I have built this and show the working non-mvp product. I had no idea to monetize and make it or finished or whatsoever. It's just a plain bet with no vision.

But yeah, later on they kind of show what can be done. I had the idea but not so much on the execution. So I just learnt that it can be done in that way.

So yeah, it's become the drive to make the product more MVP or usable at first. Event I openly for the public, I was still lazy to make it like it polished. Just make it as it served as bare MVP.

Later on the product got some buzz on facebook group, some facebook friends share it on their walls. 

It had some traction. And also inspired some other people to work on their own too.


Critical Users

While traction was good, they just want to share it because they might think it was cool.

But not until you meet or talk or message with your critical users.

I would say that this kind of users are the key of shaping your products. Whether you like it or not. They stepped out from just want to just leave your product to speak out to you, and say what they want.

Some critical users are my personal friends and others are stranger. 


Iteration

I would say iteration and improvement is just crucial as the way we move along.

We have a strong foundation but we just need the growth.

Growth is the way that can make us relevant in the future and present. 


The Future

Many people asking me what is the future of this product. Some things can be said and some are not. 

While we can say that what we are working in the near production. 

We cannot say what in the pipeline, sorry.


We are keep iterating the small thing and building the bigger thing. 




Sunday, 13 June 2021

June 2021 - Orderla Pro

Salam everyone,

Last month (on 28 May 2021) Orderla just launch Orderla Pro. The next plan after Plus. 

This is after 1 year 2 months after the initial Orderla launch to the public. And about 1 year after Orderla Plus on the market.

So it was taking quite a while to bring Orderla Pro to the market. 

At first I assume can deliver Orderla Pro after 5-8 months after Plus launched. But actually building multi-plans was harder than I was expected.


Multi-Plan in Mind & Code

Before we could do the Pro. We have to make sure our code is Pro friendly. 

We have to make sure our code is future proof to support multi-plan right from the middle. 

Not from the start, because it was written with just Plus in mind. So there was the transition time where we just make the adjustment to think Pro in mind when we write our code.


Building Pro

Why we need to have Pro? Of course we want a better reward when offering more incredible features.

We had tried our best to just put many cool features to just Plus. But sometime to add another feature, requires additional charges from the third party provider, in this case is Google.

So it's not feasible, and financially advantage to put this kind of feature at lower cost. If it would be used by many people, it eventually will put our financial to red, because it may cost us more.


Strip-ing Pro & Multiple Terms

We are using Stripe to manage our SaaS business. Just the right time Stripe came when we launched our Orderla Plus last year. 

Now we wanted to evolve the business by offering the next tier- Pro plan. 

Of course Stripe knew this kind of model business. We just need to learn what Stripe API can offer and can be used.

There is something cool for monthly subscription, when you already subscribing on Plus, you can upgrade to Pro seamlessly. Stripe will take care of how to charge accordingly with pro-rate. 

Pro-rate means when we are in the middle of Plus, when we want to jump to Pro, the Plus days remaining will be converted to days of Pro. The pricing by adding the difference of day Pro and day Plus.

All of this is handled by Stripe.

However for yearly basis, we have to do the calculation by ourselves. If you already purchase Yearly, then you want to upgrade for Pro. We have to calculate the pro-rate price to upgrade then charge it via Stripe. 

So this one is just need some extra coding to get it right.


Managing Jumps

Jumps meaning let subscriber to change their plan, but in this case just can upgrade their plan. 

To downgrade, however, to simplify managing the feature-and-plan, we just only can let customer to cancel with remarks and resubscribe with lower plan.


Track those Journeys

Since they will be multi-jumps between plan and term (monthly / yearly), we have to track them properly.

This is quite crucial to make sure we can manage the features towards the customer's current plan. And we just need how the movement of plan for a particular user.

On top of that, we can use for tracking our affiliate. We can know the customer from which affiliate and how much money they already spent. We can track which commission has been paid or not.


Bonus: Upgrade Yearly for the Next Year

Orderla Plus for yearly also almost a year for us to get our first customer.

So we also have to remind the customers that their yearly plan will be ended within 60 days. And of course we have to provide with proper CTA. 

We have to let them to upgrade for their next year. 

This option is new feature to be implemented. It's not like at the first subscription where it starts immediately. This one is a purchase to be started right after customer's yearly subscription ends.

Plus, we also let customer to purchase yearly for Pro. 


Last words, the journey was not short, and we just take enough ( or more than enough ) to plan and develop Pro plan. yet we still found some minor issue when executing Pro plan in term of managing subscription. For example on webhook. We wanted to get info about user's subscription plan when receiving webhook. However the plans return is in array. So at first we just simply use the first item. Because in all our test, it's only has one item.

But when do for case that customer is using Pro-rate, the plans position in array is different. 

After analyze and understand the data structure then I upgraded the code. 

So we are just keep monitoring that our system is capable to handle things like this in the future without any problem.

So thats it for now. Happy Ordering.