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Bowens is a family-owned, fourth-generation timber and building supply company, primarily catering to trade professionals. They have 19 stores throughout Melbourne and Regional Victoria, also offering delivery and click-and-collect services.

Visit Bowens.

The Challenge

We have been working with Bowens for many years now, assisting in improving and streamlining the functionalities of their eCommerce platform.

Most recently, Bowens were seeking innovative solutions for their platform in order to enhance their delivery services and customer experience. This was driven by the escalating competitive landscape and ever-evolving customer demands for swifter and more convenient delivery alternatives. They were aiming to maintain and increase their competitive edge in the market.

Bowens made the strategic decision to join forces with Uber to incorporate Uber Direct Delivery into their website. Uber is a renowned global leader in the on-demand delivery sector, and leveraging their expertise was seen as a strategic move. Uber’s cutting-edge technology, featuring real-time delivery tracking, would significantly boost transparency for customers while reducing uncertainties.

Bowens had a specific request regarding this feature: They wanted to ensure a streamlined process that aligned with their existing business processes. They didn’t want the system to automatically connect with an Uber driver as soon as an order was processed on the website. Their priority was to make sure that the Bowens store staff had time to acknowledge the request, prepare the order, and have it ready for pickup before the system initiated the driver request with Uber.

This is where Arcadian came in – we specialise in custom eCommerce integrations that are tailored to meet a company’s unique goals. By integrating Uber Direct Delivery Bowens could offer a new delivery option, boasting a remarkable 90-minute delivery.

The Approach

Bowens and Arcadian collaborated closely with Uber to integrate the Direct Delivery service into their existing online platform. As Bowens has a custom platform using NodeJS and VueJS this required planning around touch points within their system to ensure maintainability in the future.

This collaborative effort entailed the customisation of the user interface and checkout process to accommodate the new delivery option.

In other delivery methods like Click & Collect, processing an eCommerce order was a “one-way” workflow that follows the following steps:

  1. The website receives payment
  2. The website creates an order
  3. This order is sent to the Bowens Internal System to be completed

Any changes or modifications to the order were fully managed by Bowens staff, and the eCommerce platform took no further action.

To implement this business requirement for Uber deliveries, we had to enable the eCommerce platform to monitor the status of orders within Bowens internal system. Our system would only trigger the delivery request to Uber once the order was confirmed as ready for pickup. This represented a new capability that the eCommerce system hadn’t previously handled.

Additionally, we had to engage in discussions with Bowens regarding the “status” and workflow of these internal orders. Each Bowens store operates independently, and they have their own unique standards and practices for managing orders of this kind.

This became an issue as each store marks “packaged” orders with different status codes, and they often had multiple stages of completion other than “processing” and “ready for pickup”. Overcoming this variability was a slight hurdle that we faced prior to going live.

The Outcome

After successfully completing the integration, the Uber deliveries solution now follows a similar workflow as mentioned above, but with a couple of extra steps:

  1. The website receives payment
  2. The website creates an order
  3. This order is sent to the Bowens Internal System to be completed
  4. When Bowens staff finish preparing the order, they update the system from “processing” to “ready for pickup”
  5. The eCommerce platform does a regular status check, looking for any of the outstanding Uber orders that have received this update, and finally contacting Uber to request a driver
  6. Only once an order has been given to a driver in person, does Bowens now consider this order completed

Offering Uber Direct Delivery provides Bowens with a distinct competitive edge in the market. The implementation of Uber Direct Delivery introduces an additional delivery option to customers, with a swift 90-minute delivery directly to their work sites. This capability not only caters to the rising demand for speed and convenience but also reinforces Bowens commitment to delivering unparalleled service quality.


Get in touch

We’d love to hear about your digital requirements. Even if you don’t quite know what you need, get in touch as we can help formulate a whole digital strategy to meet your business objectives.

Contact us

Level 16, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

03 9090 7070

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