It started because of a pandemic.
Earlier this year (2020), when the first lockdown occured, I noticed a lot of people, desperately, trying to sell their products on facebook groups, obviously a lot of shops where getting less visits and thus getting on the edge of closing down.
The facebook group on which sellers were trying to sell their products, was well received, and a lot of people liked or left a comment that they would like to buy their products instead going to the hypermarket, and the sellers in return would offer themselves to deliver the groceries for free. That was an awesome community effort, however, at times it was really difficult to scroll up and down to find that one shop that actually sold the thing I wanted.
So I thought there should be a better way to navigate the shops, and their products, and just like what facebook offered, all shops should be centralized in one place.
No tool / platform existed for this type of job.
I looked around the web, and beside the big online shops / platforms that were selling their own products mainly, there were nothing that a small town grocery store could use.
So I decided to make such a tool instead.
I really felt the need to work on a "bigger" personal project for quite some time, and this was the "perfect storm" for me.
Right off the bat I knew what my app should enable: accounts, databases, search functionalities, APIs, image processing, etc. And for all that i needed a tech stack.
Angluar, for the simple fact that this project should be able to scale well, and there was a real need to learn a frontend framework.
Went with FastAPI for its async apis, and the speed at which it performs. I also considered to use golang, however I only did a few tutorials on it, so it would probably take more time than i actually had available.
Since I`m in full process of learning machine learning, I considered it would be a good ideea to go with python, because this will enable serving machine learning models later, in a easy and fast manner.
About the platform.
Can be seen and tested here.
One could open an account, than fill in a form about his shop and thats it! You now have an online shop.
Next step it would be to go to your shop and manage it!
The platform offers functionalities like adding products, removing them, adding price reductions (sales), and even discount codes.
A normal user could visit the platform, check products from whichever category he wishes, add them to his cart, ingonring the fact that different products may be sold by different sellers, and once the order is placed, each seller would receive his piece of the order to deliver, not knowing that this small order is part of a bigger one.
To this day, this platform is not finished, there is a lot more work to be done, however time constraints left me with no choice but to pause the development on it.
This is just an alpha state.
There`s a ton of awesome features i wish to be added, I had them in mind when i started but time constraints only allowed progress to this point.
The frontend is just a sketch. The plan was to go with it as is, and once it would hit a beta state, I would pay someone for a nice UI.
All the credit goes to the owners of butoane.com