Rapitt built their partner store app on top of Mattermost to create a platform that facilitates local commerce.
Rapitt digitally connects local business owners with customers to enable specific use cases and transactions—like storing items for a period of time (e.g., a suitcase) and serving as a key-handling solution (e.g., Airbnb hosts can use Rapitt to provide keys to guests). The company has more products in the pipeline and hopes to expand its network to include other stakeholders (e.g., delivery drivers).
To ensure easy onboarding of new products and new users, the Rapitt team needed a feature-rich and adaptable messaging platform to serve as the foundation of their partner store app.
After surveying several options, the company decided that Mattermost, the open source messaging solution, was best suited to their needs.
Rapitt is an online commerce platform that provides storage, delivery and collection services in local communities. The app connects small business owners with their customers to support local transactions.
With Rapitt, customers can get deliveries from their favorite local stores that otherwise wouldn’t deliver. Retail outlets in the network can also be used to store luggage or keys to Airbnb rentals. The company hopes that, as it grows over time, member businesses will figure out even more ways to use the platform.
While the idea for the company has been percolating in CEO Tim Haack’s head for nearly a decade, Rapitt launched in 2018. The company is based in Berlin, Germany.
Imagine two travelers check out of their accommodations in a faraway city at 10 a.m. on a Friday. They’ve been staying in an Airbnb for the last two weeks and have a lot of luggage in tow. Unfortunately, their flight isn’t until 8 p.m. that night. They could carry their luggage around for the next 10 hours as they soak up the city once more. But that’s not the most ideal way to end a vacation.
Now imagine that the owner of a local hardware store looking to unlock additional revenue streams has agreed to participate in a network that allows travelers to temporarily store luggage on their premises. At the same time, the hardware shop owner also stores keys to Airbnb rentals.
The travelers head to hardware shop, drop off the keys to their rental and store their luggage for the next several hours. They can now explore the city one last time without having to haul their suitcases around. And the local hardware shop owner generates a little extra income by using space that would otherwise be unoccupied.
This is one kind of scenario the Rapitt team enables in local communities. The company is also focused on supporting deliveries (e.g., having something delivered from your favorite local store on the other side of the city to the partner store next to your home) by developing and improving local delivery systems.
Items that are stored or transported through Rapitt are all tracked on the platform, so users know where their belongings and deliveries are at any point in time.
Currently in beta, Rapitt is working on growing its network of trustworthy small businesses.
“We have a very clear boundary of what local means and who our customers are going to be—we are not looking to engage in large communities,” explains Mohsen Lotfi, co-founder and community advocate at Rapitt. “Anything with a human touch—we try to take a look and see how we can improve it and make it better and faster.”
To build this platform, the team at Rapitt needed an underlying messaging system that moved quickly.
“We needed something that supported conversational commerce,” Lofti says. “But we also wanted to have fast operations and easier onboarding so that people with less technical know-how could use our platform more naturally.”
Rapitt began its search for a messaging platform they could use as the foundation of their partner store app.
After examining several open source options and some paid enterprise solutions, they ultimately came across Mattermost, which offers both a complete out-of-the-box messaging workspace solution as well as a highly customizable open source messaging platform.
The Rapitt team was able to quickly customize Mattermost to meet their needs.
“I looked at all of the alternatives,” Lofti explains. “For the most part, there was always a point where you’d hit a wall and be forced to change your direction. I didn’t have that with Mattermost.”
The Rapitt team was drawn to the fact that they could customize Mattermost to meet their unique requirements. They also preferred Mattermost’s intuitive design and support for quick communication.
“Mattermost fits our needs perfectly,” Lofti says. Unlike several other alternatives the team looked at, “Mattermost offered the features we needed out of the box.”
As an added bonus, the platform also enables Rapitt to allow its partners to chat with one another directly—which opens additional revenue-generating opportunities.
After deciding to build their app on top of Mattermost, the Rapitt team hasn’t looked back.
“The speed and velocity of the platform and the direction it’s going means we’ll be able to always stay on the cutting edge of tech,” Lofti explains.
Though Rapitt is still in its infancy, the decision to build on Mattermost has enabled two great use cases:
- Peer-to-peer communication. Rapitt relies on quick interactions to connect store owners, delivery drivers, renters and customers so they can engage in commerce. Mattermost serves as an intuitive communications layer that makes these conversations easy for store owners. It also enables Rapitt to use its network for additional revenue models—like enabling partner stores to compete against one another to see who can offer the best prices.
- Event management automation. When you’ve ordered something from a nearby flower shop, it’s nice to be able to check the status of your delivery. Did it leave the store yet? Is it in transit? If so, how far away is it? To facilitate this functionality, Rapitt integrated StackStorm, an open source events management and automation solution, into their platform. “It’s a phenomenal platform that communicates directly with Mattermost,” Lofti says. The integration guides store owner interactions through StackStorm to Rapitt’s customer app, ensuring users are informed when the status of their transaction changes.
Together, these use cases help Rapitt grow and increase user adoption.
Instead of struggling to figure out how to use Rapitt, new partner stores are immediately familiar with the chat functionality.
Would Lofti recommend other entrepreneurs build on top of Mattermost?
“There isn’t anything even close to Mattermost on the market,” Lofti concludes. “Don’t let the enormity of the platform drive you away. Spend time learning the components and you will have a very steady, stable, cutting-edge platform that can integrate with a lot of services.”
Are you looking to improve process coordination and streamline project management across your organization? Get in touch with the Mattermost customer team to learn how.
Mattermost provides enterprise-grade collaboration solutions for the world’s leading organizations on a vibrant open source platform. Our private, hybrid and public cloud solutions offer secure, configurable, highly scalable messaging across web, mobile and PC with archiving, search, and deep integration across in-house systems.
Rapitt connects local communities with its transport and distribution network that provides on-demand access to storage, delivery and collection services. To learn more, visit https://www.rapitt.com.