ReLove is an app that helps small service businesses continue booking working through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by providing them with a digital storefront. Users can also search for services they need to complete tasks and support their local businesses.
Feb 5-6, 2022
Vu Truong Si
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced ⅓ of the nation’s small businesses to close their doors. “⅓” It’s easy to throw out a statistic, but to one of our teammates, ⅓ meant watching her local tailor of 30 years pack up her livelihood into her home, with no clear path forward. We made ReLove for these small businesses and the humans behind them. We’re helping them continue to connect with customers and grow their relationships. ReLove allows businesses to overcome store closure and keep thriving against all odds.
Design a platform to help small service businesses persevere through the economic losses due to the pandemic by providing them with a digital storefront to continue booking work.
After a business closes their physical storefront, they can turn to ReLove. Businesses register with our platform and set up their profile with their contact information, the city zones they serve, and information about the services they provide. On the flipside, users can search for a service that they need, browse from local providers, and book services–all directly from our app. We also feature community stories that spotlight small businesses and the rich, human stories behind them.
Here’s what we bring to the table: Exposure and ease of access to businesses that would otherwise be invisible and near-impossible for customers to reach.
One major takeaway for our team from ReLove is learning about business needs, and learning how to balance serving those needs with our excitement for creating a fun, innovative product. We found that there was no shortage of intriguing potential features to explore, but learned that it is important to keep in mind the audience that our app is serving.
As a result, we also learned that there is a continuous push and pull between the ideation, design, and development phases of the project–and between team members as well. Our experience was not a linear process, but rather cyclical and self-reflective as we better understood the business problem and our solution.
This version of ReLove is only the start. One clear direction in which we can grow is by expanding our functionality to further increase contact between the business and consumer, for example, by implementing a chat feature where users can directly contact the business on our platform. A cutting-edge application of ReLove would be to incorporate Web 3 and AR/VR technologies to make the experience even more immersive. ReLove could essentially become an online metaverse with a real-life community of businesses, and AR/VR technology could be used to make this community (a “main street” of sorts) an interactive experience.