Token System to get a delivery slot at bigbasket

If thousands of people are trying to place an order, while your business is facing issues with supply chain (caused by factors like lockdown), how do you manage?

Token system to get a delivery slot on bigbasket
Token system to get a vaccination slot at hospital

This blog is about comparison between a real token to get a vaccination slot and a virtual token to get a bigbasket slot.

Why token system? — Used to eliminate uncertainty of getting a slot.

A person doesn’t have to depend on “fastest finger first” method, doesn’t have to keep checking the app multiple times to know if there’s a slot.

Tokens would be issued on FCFS (First Come First Serve) basis. So that everyone gets an equal chance, to eliminate the factor of luck.

  • In the home page, click on ‘Collect token’
  • An estimated order date is shown (a slot is reserved for you for a future date)
  • On that slot date, you’ll get a reminder — SMS, Email saying “you can now place an order”
  • You have 24 hours to place your order.
  • In case you don’t place the order within 24 hrs, the token becomes invalid. Slot will be released to the next ones who have availed the token.
  • Collect the token at 5 AM
  • Based on the token number, slot timing is given. Saying, 1–2 PM slot for token #300
  • You go back to hospital at 1 PM and get vaccinated.
  • Say Bhavana and Praveen are trying to place orders on bigbasket.
  • Bhavana checked at 11 AM, it said slots full.
  • Let’s say slots opened at 11:05 AM.
  • Praveen checked at 11:10 AM, he got a slot.
  • 10 others also got a slot.
  • Bhavana again checks at 11:30 AM, it would say slots are full.

With tokens –

  • Bhavana collects a token at 11
  • Praveen collects a token at 11:10 AM
  • Both of them would be assured of a slot, on a FCFS basis.

When operations get back to normal. That is, when we are back with full capacity in supply chain, and are able to cater demand like before.

Deactivating token system once the operations are back to normal

I hear one question often — Did we build any feature during last year lockdown which is helping us to handle the surge in demand this time?

Yes. The token system has helped us effectively cater to the demand this lockdown, offering a great customer experience! :)

Product Manager by profession. Designer by heart. PM case studies, UX design teardown, SEO, E-commerce. Ex-Bigbasket, Eltropy.