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Building Mercari’s Same Day Delivery feature in the US from Tokyo

July 01, 2021

Building Mercari’s Same Day Delivery feature in the US from Tokyo


Since last year, we have been building a Same Day Delivery feature called Mercari Now. I’ll be talking about the cross geo collaboration of the team and the challenges involved in remotely developing shipping related features.
→ Speaker: Anurag Bharadwaj, Shipping Backend Engineer at Mercari US@Tokyo. I love building products!! I like to do competitive programming in my spare time. I play professional cricket in Japan and in general like to play all kinds of sports.


July 01, 2021


  1. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 About Me • Anurag Bharadwaj (

    /chatrasen ) • Shipping Backend at Mercari US@Tokyo (Oct’19 - Present) • Mercari Now contributor
  2. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Overview • What is Mercari Now?

    • Cross-geo development process • Key highlights for me • Current status
  3. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Standard Shipping @Mercari Pack the item

    up Seal the package and attach the label Drop it off at the nearest office of your chosen carrier Let your buy know it’s on the way 1 2 3 4
  4. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Pain points for the customers •

    Print the shipping label • Pack the item and take it to the nearest shipping center • Wait for about 3-5 days to receive the item
  5. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 How Mercari Now works? Seller in

    eligible area lists a Mercari Now Item Local buyer sees the item Buyer picks available slots Seller schedules pickup Delivery partner picks up the package Package delivered to buyer
  6. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Team distribution ❖ PM ❖ 1

    QA engineer ❖ 2 client engineers ❖ 1 QA engineer ❖ 2 backend engineers
  7. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Initial plan For every milestone, whole

    team meets in the US for a week Finalise design and tech spec Each team works individually to achieve the milestone 1 2 3
  8. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Current Process PM comes up with

    initial spec Whole team meets (online) to finalise UX Is UX final No Feature leads propose tech spec and estimate timeline All stakeholders finalise timeline and set release target Client and backend teams work on tickets in separate sprints Rigorous feature testing Suggestions to PM Ready for Release
  9. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Can we release to end users

    now? • An order cannot be scheduled in prod during post-release QA • Some partners don’t send tracking updates in the sandbox environment • We haven’t tested the commitments made by the partners (e.g. pickup ETA)
  10. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Alpha testing Ready for release Alpha

    Launch Dogfooding by alpha testers New release plan based on feedback Development to achieve release target Release to end users
  11. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Interesting and challenging problem statement Same

    Day Delivery excites everybody Building something new from scratch Touches almost every area of Mercari app Third party integration (with Postmates) is challenging 1 2 3 4
  12. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Debugging story • A → B

    possible • B → C not-possible • Postmates don’t deliver beyond 20 miles • Bridges!! A B C
  13. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Trust and Ownership • Delivery distance

    restriction • Not part of MVP • The team trusted me to solve this problem • I proposed, designed and implemented the solution
  14. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 All for One • PM is

    open to suggestions from all other team members • Live debugging during alpha testing • I analysed data to choose next launch city • Feature suggestions by alpha testers
  15. Confidential & Proprietary 2019 Journey so far ❖ Launched the

    MVP with Postmates in SF in May 2020 ❖ Expanded to NY with more features in September 2020 ❖ Launched in Houston with Geofencing in November 2020 ❖ Launched FedEx partner in SF Bay Area and Houston in June 2020