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YouBeep – InStore mobile shopping and analytics

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - YouBeep (YouBeep – InStore mobile shopping and analytics)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2018-11-01 al 2019-09-30

One of the most common complaints in retail stores is the queueing time at checkout lines.Shorter perceived waiting times improve service experience, customer loyalty and potentially market share. Shoppers needing to wait more than 5min for checkout, will try shopping at other stores; this behaviour is observed in 55% of the shoppers;33% will give up buying; and 32%will opt to buy online. This represents high costs and profit loss for retailers worldwide, meaning there is a valid business opportunity for new innovative and disruptive retail solution. The dimension of this problem is huge. E.g. Wal-Mart (US) says they can save 12M$ per year, for every second cut from the checkout process.
In this sense, the core product feature is mobile shopping and fast mobile in-store checkout through a YouBeep mobile App, where shoppers scan the products with their smartphone before placing them in the cart, and at the end, go to any available checkout counter and use their smartphone to checkout, completing the whole process in under a minute!
This product directly addresses the needs of two specific groups in different ways: i)Shoppers and ii) Retailers.
Shoppers want a more expedite, in control and cost wise optimized shopping experience. YouBeep provides a solution that improves convenience, and real savings, both in time(for not having to wait to checkout)and money (tailored discounts), ultimately benefiting from a better shopping experience. Shoppers are also important because they are an asset of the project!
Retailers want to provide a better service and experience to their customers, and at the same time save money through the optimisation of the checkout process(time & HR costs).For Retailers it’s also important to know their customer base, through Business Intelligence Data (Customer & Big Data Analytics), allowing continuous improvement of the in-Store experience, marketing strategy and installed business processes -SAVE TIME!, SAVE MONEY! and CAPTURE INSIGHT!
The objectives for YouBeep are:
•Rapid Deployment - Fast Installation -Just Plug-in;
•Compatibility - Compatible with every existing checkout;
•Zero Integration - No change is needed in POS Software;
•Low Risk/Total Cost of ownership (TCO)-SaaS Pricing Model;
•Support All POS features - Including payment methods, loyalty, coupons;
•Analytics - In Store localized promotions, Customer detection,Location based analytics, profilling;
•Security - Protection against theft: On-line Monitoring, Automated validation (weight based) and Random Audit.
YouBeep needed preparation for a larger scale operation, this meant hardware solutions that needed to be more flexible, quicker at addressing specific needs, and cheaper to build and maintain. To address these issues new solutions where developed:
-A new hardware solution for the Connector box: looking to improve upon identified limitations namely stability under stress, cost improvement on the bill of materials and optimization towards cheaper assembly. Work was done in partnership with a Industrial PCB Assembler/Manufacturer to identify opportunity for improvement towards a leaner and faster manufacturing process. Just by improving layout we expect to reduce assembly costs by 50%
-A new Operator console: looking to improve on the Human Machine interface. By adding color and more resolution, it’s now possible to have a better usability of the product, allowing easier operation by the cashiers
-New enclosures: YouBeep required a enclosure that could be cheap to produce and assemble. The original enclosure no longer suited because it lacked the desired quality and could not accommodate additional ports. A new plastic enclosure was developed (2 versions) that can substantially reduce the production cost to 2-3€ per unit, once the mould is produced. However, because plastic enclosures require producing an expensive mould, they are only cost effective above 1000 units. For this reason, a sheet metal alternative was developed that is cost-effective for smaller lots, and easier to address requirement for development or custom lots.
-All manufacturing documentation and procedures: Every aspect related to hardware can now be outsourced to external companies, allowing the company to scale business without needing to grow immensely in size.
The second vector was focus on improving UX and UI on the YouBeep App, and adding new functionality that would be helpful and drive adoption on YouBeep:
-New shopping list features: We expect Shopping lists to be a driver for adoption on YouBeep. These features included new shopping lists interface and the ability to use share a shopping list among friends.
-New digital payment integration: On every country different payment options are available. To easily support new payment options, we developed a standardised structure to incorporate new payment mechanisms, similar to the concept of plugins.
-Real time promotion engine: We want to provide our customers with promotion information while they shop, linked to the act of picking in store. Available promotion engines from top vendors run over a completed basket and not while the customer is picking its items. For that reason we found an opportunity to develop our own real time promotion engine, operating while the customer shops, and providing visibility to everything that the customer can save. This engine replicates the same business rules that retailers setup on their engines.
Some of these features are not yet available to the public as we need to coordinate with retailers supporting the trials the right time to do it, in terms of coordinating with internal requirements and marketing opportunity.
On the management side, we also developed version 1 of the Management Platform, where retailers and YouBeep staff can oversee the operation, and setup everything.
During the last year YouBeep was present at several tradeshows where the technology and the product were presented to the public, opinion leaders and potential clients. These events provided valuable opportunities to gather feedback and to showcase the solution. Broad visibility as assured for the support provided by the EU through the SME Instrument Phase2 Grant to YouBeep.
We developed a patented plug-in device compatible with every existing checkout (manned or self-checkout) in the world, with zero POS software integration. Mobile checked out items are processed at/by the external unit, and after validation are forwarded to the Retailer’s POS system, which completes the payment process, as well as all loyalty aspects of the sale. This means that billing and accounting is handled by the retailer, assuring total transparency of the system, and full compatibility with all work processes and procedures in place.All this is possible because YouBeep is “seen” by the POS as a standard Barcode Scanner, assuring full compatibility and ZERO software integration. Also the product will be sold as complete cloud based shopping solution, rather than just mobile checkout, providing a full set of features for shopping, that shoppers can use across all partner retailers, assuring a low cost of ownership for retailers, enabling less tech savvy retailers, to rapidly catch up.With a stronger national promotion, YouBeep can easily achieve 20% of customer transactions in the first year, and this will have an average on ROI (return of investment) of 5 times for the retailer just on operational gains, based on YouBeep price model.
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