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Shelf.ai - Holding back Amazon and Google from the global grocery retail market

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Shelf.ai (Shelf.ai - Holding back Amazon and Google from the global grocery retail market)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2018-01-31

Shelf.AI’s mission is to help incumbent grocery retailers hold back Amazon and Google from the global grocery retail market. Despite newcomers in grocery retail, these two giant newcomers are by far taking the lead role on grocery e-commerce. For example, with 18% share of online grocery market and estimated $2 billion in food and beverage sales, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 and is twice ahead Walmart, the second in line. In Europe, recent deals with Carrefour and Monoprix have been announced - no doubt very costly for these European retailers’ operating margins.

Shelf.AI is a B2B2C platform, for conversational e-commerce for retailers, in which their customers complete a wide shopping list in under 1 minute, anytime, anywhere, just speaking to a smartphone or virtual assistant, dramatically decreasing shopping cart abandonment and leveraging loyalty programs and 1-to-1 marketing communication. By ensuring semantic precision (perfect match between spoken words and products shown) and learning from cross-referencing shopper past purchase history with retailer’s product catalogue at each interaction, Shelf.AI leverages basket size increase, improves promotional performance and converts more sales. Furthermore, nowadays, online shopping for groceries is likely to take as long as actually visiting a physical store, meaning about 40 minutes to complete a cart fulfillment, with an average of 67% shopping cart abandonment rate, which leaves plenty of room for improvement for online grocery retailers. Moreover, mobile devices and digital assistants penetration in e-commerce keeps growing every day.

Shelf.AI changes the paradigm of e-commerce, transforming it into an open-ended, personal assistant based event, with continuous 1-to-1 communication, as it enables incumbent retailers to use Amazon’s Alexa & Google Home to their advantage.
As of January 2018 there is one big retailer in Europe using Shelf.AI and that retailer’s customers are already using Alexa and Home for shopping with our platform. Thus, Shelf.AI’s goal is to become recognized as the first app in the world that allows any retailer to interact with its customers through both Alexa and Google Home, without the need for a specific commercial deal.

Shelf.AI has a positive impact on society in various ways. First and foremost, it is critical to appreciate the fact that retailers are some of the biggest employers in Europe and Shelf.AI aims to help them hold their ground against transnational technological conglomerates. As far as environment and climate changes are concerned, by favoring e-commerce, Shelf.AI helps to reduce carbon footprint, as, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study, energy consumption is 30% lower in online retail vs physical stores shopping. From a quality of life point of view, Shelf.AI brings benefits as well. Online shopping with Shelf.AI is incredibly faster, allowing people to have more free time to be spent in meritorious activities, such as volunteering and helping the elder, playing with/caring for children and beloved ones, or even simply enjoying some entertaining and relaxing time off (feeling more motivated for work afterwards).
From the beginning of the project we have performed deeper market analysis, which ended up in redefinition of market verticals, now considering grocery, pharma and hardware retail and also sales channels, which now include direct engagement and sales through third parties.
Additionally we refined our business model, which comprises on premises solution with software licensing and also SaaS, we validated price entry points, drafted a business plan for the next 3 years and defined our growth strategy for the next 5 years.
Furthermore we have benefited from 24h coaching with a lawyer, for legal advising in terms of IP, freedom to operate, as well as NDAs and customer agreements setup.
As far as engineering is concerned, we have fine-tuned the look & feel of Shelf.AI’s application, improving UX and UI, included additional features that significantly impact shoppers convenience, created customizable BI analytics dashboards and other tools for retailers analysis and implemented customized demos for different retailers.
Regarding customer engagement, we have gone through thorough market validation, with direct presentations of Shelf.AI to customers in US and Europe and also to third parties (business partners and venture capitals), by setting up live customized demos and pilots, by attending retail trade shows and sponsoring AI related events, which altogether has finally lead us to closing the first deal and further differentiating our platform from competition.
Far ahead from voice recognition and natural language processing, we have built a very robust engine for Shelf.AI that successfully learns from interaction with each and every shopper, perfectly matching and even anticipating shoppers' desires and needs, allowing grocery shopping to meet newer generation’s expectations.
Furthermore, we have developed skills for both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, that are now fully functional and integrated with Shelf.AI. On top of this, our first customer is the first retailer worldwide to have its customers placing online orders any of these devices, in addition to their smartphones.
Working at Shelf.AI
Shelf.AI explain-it cartoon
Shelf.AI logo png
Shelf.AI demo box
Adding products into a shopping list with Shelf.AI