Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

StoreHero Report Summary

Project ID: 744623

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - StoreHero (StoreHero: An AI (Artificial Intelligence) Virtual Business Coach for Physical Retailers)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The pain / problem (off-line retailers are not aware and not capable to exploit IoT benefits):

e-Commerce retailers have been benefitting from insightful analytics for years, whilst their physical counterparts have mostly had to rely on instinct, hunches and trial and error. Sensor technology now allows for these physical retailers to benefit from advanced analytics too — and we, at Measurence, intend to tap into this huge market potential, based on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, that connect physical and on-line worlds.

Despite the growth of e-commerce, 90 % of total retail sales are still generated by offline retailers. An extensive amount of data is available for these retailers to make proper business decisions, but most of them still find it hard to make sense of all the available data and use that intelligence to drive their decision making. The bottom line is, they are sinking in data from Point of Sale (POS) systems, intranets, and internal transaction processes, but they cannot factor in all the new and complex analytical technologies that vendors have made available.

The StoreHero Solution (An online business coach for off-line retailers to make their business smarter and more profitable):

What is it?

StoreHero is an artificial intelligence based virtual business coach for physical retailers, helping store owners and operators grow their business.

How does it work?

We use this hyperlocal data to help retailers build a model that can monitor, predict and manage performance at any commercial physical location. We then connect our proprietary data to other data sources, like marketing data, campaigns, events, weather and point of sales data, and correlate all of this data in our machine learning platform.

In itself, StoreHero is an AI-based mobile app/web, a virtual business coach that helps store owners and operators grow their retail business. Thanks to the data collected through this variety of sources, along with the intelligence generated by our proprietary platform of interconnected and remotely-managed plug-and-play sensors, StoreHero can send text messages and notifications with insights and recommendations on how to improve the retail business.

The StoreHero SME-INST-1 project objectives:

During the 6-month period of the SME-INST-1 support of the EC, MESURENCE was focused on achieving the technological and economic viability of StoreHero in order to:

• scale up and redesign the platform,
• address the needs of more physical retailers, and
• ensure wider market access at the earliest.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

SME Instrument Phase 1 grant has supported us in the creation of our Proof of Concept and a feasibility study to investigate potential viability and growth of our StoreHero project.

From the technical side we have:

• selected the technologies needed for the four categories of software needed in the platform: Infrastructure management, data analysis and databases, machine learning frameworks and user interaction and interfaces.
• build a final Proof of Concept, through three POC´s: POC1 – Delivering Effective Analytics using Slack-, POC 2 – SMS-based user notifications; and POC 3 – Mobile dashboard.
• enhanced our IoT platform and physical sensor platform
• determined technical requirements

From the commercial side, we have:

• estimated the costs implied to accomplish the project;
• analysed the customer requirements through interviews with store owners and staff and tests with end users;
• studied competitors´products and technologies;
• assessed the market dimension and its growth potential of customers for next 5 years, which confirms the economic viability of the project;
• signed partnerships with stakeholders to increase the probability of a successful launch of StoreHero in the market place; and
• designed the strategy for the IPR protection and commercialisation of StoreHero in the different countries which will be firstly targeted (Italy, Spain, USA, UK, Germany and France).

In short, all this information generated after the study has helped us to scale up and redesign the platform and develop an elaborated business plan. The outcome of Phase 1 is positive, evidencing that StoreHero is an innovation project with high potential in terms of competitiveness and growth.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

We have finished a Proof of Concept of our firmware to extract data from low cost, off the shelf IoT sensors (Wi-Fi, bluetooth and cameras), which we can bring to life for retailers’ decision making in Europe and the USA.

Our proprietary platform of interconnected and remotely-managed plug-and-play modules can be deployed without IT intervention (store owners usually prefer not to deal with their IT). Modules based on unexpensive off-the-shelf hardware devices can be extended to provide additional functions (Wi-Fi, iBeacons, NFC, etc.). It is an integrated, cloud-based platform ready-made for analytics, CRM and marketing, either directly or through partners using our APIs.

Considering competitors, StoreHero is more modular, flexible and cheaper, does not require any integration with customer’s IT and it’s plug and play. Morevover, our sensors are ready to ship and we have a robust big data processing backend.

StoreHero we will serve any retailer, and not only data analysits as competitors do. StoreHero is a virtual assistant that will be able to deliver insights rather than complex dashboard, to a wide variety of users. From the smallest store owner, to the store manager and store associate in the largest of stores, data will be available to their fingertips. Simple push notifications and interactive AI recommendations will be made available so that a store can be better managed, for its employees and customers, just as we do with e-commerce sites.

Our ambition is to create a network of physical locations interconnected by our sensors, which will be easily sold online and self-served. With such a large network, StoreHero will be available to any store and to anybody with a commercial activity. Our platform will be connected to in-venue apps; marketers and brands will advertise their products and pay for access to the network, and revenues we will be shared with stores and venues.

5 years after launching StoreHero project to the market, we will reach 311,568 stores in the Italy, Spain, USA, UK, Germany and France, obtaining an cumulative profit of 67,163,100€.

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