Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PRIOR Report Summary

Project ID: 782009

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PRIOR (PRIOR - Making food and goods more accessible online)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

THE PROBLEM: Customers expect instant and on demand commerce and businesses don’t yet have an affordable and efficient solution meet such expectations
In the case of mobile ordering for in-store pickup, studies in the UK show that businesses lose 21 million consumers a year due to queues which amounts to a billion euros in revenue loss (Source). In the case of online food delivery, third-party aggregators are gaining the control of the consumer experience, leaving smaller businesses and chains out of the loop. This results in a sizeable cut in these businesses’ margins and hurts their brand or ability to retain their own customers. Up until recently solutions like these were only accessible via third parties who cannibalise businesses’ margin or through very expensive custom developed solutions (ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of euros) that are out of reach for most the industry.

THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: Everything is on-demand. The digital opportunity for the food industry
Both the Food delivery and Pickup markets have high potential and room to grow with mobile pre-order expected to grow from $10 to $38 billion in 2020 and food delivery from $11 to $210 billion in the same period. The same growth is expected in the groceries industry. More and more businesses will want to meet their customers’ needs in term of immediacy and efficiency. But how can it be done at an affordable cost and still being profitable?

GAME CHANGING SOLUTION: Introducing into the market a unique ecosystem providing HORECA businesses their own ordering and payments solution, reducing operational costs and increasing ROI
We are enabling faster commerce in HORECA: Hotels, restaurants and catering. PRIOR’s on-demand platform enables businesses to offer their own branded web and mobile ordering and payments solutions. Apart from reducing operational cost, increasing sales and thus boosting profits, businesses can sell directly to their customers and grow their loyalty. Through our technology, their end customers can order for in-store pickup and/or delivery directly from these businesses while also saving time and enjoying a value-added service. PRIOR’s B2B product helps these companies with key factors of their business: saving in operational costs and staff, avoiding churn due to long queues and disintermediation resulting from selling through third-party aggregators. With more than 3.500 transactions during 2016 and sales of 13.000€, we expect to reach 7 million transactions by 2022.

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

The efforts made within the scope of Phase 1’s feasibility study were aimed at validating PRIOR’s market, technical and financial viability. To analyse market and business feasibility a market analysis and risk assessment was conducted to kick-off the project. The resulting conclusions allowed for a better grasp of the market that translated in a more effective sales process and a more robust expansion strategy. Understanding risks associated with a wider scale launch was also beneficial to refine said process. Gaining these insights during kick-off was vital to doubling the amount of new customers and pilots launched in the past 6 months. Consequently, this customer growth validated the business model and amounted for substantial revenue growth.
In terms of technical feasibility, supporting the aforementioned customer growth was a great practical way to evaluate the technology component of the business. Launching 7 new customers resulted in almost 2 times more transactions on the platform which in turn rendered indispensable insights for the technological roadmap. Furthermore, keeping operational costs in check while increasing overall transactional volume determined the business’ potential to scale.

Customer demand and requests during this growth period were central in recognizing and improving customer acceptance. Moreover, these learnings were used to further improve the product as to add more value to customers and further differentiate it from competitors.

Financial feasibility was evaluated taking into consideration market analysis, business model and technological validation gained by acquiring new customers as well as the marketing plan. Expanding our team to execute and improve on marketing initiatives contributed in faster customer acquisition and increased revenue for existigine ones. Refining the customer acquisition model by increasing marketing efforts while optimizing costs was vital in defining the path to a sustainable growth and business model. As part of evaluating financial feasibility, new markets were also explored. Testing our acquisition model in the field and on a different market positively affected the commercial strategy and will inform further expansion initiatives.

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)

As part of the project and in order to assess technological viability at scale, a new version of our roadmap was put in place. Much of the knowledge gathered in the pilots was used to guide both this new version of the roadmap and innovation strategy. Also, requests from existing customers were also used to complement this effort. The following table summarizes both long term additions and shorter term improvements that were added to the roadmap during the feasibility study. As for any technological development carried out, initiatives are listed in order of priority and impact.

Optimize customer onboarding to increase sales cycle speed
Fully self-serve store creation and inventory management
Fully self-serve signup and registration process
Basic inventory management for store staff
Integrating with 3rd parties to offer delivery services to customers without delivery staff
Support for product images
Internationalizing the platform to support multiple languages and currencies

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