The CarePack idea came about out of the experience of living a significant amount of time in quarantine in the hardest-hit area of Europe, Northern Italy. In this period our team has experienced firsthand the total closure of all shops apart from big supermarkets, hence disrupting competition,  causing increasing unrest among the traditional shop owners and in some ways endangering citizens' safety. CarePack was the solution we found to get both small businesses working again and permit people to access the products as they would without the lockdown. In addition to getting people back to work, this product would have a decentralized nature, removing hotspots, or concentrations of people in and around supermarkets prone to not following the government's rules of distancing as they have to hustle through a crowd to acquire certain necessities whose supply is not always guaranteed.

During and beyond the quarantine this idea would also be useful for elderly citizens who are in need and might benefit from having periodic shipments of heavy or non-perishable goods to their homes instead of having to go through the physical struggle of getting them for themselves.

What it does:

  • Facilitate the supply and demands of first necessity products:

thanks to CarePack the planning of the supply of the shops and their organization are easier, as the need for inventory is remarkably limited (see below in "Product Design"). CarePack also addresses issues on the supply side, the nature of our service simplifies the sourcing of goods, as of now waiting-time for the delivery has got to extreme extents (i.e. online shopping delivery got to +1 week)

  • Social distancing:

today, the main aim is to avoid contact among people to stop the virus outbreak; delivery systems can bridge the gap between people and shops (following any given sanitary disposal) and also avoid spending time in huge lines outside shops, thus limiting potential risky situations. Furthermore, an important psychological aspect is to bring people back to their shopping habits; CarePack does so, "reuniting" our local communities in such a difficult period.

  • Support local businesses/shops who are bound to be closed to the public:

crucial but highly restrictive measures have been implemented, forcing the majority of small businesses to close to the public. The CarePack system would allow them to comply with those rules and at the same time to relieve the huge economic effect on these businesses. The partial reopening would have a great impact on the economy overall.  Moreover, the platform can become a durable reality for certain people or in case of need and a stimulus to small business to evolve in today's market.

  • Obviously, it does not provide people with extensive freedom of choice as supermarkets do, but this is the key to the efficiency of the CarePack system: to provide a range of necessary products in the fastest and safest way.

*Product Design *

Our product design would be an extension of online food delivery platforms (such as Glovo, Deliveroo or Uber Eats) that would allow for the shipment of care packages of different natures from local shops to residents of the neighborhood. The idea of working with an existing food delivery platform stems from the need to deliver a quick and effective solution, which through an added feature would be much more effective than building a system from the ground up.

Our vision is to offer a variety of predetermined care packages that customers can subscribe to on a weekly or monthly basis (depending on the degree of use and perishability of the items) each from a different type of store. Butchers, Fishmongers, Bakeries, and Grocers are the obvious choices for this program but we think it could be extended to Pharmacies, delivering weekly prescriptions and first aid kits as well as other shops such as Beauty and hygiene stores that can provide customers with the necessary products to keep homes clean and sanitary items such as gloves and face masks if they do need to go to work.

In addition to offering these predetermined care packages, we would also leave the option of families to pick and choose how often they would want products delivered and to edit the contents of their baskets to their own needs.

Challenges to tackle

The first challenge would be to find an already existing delivery platform to implement our project as an addition to it (i.e. Glovo, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, etc.). In this way, we could benefit from an established organization and be able to work through their network in very little time. In addition, exploiting an existing service would solve the problem of complying with any delivery and selling regulations, as well as having access to an already existing customer base that would immediately benefit from this new feature.

A second challenge could be competition with a greater distributor such as supermarkets, which can rely on more resources to launch any type of initiative in the field. However, in this month of lockdown in Italy, we saw that they were not able to keep up, as many products are now scarce or not available and wait time is extremely high.

The last is the design of the basket itself; in our opinion, this task should be a responsibility given to the business owner, so that each local business can adapt and modify the basket to its own clients' habits and tastes. The basket composition is also the crucial element to save cost and time on the inventory and the organizational effort, thus we leave space to the owners' expertise.

How we built it

Although our vision is quite expansive and detailed we haven&#39t developed the full product as it would also need the cooperation of the existing food delivery platforms (i.e. Glovo, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, etc) as a sub-brand keeping the entity separate as to distinguish the usage of the services.

What's next

Launch and export everywhere in the world, as it is so easy to scale!


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