Authors

Vision

Enabling a virus-free provision of vital products by reducing the risk of infection through contactless shopping to an absolute minimum. No matter whether large or small - every market shall be enabled to participate in digital trading through our platform!

Mission

Minimizing the number of customers in grocery stores by connecting customers and local stores through a digital platform and establishing a pick-up service in front of the store without physical contact.

Inspiration

The risk of infection with the coronavirus has been shown to increase through social closeness - especially in grocery stores, people mingle in tight spaces despite all the proclaimed measures. In order to ensure the provision of food and other products for daily needs without the risk of infection, the idea of a platform for contactless shopping was born. Contactless means that the customer can pick up the online purchase, which are ready-packed packages. This pick-up happens directly in front of the store. Thus, no direct contact with employees or other customers is required and no extra capacity for delivery service needed (since most countries still allow citizens to walk outside).

This is already partially implemented in larger cities by food companies in Germany such as Rewe Online. However, in many regions and for many smaller shops, this concept is not available. As a digital platform, Safe&Local enables citizens to be supplied by local businesses without the risk of infection.

Safe&Local - Contactless shopping in the store

Safe&Local brings customers together on a digital platform. The stores define and create packages and choose individual goods that can be included in the online offering. In order to reduce panic-buying, the ordering of critical goods (e.g. toilet paper) is limited to common quantities.

The customer specifies one or more time slots in which he can pick up the order. Based on this, the store selects a concrete time. The customer receives a confirmation message with a pick-up ID. He can show this ID to the shop staff at the store entrance through the shop window at the agreed time. The package that has already been put together by the staff will be placed in front of the store entrance after an identification check. The package can be handed over e.g. in a disinfected shopping cart or basket. The shopping cart/basket is then disinfected again. This procedure ensures a contactless and completely hygienic delivery.

Solutions to challenges

  1. Minimizing the risk of infection: contactless shopping by picking up pre-packed packages at clearly agreed times (avoiding queues!).
  2. Less extra work: By providing pre-packaged standard packages, the picker’s capacity shall be reduced to a minimum since the picker doesn’t need to run through the whole store to pack the purchase. In addition, the idea is not dependent on delivery capacity, since we rely on precisely agreed pick-up slots. Most customers want to get some fresh air while shopping during this time of lockdown!
  3. Integration of a wide variety of stores: Uncomplicated, digital integration of all store types through intuitive offer management.
  4. Prevention of panic-buying through limited ordering options.
  5. Little effort to adapt the logistic processes for participating stores: All existing processes can remain identical until the packages in the store are assembled.

→ Fast implementable and realistic idea! #flattenthecurve

From the shop’s point of view

For the store manager, Safe&Local offers a lean solution for digitized sales in an exceptional situation while protecting employees and customers. The offered packages and, if necessary, individual products are defined by the market itself, so that there is predictability in the purchasing of goods which leads to the ability to react to bottlenecks effectively. A pick-up station or real-time handover can be set up in front of the door.

For whom

Customers: Safe&Local is aimed at everyone who wants to shop for groceries easily and safely in times of the coronavirus. Do you no longer want to stand in the queue in the food store?  Do you want to be sure that you get certain things? Order through Safe&Local and pick up your prepared package contactless at the agreed time!

Stores: Do you work in a grocery store and you are therefore in direct contact with customers? Suggest your boss Safe&Local to minimize contact!

Helpers: You take care of the shopping within your neighborhood? Use Safe&Local to shop efficiently and safely within your neighborhood!

Differentiation from other solutions

External market research:  The basic structure of the platform resembles services from large companies like Rewe Online (Germany). The clear difference, however, is the reduction in individual selection. This is limited to standardized packages so that the shop is able to process the orders with as little additional effort as possible.

  1. With Safe&Local, the online order can also be extended to all other types of shops such as organic markets, Asia markets, bakeries, and pharmacies. Furthermore, it is also possible for the established supermarket chains to integrate their local shops into the portal. EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE AND SELL.
  2. We avoid the problem of weeks of delivery due to overstrained delivery services. Safe&Local uses clearly defined pick-up times and customers need to pick-up the order themselves.
  3. There is no longer any need to enter the store to pick up the order!

Internal market research (within the hackathon):

There are strong synergy effects with several hackathon groups, which bundle purchases for people in quarantine or risk groups (e.g. neighborhood help). By ordering the products on this platform, the purchases can be carried out efficiently and safely. The individual compilation of the articles is omitted and the volunteers are protected against further infection.  Since more workers would probably be advantageous, the projects on worker redistribution are also ideal for further cooperation!

Ideally, customers should no longer enter the shops at all, but since this is unlikely to be the case without state intervention, cooperation with projects in the category of supermarket scheduling, etc. will probably also make sense.

Validation

Interview with the store managers of health food stores: In addition to the workload, psychological pressure is currently very high for employees in the food industry, as infections among employees can be expected due to the relatively close contact with customers. Preparing packages for contactless delivery in a more protected environment is an increased workload for employees in the store but offers effective protection against infection from employees and customers.

What`s Next

  • Translation the whole platform into English.
  • Resolving technical transfer to the markets.
  • Resolving payment.
  • A pilot project at one location in cooperation with a larger neighborhood or a government agency (many orders by bundling requests) → creating synergies between other projects!
  • Creation of onboarding material for fast and standardized onboarding of shops and customers.
  • Extension and individualization of the product range.
  • Expansion of business types: connection of pharmacies, bakeries or weekly markets to the offer on the platform.
  • Extension of the service: Accepting orders by phone (cooperation with other groups from the hackathon).
  • Increasing awareness of the platform (media presence or recommendation of use by government agencies).

Try It out

Hackathons

Technologies

figma, javascript, python

Devpost Software Identifier

257063