16.03.2021 - Fintech, Startups, Technology

Fintech Snapio develops an alternative shopping tool

The fintech startup Snapio is working on an alternative shopping tool that will enable its users to buy the products they want with one click. The platform will run a QR code-based product recognition tool. The plans are to develop further solutions for online and face-to-face product recognition as well. Soon the company will start improving their knowledge in the Mastercard programme Lighthouse.

Snapio developers position their product as a tool for shopping and ordering goods. This includes not only the checkout process but also the transfer and processing of the buyer’s contact information and delivery information necessary for placing an order.

In 2019, Snapio joined the Creative Industries Incubator of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia. The team has now been admitted to the Mastercard programme Lighthouse. Other participants from Latvia are Alpha Visum and Maxaa. The programme aims to help fintech startups form partnerships with financial and technology experts to develop and improve their products and services following the requirements of today’s digital environment. The Lighthouse programme was launched in 2018 and more than 70 partnerships have already been established. Seven fintech startups – Payyap, Crassula, Nordigen, Globitex, Lahdes, BeStimulated and Spell – have participated in the programme from Latvia during the previous three cycles.

“The programme provides a platform for cooperation between Mastercard and its partners – Northern European banks. Pilot projects are being implemented. It is also possible to attract funding from the investment fund of the programme. We are looking for the first big customers, so participation in the programme is very important for us. It would be nice if a bank introduced Snapio as a new shopping method during the programme. Banks are currently actively looking for e-commerce solutions to offer to their customers. Snapio could be one of the payment processing methods that would be of interest to both banks and their customers,” J. Grīslis says.

Snapio’s first customer is a catering company. Previously, it provided off-site catering in schools and kindergartens but now focuses on delivering food to offices. Snapio works as a platform for ensuring this process. J. Grīslis emphasises though that the company’s long term focus is not on the delivery of food. Snapio is taking advantage of the current situation when the demand for food delivery is high, but the popular platforms Wolt and Bolt Food are not available everywhere. In areas where they do not work, caterers can't accept orders digitally. To do so, they have no other choice but to invest in developing their own e-commerce system. Therefore, such entrepreneurs are open to experimentation and ready to do things that they would not have done a year ago.

One of Snapio’s products is product recognition in a physical environment. If the merchant works with Snapio, it adds a QR code to the advertisement, the person scans it and is directed to the online store. For example, to order coffee beans from different roasteries, previously the buyer had to open the company’s website, find the desired product, put it in the cart and fill in all the steps of the order form, including contact details, delivery address and payment information. If the roastery used Snapio’s product ordering platform, it could issue Snapio QR codes to its customers. The customer can stick them on the coffee machine, refrigerator or anywhere else. And the moment you want to order coffee from a particular roastery, you scan that QR code and confirm the order with one click. All the necessary information is already stored in Snapio’s account and will be transferred to the seller for the execution of the order.

“To date, many companies have provided product recognition by QR code. Usually, they take customers to their online stores, where the person has to put the item in the basket and start filling out the order form. Using Snapio, the customer is taken to a page of a particular product, where all the buyer’s information already is in place and all that’s left to do is confirm the order with one click,” says J. Grīslis.

QR codes are sometimes also used by Amazon and other eCommerce platforms. They provide product recognition, for example, from an Amazon QR code. The moment the code is scanned, the customer is taken to the Amazon platform, where not only the product that the person scanned is displayed but also others.

 "They must therefore compete with each other. Therefore, until now, sellers have not had much interest in introducing such solutions. If the seller has received the buyer’s attention, Snapio takes the customer directly to the page of the particular seller,” J. Grīslis says.

In the future, the company also plans to introduce a solution for product recognition from an audio and video signal to ensure that goods can be ordered by voice. For example, to make a voice order for a coffee on the Snapio platform.

“The pandemic has accelerated the development of e-commerce by at least five years. It was not slow in the past either, but during this time consumers are shopping on the Internet much more rapidly. The importance of this sales channel will continue to grow,” J. Grīslis says.

He is convinced that the world will never again be the way it was until the pandemic. However, this does not mean that everything will be digital. The entrepreneur thinks that in the field of clothing and technical equipment the on-site sales will be carried out in salon-type stores. There the customer will be able to look at the products and maybe even try them on, but the purchase will be made digitally.

“Selling in the store is expensive because of the need for employees, a warehouse, cash processing, etc. As the concept of the store changes, the sales stands will be located anywhere – at the railway station, on the street, on the beach,” says J. Grīslis.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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