Valora Logo

CHF 3 BN

Turnover


6.500

Employees


90 Days

Project Timeline


Nationwide rollout

Task

Valora Logo

Valora

Swiss retail shopping revolution.

Valora Retail runs a Europe-wide network of thousands of kiosks and other small-outlet retail units located at heavily frequented sites. With an annual turnover of almost 3 Billion CHF and around 6.500 employees, Valora is to be considered one of the largest retail companies in Europe.

Project Mission

Creation of a unique new shopping experience modelled on Amazon Go in the USA to ensure the competitiveness of sales-critical locations.

Challenge

Re-allocation of urban store locations at railway stations throughout Switzerland by public tender.

Over the past few years, Valora has had exclusive rights to public station squares in order to place its Avec Store stores. These are one of the main sales drivers of Valora's retail business. More than 50% of sales are generated through station stores.

In the context of the public tender for the leasing of these locations, Valora was under massive pressure to secure the rights again this time. A loss of the branches would result in a significant drop in sales and would thus jeopardise the company's existence.

The idea was to attract attention with a new, unique shopping experience based on the Amazon Go model from the USA and thus secure the competitive advantage.

Approach

Rapid project ramp-up, following best user experience practices from Silicon Valley and taking advantage of the use of cutting edge technology.

Even before the start of the project, it was clear that a very tight timeline would have to be worked against. From the conception to the launch of the iOS and Android version of the application, there was only 90 days left, with the turn of the year also aggravating the situation.

The top priority right from the start of the project was to ensure that the distribution of tasks was clear for all stakeholders involved. An onsite phase at the customer's site was essential and the cornerstone for picking up speed.

A total of three major stakeholder parties were involved in the project:

  • Valora IT (Server and Architecture Infrastructure)
  • Valora Marketing (Public Communication)
  • SAP (Backend Architecture)
  • Hackerbay (Frontend Visual Product Architecture)

The biggest challenge was to get to grips with such a complex construct within a very short period of time and still work 110% efficiently and above all effectively.

In developing the designs, we drew on our strong network of Silicon Valley companies to keep us abreast of the latest UX trends and ensure that we developed an absolute benchmark application for Valora.

Solution

Native iOS and Android Application for a unique and revolutionizing shopping experience.

By downloading the application for both iOS and Android, the user has the possibility to shop in a dedicated Avec Store at the Zurich train station without cash desk staff. Once in the store, the customer scans every single product he needs. This is then transferred to the virtual shopping basket in the app on the one hand and to the physical shopping bag on the other. Whoever has finished with this confirms the purchase in the Avec app - without queuing it goes out of the shop again.

The user can enter the Avec Store 24/7, i.e. around the clock, via an app and open the door automatically. By depositing the necessary credit and identification data (for tobacco products), the customer can now conveniently move any product into his shopping basket via barcode camera scan. With just one click, customers can check their shopping cart, pay and leave the store.

In order to check the authenticity of the ID document and to legally secure it, we have additionally built a face detection function which verifies whether the user is the right person.

The customer was shown with certain products which he has put into his shopping cart, whether there is a certain product deal and he possibly gets 2 products for the price of one or can purchase a certain product combination at a reduced price. This wealth of valuable features has ensured an all-round smooth shopping experience.

Avec Box App

Results

Valora has secured the exclusive rights to store space in Swiss railway stations for a number of years to come.

The Avec Store in Zurich station was open for a total of 2 weeks. National newspapers and TV stations reported on the spectacle and recognized the shopping revolution.

The application was stable throughout, with features gradually being added to process customer feedback live and make the app even better.

The reason to celebrate was mainly because Valora won the public tender to award the rights to the retail space.

The national rollout of the new cashless Avec stores is already underway.

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