Store Buddy: SMART Grocery Stores

We love our local grocery stores, but do they need to be “smarter”? We at Indoor Buddy Inc. are building our platform: Store Buddy, dedicated to serving you the information you need when you shop, and making your buying process more efficient.

Imagine being taken to your favorite box of cereal as soon as you step into the grocery store—and getting a discount! Imagine store owners reducing crowding in their aisles while simultaneously increasing sales.

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Amazon, Google, and Walmart are expanding their domains, acquiring sizeable companies like Whole Foods and challenging the growth of smaller retailers with online and offline opportunities. Amazon Go, one the “smartest” stores, allows customers to walk in, pick-up items, and walk out, with no waiting in line. These companies pose a huge risk for traditional retailers, especially in the world of groceries. So, how are local retailers keeping up?

One retailer in Minnesota, Farmhouse Market, has developed a subscription service store for organic food. Customers pay monthly fees and, like Amazon Go, avoid long lines — all while keeping healthy food a top priority.

Bell’s Food Store in Georgia is testing a shelf-scanning robot that tracks items on the shelves and delivers real-time analytics to owners and managers in order to improve the placement of groceries, optimize the flow of customers, and reduce lines.

These examples show that local retailers *can* compete, and can provide the personalized customer experiences that shoppers appreciate. These services also lead to massive opportunities when it comes to data collection, understanding the needs of specific customers, and securing customer loyalty. And despite the attractive customer offerings of retail giants, larger companies can’t roll out new technology as swiftly or efficiently as local retailers who interact with their customers every day.

Store Buddy works directly with stores, mapping every item in their aisles and using this information to help their customers navigate through their stores quickly. Our technology adds virtual objects to their view of the real world with mobile phone cameras, a technique commonly known as Augmented Reality, and provides customers with directions to items they need. It not only gives the quickest way to reach items, but puts forward powerful AR-based promotions at the time of decision, leading to high probability of conversion—while being the least intrusive. Imagine a Pokemon Go mobile game where instead of capturing the pokemon creatures, customers capture discounts. It is a win-win proposal for customers as well retailers: providing the best deals at great convenience.

Join us in bringing next revolution in brick and mortar customer experience.

Store Buddy provides indoor way-finding using augmented reality to guide users to the resources they need.
Universities: NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Team Members: Abhimanyu Dhawan, Kush Shah, Zafir Hasan, Norman Green, Su-Ping Yu.