The Bistroo Breakdown : Mid-Year Progress Report
Welcome to the first edition of the Mid-Year Breakdown! Every year, after every Q2, we will publish a summary of what has been done in the first semester and talk about the plans for the next one. We always appreciate the feedback and suggestions we receive from our community. Keep ’em coming!
Dear amazing BIST community, over 6 months have already passed since 2022 started! It’s time for a mid-year update where we will provide you with an extensive look back on what we achieved during the first semester and lay out our plans for the rest of 2022.
If you have been following us, you know the first half of the year was quite eventful with a lot of developments and updates. We have more to come very shortly for both the Bistroo protocol technology and the BIST utility.
Markets are slowing down worldwide as fear of inflation and recession are continuing to spread. However we want to be clear about one thing, Bistroo is not affected by these market sentiments and we will keep on powering up, putting pedal to the metal. Thanks to our solid finance management, since the completion of our fundraiser we are set to execute our mission of creating a global e-commerce protocol for restaurants and food merchants. The bear market is the perfect opportunity to keep on building with laser focus and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Improving the competitiveness of our technology has been our main focus in recent months, and we will continue to improve our fundamentals so that we’re ready when markets start reporting green numbers again.
General Update — Q1 & Q2
The Bistroo Protocol ecosystem is clearly documented and multiple products are already fully operational. During the first half of the year we’ve seen constant validation of our business model and growing product-market fit.
Our biggest update, Core v4, is nearly completed with its last phase, the Merchant Portal, going live next month. This is a big step in our development as it will enable the protocol to be fully adopted in the coming years and allow us to operate efficiently beyond The Netherlands.
Being a Protocol As A Service provider (PaaS), penetrating new regions will be a more fluent and self-organizing process going forward. Meaning, a merchant will be fully equipped to set up their own store and utilize our technology to quickly enter the e-commerce market.
The COVID crisis forced us to adapt our strategy to the fast-changing market. When it comes to the Netherlands, we have now returned to our original region-based growth strategy. We are currently focusing on the Southern region of the country, primarily in and around Eindhoven. We believe it is crucial to reach a critical mass of supply parties (merchants) within a defined region in order to successfully reach and serve consumers.
We have been growing our merchant network steadily since the beginning of the year with approximately 20 new onboardings each month. When merchants are fully able to self-onboard, we expect this rate to increase. We currently have almost 300 active merchants on the BistrooMarketplace in the Netherlands.
We all know that user data drives good applications, this is why we’ve implemented a fully scalable infrastructure to store and analyze data. For example, we use it to understand merchant and consumer behavior and create personalized experiences for our users.
Expansion of BistrooProduct Catalogue
The BistrooProduct catalog is at the heart of the services we offer. Maintaining the protocol vision means we can offer a wide range of services and products to fit the custom-needs of merchants within the food ordering market. We can also easily plug in their stores to any current and future relevant channels and markets, for example social-commerce and the metaverse.
Our current growth and adoption is fully driven by the BistrooProducts catalog which we have expanded throughout the year. Besides all the major conventional digital payment methods, merchants are already able to accept crypto-payments, including our token BIST, within all the products mentioned below.
We will now dive into the full overview of these products and what they entail:
This is our direct-2-consumer marketplace that allows Bistroo users in the region to discover which merchants are listed and what their offerings and products are. Visit https://www.bistroo.nl to see if we have any merchants available in your region, within the Netherlands!
The BistrooMarketplace is continuously under development and optimisation.With the upcoming update, we will complete the foundations to have this peer-2-peer marketplace accessible globally. After solidifying our foothold in our launching market and together with our business-partners, ecosystem agents, as well as external development partners, we will access more markets within the EU under the Bistroo.com brand.
This is a webshop that can be hosted on the restaurant’s own website. It is fully customisable and allows the merchant to quickly update their webshop, stock, discount and everything else they might need through the Bistroo Merchant Portal. A widget-plugin, which gives the customer a fold-out style shopping window on the restaurant website, is currently under development for this same use-case.
Easy to set-up on-site ordering with custom QR stickers in BistrooQR branding. This subscription-based product is being used more and more by our merchants, especially since they struggle to attract employees in the highly competitive job market.
While implementing the BistrooWebshop product over the last few months on more and more websites, we realized there’s a large demand for merchant website’s landing pages that are hosted on the merchant’s domain. It’s a challenge for a lot of merchants to maintain and update their website and is usually a complicated and costly process. BistrooPage allows them to generate and customize a landing page from within the Merchant Portal to easily provide and customize their website and further improve conversions and user experience through a one-click setup.
As mentioned in our whitepaper, we are working on the design and UI of the merchandise & attributes shop that will be part of the merchant portal. Paying for items and attributes within this shop will fully support BIST payments with extra perks and discounts to acquire relevant items.
We have extended our partnership with KHN, the largest organization representing hospitality businesses in the Netherlands, and will continue to work together to reach more merchants.
More organizations are getting wind of what we are doing and are interested in collaborating with Bistroo and setting up partnerships with us. We are in continuous conversations with interested parties to fully align and spread the word about Bistroo all across Europe and the rest of the world. We have some announcements lined up for these new partnerships, so keep an eye out for updates on our channels!
The team has grown to more than 20 amazing and talented people working full-time! The latest addition is our Growth Manager who has years of e-commerce experience and will help us in the next phases with effective and efficient marketing. The Marketing and Sales & Development departments are now fully filled with the key roles!
We are also working with great external resources for different projects whenever necessary.
The recruitment market, especially for tech professionals, is highly competitive, but we managed to find experienced and skilled candidates to fill our positions and have concluded the vast majority of the current sourcing processes. All teams have also been organized and provided with optimized workflows to maintain scalability and allow for fast growth of operations, processes and resources when needed. Getting the organization and its process scalable was one of the biggest internal priorities over the last few months and we are happy to have achieved the desired level for this to keep moving forward.
Marketing & Sales
The marketing and sales teams have been through rather significant growth and restructuring over the past 6 months. As COVID and lockdowns didn’t dictate the markets anymore, we were able to revert back to our region-based strategy of onboarding merchants in a specific region and synergize with the marketing department for generating orders. Both departments optimized a shared process flow to penetrate and activate new target cities faster and more efficiently.
In addition, the sales team has adopted a new onboarding and workflow through the further optimization of CRM utilization with Pipedrive. Automation, updated workflows and resources allow for more scaling capabilities in the future. It also allows for better lead generation, upselling, merchant and customer support. Customer support is one of the most crucial aspects to prepare for scaling as volume increases in order to sustain customer satisfaction. Therefore we have been integrating communication channels like facebook, whatsapp business, chats and automated Q&A for both merchants and consumers.
It also allows for the preparation of the merchant self-onboarding dynamic and funnel optimization in the future. After the next set of updates (merchant-portal, stripe etc) merchants are fully able to onboard and configure their own store environment. That will allow for a quick growth and scaling for Software-as-a-Service, even beyond the Dutch borders. The new automations and workflows allow for this funnel to be fully facilitated and automated through our integrations and tooling.
A major project has been conducted to further improve our market positioning and branding. The goal here was to improve the ability to reach our target audience and differentiate ourselves from the platform-standards currently dictating the food ordering market.
For our next regional campaign starting in August, all the Bistroo commercial channels will be completely rebranded. This campaign serves as the base for future campaigns in other regions. Stay tuned!
Simultaneously, we have also incorporated more customer journey analysis into the structure of how existing pages are improved and how new pages are built. This directs the customers towards either branding or conversion-driven pages and ensures a more seamless experience overall.
Reporting the workflows has been improved with data from campaigns through our paid digital channels. The dashboards we built with this data allow us to be more reactive to the performance of certain campaigns, merchants and cities. We have added new digital channels (such as SnapChat) and new formats (such as video) to our current repertoire.
Roadmap Update & Developments
Status of Roadmap items
While upgrading and expanding our organizational structure, processes, workflows and resources, we had to shuffle the priority of certain items on the roadmap. Below you will find a breakdown of which items were moved to be deployed sooner or later to a different quarter. This section will be concluded by an updated 2022 roadmap going forward.
Bistroo Consumer App
- Framework update (Release in July)
We have fully updated our entire front-end consumer interface to the vue3 framework, allowing for a more future-proof approach on optimization, customer journey and personalization.
- Customer Journey optimizations (Release in July)
The customer journey is key to generate sustainable and effective growth. We are now focusing more on our sales funnels; how we acquire new customers and how we retain customers and activate them to become loyal, returning customers. Our customer journey & experience team members are working closely with both the sales and marketing teams to optimize our protocol as a service-driven onboarding, activation and retention for both key user-groups.
- User accounts & re-ordering (Released in March)
We implemented a highly requested feature for returning consumers that are looking to re-order from the order history. An easy re-ordering section was added to the account profile for all users that have created a user account.
Bistroo Merchant Portal
- Order Live View (Release in July)
In order to cater to merchant demands with digitized kitchen environments, we have developed and deployed an “order live view” for both the store management level and the kitchen level. This will provide an intuitive interface to drag and drop, update the order statuses and notify the customers about them.
- Updated custom menu-builder (To be released in July)
The Merchant Portal’s new custom menu-builder has been developed and will be deployed during the core v4 release of the merchant portal. This facilitates an easy drag and drop system and allows for varying menus to be customized with discounts, opening times, locations (when managing multiple establishments in 1 account) and products.
- Bistroo POS print manager (To be released in July)
Plug‘n’Play any Epson printer available within the WiFi network to easily link up our ordering system with your physical kitchen printers for easy operations. We will be expanding this library with other printer manufacturers soon. It will also live with the Merchant Portal v4 release.
- Automated merchant warning & consumer notifications system (Released in June)
The infrastructure to let merchants directly communicate or notify their customers has been fully developed and deployed. It allows merchants to broadcast to their most loyal customers updates regarding discounts,promotions, updated menus or simply notify them of the order-status. It also allows for an extra layer of operational support for when they receive orders that are not immediately picked-up.
- Checkout optimizations (To be released in July)
To maximize conversions and order size, our check-out and basket are being updated. This will allow for more upsell opportunities by merchants and guide the consumer through the ordering and payment process as quickly and intuitively as possible.
- BistrooPage release (To be released in July)
As mentioned above, a new BistrooProduct was added to our catalog in Q3. BistrooPage helps merchants to easily generate and deploy a custom landing page for their customers.
Scalable Data-infrastructure (First phase was released)
The first stage towards predictive and prescriptive analytics, and personalization has been concluded with the design, development and deployment of the foundation of our scalable, and verifiable, data-infrastructure. All core elements, connections, data-lake and data-warehouse dimension went live in June. Further design steps of our data collection and reward systems have already started in order to move towards a fully functional data-market. We want to further test these smart-contracts with our community (cough cough… get ready, Bist fam!).
BIST Utility Development
With the protocol foundation reaching our major milestones to go ‘borderless’ with our technology, we have commenced with the design and development of our first set of smart contracts for the Bistroo Smart Contract Framework. Starting with the core of decentralized and peer-2-peer commerce and on-chain settlement contracts including a delivery verification and fund escrow. Followed closely by our first set of reward systems for community engagement and community-driven growth.
- On-chain Settlements POC (Community BETA test Q3)
One of the items on the roadmap for Q3 has already made a great amount of progress within Q2. With our smart-contract for on-chain settlement already developed as a proof of concept and lined up to be community beta-tested in Q3. The objective is to create a staging environment, agnostically linked to multiple testnets in order to fully community-test these contracts on security, user experience, variables and simulated market circumstances before being deployed to the live protocol. We are very excited to have our first release coming out which will be fully open source and tested with the help of our community, both technically and functionally. Stay tuned for more information and directions on when and how these tests will be organized.
- Reward Systems
Releasing and community-testing our first set of reward system smart contracts will follow closely to the testing phase of the on-chain trustless exchange contract. The goal is to have these alpha and beta systems released and specified to our community by the end of Q3, with extensive testing throughout Q4.
a. Referral rewards (Community BETA test Q4)
Referral systems are key for our ambassador and community-driven growth model and therefore they will be amongst the first decentralized systems to be tested and integrated.
While the core design for these systems have already been made, adaptations and reworks will occur during the development and testing phases in order to allow for a good fit for the platform, product, blockchain-protocol and user experience. The first set of referral reward systems to be integrated into the Bistroo ecosystem are:
- Invite a friend (consumer) (Community BETA test Q4)
Earn BIST by inviting friends to the platform. When your referred friend creates an account and places a first order, the referral rewards apply and will be distributed to a non-custodial wallet linked to your user-account.
- Onboard your favorite restaurant (consumer) (Community BETA test Q4)
Invite your favorite restaurant to the platform and when the store goes live and the first order is processed, your referral reward will apply and will be distributed to the linked wallet in your user-account.
- Merchant referral (merchant) (Community BETA test Q4)
Merchant referrals will allow for discounts on commissions and BIST rewards. If a merchant is invited by another merchant, and its store goes live and is active, rewards will apply.
b. Review system rewards & system rework (Redesign in Q3 & Q4)
Our current review system will be updated and redesigned to have a better fit for our reward systems and Bistroo Smart Contract Framework. Smart contracts will allow for transparency and trustworthiness of the system itself, the rewards that apply for reviews given and reviews acquired. We will release a separate and extensive communication on this review system when the time comes to explain how this will be tied to our Smart Contracts for transparency and the distribution of the rewards.
Single Asset Staking BIST
- Staking program release (ETH & BSC)
Earlier this year, we released our single asset staking program for BIST on both the Ethereum and the BinanceSmartChain blockchains. Staking is available through our portal at https://portal.bistroo.io and more information on the program is found in our medium.
After we suffered a reentrancy attack in May on the BSC blockchain, we had to put the BIST single-staking on hold on that chain. You can find our post-incident report on medium as well. We will re-enable the BSC BIST staking soon and will update you on it as soon as our ongoing project release cycle for July is done.
As specified above, the release of the updated merchant portal, vue3 upgrade and the 1st phase of the rebranding will all be released later this month.
We have also updated our roadmap to reflect the current situation.
Get your fill on everything Bistroo!
Bistroo is a peer-to-peer marketplace for food & beverages, powered by the BIST Token. A protocol where food consumption can be easily organized and personalized against significantly reduced fees. Merchants are in full control of their payments, product selection, customer relations, orders, advertising, and analytics. Customers can have direct relations with their favorite merchants, earn rewards and get food recommendations that fit their taste.