In the past years the increasing dependence on intermediary platforms in the online food industry has led to a skewed power balance. Changing policies, full control over user data and claiming the consumer as their client rather than the merchant’s. Local food ecosystems are disconnected. In this launch blog we will be outlining everything you need to know about how Bistroo will give power back to the merchants and consumers at the core of the value chain.
The current landscape
- High fees and commissions: Merchants are forced to pay up to 30% commission fees to intermediaries in order to operate on their platform. This puts a significant strain on the ability of the merchant to conduct a sustainable business. Similarly, the merchant has no influence on policy changes, payment terms and pricing. Order payments can take up to 8 weeks to be paid, putting a significant strain on a merchant’s cash flow.
- Platforms are in full control: Intermediaries maintain full control of every aspect of the process. This ranges from procurement conditions, customer experience, consumer data and payments. They insist the consumer is their asset instead of the merchant’s, which increases the merchant’s dependency on the platform while effectively stripping them from their ability to form their own identity and loyal customer base.
- Reviews are not tamper proof: Reviews on a multitude of intermediary platforms are not representative of the reality because they can be tampered with by third-parties. This can result in the unfair increase or decrease of a merchant’s position on the ranking.
Online food ordering is one of the fastest growing segments in the food industry. Two of the main drivers for high growth of the online food delivery markets are internet and smartphone penetration. It is expected that with ease of ordering, facilitated by technological advancement, there will be a significant increase of food delivery users and market volume in the years to come.
With annual forecasts reaching heights of 138bln in 2022, globally, for online takeaway meal delivery. In Europe the annual compounded average market growth rate was projected to be 11.8%, before the COVID event. In the Netherlands, COVID has contributed to over 69% growth in certain segments of food e-commerce. User numbers are projected to grow with an annual compounded average rate of 11,9% for the next couple of years. Amounting to 176,8 Million users in 2022 in Europe alone.
The Bistroo ecosystem
To generate value for process stakeholders that are at the core of the product- or service chain, we’re introducing the Bistroo Ecosystem.
The Bistroo ecosystem is designed to easily facilitate the consumer’s food consumption in a convenient, transparent and mutually beneficial manner. The goal is to create an open peer-to-peer marketplace environment where goods, services, value and information are easily transferred amongst all stakeholders.
Consumers are able to acquire goods and services through the peer-to-peer open marketplace. Users manage their own identity and are able to configure, maintain and contribute their own data profile through privacy settings. An incentivized review model is implemented to give the consumer a trustworthy peer assessment of the quality delivered by service- or product merchants through the platform.
Merchants are provided with an easily accessible store environment to maintain their menus, control payments, refunds and adjust merchant information. The Bistroo advertising system for merchants allows business owners to target a very specific audience for their platform campaigns. The data needed for such optimization will be obtained directly from the ecosystem users, which are individually rewarded for their contribution.
The Bistroo solution to the problems in the current landscape for food delivery can be summed up in four cornerstones:
- Direct payments: Payments go directly to all parties involved in the transaction. Bistroo does not disrupt merchant’s or supplier’s cashflows through payment terms, but ensures immediate payment to all parties involved.
- Lower fees: Since Bistroo is designed to be a pure e-commerce utility infrastructure for merchants, we can operate in a very lean setup and thus need less commission fees to operate.
- Easy onboarding: The onboarding process for merchants is free and quick. Merchants need to upload or provide their menu, business and delivery information before linking their wallet or payment processor to their account in the Merchant dashboard. Onboarding currently takes anywhere from 30m to 24h.
- Neutral playing field: The Bistroo marketplace facilitates reconnecting merchants with their customers through direct contact and obligations. Merchants are able to run their business as they see fit and consumers and merchants alike can count on an easy and fair ordering system, and the purest form of restaurant or food experience.
State of the product
We’re giving control back to business owners and consumers, step by step. Our platform is already fully operational in the Netherlands since March of this year. At the time of writing, we have helped 165 merchants with selling their products to over 6000 customers generating over 480.000 USD in platform volume during the first months of being operational.
The web portal has an intuitive design that is easy to navigate and personalize on both desktop and mobile devices. Switch easily between fresh goods or specialty products, restaurants and food categories.
Bistroo will revolve around the user and their food experiences. Therefore, we are developing a fitting timeline to fit individuals and their preferences. The interface will be carefully translated to a navigational swipe structure that works on any web browser and mobile operating systems. The mobile application is slated to be released later this year.
Take a look around our live portal over at www.bistroo.nl. International visitors: fill in ZIP-code 5615 AR and dive straight into a sample of the local foody goodness available in our launch region!
For merchants, service- (restaurant or delivery services) and supply chain merchants there is an easy to use dashboard UI available to upload discounts, advertising campaigns, products, services or requests to the network. Merchants are able to upload images or other supporting documents to the network’s filesystems to support or enhance their message. It will be the merchant’s direct gateway for digital interaction with the customer and their user experience.
The BIST token
The BIST token will be an important feature of the platform that will benefit both the merchant and the consumer. Consumers can use the token as a direct payment to order meals, promotional items and services from various vendors. Additionally, the BIST token will be a reward when people contribute to the Bistroo platform. Earning BIST tokens can, i.e, be done by writing reviews, opting into data rewards, content creation, gamification, loyalty, tokenback, discount and payment. Merchants in turn are incentivized to accept BIST tokens by not having to pay third-party processor fees. In addition, merchants can use BIST tokens to acquire premium dashboard features at a significant discount, set up targeted advertising and improve on their customer experience through the attribute store.
Bistroo is combining forces through official partnerships, including our FIAT payment processor Mollie.com, Eindhoven’s Brainport Development, High Tech Campus, and our national logistics provider Trunkrs, to name a few.
Recently, we signed an exclusive partnership with Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), the biggest Dutch association for the food and hospitality industry. This partnership ensures that KHN recommends Bistroo as the preferred food distribution platform to their 20.000+ members across the Netherlands. This is a sole partnership that no other food delivery platform in the Netherlands has.
Currently, the consumer store and merchant panel are running on the web application. In October we will be adding the business portal and native application to our repertoire. Premium dashboard functions that will allow merchants to further enhance their shopping experience and consumer timeline will be released towards the end of this year. Token integration and reward systems will follow in January and March, respectively.
Get your fill on everything Bistroo!
Bistroo is a direct-to-consumer, peer-2-peer marketplace that significantly reduces commission fees and enables direct online interaction between all process stakeholders on the online platform. An ecosystem where food consumption can be easily organized and personalized to cater to the needs of individual customers and merchants alike. Superior customer convenience but with better terms.