The Bistroo Menu: Reflecting on 2021 and a taste of 2022 and beyond
BIST Token launch, bridges and growth; a lot has happened in 2021. In this extensive writeup, we evaluate what we have achieved in 2021 and what’s on the roadmap for 2022. On top of that, we’re outlining our vision for globalization through Bistroo.com in the future.
A word from the CEO
Bistroo’s initial product launched almost two years ago, on March 3rd 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the global economy. While the platform was able to facilitate its primary features, helping restaurants and merchants quickly enter and serve the online market, the marketplace product was still in its infancy stage. During 2020 and 2021, we navigated the market by continuing to develop and optimize all aspects of our product and business.
We built an amazing team of 15 fulltime champions working tirelessly to improve our capabilities, processes and above all our first set of products. The last stage of the v4 upgrade is near completion. The Merchant Portal update and the foundation for (inter)national scaling have been laid out and almost implemented. As a result, we are seeing an increase in fundamental growth and interest.
COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns have proven to shake up our market and order volume. As the pandemic seems to be heading for calmer waters, we are ready to continue down our original path of developing our direct food commerce ecosystem and expanding globally.
In this breakdown we detail how 2021 has affected the Bistroo Ecosystem, our vision and how we’re approaching 2022, to ensure Bistroo achieves its goal in becoming the world’s leading food commerce service.
Thank you for your ongoing support during challenging times.
2021 Trajectory Description
Since the token offering we have been focused on building out the utility, technology, team and operations in order to lay the foundation for growth in 2022 and the years to come. A breakdown of these developments is below.
As projected in the charts above, orders have been heavily influenced by lockdown dynamics. While we move to the next phase of our project, we expect a more fundamental and sustainable growth curve over the next few periods.
Besides the fluid and hectic market dynamics, Gross Merchant Value has increased 10% in 2021, compared to 2020. With an average order value of €31,54, which is significantly higher than the industry average, and total Gross Merchant Value of €1.334.251.
By the end of January 2022 we had a total of 345 confirmed merchants. Of which 69% are restaurant merchants and 31% are Markets merchants.
Lockdowns had a tremendous effect, both positive and negative for the adoption of our Marketplace product. During the first lockdown in 2021 we saw orders grow explosively as everyone was obligated to acquire their favorite meal through take-away and delivery ordering. In return, during the summer we saw a dip in orders and new merchants as market participants were recalibrating their behavior, post lockdown. Also, major merchant lead generation events, like Horecava summit, have been canceled two years in a row now.
While the market seemed to normalize towards the end of 2021, and we still saw growth and interest in our product another lockdown was commissioned at the end of 2021. Naturally this shook up the market again, and as a result we saw market participants head out for dinner across the national borders in Belgium and Germany.
Irrespective of the future of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the market, we are fully dedicated to hitting our long term growth targets. In our 2022 outlook we will expand on our approach.
From a quality of service perspective we have been graduating with flying colors as our merchant feedback has been nothing but positive regarding the product, our service, continuous improvements and our adaptability to their evolving needs.
On the consumer side we currently average a 4.6 out of 5 on TrustPilot, and take pride in the quality of service our consumers experience. All is set for further growth and satisfaction amongst our two major stakeholder- and user groups.
Since having both restaurants as well as markets on our platform isn’t an industry standard, we noticed consumers have a hard time distinguishing these two offerings within the marketplace product. With our latest update, we have improved this by changing the flow and distinction of these two merchants within our Bistroo Marketplace.
The same bannering technology and management system will be used for promotions in the future within the marketplace product.
In our latest update, deployed on 07–02–2022, we introduced User profiles and User accounts. While being a good way to retain users and service them with the features and information that loyal users seek, this also prepares us for a personalized approach in presenting content and offerings to our user base.
Conversion flow optimisations
We continuously focus on optimizing the customer journey and improving marketplace conversions. This process will be an ongoing process and is crucial in facilitating further growth.
Merchant Portal (Dashboard) update
Currently the last big update scheduled in the V4 upgrade is set for this quarter. It is a complete rework of our merchant portal in preparation for more plug & play capabilities with applications, products, channels and DLT. It also has numerous quality of life improvements for our merchant user base.
Core V4 update
Infrastructure-wise the core v4 update was critical in ensuring the current marketplace and underlying technology was ready for our scaling phase without compromising conversions, uptime and security. Besides the visual and UX upgrades at a product level, it also entailed a major refactor of our codebase, preparations for the protocol approach and an updated secure server environment.
Preparing to evolve past our current operations and Bistroo Products, we have laid the groundwork for the commerce utility and protocol approach of the Bistroo Ecosystem in the v4 update. We will now be able to further develop the necessary use cases, stakeholder-portals, rulesets, and community dynamics to allow the ecosystem to thrive on community contributions. In our vision statement below you will find a schematic that further details our vision and the current state of development.
The next stage entails launching Bistroo.com as a borderless utility, which will pilot in the Belgian market in 2022. This means merchants can fully self-onboard their businesses onto our platform by having the correct KYC checks in place, together with tutorials and wizards. To easily execute ‘no-touch flow’ onboarding, without interference from an account manager. This allows merchants to independently gain access to Bistroo products, channels, applications and integrations that are relevant for their specific business conduct.
Building a top-class team
The core Bistroo team currently has 15 full time employees working on the project and products. It is primarily divided between 3 major divisions, namely Marketing, Sales & Development. We started 2021 with a total of 5 full time employees working on the project.
We are currently looking into growing this department with experienced talent from the Digital Marketing and e-commerce space. While there’s no formal update in this search just yet, we are getting very close to this necessary influx of knowledge and resources for this department. All the foundations for an effective digital marketing strategy have been put in place and investments will continue to grow in this department and marketing operations.
We have expanded the marketing team to 5 FTE and are currently looking to grow this further. Key operational roles are filled, but we are looking to expand the team with senior and C-level talent to take our marketing operations to the next stage.
We are also focusing on brand-awareness as well as conversion driven campaigns and are talking to multiple partners that will expedite this growth over the next few months.
Areas of focus are;
- Clear marketing communications strategy and market positioning
- Brand Awareness amongst consumers as well as merchants, in order to emphasize our unique proposition in the market
- Optimizing and automating processes to facilitate growth in focus regions as efficiently as possible
- Further optimize customer journeys, retention and lifetime values
- Optimizing the synergy with the development team and sales to fully utilize the marketplace’s potential
Onboarding merchants has really picked up pace towards the end of last year and our improved region-based approach is generating more traction and results for us already. We are developing more lead generation channels and partners and are focused on onboarding bigger brands to the Marketplace.
A few of them are already awaiting the new dashboard upgrade to start their commerce on our platform and marketplace.
The PartnerPortal that is planned to go live in Q2 of this year will make it very intuitive and easy to onboard commercial partners. These partners can contribute to onboarding more merchants, acting as ambassadors, but also facilitate commercial partner relationships with our ecosystem and its stakeholders.
The development division has been growing and improving throughout the year with a fully capable product team. The team consists of a developer lead, product-owner, blockchain developers, and multiple full-stack, front-end and back-end professionals. The throughput and quality of releases has increased and with the objectives towards a protocol driven commerce ecosystem, we are ready for the next stages of product development.
With the introduction of the application marketplace and DeveloperPortal in Q3 of this year, the ecosystem will open up for external input. Contribution to our ecosystem’s technology, the necessary applications, integrations and community systems will become an integral part of the process.
More details on how the DeveloperPortal will operate within the ecosystem can be found in the Look Ahead 2022 section below.
Our partnership-term with KHN has been extended and we are proud to remain the preferred supplier of platform technology for its members within the Netherlands. KHN will focus their efforts in further spreading and promoting our proposition to their members in a post COVID era.
- DPG Media
Payment Service Provider(s)
Currently our main Payment Service Provider is mollie.com, since this is a crucial area for adoption, we are looking into multiple options to expand our service and connection to these service providers. We will continue to facilitate ‘traditional’ payment methods in order to promote product adoption. Crypto payments are facilitated already and we see a rising interest in paying for food with crypto, both in merchants and consumers. On-chain settlements are set-out in the roadmap for fully peer-2-peer payment capabilities at a high enough throughput and efficient expense.
Our technology and products have had a 99.99%+ uptime metric throughout 2021, and this is where we take pride in the way we operate but simultaneously further develop our technology and products. Providing a reliable product and service is the foundation of attracting and servicing the market stakeholders in the future.
Our expansion into the Belgium market was pushed back in order to focus our resources on further developing the protocol, infrastructure, technology security and products. This focus will help us expand across the national borders of the Netherlands more efficiently in the near-future. Besides deciding to focus our resources on these aspects of the business, ever-changing COVID measures also posed very fluid market circumstances in our launching market. In the first target expansion market of Belgium, this imposed additional risks in expanding too quickly.
With the introduction of Bistroo.com later this year, we took our first step in becoming a borderless, international platform. Restrictions based on legislation or other circumstances might still apply but the goal is that the technology and its community will be able to be adopted with ease and self-service.
BIST Token Update
BIST is available on both ERC20 and BEP20 standards and there’s seamless bridging between these to mainnet token standards.
BIST Token Portal
The BIST token community portal launched in December last year. A single entry for token holders to access our token bridge and crosschain staking programs. Future community use cases will be integrated in this portal as well.
The latest listing for $BIST was on Bittrex Global making it easier to acquire the token.
We are looking forward to expanding the reach and use cases of BIST throughout 2022.
Look Ahead 2022
Q1 Market outlook
With our core-team in the launching market of the Netherlands up and running, we aim to further grow during 2022 by taking a more regional based approach with onboarding merchants. We want to reach a critical mass of merchants in a set region before starting to reach out to the consumers with the marketplace-proposition and promotions. We are tightening the cooperation between Sales and Marketing, with full support towards onboarding merchants once we enter a new region. This approach is currently being executed and optimized in two major areas within the Netherlands:
This was the first area in which our region-based onboarding and marketing approach is executed and optimized. As we focused our merchant onboarding to this region at the end of last year, we currently have 30 merchants active within city limits of Almere. 20 of these merchants have agreed to participate in our 10% off campaign for the following 60 days. Throughout the campaign we will continue to onboard merchants in the region so we can maintain and grow a healthy presence and variety of offerings for our marketplace consumers.
This discount campaign is fully supported by a marketing and branding campaign that begins next week. It entails both a major physical marketing campaign including flyers, digital displays and banners across the area, as well as our regional Google and Social Media advertising campaigns. We aim to amplify these campaigns by working closely together with the merchants.
If you run into one of these promotions, or live in the area, we would like to see those pictures of you running into our materials!
Eindhoven is our next area of interest and we have already commenced the first stages of our onboarding and activation process for merchants. After these stages have concluded and our critical mass and variety of offerings have been reached, a full marketing-mix campaign will commence in this area as well.
As shown in the ecosystem schematic we have three completely operational products within our own product catalog. These are BistrooMarketplace, BistrooShop & BistrooQR. These products are where our operational growth is focused, however we will continue to pursue our goal of becoming a global food commerce platform. This means that the protocol should be able to facilitate a broader utility and market-access for merchants that are active within the online food ordering markets, channels and communities.
With the further development of this ecosystem we are laying the groundwork to become the number one direct food commerce utility in the industry. Adaptable and modularly upgradable to current and future market and community demands, channels and opportunities.
Stakeholders & Portals
The Partner Portal is the gateway for all affiliate-type community members. From full agent-status, to commercial partners and community ambassadors. Your contribution, performance and rewards can all be monitored and accessed through this portal.
The Bistroo Developer Portal provides all the necessary infrastructure to allow access of external development resources to both the protocol and the decentralized elements of our ecosystem. An easy way for future developers to contribute with features, optimisations, adaptations or applications that fit the needs of our stakeholder community.
Channels & Metaverse
With digital channels in the physical world ever evolving, it becomes an easy integration with any relevant and community supported channel for ordering. Through the protocol and its gateway Merchants will be able to access any future relevant e-/d-commerce channels for their online business conduct.
With the Metaverse here to take the future stage of commercials, promotions, virtual experiences and interaction we will enable our merchants to easily access such channels from a convenient portal. Going digital, made easy.
Token & Community Features
The first community contribution and growth reward systems will be developed and piloted in 2022. As per the roadmap below, we will modularly build up the reward systems as well as the related smart contract frameworks. As security and easy adoptability of these systems is key, we will carefully, with as much community input as possible, start designing, developing and deploying these systems.
NFT & Loyalty systems
NFT’s are set out to become a major vehicle within the blockchain and crypto community space. We are investigating how we can logically adopt these features within our token utility and ecosystem.
Loyalty and ambassador programs are becoming more and more NFT-based, where NFT ownership and its records are a proof of adoption, or contribution, within a platform.
Rewarding loyal users and merchants with a special NFT recorded status and associated rights, or simply trademarking a personal avatar or merchant brand. All potential use-cases are being investigated and analyzed for adoption within the Bistroo Ecosystem.
Expansion to Belgium — “Bistroo.com/be”
We are talking to some potential partners to effectively enter the Belgium market with the ability to quickly onboard merchants for regional offering but also have a decent national offering of products for the initial adoption in this country. We will keep you posted on any updates regarding these explorations.
Our ecosystem vision, development updates and roadmap will be presented on an updated and rebranded version of our community website at https://www.bistroo.io in a few weeks.
Further Areas of Improvement
Better Community Updates, Interaction & Communications
We aim to have better community interactions and communications. Starting with periodic AMA sessions and detailed updates on progress. Feel free to share your suggestions in our Telegram channel to improve this aspect of our community management.
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.