The coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a disaster for small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe:
Thousands of SMBs in Europe have reported that COVID-19 is negatively impacting their businesses,
"SMBs have already or are planning to lay off salaried employees, and/or reduce their working hours".
The corona Virus has affected Small and medium sized-businesses causing temporary suspension, activity, and employee working hours reduction. Many are struggling to stay afloat. There are about 23 million businesses across Europe that play a major role in the European Economy. Creating about 80% of new jobs in the past 5 years.
Some of us have personally come from a family with small businesses and struggling for the same reason.
Problems we are seeing : 1) Unemployment 2) The decrease in sales, that has led to bankruptcy 3) Lack of marketing and business exposure 4) Remote locations for businesses, products/items/ customers
ChatLaunch is aiming to solve those issues. A virtual assistant that connects small and medium businesses and customers with products and items that are closest in location through Whatsapp & Messenger.
What we are solving: Customer have access to items/products closest to them Businesses will increase and generate more sales Exposure of their local business Keeping or creating jobs
What it does
We intend to save millions of jobs during the crisis and allow Europe's economic engine to quickly restart afterward, by connecting local businesses with customers across their country through WhatsApp & Messenger!
Using Natural Language Processing models to identify customers needs, such as quality, prices, products nearest to them
Case #1: Local Business register
Case #2: Customer order from local stores
How I built it
We use Natural Language Processing models to automate the sales process of SMBs; their products and/or services... Then, we connect the NLP model to FB Messenger and Whatsapp API to capture Parameters from the conversations and provide the users the best option.
Challenges I ran into
The challenges we faced were that we wanted to make sure that customers would obtain desired items/products from the nearest business and wonder how would this work.
We solve this by having a platform where all customers’ orders appear in one place where business owners would take the order as confirming they have these items/products and process the purchase.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We understand that most local businesses lack technology and digital knowledge. We are proud to bring a solution that is accessible and usable by the majority of the population, and business owners taking advantage of this through Whatsapp and Messenger. Helping them digitalize their sales with just typing.
Whatsapp Virtual Agent: (Testing Instructions):
1- Add the phone number as a contact: +1 415 523 8886
2- Write the command: *Join *
3- Start the conversation: "Hi", "Sell my products", "Let's start" or any other
Disclaimer: The following phone number is a Sandbox owned by Twilio Inc, a USA company based in San Francisco, California.
We are also very proud of how well we have worked together regardless of being in different countries and being FROM different cultures and diverse backgrounds.
Our goal is to bring help and make the current situation better, and to prove that we can bring everyone and work together with the same mission
What I learned
On a Vox.com Article states: Based on research performed by capital economics this pandemic could result in a 15% quarterly drop of the eurozone gross domestic product in the second quarter. The previous record was 3.2% in the first quarter of 2009
As a team, we faced many challenges on how to bring solutions to better the economy in Europe since there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.
We had a lot of support a great mentorship and as a team we shared ideas, brainstormed, and did design thinking sessions. We learned and understood better how chatbots can be very beneficial for businesses now more than ever.
We are confident that ChatLaunch will make a positive impact on small and medium-sized business
What's next for ChatLaunch
We will build a platform, marketplace for small businesses to be able to manage their sales as they increase thanks to this platform
We are looking to build a network of businesses and customers where they can easily get what they need and want. -Partnering with thousands of SMBs across Europe