How are you coping with your essentials shopping recently?

  • You think it’s safer to shop online but there isn’t a single delivery slot available.
  • You don’t know what’s in stock in the stores nearby, so no guarantee to get what you need after more queuing up. 
  • When you are in the store, it’s better to buy more now.
  • Shops, especially the local small businesses, they are well-stocked but not many people know that. They are worse off in this current climate.

What it does

ShopAid is an application to help you get essentials efficiently based on your travel time, and the collective intelligence of stock availability and crowd level.

  • You list the items required on ShopAid. This helps you plan well and avoid panic buying
  • Based on your location, ShopAid shows the approximate stock availability of your items in all stores nearby.
  • There’s also live information on how busy stores are, and the travel time for different modes of transport.
  • You can decide which stores to go to based on these valuable insights, all on one page.
  • When you are checking off your shopping list in the store, you can provide stock level information easily.
  • You earn points to recognise your contribution to the local community.

Person information privacy is at the heart of our design. While we provide targeted advertisement to shoppers on grocers’ behalves, user profiles will remain unidentifiable.

In the long term, we will continue contributing the local economies by encouraging people to shop responsibly and locally. We would also like to roll out the application in other sectors to suit their context, e.g. sourcing healthcare supply from manufacturers and general facilities management.

How we built it

We conducted several rounds of user survey and usability to validate our understanding of shoppers' needs.

  • Wireframe: Figma
  • Backend: Python framework Flask
  • Frontend: React.js
  • Database: PostgreSQL
  • Deployment: GitHub Pages, Docker
  • Landing page: Wix

Accomplishments that we are proud of

We built our first iteration of MVP (GPS location detection, store listing, route calculation, shopping list, check-off and indicate approximate stock level).

We piloted the ShopAid concept in Guildford, United Kingdom. We successfully spoke to 15 stores this weekend to get them signed up to ShopAid, providing regular updates on stock availability. This further improves ShopAid's business sustainability. We built a new landing page and promote it to shoppers on social media and local networks. We also display the stock level of essential items of participating stores.

What we learned

  • Good features: stock levels, prices, distance, crowd levels, NHS pivot
  • Let-go features: taking photos, budgets, recipes
  • Motivation and benefits we can bring to stores
  • Using Google Maps API can be expensive

What's next for ShopAid

In the next 2 months

  • Integrate the stock level information to our web app prototype for a combined view
  • Reach out to more stores
  • Perform further app usability testing with shoppers

In 4 months

  • Include price information
  • Provide self-service stock information update mechanism to stores
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