Veeve is redefining in-store shopping with SmartCarts powered by Stripe

Veeve.io is a platform that digitises the in-person grocery-shopping experience with its touchscreen, AI-powered SmartCarts, which are currently offered in select stores at major grocery retailers. The SmartCarts allow users to self-pay, and they give aisle-aware and personalised recommendations during shopping while brick-and-mortar grocery retailers get valuable customer insights about what their customers are buying.

Products used

    Terminal
    Connect
North America
Startup

Challenge

Veeve recognised the retail industry was primed for innovation as the ease of e-commerce pushes brick-and-mortar retailers to adopt new technologies. Veeve CEO and founder Shariq Siddiqui explains, “Most brick-and-mortar retailers lack the customer data that is table stakes for e-commerce retailers. And most retail businesses have a monolithic style of integration – meaning if one thing breaks, there’s a trickle-down effect.”

Yet, as Veeve set out to build its AI-powered SmartCarts, it realised it lacked the financial infrastructure to accept payments; facilitate complex money movement between customers, grocers, and suppliers; and give in-person retailers valuable customer data.

Solution

As a platform, Veeve built its own custom offering on top of Stripe Connect and Stripe Terminal. Veeve uses Connect to onboard and manage large grocery retailers and their physical stores that offer the touchscreen SmartCarts as well as Terminal to facilitate in-person payments via the SmartCarts – all without a lot of technical overhead. Since Terminal caters to platforms and is natively interoperable with Connect, Veeve can streamline onboarding, payouts, and reconciliation for all transactions. This means Veeve can enable grocers to accept in-person payments via its SmartCarts without stitching together services from multiple third-party providers for hardware, software, compliance, and money movement.

“Connect helps us manage all of those [retailers and stores] in a streamlined way. With the IAM (Identity and Access Management) Dashboard access, we can give the right permissions to the right retailers – giving them the visibility they need. All of this is fully out-of-box functionality that really helps us focus on the core value that we offer rather than try to custom build things that are not really adding value to Veeve,” adds Shariq.

By building its platform with Stripe Connect, Veeve built a much more flexible cloud solution instead of trying to match all retailers’ existing systems – with payments being just one microservice running on Veeve. This model allows Veeve to deploy more SmartCarts (and soon-to-come snap-on touchscreens for traditional carts) across a spectrum of retailers and get to market faster. “We actually showed retailers that we can integrate with their systems, including payments,” says Shariq.

Results

The Stripe financial infrastructure platform enabled Veeve to scale its SmartCart solution and go to market faster. It also allowed Veeve to offload complex, multiparty funds flows; simplify compliance and tax; increase average transaction size; and revolutionise the shopping experience – all while laying the foundation for an interconnected ecosystem that bridges the gap between online and offline shopping and helps brick-and-mortar retailers gain powerful customer insights.

Faster integrations with Stripe means faster to market

Veeve was able to integrate Stripe Terminal within a matter of weeks. “From a documentation and integration perspective, Stripe is a lot simpler for our engineers. Our execution path is much faster as opposed to traditional payments providers. We’re not a payments company – we don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” comments Shariq.

Veeve specifically chose Stripe because of its superior documentation and interoperability between products. Veeve’s engineers integrated its on-cart device that works with Terminal in two weeks while integrating the Stripe Reader M2 for their up-and-coming snap-on solution took only three weeks. “Because of the Connect and Terminal hardware compatibility, I’d estimate we saved about six weeks of engineering time. Veeve was able to go to market sooner than planned,” says Shariq.

Managing complex funds flows at scale with Connect – while staying compliant and secure

Connect was another reason why Veeve chose the Stripe platform. Prior to Connect, Veeve was trying to figure out how the money would move but was wary of holding money because of tax compliance and its liabilities.

“It just eliminated all of this back and forth between retailers. We literally gave retailers access to the Stripe platform for their own set of stores, and they can do reconciliation if needed. Connect allowed us to scale our business without getting bogged down into how the money will flow. Connect made security and PCI compliance really easy, and all of this comes out of the box from Stripe,” Shariq adds.

Giving in-person retailers powerful insights with the Stripe Dashboard

With the Stripe Dashboard and its unification of tools, retailers can now understand their existing retail systems and POS terminals. From that, Veeve created an insights dashboard to help retailers learn who their customers are, how they’re buying things, and what their shopping patterns are – data that is table stakes for e-commerce but hasn’t existed for in-person retailers.

Shariq adds, “Stripe has a really amazing dashboard where they can see real-time transactions, so we leverage that dashboard and share that information with the partner retailers. And from their perspective, this is all the dashboard capabilities that Veeve has, but we’re leveraging Stripe’s.”

Increasing purchase size and creating high-value customers with Terminal

The most important success metrics to Veeve are customer usage, average transaction size by dollars, and average transaction size by units. By leveraging Stripe Terminal with the SmartCart, Veeve is able to help grocery retailers build higher value customers who not only return to the store but end up buying more through upsells, cross-sells, and coupons via the SmartCart screen or their mobile device – making it seamless for the customer to purchase related products that leads to increased cart size.
- 85% of customers would use the cart again – with the majority of Generation Z shoppers never wanting to return to a cash register or self-checkout
- 70% increase in purchase size – both in dollars spent and units purchased – over self-checkout stations, which rivals high-dollar and unit register transactions
- 65% of SmartCart transactions are via Tap to Pay on iPhone, meaning the Stripe Terminal SDK is critical in providing the payment methods consumers prefer – whether that’s contactless, Apple Pay, or other digital wallets
- 24-minute average shopping time, which is a 60% reduction in the time spent on traditional shopping methods

Future state: Tapping into the supply chain to transform the customer experience

Moving forward, Veeve is counting on Stripe to provide the infrastructure to create an effortless checkout and personalised, aisle-aware recommendations via SmartCarts as well as streamline and revolutionise the relationship between different parts of the supply chain, brands, and related products.

With Stripe Connect, Veeve can facilitate even more purchases via an interconnected marketplace that spans far beyond the store and its inventory. In the future, customers may be able to order specific items that aren’t in stock at the store for direct-to-consumer shipping or related items from a nearby store – all directly through the SmartCart as part of the Veeve network. SmartCarts will also be able to surface targeted ads and coupons based on the customer’s purchasing history. This will not only help stores make referral commissions and improve their product inventory to meet customer demand but will also create seamless online-offline touchpoints and allow brands to curate personalised customer experiences that drive loyalty and conversion.

Because of the [Stripe] Connect and Terminal hardware compatibility, I’d estimate we saved about six weeks of engineering time. Veeve was able to go to market sooner than planned

Shariq Siddiqui, CEO and founder

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