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INSIGHTS / INTERVIEWS

Buy Yourself GO: Relieving the pressure in high-demand retail

Spain · Apr 26, 2019· By Emanuela Ferraro

Buy Yourself

Buy Yourself's patented self-checkout technology specifically targets peak sales periods for bricks-and-mortars and requires no prior download of software

Lines in brick-and-mortar stores, especially during peak sales periods like Christmas or end-of-season sales, are a real pain point for customers. Indeed, according to a study by Epson, over 37% of people abandon a store after waiting in line for longer than five minutes. This equates to a drop in turnover of about 24.8%.

Enter Buy Yourself, a Spanish startup founded in 2016 specifically to design a technology to allow brick-and-mortar customers to pay for products using their phone. The idea was born when co-founders Guillerm Villalón (CEO), Luis Manuel Peréz (CPO), Jaime Gonzáles del Barrio (CTO), and Pablo Serrano (CMO) worked together in consultancy firm Everis. For an internal entrepreneurship contest, they came up with "a prototype of an anti-theft tag that automatically released when the purchase was successfully finalized," said Peréz. 

The team won the contest and decided to found Buy Yourself to develop a minimum viable project (MVP) for testing on the market. "For us, it meant taking high risks but we decided to continue the project on our own,” Peréz told CompassList in an interview at the recent 4YFN conference.

The colleagues bootstrapped the initial development of a mobile app that would enable self-checkout and deactivate stores’ radio-frequency identification (RFID) product tags, attaining local public grants from accelerator Enisa and incubator Barcelona Activa. Although they received interest in the technology, plans to deploy it in stores did not pan out.

"We noticed that there was a certain amount of friction from both retailers and customers alike,” Peréz said. "These were related to system integration on the B2B side. In addition, we realized that between waiting in line or downloading an app to avoid the queue, people were opting for queuing.” 

Edited by Celine Lim

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