“Thanks to artificial intelligence, UntieNots is revolutionising loyalty and promotions in the world of retail.” Here are ten things you need to know about the Parisian startup which recently partnered with Altavia.
UntieNots uses artificial intelligence to ultra-personalise promotions and loyalty programmes in bricks-and-mortar retail.
The solution can send millions of web pages, including personalised promotional offers, to its client retailers’ individual customers. “We use an algorithm to identify the affinities between brand products and customers, and calculate an expected spend on each of these brands or categories”, explains Cédric Chéreau, the young company’s CEO and co-founder. “We offer professional deals, which invite individuals to spend a certain amount during the month to unlock a reward.” Shoppers playing Loyalty Challenge receive load-to-card coupons and play “gamified loyalty challenges” to earn personalised reductions on their favourite products.
The two founders
Cédric Chéreau and Zyed Jamoussi both come from the world of consulting and retail analytics. They spent 15 years working for French retailers like Carrefour and Auchan, but also for European and US clients.
The birth of a great idea
“We identified a huge gap between bricks-and-mortar retail – hamstrung by mass promotions in which everyone is offered the same products, all the time – and e-commerce players like Amazon, which are going all in on ultra-personalisation”, says Cédric Chéreau. “Netflix and Spotify users all browse a different interface tailored to them. Personalisation really has made it as far as consumer habits.”
Who is the core audience? Supermarkets, and first and foremost the food sector. Several trials were conducted in 2017 with Auchan France and the omnichannel version of UntieNots was rolled out across the company in March 2018.
“We’d like to get stuck into other sectors such as specialised retail: Séphora, Leroy Merlin, Fnac, and so on”, says Cédric Chéreau.
UnieNots is also carrying out consulting projects (data, personalisation) with retailers in countries like Argentina, China, Brazil and Canada, and deploying the solution internationally is very much a short-term goal.
The American challenge
“The next challenge will be to break into the US market,” says Cédric Chéreau. “We want to open our first office over there because working with American retailers and growing our business in the States is hard work without a local footprint”.
The startup currently employs eight people and recruitments are expected in the coming weeks! “We’re proud to have hired a varied team with complementary skill sets, all expert and passionate in their fields. We love sport, cinema, algorithms, poke (a Hawaiian fish salad), music, and chouquettes!” (Choux pastry treats often dipped in chocolate), their website explains. This sets the tone. “For a small team like ours, aiming for such ambitious goals, it’s important that we move forward as a close-knit unit, sharing affinities and values”, stresses Cédric Chéreau.
Altavia and UntieNots recently decided to join forces. “We offer genuine technical expertise, in a specific field,” says Cédric Chéreau, “and thanks to our size we can be really agile when it comes to doing deals. Through Altavia, with its international prestige, we can tap into a broad network of clients. As a group it has a genuine capacity to listen to innovators, which is unusual”.