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Travvis finds the best “customer journey” is where one literally travels

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Startup Travvis has traveled many miles across many sectors to get to where it is. Nowadays, the Colombian company has been able to reveal to Contxto a big corporate partnership that will hopefully take its growth to new heights.

Travvis is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that specializes in facial recognition to measure users’ (micro)expressions when watching ads or looking at products. These are then translated into concrete feedback to the companies selling the wares.

Resilience, experience, adaptation to change have kept Travvis interested in how customers make decisions. Indeed, knowing the preferences and feelings of users or consumers determines the success or failure of a product or service. 

To make matters complicated though, these feelings can evolve throughout the much-vaunted “customer journey”. This is the compilation of every stage a user goes through when interacting with a brand. From discovery to final purchase and beyond. 

Now, Travvis wants to go on a literal journey with users, through the supermarket. To do this they are teaming up with Group Éxito, Colombia’s largest group of supermarket stores, comprised of the Éxito and Carulla-brands. 

Startup Travvis wants to take you on a retail journey

So, what does a customer journey look like when your client is the biggest retail group in Colombia? Lorraine Sandoval—co-Founder of Travvis—told Contxto in an interview:

We have already started in an Éxito store. In November we will begin to operate in a Carulla store. The initial pilot is two months. But we will begin to venture into carts in the same pilot if everything works well in the first weeks.

“Venturing into carts” isn’t a figure of speech, it is phase two of a three-part scaling program that Travvis has within Grupo Éxito.

In the current first phase, Travvis is using smart shopping carts by adding tablets to the bar handles. These will allow people to navigate across the shop without getting lost. It’s a “supermarket Waze”, says Sandoval.

The carts will also provide calculators, recipes, promotions, discounts.

Cool gadgets and all, but Éxito is probably most interested in the second phase. This will be when Travvis incorporates AI into the carts so that they can read the feelings and behaviors of consumers in real time. Plus, they’ll add self-checkouts to the smart cart, with facilities like QR code and PSE payments.

In the third phase, the carts will become “fully intelligent”, skipping the need to invest in the hardware—a tablet. Customers will be able to just use their own cell phones.

Here’s to startup success in Éxito

The Fourth industrial revolution, consumer habits, and the current state of the world, are all accelerating technological adoption all along the retail chain via the companies that sell through them. Whoever can glean what the masses want in real-time will be ahead of this quickly shifting game.

This is what Travvis is betting on. Within three years they want their escalation within Éxito to have resulted in 40,000 smart carts, feeding info to the supermarket chain, but to the brands being sold as well. 

The Internet of Things will be a tricky thing to navigate. Can one get a VPN for one’s own face? Until you can, your expressions are sure to become a crucial stage of the corporate customer journey.


Alejandro González Ormerod
Historian, writer, and editor from Mexico City. He was a book publisher, academic, and cheesemonger before joining Contxto. Still deciding on which Latin American country to visit next; food and fun are the main criteria.


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