Groceries in a snap

Will taking photos of your food be the next big thing in grocery shopping? Toronto's Slyce certainly hopes so.
Slyce app food

Slyce, the Toronto-based company billed as the Shazam of things, wants to get into the grocery aisle.

The company, which builds software that uses image recognition to pair photos with products, partnered with Purchase Decision Network’s Shopper, an app that allows consumers to create their grocery lists.

The New York-based app has more than 1.75 million consumers across North America. The “Snap2Add” feature will allow consumers to take a photo of whatever grocery item they’re running low on, which will automatically be added to the list.

Shopper works with CPG companies to help get their brands in front of consumers based on grocery lists, says Mark Elfenbein, CEO at Slyce (e.g. Colgate could send up an ad or coupon to people who add toothpaste to their lists, or Kellogg’s could target folks shopping for Cheerios). The benefit for marketers with the “Snap2Add” feature will be a real-time look at which brands people have actually purchased. Elfenbein says they aren’t ready to announce who has signed on yet.

Slyce will retain the data on shopping preference and product trends, and will generate revenue based on ad units and couponing, as well as access to its analytics.

Elfenbein says the deal with PDN has been in the works for about four months now, adding it opens up a new set of opportunities for the image-recognition software maker, which to date has been dealing largely with clothing cos. 

The concept of taking photos of products in the home for easier online ordering (at press time, there is no home-delivery mechanism for Shopper or Snap2Add, it’s strictly a list-maker, but it’s not an inconceivable stretch for that functionality in a future iteration), has been heating up as of late. Last year, Amazon announced its “Dash” device, which allowed consumers signed up for the Fresh grocery delivery service to simply scan items to re-order them.

And as Canadian grocers start testing online ordering/home delivery systems, marketers should take note: If you think it’s hard to stand out on shelves now – imagine how difficult it might be if your consumer just keeps re-ordering the same products on his/her shelf?