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Shop Safely

Stay safe and avoid large crowds with help from fellow grocery shoppers.

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Our idea helps primary grocery shoppers avoid central spots during peak times by finding less crowded places to go and feel safe while shopping, unlike contact tracing which notifies you after an incident and gives you less control of your personal data.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Social distancing is here to stay at least until 2022 according to Harvard. This is because once the initial wave of Coronavirus infections has passed, further outbreaks could occur. Coronavirus has also opened people’s minds to the daily risks of infection that we all face.

In that context, many people are doing their best to stay home and avoid large crowds. Grocery stores are high-density central spots where people are at greatest risk of contracting coronavirus. Despite this, people are still risking their life by visiting the stores when the stores are busy. This is because people have no choice but to shop for their essential groceries. We can help people avoid large crowds by providing visibility over the density of people in grocery shops.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

Our idea helps grocery shoppers avoid central spots during peak times. We will create a mobile app to help people find the best places and times to get their groceries. We will save the lives of tens of thousands of people and reduce pressure on the healthcare system by helping people avoid large crowds.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

With social distancing, businesses closing and disruption on an unprecedented scale, we’re seeing consumers choose not to go outside and avoid spending. We’re finding consumers may not always be aware of when and where to purchase groceries they need. Shop Safely will contextualise what people need to know to create greater awareness and access to services in their neighbourhood. We will initially focus on primary household shoppers in the U.S. and Australia. In 2019, the U.S. had 128 million households who made 1.6 shopping trips per week for a total of 204 million grocery trips a week. If this has decreased by 50% due to Coronavirus, it means we can help people stay safe during their 102 million grocery trips per week. Ultimately, this will help people avoid coronavirus and save tens of thousands of lives and millions of dollars in consumer spending. With in-kind support, we can quickly scale to markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East where home delivery services may not always be accessible or affordable.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Our team are skilled designers from the Australian strategic design company ThinkPlace. ThinkPlace is a global company with offices in the US, Kenya, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

We design strategic and transformational change in service of vibrant communities, strong economies, sustainable environments and trusted institutions. Please also see link below:

What is your profession?

Business Designer

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Oceana

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Business/Consulting
  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 50-249

How old is your business/company?

  • 10 or more years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Business

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Funding- Investment
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

Our team are working on a voluntary basis, any introductions or in-kind support will go a long way in getting the ball rolling!

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

We will need access to existing data on the grocery shops in the U.S. We will get this information from Google’s Maps API. Initially, we will need users to upload information on how busy or free a grocery shop is. We will use a gamification mechanism to encourage people to contribute, similar to the approach that Waze uses to encourage drivers to report accidents.

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