Algorithmic Transparency: Merchants

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Wolt helps local stores and restaurants bring their business online. In this post, we will explore the products and tools available to merchants, as well as how algorithms help streamline their business operations. The text is taken from Wolt's Algorithmic Transparency Report 2024.

Efficiency Algorithms

For merchants, we mainly use algorithms and automated systems to ease the burden of mundane tasks, enabling them to concentrate on their core business activities. In today's tough economic climate, our tools assist merchants in running their businesses more efficiently, optimizing operations, offering valuable insights, and expanding their customer base.

Going digital

Wolt’s services enable merchants to reach customers they may not have been able to with just their stores. In order to do that, we help merchants bring their goods online via easy to use self-service tools and integrations.

Merchants encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from small-scale mom-and-pop shops to large enterprises with numerous venues. To ensure our solutions cater to this diverse range, we assist merchants in seamlessly integrating their existing operations and software with the Wolt platform, tailored to each merchant's unique requirements.

Wolt Merchant App showing the tools for handling incoming orders and picking and packing orders

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These integrations are made possible through our open Application Programming Interface (API) platform, empowering merchants to develop custom integrations aligned with their system design and preferences. The API facilitates smooth communication between our software and the merchant's systems. Furthermore, our Wolt Developer Portal offers partner developers comprehensive guidelines and insights to develop high-quality integrations using our open APIs. Partners gain the ability to manage menus, orders, and Wolt stores directly from their systems.

For merchants without sophisticated software, a robust online presence, or development teams, we have a no-code solution so that they can easily integrate their business needs with the Wolt platform.

Our APIs

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What’s on offer?

The venue's offerings, known as ‘listing’, contains a vast array of items. Setting up a venue's listing on Wolt, especially in retail settings, can be labor-intensive, often involving thousands of products. Automation has significantly streamlined processes, particularly for listings featuring multiple images. Previously, each picture had to be uploaded individually, but now we've introduced a bulk upload tool. This tool allows merchants to upload numerous images at once, automatically matched to the correct product using identifiers like barcodes in the filenames.

Moreover, we also provide automated bulk tools for importing listing data from text files, enabling listing sharing across venues and establishing a comprehensive product database. Additionally, we use third-party automation tools like X-Menu and OpenAI’s GPT-models to expedite the online transition for merchants. X-Menu aids in extracting restaurant menu information directly into Wolt's merchant tools, while we use GPTs to understand the meaning of product information uploaded by merchants (e.g. is this a meal or a drink or cutlery), which helps customers find these more easily.

Selling stuff

After a consumer places an order in the Wolt App or on the website, the baton is handed over to the merchant to fulfill the next steps in the Wolt journey. Once received, the merchant has the option to either accept the order and start preparing it, or reject it if the item is unavailable or they lack the time to prepare it.

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Once a merchant accepts an order, they then begin preparing it. We suggest to the merchant an estimation of the preparation time. We do this to better estimate the best time for the courier partner to arrive at the venue and to provide estimates for the consumer’s delivery expectations. 

The order preparation time estimate is based on:

  • The courier partner's proximity and availability.
  • The expected preparation time by the merchant (predicted based on their usual duration, order size, and current workload).

The merchant can either accept our estimate or provide a new estimate that aligns with their ability to fulfill the order. This respects the merchant’s operational capability and in-store experience, while reducing waiting times.

Once the order is ready, the courier partner takes over the next part of the Wolt journey, making the delivery to the consumer. 

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Knowledge is power

With data and insights to recommend actions for improvement, merchants can grow their business. At Wolt, merchants have access to all their data – from sales data to customer reviews and general insights on purchasing behaviors and trends. Knowing the busiest days and times can help merchants make better decisions about staffing and preparation.

Ads & Promotions

It's important for merchants to stand out and market their businesses effectively for growth. At Wolt, we offer restaurants and stores the opportunity to promote their venues to attract more visits, gain new customers, and ultimately increase sales.

How does it work?

Merchants enjoy access to convenient self-service tools on Wolt for running their ads. Within this tool, they can decide how long they want the campaign to run for and how much they want to spend. They can opt to boost their venue's visibility across Discovery, Search, and the Restaurants and Stores tabs, and are only charged for ads when someone clicks on them and makes a purchase from their venue. Additionally, the tool offers valuable daily performance insights, enabling merchants to fine-tune their ad strategies as needed. 

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Boosting your visibility 

When a merchant runs an ad to enhance their visibility the placement of the ad is based on three key factors:

  • Location and availability of the venue
  • Personalisation score based on quality of the ad for the specific user in question
  • The merchant’s bid to spend on for each conversion

All venues whose placement is based on ads are labeled as 'Sponsored', and it is also possible for the consumer to expand the label to see why they are being shown this particular venue and on whose behalf the ad is displayed.

Search ads

Merchant ads are also shown in search results. We use a machine learning model to automatically generate keywords for venues based on which terms users search for and then organically buy from said venue. For example, if lots of people who search for ‘burger’ end up buying from Restaurant X, then the system infers that ‘burger’ is a suitable keyword for Restaurant X. Should Restaurant X choose to then boost their venue’s visibility, it will show up as a sponsored venue in the search results of users looking for burgers. 

Promotional activities

We also offer merchants and brands opportunities to run promotional campaigns, such as offering discounts on their products or free deliveries. With promotions merchants can choose whether they want to target users who have not yet purchased from their venue, or to target all possible users. 

More services and products available to merchants:

Wolt Drive

Wolt Drive lets our partners add fast and reliable last-mile deliveries to their online store checkout with easy set-up, live tracking and world-class customer support. Their customers place an order and our aim is that it is in less than an hour it’s in their hands.

Wolt Self-Delivery

Our merchant partners use their own in-house couriers to deliver the orders while using Wolt to reach more customers and accelerate business growth.

The information on Wolt’s products and algorithms in this report are based on our operations as of February 2024 in Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden. For more information, check out our Transparency web page.

About Wolt

About Wolt
Wolt is a Helsinki-based technology company that makes it incredibly easy to discover and get the best restaurants, grocery stores and other local shops delivered to you. To enable this, Wolt develops a wide range of technologies from local logistics to retail software and financial solutions, as well as operates its own grocery stores under the brand Wolt Market.

Wolt was founded in 2014 and joined forces with DoorDash in 2022. DoorDash operates in 31 countries today, 27 of which are with the Wolt product and brand.

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