How retailer Coop Sweden uses AI to answer 91% of queries from 3 million+ shoppers

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
AI assistant supporting grocery shoppers for Coop Sweden retailer

Coop Sweden | Retail

Key challenges

Chief Digital Officer of Coop Sweden, Amer Mohammad, saw a dramatic shift in the way people shop today and recognised emerging technology was accelerating the change. But when Coop Sweden developed an app to move elements of their grocery chain online, they found uptake was slow.

  • Looking beyond the transaction, people now want an experience when they shop
  • Competition is fierce with customers able to buy food just about anywhere
  • Buyer habits are changing and the retailer has to be able to adapt quickly

Key results

Amer booked a call with us to find out how launching an AI assistant could help Coop Sweden create a sweeter experience for their customers and went on to launch Cooper, supporting people with everything from products and recipes to sustainability and making shopping fun.

  • Every member gets a personalised service
  • Customers started turning to the AI assistant first for help, chatting with Cooper often
  • Cooper was trained to answer almost every type of routine customer enquiry instantly
Image of Cooper AI assistant avatar (white robot face with blue eyes and black outline) with a speech bubble that says
Cooper builds an individual relationship with every Coop customer yet is available to all of their 3 million+ cooperative members. Choosing to ask the AI instead of call, email or visit a store, grocery shoppers and Cooper have around 6,000 conversations each month. Always using the most up-to-date information Cooper can successfully answer 91% of common questions.

Notable breakthroughs along the way

  • Coop Sweden customers can start a conversation with the store, anytime, anywhere, about any issue
  • The customer service team benefits just as much as customers do from the use of AI
  • Conversation-based assistance improves customer service even for people unfamiliar with AI technology
“Coop wants to build a level of customer experience that is unparalleled in the Swedish retail marketplace. The work that EBI.AI is doing gives us a tool to build strong relationships with our customers and support them with an important part of their daily life.” - Amer Mohammad, CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER OF COOP SWEDEN

It takes just 10 minutes to launch an AI assistant

A few years ago, it would have been a long-winded, expensive and highly technical process for Coop Sweden to launch an AI assistant. Our unique platform takes all that pain away:

All you need to get started is your website url ― it’s that simple!

Screen on EBI.AI AI Studio platform where you are asked to enter the URL for your website to automatically create an AI assistant using its content

Coop Sweden uses AI to help customers shop in the way they want to shop

With more than 800 stores Coop Sweden is one of Sweden’s largest grocery chains (owned by the Cooperative Union, KF) and in 2021 were named Sweden’s most sustainable brand. Before launching Cooper, the retailer wanted to offer their members a better way of filling their cupboards and eating well daily, and creating Cooper was easy.

Coop Sweden chose the name and designed the avatar especially, and have full control over every response Cooper sends out to their valuable customers, which can be edited any time.

Everything Coop Sweden needs to check Cooper’s progress is on their client dashboard:

EBI.AI client dashboard showing AI assistant conversation trends and data - retail queries
(Data shown is for illustrative purposes only)

Using our unique conversational platform, Coop Sweden has unlocked an infinite number of ways to help their members. Using a next-gen AI assistant they can support customers online and in-person, effortlessly improving their omnichannel offering to create an exceptional shopping experience. Coop Sweden is now able to speak with their customers more often, in more places, getting to know them better to give them more of what they want.

Deciding what to buy is easy

When a Coop Sweden customer doesn’t know what to have for dinner, they can ask Cooper for ideas. Maybe they fancy pasta but want to try a less spicy sauce. Or they’re having fish and don’t know which starter will complement it. Cooper can find recipes online or suggest Coop Sweden products that match their preferences, so if a customer tells Cooper they’re vegan, they’ll only ever be offered meat-free suggestions.

Remember every food choice for every customer using AI sits alongside an image of a vegan meal

AI helps staff cope under pressure

With Cooper able to answer almost every type of routine enquiry instantly, staff can now give their time to tackling more challenging or unusual queries to support customers. We’ve also used computer vision to recognise human presence in 100+ Coop Sweden stores to constantly count the number of people in them, so Cooper can identify quiet times for customers to visit, making shopping more comfortable for members and staff alike.

A chart showing how many people are currently in store

Customers can feel good about what they buy

Cooper links up with Plant Jammer to show people what ingredients they can buy to go with food they already have in their fridge or cupboards to make a meal and avoid waste. Receipts using Coop Sweden’s Scan & Pay app via our platform are digital to help save paper, and if people are keen to see how good or bad any product is for the environment or if their food is healthy, Cooper gives this information on every product to help them make informed choices.

Cooper makes shopping more fun for all the family

Using our feature-rich platform, Coop Sweden can easily add elements to their AI assistant to support buyers and make shopping fun. Cooper is programmed to recognise the products Coop Sweden sells, so if a customer wants a slice of lemon in their glass of water, they can point their phone camera at a real lemon and Cooper will offer to add a lemon to their shopping list. Or if you’re taking small children to your local store:

  • See who can find the items on your shopping list the fastest; scan them with your phone and Cooper will tick them off the list.
  • Or scan specific products for suggested recipes, revealing augmented reality (AR) characters in the Recipe Scavenger Hunt interactive game.
AR image source: Microsoft Customer Stories

It’s a simple way to get people to the checkout faster, with less stress.

Integration with retail systems is easy

An AI assistant like Cooper can easily connect with any other technology system Coop Sweden already uses or plans to develop in the future, so they can build on legacy systems and blend in emerging technology. We’ve been working with computer software for 20+ years and in AI for almost a decade, so linking it all together is a natural part of what we do.

Conversation review keeps information fresh

Our pro team of linguists, designers, psychologists and writers review every conversation Cooper has with Coop Sweden members, which keeps a human in the loop. This makes sure content is always up-to-date, accurate, and fully focused on customer needs while revamping retail ready for a new generation of shoppers.

Remember what every buyer wants, every time, and adapt instantly as things change

Cooper is making it easier for customers to make personal choices as they shop, like supporting Fair Trade or avoiding pesticides in food, but also supports a new demographic of customer getting used to new and emerging technology. The beauty of an AI assistant is it’s conversation-based, so anybody of any age or background can engage with Cooper and our AI assistants support 150+ languages.

As buyer habits chop and change, Coop Sweden’s relationship with their customers can only grow more fruitful as Cooper learns their every taste and remembers their preferences ― forever.

Having Cooper on hand across different channels to instantly answer questions about stores or products, learn more about the goods they’re buying, or keep track of what they’re spending has given buyers a good reason to stay loyal to Coop Sweden and build trust in the brand.

Person holding smartphone with backdrop of herbs on a supermarket shelf, gathering information about the product, with Coop Sweden logo

Launch an AI assistant today (or ask us to do it)

It’s easy to use our AI Studio to create and manage your own AI assistant, or you can choose our managed service and ask us to do it all for you. AI assistants are now used across all sorts of industries to transform customer service, and every organisation is different.

Enhance your retail operations today

Get an AI assistant working around the clock to instantly resolve customer queries:

  • Automate up to 90% of routine enquiries*
  • Reduce your average cost per enquiry from £5 to 5p*
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 67%*
  • Move your support team onto higher value tasks

*all results we’ve delivered for our clients

Get started now or book a discovery call with our pro team.