Our Future Plans For MiBRAND.
We set out in early 2016 to build the ultimate tool for shoppers in South Africa, and although along the way we have faced many challenges, we’ve never given up on our dream of 1 million users. Over the last 5 years, MiBRAND has evolved with its environment into what it is today and our team is at work Monday to Saturday working on improving and growing the platform. Read more about our history in our post: 5 Years Of MiBRAND, Our Journey So Far.
In this blog post we highlight some of the milestones we are aiming to achieve in 2022. Some of these are some of the most important steps we will take to date including the integration of machine learning into our MiBRAND Content Engine, our expansion into the United Kingdom, Version 5, and entering into our first official Seed Funding stage.
Here are some of the milestones we are aiming to achieve next year at MiBRAND.
MiBRAND Version 5.
Later next year we will be releasing the next version of MiBRAND. We currently have no launch date set and cannot reveal too much about new features. One we can share that we’re currently working on is launching price comparison tools on our platform.
We currently do not offer tools dedicated to comparing deals only tools to help find them. This will be made possible through an integration with new machine learning tools we are currently building into our content engine. Version 5 of MiBRAND will also feature an improved UI, better search algorithms, tools dedicated to making it easier to find stores on the platform, a smarter home feed, and more.
Machine Learning Integration.
On our platform, we deal with tens of thousands of different pieces of content every day in hundreds of different categories. One way we make this data easier to manage is by categorizing products into one uniformed product taxonomy. We currently rely on an internal tool we have built to assist us with this mapping process, because stores name products differently and use different metadata/images it can be difficult to identify matching products.
In 2022 we are integrating a machine learning module that we are building which will assist us in more accurately matching brands and products which in effect will allow us to offer accurate price comparison tools than currently available in South Africa.
Price Comparison Tools.
On MiBRAND when you search for a product we currently list everything as we find it. Meaning if you search “LG 60inch TV" for example we will show you all the deals on TVs we have found matching that search individually. So if 4 stores are offering the same product they will show individually and not in one product tab.
The reason we do it this way is we do not want to offer a price comparison feature unless we can do it with a very low error rate. What this means is if you search “LG 60inch TV” we do not want to give you a combined result unless we are certain it is all of them available online in South Africa at that time. We do not want to list 3 of them in a combined result and be missing a 4th that may be a better option for a consumer. In 2022 with the integration of a trained model we can automate this process and do it accurately allowing us to offer a price comparison feature that you can trust.
MiBRAND In The United Kingdom.
As announced earlier this year we are currently preparing MiBRAND UK, this turned out to be slightly more difficult than originally expected due to both the number of online stores and differences in those stores compared to those here in South Africa.
Nevertheless, we are continuing in our pursuit of expanding out of Africa, a big reason we wish to achieve this in 2022 is to display how we are able to expand MiBRAND into multiple territories at a very low cost. Because MiBRAND is a self-funded project we have built it in a way that has made it affordable for us to grow & scale internationally even without major capital backing.
We are currently busy conceptualizing the best way to monetize MiBRAND in a way that will not compromise on our user experience or our core functionality. This is one of our milestones for next year. We want to be able to give stores and brands the ability to showcase sales and deals in a feed tailored to each user. We are also exploring the idea of creating dedicated areas on our feed for stores to pay to showcase products.
Official Seed Funding Stage.
For the last 5 years, MiBRAND has been in its Pre-Seed Funding stage while we have developed the version of our product that we now have today. The platform today we consider the MVP of what we envision MiBRAND to be. Once we have completed the development of the tools to monetize MiBRAND and have our UK version up and running we will begin preparing MiBRAND to officially enter our Seed Funding Stage.