Tag Archives: Case studies

How recommerce startup Beni uses AI to help you shop secondhand

Posted by Lillian Chen – Global Brand and Content Marketing Manager, Google Accelerator Programs

Sarah Pinner’s passion to reduce waste began as a child when she would reach over and turn off her sibling’s water when they were brushing their teeth. This passion has fueled her throughout her career, from joining zero-waste grocery startup Imperfect Foods to co-founding Beni, an AI-powered browser extension that aggregates and recommends resale options while users shop their favorite brands. Together with her co-founder and Beni CTO Celine Lightfoot, Sarah built Beni to make online apparel resale accessible to everyday shoppers in order to accelerate the circular economy and reduce the burden of fashion on the planet.

Sarah explains how the platform helps connect shoppers to secondhand clothing: “Let’s say you’re looking at a Nike shoe. While on the Nike site, Beni pulls resale listings for that same shoe from over 40 marketplaces like Poshmark or Ebay or TheRealReal. Users can simply buy the resale version instead of new to save money and purchase more sustainably. On average, Beni users save about 55% from the new item, and it’s also a lot more sustainable to buy the item secondhand.”

Beni was one of the first companies in the recommerce platform software space, and the competitive landscape is growing. “The more recommerce platforms the better, but Beni is ahead in terms of our partnerships and access to data as well as the ability to search across data,” says Sarah.

How Beni Uses AI

AI helps Beni to ingest all data feeds from their 40+ partnerships into Beni’s database so they can surface the most relevant resale items to the shopper. For example, when Beni receives eBay’s feed for a product search, there may be 100,000 different sizes. The team has trained the Beni model to normalize sizing data. That’s one piece of their categorization.

“When we first started Beni, the intention wasn’t to start a company. It was to solve a problem, and AI has been a great tool to be able to do that,” says Sarah.

Participating in Google for Startups Accelerator: Circular Economy

Beni’s product was built using Google technology, is hosted on Google Cloud and utilizes Vision API Product Search, Vertex AI, BigQuery, and the Chrome web store.

When they heard about the Google for Startups Accelerator: Circular Economy program, it seemed like the perfect fit. “Having been in the circular economy space, and being a software business already using a plethora of Google products, and having a Google Chrome extension - getting plugged into the Google world gave us great insights about very niche questions that are very hard to find online,” says Sarah.

As an affiliate business in resale, Beni’s revenue per transaction is low—a challenge for a business model that requires scale. The Beni team worked one-on-one with Google mentors to best use Google tools in a cost-effective way. Keeping search results relevant is a core piece of the zero-waste model. “Being plugged in and being able to work through ways to improve that relevancy and that reliability with the people in Google who know how to build Google Chrome extensions, know how to use the AI tools on the backend, and deeply understand Search is super helpful.” The Google for Startups Accelerator: Circular Economy program also educated the team in how to selectively use AI tools such as Google’s Vision API Product Search versus building their own tech in-house.

“Having direct access to people at Google was really key for our development and sophisticated use of Google tools. And being a part of a cohort of other circular economy businesses was phenomenal for building connections in the same space,” says Sarah.

Google for Startups Accelerator support extended beyond tech. A program highlight for Sarah was a UX writing deep dive specifically for sustainability. “It showed us all this amazing, tangible research that Google has done about what is actually effective in terms of communicating around sustainability to drive behavior change,” said Sarah. “You can’t shame people into doing things. The way in which you communicate is really important in terms of if people will actually make a change or be receptive.”

Additionally, the new connections made with other circular economy startups and experts in their space was a huge benefit of participating in Google for Startups Accelerator. Mentorship, in particular, provided product-changing value. Google technical mentors shared advice that had a huge impact on the decision for Beni to move from utilizing Vision API Product Search to their own reverse image search. “Our mentors guided us to shift a core part of our technology. It was a big decision and was one of the biggest pieces of mentorship that helped drive us forward. This was a prime example of how the Google for Startups Accelerator program is truly here to support us in building the best products,” says Sarah.

What’s next for Beni

Beni’s mission is straightforward ‐ they’re easing the burden for shoppers to find and buy items second hand so that they can bring new people into resale and make resale the new norm.

Additionally, Beni is continuing to be built into a search platform, searching across second hand clothing. Beni offers their Chrome extension on desktop and mobile, and they will have a searchable interface. In addition to building out the platform further, Beni is looking at how they can support other e-commerce platforms and integrate resale into their offerings.

Learn about how to get involved in Google accelerator programs here.

Carbon Limit’s concrete technology is saving the environment using AI

Posted by Lillian Chen – Global Brand and Content Marketing Manager, Google Accelerator Programs

Located in Boca Raton, Carbon Limit aims to decarbonize the industry and take part in saving, protecting, and healing the environment. Cofounder Tim Sperry explains that for him and his cofounders Oro Padron, and Christina Stavridi, the mission is personal. “I’ve lost family members [to polluted air]. Oro has his own story, Christina has her own story, and our other core team member Angel just had kids. All of us have our own connection to our mission. And with that, we've developed a really strong company culture,” he says.

Today, Carbon Limit is evolving to create sustainable solutions for the built environment. Their flagship product, CaptureCrete, is an additive that gives concrete the ability to capture and store CO2 directly from the air.

Carbon Limit’s initial prototype — a portable shipping container fitted with solar panels, filtered media, and intake fans — was a direct air capture system. With a business model that was dependent on tax credits and carbon credits, the team decided to pivot. “We took our original technology, which was always meant to capture CO2 to store in concrete as a permanent storage solution to CO2 in the air, and turned that into concrete technology,” explains Tim. “We’re lowering the carbon footprint of concrete projects and problems, and providing the ability to generate valuable carbon credits. It actually pays to use our technology: you’re quantifiably lowering the carbon footprint and improving the environment, and you can make money from these carbon credits.”

How Carbon Limit uses AI

Combating climate change is a race against time, as cofounder and CMO Oro explains: “We are in an industry that moves at a pace that when technology catches up, sometimes it’s too late.”

“We have found that AI actually is not eliminating, it is creating—it is letting our own people discover things about themselves and possibilities that they didn’t know about,” says Oro. “We embrace AI because we are embracing the future, and we strive to be pioneers.”

Artificial intelligence also allows for transparency in a space that can become congested by unreliable data. “We’re developing tools, specifically the digital MRV, which stands for measurement, reporting, and verification of carbon credits,” says Tim. “There is bad press that there’s a lot of fake or unverified carbon credits being sold, generated, or created.” AI gives real-time, real-world data, exposure, and quantification of the carbon credits. Carbon Limit is generating carbon credits with hard tech, bringing trust into tech.

How Carbon Limit uses Google technology

Carbon Limit is a team of developers, programmers, and data scientists working across multiple operating systems, so they needed a centralized system for collaborating. “Google Workspace has allowed us to build our own CRMs with Google Sheets and Google Docs, which we’ve found to be the easiest way to onboard quickly. Google has been an amazing tool for us to communicate internally.” Christina adds, “We have a small but diverse team with ages that vary. Not every single team member is used to using the same tools, so the way Oro has onboarded the team and utilized these tools in a customizable way where they’re easily adoptable and used by every single team member to optimize our work has been super beneficial.”

Additionally, the Carbon Limit team uses Google data for training their CO2-related data, and Google Colab to train their models. “We have some models that were made in Python, but utilizing Google Cloud has helped us predict models faster,” says Oro.

Participating in Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change

Before Carbon Limit started the Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change program, the Carbon Limit team considered integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into their process but wanted to ensure that they were making the right decision. With Google mentorship and support, they went full force with AI and ML algorithms. “Accelerator: Climate Change helped us realize exactly what we needed to do,” says Oro.

Participating in the program also gave Carbon Limit access to resources that helped enhance their SEO. “We learned how to increment our backlinks and how to improve performance, which has been extremely helpful to put us on the map. Our whole backbone has been built thanks to Google Workspace,” says Oro.

“The Google for Startups Accelerator program gave us valuable resources and guidance on what we can do, how we can do it, and what not to do” says Tim. “The mentorship and learning from people who developed the technology, use the technology, and work with it every day was invaluable for us.” Christina adds, “The mentors also helped us refine our pitch when communicating our solution on different platforms. That was very useful to understand how to speak to different customers and investors.”

The program also led to a new client for Carbon Limit: Google. “That was critical because with Google as an early adopter, that helped us build a significant amount of credibility and validation,” Tim tells us.

What’s next for Carbon Limit

Looking ahead, Carbon Limit will be launching a new technology that can be used in data centers to mitigate electricity as well as reduce and remove CO2 pollution.

“We went from a carbon capture solution to sustainable solutions because we wanted to go even bigger,” says Tim. “We want to inspire others to do what we’re doing and help create more awareness and a more environmentally friendly world.”

Tim shares, “I love what I do. I love to be able to invent something that didn’t exist. But more importantly, it helps protect my family, my loved ones, future generations, and the environment. And I get to do it with this amazing group of people at Carbon Limit.”

Learn about how to get involved in Google accelerator programs here.

Google Certified Publishing Partner Spotlight: learn about how Ezoic and SalesFrontier boosted publisher’s monetization

Whether you’re just starting out with ads, fine-tuning your existing ad setup or looking for brand new revenue sources, Certified Publishing Partners are ready to help you achieve your goals. Learn about how two of our partners helped websites like yours earn more revenue through innovative approaches.

Ezoic is an automated website testing company that helps publishers to evaluate and optimize ad placements and website layouts. According to an internal study commissioned by Ezoic, SimplyPsychology.org, a popular education site, increased revenue by more than 400% and saw an 84% rise in time spent on site by optimizing their website layout. John Cole, Chief Customer Officer of Ezoic says “What Ezoic does is use analytics to make sure that the user experience is superior. We’re tackling the enormously complex task of balancing user experience, content, and monetization. And we’re doing it through data that spans all platforms.” Read more in Ezoic’s partner spotlight.

SalesFrontier, a strong partner for mobile optimization, helps nearly 200 publishers optimize their digital strategies and increase revenue. James Lan, New Media Business Department Vice President of Sanlih E-Television, says “SalesFrontier is a highly recommended Google AdSense partner that dramatically increased our market share in digital advertising. We trust their professional technical support and outstanding consultant services.” Read how SalesFrontier helped Sanlih E-Television Co., Ltd., a large media publisher, grow its mobile revenue business. Read more in SalesFrontier’s partner spotlight.

Since its launch in 2015, the goal of the Certified Publisher Partner is to find the best partners to give publishers like you the extra support to grow your website. To learn more about the program or get started, check out the Certified Publisher Partner website.

Posted by Danielle Landress, from the AdSense team

Source: Inside AdSense

Meet AdSense Publisher Educación Inicial

Preschool teacher Marisol Godoy founded Educación Inicial when she was pregnant and had to spend many hours in bed. Full of ideas she’d never had the chance to write down, Educación Inicial became her archive of fun and educational projects for parents and other preschool teachers to enjoy with children.

Using AdSense, Marisol was able to start earning an income from Educación Inicial. In time she was making enough to give up her teaching job and run the website full-time with husband David.
Today the site has over five million regular contributors from all over the world. AdSense remains the site’s sole source of income, which gives Marisol and her husband the freedom to travel and spend time with their boys, who are now all grown up.

Not yet an AdSense user? Sign up now!

Posted by Stacey Garcia
AdSense Marketing Manager

Source: Inside AdSense

Mobile site or app? Learn how digiSchool made its decision

When it was created in 2011, French company digiSchool was a pioneer by offering free teaching content for which users would otherwise have had to pay. They were growing rapidly. However, they had to make an important decision to grow even further: mobile site or mobile app?

After extensive user testing, digiSchool noticed that mobile apps were best for delivering content like quizzes, lessons, and videos, but a mobile site was better for reading the news. “Depending on the device, a user needs very specific interfaces. We had to figure out whether content worked best on a mobile site or an app.”,  Thierry, co-founder of digiSchool, explains.

They decided to build a mobile site with Responsive Web Design (RWD) to meet their visitors’ needs. This has been key to the success of digiSchool’s mobile site. It has proven to be a scalable, complete solution that doesn't require changes across multiple sites, and has enabled digiSchool’s mobile site to evolve rapidly.

Discover how digiSchool decided to go mobile and how they became a market leader for digital education in France. To learn how you too can provide a great site experience for all of your users, don’t forget to check out our Multi-Screen Starter Guide.

Posted by Anne Goldmann
AdSense Account Manager

Source: Inside AdSense

Nursed to success: online education for nurses

Nursingcrib.com provides extra study materials for student nurses, an idea that came to Michelle Bartolome in 2007 when she got frustrated with textbooks and in-person lessons. She and her husband, Deric, thought the Internet must have a better solution, and it did. The Bartolomes created Nursingcrib.com, implemented AdSense, and today the site receives visitors from across the globe. With the ad revenue from Nursingcrib, Deric and Michelle have been able to build their dream home, support their family, and work full time on their website. We asked them to share their tips for other entrepreneurs.

How they got started:

Michelle: The concept of Nursingcrib.com came from me. I happened to take up Nursing as a second course from 2004 to 2006. At that time, Nursing was an in-demand course. Almost 90% of college students were taking it up. First, I just wanted to have a blog where I could share my notes with other aspiring nurses like me. I uploaded several care plans, modules, and diagrams, and instantly it became a hit. It became even more popular when I published the names of nursing board passers, which happens twice a year.

What were their main challenges:

Michelle: It was back in November 2007 when we first hit the $100 minimum AdSense payout. Deric and I were so happy because the dream of having another source of income opened up. By 2008, we were earning enough so that Deric could quit his call center job and go full time with our websites. People thought we were unemployed because we were always at home in front of the computer. They said we could not do it because we were young. They said it was impossible because we were not working abroad. Well, all I can say is that they were all wrong.

How to push through obstacles:

Deric: The biggest challenge was getting the site recognized. At first, I thought it would be easy. But with the Internet being so big, you have to compete with established websites. Learning how to market our new site was the key to overcome every obstacle that came our way. Online business requires fewer people, but it’s still not easy. The main lesson we've learned is that success doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and effort to build your dreams.

Posted by Michelle and Deric Bartolome, co-founders of Nursingcrib.com

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Source: Inside AdSense

Case Study: Enroll America

The developing story about the Affordable Care Act is how Enroll America - and its use of technology - has been central to the upward trend in health insurance enrollees.
Enroll America’s goal is simple: maximize the number of Americans enrolling in affordable health coverage. Read the full case study here.