RTIH gets the lowdown on Stord, which is co-founded by Danny Howe, former managing director of payments firm WorldFirst, and Lee Hart, former UK general manager at fintech big hitter Fiserv.
RTIH: Tell us about yourselves and It has been stored.
DH and LH: We both have a payroll background, having held MD and GM roles at WorldFirst and Pfizer respectively.
We’ve spent a lot of time with retailers in those roles, and the insights we’ve gained from that have given us a good understanding of the challenges they face and the limitations of the tools available to address them.
We decided that to truly help them, we needed to spend time directly understanding their customer journey and then build a solution from the ground up. That’s a stock solution.
Stored shoppers can curate online and offline shopping baskets and wish lists from any retailer in one place and share them via social media and messaging.
Our app provides a way for retailers to integrate their shared balance to reach consumers who are considering their products and offer incentives and discounts to guide them toward purchase.
RTIH: What was the motivation for establishing the company?
DH and LH: Ultimately it was our frustration that we couldn’t fulfill those retailers in our previous roles. We’ve seen first-hand the challenges and pain points retailers face as a result of multichannel retail disruption.
That frustration led us to complete a detailed consumer survey in which we found that 98% of 1,200 respondents were pitching product ideas in one or more ways across multiple channels. 56% started a product search on one channel but completed the purchase on another.
Consumers need a more connected shopping experience. However, to meet consumer demand, there is a high barrier to entry for most retailers.
Developing your own app and driving adoption and maintaining it is incredibly expensive. We can deliver this experience on behalf of retailers and provide them with a lower cost but greater benefit.
RTIH: What has been the industry response so far?
DH and LH: We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from the industry so far. We have secured partnerships with over 800 retailers so far.
We’ve attracted some of the brightest minds in retail to join us on our journey and have put together a very strong advisory board, including retail influencer Mia Knights and All Saints founder Stuart Trevor.
The response from retailers is overwhelmingly positive as they immediately understand that a stocking problem can be solved and how it can improve their conversions.
RT: What is your biggest challenge?
DH and LH: Removing personal bias from our roadmap and product development.
We all have a vision of how we want things to look or work, but when we’re building a product like Stored, the most important thing is that it works the way our customers want it to.
This means spending a significant amount of time and effort collecting, analyzing and prioritizing feedback and data. It’s a never-ending journey, but it’s the only way to build a truly customer-centric product.
RTIH: What are the biggest challenges facing the omnichannel retail sector today?
DH and LH: To cater to today’s consumer connected physical experience, there are significant barriers to entry for most retailers.
Developing your own app and driving adoption and maintaining it is incredibly expensive. Fortunately, Stored is available to partner with their retailers to enable a low-cost fijital experience.
With the alarming cost of living, consumers are more hesitant about their purchases and the “save for later” economy is more important than ever.
Retail channels are flexible to change, but often fail to tap into the potential of customers who are interested, but it’s not the time to buy.
RTIH: What’s the best question you’ve been asked about your company or market recently by a.) an investor and b) a customer?
DH and LH: From an investor:
“Why would someone use Stord instead of what they do today?”
We like it because it’s a question we should always ask ourselves. Ultimately, if we don’t add enough value, they won’t.
After all, it is not for us to answer based on hypothesis, we have to answer based on data, but we have wishes that support the existence of our problem statement. That there is no consolidated way to save, share and buy items on retailers…
And we’re quickly seeing that post-launch translate into user adoption and great feedback.
But having a good answer doesn’t stop it from being a great question.
From a customer:
“Can I use our stash…?”
One of the most exciting things about releasing stockpiles into the wild is seeing the unexpected ways people are using them. We had creators sharing the products they were promoting.
Travel agents use it to share holiday options with customers. Interior designers (professional and amateur) using it to create mood boards that can be easily purchased; It was something we thought we’d go to Pinterest for, but it’s better for accessibility so we’ve made the images bigger and now use them for design.
We have business buyers who use it to send recommendations to customers and send purchase lists to suppliers and sales agents. So our favorite question is “Can I use…” Because always, we didn’t think of it ourselves!
RTIH: What can we expect to see from storage in 2023?
DH and LH: We expect the biggest development in store this year will be growing it as a tool for creators.
This is critical as they are key to helping retailers accelerate sales through audience expansion.
Eliminating the friction in that sales pipeline allows us to further accelerate what is increasingly becoming one of their primary distribution channels and ultimately realize our goal of delivering seamless connected journeys faster.
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