Retail Ecosystems - When David Meets Goliath
The retail sector is no different to any other in the sense that it is important for Digital Enabler 'Davids' to interact with and partner with Corporate 'Goliaths' in order to drive disruption and organise their ecosystems – as is facilitated by EntrepreneurCountry Global.
Digital Davids provide large scale retailers with ground-breaking technologies that aid Goliaths in generating new revenue and disrupting the sector successfully. Ted Baker's recent partnership with live chat solution LivePerson demonstrates how David and Goliath can work together to conquer the retail ecosystem – also exemplified by Ariadne Capital Portfolio companies Taggstar and SoundOut.
Ted Baker is one of the UK's most successful clothing brands, with a reputation for quality and unique clothing collections for both men and women. It has expanded globally and most significantly its online presence has grown dramatically – in line with the rest of the retail sector, making it important to provide value-added-services for consumers. Ted Baker required technology to extend this growth by providing personalised service and interactivity on its website – this is where LivePerson enters the equation. A platform inviting online browsers to speak with Ted Baker salespeople via online chat messages, LivePerson has facilitated Ted Baker's improvement in customer service and has led to marked revenue increases. Website visitors using LivePerson are 4x more likely to make a purchase, and Ted Baker experienced a 68percent increase in chat acceptance rates following the adoption of the new technology. The David and Goliath partnership between Ted Baker and LivePerson exemplifies real mutual benefits and the ability of corporate Goliaths to drive new revenue streams through partnerships with Digital Davids.
Ariadne Capital portfolio company Taggstar – Ariadne's 4th investment of 2014, is another business that utilises consumer data to improve the experience of online retail and drive new sales for retailers. Working with large retailers such as Shop Direct and Thomas Cook, Taggstar displays real-time product data for the browser to create a sense of urgency and to improve consumer information. Demonstrating the power of social proof, Taggstar aids retailers in driving sales and provides real value for retailers in improving their online platform and experience for potential buyers. On Black Friday, Taggstar generated over 300 messages per second on the website of one of the UK's leading retailers – tracking 36,000 visitors simultaneously. Similarly, Ariadne portfolio company SoundOut have had great success in providing a core service to the music industry – testing the demographics and popularity of tracks and albums. SoundOut has also built on this with the opportunity to penetrate the retail industry following guidance from EntrepreneurCountry. SoundOut have monitored and tracked retail products – applying its core competency in music successfully to the broader retail market.
The successes of Taggstar and LivePerson in improving the digital offerings of corporate Goliaths exemplifies the value of David and Goliath dancing. Retail giants must partner with natural allies to organise the Ecosystem Economics™ of the sector by producing business models that incentivize multiple stakeholders and take charge of the economic rationale of the sector – more and more frequently in retail this centres around online consumer information as exhibited by these examples. David and Goliath Must Dance™ - a retailer must partner with Digital Davids to drive revenue growth. Businesses must organise the Ecosystem Economics™ by providing unique solutions that make economic sense and work for the numerous stakeholders that exist in the busy retail sector.
Read more about the Ariadne Capital portfolio companies discussed here –