[Interview] Lindsay Forster CEO, Shepper
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m a consumer champion, passionate about driving positive change for customers. I have spent most of my career working for larger businesses like Lloyds Banking Group in Products, Marketing and
Partnerships roles. I joined Shepper in 2020 from Aviva where I spent most of my time there as their Chief Marketing Officer.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
We enable clients across every sector to access our technology platform and it’s 150,000 users who we called Shepherds (local community members) to gather real-time data via an app, as and when clients need
it. Shepper aggregates thousands of data points and enables clients to get a real-time view of what’s happening on the ground within their business – could be condition inspections, brand governance,
category & product data, pricing & benchmarking, promotions & merchandising or customer experience auditing & benchmarking
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
Our Shepherds – the combination of scale and their engagement – which makes collecting thousands of data points within 20 minutes across thousands of locations an absolute breeze (which of course is
enabled by our brilliant tech)
What advantage does it add? Super-fast delivery + cost advantage + dealing with a business who places our diverse community
engagement at the heart of what we do
How does a product/service implementation look like and how do you measure success?
Hugely simple, the client articulates desired outcomes, we design the UX and training assets for the Shepherds, job goes live into the marketplace, data is gathered across thousands of locations (or via phone
/ digital), data is validated and augmented via machine learning and other lovely humans, shepherds are paid, data is aggregated and visualised to the client – all within 24 hours! We measure success on
achievement of client objectives and ROI’s.
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you
share a case study with us?
We work with lots of retailers and consumer brands who are gaining competitor advantage through accessing and operationalising real-time data at lower costs to drive up ROI. We have lots of diverse case
studies we can share with you.
Are there other companies you partner with?
Yes, we partner with a number of organisations to enable them to add a community (crowd) offering to their product range and customer offering
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for the rest of 2022 and into 2023 / What challenges are retailers facing right now to prepare better?
We see a few big themes:
– Access to resource
– Driving down fixed costs / addressing the cost of living crisis
– Digitialising end-to-end processes
– Joining up / augmenting data
– Executing brilliantly frictionless omni-channel customer experience
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
We work with clients to understand their business and customise solutions via our platform. We continuously test and learn / innovate to improve business outcomes. What I’ve learnt over the last 24
months of leading this business is no two businesses are the same – its about listening and learning – that’s the benefit of having a modular platform that we can flex to meet a diverse set of opportunities
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
Growing our business in the UK and working with the best clients who want to drive change and innovation. Keeping our loyal clients – we love them all. Developing new and better features to enable more
shepherds to earn more top-up income when the country needs this most – we pride ourselves on designing experiences that enables thousands of Shepherd’s to collect consistently superior data quickly
to maximise shepherd earnings and inventing new features that wow our clients. After that, we go Global.
Any final thoughts?
Think about the power of 150,000 connected people, many of who are customers of your brand, in every corner of the country. How they could help drive your business forward?