Q&A: Matt Field Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Shepper
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I am a commercial partnerships specialist with 20 years’ experience leading high performing sales and marketing teams in the Financial Services industry. I previously established the Strategic Partnerships division at Aviva and transacted a number of £100m+ multi-year contracts across a range of financial products. In my current role as Chief Revenue Officer at Shepper, I work to connect all revenue related functions to successfully drive the growth of the business.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Shepper is the UK’s leading on-demand data and insight service. We uniquely combine a nationwide community of real customers (we call them Shepherds), end to end data capture, insight technology and experience to quickly and effectively answer our clients business challenges.
Our services include: mystery shopping, experiential audit, competitor price and promotional checks, availability and compliance, product recall, product audit, check and fix.
We have seen substantial growth since our inception. We now boast over 175,000 ‘Shepherds’ on our app and have collected 6.5 million data points across the UK.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
Speed and responsiveness / coverage / insight / flexibility and customisation / value
It’s a two-sided model that means we helpfully solve two massive and very current problems:
- Offering millions of people an opportunity to up-skill and earn supplementary income where, how, and when they like (which given the current cost of living crisis is needed now more than ever). It’s a super-inclusive model, with a focus on promoting local, sustainable working practices and transparency of earnings.
- Helping brands, small, big, and giant, to access cost effective, dynamic, and real-time data on what’s happening on the ground, right now. Hugely relevant for brands who have products or assets everywhere, have dynamic product and pricing or are reliant on other brands to distribute their products and services.
What advantage does it add?
Real time / nationwide / robust
This kind of speed can allow our customers to quickly test hypotheses, making decisions based on the world exactly as it is, not how it was last week. The huge number of people we have collecting data for us means firms can gather quality insights from all over the UK, at rapid speed. This year, we are expecting to pay out around £2 million to our community of Shepherds.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for the rest of 2022 and into 2023?
Regardless of where shoppers are choosing to purchase, convenience and value are king. The customer experience has become critical. Consumers won’t buy something at a store or online if the customer journey is hard and complex, and they feel they aren’t getting a service personal to them.
The cost of living crisis is only compounding this. Shoppers are more mindful about how much spare income they have and how they want to spend it. We believe that convenience retail will continue to perform strongly in 2023 as inflation eases.
One exciting trend to develop in 2022 is selling in the virtual world – on top of digital and in-store shopping. A growing number of younger consumers are choosing to connect with brands in the virtual realm, purchasing premium virtual clothes, for example. BMW is one brand that is growing its presence in this space and connecting with a younger audience who will hopefully become customers for life.
What challenges are retailers facing right now to prepare better?
The challenge for retail will be taking into account the constantly changing purchasing decisions made by people across the UK. How is this moving between online and physical? We know that retail is becoming more fragmented and customers are using more digital methods for convenience. So how can retailers better connect with their customers and prospective customers? How can they cut through the growing competition?
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
In 2023, we will deliver more omni-channel mystery shopping reports, looking at in-store and digital customer experience, product recall and promotional material. We want to measure wherever a purchasing decision and customer experience is happening and give genuine insight to brands who are struggling in this fragmented world. The world of polling and sampling will become more important. We will continue to provide audits in the real world and support brands that want to inhabit that world.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
We have plans to expand our service line and geographical footprint, with possible opportunities outside of the UK. We intend to grow our member base of Shepherds significantly in 2023 to help deliver insight to even more businesses, enabling them to make informed decisions about their customers and operations in real time.
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