Online shopping app start-up Stored. is just one of the amazing cohort companies who was accepted into our partner Integrated Finance’s Fintech Foundation incubator programme, but what makes them so special? Currencycloud is proud to be part of the incubator and sharing our experience and knowledge with exciting Fintechs like Stored.
We spoke with the startup’s Chief Revenue Officer, Lee Hart, and its CEO, Danny Howe, about Stored's mission and focus in the Fintech world.
Give us the sales pitch
Stored. is a universal basket connecting physical and digital shopping experiences for customers and retailers.
"We want to connect the dots of commerce - allowing customers to move without friction across digital and physical channels, and give retailers a true, accurate picture of their customers' shopping behaviors - both on and offline - in a single view." says Danny.
With Stored. customers can save and track any product from any website across hundreds of apps in a single space. Neatly organize those products into 'Stores' of their own, and return to buy the product when ready. Stored. also notifies customers of price drops and promotions so they always get the best price.
"More often than not, we save product ideas that we intend to return to purchase later. Whether we see it online but want to try it on in-store, or find it in-store but want to order online later, the touch points to convert a sale are becoming increasingly protracted" adds Danny.
Through partnering with Stored, retailers can track consumers in their purchase journey across channels and communicate with them along the way. Retailers can capture the intent and interest of consumers when the time to buy isn’t now, connect with them instantly, and nudge them towards conversion. By connecting in-store to online bricks and mortar, retailers can own and see their consumers' journey and influence the outcome.
Ultimately, Stored. saves customers time, money and sanity and supports retailers in nudging conversion from consideration to purchase.
What challenges have the founders faced?
Lee says the biggest challenge early on was properly understanding consumer behavior. “To build a true omni-commerce solution, retailers need to have touch points along the entire consumer journey, so if we were going to connect those journeys then we needed to understand them at a micro level. It took a huge amount of effort to do that but it was worth it, because what we’ve built is the product of that research." Says Lee.
To understand what they were up against, Stored. conducted a survey of 1217 consumers. What they discovered is that 98% of respondents would save images of the products they were looking to purchase, take photographs, and save the information for a more convenient time to buy.
Another challenge Stored. needs to tackle is the traditional technologies or methods that prohibit a frictionless experience for consumers. These shoppers are looking to make payments or purchases across multiple retailers at the same time, or in quick succession and existing systems aren’t built to easily allow that.
Who are Lee Hart and Danny Howe?
Prior to founding Stored., Danny spent 11 years in leadership roles at WorldFirst and was part of the leadership team that led the $700m exit to the Ant Group, parent entity to Alipay in 2019. Lee Spent 9 years in senior leadership roles at First Data, which was acquired by Fiserv in 2019, most recently as General Manager for the Clover UK business.
The pair come from a commercial background and collectively have over 20 years of experience in Fintech. This allows them to grasp and understand the challenges faced by online and offline multi-channel offerings.
What happens during the average day of a Stored. founder?
Lee says that "We start every day with a phone call to each other." This allows the pair to constantly review decisions they made the previous day, look at any data, and immediately act on insights.
The pair are very action-orientated; running a start-up enables them to be far more flexible than in a corporate structure and they can easily make changes or pivot at the drop of a dime, but to do so effectively they have to invest a lot of time into generating and interpreting insights.
Do they have 'superpowers'?
The founder duo decided to talk about each other's superpower, which further cemented their close working relationship.
"Danny's superpower is his ability to take what can be quite complex thinking and simplify it in a way which is digestible and relatable to the customer," says Lee. This has helped them in every facet of building Stored.
And Danny says that "Lee's is his ability to build immediate connections with people.
"I think that Lee has a brilliant skill in being able to tap into commonality with other people, which builds relationships very quickly." It's an extremely important skill when the pair needs to have relationships in place to build out Stored.
What makes the pair laugh?
Danny is a fan of the TV shows The Inbetweeners and The Office as he finds them relatable.
As for Lee, "I like it when something comes across as silly, but is actually witty."
Is there something they can't live without?
For Danny, it’s fear. Fear is a driver, the fear of failure, or the fear of not going for it – for example, launching Stored…
“Regret what you did, not what you didn’t" he says.
Lee says that he’d struggle to live without empathy as it's a core part of how he manages himself. "In business and in life, you're going to hear things you don't like and whether knowingly or not you’ll probably say things others don’t like."
"If you don't think about how you impact other people, or try to understand the route or intent of their behaviors toward you, then it makes things so much harder, and in business, particularly in leadership roles that can have a huge impact on culture and performance.”