Sir Terry Leahy has thrown his support behind a retail technology start-up which embeds product reviews directly into retailers’ websites.
The former Tesco boss has invested in product review technology start-up Uberated, which was founded in 2014 and launched for retail partners this week.
Sir Terry Leahy told Retail Week that the start-up, which integrates expert editorial reviews of retail products into retailers’ ecommerce platforms solved “a very specific problem” for online retailers whilst providing “real payback in terms of better conversions”.
Leahy commented that the retailer’s founder and chief executive Luke Peake “saw the problem of people hopping on online sites, going off the site to get professional user reviews and then not going back on the site” and offered a “developed a solution” with Uberated.
The start-up’s chief executive and founder Luke Peake added: ”Sir Terry Leahy’s backing is a great endorsement of our business and our plans to rapidly roll-out our proven solution with our market-leading retail and publishing partners.”
Tesco’s former chief executive did not disclose how much financial backing he had provided for Uberated but stressed that he has invested in a variety of retail technology companies and etailers in recent years including The Hut Group, Eagle Eye, Houseology and Anatwine.
“Retailers have got to redouble their efforts in terms of being relevant to consumers now”
Sir Terry Leahy
“With the digital change in the economy that’s where the growth area is,” said Leahy. He added that “these companies are seeing a lot of growth because they’re small companies and are growing into a vast market so they’re less affected by the ups and downs of the economic cycle”.
In the wake of the EU referendum, Leahy said he expected that there will be “slower growth in the medium term” but stressed that “it’s happened so we’ve got to make the most of it”.
“It really means retailers have got to redouble their efforts in terms of being relevant to consumers now,” said Leahy.
“People may be looking for more value but also they’ll still be looking for things that will be innovative and useful. So we’re in a period of uncertainty but businesses can’t stand around waiting for something to happen, they’ve got to get on with the market that they’re in.”