Retailers need to proactively find start-ups they want to work with, Shop Direct ecommerce director Jonathan Wall said at Retail Week’s Tech & Ecomm Summit.
Speaking at a panel on working with start-ups, he said the best approach is to seek out small businesses you want to work with, rather than waiting for them to come to you: “We have to proactively go out and find some of these start-ups.”
The reason, he added, is because start-ups often don’t come to find retailers until they are in a much later stage of development. “Historically they come to us when it’s a proven technology and they’re just trying to sell it for the highest price possible.”
When it comes to choosing the right start-ups, Wall said retailers need to remain focused. “As an ecommerce team, we need to make it easy for customers to find us and easy to shop with us. That’s our core purpose. Do they help us achieve that purpose? A lot of start-ups have great businesses but if it doesn’t fit that purpose it won’t help us.”
Stephen Millard, chief executive at start-up accelerator Eccomplished, added: “Fundamentally, we need to believe that the start-up is solving a valuable problem for retailers.”
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Tech & Ecomm Summit: Be proactive about start-ups, says Shop Direct's Jonathan Wall