It’s the last week before our E-commerce startups are off for Christmas holidays! Some of them will stay here in the Netherlands, and some will fly off to their home countries to spend time with their family and friends. That doesn’t mean that they will stop with their operations and our program. On the contrary, between celebrations, they will continue optimizing their stories for Demo Day which will take place in Utrecht on the 22nd of January.
While all the teams are still here at our Amsterdam office, we sat down to have a chat with TryLikes, a Dutch startup that helps companies to track and measure customer feedback. Co-foundersJanneke van den Heuvel and Steven Kroon told us all about their up-to-date achievements, dreams, challenges, and valuable startup lessons they’ve learned during their accelerator journey.
Tell us about your startup…
In the online world we see how companies track their customers journey. It’s easy for consumers to leave their feedback on social media, blog posts and so on. In the offline world, however, this is less common. Conversion on traditional questionnaires is extremely low. Thus, companies don’t have a clue how customers feel during their visit. In fact, research shows that nearly 90% of big retailers and brands miss out on local customer feedback and provide poor service. As a result, they lose billions every year. That’s where TryLikes comes in. We are transforming customer feedback into actionable data for retailers. Now they can stop guessing and start measuring!
What problem are you trying to solve?
Big brands and companies manage their offline stores and locations based on strict KPI’s. Managers are being held accountable for these results. But results are often based on mystery shopper reports, which are snapshots of reality. A store does a good job if they get 15-20 people giving them feedback per month. Currently we collect over 11.000 votes per month for that same store. That’s what we call a reliable answer on your KPI. We give companies insights they have never had, so they can turn them into actions.
What is the main challenge you are looking to overcome?
Delivery and service is our biggest challenge. Together with our manufacturing partners we own the entire process of production. Since we got so many requests in the past months we are currently out of stock. In January and February we need to focus on production, so our clients need to wait until March to get started. Also, we also need to grow our team to service our clients better.
Where do you see your startup in the future?
We are currently testing our product in 8 other countries where we want to expand in 2016. In a few years we hope to have our solution on a global scale. We will be making the offline world a lot smarter than it is today.
What is the most significant lesson you have learned up-to-date?
That is a tough question. We’ve been in the startup scene for about 15 years now. We learned many harsh lessons by falling, getting up and trying again. Release, measure, learn, do better and repeat. It’s very important to stay critical on your process and say ‘no’ to many great ideas along the way. Things can go wrong in the blink of an eye, so you need to focus, stay on the ball and love what you do. It might sound like a cliché, but clichés are there for a reason!
Are there any milestones you’ve reached since joining Startupbootcamp?
Since we are a startup, we always have milestones on our way. Releasing a new (hard- or software) version of the product, signing a new contract with an important customer, getting a new team member on board… Startupbootcamp is really helping us to accelerate our business. We’ve spoken to many interesting people and got great new customers out of those conversations. We’ve just started working together and are certain the future will bring us a lot of mind blowing milestones.
What were your expectations before the program, and were they met? How?
After Selection Days, we had a long talk about joining Startupbootcamp. Running a business and participating in an accelerator program at the same time is a tough job. But looking at the quality of Startupbootcamp programs, the broad network they open for their startups and the passion of the founders and the team, we made our decision to take this risk and join. Together, we set goals in terms of growth and expanding our international network. Startupbootcamp kept their word. They’ve introduced us to Google who already gave us 100.000 euro to host our solution on their platform, and to Cliff Crosbie, previously Worlwide Director of Apple Retail, who is currently SVP at Prism and our mentor now. There is a list of things we are doing and things we want to get done. We have great trust in our partnership and friendship with Startupbootcamp.
What do you expect to achieve by the end of the program?
Our company will be stronger and ready for the next phase. In 2016 we will roll-out at many of our current customers and we will grow internationally. TryLikes will be the Google Analytics for brick & mortar!
More startups in the series of E-commerce #StartupOfTheWeek are:
Applications for our upcoming Smart City & Living accelerator program are open now! Apply and join Startupbootcamp family.