The tech company that is revolutionizing in-store shopping all over the world was born in Italy ten years ago. We are not talking about eCommerce, but about helping millions of online consumers to buy in physical stores around them. This is ShopFully’s ambitious mission.
Present in 12 countries, the company has a glocal approach, that is able to combine a global technological offer with the needs of individual markets and territorial contexts, as recalled by Stefano Portu, co-founder and CEO of the company, with a twenty-year background in the digital world. “We were born in Italy but with retailers and brands we are reinventing the rules of shopping on international markets as well. The idea from the outset was to put millions of online consumers in contact with the physical stores around them, thanks to the use of technology and digital ”, he underlines. To then recall that the growth occurred with a mix between internal lines and acquisitions, the latest of which was that of the Spanish Tiendeo. Today the company employs 370 people of 30 different nationalities.
ShopFully reaches over 45 million monthly users looking for offers and promotions on their marketplaces (DoveConviene, Tiendeo, PromoQui and VolantinoFacile). In Italy, its online platforms are among the most used for shopping, holding second place in consumer preferences right after Amazon.
“Even with a digital soul, our goal is to encourage local sales,” says Portu. “An Italian consumer looking for a new television, a Spanish or French consumer planning their shopping and a Brazilian or Australian consumer looking for a video game have one thing in common: they use ShopFully’s apps and sites. At the same time, over 400 of the largest retailers and brands rely on our technology to intercept online consumers and accompany them in-store”.
The company operates in a sector, retail, which is one of the largest in the world and responsible for 14% of employment in Europe. As far as Drive to Store is concerned, i.e. activities to generate traffic in physical stores, over 12 billion euros are still invested in print promotion on our continent alone. But the purchasing process becomes increasingly fluid and the consumer moves between online and offline without paying any attention to it. “He goes shopping constantly jumping between the two worlds”, underlines the entrepreneur and manager. “Before making purchases, more and more information is sought on the Net: 75% of purchase decisions are made online, primarily on the smartphone”.
In this context of decisions now matured on digital, concludes Portu, the physical points of sale remain central for the purchase. “Not only do 80% of sales still take place in-store, but the physical channel is also worth two-thirds of the sector’s growth over the next few years in Europe. Many customers continue to look for an in-person experience in shopping, to discover products and interact with brands. At the same time, however, the preparation and often the decision take place digitally first and furthermore, once you get to the store, you expect more and more of the conveniences you are used to in online shopping”.
Hence the key to success for future shopping, a combination of physical experience, personal relationships but also a lot of technology, in the last mile and in the store. With the smartphone more and more remote control for shopping.