Forum#retail
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11 May 2021
Intelligent management platform supports retailers to drive sales and KPIs
Unsplash © Krisztina Papp

Intelligent management platform supports retailers to drive sales and KPIs

The retail industry has been challenged like never before since March 2020. As lockdown eases, retailers are looking to explore new ways to boost business and regain a sense of normality within their operation.

Meeting this new demand, Quorso is an intelligent management platform that simplifies data to drive sales and KPIs, working directly with retail managers. Maddyness UK spoke to Quorso’s cofounder and CEO, Julian Mills.

What is Quorso?

Accelerated by COVID-19, the retail landscape is shifting rapidly and retailers have been forced to get agile, fast. 

Quorso’s Agile Stores app is a groundbreaking tool to help retail store operators do just that. It simplifies company data into three top-priority daily actions – we call them ‘Missions’ – for every store to engage teams, increase sales and drive KPIs. It then helps teams to launch their Missions, measure the impact and scale the ones that work.

Execs can see exactly how every store and every Mission is driving their KPIs. When the business focus changes, they can edit their KPIs in the app in seconds and Quorso will immediately start generating new Missions to deliver their new targets.

We work with leading retailers in the US, UK and Europe across key retail sub-sectors including grocery, convenience, apparel, beauty, homeware and pet supplies. Our target customers are senior operations leaders in large retail businesses, and we reach them through a broad range of paid, owned and earned marketing efforts, as well as through direct sales team outreach. We are also working closely with Microsoft on a tech partnership between Quorso and Microsoft Teams. 

One avenue we have had particular success with is collaborating with retail experts on thought-leadership content in formats including blogs, ebooks, panels, interviews, podcasts, research and reports. Via these channels, we discuss the urgent need for retailers to take an agile, simple and human approach to store management. 

What was the catalyst for launching Quorso? 

The catalyst was seeing the explosion of data availability at multi-site businesses, which was overwhelming management teams and processes, weighing people down and causing analysis paralysis instead of rapid, measurable action. 

Quorso was launched to make instant sense of all your data and, instead of endless analysis, focus them on prioritised opportunities that are guaranteed to directly improve company performance.

We also saw retailers failing to amplify their pockets of expertise across the rest of the business. Quorso was designed to rapidly scale success, embed best practices, break down silos and encourage collaboration.

Intelligent management platform supports retailers to drive sales and KPIs

© Quorso

How does the business today compare to that initial idea?

While the core vision of using robust and complex benchmarking analysis to identify Missions aligned to business goals remains the same, we have learned along the way that powerful analytics alone is not enough. 

Insight without action is pointless
We have built features into the product to ensure store managers can understand the exact reason for their Mission and get guidance on how to solve it from Quorso and from their area leaders and colleagues.

Action without measurement is also pointless
All Mission plans are captured in Quorso and then tracked and measured to ensure they are working. 

Simplicity is essential
This is not just when it comes to data, but also when it comes to user interfaces. Every element of our product has been refined to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible. 

Users are humans
B2B apps shouldn’t feel different to B2C apps. They are all used by the same people, so we have made Quorso fun, motivating and joyful to use, but it also has leaderboards and key stats showing each store manager the exact impact their efforts are having on the business.

How do you work with external investors?

Our core Series A investors are OMERS and Hambro Perks. We are very fortunate to have investors that care about the long term, rather than just quick wins. Not only do they provide us regular counsel and support, but they were instrumental in opening doors in our early days.

Intelligent management platform supports retailers to drive sales and KPIs

© Quorso

How have you managed your business’ growth so far?

We’ve remained very lean and want to keep it that way. Our main goals are to rapidly deliver measurable performance improvement; have a product everyone raves about; provide customer service that is industry-leading and; to be a respected opinion leader on what really matters when running effective agile businesses today.

What has been a highlight so far since Quorso’s launch?

When 90% of our customers closed their stores in March 2020 due to the pandemic, it was one of those make or break moments. The way the whole team rapidly reset their priorities and responded to the situation was overwhelmingly impressive and inspiring. 

We completely upgraded our entire product interface in nine months. We identified the accelerated need for retail agility and capitalised quickly, focusing our marketing efforts on building the conversation around Agile Stores. We streamlined all of our implementation and onboarding processes and by the end of 2020, we had signed up three of the top 20 retailers in the US and built partnerships with big tech players like Microsoft, giving us tremendous momentum and opportunities in 2021.

What does 2021 hold for Quorso?

We want to build on the momentum we generated in 2020, and we have already hit the ground running in Q1. Our retail customers have boosted their sales by 3.3% and counting, just from the Missions they have launched in Quorso since January 1. 

We are embedding ourselves in Microsoft Teams and other retail store platforms to make Quorso ubiquitous and seamless to plug in. 

Julian Mills is cofounder and CEO of Quorso.