1WorldSync recently announced the acquisition of Swogo, an award-winning bundle technology that powers profitable growth for hundreds of retail leaders in over 30 countries. We couldn’t be more excited about the fit between our two organizations, our superb new team members in Portugal and the U.K, and of course, the compelling opportunities Swogo’s technology holds for our current and future customers.
We sat down with CEO and co-founder Anthony Ng Monica at our Chicago headquarters to learn more about the Swogo story and the power of its solution.
Tell us a little bit about how you came to create Swogo.
Anthony: While I was studying at university in 2012, I was working in IT support and my friends began to ask me for suggestions on their technology purchases. In the beginning, we developed a tool that would help shoppers find the right products to purchase but quickly realized that retailers needed to help consumers find complementary products to items they were already purchasing when shopping online.
Typically, these items have a much higher margin, so retailers were asking for a solution to better support the bundling of compatible products such as warranties, accessories and support services. So we worked to focus our technology on intelligence that would understand retailers’ assortments, and not only bundle products, but ensure that they are compatible with products that are in shoppers’ carts.
What is something that you learned early on about what retailers were doing for bundling on their sites?
Anthony: I saw in the market that retailers were approaching bundling in one of two ways. One of them was an approach to observing customer behavior that didn’t understand the actual product you’re looking at. So, for example, if a consumer purchased a laptop and a vacuum cleaner, in the same order, it would say they’re related but they’ve got nothing to do with each other.
And the second way that retailers were approaching it was just manually associating one item to another, but that didn’t scale for the number of products that they had in their assortments.
How does the Swogo solution work?
Anthony: Our bundling technology takes a few different approaches for the retailer, but the first and most important thing is that the technology understands the actual product assortment of the specific retailer, allowing it to understand the complementary products that are compatible with products in the cart.
We can ensure through our technology that if a consumer is purchasing a laptop computer the accessories being suggested in their cart are compatible with that specific laptop. For example, the correct size laptop bag, mouse, warranties, etc.
What do you see as some of the biggest challenges that retailers and brands are facing and how does this bundling technology help them to overcome those challenges?
Anthony: The three biggest challenges that I hear from our retail partners are, first, pricing pressure, the amount of manual work it takes to provide suggested items for a product, and lastly, being able to sell private label items more effectively.
What’s happening today is that e-commerce has made prices transparent in the market. Previously, shoppers would have to go from store to store or read the newspaper or magazine to compare prices whereas today consumers can just do a quick Google search and see who has the best price.
This has created downward pressure to get a lower price in order to win business and acquire customers. Having a reduced margin means that there’s more opportunity for us to assist retailers in selling high-margin products that go with those items.
Manual Data Input and Management
Many retailers rely on manual input of this data by their category managers or merchandising groups, which is not scalable across thousands of SKUs. We can help eliminate the need for resources to manually input this data and most importantly, keep it up-to-date. This also leads to a reduction in errors and ensures that the products are compatible, relevant and in stock before exposing those items to their consumers.
Private Label Items
Finally, private label items: Because these have higher margins and some retailers don’t have a good way of exposing their products in front of the consumer, the bundle is a great opportunity to expose those products to consumers. Some items people have a high brand affinity to, but an HDMI cable, for example, most shoppers don’t really care where it comes from, so retailers can easily put a private label HDMI cable inside that bundle, increasing purchases of those products.
What is one thing you want readers to know about what 1WorldSync’s new bundling solution can offer to both retailers and consumers?
Anthony: In an omnichannel world, most consumers are not getting the one-on-one salesperson interactions they get in-store. Our technology helps to guide consumers through their buyer’s journey and virtually assist them to make informed buying decisions. 1WorldSync at its core exists to help retailers and brands exchange product information to create a confident buying experience for their customers. Being able to offer our bundling solution is just another way to enhance a consumer’s experience when visiting online retailers and marketplaces.