Hero, the British-built app that connects in-store sales associates with online shoppers, is opening an office in New York on the back of a growing number of fashion and retail partnerships in the US market, and has revealed significant new strategic investors.
Founded in London in 2015 by the then 26-year-old entrepreneur Adam Levene, Hero has recently been adopted by US designer John Varvatos and luxury jewellery brand John Hardy who use the app to connect millions of online shoppers live with associates in their stores, via 1:1 messaging and video technology helping to boost online conversion rates and order values.
“Hero has created something very special at a time when retailers, especially in the luxury space, are needing to champion innovative ways to bring the brand experience and high touch service to where many clients are – online,” said John Hardy CEO Robert Hanson.
“By connecting the dots between the physical store and the digital business, John Hardy’s in-store client service specialists can extend their concierge service to online shoppers, boosting conversion rates by up to 10x and increasing average order value by 44%,” Hanson added.
To exploit the US opportunity Hero, which already has strategic partnerships with luxury groups LVMH and Richemont along with global fashion and lifestyle brand Ted Baker, has opened an office in the heart of New York’s shopping district SoHo. It has also announced the involvement of new strategic investors including Yasanobu Kyogoku, formerly the COO of Uniqlo USA, and Michael Alpert, President of the Ashkenazy Property Group whose $7bn real-estate portfolio includes 660 Madison, home to Barneys New York.
Alistair Crane, CEO of Hero, said the app can help retailers fight back against the dominance of Amazon in the retail and ecommerce market by transforming their shops into “smart stores”. “Over the past 12 months, the entire retail industry has totally inverted. Amazon dominates 44% of the US ecommerce market and is now aggressively opening and acquiring brick and mortar stores.
“Our retail partners recognize that their biggest opportunity is to transform physical spaces in to digitally-led smart stores – deeply integrated with e-commerce and fuelled by data – while leveraging the human touch and experience of the associate. We’re proud to be partnering with iconic North American retailers to maximize growth against a backdrop of store closures and job losses.”