Bringing the In-store Experience to E-commerce: Our Investment in Zoovu
E-commerce has experienced explosive growth over the past two years, catalyzed, in-part, by the COVID-19 pandemic driving transactions to digital settings as consumers become increasingly comfortable transacting online. The U.S. Department of Commerce expects this trend to continue and projects e-commerce as a percentage of overall retail spend to surpass 24.5 percent by 2025.
Despite the proliferation of e-commerce, brands and retailers are struggling to recreate the traditional in-store experience, online, presenting a substantial opportunity to leverage technology to improve the customer buying journey in a digital setting.
This is why we’re excited to announce our $169 million investment in Zoovu, the leading product discovery platform for B2B and B2C e-commerce. Leveraging a user-friendly, AI-driven platform, Zoovu helps brands and retailers remove friction from the online buying process by enabling them to have fully automated and personalized interactions with their customers. The beauty of Zoovu’s platform is that customers can implement the solution and iterate on the buyer journey workflow without IT involvement or extensive design skills due to the no-code nature of the platform.
Zoovu’s underlying AI and rich semantic knowledge executes the difficult task of understanding how a buyer’s stated needs relate to product attributes in order to surface the right product. Say you’re looking for a “washer and dryer for small family with low energy use” – these inputs don’t correlate to what a manufacturer provides in their product information and SKU attributes, which are stored in a highly structured and rigid format, typically within a Product Information Management solution (“PIM”). However, the AI powering Zoovu’s platform determines the buyer intent from “washer and dryer for small family with low energy use” to guide the customer towards washer and dryers that have been certified as energy efficient, aren’t too big or small, and have numerous features to help make doing laundry easier. This is akin to how a customer would engage with a salesperson in store, and it’s this human touch that Zoovu makes possible in a digital setting. Zoovu is equipped with a semantic library of 17,000+ product categories and deeply integrates with each customer’s technology stack to ingest significant amounts of data and in turn enrich customer interactions.
Zoovu furthermore enables brands and retailers to drive customer conversion online by eliminating choice paralysis. Digital storefronts and e-commerce shopping experiences generally present potential buyers with an overwhelming number of SKUs at a time, which traditional search or other filtering methods can’t effectively narrow down, leading to poor customer conversion, cart abandonment and increased product returns.
Perhaps what impressed us most about Zoovu is the tangible ROI it delivers to customers across a wide variety of industries – the company counts leading brands like 3M, Bose, Euronics, KitchenAid, Microsoft and Whirlpool as customers. As we got to know Zoovu over the course of several years, the significant and measurable impact on customers’ KPIs such as revenue growth, conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, average order value, and customer returns was undeniably clear. Today, Zoovu generates over $25 billion in annual sales for its customers with millions of consumers interacting with its discovery experiences daily.
Zoovu marks FTV’s latest investment in the broader e-commerce enablement ecosystem, joining an expanding group of high-growth portfolio companies like EBANX, Finaro, Paddle, WePay and WorldFirst. Moreover, our portfolio comprises a number of companies focused on providing superior digital experiences across categories, such as Luma in digital healthcare, ID.me in digital identity and Coremetrics in web analytics.
We look forward to supporting Zoovu’s continued impressive growth and ambitious product roadmap to help the e-commerce experience achieve its full potential.
Welcome, Zoovu, to the FTV family!