Swedish Solution Firm Tipser Talks North American Expansion

Tipser, a Swedish e-commerce solution, recently said it opened a New York office to meet increasing demand from the U.S. market — and North American expansion is a “dream fulfilled” for the brand that currently operates in eight European markets, including the U.K., Germany, Spain, France and the Nordics.

Its monetization solution for the media industry enables direct-to-consumer e-commerce sales across all devices, apps and platforms from an inventory of more than 100 million products, the brand said, which can be a panacea for global media industry members that have witnessed “a long and steady decline” in advertising revenue, and naturally, has sparked interest in the pursuit of alternative revenue sources.

That’s where Tipser’s solution steps in, as it connects publishers and brands to reach consumers directly through integrated “buy buttons” placed within content. The direct-to-consumer market is also having a moment as lifestyle brands seek to deepen relationships with customers by cutting out the middlemen in retail, Tipser explained.

Founded in 2011, Tipser’s mission is to make commerce “possible on any digital surface” — and the firm today works with some of Europe’s largest media companies, price comparison sites and marketplaces to implement e-commerce on their platforms. Its embeddable shopping technology platform is currently used by media brands Elle, Dagens Nyheter, Cosmopolitan, Bonnier, Bauer Media, Hubert Burda Media and Schibsted, and many others.

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As Tipser enters the U.S. market, its unique offerings will include direct-to-consumer e-commerce in other channels such as Instagram Marketplace, Google Shopping Actions and Google Assistant, among other voice-controlled technologies, allowing brands sought-after flexibility to sell multiple many channels.

Mike Sampson, the former senior vice president of Business Development for the global events company UBM, was appointed to spearhead U.S. expansion for Tipser as the director of sales for North America — and the firm revealed that it hopes to grow its 2019 revenue three-fold. Described as a serial entrepreneur and business leader, Sampson has developed branding, e-commerce and sales strategies for more than 50 d-t-c consumer brands. 

Sampson said the traditional retail model “no longer exists,” adding that “Digital technology has changed the way we look for and emotionally attach ourselves to products, and how we purchase. Tipser’s technology has created efficient and profitable channels of distribution that enable the consumer to have a seamless and pleasant digital shopping experience on any digital surface.”

And its expansion is timely, as Tipser experienced a massive uptick of inbound requests from clients located worldwide seeking embeddable e-commerce revenues during the coronavirus pandemic.

Marcus Jacobsson, cofounder and chief executive officer, Tipser, said, “In the midst of the pandemic we are experiencing a perfect storm with a big shift to online shopping, while media and traffic platforms desperately are looking for new revenue streams to compensate for the accelerated decline in advertising.”

“At Tipser we see an unbelievable increase of inbound requests from clients on both sides of the Atlantic for embeddable e-commerce revenues. We decided to open local operations also overseas, to service these clients best. Since the founding of Tipser nine years ago, it’s been our dream to expand to the U.S., and now the time has come.”

Here, Sampson talks to WWD about Tipser’s U.S. expansion, notable changes in e-commerce, and the evolving online consumer experience.

Michael Sampson, director of sales, North America, Tipser. 

WWD: How has digital technology changed the way we look for and emotionally attach ourselves to products?

Michael Sampson: As e-commerce is growing, we no longer need to visit a physical store to examine the product we want. To meet our needs, we don’t have to take ourselves to a dedicated place. Instead, we see the rise of transactions at the point of inspiration.

Through digital offerings, consumption nowadays takes place on several channels and appears to us much faster. Online marketplaces have exploded the range of choices we have available. This makes us more dependent on influencers and media to curate products and to direct us with consumption decisions.

But we would like to take a moment to highlight some critical aspects that have not changed. One of them is our need for belonging and expression of identity. Consumption choices are still a way of communication, and the most successful technological players and e-commerce leaders understand that you must find ways of fostering community, belonging and identity to succeed in this new space.

WWD: What are the major points of differentiation regarding consumer experience between shopping online and shopping in-store? How does Tipser’s technology enhance that experience?

M.S.: Traditionally an in-store shopping experience entailed being able to touch and try on a product before purchasing. This creates a strong level of trust and attachment to the product, but in many cases a brand only has partial representation at any given “physical” retailer, as buyers mostly choose programs based on either limited open to buy or space constraints within their stores. Our model allows online marketplaces to romance a “full range” of product along with supporting editorial and curated imagery as part of their package.

Tipser’s big differentiator is to allow shopping to take place directly at the point of inspiration, with the least clicks possible. We work with the biggest media and traffic platforms, which means the consumer already has an established relationship with a high level of trust to the media brand. As well, this trust translates into a natural shopping relationship.

One of the main benefits of merging content, inspiration and transaction in one is that consumers have the most frictionless experience possible and we’ve seen that this leads to significantly higher conversion rates than regular e-commerce. Brands win because our approach results in not only more sales, but also invaluable brand exposure, on leading media platforms. It’s a win-win-win.

WWD: How has the pandemic influenced Tipser’s growth strategy?

M.S.: The pandemic has had two macro-level effects that impact our business. On the one hand, people spend more time online consuming media content. On the other hand, more people are ordering products over the Internet. But at the same time, our media partners who have relied heavily on advertising revenues, are witnessing a sharp decline in that business area. This has amplified the demand for our tech as more media players are investing in e-commerce solutions than ever before.

The pandemic has shown that selling products directly inside media platforms is a reliable and resilient business model. Due to the increased demand, we’ve decided to expand across the Atlantic. Leading media partners in Europe, including Cosmopolitan, Elle and InStyle have already successfully adopted the Tipser approach years ago and now we are looking forward to announcing our first North American media and brand partners in the coming few months.

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