This startup is changing the way retailers bring new products to market
RangeMe helps innovation-hungry retailers discover new products and suppliers
It would be too easy for RangeMe founder and CEO Nicky Jackson to define a retail “disrupter” as “leveraging technology to make this or that scalable or more efficient.”
The better answer, she says, is that retail disruption starts with understanding a problem and seeing where something small can make a big difference.
That’s exactly what Nicky did, and it’s what landed her company a spot as one of three finalists in the Shop.org Digital Commerce Startup of the Year competition.
Originally, RangeMe was about connecting retailers and suppliers. A study showed that 93 percent of major retailers ranked product discovery as their top industry problem. “We then discovered, through our work with retailers, that buyers spend a substantial amount of time managing new supplier requests. RangeMe broadened its offering to not only assist with a marketplace of close to 100,000 products for discovery, but also the management of inbound proposals.”
What does being named a finalist in the Shop.org Digital Commerce Startup of the Year mean to you personally?
What an amazing journey it has been thus far! I’ve followed my dreams and moved my family 7,500 miles from our home in Sydney to San Francisco while continuing to pour my heart and soul into RangeMe. To be recognized by NRF and Shop.org is not only humbling, but it truly feels great to know how far RangeMe has come — from an idea to being mentioned in the same breath as retail disrupters like Jet.com and Reflektion.
What makes your offering unique?
We’ve focused heavily on understanding the problem from both sides of the marketplace — retailers and suppliers — and the impact each side has in bringing products to market faster and more efficiently. I think that focus has given us a clear and unique vision on the future of product discovery as we continue to improve the point of connection between innovation-hungry retailers and innovative product suppliers.
Why is this the right time in retail for a concept like RangeMe?
The idea of giving consumers what they want is at the core of retail. The solution that RangeMe provides has been a long time coming, and retailers are realizing that they need to catch up to technology-driven consumers. With the speed of adoption by major retailers like Target, Whole Foods and Petco and the thousands of innovative new suppliers signing up onto the platform, we’re proving that the timing couldn’t be better.
What other disruptions in retail are you keeping an eye on?
What we’ve seen as far as Internet of Things innovation in retail is still just scratching the surface of what will become a major driving force of industry growth over the next decade. IoT is the gateway for retailers to make smarter, more informed, data-driven business decisions around everything from in-store efficiencies to connecting with consumers in the home.
Rapid-fire questions for Nicky Jackson
The future of retail is … adopting technology to make retailers quicker, more efficient and able to take more immediate action. Consumers are constantly changing, products are launching 365 days of the year and retail needs to react to this new way of life.
My first job was … a checkout clerk at a local supermarket!
I’m happiest when I … am high-fiving my team after an awesome win or meeting.
I’m inspired by … self-made entrepreneurs!
Fostering an innovative culture is all about … ownership, passion and being progressive.
RangeMe hires people that … are passionate, highly motivated and share our vision for changing the way retailers connect with suppliers.
The next step for RangeMe is … to continue to ride the massive growth wave we are on while launching incredible features, delivering continued value to our retail partners and suppliers.
Want to learn more about the disrupters of today — and tomorrow? Don’t miss Retail’s Digital Summit from Shop.org, featuring insights from Google, Shinola Detroit, Sephora, Land’s End, Stitch Fix and more, Sept. 26–28 in Dallas.