CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ThirdChannel, the retail intelligence platform that pairs a full data collection and analytics solution with an experiential network-for-hire for the world’s leading brands and retailers, today announced that it has closed $7 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Fung Capital, the investment arm of the Fung Family, which separately controls the Fung Group whose core businesses are engaged in supply chain management, logistics and retailing. The funding will enable ThirdChannel to expand the footprint of its real-time platform across key markets to give more brands and retailers visibility into what’s happening – or should be happening – in physical stores and greater ability to take action to meet consumer demands.
While shopper expectations of the brick-and-mortar store experience have rapidly evolved, retailers and brands have struggled to keep up. Many are still looking in the rearview mirror to understand what consumers want and how they will buy, making product and merchandising decisions based on outdated information. Mediocre store experiences have led to consumer boredom, and ultimately weak sales that have caused a wave of store closings.
ThirdChannel’s retail intelligence platform unifies all the behavioral and operational data points from the store ecosystem into one seamless decision-making and communications dashboard. It offers the same kind of rich, real time data analytics that companies have come to expect in their eCommerce. For the first time, a brand’s field team or retailer’s store associates can provide a continuous feedback loop from the store floor and have that feed into action plans that incorporate product demand, merchandising successes, inventory levels, weather impact, store traffic patterns, and other essential data. Retail execution issues can be resolved as soon as they are identified, removing the delays or lack of resolution that result in missed sales opportunities.
The ThirdChannel platform also enables brands and retailers to strengthen their teams in store by tapping into an on-demand network-for-hire of over 100,000 team members who compete to represent brands and product categories based on their passion and experience. Customers grow their teams, even for a short period, with dedicated operatives who act as ambassadors, sales trainers, visual merchandisers, field intel and marketers that are uniquely equipped to bring brands and products to life for consumers. Field agents can be contracted, trained, scheduled and paid through the ThirdChannel platform, with full customer support services available.
Together, ThirdChannel’s digital platform and physical network-for-hire empower brands and retailers with greater visibility into shopper expectations and product performance on the store floor. “According to U.S. Census data, more than 90 percent of retail sales still take place in stores. Brands must keep feeding their brick-and-mortar investments, and retailers need to support powerful brand activations on the store floor,” said Gina Ashe, CEO, ThirdChannel. “ThirdChannel acts as a digital hub for physical stores, with advanced tools and real-time data collection and analytics to close gaps and create a stronger in-store experience.”
“For retailers and brands to survive the storm and make it through today’s industry upheaval, they need to get products and the consumer experience right,” said Michael Hsieh, President at Fung Capital. “But, many are in the dark when it comes to in-store shopper behavior and product performance. This problem can only be solved by people equipped with technology and data. ThirdChannel’s robust technology platform, combined with floor-level data analytics from passionate people, delivers the right solution to brick-and-mortar problems.”
ThirdChannel empowers the world’s leading brands and retailers to deliver engaging experiences in brick-and-mortar stores. ThirdChannel maps fragmented physical store networks into a streamlined digital environment, aggregating all essential data in one place. It provides real-time visibility into retail execution issues, and generates immediate action plans so they can be fixed while there’s time to drive sales. ThirdChannel powers action by matching an on-demand ground force to brands and retailers, who compete to represent brands and product categories. The combination of powerful cloud-based analytics with on-the-ground observations from brand-immersed field teams delivers the full solution that retail and brand executives need to grow in-store sales and build a loyal, long-term customer base. To learn more, visit thirdchannel.com, read our blog Mind the Store, or follow us on Twitter @ThirdChannel3C.
About Fung Capital
Fung Capital is the investment arm of the Fung family in Hong Kong which separately controls the Fung Group that sources, distributes, and retails consumer products globally. The Fung Group of companies include Li & Fung, Global Brands Group, and Fung Retailing, with about US$25 billion in revenues and 45,000 employees in over 40 countries. Fung Capital invests in B2B technology companies that enable omni-channel retailing and improve supply chain efficiency.