This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors
brands, martie, food, people, inventory, app, company, products, consumer, branding, overstock, buy, segmenting, retention, build, produced, talking, prices, categories, problem
Mariah Parsons, Louise Fritjofsson
Mariah Parsons 00:04
Hi there, I'm Mariah Parsons, your host of retention Chronicles, ecommerce brands are starting to shift their strategy to focus on retention in the customer experience. And so we've decided to reach out to top DC brands and dive deeper into their tactics and challenges. But here's the thing, we love going on tangents. And so with our guests, you'll often find us talking about the latest trends, as well as any and all things in the Shopify ecosystem. So go ahead and start that workout or go on that walk and tune in as we chat with the leading minds in the space retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo. A shipment in order tracking platform, improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our other episodes at go. malomo.com. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to retention Chronicles. Today we have a great, great guest joining us. Luis, thank you so much for making the time super excited to have you I'm going to ask you to say hi and introduce yourself to our
Louise Fritjofsson 01:11
listeners. Hi, thank you for having me. My name is Luis, I'm co founder and CEO of Marty marty.com is why you actually say it's like the first online only grocery store to do something great, and have a mission that is different than everyone else. So we're here to fight food inequality. And we're here to fight food ways, essentially changing the way we feed the planet. So we work with brands and buy surplus inventory, I'm sure we're gonna get into it overstock surplus inventory, and we offer it really pennies on the dollar to the consumer. So really trying to create affordable ways for people to get food while helping brands and minimize their food waste. Yeah,
Mariah Parsons 01:56
yeah, that's awesome. Thank you. I'm definitely gonna get into all that. But first, we always like to start out with your background. So can you tell us what, you know, everything that led up to you starting Marty? What was your background? What was that? Like?
Louise Fritjofsson 02:10
Yeah, I started my first company when I was 19. So Marty now is my fourth company. So I've been been in this ring hope for a while. I'm from Sweden. So my first two companies were started acquired, just like operated from Sweden, one of them was an e commerce Store. This now is like 15 years ago. So very different did not have all the tools that we know now. Right? So no, like Shopify was not what it was Facebook advertising, SEO, like even tools like the one you're representing. Like it just honestly was not accessible. So very different journey. My first company, it wasn't there was an E commerce back in the days that was acquired, and I moved on to building an ad network. And that was also it's an interesting story. Because building an E commerce all those years ago, marketing was really hard, like finding volume in online ads to specific auctions. It's I'm laughing because now we can't Phantom, like it's hard to get like volume with ads online, to specific audiences with all the tools that we have at the top of our hand. But at this point, it was so I started an ad network where we really specialized on segmenting and collecting different types of sites and audiences under one roof. So I did that. And that company was actually acquired. Last year, we sold it last year, I wasn't operational more than like being, you know, I was chair board and shareholder for the last eight years, but I was only CEO for the first five. So that was a really fun journey. And of course, the space ad network and ad tech moving and changing a ton and those 12 years of holding. So that was really exciting. And then I went went from that to really understanding my own kind of mission and like companies that I want to build. And it's very important for me to build companies that make people healthier. So I really came to the conclusion that whatever I spend my time on, I want to make sure I can have the impact of changing people's lives for the better. So I went on, and I built a peer to peer marketplace for fitness. So a fitness tech company. And we can talk about peer to peer marketplaces and why they're hard and why many of them fail, was that that would take up this entire episode and more. But I could just say there was a lot of learnings and we ended up pivoting to being Assaf platform. You know, just bringing me further away from my ambition of building companies that are consumer base and making people healthier. So with that, I decided to jump ship and take all those learnings and move into food because really one of the epiphanies that really like rang true we always say that there is an 8020 rule. If you don't eat the right things, it doesn't matter how much you move. So I was kind of like let's go back to the basics and build a big company and food If I want to make people healthier, and that brought me on on my separate journey, and now today I'm here building Marty. And Marty is just, we've just been in market about 14 months. So it took me a little time to define my footing in what a big company food could look like, and where I thought the opportunity lately.
Mariah Parsons 05:22
Yeah, there's so much to go in there, which is wonderful. So I want to I want to focus on a couple of things. So starting out with, I'm going to try and do it chronologically starting out with the ad network that you started with. I know just before we hopped on this call, we were talking about segmentation, because it's very important with low Mo, in the customer experience just in general. So how did you kind of like, you know, 15, I believe you said 15 years ago, or so it was when you were in that industry? So how did you approach segmentation back then, without all of the platforms that we now know and love?
Louise Fritjofsson 05:59
Yeah, so the full idea, again, I started in, I had an E commerce company before that was acquired. And, you know, wherever, wherever I went to try and buy online advertising, it was just really clunky. Like at that point, you basically bought, you know, shared network towards anyone that wanted to see these ads, you could either go to big sites to get volume, or you needed to buy just like an array of different sites. And you know what, like, it's so different today. When I started this ad network, like the best segmentation that we started with was just saying, like, Hey, guys, here's all the finance and business and economy sides, like this is the audience. And now we can buy 20 of them. And then, you know, talking about cookies, like we were selling kind of like cookie targeting at that point of time. And that was kind of new, it's just, it's wild to think up because it sounds so stupid. But at that point, we were kind of new in Europe to say like, Hey, you can track this person that has this behavior that has an account on this financing site. So we know kind of who it is. And we can follow this person on another 30 sides. That was kind of cool and new. So it's just, you know, I almost feel stupid talking about it. Because at this this point, this was shiny objects. Right? Yeah. And it's just very different, right? Like the the demographics, we could pull the certainty of who it was just far from where we are today. And it's interesting, you know, looking at like how online advertising works. Today, we just like look at the ads, like, then you can go in to talk about emails and read, like all the retargeting tools that we have of platforms. But just when you're looking at ads for like, we're kind of like in a place today, where you don't segment and cut so much yourself, you basically read it, let it run, and the algorithm figures out who wants to see it, you know, so, so we've gone like 360, since since that time, where like, we were trying to cut and dice and who saw the ads. And then we were doing that really well for a period of time. And now we're kind of back into space, where we say like just all money in one bucket, and the system will figure it out. So it's just a lot of happens.
Mariah Parsons 08:10
Yeah, is there a funny that yeah, like, within the time span of, you know, 15 years, or however long like, you can just you can have that 360 Flip where you go from, like something that's innovative, like, kind of selling cookies, and then are picking cookie targeting, and then to go, like to the opposite side where it's like, okay, now you have all this information. And then we start to see like privacy laws come in to play. And then right, like changing that whole field entirely what that looks like, how people are approaching, you know, the new the new targeting, or the new segmentation tools with that new Yeah, added element. And then it's like crazy also to think about how technology and even with like aI right now, like, just everything that's going on with chat. TPT is like, how does that all eventually factor into it? Where like, algorithms are going to be influenced and everything it's kind of crazy to think about, but it's so it's so fascinating at the same time.
Louise Fritjofsson 09:16
It is it is and and let's see where we are in another 15 years, right? Like it's ever changing and ever evolving. So, yeah, it just keeps you on your toes, which is
Mariah Parsons 09:28
yes. Yeah, for sure. Um, okay, though, that was a great tidbit to share, to share. Thank you for doing so. I also want to ask so it seems like from your past four ventures that there's a common thread of or you actually shared it of you wanting to make sure that where you're putting your time and energy into can have a good impact on those around you on the world. And so whether it's through your fitness technology or through Marty or what have you Uh, where do you think and I think this will lead into, you know why you found it. Marty? Has there always been an interest just like personally about like health and fitness and wellness in general? And like, was there a point in time where you clicked into that? Or was it always just something you've grown up with, with like having that be at the forefront of how you live?
Louise Fritjofsson 10:23
Yeah, so my first two companies really wasn't that I think, as many people when you start your first company, or your you're getting after your first job, it's very common to think what you want is financial success. And that definitely was a big driver for me, started my first company at 19. And see that that could like have continued life after me. And then starting this ad network. We grew into a couple of countries during my time as CEO, kinda like extended team. And, yeah, that works. And in that world, it's, it's, it's tricky, because you, it's really hard to build a unicorn. It's not necessarily scalable, but it's really good money, you know. And I actually came to, like, I grew up with my, with my second company, I was 26, when I started noticing that I was trying to pull this company into new directions that wasn't necessarily benefiting the company. But I was getting bored, I was having a hard time figuring out why I was getting up early and working so many hours and doing what I was doing. It was fun, but also like, just like pushing my team and myself to say more revenue and more more margin didn't, it didn't resonate. And that was really hard. Like, it was my baby, it was my company, I hired all the staff, I didn't really do anything else and like running my own businesses. And deciding to step down as CEO is incredibly difficult. It's difficult for your ego, it's difficult to all of a sudden not know what you're gonna do, and what your next steps are. But in that process, that's when I really had to do the deep work and realizing what will what will keep me going I still want to work. I love working. Me My co founder always laughs because we're kind of like workaholics. We love working. But like not for money. Like that wasn't the end goal. I just realized that in that moment in time. And yeah, I've always been the person who, you know, giving you advice, like, Oh, my back hurts. I'm like, Oh, these are the exercises. And this was what you should do. And believe me, guys, I'm not doing that anymore. Because no one wants that person in their life. It's all from like wanting to help being helpful, but it's just don't people don't appreciate it. So that's kind of like where I transitioned to see if I can build companies instead that make people healthier. Like that's, that's something that I feel very passionate about. And it's cool. I was 26. And this is like, you know, I'm, you know, dating myself, but like a good 10 years ago. And it still is extremely true to my own values and mission and what I want to work to do, it really excites me every day to work towards that, that goal of making people healthier.
Mariah Parsons 13:18
Oh, yeah, that's awesome. I love that response. I think too, I love that you addressed or just brought attention to like, the difficulty of stepping down from you know, your baby, like being a CEO, having your company and then making that decision, because you knew it was the right thing to do in that moment. And I think it's a lot of the times like I speak to either founders or entrepreneurs. And it's really easy to talk about all the like glowy fun stuff, right? When you're like, on cloud nine, everything. But it's just as valuable to have that message of like it. If it if you find that what you're working on in the moment isn't doing everything it shouldn't need to be doing for you. It's the better decision for yourself to change your pathway or take yourself out of that role, whatever it may be. And I also love that you brought up that through that process. You've learned that. Yes, maybe you're a workaholic, but not necessarily for the money. And I feel like I can relate to that a lot because it isn't necessarily money that has motivated me and my drive, but just the feeling of having an accomplishment. Like I feel like that is more would you relate to that? Or like what would you say has been like that motivator for? You know, your drive to work?
Louise Fritjofsson 14:47
Yeah. I love solving problems, like the creative process of running a company is so fulfilling for me and it's fun. You know, running a company doing what we're doing. It's like Problem Solving everyday. And then your problem solving to, to this Northstar of like what we want to do in the future. And if I look at Marty, for instance, me and Cory, we really came together as co founders talking about food inequality, people are struggling to put food on the table, and it's not fair. The second level of this is when you look at affordable foods, pardon my French, but they're all crap. You know, like, they're just like, the ingredients are not healthy and good for you. So the people that are being hit are being hit twice, how can we change that? If you're not getting feeding your family, the correct things, you're going to end up with sicknesses like it's just like, a never ending story, but just really hard cycle to get out of. So with Marty, like, number one for us is making sure that you have foods that you know and love recognizable brands at the best possible prices, we stay true to sending our orders everywhere in our state. So the majority of online grocery stores basically operate in the densities because shipping is a lot cheaper when you're in dense areas. And we make it true and part of our mission to ship everywhere in our state. So even rural communities can access our foods where most, not most very, very many rural communities are actually food deserts. And honestly, it's like a long term goal for me as a founder, once we have built scale, and we are a big company, what's really cool and what we can do, if you usually buy your Kraft mac and cheese, when I can start presenting at least the organic. And he's mac and cheese at the same price point, you don't have to know that you're moving into healthier habits, prices rules, affordability is like the key for the majority of the US, right? So if I can all of a sudden start presenting you with brands you recognize that are slightly better for you and your family, and you don't have to pay more, then we can start seeing really cool change in our society long term. So having this creative process of how do we make everything work, what we're doing at parties are really difficult, cumbersome, challenging company to build. So there's a lot lots of creativity and challenges to circumvent. And that long term goal, the Northstar is so exciting for me and thinking of what that could mean for so many people. really is is a key driver for me.
Mariah Parsons 17:20
Yeah, I think that's a perfect segue into talking more about Marty. So can you tell us, I think we've covered for the most part, unless there's anything else you'd like to add kind of what inspired you like the motivation behind starting Marty. But I want to walk through kind of more of those, like more of the difficult processes with Marty because I know your your website does a great job explaining it. And I will admit, like I had no idea how, you know, like, oversaw and I still really don't know much, but like how you could turn overstocked items or like items mislabeled into a business and resell those. So can you go into more detail around kind of like the Yeah, side of that?
Louise Fritjofsson 18:08
Yeah, and just a little bit more background. So I was lucky enough to find my co founder, Cory about three years ago. And again, we started talking about these big issues where like, we need we need, we need to solve. Yes, and it's a really hard like, the problems that we were looking at as food inequality, like cheaper foods comes at less quality. And then we were looking at this, like just food system at large and the food waste and like, issues with sustainability. And finding a solution for these three challenges and problems are really hard. And it did bring us on somewhat of a detour. So in 2019, we launched a different company where we actually produced foods. So in 2019, we put five brands to market where we did not use any of the harmful ingredients that are in market, we made sure that they you know, we were producing organic foods better for you foods, and we were doing our other most like push the prices to be super accessible, affordable. And at the end of that year, we were doing really well we were looking at, you know, a revenue number and retention numbers and so forth. So we got a bit I don't know, maybe two, like our confidence was really good. So we started doing seasonal products. And that was all great until January rolled January rolled around and no one wanted to touch our holiday baking mix. And we found ourselves in a position where like, we would love to donate but Jesus it is not easy for an upcoming brand to donate foods. It's expensive, and cumbersome. And then we were looking at our liquidation partners. And there's so many of them where you just lose control. You have no idea where your pause is going to be so how they're gonna be presented for what price we have built up brand identity. So even for us like sitting at a $1 store Next to a dusty old beat up can of peace. It's like, is that where we have to go? And we just felt like we need a better solution. And as part of this, we really went deep on the issue that 30 to 40% of foods go to landfill, even though it's perfectly fine to consume. And here, here's the thing, we understood why we totally understood why someone would go, No, I, I can't afford like sending this off, like packing it up nicely sending it to donations, and these liquidation partners is going to kill my my brand, like I can have my products out there, we totally understood why this happens. And that's why we basically came to few, four core beliefs in that process. And that is, number one, there's enough food to go around it is to going around this issue. We also realized that, you know, food, food doesn't discriminate food waste, even quality foods organic, healthy for you foods will have surplus and overstock and one solution, one one challenge here, it can be the other solution. So we sold these brands, we shut down that company, we started focusing on Marty. And really what we do we work with, again, the brands you know, and love 30 to 40% of foods go to landfill, there is another huge chunk of foods that go to these liquidation partners that does not necessarily care for brand affinity for the security of the brand. So what we're doing here is we're coming in as a new fresh partner in this space of liquidation. We talk to these brands, we try to understand what's what's your challenge in production production is really hard. Usually, when you produce you get you produce more than you know that you're gonna sell, because there might be dented boxes, there might be an issue throughout the process of production, there might be all kinds of issues in the actual process of producing. So rather than shorting yourself, you want to over produce so that you cover the orders that you have more than that, you order your ingredients, and you print your boxes way before the production run happens. So you've already taken the majority of the cost before the production run happens, the production run usually happens with a third party. So very few brands have their own production facility, which means that they've already paid for a number of units to be produced. So in that production moments, where you already have usually over produce, rather than under produced, if then one of the big retail stores comes back to say, We love working with you, but we're gonna pull back three of our locations because you didn't sell as well, last month, as we expected you to then this brand half a heck of an amount of overstock inventory. There's no problem with the product, the product is freshly made, but they know they don't have a buyer. And having a stand in their warehouse is going to cost them even more because now they're paying for warehouse space. So that's a huge part of just the food industry and how it works and why there's always going to be overstock and surplus, the size that it is the issues that can happen in production. So there might be a dented box, there might be a blur on the print, the brand might have a new organic certification, and then all of a sudden, everything that was produced before that label with already organic, don't hold doesn't want to have a you know, so everything that was produced before needs to find a second home, then you have seasonal like the one problem that we ran into where you expect to sell more and forecasting is really hard. So seasonal is huge part of it. Um, and yeah, it's just like a never ending. Process of like brands are doing everything they can to minimize food waste. But it is really hard any brand never want to be short handed with inventory when it comes to like growing their own sales and being a good partner to their retail stores and such. And then we have all the added issues that can happen with products in the process of producing.
Mariah Parsons 24:03
Yeah, there's so many, like, there's so many different areas, that seems like where I don't want to say like something can go wrong, but where it's just like unexpected, like question marks right throughout the whole process. And so like I can imagine, just and I know you had gone through with your brand of like you said forecasting is really hard to do. And so how do you then like, how do you partner with these brands? Like, how do you get in front of them? Tell? Tell them about Marty, tell them about like this other option that they could pursue instead of food going into, you know, a landfill or you know, sitting in a warehouse and incurring costs. How do you how do you approach that?
Louise Fritjofsson 24:47
Yeah, so this is a problem that the brands have had since forever. So this is this is just like merely a new solution to a problem that they are utterly aware of right? So this is why Basically, you can think of this as any other retail relationship with these brands, but they know that we only look at the inventory that is considered being overstock or surplus. Most brands have, they tried to clean out their warehouse every second week, or once a month. And at that point, they email us, or they call us and they give us a list of what they have. And we negotiate what we're willing to take this, this inventory for. And our process of getting in front of them is basically as any other like b2b sales process, to just explain that we exist and sort of the benefits of working with us, rather than any of the other liquidation partners out there. And of course, like, if we have, we have brands that we, we support, like donating as much as possible to this inventory, it's just really hard for food brands to donate everything, you want to try and recoup some of the associated costs of production to be a functioning company. So that's kind of like where we come into play. And we we do, you know, we get we get the discounts that we offer to our consumers, we're trying to hit a 40 to 70% off from your normal retail stores when you shop at Marty. So that's kind of what we're looking to get from, from our brand partners vendors to pass on those savings to the consumer.
Mariah Parsons 26:20
Okay, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And it made another question come to mind. So if you're, you know, if a brand comes to you and says, Hey, we have like these items that are in overstock for this specific week, or this month, whatever. And then you're negotiating like, okay, yeah, we'd love to have these whatever. But these products, how does? How did then you? I guess, like, is there a guarantee for the customer that there's always going to be like, this specific item that they can purchase at Marty, like, how are you all trying to?
Louise Fritjofsson 26:54
Yeah, that's a great question. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. So So Marty is a very different shopping experience. You know, I think it's cool because we are hearing from our consumers. It's like, it's fun. It's a treasure hunt. They're excited Chavez because they're getting such great deals. But it also means like a treasure hunt also means like, once it's gone, it's gone. There's definitely level of FOMO. Again, the 2080 rule, like 20% of our most loyal customers, they come back and shop Marty multiple times a week, because they don't want to lose on any by great deals. And they want to, you know, they want to they want to shop when they see their favorite brand, because they know it's probably going to be sold out in a few days. What we're trying to do, and how we're building our inventory is thinking always on categories. What's cool with Marty is we don't do fresh, we don't do frozen. So we do shelf stable grocery, we do household health, beauty pets, as categories. And what that means for you as a shopper is anytime you think of shelf stable groceries, whether that is your coffee, or tea or pasta, pasta, sauce, kids snacks, all via the lots of chocolate, you go to Marty first. So the majority of shocker, they come twice a month, and they stock up, they get everything they need that that's in their pantry. And you know, last and probably like a two week period, and then they come back into the same so our loyal shoppers do that are super loyal several times a week just to get the deals. But the majority of our customers come twice a month they shop Marty first and then they go there get their milk their eggs somewhere else, but then they know their average on average saving 50% On any given order. And our average order value is around that 60s $60 per per cart. So shopping already, you know that you save about 60 bucks per time you shop to cover you depending on how many people in your household of course, but for all the pantry, snacks, goods household help beauty items for two to
Mariah Parsons 28:57
four weeks. Yeah, it's such an interesting business model because I think it's like dye is such a good sell even right there. Right? Like if you spend $60 You're gonna save $60 on the stuff that you would have bought somewhere else like that to the consumer. It's it's so powerful in that like, even if you just take aside like, the more the morally, the moral so right, like, Oh, you don't want food to go to waste you want to help, like equalize the system. If you take away like that portion, which I think a lot of consumers care about. Right? And you just have like, oh, how is this personally affecting me? Like the the solo story of saving money is a great one. And then you attach everything that you all are doing to make sure that food isn't ending up in a landfill and that you're trying to even the playing field when it comes to equitable processes. So it's, it's like a it's like a double double win. It seems like where you have both of them.
Louise Fritjofsson 29:56
I appreciate that. Yeah, we call our shoppers Smarties because they show other smart, safe money in the planet? Yeah, no, I appreciate you saying that. I think so too. And again, affordability is one of our key missions here. And it's just, you know, amazing when you can use one of the challenges such as food waste to solve another huge issue of just affordable foods, right. And again, with our inventory, just to wrap that up, good to know, we tried to stay true to always have you know, whole being ground being coffee, pasta, pasta sauces, like all those staples in store, and then I can't guarantee if it's going to be Justin's peanut butter, or Santa Cruz peanut butter on any given week, they rotate. And it depends on who, who we can help out to move inventory. But you should know that like, you can always find the staples. So you could always rely on Marty to like, fill your pantry for the week, which is exciting.
Mariah Parsons 30:55
Yeah. So it's kind of like instead of a guarantee of a brand, you have a guarantee of a type of product. It sounds correct, right?
Louise Fritjofsson 31:01
Yes. So you can always come back at us or buy again, you know, functionality and just fill your court cart and and maybe you're going to try some new brands, but you're probably going to recognize them. But it will be be the items that you need for your household for that for the month or week.
Mariah Parsons 31:16
Yeah. And it like swaps out whatnot. Right? The brand. Yeah, that makes sense. And so part of what you mentioned with FOMO marketing, about like your 20% really being loyal Smarties, which I love that. Part of you know, making sure that they get the, like hottest new deals or drops, whatever it is, is tapping into that. FOMO. So how are you like tactically doing that? Like are you sending out email blasts or SMS when something you get like some new inventory in soccer is how are you updating your, your customer base?
Louise Fritjofsson 31:55
Yeah, that's a great question. We've been in market about 14 months. And I think there's so much more we can do better when it comes to segmenting. And when it comes to notifications, we just launched our app, which is really exciting. We gave our top shoppers priority, it's gotten and tested and give us feedback and all that good stuff. And we are we are doing the thing, especially when we have limited inventory of really cool products, we do segments to send the push notification and app, if you don't have the app, you would get an SMS. If you don't have the if you haven't given us your phone number, you would get an get an email to just say, Hey, you have you have first dibs on this product. And then if anything is remaining, we send to the rest of of our user base. But it is an ongoing conversation of like doing more of that, you know, segmenting and really like tapping into your VIPs is like it's just so important and a super strong marketing tactics even for having them be your brand ambassadors and bringing, we're seeing that any brand would see that you know, the cohorts of people that was brought in by another user. It's just always going to be the strongest cohorts when you look at retention and ongoing LTV. So it's it's we can do more. But we we're getting around to doing as much as we can here.
Mariah Parsons 33:24
Yeah. And that's a like exciting part, I'm sure right, like that challenge you being a lover of solving problems, like how do you continue to iterate on that? I think it's really Yeah, I think it's really interesting. Like we rarely get to talk to brands who have their own app. And so like push notifications, right, we always talk about, and I say we as the Malomo side of things like always, are talking and thinking about email and SMS. But it's rare that we get to talk to someone who is also thinking about like push notifications. And like, I even just think as a consumer, where it's like I apps and just my phone in general. I'm personally way I checked those way more frequently than I do right email. So it makes sense. It sounds like you have kind of like a waterfall effect of like pushing patients first and then like checking that first. If they don't have that then SMS and email, which is I think that follows a lot of typical riser experience. So I want to I wanted to ask you, what is the can you walk us through, like, what the customers experience looks like? I don't know if they differ greatly versus like if you're on a browser versus if you're in the app, but if they do, could you also tell us about the differences there?
Louise Fritjofsson 34:39
Yeah, no, I think that I mean, an app is always going to be different. For whatever reason just feels more familiar. You're more connected to it. I think you're more bought in when you have it as an app, we get you to open the app a ton more. Because of the push notifications, like activity on the app just is way higher. The number of times we see your face, it's just a ton higher if you have the app, and we see that users with the app are starting to use it very much, it's like I'm sitting on the bus. And I have nothing to do, let me just like, because it's fun, you know, it's like, what what deals is here, it's almost like you would walk into a store without having to shop, you're just browsing because it's exciting and fun. So we're seeing that more like, people coming back and checking us out and browsing. And in the app, we built like a for us section where lots of more content is built out so that you can read about more of the brands behind the label lots of content that actually live on our blog, that doesn't get as much traffic as when you have it on the app, and you're sitting on the bus, and you're trying to figure out what to do with your time. So that's the big difference. But aside of that, the experience really is the same. So we don't do any membership fees, we don't do any subscription, it's all it's free to come and shop. Once you start adding products to cart, we do ask that you create an account. And that's just to make the experience talking about you know, making it more personal, making sure that we show you the products that you want to see making sure that you Yeah, that we that we can ping you back if things are low in stock, and so forth. So no membership, no subscriptions, we do ask that you create an account once you're like starting to shop with us. And at any given point of time we've been since we're so young, we've had, you know, fairly few products in store, probably five 600 At any given point of time. But it's an exciting time, you'll see now, in only two weeks, we're starting to climb up to see 800 products and before end of the year, we will always be around the 1500 mark of products. So the experience will just continue relying more on you know, good categories on search, it's a huge difference in how you build your E comm experience when you have 500 products versus 1500. So the experience today, you know, we have many shoppers that uses often to come in, and they simply like, go to shop all and they do all their shopping, because they don't want to miss anything, and they want to see what's in store. And that's just the way for them to just absorb everything. So talk to me in a year, that experience will be you know, very heavy to just go through everything. And hence, you know, having created an account and for us to like, make sure that we guide you to what you want to see is going to be very important. And I think at that point, the experience on the app versus online will also start being very different because of how we need to guide you and the tools that we have in an app where it's versus online. So we're definitely stepping into a new new space in the coming couple of months where the experience will start shifting to and being being just having to be more personal to your to your own interests.
Mariah Parsons 37:44
Yeah, I think it's really interesting that you mentioned that people will just go on and like start scrolling because they're bored. And we have another guest on the podcast. He said like attention is the currency of the internet. And it like as soon as you said that, I was like, Oh my gosh, that that really just it rang true. Because if you can get people to your app to open your app, and like whether they're shopping or whether they're reading those blogs, that are telling them about like the foods that they're eating, or just, you know, more of the higher funnel like high funnel content, it, it's great, because then, you know, the more familiar they're becoming with your brand and what they experience and the more value that they're getting out of it. And I think that's that's just like, so cool. So, so interesting to hear you walk through. And as you did, I was curious if you happen to know what percent of your customers have downloaded the app? Like do you know that breakdown? Yeah, I mean, where are they? Yeah, well,
Louise Fritjofsson 38:45
so we just released it to our VIP shoppers. I think this is like two weeks ago. And we gave them like a two week period to just like, come and come and explore. Yeah, yeah. So you know, a good more than 50% of them have downloaded the app, which is pretty, pretty amazing. And we just just started marketing, like just telling people not even marketing, but telling people when they come to our site on mobile, that the app exists, like ended last week. So I don't have the latest numbers since we did. But you know that the Engage shoppers seems very excited to get it and we've all we're also putting it to market because it's been a request from our users. It's just easier to save your cart. I don't know it's just the behavior that we have. Many of them were on an app for that for their products were loyal to so yeah, it's a bit too new to give you like percent overall but positive initial signs.
Mariah Parsons 39:46
Yeah, for sure. I mean, if you can get your most loyal consumer base Yeah, like half of them downloaded Right? Like that's like right, that's a good telltale sign. Yeah. So even if you don't have like the you know, most up to date, because I know it puts you on the spot a little With that present, so I wasn't expecting anything. Super, super hardcore, but I'm sure it changes right as you start to release it to, you know? Yeah. And yeah, I'm sure you all too didn't want it to be like this grand thing where you announce it. And then like, so many people go to download and then you're like, oh my god, like overwhelmed. So it's easy to roll it out slowly.
Louise Fritjofsson 40:22
Right. Right. Right, and just see if there's any issues getting that user feedback is always helpful. Yeah. That we missed that.
Mariah Parsons 40:31
Yeah, yes. Yeah, very much relate with our just with like beta testing things with also with your most loyal, like customers who know you who you have that relationship with, much easier to iterate on something with when you already have their trust versus like, someone who just, I don't know, stumbled on the Marty app, or someone who just it's their first experience. And then they're like, little bugs, right? Like, it could just turn them away from an experience. So yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, so fascinating to me, in my mind, of course, goes to like, I feel I you all are probably all strategizing around like, Okay, once we know we have the app, and it's secure. In like, the product side of things like, how do we start to market? And how do we start to use that to like, how do you like product lead growth? Like how are you using that technology to then emphasize your already existing consumer base is very exciting.
Louise Fritjofsson 41:28
Mariah Parsons 41:29
I wanted to ask, though, so I know, we talked about a little bit of the customer experience. And I want to tap into the brand side of things just for a second. Because as obviously someone is interacting with Marty, you're hoping that they're seeing the educational blogs that you have seen, you know, the mission that you all stand true to? What are you hoping that the branding, when you have the brand of Marty, what are you hoping that the consumers take away from their interactions with you all?
Louise Fritjofsson 42:03
So from the beginning, when me and Cory my co founder, have we worked with so much time for launch? Like, what's the name? What's the feel like? Who are we addressing who or what kind of company are we? And that's still true today. I think that's conversations that you need to get to come back to again and again, as a team to make sure that you evolve like like planned, especially in the startup where like, things are happening so fast, and you're growing fast, and there's new team members and customers and so forth. From the beginning, when we started looking at Marty, we think of Marty like the IKEA of food. And what I mean with that is like, everyone knows IKEA and everyone knows IKEA for being affordable. Most people are like proud to shop IKEA. Most people have something in their household from IKEA and you wouldn't be ashamed. Some people that move and have their first condo apartment will have everything IKEA, and it kind of is like, isn't this great? I got everything on IKEA, like people are proud. And it's because of modern and it looks good. It's smart. Because it's affordable. It's just like, it has everything that you want from like, you know, just the positioning while being affordable. And when we look at the grocery space, you can't find affordable groceries but shopping food for your family and the ones that are sore, you will not go out of there and be like, Look at me, I got all of the you know, it's just most people don't think about shopping food in that environment. So what we're wanting to do here is create an experience for like you're proud to get your Marty box on your doorstep, you know that it's good for the environment, you know that it's a deal. It's awesome foods at awesome prices. And when someone's like, God, these chips are amazing. Are you be like, Yeah, I got it up Marty, I say, you know, say four bucks on that back chips. Because crazily enough chips are very expensive. So that's, that's what we're trying to do. When we think of our branding, we think of like fun colors, kid friendly. We want to be super accessible. We don't want to be too precious. We don't want to be hard to get to. We don't want to be fancy. We do want to be modern. But again, with that soft touch of like we're here for everyone. We should not feel right here. We're we're moms. We're people. We're like affordable foods. Everyone's welcome. So that's very important. And doing so while still feeling like you want to be you want to be involved with us smarter and it looks good. It's just like a fun fun design. So that's that's always what we've gone for a while we're looking at our branding and positioning.
Mariah Parsons 44:45
Yeah, that's such an interesting way of looking at the branding because obviously I mean it comes up a lot about us just talking about branding on this podcast and like having the like wanting to be the IKEA of food. I think that's like that point where really hits home. Because when I think about that, I'm like, I know so many people were like, oh my god, let's go to Ikea. Like it's a whole expanse, right. And like they could be their own whole case study. And I'm sure people have written up case studies on them of like, their marketing and how they were able to achieve that. But it's like, I know people who go on dates there are like, just like our board. And they're like, oh, let's just go look at what they have. Because right, like, yeah, not, right. Yeah.
Louise Fritjofsson 45:22
And I feel like you can always find a deal. And you're going in for one thing, and you step out with 20. But you're like, super happy for all the 20 things, right? Yeah. Like, downgrades? Yeah, right. Right. Right, right.
Mariah Parsons 45:34
Yeah. And everyone's like, I like I'm such a bargain. Hunter. Like, I love a good deal. Who doesn't love a good deal? Right? Like, I think about that when I'm shopping. Like, I totally do that where someone asks me like, Oh, where'd you get that like, and complements it? And like, whether it's right, like a pair or whatever, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I got this at, let's say, like Marshalls or something like that. And I'm like, I knew like, oh, my god, that's amazing. I'm like, I know, like, sweeter when? So I love it. Yeah, that fits so well. And I could I mean, I could, I could see it, I want you all like yeah, love it. Love it. I know we're coming up close to time. But I have one more. I'm gonna get to one more question before we close this out. And so the question is that I had for you was branding, obviously, really important customer experience, like your mission staying true to all of that very, very concentric with each other very related. Do you think that there's one point in the customer journey that branding is the most influential? Or do you think it's really whenever someone is interacting with your brand, that's when you want to make sure you know that branding is
Louise Fritjofsson 46:46
prevalent and present. So here's the thing, I think there's like, there's so many layers of this onion, right. For us, I think it is important just like when you arrive at Marty, or we accompany to trust like to in today's environment, like the branding tells you so much of your gut feel, this is a company to trust is this a company to spend time with is is the company to send my money to. So the first gut feel for any consumer to even like engage with you is super important. That first look is very important. For us, I also know we will never be better. When I look at conversion rate, it's kind of like the products and vendors and brands that we work with and the prices we offer. So in one bucket, actually, our branding doesn't make like doesn't matter at all. Because if I don't have the right inventory, you will not buy anything from Marty, it doesn't matter. Our branding, if we don't have our inventory sorted and correct to present to you with the prices, right. But if we do that, first look very important, then you're going to look at my inventory. So first look, if you're even gonna look conversion rate is like all inventory. And then we're gonna get into this third bucket bras, which is we know some categories categories where we have to have like the best branding class. So if I'm going to sell you catch up, you're you're gonna want to see Heinz like we just like, we need to figure out some of these big brands to show you these big brands that show you those prices. And then there's other categories like pasta, where most people don't necessarily care that much of the brand, but they want to see 8969 cent pasta. So once I sell you the Colgate Colgate toothpaste, or the Heinz ketchup, that does a lot of the work for me, but when I'm presenting you the, you know, Sunday nights and pasta, then all of a sudden you need to trust Marty, right? So we have a lot of things happening for us and like when does brand come into play? What can our brand move in terms of conversion rate, trust, just people engaging with us liking what we do, understanding our mission and vision, telling their friends feeling good about shopping with us. And then inventory for us and what we present and what price is is also its own bucket that really we need to be mindful of like what partners we work with and where we're spending our time to find inventory.
Mariah Parsons 49:12
Oh, that's fascinating. Yeah, thank you for sharing. I like that you have that awareness of like, some some categories that are just brand leaders that you are like people are going to expect. And then other categories. This is where you'll trust Marty and say like, Oh, like this is right. Like frankly, I don't care too much about the brand about like, I'll just go with this person said. That's yeah, that's so fascinating. I feel like I've I know I have so many other questions that I would love to ask you. But I know we're coming up on time. So I'm going to cut us off. But thank you so much, Louise for joining us today. This has been really really insightful. Really fun to have you on as well. So thank you for making the time.
Louise Fritjofsson 49:50
Yeah, appreciate it. Thank you