Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ shortlist


Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries.

Most Promising Newcomer (sponsored by ORESA)

1. Mention Me

Mention Me is a referral marketing business that creates world class refer-a-friend campaigns; currently working with 200+ online retail brands.

Having grown from a team of four in 2015 to 26 this year, Mention Me is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-up (tech supplier) offering an outsourced omni-channel referral service that can be integrated into a website with just two javascript tags. Thanks to our campaigns over 400,000 new customers have been introduced and over £110 million of new revenue has been earned for our clients since our launch.

Our solution allows retail marketers to create custom branded refer-a-friend programmes which can be segmented and AB tested, enabling optimisation over time; and the ability to plan and execute promotions designed to get the maximum number of new customers.

We have continued to nurture and grow our innovative culture, encouraging each other to be bold and test things; be that new AB experiments, new product features or even personal team passions through our hackathons and charity projects. 


Trouva is the marketplace for the best independent boutiques, offering a full-stack ecommerce and fulfilment solution for bricks and mortar shops and an online destination for shoppers.  They began working with Mention Me in 2015 at the early stages of their development to create their digital refer-a-friend marketing channel, so that they could use it to fuel new customer growth. They wanted speed to launch and the ability to AB test so that they could optimise their programme, as they discovered what most motivated their audience of discerning shoppers.

The Client Success experts at Mention Me have been instrumental in suggesting a programme of experiments and improvements that have ultimately led to an increase in the percentage of customers who share from about 12% to about 18%.

Through the use of data, we identified the bulk of the sharing activity at Trouva is made via email and so now focus on further optimisations which are designed to improve the email version of the customer experience.

The project has been a great success driving increased sales from 1021, newly introduced customers generated by 7964 existing customers sharing the brand.  The new customers have been particularly loyal; about 20% more likely to repeat purchase than those acquired through other channels.

In addition to our work at Trouva, Mention Me are proud to be the referral marketing platform for some of the UK’s fastest growing and most-talked about brands: Farfetch, Missguided, Ovo Energy,, Bloom & Wild, and Eve Mattresses.


2. developed its ground-breaking AI visual search technology for three years before becoming available to the industry in February 2017. encompasses many verticals from fashion to home and food, providing a transformative solution for retailers, publishers, influencers and consumers.  Unlike all other existing visual search technologies, Syte works on any kind of image – from retailer catalogue images to social media and editorial, identifying multiple items simultaneously, without human intervention. believes in the global power of images, empowering users to search without language or text, simply by tapping on any given image.  Our daily life is consumed by pictures from our favorite retailers, ecommerce websites to social media and Syte is instantaneous, with accuracy 10 times greater than existing competitors in independent tests.  Our algorithm automatically understands multiple items transforming these items into shoppable content with automated links – without tags, text or manual work – and that is what makes so unique.

Syte recently closed Series A of funding raising $8 million. Two of our largest investors are Social Media and Search – Line, the WhatsApp of the Asia-Pacific excluding China and Naver, the Google within the same region.

Our vision is simple – we want to empower consumers with automatic visual search. We believe that one day, very soon, this will be the standard. The question is will your customers be the first to enjoy this capability, or will you be the last to adapt? Will your company be a leader in innovation or will you follow your competition?


3. Starcount

Starcount uses data to transform the way retail businesses operate and understand their customers on a global scale. Following on from their revolutionary success in the retail industry with the Tesco Clubcard, data pioneers Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby are shaking the industry up once again by diving into emotional loyalty.

It’s no surprise that if you can convince a customer to visit one more time, and make one more purchase, then you can drive revenue by millions, however to do this, you must be relevant. Traditionally, brands have segmented by their audience through demographics such as age, gender, location and transaction history. Whilst this data is valuable for retailers who see their customers very frequently, such as grocery brands, for those who see their customers less frequently such as clothes retailers 3 or 4 times a year or automotive every 4 or 5 years, predicting customer behaviour is much more difficult. Therefore it’s more important than ever that brands build strong, genuine relationships with their customers, if they want to create lifelong emotional loyalty.

Starcount has created an innovative new form of segmentation which analyses not only a customer’s past transactions, but also their passions, motivations and mindsets to understand them as a fuller, rounded individual and predict what they will do next. We have built a massive database of over 330,000 Stars (significant influencers, media channels, brands and events), 1 billion consumers and their 30 billion time-stamped connections across social however this is not just social listening. By examining real, evolving behaviour, rather than just posts, we are not limited to the vocal few but can understand the entire silent majority of consumers around the globe, their changing life-stages and their potential network impact.

For example, when we recently analysed the data of a luxury retailer, we saw that two customers, high-spending female New Yorkers, seemed the same in transactional data. However our social data revealed a great deal more. Despite seeming similar, they had different motivations and passions and, most importantly, networks. Should the first customer, Jessica, convince her network to visit once more or make one more purchase, they could generate an additional $575 and $372 revenue, respectively. The second customer, Jo, on the other hand, represented a great deal more revenue: $12,787 should her network visit once more and $6,242 should they make one more purchase. Furthermore, we could identify over 3.2 million more lookalike customers that shared Jo’s interests. In other words, despite looking alike, our data revealed one of these customers was worth substantially more in potential revenue.

We have rolled out Starcount’s unique methodology across numerous retail clients, resulting in huge benefits and uplift, including:

  • Identifying 1.6M lookalike consumers for acquisition
  • Driving 300% customer engagement through greater personalisation
  • Optimising targeting to drive 17 times higher engagement and 12 times cheaper spend versus programmatic campaigns
  • Growing owned media views by 400%
  • Promoting a 3.6% ad conversion rate through more efficient targeting

By bridging the gap between data and people, Starcount is promoting real long-term culture change, where brands really hear and respond to consumers with relevance and resonance, and thus become truly customer centric.