We talked to Katarzyna Pichler of YouKnowMeBest (YKMB) about building businesses and brands, and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Katarzyna Pichler: Fortunately, my family and our team, are healthy and I’m very thankful for that. We at YouKnowMeBest are also fortunate to offer a digital solution, therefore developing and further growing in these challenging times.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded YouKnowMeBest.
Katarzyna Pichler: My passion is building businesses and brands, making them successful and profitable.
Years of leadership experience in corporations in FMCG and FSI offered a great foundation for what I am doing nowadays. Today, as an entrepreneur and mother, I have little time for extensive shopping trips with friends, even though their opinion is of great importance to me and it is simply more fun together. But at the end of the day, I do a lot of online shopping. In 2019 we thought of a smart and playful solution that would make online shopping more interactive, more social, and ultimately more sustainable for customers like me. Together with the technical team, headed by Bernhard Krüpl-Sypien and Mathias Panzenböck, and the sales team lead by Karl Pichler, we developed YouKnowMeBest – a plug-in that helps customers, but also e-commerce retailers and brands in a revolutionary way.
How does YouKnowMeBest innovate?
Katarzyna Pichler: Being able to try out fashion and accessories at home is great! Just a couple of clicks, quick home delivery, a mode that is convenient for customers. In addition, there is a large selection of products that are now increasingly presented and offered for sale via social media platforms, as well as a constantly changing range of goods that stationary fashion retailers can hardly display. Nevertheless, many customers do not complete their online shopping because it is difficult for them to decide which product to buy without friends’ advice. The shopping cart remains at the digital cash register, or products are ordered dozens of times, for example, in several sizes, colors, and from different manufacturers. The result: returns pile up, frustration mounts, and the environment gets polluted.
YouKnowMeBest is a smart and extremely easy to use solution that also adds value to everyone involved – customers, e-commerce retailers, and brands. YKMB is the first and only plug-in that directly puts products from online shops into private chats like Facebook Messenger. With just a few clicks – and without laborious screenshots – users can ask for advice from the people who know best what suits them. Customers select three to five products, place them in the virtual shopping cart, click on one of the social media icons on offer, and off we go: The selected products (picture-text information) are loaded into the group chat, the friends receive a notification and can rate and vote the products directly and thus make a purchase recommendation. The principle can also be used greatly, for example, to vote on gifts among friends and acquaintances.
Thanks to YKMB, retailers also receive valuable product intelligence. With this information, they can position their product range accordingly to serve their customers even better and carry out strategic marketing measures. This also includes cooperation with brands and manufacturers. Win-win for everyone involved.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Katarzyna Pichler: Like many other companies, the Corona crisis presented us with challenges. Apart from that, we are convinced that digital change cannot be stopped. Regarding the e-commerce market and the networking of new features, a lot will change in the near future.
The new reality created by the Corona crisis showed us all the great need to further digitalize and support online businesses and new solutions. Especially in e-commerce, further innovation is necessary, and in regard to YKMB, we are optimistic about the near future.
YKMB is currently offered to e-commerce companies that can be expanded to include packages with predefined product intelligence solutions. The AI-based, patented technology is fully operational, agile, and scalable.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Katarzyna Pichler: In times like these, it is important to prioritize even more and consequently execute those priorities. Digital communication and a structured follow up are also key!
Besides the fact that we hold meetings and presentations – both internally and externally – mostly digitally, things are going very well for us. YouKnowMeBest has already been tested by several European e-commerce retailers and appreciated as a great solution.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are helping you navigate the crisis?
Katarzyna Pichler: Digital or personal – it’s important to stay in touch. So we use common video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype to “meet” the team and partners.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Katarzyna Pichler: Many companies and brands want to create positive social moments throughout the customer journey, and I personally think that’s great! But as far as I can see, there is no direct competition at the moment that helps online shops pursuit excellence in digital retail and to understand the demands of their customers even better like YouKnowMeBest can do. The plug-in allows qualitative social media targeting, retailers can respond to the customers’ preferences in a tailor-made fashion.
Your final thoughts?
Katarzyna Pichler: We believe that magical products and creative solutions will always be needed now and in the future to make life more liveable. And when a product is really special, it has the power to change people, relationships, and habits for the better. We, the team behind YouKnowMeBest, are passionate entrepreneurs and hope to be doing what we do best, turning visions into reality.
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