Retail Exec Mark Goddard Backs Tech Start-Up, Appointed Chair

Power Retail By Power Retail | 17 Nov 2020

As we close out 2020 in a state that is being dubbed ‘the new normal’, it is easy to lose sight of how drastically e-commerce has changed in the last nine months. By April this year, there were 200,000 new Australian households shopping online, and Australia Post has struggled to keep up with demand.

Though the global pandemic and resulting lockdown have driven the shift online, it is the innovative ways that e-commerce businesses are adapting to this change that are seeing success stories buoying the industry. Last month alone saw Australian retailers Adore Beauty and MyDeal enter the ASX with a bang.

So, with online, and specifically e-commerce booming, it seems like an excellent place to put your investment dollar, doesn’t it? Retail expert and former Managing Director of Toys’R’Us, Mark Goddard certainly thinks so.

Retail executive backs Melbourne based start-up

Mark Goddard is a retail expert with over 30 years’ experience. He was previously Managing Director of Kmart and Toys’R’Us (Japan), CEO of Spotlight Retail Group and Hallenstein Glasson Holdings. Of recent times, Mark has put his attention towards Melbourne based retail tech start-ups with his first investment in guided conversion and product discovery platform, Preezie.

“In this current market, shares are volatile,” says Michael Tutek, Founder and CEO of Preezie. “Who knows what’s going to happen with property prices, so why not direct investments into helping the Australian start-up ecosystem thrive? In particular, start-ups that are in e-commerce where experts can provide a tremendous amount of value, it just makes sense”.

Why back and invest in Preezie?

“In an increasingly challenging market that is rapidly changing, innovation, creativity, agility and speed in connecting customers to brands is key,” Goddard said. “These connections must be built by creating truly engaging and memorable customer experiences. Preezie delivers these experiences through being customer-centric rather than brand-led.”

What is Preezie currently working on?

“Over the last few months, we have been busier than ever getting new customers live and working on putting together an Advisory Board,” Tutek told Power Retail.

“We are currently working with brands such as Lorna Jane and Bevilles with several other large-format retailers both in Australia and America to launch in November. With Christmas fast approaching, and COVID continuing to challenge the consistency of in-store shopping, retailers recognise how important it is to bring the in-store experience online ahead of the busy gift-buying season,” Tutek explained.

“Further to that we recently took in a small investment, part of which was Mark, and we just finalised our Advisory Board to support our growth, which Mark Chairs,” Tutek continues. “This committee will be led by Mark Goddard and includes some of Australia’s top executives including; Anthony Klein a partner at PwC, Trevor Nelson the ex CTO of Pexa, a consumer behavioural expert, Australia’s top growth advisor and the owner of a fast-growing women’s online fashion retailer.

For a business as early as Preezie it’s pretty incredible to imagine we have an Advisory Board of this calibre. We cannot wait to start working with them to grow and build the world’s best e-commerce customer experiences.”

Australia and start-ups

Have you ever heard of Afterpay? What about Zip Co, Canva, Atlassian, Kogan, the list goes on. These are all home-grown Australian innovations, many of them born out of e-commerce, that now bring over $80 billion in value into the Australian economy. 

In 2020 Australia was ranked the 7th most start-up friendly country in the world and we believe we can lift that up. Companies, in particular Afterpay, Canva and Atlassian, have put Australia on the map globally. We are a force to be reckoned with in terms of technology. We can continue that trend moving forward to become a world leader in technology.

Mark, what does the future look like for Preezie and yourself?

“I hope a long, creative and innovative relationship where we challenge the boundaries & strategies of traditional retail and bring the industry a far more engaging and creative relationship between brands and their customers.”

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