This month marks our 5th anniversary.
HERO® was founded in June 2015, with a mission to make commerce human. Inspired by the simple idea of making shopping as personal as messaging a friend, we assembled a small team and got to work building Hero’s virtual shopping platform as a way to connect online shoppers and stores via text, chat and video.
When we publicly launched in Jan 2017, almost immediately we saw the desire of online customers to shop with an expert in the same way they would in store — and do it through an experience that feels like using WhatsApp or FaceTime. While at the same time, we were blown away by the opportunity to make physical retail more efficient; allowing teams to sell beyond the four walls of the brick-and-mortar store and to be a part of the growth of eCommerce.
Today, in partnership with some of the most forward-thinking brands, including Nike, Levi’s, Deciem, rag & bone, Herman Miller and UNTUCKit, shoppers all over the world can enjoy a more personal, more human online shopping experience.
In the past six months alone more than 1,000,000 people have virtually shopped with a brand ambassador in their nearest store, making them 21 times more likely to buy online versus shopping unassisted. In 2020, we expect shoppers to spend more than $100,000,000 online via Hero — accelerating eCommerce growth for our partners at such a critical time.
In 25 countries, stores use the Hero app in 13 languages as a powerful way to connect with new and existing customers digitally — and to boost their earnings. More than 40% come back to the app every single day — a testament to our team’s relentless focus on building frictionless, consumerized experiences that feel more like using Instagram and Facebook Messenger than traditional, clunky enterprise apps. GQ recently described Hero as “like FaceTiming your favorite sales associate with one- or two-click buying built in.”
Just last week we announced that alongside Google, shoppers will have the ability to message nearby Hero-powered stores from Google Search and Maps, making it easier than ever for customers to shop.
A World Post COVID-19
Hero is now the world’s leading virtual shopping app for stores, but it’s perhaps during the past three months that like every business reacting to a changed world, we’ve found an even deeper sense of purpose and mission. At a time when people are craving more human connection, Hero has been there for both shoppers and businesses, giving them the critical tools to stay connected and continue trading. For one partner, Credo Beauty, sales via Hero now account for more than 15% of their entire revenue.
“If you had told me six weeks ago that our business would be doing this well, I’m not sure I would have believed it. Not only are we seeing off the chart results with virtual selling through Hero, but we’ve also been able to keep all of our employees on staff, something that we’re very proud of as a values-driven company”
More than eighty percent of our customers have been able to keep part, if not all, of their retail teams employed and selling via Hero while working from home. As stores reopen across the world, Hero continues to further bridge the gap between online and offline, powering virtual shopping experiences that are a catalyst for in-store pick-up and appointments; driving foot traffic back to stores.
Fueled by our $10m Series A in summer 2019, our team has grown to more than 60 spread across the world, including in London, Barcelona, New York, LA and Hong Kong. We will continue to work relentlessly to create the most personal, frictionless shopping experiences that help stores unlock their competitive edge.
Our celebrations this year may be virtual, but no less human. A huge thanks to our entire team, partners and investors for the hard work, support and belief.
Here’s to the next five years. 🥳