When Shepper hit our news headlines for providing retail insight data in 48 hours, we decided to find out a little more about an ambitious app with a desire to answer business critical questions with immediacy. Frank Wainwright spoke to Lindsay Forster.
It is fair to say that Lindsay Forster is passionate about people power. Her company, Shepper, is not the first to harness the power of the mobile crowd as a work for reward app, but it does have new levels of ambition for the format. And for Lindsay the primary goals and attractions of the business is helping its people to worthwhile income that pays with immediacy.
Shepper refers to community rather than crowdsourcing as it intends to create a connected community rather than harnessing anonymous bystanders.
The community for Shepper, is of course made up of shepherds, the people who sign up to the app and are trained and ready to accept the paid tasks that are scheduled through the app.
For Lindsay Forster, working with and developing this community was the motivation that took her from CMO at insurance giant Aviva to holding the reins of small business with a total HQ staff of 25. There are currently 180,000 active shepherds and one of Lindsay’s key motivations is for Shepper to make a real difference in their lives. It’s a figure that has grown from 8000 in August 2020.
Shepper, she says, currently pays £4- £5 for jobs that take 15 mins to complete.
Shepper prides itself on paying quickly and with support provision available to help get the jobs done. It is also differentiating itself with clear data available by online dashboard the moment a job goes live.
The aim, of course, is for a perfect storm of supply and demand – with increasing levels of new work drawn onto the platform in line with new shepherd recruitment.
Whilst Shepper could be beneficial to many industry sectors, it is a clear that retail execution is a core market for it. Lindsay believes that Shepper is particularly well suited for distribution auditing and planogram checks. Immediacy and fully national reach are real selling points for brands that want to check compliance of a product promotion cost-effectively and quickly.
Immediate results are a very compelling proposal and one that Shepper formalized recently with its ‘Live in 5’ service.
Shepherds are also assisting the experiential marketing sector – with mystery shopping of retail experiences being an increasingly regular request.
Campaign creators have a few different options available to them, with BeMyEye, Street Spotter, Roamler and Smart Spotter all competing in the space. Shepper seems confident that it has enough points of difference to emerge from this pack. Lindsay has championed ‘valuable strategic partnerships’ that are now established for Shepper, and it is these, together with loyal community that makes this app one that fieldmarketing.com should hear more about in the year ahead.
Lindsay comments: “Shepper will play an increasingly critical role across all channels of retail execution. The combination of truly innovative tech, engaged members in every postcode and deep expertise, makes answering business critical questions easy, immediate and efficient. With no deposit, minimum periods or spend, Shepper is fast becoming the on-demand choice for more businesses.”