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Eagle Eye's success soars


When Retail Gazette met Phil Blundell, the CEO at Eagle Eye, he presented the loyalty card of a well known coffee retailer and labelled it “the past” before pulling out his iPhone 6 and referring to it as “the future”.

Eagle Eye was founded in 2003 and specialises in multichannel digital offers, vouchers and rewards. It has since received the backing of former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy and other heavy weights including Bob Willett, (former CIO at Bestbuy and international retail aficionado).

Blundell was brought on board to commercialise the business, and he is particularly buoyant when he meets Retail Gazette. This is not least thanks to the company’s current valuations, which are something of the Silicon valley type (share prices have increased 20p to £1.60), but also because Eagle Eye won twice over at the recent payment awards, beating Harris + Hoole in the ‘Engagement and Loyalty Scheme of the year’ sub-category as well as retailers including Starbucks with the ‘Overall Winner’ award.

The awards came following Eagle Eye’s success with British bakery chain Greggs, now the proud owner of an Eagle Eye software integrated app, changing the way customers shop with an automated coffee stamp.

All that paper and plastic which becomes accumulated in consumers’ wallets means not much more than endless annoymous customers, interesting considering digital delivery is cheaper and will eliminate fraud. The customer journey ends with paper, but Eagle Eye software allows for basket data analysis. With it for example, Greggs can offer incentives like a free birthday doughnut (although as Blundell points out, you are hopefully at the Ivy on your special day) or One Stop could send a personalised message when you’re in store (‘Welcome Bob, 2-4-1 on Coca Cola’).

With price-matching becoming a frequency amongst retailers, allowing customers to obtain items at the same price anywhere, brands need to differentiate themselves. “There is more transparency in pricing so there will be more couponing” explains Blundell, “this is where real-time data comes into play”.

A case in point is fashion brand Karen Millen. Previously working with a fulfilment system that was 24 hours of date, the premium retailer now offers a 90 minute delivery service operated for and behalf of Karen Millen, by Eagle Eye Solutions. Each customer possesses a code unique to them, which is scanned into the delivery driver’s PDA at point of drop off.

In 2013, UK shoppers redeemed 603m coupons, up 35% from 2012 and worth around £1.7bn. The figures from Valassis, which works with 85% of the market, highlight the continuing upward trend in coupon redemption, volumes increasing 223% since 2010. Juniper anticipates that the global user base for mobile coupons will exceed 1bn by late 2019, an average annual increase over the forecast period of 13.5%.

One can’t argue with these sorts of statistics, so it’s no surprise that Eagle Eye is currently seeing growth of 300% per annum and now eyeing up the US.

In January 2016, Blundell and the gang will hit the National Retail Federation’s big show, an annual event on American retail professionals’ calendar, to let big names know that Eagle Eye has landed. “The US is the biggest ‘paper’ market” says Blundell, adding that “there is an ambitious agenda in place and it will be exciting to see British technology leading the way”.

So far, only 1% of the market is digital. That’s 99% left to go, a ratio that Eagle Eye is working towards reversing.

Published on Wednesday 31 December by Veebs Sabharwal

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