Before the COVID pandemic, high street coffee chains sucked £5bn a year from the wallets of the British public. But their sales have taken a 40% hit over the course of two lockdowns as a result of home-working and closed high streets.

Meanwhile, coffee vans have been springing up all over the country, serving cappuccinos to NHS workers outside hospitals, homeworkers in the streets and joggers in parks.

The success of the coffee van is a great example of Uncrowd’s Friction vs Reward metric in action. Entrepreneurs have spotted a low friction gap in the market (for mobile coffee), caused…

What is it like to shop us? Why do people come to us instead of them? Or them instead of us?

You know these questions. We all do. They’re the questions every customer-facing business asks itself. And spends millions on trying to answer.

But getting an answer is hard. You can ask customers what they thought of your service. You can get them to pick a number of stars, click on a smiley face, talk to the helpline, complete a short a survey at the end of the call. But is the data you get the truth?

Customer truth. That’s…

32 major mood cards charted to help staff understand their customers.

As mask wearing becomes mandatory in shops today, a chart that enables shop staff to identify the mood of shoppers is being made available for free by retail experts Uncrowd.

The at-a-glance chart maps thirty-two eye moods to enable staff to diagnose and pre-empt potential problems.

Moods range from ‘queue-jumped’ to ‘WTF’.

Uncrowd boss Richard Hammond said: “Good retailers can read their customers like a book, but if their mouths are hidden behind masks, it’s a bit harder to work out what they’re thinking and feeling. …

WINNER Microsofts for Start-ups Partner of the year

· Accolade reflects the Uncrowd team’s creation of a retail customer analytics platform that rapidly converts nuanced insights into actions and profit

· “Just wild! This is an incredible accolade and a fantastic endorsement of the calibre of the UK tech start-up community,” says Uncrowd CEO

Uncrowd, the British company that is developing a world-class actionable customer analytics platform for retailers, is this year’s recipient of Microsoft’s inaugural global award for Start-Ups.

London-headquartered Uncrowd, founded by retail experts, offers a customer analytics platform that enables retailers to understand customer preferences and behaviour…

This article was originally published June 22nd, 2020

Phil Barden joins an extensive list of retail experts who have invested in Uncrowd’s Friction/Reward Indexing™ Platform.

Uncrowd, an analytics SaaS startup, have completed their seed funding round today with the announcement of Phil Barden as an angel investor in their ground-breaking customer analytics platform, Friction/Reward Indexing™ (FRi™).

As the leading experts in friction versus reward, Uncrowd offer clear answers and actionable insights into where and why a shopper will choose to shop. Uncrowd CEO Richard Hammond adds “Phil’s investment is significant not least because outside of Uncrowd, he is probably the…

This article was originally published May 5th, 2020

Microsoft Azure customers worldwide now gain access to Uncrowd’s FRi platfrom to take advantage of the scalability, reliability and agility of Azure to drive application development and shape business strategies.

Uncrowd today announced the availability of the FRi platform in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing applications and services for use on Azure. Uncrowd customers can now take advantage of the productive and trusted Azure cloud platform, with streamlined deployment and management.

Uncrowd’s Friction/Reward Indexing (FRi) answers retail’s most fundamental question: “Why do customers choose retailer X over retailer Y?”…

This article was originally published April 23rd, 2020

Here’s a fabulous piece on why tele-conferencing, that team lifeline of isolation; is already falling apart, and as a consequence bringing down the Utopian vision of long-term remote working. If Zoom is the last helo out of Siagon, plenty of us, just a few days from being overrun by work are shrugging and saying ‘nah, I’ll take me chances thanks’.

The brain docs in that omnibus piece conclude that video-chats can only ever be a minority part of a wider mix of working tools. Without real human interaction we break a…

This article was originally published April 3rd, 2018

Boswells in Oxford, UK, the second oldest family-owned department store in the world, is closing after 280 years in business. Run by the Boswell and Pearson families since 1738, the store is an institution. The closure is a cause of much sadness for locals, whose parents shopped there for homewares and bed linen while they explored the toy department with its working model railway and play-sized pioneer wagon.

The shop’s management cited ‘prevailing adverse retail conditions’ as the reason for closure. Boswells have been struggling to keep afloat for several years, and…

This article was originally published February 4th, 2020

We play a game that I’ve realised is a perfect analogue for the dreadful state of current customer analytics. Inappropriate Guess Who? is played with the standard Guess Who? set but you aren’t allowed to ask any of the normal factual questions. No asking about beards, or glasses or even gender. In Inappropriate Guess Who? your questions are all subjective and generally filthy.

  • Does this person look like they are okay with lockdown because it means they no longer have to do their turn in the tea run?
  • Does this person appear…

This article was originally published January 27th, 2020

There’s a clue in this photo as to why Toys R Us failed in the modern era. They didn’t fail because they were boring to shop, that was a symptom not a cause. Do you see the clue?

By all accounts, Charles P. Lazarus was a good man, the one video interview extant shows a decent, honest, thoughtful leader. The toy truck is the reveal, it’s in many photographs of Lazarus in his offices; Toys R Us’s founder was a logistics man. …


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