Mystery shopper startup Humii bags $300,000 pre-Seed round 

- May 24, 2024 2 MIN READ
Andy Evans and Mareile Osthus
Humii cofounders Andy Evans and Mareile Osthus
Mystery shoppers are not a new concept, but the move to online retail has changed the rules of the game – and hidden the goal posts for retailers.

So Sydney startup Humii has raised $300,000 from Melbourne early-stage VC Skalata to bring mystery shoppers back into customer experience (CX) tracking in a new and more scalable way. 

While the shift to online shopping has given every retailer access to a global marketplace, it’s also distanced them from their customers. Even for major ecommerce brands, off-the-shelf analytics tools offer little “why” behind the data. 

Humii was cofounded by former Deloitte director Andy Evans and Mareile Osthus, the former CCO of The Iconic. Their platform puts product teams back in conversation with customers by bringing the age-old practice of mystery shopping to online retail. 

Humii’s mystery shoppers, who are paid per shop , analyse brands across 8 dimensions (from discovery to purchase to retention) and over 200 data points. 

Osthus said the qualitative feedback brands can uncover is gold – comments such as “the search bar needs a filter option” and “It took me 10 clicks to locate the product I wanted!” and Humii helps brands understand it, and how well they’re performing against the competition. 

“We envision a standardised global CX score that’s ingrained into every retail operation – a platform where companies can view multi-market data across all their territories, in a simple actionable way,” she said.

Leading brands such as New Balance, Pet Barn, BCF and Lorna Jane are already using Humii to bridge the gap between their understanding of customer perceptions of their online CX. 

“We now have some great logos and traction, and are very keen to expand our offering to get under the skin of every retailer in the country,” Osthus said. 

She said ecommerce retailers are mired in marketing problems ranging from the rising cost of Google and Meta ads, to low-cost disruptors such as Shein and Temu driving marketing costs up, amid falling customer faith. 

“For brands, there is little understanding of which CX challenge to tackle first,” Osthus said.

“We’re encouraging them to focus less on getting new customers to their site and more on getting the ones that are already on their site to convert.”

Skalata investor Claire Bristow said Humii identified a major pain point for brands trying to connect with increasingly sceptical consumers.

“We’re backing their vision to take brands beyond the shallow picture painted by big data, to a place where true customer understanding informs every CX decision,” she said.


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