'All Things Upside' with Alyssa Ziegler

Alyssa Ziegler, Grocery Business Development Director at Upside

In this edition of All Things Upside, Alyssa Ziegler, a Business Development Director on our Grocery team, shares how she went from an avid Upside user to a member of our team, and why Upside’s mission is important to her and her family.

Upside: How long have you worked at Upside, and can you tell us more about your role?

Alyssa: I have been with Upside since November 2021, so I am about to hit one year! I'm currently a Business Development Director covering independent grocery clients, which is almost exclusively focused on growing and establishing new relationships. I speak with potential grocery partners and explain the benefits of Upside for independent grocers who are looking for the best ways to compete with big box stores.

Upside: Can you tell us about your educational background, work history, and life before Upside?

Alyssa: I grew up in New Hampshire, and my parents and extended family owned small businesses, so small businesses are kind of at the root of my background. I went to school at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, where I worked at restaurants and bars while competing on the university’s cheer team. I actually won a National Championship with the team in 2009!

After graduation, I got my career start at Groupon, working in inbound sales. I was able to move up the ranks at Groupon, and I got the opportunity to work on pilot teams focused on building the strategy for campaign optimization and new business. After Groupon, I found myself at Toast and Rewards Network and worked with countless restaurant groups to improve their technology and marketing.

Upside: What inspired you to join the Upside team?

Alyssa: Even before working at Upside, I was an avid user of the app. I live in an area that had a lot of Upside partners on the platform during the early stages of the company, so I was very familiar with the product. Then gas and grocery prices started rising and Upside became the main tool for me to slow down the impact rising prices had on my family—especially buying diapers for two children under 3 years old.

So I started looking into how it works for the retailers. How can this app offer discounts every time and how does it hit the bottom line for a retailer? After my time at Groupon, I always think about how a discount is cutting into the merchant’s profit. I did some initial research into Upside and was very impressed with the algorithm behind incrementality and guaranteed profit coupled with personalized offers.

After one year on the team, I couldn't be happier! We all work hard towards the mission to provide more value to both merchants and consumers. But I also think it is deeper than that—because our mission is so aligned with both the businesses and customers. Our entire organization is completely dedicated to learning, evolving and growing the ways we can deepen the bond between customers and their merchants (especially local independent merchants) and that is really special to be part of.

Upside: What have been some highlights from your experience working at Upside so far?

Alyssa: My team recently attended the Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas together, and that experience deeply shaped our team. Not only did we get the chance to meet with incredible retailers, but we also started taping for Quick Five with Upside (Upside’s upcoming podcast that focuses on females in the grocery industry), and were featured on Omni Talk, a leading retail podcast. It was an incredible experience to watch the evolution of the event—from initial planning to being there with my full team and experiencing the excitement in the room.

Upside: Can you tell us more about the culture at Upside?

Alyssa: One phrase you will hear our leadership team say a lot is, “there is no right or wrong way to do something and there is no right or wrong way to think about something.” I think that perfectly explains the culture here at Upside. Not only does Upside allow you to present new ideas and make meaningful contributions to the business, but nobody gets upset if you question the current way of thinking or push back on their idea. We all share the same goal of helping consumers and merchants, and it helps shape a collaborative environment.

Upside: How have you grown during your time at Upside?

Alyssa: I’ve learned to trust my ideas and opinions enough to say them out loud. At Upside, things move fast, so there isn’t time to wait and share your ideas later. Sometimes, you just have to start throwing stuff out there. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful to be surrounded by the most supportive team that distill, advise, grow, and build on ideas, no matter how “out there” they may have originally seemed.

Upside: Outside of Upside, what hobbies do you enjoy?

Alyssa: I have two children, three and two years old, that keep me pretty busy, so I get to do many activities that they enjoy! I cheered for a long time, so come to my house and you’ll find a lot of dancing, dress up parties and somersaults. I also really love being outdoors. I grew up in New Hampshire, so I am always down for camping, ATVing or snowmobiling. My husband and I have a dream of owning a campground someday!

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