Upside's $1 billion milestone: Transforming physical commerce

To celebrate and contemplate the achievement of reaching a significant milestone of $1 billion in new, incremental profit for retailers, we spoke with Alex Kinnier, the co-founder and CEO of Upside.

July 11, 2023
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Upside's $1 billion milestone: Transforming physical commerce
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Upside's $1 billion milestone: Transforming physical commerce

We created Upside to become the digital layer that personalizes all brick-and-mortar commerce.

The rise of e-commerce showed us how online personalization can unlock proven value for both consumers and businesses, and the brick and mortar world had a hard time keeping up. Seven years ago, Upside took the same transaction-level attribution and measurement that e-commerce companies use daily, and created a technology that applies those same principles to brick and mortar commerce. This empowers retailers with measurable, attributable profit (unheard of in physical commerce), while also driving more purchasing power to consumers for the things they need. 

And it’s working. In a new milestone, Upside retailers have now earned more than $1 billion in new, incremental profit since 2017. That is $1 billion in value that these retailers would have lost to their competitors without Upside. 

To commemorate and reflect on this milestone, we had the opportunity to interview Alex Kinnier, the co-founder and CEO of Upside.

Question: What's the one word that comes to mind as you think about driving more than $1 billion in incremental profit for retailers? 

Alex: I'll bend the rules a bit and provide a two-word answer: the first word is "huge." It's amazing to think that we've achieved such a monumental milestone for our retailer partners.  It underscores Upside's tremendous success in generating new, additional profit by filling retailers' unused capacity with new and profitable transactions.

And the second word is "tiny" because, in the grand scheme of things, the value being destroyed today by static pricing and fixed curation in brick and mortar commerce is staggering compared to the relatively small amount we've delivered.

Question: That's an interesting perspective, acknowledging the vast potential for growth and improvement in the industry. Reflecting on your journey, what does it mean personally to you as a co-founder of the company?

Alex: The question is framed about me, but it's not about me – it's about the collective effort. My mind immediately goes to all the people that work together to make this happen. I'm proud of and grateful for how many people have come together to create this for retailers and consumers. I'm appreciative of their efforts, and I'm hopeful for what we can accomplish together going forward. 

Question: The power of teamwork and collaboration is indeed remarkable. Speaking of which, could you elaborate on how company culture has played a role in achieving this milestone?

Alex: I believe we've fostered a culture where everyone is dedicated to continuous improvement because both successes and failures contribute equally to our growth. And we embrace change as a means to get better.

Question: Valuing failures is a really unique approach. Are there any other values and principles that have helped guide the company to reach this milestone?

Alex: What consistently emerges is our commitment to measurement. We can celebrate this achievement because it stems from our relentless pursuit of accurately measuring impact for retailers. We strive to prove the value of everything we deliver and are always transparent about any mistakes we make, quickly rectifying them for the benefit of the merchants.

Question: Dedication to measurement and transparency undoubtedly instills trust and confidence among our retailer partners. You concluded your first answer by describing this achievement as “tiny.” So, what’s next? 

Alex: Let's aim to achieve the next billion in a quarter of the time and continue delivering even more billions. That's the path we're on, and every investment we make across the company is focused on delivering incremental profits to retailers at an accelerated pace compared to our initial milestone.

Upside's $1 billion milestone: Transforming physical commerce

The Upside Team

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The Upside team is made up of data scientists and industry experts who are passionate about delivering empowering content to our readers. With a focus on providing practical insights and meaningful perspectives, we create engaging materials across a wide range of topics. From exploring industry trends and offering expert analysis to sharing useful tips and inspiring ideas, our team works diligently to provide you with the information you need to thrive.

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