When Joe Todd and Terry McGinnis first met, they never thought they’d be at the forefront of building an online empire, especially during lock-downs and a messy divorce from the European Union in form of Brexit. Whilst the British economy is in a volatile situation, the company has managed to see relative success and average order values in excess of £250.00 per customer visit, making it one of the most premium and lucrative offerings out there for investors.
The pair are founders of Cozy, one of the first sustainable marketplaces that prioritize customer comfort, satisfaction and ethical business practices over everything else. Cozy unlike other marketplaces focus on a white-glove service which encompass a premium-style offering for both customers and the vendors which choose to sell their products via the marketplace. The website offers best in class support, dedicated account managers for vendors and prioritization of new-found technologies over old style archaic systems that make little sense to both customers and vendors.
Cozy unlike it’s competitors do not offer a “free for all” approach, each vendor is carefully assessed and receives careful consideration before they are given access to 1.3 million monthly visitors of the marketplace, with that number growing drastically each month. Starting only in mid-October, Cozy has received incredible attention from vendors and customers alike, thanks to its executive roster who manage the day-to-day activity. Cozy now boasts products from the likes of Sigg, CASO and Acco Brands at price points appealing even to the most savvy of savers.
“We wanted to create a company that resonates with everyone, we really want to build a community space – not just another marketplace, but a place where you can go and feel at ease and receive that attention you’d receive from the most premium of brands, the likes you’d see on the high-streets of London, no matter your purchasing power” stated Joe Todd, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cozy.
And this isn’t their first venture, prior to starting Cozy the duo were co-founders of another startup that focused on providing businesses with a way to keep trading online, even during lockdowns and political turmoil, called Dropshyp which was based in the epicenter of technological innovation, Silicon Valley.
“Dropshyp was something we came up with before the pandemic, we looked at the market trends with our friends at Rothschild & Co. and identified key areas of opportunity for an explosive expansion in a relatively new niche. We proposed a business model whereas we’d connect suppliers from Europe, Americas and East Asia to businesses here in the West, to add to their existing inventory. Think if you’re a bike shop and you see that skateboarding is taking off in your local area, why not use your already credible reputation to be able to add to your inventory? That was the idea, we’d connect you with the best suppliers out there for you to offer more products – using your existing reputation to sell more. It proved a successful business model, and with the pandemic getting out of control we saw more and more businesses taking the opportunity to keep on trading, even with their physical locations being shut”.
However this explosive success meant that the pair had to manage an increasingly large team, worldwide demand and areas they did not fully integrate with yet.
“We saw big numbers in terms of visitors, sign-ups and interest with Dropshyp . The problem was, it was worldwide, and during a pandemic. We reached the event horizon too quickly, and could not necessarily have full control over markets, say somewhere in Afghanistan and Lebanon, where a lot of fashion and textile suppliers are based in. We wanted to focus locally first and expand globally second. This is why we made the decision to reel-in our efforts to a place we hold near and dear to our hearts and a place we call home, Britain” stated Terry McGinnis, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Cozy.
The pair knew that the British market was lucrative and something they could better understand, control and have grasp over.
“We made the decision to really stay in our backyards, at the time Terry was coming back from abroad as well and most of our team was located in Britain too, so it just made sense to really focus locally before we endeavor into the unknown horizons of total worldwide commerce and have to figure out the logistics policies of places we knew nothing or little about across dozens of categories and thousands of SKUs” stated Joe Todd, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cozy.
The pair quickly narrowed their focus on an untapped market that focuses on things other companies have forgotten about; comfort, safety, ease of use, pleasantness and dedication to the customer.
“When we say ‘customer’ we don’t mean just the end user who purchases a product through us. It’s each user who visits us and interacts with us, whether they are a vendor, a guest or a registered customer. We offer a community-centric approach, we really want to stand for the definition of everything Cozy. This is why we offer an exceptional before and after sales approach, support and products and services to put your mind at ease and products to make you really, really comfortable and happy. The happiness factor of our customers is paramount to our success” stated Joe Todd, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cozy.
This methodology has proven to be successful, and is attracting more and more brands to sell through the marketplace. As Joe had described, it is not only a marketplace but also an all-in-one solution for community and everything that would make you feel ‘Cozy‘. The company now even offers its own alternative to Reddit/Facebook Group-like Communitysection where users can discuss purchases, interact with each other and provide insightful feedback, in addition to that, the company has also come out with a completely digital concierge service which uses automation to suggest and provide the perfect product for you or your home, and offer deals exclusive only to the customer on certain products, that’s not to say it’s all automation, there are several humans behind the scenes who operate the concierge and provide real-time services.
The duo had recruited some of the best people in the retail and marketing fields, from the likes of Sam Watola, Rhys Pereira, Antoine Levy, Emmanuel Ambrose and Francisco Goicoechea who all had experience working with big name brands such as Argos, Louis Vuitton, investment groups and other powerhouse institutions that has helped the company achieve massive growth in first few months of its operation.
“The total team now consists of over 30+ people now and growing, all who are passionately working with us to build a lasting legacy that we will hope help redefine what is online retail, customer satisfaction and most importantly comfort. We couldn’t be more appreciative for everything and to keep growing rapidly.” Joe Todd, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cozy added.
It is as to appear that even during a pandemic, political turmoil and even constant lock-down’s the British people want more than the cheap deals offered by other competitors, but a full-fledged service where they can feel comfortable and returning to.
Is Cozy Britain’s answer to Amazon and the likes of Wayfair? It appears that it may be so, and the duo might be grace the cover of Forbes soon enough.