It's amazing how much can change in 10 years. Remember the year 2009, before we had Instagram, streaming video services, or Uber? There was no asking Alexa the weather, or listening to podcasts from your phone on the way to work. Yet it was that year that innovation in retail took a huge step forward, with the launch of virtual reality concept testing from a company called InContext Solutions.
Ten years later, our goal of providing retailers and brands with the confidence they need to create winning shopper experiences and make smart business decisions hasn't changed. But we've continually expanded our footprint, including the launch of our enterprise platform, ShopperMX™, in 2012, and we've grown our content library, capabilities, and products since then to provide better collaboration, visualization and smarter decision-making for our customers. And we're not stopping—2019 promises to have some exciting announcements and developments, so stay tuned!
To do all this, we've been lucky enough to have committed, passionate people behind every step of the journey. Rich Scamehorn, Chief Research Officer and Co-Founder, Derick Goodman, EVP, Commercial & Strategic Alliances, and Amanda Kubik, Director, Insights, take a look back at the past decade:
When you first decided to start the company, what was your biggest fear?
RS: I was giving up a high paying corporate job that I was fairly happy at during the height of the Great Recession, so it was a little scary if I didn’t succeed. I was blowing my career up a bit, but we all agreed we should be able to make it work with our skill sets, and we all wanted to have the start-up experience.
What are you most proud of 10 years later?
RS: I think we developed the best in the world solution for virtual store research. It is still amazing to me that it took 9 years for anyone else to launch something that competed directly with what we are doing. We were well ahead of the competition and competed successfully with all of the options that were out there.
What do you most attribute to the success of where we are now?
AK: Resiliency and people who know what it means to be a part of a team. Being able to pivot when things aren’t working and having teammates (not just co-workers) that support each other and do whatever it takes to deliver a quality product are two things I really admire and appreciate about InContext.
What is your biggest hope for the company in the coming months?
DG: The future is exciting, it’s the next generation of InContext, our people, our brand, our partners, and our products. At our 10 year anniversary, we are really just getting started. This year will be transformational for InContext as we launch a second generation of our best-in-class software, expand our capabilities into new geographical markets, new retail segments, and expand the breadth and depth of our offerings to our customer base through our partner ecosystem.
RS: My biggest hope for the future is that we will continue to provide our existing clients with better and better services and products. We hopefully will also find success with growth partners that will allow us to get over the hump to be self-sustaining. Five years from now I hope those partnerships will grow and develop, leveraging where the technology goes to make ShopperMX™ a vital part of every company’s tool kit.
I saw an article that says that only 1/3 of companies founded celebrate a 10th anniversary. I am very honored and blessed to have been a part of the past 10 years of InContext Solutions. We absolutely could not have made it to here without the contributions of all of the employees we have had over the years and I just want to commend each and every one of them for making all of this a possibility. Thank you!