Holly Cardew from Carted: A Universal API for Shopping Lovers | #413

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Holly talks customer personas, playing the pitch game and shopping anywhere


Holly is the Founder and CEO of Carted. Carted is building the world’s best shopping experience by collecting, standardising, and connecting all of the world’s products (billions of products from millions of merchants) into a single source of truth - a product graph. Carted’s Product Graph will forever change the shopping landscape. Also recognising the immediate need for better shopping experiences, Holly and the team at Carted have been working on the Carted App which puts personalised shopping at users' fingertips, all powered by Carted's Product Graph.

Holly is passionate about reshaping the future of shopping and already has a track record of success in ecommerce, having built and launched five Shopify apps used by over 30,000 merchants globally.

In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Holly Cardew, Founder and CEO of Carted

Carted is an app designed to help consumers super charge their shopping game with organisation, comparison, collaboration and sales access.  Holly’s entrepreneurial background saw her selling handbags on Ebay aged 14 and now, several startups and a decade later, Carted is her focus and is drawing the attention of some of Australia’s biggest investors including Blackbird Ventures.  In this chat, Holly shares how Carted works, with the product API at its core but a front-facing consumer offering using that product API.  She also shares how she approaches the pitch process and her thoughts on the future of contextual commerce.

“I really think commerce should be anywhere”

Holly Cardew

Solving for shoppers

“The Carted vision is to organise the world’s products into a searchable, shoppable database. And we do that by collecting and standardising the world’s products into a single source of truth. So this is actually the Carted graph that we’re building. And then we built an API to access this graph. 

We obviously have some slightly weird side of us where we think we can do everything. I mean, I think at the end of the day, not trying to put rockets on Mars and that’s really complex. I know this problem is complex, but I think I’m just so passionate about how do you make commerce better? How do we make shopping better? 

We build tools for merchants all the time. And unless we build the tools for the shoppers, the shopping is not going to necessarily get better, it’s going to be very merchant focused. So we’ve actually built our own shopping application on top of our API, so we could solve the shopper problem directly.”

Pitch perfect

“It’s a lot about what resonates with someone when you speak to them. Go tell 10 people your story, even if you’re a bad storyteller like me, and you’ll see what sparks their interest and then pull on that thread. That’s how I found that it works. 

I think the other big thing for me is don’t spend time trying to convince people. There are billions of people in the world. There are other people with the same thesis and same belief as you. So how do you go and find people who believe in that same future as you versus trying to pitch all of these people and convince someone that the future is going to be like this?”

The future of contextual commerce

“I really think commerce should be anywhere. We walk down the street and you see something you like, you should be able to buy it, or at least know where it’s from. But the graph doesn’t exist to be able to quickly take that product, know where it’s from, know that it’s in your size, your stock, the colour you need, the size you want, and be able to ship to you. 

Commerce unbounded is like, we should be able to embed those shopping opportunities into the fabric of consumers lives and then have them anytime they see a product that they can purchase. 

We don’t necessarily have all the gadgets that the tech companies are building. Some people want to shop in VR. Some people want to shop on a watch. Some people want to shop on their phone. Some people will still want their desktop and they want to be able to look at everything on a bigger screen. And I think that’s what we really talk about is how do we surface products where the shopper wants, how the shopper wants versus dictate what they want and how they should shop?”

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