3 minutes with… Cally Russell, CEO and Founder of Mallzee

After having it highlighted to us that our last video in this series (with Jim Law, of Find a Player, check it out here) was in fact 3:43 minutes long and not 5 minutes, as advertised in the title, we made the decision that it was time for a MAJOR re-brand.

Goodbye ‘5 minutes with’, welcome… ‘3 minutes with’!

We know, we know, it’s a major change, but in the end it was inevitable. And though this video clocks in at 3:41, in the end we agreed that “3 minutes and 41 seconds with…” just didn’t roll off the tongue enough to be the name of the series. So please accept our creative liberties with the title and, in the future of this series, take the number three to mean… three-ish.

So the first video in this new, completely re-branded series is our short interview with the Founder and CEO of shopping app Mallzee. Check it out!

What is Mallzee?

“Mallzee is the UK’s leading multi-retailer shopping app. We pull together over 150 different stores into one single place and help consumers find fantastic products.

At the same time as that, we actually help retailers improve their marketing, merchandising and buying by using data to make better decisions.”

Where did the idea for Mallzee come from?

“The idea for Mallzee came from a personal pain point of struggling to find the exact pair of jeans that I wanted to buy online.

This becomes so much more difficult once you move to mobile because, for pretty much everyone, you don’t buy all of your clothes in the same store and we thought there was an opportunity to bring together all of these different retailers into one place, to help people find fantastic products.”

What makes Mallzee different from other shopping apps?

“A focus on the consumer and by bringing everything together one single place.

A lot of people think our Tinder-style swiping is just a fun gimmick but it’s actually generating a really interesting customer profile.

So our recommender feed, which is entirely personalized to each individual user, or the ability to save all your individual sizes within the app and then we actually only show to you the stuff that’s available in your size.”

What was the key decision that you made?

“Looking back at it, at one point we thought we were going to build desktop. We thought that was where people were going to keep discovering clothes and keep discovering fashion.

Then we actually realized that the market was starting to be more and more mobile. I think that was the point of realizing that we were actually shaping a whole industry here and genuinely changing people’s shopping and interaction habits.”

What are your thoughts on the Scottish tech scene?

“Even in the short time that we’ve been in the Scottish tech scene, it’s grown at an unbelievable rate. There’s now so many interesting start-ups across the whole city.

We share an office with Appointedd, you’ve got the guys at Yavi, you’ve got Make it Social – there’s some amazing companies doing really, really interesting things. And they’re doing things that are not just shaping lives in Scotland, but shaping lives all over the world.

You’ve also got the great successes of FanDuel, Skyscanner and FreeAgent, who are basically dispersing across the ecosystem. And the learnings that have been gained in those companies going on to help the next generation getting to the next stage of their own businesses.”

In an ideal world, where would Mallzee be 5 years from now?

“The path that we are on as a company is to fundamentally change how fashion and consumer retail companies actually work. We’re doing that by building the best possible shopping product for consumers and helping them find fantastic products.

Three to five years from now I think that whole sector is going to look very very different. I think we’re going to be at the center and at the core of it.”

BONUS QUESTION: Which three apps on your phone (apart from Mallzee) do you use the most?

“Outside of Mallzee, it’s the Podcast app – I listen to a lot of podcasts -, the Twitter app – I’m a little bit addicted – and also my Microsoft Outlook app. It feels really weird saying Microsoft but actually it’s the best email app that you can get and I’d highly recommend anyone who does a lot of emails to give it a shot.”