Andreas Skorski reflects on his journey of building a global luxury e-commerce destination.
Andreas started his first tech company in Germany at the age of 17, and have since successfully founded and invested in several lifestyle and tech start-ups.
Founded in 2016, The List has evolved from a classified marketplace to global e-commerce. It provides a personalized luxury shopping experience supported by AI-based technology.
As a luxury fashion aggregator, THE LIST supports retailers to broaden their customer reach globally, focusing on the Middle Eastern market, customers gain access to curated, globally- sourced items at competitive prices on-the-go and have them delivered directly to their doorstep in 190 countries.
The German- Polish entrepreneur has knitted and curated a digital luxury platform for retailers, independent boutiques to directly reach customers across the globe.
The startup has been ranked by Forbes as one of the Top 100 startups in the Middle East 2017 & 2018
What has been your biggest accomplishment with any of your start-ups?
The biggest accomplishment and also compliment has definitely been that the products I developed changed people’s lives in the sense that they considerably improved the customer experience or even changed the way people use a product.
Where did the idea for the start-up ‘The List’ come from?
Most international luxury retailers I met during my travels – I particularly remember one conversation I had with a retailer in New York, they said they were not able to set up their own e-commerce and reach customers globally due to the complex requirements for technology, logistics fulfillment, and marketing.
I wanted to enable physical retail stores to become e-commerce companies and reach customers worldwide and particularly in the Middle East since it’s one of the fastest growing markets for luxury goods and the one with the highest average order value.
Whereas, on the other hand I wanted to offer customers the possibility to find and purchase brands, products on THE LIST that are not available or hard to come across in the region.
I came up with the idea of creating THE LIST when I experienced that certain brands and products were not readily available in Middle East or were only available at certain marked up prices.
What’s your favorite wardrobe item and why?
This changes frequently, but currently it’s a pair of white vintage Reebok Sneakers because you can wear them with anything.
How does your start-up stand out against its competitors?
Through our marketplace model we offer a greater variety of globally sourced unique brands and products at competitive prices.
In addition to the instant mobile curated personalized experience in commerce and content), our lean organizational set up through intelligent technologies (AI, ML), makes us efficacious.
Due to the growth of e-commerce and the high mobile penetration in the region cash-on-delivery payments have steadily declined over the last years, while digital payment solutions are experiencing significant growth. We see cryptocurrency as an enduringly relevant currency, not just a trend.Andreas Skorski
What has been your biggest challenge so far as a start-up owner?
Instead of the one big challenge, it is more about facing small struggles and challenges on a daily base. However, this is what I love and what is necessary to grow and further develop the business.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
We firmly believe in the game-changing opportunities of mobile. We want to combine the broad product selection of a marketplace with a curated experience through intelligent mobile technology.
Our vision here is to establish THE LIST as the go-to luxury fashion destination on mobile. The new generation of shoppers are the main growth drivers of the luxury e-commerce. They engage and purchase on their phones.
Middle East has the highest mobile penetration in the world where millennial’s form more than 50% of the population.
What is your one-line pitch?
The first luxury fashion mobile marketplace in your pocket connecting you with the right product irrespective of where you are.
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful ?
Our asset-light business model combined with intelligent technology, machine learning, is the heart that drives THE LIST!
This lean set up is what that allows us to operate in a competitive, demanding market highly efficiently and effectively.
We are very data-driven and clearly measure the ROI of all our initiatives.
We also are highly focused on branding and content activities besides our performance marketing campaigns. This allows us to further strengthen our brand and engage with our customers.
Finally, what are some of the best words of advice you’d like to pass onto our readers who are going to start their business?
Dream. Build. Never fear. Just keep going.