This Platform Empowers Small E-Commerce Businesses to Push Back Against Amazon

This Platform Empowers Small E-Commerce Businesses to Push Back Against Amazon
Delivery & Logistics

In a world where Google, Facebook and Amazon practically own their respective industries, platforms like CommerceHub are helping brands take back ownership through major upgrades to top line business

Ido Lechner, Home Editor
  • 22 september 2017

If ever there was a mega-company swallowing an industry whole, Amazon and the e-commerce space would be most people’s first guess. With automated warehousing, competitive pricing, lightning-fast delivery speeds and virtually every item you could ever need, its hard to make a case for the viability of most other online retailers. That’s where CommerceHub comes in, a premiere retail solutions firm dedicated to evolving their clients’ e-commerce experience by growing assortment, demand and delivery capabilities. PSFK had the chance to sit down with Founder and CEO Frank Poore to discuss how the company empowers businesses to operate online in the wake of Amazon’s threatening clutch on the industry, and why CommerceHub is betting on AI for its long term vision.

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For almost 20 years, CommerceHub has helped brands such as Walmart, QVC, Best Buy and Toys”R”Us increase sales and delight shoppers. Forming what Poore refers to as the ‘virtual supply chain,’ the company has effectively digitized many physical retailers’ endeavors and optimized those that already had online transactional capabilities. And the results speak for themselves: last year over 10,000 retailers, brands and distributors made an estimated $13 billion in Gross Merchandise Value thanks to CommerceHub’s services.

“Retailers that want to be successful today really have to nail down the core pillars of the business. My grandfather came in here in the 1800s and he told me this when I was 12: ‘retail is really simple. Its all about getting people to your store, having what they’re looking for and having the right price…’” says Poore. “Retail hasn’t changed much in principal since those times. You need a clean catalogue, a lot of products when your customers come in, and a good price, which in today’s world means a compelling offer with rapid delivery. And so one of the things that I think is important is that retailers today are trying to find where the levers are to grow: those levers are about expanding their assortment, driving more traffic, and then they have to solve the other side of the coin which is their omni-channel experience. Those are the fundamentals for achieving e-commerce success.”

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When put that way, ‘online-ing’ a business seems rather intuitive; but beyond picking up the pieces to string together a working supply chain, most retailers run into one other major problem: Amazon. If you’re not selling original items on your site, its likely the case that Amazon already has what you’re trying to vend, and at a cheaper price too. Throw into that pile of advantages same-day and even two-hour delivery and it becomes nearly impossible to compete over the same products. Not to mention the company’s acquisition of Whole Foods and its voice command home assistants, single-click purchasing and dash buttons (among other technology that streamline how fast xan item gets to your door).

“As far as AI goes, there used to be this unique human skill of ‘what are people likely to buy? Is this the right material for my demographic? And so on…’ Now buying is quantified, algorithmic” says Poore. “Whether you’re calling it machine learning or artificial intelligence, I think Amazon is clearly out on the forefront of this stuff. There’s a lot of things they can track. When you log in to amazon versus when I do, we see very different things based on our buying history, what we’ve searched.”

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Poore goes on to describe a time when he wanted to mess with the e-commerce giant’s ordering systems for learning purposes (and a little devious pleasure of course). One day he tried making 20 different purchases all as separate orders, only for four packages to arrive to his doorstep filled with everything he had bought. Amazon had bested his efforts of scrambling the delivery of his purchases.

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“They have the most algorithmic logistic supply chain. They’re looking at things like: I can ship from this HQ versus this one and package it all together. They’re aggregating orders, the company to emulate is amazon right now.”

But of course, not everyone is in the business of selling everything ‘from A to Z,’ which is where CommerceHub comes along to level the playing field. By offering low-risk growth of product assortment, shipping optimization, and one-stop integration into all of the third party marketplaces, product ad programs, paid search and social commerce platforms a business needs to acquire new customers, the business solves some of its clients’ largest frustrations and helps them grow and stay competitive within the highly contested space. These tools prove valuable for companies interested in growing their online presence as they can be used to fortify their customer service by meeting the same expectations consumers would have of Amazon.

In Poore’s eyes, the only way for an online business to remain healthy is if it adheres to the tenants his grandfather had bestowed upon him all those years ago. Fast-forward to 1997 (the year CommerceHub was built) and beyond, and Poore essentially transformed those words into a business of his own by helping companies position themselves for more traffic, sales and product assortment. In a business world of increasing complexity and information overload, platforms like CommerceHub’s that can work their magic with fewer clicks, integrations and coding proficiency will prove a godsend to e-commerce brands trying to stay afloat.

CommerceHub

If ever there was a mega-company swallowing an industry whole, Amazon and the e-commerce space would be most people’s first guess. With automated warehousing, competitive pricing, lightning-fast delivery speeds and virtually every item you could ever need, its hard to make a case for the viability of most other online retailers. That’s where CommerceHub comes in, a premiere retail solutions firm dedicated to evolving their clients’ e-commerce experience by growing assortment, demand and delivery capabilities. PSFK had the chance to sit down with Founder and CEO Frank Poore to discuss how the company empowers businesses to operate online in the wake of Amazon’s threatening clutch on the industry, and why CommerceHub is betting on AI for its long term vision.

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 11.28.05 AM.png

+AI
+AI
+amazon
+Automotive
+Brand Development
+Brand Development
+Customer acquisition
+ecommerce
+Facebook
+Google
+home
+retail
+Seamless Delivery
+technology
+USA
+Virtual Commerce
+Wal-Mart
+Walmart
+work

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