“According to a 2016 BrandShop survey, when U.S. consumers are shopping online, 81 percent expect to be able to buy directly from that brand,” says Hendell, the CEO. And, while about 30 percent of brands today provide a direct to consumer e-commerce capability, only about 20 percent of those brands provide a satisfactory shopping experience. “BrandShop exists to cover those spreads,” adds Hendell.
Brands face many challenges selling directly to consumers—something that BrandShop is uniquely equipped to handle. “CIOs at brand manufacturers aren’t used to dealing with many issues such as e-commerce technologies, supply chain, personal credit data, consumer sales tax, and PCI compliance—our product stack does all that for them,” says Hendell.
BrandShop has made very careful selections and utilized best-in-class web and LMS technologies to develop their proprietary platform, called a Brand Marketplace. It’s built on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) and Magento platforms, which are pre-integrated with the NetSuite Order, Warehouse and Content Management system to provide brands and consumers with a powerful and engaging online shopping experience. “We don’t know anybody else that is doing it this way,” Hendell adds.
One early success story for BrandShop was with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, a brand owned by SC Johnson that specializes in home and body care products. The popular brand had started selling direct on their own by stitching together a variety of partners, technologies, and vendors.
When U.S. consumers are shopping online, 81 percent expect to be able to buy directly from that brand
This approach created a poor consumer experience as well as, problems with shipping and fulfillment. “We’ve tripled their growth rate since they’ve been working with us,” says Hendell. “It’s a better consumer shopping experience and customer experience in terms of support; it’s a better logistics and fraud management experience as well.”
Another crucial component missing from many brand-consumer interactions is customer service. BrandShop estimates that 20-30 percent of all digital purchases require customer service support. Our ‘brand ambassadors’ are experts in our clients’ brands so they consistently deliver an excellent experience via phone, live chat or email,” he states.
Hendell says that the capital markets recognize a marketplace need for brands to start selling directly to consumers. “This is a nascent market at the beginning of the ‘S’ curve of growth. We’ve established BrandShop to be the leader.” BrandShop has just expanded its distribution footprint from one warehouse to five across the U.S. “That means we can serve 98.6 percent of the U.S. population with two-day ground shipping, which in the world of e-commerce is just critical,” he remarks. BrandShop is also adding a major customer management and loyalty technology in the next 30 to 60 days, with more details to be announced later.
“With our new customer management capabilities, in addition to providing our clients an e-commerce platform, we’re going to substantially increase our client’s knowledge of what their consumers are doing and manage those relationships in one environment, with one solution. Many of our CIOs are very excited for that event,” Hendell signs off.