The merchandising industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by several factors, including the expansion of e-commerce and the increasing importance of branding and marketing in the retail sector.
Effective merchandising can help to drive sales and increase customer loyalty, as it helps to create an appealing and convenient shopping experience for consumers. As a result, merchandising has become an important element of the brick-and-mortar retail industry and plays a crucial role in the overall success of a business, however, while all other industries are adopting technology, it hasn’t been the same for online merchandising with both cost and ease of use providing barriers to entry when considering online merchandising software. Advanced Commerce understood this gap and is addressing the same with its unique merchandising platform. Andre Brown, CEO of Advanced Commerce, was with the CEOViews team to share details on how they are making it possible.
Story of inception and mission
Andre has been involved in eCommerce for a long time. He co-founded Attraqt and served as the CEO for 15 years. During this time, Attraqt grew from zero to the leading online merchandising platform in Europe. They signed a lot of well-known clients, and if you walked through any major shopping center, every third or fourth store would be one of Attraqt’s clients. He also oversaw the acquisition of Fredhopper, Attraqt’s largest European competitor. In 2018, Andre left Attraqt to work on his new business, Advanced Commerce. He has taken all their learnings from 15 years in the online merchandising industry and used them to create a unique, market-leading platform called GrapheneHC, which he is extremely proud of.
Effective merchandising can help to drive sales and increase customer loyalty, as it helps to create an appealing and convenient shopping experience for consumers.
At Advanced Commerce, the business journey has been about accelerating eCommerce technology growth.
As the physical boundaries of floorspace have been removed in the digital world you often find increased product catalogs in online stores with the notion that more choice equals more sales. If you’ve ever tried picking a new series or film to watch on Netflix you’ll recognize the paradox of choice the more choices there are, the harder it is to make a decision. This, coupled with reducing customer attention spans means the decisions we take about what to show first in our online stores have become incredibly important. That’s where merchandising comes in and ultimately, this is what GrapheneHC does. It gives retailers all the tools they need to visually merchandise their online store and provide a curated product display sequence that is controlled and can be personalized to the shopper, meaning customers find the right product quickly and easily, which in turn has a waterfall effect on increasing conversions, average order values, and revenue. They have built GrapheneHC to become the gold standard of online merchandising and outperform the competition in speed, breadth of functionality, and price.
Personalized shopping experience
Andre feels that personalization is widely publicized now. Shoppers expect personalization and respond better to brands that offer it. That’s why GrapheneHC gives retailers all the tools they need to ensure every product they show to each individual customer is relevant to them. As discussed, shoppers’ attention spans are short, so retailers have to engage their shoppers right from the point of arrival whilst also catering to changes in behavior that trigger additional they need to easily build an unlimited amount of triggers and merchandising strategies that can transform their shopper’s online experience with them.
Bringing innovation to the market
Our online merchandising platform, GrapheneHC, helps retailers and shoppers navigate the paradox of choice by providing all the tools required to visually merchandise an online store with the same care and attention you would apply to a brick-and-mortar store. Unlike other merchandising platforms that operate a simple boost or bury merchandising function, GrapheneHc allows retailers to create a merchandising blend based on a number of product, onsite and external attributes and then define exactly where they want that blend to apply to a whole category or as granular as to a single cell, and by combining multiple merchandising blends together create a merchandising strategy that delivers relevant products as you would in store. Furthermore, they provide the ability to apply merchandising strategies. Everything can be, and is, a trigger that tells us about the shopper and their preferences the referring URL, search phrases used, call to actions interacted with, pages visited and products viewed, and much more they give retailers the tools merchandising strategy based on a persona that results in highly personalizing a customer’s experience in real-time, and delivering the most relevant products, increasing the chances of conversion.
Standing out from the competition.
GrapheneHC is fast, accessible, and easy to use. In today’s age, speed is key, as customers expect fast website speeds, and conversion rates drop as speed slows. GrapheneHC combines its impressive features with fast speed, making it a market leader. Enterprise-grade software is usually only available to enterprise-grade companies and retailers and usually requires a technical degree. However, GrapheneHC is an easy-to-use, enterprise-grade merchandising platform that is priced to be available to retailers of all sizes so that every retailer can compete online. These points clearly make it a market’s favorite giving it a clear advantage in the market.
Challenges are an integral part of any business. Speaking about the challenges they faced, Andre said, “It is worth mentioning the impact of COVID on the industry. While it presented a challenge for some, the challenge for the industry was actually keeping up with the increased demand”. Businesses are looking for new ways to effectively merchandise their online stores and increase their average order value and customer retention which is especially relevant during the current cost of living crisis.
Personalization is an upcoming market trend in eCommerce, as the average customer will only view the first three pages of an eCommerce site. The decisions that retailers make about what to show first are important for conversion rates and increasing market share, especially in a time of cost of living crisis when every shopper counts. Marketing teams often spend hours segmenting audiences and crafting ads for a specific audience but then send everyone to the same website with the same product sequence. Andre feels retailers that recognize this disconnect between marketing and merchandising will see the most growth.
You can learn more about Advanced Commerc’s merchandising platform, GrapheneHC, and their newly launched GrapheneAI a joint product with a leading real-time personalization technology specifically for fashion and apparel, at www.advancedcommerce.io