SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Mikel Lindsaar, CEO & Founder of StoreConnect

Mikel Lindsaar, CEO & Founder of StoreConnect talks about the inspiration behind the StoreConnect platform while discussing a few upcoming eCommerce trends for 2023:

________

Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Mikel, tell us about yourself and more about the story behind StoreConnect. How has the platform evolved since its start? 

We’ve been developing StoreConnect since Dec 2017. My vision was, what if we built an e-commerce system on top of the world’s #1 CRM Salesforce? After all, Salesforce has all the core data such as accounts, contacts, products, and pricing. Of course, I thought I had discovered a genius idea and gap in the market. When I went to market, I found out that Salesforce had already done it!  But on looking closer I found that the solution was only targeted to larger enterprise and mid-market businesses. And so, I changed the goal to be a solution for the SMB market – and refined our vision to make this affordable and accessible to the ‘average punter’ small business. My aim was to create something that let the small ‘Davids’ of the world compete against larger enterprise ‘Goliaths’. Help them scale and expand. And replace all the multiple systems that small business use right now.

I really have a strong desire to help small business owners do what they love, give passionate service to their customers, and help them not get beaten down by the big guys.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Frank Dale, SVP of Product Development at Salesloft

What are some of the top trends you foresee dominating global eCommerce in 2023?  

One of the biggest problems any e-commerce store has – especially for small businesses – is you are never sure if you are seeing a consistent picture of your customer across all these disparate platforms which don’t easily talk to each other.

So, the big trend is going to be the integration of platforms. Customers don’t want to be in a situation where they talk to you and then come back later and you haven’t recorded the last thing that you talked with them about, or worse, get transferred to the service team who don’t know what the last person they were just on the phone with said!

The whole idea around the E-Commerce 3.0 concept is how do we put together a single solution with a single source of truth that communicates to the customer that we know who you are, we understand your needs and we truly want to look after you and service you, without having to spend an arm and a leg building dozens of API connections.

Research from Salesforce tells us that whilst 75% of companies feel they are customer-centric, only a small percentage of their customers agree that they are. *

Our aim is to help small business owners close that gap between thinking you are customer-centric and customers agreeing with you.

Another key trend is around the customer experience. When we see research that shows one in three customers leave a brand they love from just ONE bad experience, we know that focusing on the customer experience is going to be important and those brands that do it well will prosper by delivering exactly what the customer needs and wants.

What are some of the ways that you feel brands can drive the overall user journey/buying journey in eCommerce with better features today? 

The core concept here is a single view of the customer. We want an integrated system where there is only ONE CUSTOMER RECORD. Not a situation where different systems hold different data and overwrite the most recent information through incompatibility. Or worse still, having to open multiple systems to piece together a view of the customer.

If we understand where in the journey a customer is, and why they are behaving in a particular way, we can communicate relevant information or offers to them. Offering a guest checkout if they fail to put in their data, offering a shipping voucher if they abandon a purchase at that stage. How much better would this experience be than the common occurrence where a customer has just bought something from you, and then they get a random discount offer on that same item a few days later?

A few ways in which you’ve seen smaller brands drive a great end-to-end buying experience with streamlined technologies.  

A great experience is personal. We all like to be treated as an individual. Linking Salesforce with the Marketing Cloud solution and StoreConnect we have seen fantastic personalization of messages that are appropriate to the customer’s journey and current experience with the brand. Instead of a blanket 20% discount to all customers, even small companies can now offer a much more personalized and appropriate marketing communication, thus leading customers on a journey where they feel listened to, understood, and serviced. When a single customer lands on the website from an EDM, the experience and offers on the site can be personalized too, as it is all part of a single customer-facing solution.

Using this single system, a small business owner can really move from E-Commerce tech being a cost to it being an investment where your return can be easily observed and calculated down to individual customers.

And after all, E-Commerce should be like any other investment you make in business. It should always be about the return on investment and capital employed. Not the cost per month of a particular subscription.

Unfortunately, the promise of a lot of the current crop of E-Commerce 2.0 solutions that are separate is that the business owner must pay humans to make one computer talk to another. This is a complete waste of money. E-Commerce 3.0 solutions make it possible to buy a single system that suits your business, delivers what you need and lets you see a return on that purchase.

How do you feel the impact of AI in eCommerce will change how the segment works?  

AI will have a massive impact. Humans buy on emotion, even when they buy on price it is still an emotional decision. We should really be calling AI, machine learning really gives the business owner the ability to crunch a lot of data, and find the relevant information, trends and intelligence within their market segment that allows them to offer a personal, customer-centric experience. Customers feel like they are being listened to, cared for, and serviced.

One of the biggest reasons we built StoreConnect on top of Salesforce is that it has this AI or machine learning built in. And small business owners will need access to this to craft the experiences for their customers. And in the process, be able to compete against the larger well-resourced competitors by thinking, acting and being closer to their customers.

Read More: Mastering Sales in 2023 Will Require Masterful Outbound

We’d love to hear some of your thoughts on the future of eCommerce and what trends will shape the market going forward? 

The big trend moving forward is this intersection of having customer data that allows you to be customer-centric and deliver a personalized experience. These three things need to be done well in your business.

Our ethos at StoreConnect is Time. Well Spent. We are aiming to deliver to our customers, so they can deliver to their customers an experience that respects their time. We will have the right data available, we will know the customer, we will know their needs and wants, and we’ll know where they are in the journey, so they can feel like they have been treated as an individual and been serviced at the level they expect. We won’t send marketing that is out of date or irrelevant to them. This will lead to our SMB customers building loyal customer communities, being more profitable, and ultimately being more valuable brands.

We want to change the way companies and customers deal with E-Commerce and that will be the biggest trend of all.

Small businesses can’t waste time setting up their business on a platform only to repeat the process by changing platforms when they want to scale, nor do they want to waste time figuring out how to integrate multiple platforms. StoreConnect (built on Salesforce) gives clients a complete, powerful, configurable eCommerce and CRM solution where they can manage their website, online and in-store sales, provide amazing customer service, run all their digital marketing campaigns, and have up-to-date detailed metrics, reporting and full understanding of their customer. They were awarded Salesforce’s 2021 International Partner Innovation Award of the year for the Retail sector and are changing the ease with which small businesses are run ─ with a manageable price tag. StoreConnect is Time. Well spent.

Mikel Lindsaar, CEO and founder of StoreConnect, is an experienced technology entrepreneur whose mission is to infuse small and medium-sized businesses with the power to be successful in eCommerce 3.0 and scale to meet growing demand.

Missed The Latest Episode of The SalesStar Podcast? Have a quick listen here!

Episode 151: Driving Growth Across e-Tail with Kate Musgrove, Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Bazaarvoice

Episode 150: The Future of Customer Success with Allison Tiscornia, Chief Customer Officer at ChurnZero

Episode 149: Sales Practices and Tips For Recessionary Times with Ed Hill, SVP – EMEA at Bazaarvoice

 

 

 

Brought to you by
For Sales, write to: contact@martechseries.com
Copyright © 2024- SalesTechStar. All Rights Reserved. Website Design:SalesTechStar | Privacy Policy