SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Nicolas Stehle, CEO at Scalefast

In order for brands to ensure a more seamless online buying journey and digital shopping experience, it is time for them to focus on improving and uplifting their customer’s end to end ecommerce experience, Nicolas Stehle, CEO at Scalefast shares a few more pertinent observations in this chat with SalesTech Star:

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Hi Nicolas, we’d love to hear more about Scalefast’s growth and journey through the years…

My co-founders and I have been building start-ups together for more than 20 years. In 2014, we saw that most brands were committed to selling direct to their consumers but were massively underperforming. They had to choose between a massive IT infrastructure that was had to adapt and grow or use too simplistic solutions that couldn’t meet enterprise needs. We knew we could develop an ecommerce solution that could be simple to manage yet flexible and sophisticated enough for global enterprise brands.  

Another key challenge for brands was the inability to launch global operations in a few weeks at a predictable cost. We do that for them, giving them peace of mind and allowing them to focus on great products, growth and revenue. Since 2014 we’ve grown to over 200 employees across offices in the U.S., France and Spain with new expansions coming for Japan and Canada

Read More: How To Boost Customer Satisfaction With Field Service Solutions

eCommerce trends are evolving even more during this time, in the midst of the pandemic: can you share a few top observations on how top eCommerce providers (around the world) are now innovating differently to meet user needs?

Many brands are realizing (many the hard way!) that their ecommerce platform has outgrown its utility.

Their platform is no longer able to adapt to the changing marketplace because it was customized for a snapshot in time. The pandemic has shined a light on the brands who had nimble solutions that could be adapted to sell direct to consumers. Brands who didn’t, have been reliant on legacy retail distribution models and Amazon. This costs brands competitiveness, cash flow and their relationship with their customers.

We have focused on building a solution of tools that enhances or replaces a brand’s existing platform to give them the agility they need to better compete in the future by shortening supply chains and getting to know their customer. Innovation is focused on speed to market and user experience – so in addition to developing an ecommerce solution that launches brands into new markets in weeks, not months – we have acquired Air360, a user analytics platform that gives brands a much more complete picture of users on their site. 

What are some of the top capabilities you feel eCommerce/SaaS providers need to now focus on strengthening to meet near-future market needs and changes?

2020 made the industry realize how delicate supply chains can be while sustainability emerged as top organizational goal for many brands, especially in the luxury segment. It seems obvious, but innovation needs to make it easier to turn over more inventory at a lower cost to the brand. Segmenting online shopping experiences by international market or by subsets of customers is one way to do that, but it wasn’t realistic with yesterday’s ecommerce platforms because it took too long and was too expensive.

Scalefast solves for the fact that one size does not fit all. The market is changing too quickly for brands to build the organization required to be successful in global expansion or servicing existing customers at a level they now expect. One example is customer expectations for a contactless experience. In addition to self-guided AR experiences, YouTube has introduced live selling events that blend ecommerce with a brick and mortar buying experience.  We are already seeing customers shop a store live online with a store associate and that item picked up in a drive through lane at the local mall.  Retail skill sets and logistics will be completely re-set in the next year. Outsourcing professional services and business infrastructure gets brands to critical mass quickly and without the risk. 

Can you share a few thoughts on what it takes today to create a balanced end to end shopping experience for online users?

In an even more competitive online environment, convenience (return, refunds, payment & shipping options, etc.), transparency (origin of products, privacy & return policies, customer notification, etc.) and deep knowledge of customer’s behavior and preferences (advanced customer experience analytics such as Air360) are key. Shoppers want a seamless experience between the first touch point and delivery to their door. A single ecommerce transaction can involve 20 or more different technology and logistics vendors. A balanced end-to-end experience is dependent upon shortening and simplifying that chain of technology. 

A few must-dos that every CEO / Founder in SaaS should follow through 2021 as they shape product roadmaps and marketing/sales plans?

  • Start with your customer’s customer. They wake up every day thinking about them, so you should too.
  • Maintain cash reserves.  The market’s pace of change requires the ability to move quickly on investments in acquisitions or human capital
  • Hire for where you are going, not where you’ve been. Don’t scrimp on getting the best talent available.
  • We’re in the middle of a massive market disruption.  Technologies that allow brands to differentiate themselves from the market will gain strong footholds as retail recovers post-Covid.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Dmitri Lisitski, CEO and Co-founder at Influ2

Scalefast

Scalefast is the modern way for brands to sell online, empowering them to regain the control and simplicity they need to create an exceptional shopping experience. For enterprise companies looking to increase the performance of their eCommerce channel, Scalefast is the end-to-end eCommerce solution that makes it fast and simple to launch into new global markets or jump-start brand growth with DTC, almost instantly. Scalefast is your eCommerce accelerator.

Nicolas Stehle is founder and CEO at Scalefast.

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