Today, we are delighted to announce our investment in Narvar, a rapidly expanding customer engagement platform for the e-commerce segment. The Company has partnered with some of the world’s most well-known online retailers to enable shipping, tracking, notifications, and returns capabilities, which collectively drive stronger post-purchase customer engagement and long-term customer loyalty.
E-commerce growth in recent years has been relentless. In 2017, consumers spent $453B online, up from $391B the year before (or 16% year-over-year growth, the highest percentage increase since 2011). E-commerce now represents 13% of all retail sales in the US (up from 11.6% in 2016), and analysts only expect this percentage to expand from here. For some time, we have been living in an era of Amazon’s dominance where there are now more than 100M Prime members in the US that have the ability to instantly order just about anything that comes to mind with the single click of a button – not to mention, with shipping, tracking, and returns all tacked on for free. Needless to say, many consumers take these capabilities for granted, but for most online retailers, these are immensely challenging areas to iron out.
At ScaleVP, we have been keeping a close watch on some of the major shifts happening across the e-commerce landscape. For example, back in 2016, my colleague, Alex Niehenke, wrote about some of the disruptive forces and innovations that were altering the world of online commerce, and highlighted a few areas which we felt were destined to change. We came to understand many of the complexities and challenges that retailers face in delivering a strong post-purchase experience to their customer base, and it was through this work that we were first led to Narvar.
In the face of competition that has never been stronger, an increasing number of retailers are recognizing the need to optimize the customer experience. Narvar has built the platform that stitches together and simplifies the post-purchase workflow for some of the world’s most iconic brands. This is no easy task, and involves technology that runs deep into the stack, beginning with integrations for standard shipping carriers and 3PLs all the way through customers’ warehouse management and point of sale systems – connecting what would otherwise be a complex nexus of disparate systems and initiatives.
Many retailers are beginning to see the post-purchase experience as a necessary journey to success and long-term loyalty. Getting this right allows brands to drive repeat purchases, increase engagement, cut back overhead, and gain an edge in the already extremely competitive world of online retail. To that end, we are thrilled to partner with Amit and the rest of the Narvar team for the next chapters of their journey, and warmly welcome them to the ScaleVP family.
Sam Baker contributed to this post