5 Startups That Will Hugely Impact Holiday Shopping (That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of)
Behind crowded malls and flash sales, a ton of work goes into stocking the store shelves for the holidays. From placing an order, to coordinating with warehouses, to the physical shipment of products, there is a crucial player and process at every point of the journey making sure goods make it to your neighborhood mall, local business, and online store in time for Christmas. Startups are proudly filling part of that void and these five unsung heroes are helping shape the holiday shopping season.
1. Bringing Your Product to Reality: Sourcify
Every retailer needs a manufacturer, but oftentimes, finding the right manufacturer can take hours of research with no guarantees. Sourcify has created a marketplace of the world’s top manufacturers to enable retailers to source in an easy, reliable, and trustworthy way. They pre-screen and conduct detailed due diligence on each manufacturer before they let them join their marketplace to ensure companies are paired with a partner they can trust to get all their goods made in time for the holidays.
2. From Manufacturer to Your Store: Freightos
Freightos is the logistics technology company helping retailers bring their supply chain operations online and navigate the fickle waters of international shipping. Through their marketplace platform, retailers – which do the majority of their business during the holiday season (unsurprisingly) – can easily compare, manage, and track all their shipments. They empower retailers to take control over their supply chains, providing the tools necessary to manage the influx in holiday orders, while saving time and money that can be passed on to their customers
3. Your Customer’s Search, Understood: Twiggle
Search is the most personal touchpoint in the buying process. Twiggle uses natural language processing and AI to vastly improve search quality and ultimately convert searches to sales. Integrating directly into e-commerce stores, Twiggle’s search technology actually understands what the consumer is asking for, reducing the number of irrelevant results by up to 40%. With online holiday sales expected to be historic, Twiggle allows customers to find what they want without the frustration that online search often brings
4. From Storeroom to Your Doorstep: ShipBob
ShipBob makes fulfilling e-commerce simple, automatically managing and fulfilling orders placed through retailers’ online stores. They enable the ability to provide two-day shipping, which can mirror the fulfillment strength and power that top retailers provide — regardless of your size, too. Gathering quotes from all the major carriers before shipping every order, ShipBob uses the best value carrier and then passes the savings to their customers. The platform allows businesses to keep pace this holiday season, especially when you’re competing against the convenience factors of Amazon Prime and ShopRunner.
5. Interacting with the Customer: Conversable
In this increasingly detached retail environment, it is more important than ever to engage with customers. Conversable creates what they call “integrated customer care,” which allows for increased brand loyalty, higher convenience, and faster resolutions. With their platform, on-demand content is instantly available at the customer’s fingertips, when and where they want. Conversable’s SaaS platform allows brands to design, build, and distribute messaging that is AI-enhanced cross-platform (including Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Twitter, SMS, etc.) — which, come peak season, can help alleviate the extreme inbound of customer service.
The end-to-end consumer journey is expected to be a well-oiled machine, but even the retail titans feel the pain during the peak, e-commerce holiday season. Even though you may not see which startups are behind the scenes, these five, and many others are ramping up for a historic close to 2017. Let’s hope they continue to keep pace as the clock starts ticking, which will continue to validate that startups can be relied upon at scale.