Dave Scheine, Australia’s Country Manager at Vend tells us about its partnership with BigCommerce and the bright future for independent businesses online.
BigCommerce and Vend have announced their partnership, with aims to create a better platform for SMB and mid-sized businesses to connect with new customers. This union also provides greater access around the globe while managing day-to-day operations, sales, products and customers ‘seamlessly’ and in real-time.
How will Vend & BigCommerce’s partnership change the way independent retailers do business in Australia?
Vend’s partnership with BigCommerce gives thousands of independent Aussie retailers access to more customers and greater choice about how they run their business. Thanks to this partnership, Australian small businesses can now access best in class retail technology and support that much larger enterprise companies pay millions of dollars to build and maintain. The union creates an easier, more profitable way for SMB and fast growing mid-sized Aussie retailers to compete with big box and chain stores. This is because they have the potential to reach billions of more customers through new social media and online sales channels while managing the day-to-day store operations with seamless sync of sales, products, customers and inventory in real time.
How do Vend and BigCommerce work well together?
Vend is a cloud-based point-of-sale and retail management software that lets retailers run their business in-store, online, and on-the-go. Vend’s large and open ecosystem means independent retailers can build their tech stack to best suit their business needs, and Vend’s partner-led approach means our software integrates seamlessly with the world’s best-in-class e-commerce, accounting, hardware and marketing platforms, like BigCommerce, Xero, PayPal and Apple.
Vend is trusted by retailers in over 140 countries and is used in more than 25,000 stores worldwide. Vend currently powers more than 6,000 Australian stores. In 2018, Vend stores had over AU$8.5B turnover globally and over AU$2.3B turnover here in Australia.
BigCommerce is the world’s leading cloud e-commerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. Combining enterprise functionality, an open architecture and app ecosystem, and market-leading performance, BigCommerce enables businesses to grow online sales with 80 per cent less cost, time and complexity than on-premise software. BigCommerce powers B2B and B2C e-commerce for more than 60,000 stores, 2,000+ mid-market businesses, 30 Fortune 1000 companies and industry-leading brands, including Assurant, Ben & Jerry’s, Paul Mitchell, Skullcandy, Sony and Toyota.
Vend and BigCommerce are two of the largest and most successful cloud-based software companies to have launched first Down Under. Both now have a strong global presence and are considered best of breed retail technologies.
How is consumer behaviour adapting?
Consumers expect to be able to shop anywhere, anytime and on the go. The future is bright for Australia’s independent retailers who embrace technology to run their business, and who combine both online sales channels with a unique brick-and-mortar customer experience. Having an omnichannel shopping offer is crucial, and will enable independent retailers to punch above their weight when it comes to competition from big-box retailers, multinational chain stores and online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. These retailers also need to differentiate themselves from competitors, through having beautifully curated products, offering inspiring in-store experiences and developing customer loyalty in personalised ways, with which the major chains can’t compete. Independent retailers who take their business to the cloud will find they’ll become more profitable, save time and have a loyal customer base, because they can easily manage inventory, collect customer data, re-order and track sales from anywhere, anytime.
Do you think there’s been a significant change in the past five years?
The retail landscape has never been more competitive, with more multinational brands entering Australia. The modern shopper is time poor, prioritises convenience and is more tech-savvy than ever before. However, they also enjoy visiting a physical store because of the experience on offer. The vast majority of shopping still occurs in-store. Some shoppers crave the social component of shopping, others because they love the excitement of treasure hunts and product discovery, others because of the level of service they can receive in store. Then there are those who want to touch and feel items for themselves. Customers are also much more likely to purchase from a business if they offer multiple delivery options. Consumers expect a consistent experience both online and offline and retailers who genuinely know their customers and can cater to them with a curated offering are more likely to thrive.
Where do you see customer behaviour going in a projection of five months?
The approaching election, the recent budget, the state of the economy, and even the RBA decision on interest rates might have a short term impact on consumer shopping behaviour in Australia. In this environment, where customers might tighten their belts and become more price sensitive, successful retailers will really need to up their game around the customer experience, and leverage technology to offer the right products at the right price to the right customers.
Have you seen any changes that you think need to be made in the retail industry?
It’s crucial for independent retailers to ensure their customers have a seamless shopping experience between online and in store. In Australia, many retailers still do not track their inventory to ensure they have the right stock to sell at the right time in the right location. This results in a poor shopping experience. Retailers need to start thinking of e-commerce as part of their business and look at how it integrates with the overall shopping experience, so that they can have consistency across all sales channels.
The key benefits to retailers of this new partnership include:
- Enabling retailers to design their retail tech stack with best-in-class POS and e-commerce technology to offer customers a seamless online and offline shopping experience.
- Opening new sales channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and online marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, while sales and inventory stay in sync.
- Boosting profits; retailers using Vend with BigCommerce will get deeper insights into what’s selling best and where for smarter purchasing decisions.
- Instantly identifying sales trends to compare the performance of online and brick-and-mortar stores, track sales, margins and inventory.
- Tailoring inventory displays by fulfilling stock between locations or combining inventory from selected stores and warehouses to sell online.
- Centralised operations for managing sales, customers and inventory while physical and online stores update in real time.
- Small businesses can access the retail technology and support that much larger enterprise companies pay millions of dollars for.
How can this collaboration help contribute change to the online retail landscape?
It levels the playing field for SMB and fast growing mid-sized Aussie independent retailers and enables them to compete against huge enterprise businesses, while still providing their customers with the modern shopping experience they’ve come to expect.=
We’re proud of the fact that two leading companies born out of the tech ecosystems in Australia and New Zealand have partnered to improve the shopping experience globally and help independent retailers win.
Like this story? Sign-up for the free Pulse Weekly Newsletter for more essential online retail content.