Retail, Algorithms, and a Unicorn: Reflections on a Milestone
Ecommerce is Having a Moment: Jeff Bezos, We Salute You!
Guru Hariharan, CEO/Founder CommerceIQ
What a week of milestones for Amazon, CommerceIQ and the ecommerce industry as a whole!
While Amazon closed out 2020 with a whopping $386B in sales, CommerceIQ celebrated our own record-breaking year with triple-digit growth of our ecommerce channel optimization business.
Another huge milestone this week was saying goodbye to the pioneer of ecommerce and my former chief, Jeff Bezos. But, before closing the chapter on his legacy, I wanted to share some of my personal lessons learned from working with Jeff and how it has impacted the success of CommerceIQ.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a founder and CEO with roots in machine learning and AI. That background came in handy during my five years at Amazon from 2004-2009, when the focus of my work was using AI to help build Amazon’s automated vendor management system for sellers and vendors. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. There are two important lessons I learned that shaped who I am as a founder, CEO and team leader.
- Hands down, focusing on the customer first and knowing when to make big bets were lessons that served me well. Those convictions helped me start my own company in 2012, Boomerang Commerce, which I later sold to our then customer, Lowes. That technology is now integrated into Lowes core retail business, used to bolster their data-driven pricing and merchandise assortment decisions for the entire business.
- The second most important lesson I learned was the continual pursuit of innovation. After the Lowes acquisition, I continued building out our machine learning ecommerce platform and rebranded the company to CommerceIQ. Today, that technology has evolved into a massively scalable modern operating system that helps brands like Georgia Pacific and Duracell – accounting for billions of dollars in ecommerce sales and marketing spend – win in the Ecommerce channel. We support not just Amazon, but Walmart and Instacart now too. Our latest innovation is an Advertising Managed Service that helps brands use advertising as a lever to drive incremental growth.
Although we close the chapter to Jeff’s legacy as CEO, we look forward to watching his next big move. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Good luck Jeff!