Retail, Algorithms, and a Unicorn: Reflections on a Milestone

    March 22, 2022
    CommerceIQ on Times Square image

    By Guru Hariharan, CommerceIQ Founder and CEO

    I started CommerceIQ to democratize retail ecommerce, leveling the playing field for brands so that the very best products reach consumers’ hands. For years, retail ecommerce platforms like Amazon have used algorithms to their advantage when negotiating and have also upended the competitive playing field for consumer brands against each other. Today over 2,200 brands use CommerceIQ to level the playing field by putting AI on their side when negotiating with retailers and out-maneuvering their competition. Our vision has been validated in the market and is reflected in our recent Series D funding round that brought in $115 million in new capital, a phenomenal new investor in Softbank, and unicorn status for CommerceIQ. Only about 1% of all venture capital-backed startups become unicorns, private companies valued at over $1 billion.  To have gotten this far after less than 5 years is cause to celebrate the commitment and hard work of all involved. We couldn’t have done this without our passionate workforce, forward-thinking customers, and strategic investors.

    It helps that we believe in our mission.

    As ecommerce has come of age, the old way of doing business is no longer possible. Online shopping means navigating a digital shelf, leveraging dynamic pricing, and managing real-time advertising. Changes can be made instantly as millions of shoppers are searching for millions of items with dozens of different associated variables. There is simply too much to manage manually between buyers and vendors. Paradoxically, the digital nature of the online shopping experience has given retailers and vendors more control and transparency than ever before, but it is impossible to optimize with the manual processes and actions that manufacturers have successfully used for decades. To compete, brands must embrace the digital nature of their business and use a platform built for our digital age of buying and selling. In short, yesterday’s retail is personal, tomorrow’s retail platform must be algorithmic.

    Enter CommerceIQ.

    Here, we are at the leading edge of helping consumer brands transform their ecommerce from analog to algorithmic–breaking down silos and intelligently automating all aspects of selling online through retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Instacart.  To grow market share and grow profitably in retail ecommerce, brands need to move fast, make better decisions in real-time from all available data sources, and scale like never before.  That’s why we are building the premier Retail ecommerce Management Platform for brands to drive profitable market share growth across all of their online retail channels. We don’t take this mission lightly.  The payoffs are enormous.  The vision is proven.  We’re just getting started and now is the time to scale.

    In an automated world, we’re proud to provide our customers with a unified retail ecommerce management platform that acts as a single source of truth for data on vendor assortments, advertising campaigns, and supply chain operations. Furthermore, our AI and machine learning algorithms can analyze all this data in its entirety to produce strategic recommendations for how manufacturers can achieve their KPIs. Finally, a constant stream of actions like search term bid adjustments and ticket filings can be performed automatically without any human oversight at all. We help keep the business operations of brands optimized in real-time with an always-on solution to stay ahead of their competitors. We’ve built something that stands head and shoulders above the market. 

    Our customers agree and we’re proud to work with an ever-expanding list of many of the top consumer brands. Here’s a sample of what they have to say:

    “Issues that would take weeks to identify are now being flagged and resolved on the same day.”

    “Before CommerceIQ, I spent 90% of my time just submitting disputes and going over them one by one. Now, I only spend a fraction of that time.”

    “CommerceIQ’s retail ecommerce management platform provides substantial benefits giving us the ability to understand performance across granular targets.”

    To all of our customers, we know this is as much your accomplishment as it is ours. Thank you for being a partner to make CommerceIQ better and we celebrate our success together.

    In any fast-growing startup, our ability to hire, develop, and learn from top talent is another huge source of our success—and our future. And at the heart of our ability to succeed is culture. Our culture is summed up by three concepts. IQ, EQ, and LQ. IQ is not just about raw intellectual horsepower, but also about taking ownership of results and having a bias for action.  EQ is equally important and no matter the role it is critical to be customer-obsessed, hire and develop top talent, and win together as ONE TEAM.  Many companies think about IQ and EQ in some form, but in a hyper-growth startup where we are building a whole new category, I strongly believe that the “LQ” or learning quotient of our team is a real game-changer.  Our people are naturally curious, eager to dive deep, and not afraid to take big bests and innovate.

    At CommerceIQ, creating an ‘employer of choice’ culture is more than just lip service. We unleash the brightest minds in ecommerce and AI to solve the most impactful challenges of our time, have a remote-work-first culture for ultimate flexibility, pay generously competitive salaries, and offer other work-life balance features that are hard to match. Our employees are a uniquely passionate group of individuals that form the backbone of CommerceIQ’s future growth. 

    After all, we are on a mission to transform Retail Ecommerce Management from analog to algorithmic. And we’re always hiring.


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