Retail, Algorithms, and a Unicorn: Reflections on a Milestone
Who’s Who at CommerceIQ: Christian Wunderer
This week, we’re taking a deeper look at CommerceIQ’s customer success team, which helps our clients take full advantage of all the tools and capabilities available to them. I’m joined by Christian Wunderer, a CommerceIQ veteran of 2.5 years who has plenty of firsthand experience helping customers achieve their goals within our platform.
Q. Tell us a bit about your background and what motivated you to join CommerceIQ.
I spent a couple of years at Amazon helping 3P sellers expand their businesses internationally and then worked at agencies driving advertising strategy and success for e-commerce brands. At those agencies, I created a lot of manual and redundant reports every week to help clients make better decisions. I joined the CommerceIQ team after looking for tech jobs on LinkedIn. The CommerceIQ head of product showed me the technology that the team had built which fully automated the redundant processes of my old job and produced significantly better results than an agency could ever hope to achieve by just throwing more people at the problem. Here, we have all necessary information synthesized in an automatically updated platform that is also empowered to take action automatically. As an example, we integrate share of voice, profitability, and inventory awareness with your advertising and drive better ad spend decisions through millions of automations.
Q. What does the role of Customer Success entail here?
We align with customer objectives by designing and executing strategies that grow profitable market share through machine learning. For example, one client in the furniture category had per-day weekend sales that were 60% lower compared to their daily weekday sales, yet they were still spending the same amount on advertising throughout the week. We used our hourly bidder and budget optimizer tools to automatically align their ad spend with revenue on an ongoing basis. Ad spend became more efficient on the weekends, doubling their return on advertising spend for these days while total ordered products sales on Amazon increased 18%. I’m proud to have helped drive these results as a part of our managed services for clients.
Q. How do you measure the impact of your work?
We measure the impact of our work by the results of our customers’ business. When customers are winning Share of Voice, dominating their categories, and executing faster and more efficiently than their competitors, they are winning the e-commerce battle and so are we. It’s all in the metrics. For instance, one of our customers transitioned to a managed service agreement this year for their Amazon business, and, as a result, they crushed Prime Day compared to last year. They tripled their ordered product sales and increased ad spend by almost 7x with only an 80% increase in ad spend from Prime Day last year. These are great results.
Q. What about the customer? How do they view CommerceIQ and what does success look like to them?
Customers are excited about seeing the results of their investment into our platform directly impact their bottom line through revenue generation and revenue leakage prevention. They get excited about the automations and data insights that enable them to execute faster and more strategically. To quote one customer’s Senior Director of E-commerce, “I knew we needed an e-commerce partner with a technology-first approach to help us optimize supply chain, sales operations, and retail media spend. I’ve been impressed by how quickly the CommerceIQ Channel Optimization Platform and e-commerce experts have become an integral part of how we run and profitably grow our Amazon business. We are now exploring how to take the same approach with our other channels.”
Q. Can you describe an “aha” moment with a client?
Our market insights capabilities produce these moments continuously as brands learn more about their expanded competitive set in prioritized categories and learn which digital shelves are trending up and need increased ad support. Just knowing where the market is headed long term and which opportunities are solidifying into trends helps drive advertising strategy to deliver truly incremental results. For example, one client launched a media event that boosted many search terms relevant to their offer. We were able to look at search frequency rank changes to determine not the more obvious opportunities but also a plethora of smaller but significant rising keywords that represented significant incremental volume once their dollar opportunity was aggregated. By tracking changes in keyword rankings within our Market Insights dashboard, brands can easily uncover otherwise hidden opportunities and visualize their ranking. This technology is new, and our customers love it!
Q. Given you are on the front lines, where do you see the e-commerce space evolving in 5 years?
Machine learning will be one of the differentiating factors that will determine the winners of first e-commerce and then brick and mortar retail ecosystems. Those brands that invest early will grab an outsized market share. For e-commerce professionals, their job descriptions will shift towards strategy and insights as execution becomes ever-more automated. However, even machine automation will become more strategic over time. A lot of what we are building at CommerceIQ are increasingly efficient automations, and eventually, insights and some higher-level decisions will be automatic in the industry, freeing up people to determine the long-term pivots and goals their company needs to make to thrive.
Q. Finally, given we have so many openings on the Customer Success team, can you describe what are the attributes that make someone successful?
Our leadership principles sum it up nicely: Being obsessed with customer needs, taking ownership of the work, and delivering results will make anyone successful at CommerceIQ and allow them to become a real asset to the team. And teamwork is of the utmost importance. Here, everyone works toward a common goal instead of working in isolated silos, and there’s strong communication between the sales, customer success, product, and engineering teams. Whenever we run a big pilot program for a client, all departments come together to build out anything the client needs to be successful. Finally, data is at the core of what we do, so it’s important to be detail-oriented and inquisitive. We are always looking for great people to join the team, and our Recharge Friday (having the last Friday of every month off) is a great perk!