While 2019 may have been the year of the DTCs, the birth of a new decade may mark the start of an era dedicated to omnichannel retail strategies.
NewStore, a cloud program that provides omnichannel-as-a-service, has received $20 million in strategic investments to kick off 2020.
Led by Salesforce Ventures, the fresh funding also includes contributions from the company’s existing investors like Activant Capital, General Catalyst and the company’s own founder and CEO, Stephan Schambach.
Direct-to-consumer apparel standouts like men’s shirting brand Untuckit, active wear label Decathlon and It-Girl athleisure favorite Outdoor Voices have utilized the NewStore platform to manage in-store operations, inventory and selling capabilities.
Brand clients can access all of the platform’s functionality through a dedicated app. Currently, several hundred stores are using NewStore to manage global operations from their iPhones, the company said in a statement.
While e-commerce has gone through a meteoric ascent over the past decade, consumer data analysis shows that shoppers still have an unshakable affinity for brick-and-mortar. Despite DTC’s advances in marketing, CX and logistics (like fast, low-cost or free shipping), the in-store experience remains important to consumers who value convenience and enjoy the sensory benefits of seeing products in person.
As both brick-and-mortar retailers and digitally native brands race to meet shoppers’ expectations, both are looking for ways to bridge the gap between online and in-store. Consumers demand a streamlined experience, and often interact with multiple channel touch-points before finally making a purchase.
NewStore encourages brands and retailers to ditch outdated technologies and legacy systems instead of trying to connect them into a tenuous operational daisy chain. The platform provides end-to-end visibility and control across all of a brand’s touch points, as well as making use of revenue driving features like endless-aisle, mobile checkout, inventory and clienteling.
With the latest infusion of funding, NewStore will integrate with Salesforce’s AI-powered commerce platform and Order Management System (OMS). Mike Micucci, CEO of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, said that the move will “give customers even more choice in how they deliver omnichannel experiences to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of their shoppers.”
“We’ve witnessed an interesting life cycle in retail over the last few decades. Brands have pivoted between channels, trying to meet shoppers where they are, said Stephan Schambach, NewStore’s founder and CEO.
Today’s shoppers are everywhere, and they don’t discriminate between channels. Omnichannel has become a strategic imperative, he added.
“It’s not easy to operate stores in today’s digitally-driven world. Despite stores being a source of great frustration, they also represent a major opportunity.”