As e-commerce balloons to take over more of consumers’ time and money, even consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are thinking more about their online shopping experience — offerings things like groceries, paper products, or cleaning supplies through the web. But it’s often just not as easy to buy these products digitally as it should be.
A team made up of e-commerce veterans is making that easier with their retail tech startup, SmartCommerce. The company, which is in the Advanced Technology Development (ATDC) portfolio, enables a technology that lies under online ads for CPG brands and shortens the buyer’s path to purchase.
Co-founder and CEO Jennifer Silverberg explains, “If you think of brands at any digital touchpoint trying to make it easy for somebody to act on being interested in a product… you see an ad for Skittles and you want to buy them. We enable a technology that sits underneath or inside of that ad that allows the consumers to directly send that product to a retailer cart.”
“We’ve taken what used to be a cumbersome path of five or six clicks and shorten it to a single click or two,” says Silverberg.
The technology can also enable more innovative online shopping experiences — for example, allowing a consumer to add everything needed for a recipe to a single cart with one click. It all centers around making the customer experience easier.
Silverberg was previously CMO of Channel Intelligence, an e-commerce platform acquired by Google in 2013 that also worked with retailers like Target and Best Buy. The SmartCommerce team of nine in the U.S. collectively has decades of experience in the e-commerce industry.
They funded development of the product, which was handled by an international development team, with a rolling pre-Series A round over the last year. Investors included Frank Blake, former CEO of Home Depot, whom Silverberg says “understood the challenges that retail brands are facing intimately”.
Atlanta-based Valor Ventures also joined the pre-A round with an undisclosed amount.
“The impulse purchase is evolving. SmartCommerce has the platform for the impulse purchase of the future. Our partnership is thrilled to get behind the disruptive technology this proven team is bringing to market,” says Lisa Calhoun, Valor’s Managing Partner.
Over the last year, the two-year-old startup has already landed some of the largest international food and beverage and home goods companies as clients — brands like Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Nestle, and Del Monte Foods. Atlanta-based Georgia Pacific, which sells its paper products like tissue, napkins, and paper towels to consumers, is another client.
Silverberg says that, though they had more client interest than they could handle at first, they are now opening a Series A funding round and seeking $4M to expand sales and implementation.