It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day for Commerce Partnerships

As Stitch Labs’ first Partner Marketer, I’m fortunate to have an in-depth perspective on eCommerce activities and the relationships we have with our partners in the broader commerce ecosystem. Our partners play an influential role in the way we grow Stitch Labs’ unified inventory operations platform, and, more importantly, how we’re shaping the modern commerce landscape.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Most of commerce is living in the year 2006. Legacy solutions are pervasive, continuing to deliver legacy services with operational performance that has remained stagnant for over a decade. Though online storefront branding has become sexier and many retailers are taking advantage of new, targeted marketing tactics, most back-end operational technologies — inventory, order, and warehouse management — have not developed as fast as the space is moving.

Retailers shouldn’t have to settle for back-end technologies that can’t keep pace with their front-end systems. Stitch is on a mission to unshackle retailers from these legacy systems that are perpetuating inefficiencies and preventing them from scaling to their full potential. We’re seizing the opportunity to offer growing retailers a new level of automation, intelligence, and visibility into their business.

The Emergence of Appified Commerce

As SMB retailers grow and no longer need out-of-the-box solutions, they’re searching for technologies customized for their unique workflows. Retailers are sick and tired of the same old bulky, slow, and costly ERP solutions to manage their overall operations. Their capabilities are severely limited by their ERP’s legacy functionality and they often find themselves spending more time managing their workflows than focusing on what matters most: their customers.

Today, retailers want to utilize best of breed technologies to help them manage each of their specific business functions, but they need these systems to be interoperable. They are piecing together eCommerce applications, including top solutions like Shopify Plus, ShipStation, Shipwire, Scout’s topShelf, inDinero, andSquare, to power their business. These applications enable retailers to build more agile solutions that allow them to better scale their operations as their sales grow. Commerce is evolving from providing out-of-the-box software and large, unspecialized ERP solutions to a cloud-based application marketplace of innovative and customizable solutions that are solving the biggest problems retailers face today.

These are the types of applications Stitch is partnering with to build seamless integrations, new service offerings, improved support, and educational resources that empower retailers to increase efficiencies and boost revenue. We’re in a special time to coordinate efforts and blaze a trail to provide a completely new alternative.

The Unified Future of Commerce

As a centralized inventory operations platform, Stitch is in a unique position to connect all these modern commerce applications while also helping to bridge the gap from intrenched legacy systems. Our partnerships are multifaceted, from engineering and product development to sales enablement and tech support. We’re bonded under the simple notion that their success is contingent on our success. We’re not in this for short-term gains, we’re playing the long game. We believe through our partnerships we can provide a new, better option for retailers in a space desperately in need of something different, something with the future in mind.

The relationships we have with our partners are never secondary in nature. We put a tremendous amount of attention and focus on our partners to provide as much help as possible. We live by four key characteristics to continually ensure a healthy and effective relationship to reach everyone’s goals: transparency, awareness, proactiveness, and alignment.

Transparency: Let’s be honest, how many times does a partner beat around the bush on customer counts, web traffic, page visits, sign-ups, etc. It happens far too often, especially in today’s world where data is driving decisions, it’s inefficient for both parties to throw smoke. We provide complete transparency into our partner relationships to build trust, yield more opportunities, and set realistic expectations. This is one of the many reasons we built a premier partner scorecard to be shared on a monthly basis. This report highlights growth/revenue numbers, company updates, recent customer quotes, and potential opportunities for our premium partners. This information is at their fingertips every month to be shared with the rest of the organization.

Proactiveness: We’re in the business of building proactive relationships. We strive for quick responses, actionable agenda items, and execution across the board. We want to move the needle. Make magic happen. We’re growing as fast as the space is allowing us and we want to stay on top of our relationships. We have an under 10 minute response rule, if we can’t get to the email upon arrival, we will let you know and respond as soon as we can. We understand that no one wants to feel like they’re being ignored.

Awareness: We’re working in a space that’s moving extremely fast. Every week there’s news that breaks out that can either change the way we work together or open up new opportunities for us to capitalize on. We’re constantly keeping an eye on what’s happening in the news to think about ways we can improve our partnerships. We want our partners to be informed just as much as we are. We’re keeping tabs so we think they should too.

Alignment: The better information can be relayed in real-time, the more aligned and efficient we will be in achieving our goals. In conjunction with the premium partner scorecard, we hope to increase our alignment with our partners through every interaction. The last thing we want to do is not be on the same page. We make sure the goal of every call, campaign, or initiative is clearly stated before diving deep into the project. Let’s work together to solve hard problems.

Through our partnerships, we have the ability to disrupt old technology and build capabilities retailers have been dreaming about for decades. Together, we can bring retail technology into the 21st century.