Symphony Wins Prestigious 2015 TiE50 Award!

Symphony Wins Prestigious 2015 TiE50 Award!

Symphony Commerce, an end-to-end Commerce as a Service platform, has been selected as a “2015 TiE50 Winner” for the prestigious TiE50 Technology Awards Program. Open to all technology start-ups worldwide, the TiE50 Technology Award winners were announced at the organization’s annual entrepreneurial conference, TiEcon.

After starting with a field of 2,716 companies worldwide. Symphony Commerce has emerged as one of these best-in-breed companies, showing that Symphony’s mission of democratizing commerce is the kind of innovation that can completely rewire the way commerce occurs in today’s multi-billion dollar market.

“… It is also worth mentioning that this is the only awards recognition in technology to be held by a large global non-profit organization with no fees. A team of about 60 highly accomplished domain experts, senior executives, accomplished and experiences venture capitalists, and tech entrepreneurs come together to form a screening and judging team” said Venktesh Shukla, President of TiE Silicon Valley.

Symphony’s first-class commerce experience affects all aspects of the commerce stack, from flexible web store integration to fulfillment capabilities that rival Amazon’s. For instance, Symphony’s device-agnostic approach to website design fits commerce brands of all models, and is a great example of how Symphony backs mid-market brands to compete fairly with the big names. With such a wide range of functionality that scales to the specific needs of a unique brand, the 2015 TiE50 Winner award affirms Symphony’s mission to level the playing field for all commerce brands.

“Being named TiE50’s Top Startup is a tremendous milestone for Symphony Commerce’s mission to democratize commerce. Recognition of Symphony Commerce as the industry leader in Commerce as a Service is always appreciated, but particularly from an organization as prestigious as TiE. We are grateful for the award and are looking forward to deepening our relationship with the TiE community in the years to come”

– Harish Abbott, Co-Founder & CEO, Symphony Commerce

Should You Have Subscriptions?

Should You Have Subscriptions?

Retaining an existing customer is 20% of the cost of acquiring a new one. Besides the increase to your bottom line, the more brand loyalists you can have, the better.

Offering product subscriptions, or even basing your entire business around them, is becoming a great strategy for many businesses. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 35% of Global 2000 companies will rake in 10% of their revenue from subscription models (and this isn’t even counting media digital services, like Netflix).

Subscriptions extend lifetime value and reduce customer churn. In turn, your brand a chance to cultivate a base of loyal customers who help your business grow. This stability also gives you better insights in production and logistics, which helps you control costs.

But are subscriptions the right strategy for your brand? At Symphony, we offer industry leading Subscription commerce services – pre-paid, customer editable, administrative editable – with features like pause, accelerate and change. We’ll ask a few questions to see if you have the kind of products that customers would want on a consistent basis.

1. Is your product consumable?

If your product is something that needs to be bought again and again, then it’s helpful for you customer to have a subscription option. Baby wipes, for instance, are great subscription products since they’re one-and-done products. Baby blankets are generally not, since there’s no reason for customers to subscribe to a product that’s assumed to last.

It’s an obvious question, but still important.

2. Do you have a lot of repeat business?

Being a consumable isn’t enough for a product to succeed as a subscription. It has to be a product that your customers keep coming back for.

As such, your most popular products are ripe candidates for subscriptions. If it’s something that consistently flies off the shelf, then you can safely assume that customers would gladly pay for the convenience to subscribe to recurring shipments of it.

Even better, take a look at your order history and see if your returning customers continue to buy the same product. These are the kind of customers you want to target subscriptions towards anyways, because they’ll be more likely to purchase the subscription and less likely to cancel them.

3. Do you have the resources to build infrastructure around subscriptions?

Offering subscriptions is tricky business. You have to have software that’ll keep track of the customer’s payment and shipping information while enabling orders in sync with the customer’s preferred subscription plan.

Subscription errors can lead to costly chargebacks and dissatisfaction that nullify the business-growing benefits that subscriptions offer.

There are a couple of ways to build proper commerce infrastructure around subscriptions. First, you can find a specialized subscription solution that can integrate with your current set-up. The best subscription commerce services enable various forms of subscriptions – pre-paid, customer editable, administrative editable – with features like pause, accelerate and change. Finding a partner that can handle the integration and maintenance is essential, especially as you look to scale.

Or you can deploy with an end-to-end solution that offers subscriptions as part of its solution, which makes the maintenance and stability of your subscriptions naturally scalable.

There are plenty of compelling reasons to consider expanding your business model to include subscriptions: Greater lifetime value from your customers; better forecasting for your inventory and logistics; and cultivating brand loyalty.

Just make sure your products are good fits for subscriptions, and take care to choose the right solution to help you build your subscriptions out. At Symphony, our industry leading solution powers subscriptions for many of the market’s fastest growing brands.

Want to learn more about how Symphony can help you get your subscription business off the ground? Let’s talk.

Forbes Profile on Symphony President and Co-Founder Henry Kim

Forbes Profile on Symphony President and Co-Founder Henry Kim

Today, Forbes.com has released their profile on Symphony President and Co-Founder Henry Kim. Following Henry’s journey from investment banking, to managing an Orange Julius, to paving the way for democratized commerce for all, Forbes’ Chief Insights Officer Bruce Rogers helps shed light on Henry’s achievements and ambitions to make growth and success accessible for brands of all shapes and sizes.

As the demands of online brands evolve, Symphony Commerce will continue to follow our founders’ determination to remove the critical barriers to success so that brands can scale and grow on the merits of their core business.

Learn more about Henry’s story and how brands can learn how to compete in today’s commerce landscape.

Symphony Commerce named Shop.org Digital Commerce Start Up of the Year

Symphony Commerce named Shop.org Digital Commerce Start Up of the Year

Symphony Commerce, an enterprise-level commerce as a service platform, has been named the Shop.org Digital Commerce Start Up of the Year. Shop.org is a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF) focused on retailers who sell online.

In December, the National Retail Federation (NRF) narrowed down over 60 nominees to five finalists. On Monday, January 12, each finalist was given five minutes to present their case at Retail’s BIG Show for the title of first-ever “Shop.org Digital Commerce Start Up of the Year.” In a TechCrunch style competition, Symphony’s CEO and Co-Founder Harish Abbott talked about how Symphony’s commerce as a service increases the ability for retailers to succeed.

“60% of all online businesses fail within five years,” said Abbott. “And a more appalling statistic is that 90% of them fail not due to a lack of demand, but they fail from a lack of operations knowledge.”

“In order to build a winning commerce business, you need a winning commerce infrastructure,” Abbott continued. “Except for a few people who have big pockets and access to technical resources, it is very hard to pull this off. We need to fix this. Symphony is working on democratizing access to enterprise level commerce so brands don’t need to cobble together a commerce infrastructure.”

Symphony was selected by a judging panel that included business leaders at National Retail Federation, Northwest Venture Partners, Simon Venture Group, Modcloth, Hudson’s Bay Company and Abercrombie and Fitch. They were named the startup with the greatest potential to transform the shopping experience and make a positive impact on the retail industry.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. For this award, Symphony was selected from among 60 companies deemed most likely to transform the shopping experience.

“Symphony has already shown significant potential as a company that helps brands build a retail and wholesale ecosystem,” said Vicki Cantrell, NRF senior vice president and Shop.org executive director. “In this changing world of retail, that opportunity is important to new business. We are sure we will see more from this company for years to come.”

Symphony has taken a holistic view of commerce and broken it down into two services: store and fulfillment. All Symphony services work across retail and wholesale channels. But the most important thing is that Symphony is not building software, or software as a service, but truly business as a service.

Business as a service means that Symphony solves complex commerce problems at a strategic level. For example, Symphony has pre-integrated with more than ten warehouses across the country. On top of that, Symphony has built out inventory and order management tools, and then we bundled it up with the critical needs of retailers such as returns, subscriptions, and storage. So now retailers can solve high level problems such as: ‘I want to deliver to 95% of the country, on ground, in 2 days’ because Symphony can make that happen by taking care of everything behind the scenes. This levels the playing field because mid-sized, growing business can finally offer fulfillment like Amazon.

“The brands that are running on Symphony have seen a 48% increase in profitability,” Abbott noted during the presentation. “Their revenues are up and their costs are down due to economies of scale and better infrastructure. But the most important thing is that Symphony is giving freedom to retailers to focus on what they love.”

The award is the culmination of significant growth in Symphony’s product and revenue. In the past year, Symphony has grown into an enterprise-level commerce as a service platform propelling brands to robust growth. Product enhancements include automated fraud detection and prevention; automated tax calculation across all U.S. jurisdictions; the world’s fastest, sleekest checkout; and multi-warehouse optimization and shipping. These game-changing capabilities were previously non-existent or available only to mega-retailers. Symphony is changing the face of commerce, leveling the playing field, and letting our brands go toe-to-toe with big name brands.

In 2015, Symphony continues to focus on making it easier for mid-market retailers to compete and grow. “Symphony envisions a world where retailers compete on their merchandise; not their ability to build commerce infrastructure,” said Abbott. “With that we will make the world a better place. We will democratize commerce.”

Shop.org: Startup of the Year Finalist

Shop.org: Startup of the Year Finalist

Symphony Commerce has been selected as a finalist for the first ever Shop.org Digital Commerce Startup of the Year award. The award recognizes the startup with the biggest potential to transform the shopping experience or make a positive impact on the retail industry.

Join us at Retail’s Big Show on Monday, January 12, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center (Room 1DNR) for the final competition.