Amla Commerce Newly Rebrands Platforms Artifi and Znode
In a time when we’re frequently seeing disparate platforms join up to offer a holistic digital experience, it’s refreshing to see two platforms, both aimed at making ecommerce customers’ lives easier come together under one parent company with a unified message of enabling growth and ‘baring fruit’ for the business leveraging the platform. This is the exact premise that drove the creation of Amla Commerce, the brand now housing the newly rebranded platforms Artifi and Znode, consolidating the company message into one meaningful narrative.
Since this is something we don’t often see, I of course had many questions for the man behind it all, Rupesh Agrawal, President and CEO at Amla Commerce and the creator of both Artifi and Znode. You can read my interview with him below.
Interview with Amla Commerce CEO
To start off, please tell us a little bit more about the driving factors behind the launch of Amla Commerce and rebranding of Artifi and Znode.
Rupesh: "There were several reasons why Amla Commerce was launched and Artifi and Znode were rebranded under the new parent company:
1. Amla’s beliefs are rooted in the promise to enable growth and improve the health of company. These beliefs are at the core of everything we do because after spending more than twenty years consulting in the ecommerce space, working across many platforms and customer types, we saw that so many companies overpromised and undelivered: software was slow, expensive and performed poorly. The people implementing and managing the software were frustrated, as were the end-users who suffered poor experiences. Time, money, and energy was being wasted. The common result of this was that health suffered – on a personal, team and company-wide level. We just knew things could be done better and in a way that benefited all stakeholders.. It was imperative we develop a brand that communicated this story, this belief system and this way of doing business.
2. As we continue to grow and update core product experiences, we want our brand to best reflect why we exist, what we believe in, and where we’re headed.
Over the past few years we have developed some fantastic products, a unique culture, and an incredible customer community. The launch and rebranding were bold steps forward to announce the new identity that created a family of products focused on enabling growth for our customers.
3. We wanted to define who we are and expose our existing beliefs by articulating them in a differentiating, yet sincere narrative. Offering ecommerce products built on sustainable technology that enable growth and improve the health of a company were core beliefs of the organization prior to the launch of Amla, however we weren’t necessarily articulating them in a meaningful and consistent way. Until the launch of Amla, Artifi and Znode existed in silos - they were marketed separately which made it difficult to tell a cohesive story about why our products exist, and what our products and people will deliver.
The launch of Amla Commerce allows us to truly align everything around the brand promise: our products, company culture, customer experience, corporate identity, etc. The launch made this change visible to all customers and to the market. We’re able to speak about “what we will deliver and what we promise” vs. just “what we sell.”
4. It was also important to us that our identity capture our global presence since we have offices in the US and India. The creation of our identity included our name, as well as what we “looked” like & “sounded” like on a corporate level and a product level. We wanted to showcase our personality through verbal and visual aesthetics in a consistent way, both internally and externally. The application of a consistent and recognizable brand is an ongoing effort - as we further develop our products, update our websites, etc., we will further refine the application of our identity across channels and tactics.
Here are some specific examples of how/where our identity and image are reflected:
The company is named after the Amla tree, also known as a gooseberry. This tree is popular in India, and is known for its hardiness and for producing berries that boost energy and improve health. Amla reflects our belief that ecommerce platforms should have similar characteristics…hardy scale and flexibility that enables growth and bares fruit.
The company and product logos: All logos have a consistent look and feel - making it clear that they are part of the same family. All logos include the element of a leaf - a symbol of growth and a nod to our commitment to improving bottom-line health.
- Our corporate and product tones are smart, professional, yet informal, and a bit disruptive. This tone is reflected most notably in The Dose, our weekly Amla Commerce newsletter, our websites and our social media posts."
When I browsed the Amla Commerce site, I saw a unique section stating “Who We Aren’t”, with some great points made on what is becoming stale and outdated in the market today. In turn, it made me curious what the core principles are behind what you are?
Rupesh: "We grew out of the belief that ecommerce software should be developed with sustainable technology that truly enables growth and improves the bottom-line health of a company. With more than 20 years of ecommerce consulting experience working across many platforms and customer types, we know that when things aren’t working, growth stalls, costs increase, and company health, team health, and personal health suffer. We believe in putting our customers first. This means that we listen to their needs, goals and challenges, and these things become guides as we develop product roadmaps and determine how to provide the most meaningful solutions to real business challenges.
There is a crowded market of ecommerce software platforms that are all making similar claims. We truly want our customers’ days to be easier and their evenings to be more restful; we want our customers to see meaningful ROI, and we want to provide them with a personal experience that exceeds their expectations."
To take a step back and look at the entire market, what would you say are the most important technologies available right now for businesses wanting to execute a modern ecommerce strategy?
Rupesh: "Modern commerce is about the customer being in control, companies selling on data and algorithms, and providing omni-channel experiences with personalized content. Consumers expect fair pricing, relevant offers and a quick and easy buying experience. While these expectations have most commonly been seen in the B2C space, B2B buyers are also pushing for B2C-like functionality and experiences. In a world where competition is increasingly fierce and conversions are everything, every seemingly minute part of the customer journey is critical. Keeping this in mind, here are a few things that top the list of important technologies/capabilities, for both B2B and B2C companies as they pursue ecommerce:
Site speed and performance - businesses need platforms built on updated tech stacks that integrate seamlessly into their front end and back end systems, in order to deliver fast, consistent experiences to consumers.
API-driven architectures - headless architecture is a hot trend for a reason - it allows for easier integrations, greater flexibility and updates, not upgrades.
Mobile-optimized experience - researching, buying and reviewing products are all things that consumers are doing via mobile devices more and more - it’s a convenience that businesses can’t afford to ignore.
Sophisticated search - Google has changed the way that customers search for products - customers are shopping based on specific needs as well as specific brand names. Ecommerce platforms need to support fast, relevant search.
Robust Content Management (CMS) system - demand for personalized, tailored content and experiences is becoming table stakes. Generally speaking, the more relevant the content, the better the customer experience, and the better the customer experience, the higher the online conversions.
Sustainable technology - we know from analyst reports like Forrester that implementing new versions of software is a top concern, challenge and expense for a vast majority of businesses. Sustainable tech allows for easy updating (rather than upgrading) and means that the software is built with a flexible infrastructure that truly scales as a business grows and needs change."
Finally, what would you say is an area of an overall ecommerce strategy that isn’t focused on enough?
Rupesh: "As mentioned before, customer experience is king in driving conversions & repeat customers. In particular providing a truly personalized experience with tailored content and offers to each visitor and customer is a critical consideration as businesses develop their ecommerce strategy. Despite the increasing consumer demand, we see there remains lag in implementing truly customer-focused strategies, particularly in B2B. Further, using AI and machine learning to automate the delivery and optimization of personalized experiences are areas that should be focused on more. It will be critical in order for businesses to meet the demand of personalization, to scale as the demand grows, to react & adapt as the market changes, and to predict changes in consumer trends."
Artifi, a powerful product customization platform for ecommerce built with a headless architecture which makes integrating with platforms extremely easy and Znode, a .NET multi-store ecommerce platform built on a headless engine with 600+ pre-built APIs, are the types of ecommerce platforms that exist to help businesses transform the ecommerce experience. As B2B and B2C organizations continue to focus on digital transformation in order to keep pace with consumer trends, assessing the sustainability and efficacy of ecommerce platforms becomes absolutely critical. Here is where you need to take a step back and as Rupesh mentioned consider that “customer experience is king in driving conversions & repeat customers.” This begs the question, ‘which ecommerce platforms will deliver the best customer experience, in the most easily manageable and profitable way for my organization?’
As I had mentioned in the beginning of the article, it’s really great to see two platforms come together under one parent company which in turn creates a powerful portfolio of products for customers.
In 2017, Artifi and Znode were both recognized for the Rising Star Award in 2017 and Great User Experience Award in the area of online eCommerce software from FinancesOnline. With more product releases planned for both Artifi and Znode in 2018, we surely expect that Amla Commerce and its products will continue to push the envelope and drive toward developing bleeding edge ecommerce technology.