commercetools CEO on Global Enterprise Expansion
A couple of weeks ago, German-based commercetools, a cloud-based commerce software platform, announced a $17 million investment for a global expansion.
The investment is said to “further fuel the company’s growth” by expanding to global regions such as the “Asia-Pacific region, as well as in the United Kingdom, the Benelux, Scandinavia, and North America.”
Not only is the global services expansion a primary focus but development and enhancements for the company’s technology sector is also a focus of the investment. An expanded footprint is also coming up by way of “new offices planned for London and Singapore” as stated in the press release.
Hot on the heels of this announcement, I reached out to Dirk Hoerig, Founder and CEO of commercetools to not only discuss the new investment but to hear his thoughts on the common questions that are brought up in the world of commerce today.
What is a Simple & Flexible Commerce Experience?
Since the inception of commercetools in 2006, the company has worked hard to make commerce as “simple and flexible as possible” for their customers. Having said that, I asked Dirk what his idea of a simple and flexible ecommerce experience is.
“With simple we mean that our customers need to be able to quickly adopt our technology. As the pace of change is increasing dramatically, companies need to roll out new features and business models faster than ever. We provide them with technology that both integrates seamlessly with existing systems and that can also be customized with almost any programming language“ said Dirk.
“Today‘s flexibility is key. We interact with products across multiple channels, new voice and AR-powered devices are on the rise, and eCommerce happens everywhere. A modern commerce platform has to reflect this flexibility at its core“ he added.
With this also comes development, the most important piece of the pie. The other primary goal of the investment is the technology aspect so I asked Dirk how he intends on developing and enhancing the company’s technology with the expansion.
"We are enhancing our operations in multiple dimensions to support our customers better than ever, no matter where they are. On the one hand, that means we will increase the number of datacenters to provide perfect regional coverage. On the other hand, we are adding more teams in different time zones for services like technical support and operations. In addition, we are continuously growing our product development team that is not only improving existing functionality, but ensuring that we provide technologies that our customers need for the future“ said Dirk.
Key Takeaways from the Investment
When large investments like this happen, I’m always curious to hear thoughts on the key takeaways for not just partners but also what customers will gain from the investment. I asked Dirk what his thoughts were on the major takeaways from the investment.
“By increasing our regional marketing, sales, support and consulting capacity we will not only deliver faster services to our customers and partners, but also support them in new regions where we had been less active in the past“ he said.
Also mentioned in the report is that commercetools is looking to further expand “its support and operational services to support customers and partners worldwide.”
Upcoming Commerce Trends
If you happened to tune in to the first episode of our podcast, Laura and I discussed the current headlines, industry trends, and many highlights from recent conversations we’ve had with various members of the digital business community. Laura made a great point when mentioning that these “agencies and vendors assisting brands in creating their eCommerce strategy need to be able to deliver on the needs of IoT for brands to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.”
Since it’s always nice to hear the insights of industry veterans, I asked Dirk his thoughts on the upcoming trends he thinks we will be seeing in the next generation of commerce.“Companies across industries are trying to come up with new, customer-centric business models, and that will change how and where shopping happens. In the future, we’ll see commerce solutions deliver solid integration with voice services and other emerging technologies, leading to greater convenience and a better experience. For merchants, the biggest trend is migrating to tools that give them speed and agility to enable faster go-to-market.
Overall, we’ve already started seeing higher degrees of personalization and the building of better shopping experiences across all channels, which will continue to strengthen as the integration of new technologies both on the front and back ends of the commerce solution enable new business models and opportunities for better customer engagement” he said.
Gartner also predicted that we will expect to see spending on digital commerce platforms to grow by more than 14 percent annually, reaching $8.544 billion by 2020.
If you remember back in 2014, commercetools was acquired by a travel and tourism company REWE Group based out of Germany. Now that they are one entity, Jan Kunath, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of the REWE Group, commented on the news of the investment to say: “We support them and rely on the technology of commercetools regarding the further development of our own ecommerce offerings.” So it’s nice to see companies supporting each other and growing in order to further develop one another.
Since we’re on the topics of commerce and if you haven’t yet checked it out already, “Commerce Tomorrow” is the commercetools podcast series hosted by Dirk himself alongside his colleague and tech veteran Kelly Goetsch, Chief Product Officer at commercetools. Last week, they had a really great episode with Raj De Datta CEO and Co-Founder at BloomReach where he discussed the next generation of digital experiences and how brands and merchants can focus on delivering those engaging experiences plus much more. I highly recommend you tune in to listen to all the hot topics surrounding the technology space today.
Also, spoiler alert! We will be covering commercetools in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce so be sure to check back to read our exclusive coverage of the report!