While the global e-commerce industry is on track to generate $6.3 trillion in 2023 (1), SMBs are struggling to compete. StoreConnect will empower over one million global small businesses by liberating them from the challenges of complex SaaS solutions and overwhelming plugin options, targeting a total addressable market (TAM) of over $10 billion.
The newfound freedom will enable SMBs to establish unprecedented connections with their customers.
The e-commerce industry has long been divided into two camps: intricate setups demanding external assistance and substantial financial investments, or deceptively simplistic "plug-and-play" options, like a well-known platform that lure businesses with their initial ease but ultimately morph into unreliable "plug-and-pray" solutions. Mikel Lindsaar, the visionary CEO behind StoreConnect, a trailblazing force in the e-commerce industry, has successfully secured $9 million in a seed round led by Bellini Capital. This investment is poised to fuel StoreConnect's mission of addressing the prevailing challenges in the e-commerce landscape, for which Lindsaar calls out several currently impeding the growth and prosperity of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs):
SMBs struggle to sustain growth and longevity, with a shocking 34% of online stores vanishing within a year, with average lifespans dwindling to a mere 143 days. (2)
The overwhelming number of apps [plugins] available in the marketplace forces SMBs into an arduous evaluation process to find the right fit (Tidio.com). Time-consuming selection becomes an added burden, not to mention slowing page loads.
To further compound the problem, adding just six customer-facing apps can inflate load times significantly. (3) This drastic slowdown sabotages user experience and sales conversions. Pages taking over six seconds to load lose half of their visitors, crippling traffic and revenue generation, according to SEO expert Neil Patel. (4) Swift page speed is paramount for customer engagement and business success.
Having to "balance" functionality and performance, SMBs are advised to limit apps to a manageable number (aka 25!!) for a comprehensive online store (kubixmedia.co.uk). And finding the right apps out of the thousands of numerous plugins available is a time sink that no business owner can afford.
"These alarming statistics highlight the uphill battle SMBs face within the current ecosystem," explains Lindsaar, who has previously successfully built and sold four SaaS companies. "I wanted to develop a solution that enables growth and equips 'Davids' to compete with 'Goliaths,'" added Mikel.
A New Category: Customer Commerce The importance of this funding round extends beyond StoreConnect's dedication to simplifying e-commerce fractured complexities through its fast and comprehensive all-in-one solution. It also lies in StoreConnect's ability to eliminate major barriers, allowing SMBs to connect with millions more customers, thereby leveling the playing field in the eCommerce arena.
Customer Commerce is a revolutionary, user-driven approach that empowers small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to forge connections with a brand-new range of customers that were previously out of reach.
This revolutionizes their interactions and accelerates transactions opening up new avenues of growth, profitability, and scalability, all at an affordable price tag. By embracing this, SMBs have seen unprecedented opportunities for expansion and success across all avenues of online revenue.
Built on the world-leading CRM platform, the company's innovative approach has already garnered the support of over 60 Salesforce Solution Integration partners in just 24 months—and is on an impressive run rate of $50 million by 2028.
Lead investor, Arnie Bellini, brings a wealth of expertise to the table. As the co-founder and former CEO of ConnectWise, Bellini is renowned for launching the industry's most widely used IT-managed services platform. Presently serving as the managing partner of Bellini Capital, an investment firm based in the Tampa area, Bellini declares that existing e-commerce solutions belong to the bygone era of 2005. Undeterred by the limitations of the past, he firmly places his faith in StoreConnect's transformative capabilities to reshape the e-commerce landscape specifically tailored for SMBs. "StoreConnect aims to revolutionize how small businesses engage in online commerce, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future."
The raised funds will be utilized to expand StoreConnect's global reach by hiring a dynamic sales team, advancing technology to enhance customer experience, and expanding its partner network, which includes Salesforce solution integration partners. StoreConnect is poised to solidify its position as the dominant player in the small business e-commerce ecosystem.
About StoreConnect: Mikel Lindsaar is the CEO and Founder of StoreConnect, a Salesforce Partner Innovation Award Recipient. Mikel is a serial technology entrepreneur having successfully built and sold four SaaS companies within the last decade. StoreConnect has one goal: to help small and medium-sized businesses become scalable Customer Companies powered by Salesforce. Clients achieve this daily by breaking free of the shackles of what Mikel calls "Plugin Purgatory and SaaS Hell." StoreConnect clients don't need multiple SaaS systems connected by plugins to manage their online, in-store POS and in-person Customer Commerce business systems. Many of today's eCommerce solutions are designed to get up and running quickly and inevitably hit a brick wall of scalability and extensibility as companies grow. That's why StoreConnect is built on the world's #1 CRM, so its customers will never need to replatform no matter how fast they grow in size, product offerings or regions. Global growth now has no barriers for any SMB. Being built on Salesforce allows StoreConnect customers to update their websites, funnels and content in real time, providing an unparalleled competitive advantage. StoreConnect is Time. Well Spent.
Dunham, Emma, et al. "Ecommerce Statistics to Get You Ahead in 2023." Dash, 27 Mar. 2023, dash.app/blog/ecommerce-statistics#:~:text=In%202023%2C%20the%20ecommerce%20industry, to%20China%20and%20the%20USA.&text=The%20ecommerce%20market%20is%20set,the%20end%20of%20this%20year.
Hannay, Chris, et al. "Shopify Has a Growing Problem with Customer Retention, Globe Data Study Shows." The Globe and Mail, 22 Oct. 2022, theglobeandmail.com/business/article-shopify-customer-retention-problem/.
Developer, Author: Burak Shopify, et al. "Shopify Performance Case Study - How Apps Affect Speed " Speed Boostr." Speed Boostr, 13 Mar. 2020, speedboostr.com/how-apps-affect-load-speed/
Patel, Neil. "How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line." Neil Patel, 31 May 2021, neilpatel.com/blog/loading-time/.
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