nChannel was recently featured in Columbus Business First regarding our multichannel integration solution.
Behind the scenes of online shopping today, there’s still a lot of paper-pushing. Columbus software startup nChannel aims to give small retailers automation tools that help them keep up with the likes of Amazon.com.
Picked by Columbus 2020 as one of five “startups to watch” for 2014, nChannel has a fast-growing customer base and in late spring will roll out functions that CEO Steve Weber believes will lead to exponential growth.
“The big advantage that Amazon and Walmart have is on the back end: Supply chain automation,” Weber told me. “We’re giving folks the weapons of the enemy.”
More than one-third of U.S. and European retailers are hunting for a single technology platform that helps them manage interactions with vendors and customers across all the places they sell, whether in-store, online or through larger e-commerce sites, according to a survey released last month by the National Retail Federation.
Here’s the current state of affairs: Most suppliers to a store send their catalogs electronically, but the format is not always compatible with the store’s systems. Weber describes a ski shop in Canada that hires hundreds of high school and college interns as “data ninjas” every summer to print out the catalogs and key them into its system by hand.
To display those items, the stores then usually have employees who re-format and re-enter the data several times to match the systems of its own website, Amazon, eBay or Sears.com. When orders come in online, they’re still printed out for fulfillment. Then the accountant runs different sales reports for each outlet.