nChannel Levels the Playing Field For Small Retailers
nChannel is helping hundreds of small and mid-sized companies compete with the mega-brands…easily, efficiently, and affordably.
Simplifying multichannel retailing while improving customer experience
The Internet has changed commerce. The consumer is in control. That makes it easier than ever for small retailers to compete, but they can’t do it without the right tools.
That’s where nChannel shines.
“Commerce is converging,” said Steve Weber, nChannel founder and CEO. “Companies want to sell many different ways—through brick and mortar, over the phone, on the web, through resellers, and through Internet marketplaces like Amazon.com. Companies are selling both B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer).”
nChannel provides a cloud-based platform for multi-channel retailers to help them sell any product in any channel online or off.
“Amazon.com has set the standard for customer experience when buying online. Their infrastructure is second to none,” Weber said.
“I like to describe nChannel as a ‘marketplace in a box’—a single platform that allows merchants of any size to provide a similar level of service as the Amazons of the world. The difference is, we provide those capabilities offline as well,” he said.
Arming smaller businesses with the tools and techniques they need to compete against the “Goliaths” of retail and win
“I wish I could tell you that I was so smart I came up with this idea all by myself, but it was really the market that told us that this is what we needed to do,” said Weber.
“We are good listeners,” he said. “We were able to read between the lines of what small and medium-sized businesses were saying. We understood their pain points and what was driving them.”
nChannel, which received first-round funding from Ohio TechAngels (OTAF) in 2011, is in a phase of rapid growth, due to that listening skill and, in large part, to nChannel’s deep understanding of how to reach the markets the company wants to serve.
“We’ve figured out how to attract prospects using SEO to generate leads and bring people to our web site. We now have more than 250 prospects per month reaching out to us for help, up from 50 this time last year” Weber said. “It’s an exciting time. We are pointed in the right direction; the team can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Making it easy for prospects to become customers
“I really feel for companies that are aggressively trying to grow their businesses,” Weber said. “They have been fantastic brick and mortar retailers and now they have to converge that with the Internet to bring all their resources together into one shopping experience.”
Weber’s goal is for nChannel to be completely unobtrusive. “We are working towards a self-service model,” he said, “where merchants will be able to install our software on their own in the cloud and connect it to their existing systems.”
nChannel will then run in the background, processing customers’ web and store orders, updating inventory, and processing shipments in a consistent manner without disrupting their normal processes.
With nChannel, customers pay a predictable monthly fee. There are no annual contracts and no transaction fees.
“That’s another way, we stay out of our customers’ way,” Weber said. “Some competitors charge based on sales volume, but we don’t want to penalize our customers for their success. If you open a new store, you don’t expect your landlord to take a percent of sales.”
nChannel provides a catalogue of ready connectors that integrate the systems that companies already use—such as Amazon, eBay, NetSuite, Magento, Newegg, QuickBooks and others—into single powerful platform.
“We help our customers operate as seamlessly for their customers as Amazon.com does,” Weber said. “That’s the experience that we are creating for our customers customers’—one seamless shopping experience.”