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Cart.com empowers brands with unified ecommerce platform

November 15, 2021
Chase Zieman

Chief Data Science Officer, Cart.com

The ecommerce playing field has been hard to navigate for most retailers, and Cart.com is on a mission to change that. Traditionally, retailers needing to run their online store, order fulfillment, customer service, marketing, and other essential activities have had to cobble together systems to get the capabilities they need - much less having access to analytics across these functions. The result is costly, siloed ecommerce operations that are difficult to manage and scale.

It’s clearly not a formula for success, yet that’s the reality facing most retailers. Cart.com, in contrast, has set out to democratize ecommerce by giving brands of all sizes the full capabilities they need to take on the world’s largest online retailers. Our end-to-end environment empowers retailers to keep more of their revenue, set up proven strategies for managing all aspects of their business, and act on valuable insights from customer data every step of the way.

Together with our talented team, we’re building a unified ecommerce platform that already provides value to many leading or up and coming brands including Whataburger, GUESS, Dr. Scholl’s, Rowing Blazers, and Howler Bros. 

We’re excited about the opportunity ahead as we reimagine traditional approaches to online sales, fulfillment, marketing, accessing growth capital, providing a unified view of all ecommerce and marketing analytics, and other activities. Expectations for Cart.com are high, and we are building a company that can scale to $100B in revenue and beyond. Supported by the Startup Program by Google Cloud and Google Cloud solutions, we’re establishing a technology platform to transform all aspects of ecommerce for brands worldwide. 

Partner in disruption

At Cart.com, we’re currently targeting an underserved market. Our ideal customer is beyond demonstrating product-market-fit and is now at an inflection point seeking a growth opportunity. Typically, those companies are generating between $1M and $100M in annual revenue. We’ve seen an enthusiastic response from brands and retailers as well as investors, with backing from investors in just over a year totaling $143 million in three funding rounds.

Our strategy is to build an integrated ecommerce model that combines best-of-breed solutions, many of which we gain through acquisitions and then build upon to provide a streamlined and fully integrated experience for our brands. We’ve made seven acquisitions so far to round out our online store, order fulfillment, marketing services, customer service, and we have launched some integral partnerships including easy access to growth capital through our relationship with Clearco and product protection for customers on every purchase with Extend. Instead of acquiring a data company, we're building our data platform on Google Cloud with help from SADA, a Google Cloud premier partner, across each operating function for a single-view for brands to harness actionable data. We see Google Cloud as the leader for data management, analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Other reasons why we're building our business on Google Cloud include scalability, excellence, security, reach, and data analytics that are far superior to other environments.

We also feel a cultural and mission alignment with Google Cloud and envision leaning into a long-term partnership of marketing, selling, and disrupting the disruptors together. Equally important to us are the investments Google Cloud is willing to make in early-stage companies like ours. The support through the Google Cloud for Startups program and SADA’s SaaS Alliance Program has been outstanding.

Built on Google Cloud

A wide range of Google Cloud solutions provide the foundation for our platform. For instance, Cloud Pub/Sub keeps our services communicating with one another. We rely on fully managed relational databases, like Cloud SQL and Cloud Spanner, to securely handle the huge volume of brand and shopper data generated every day.

Cloud Run allowed us to develop inside of containers before our Kubernetes infrastructure was ready to go. Now, we are taking advantage of all the capabilities in Google Kubernetes Engine. BigQuery integrates with all Google Cloud solutions and offers true data streaming natively out of the box, along with Dataflow for advanced analytics. We also use Container Registry to store and manage our Docker container images. Right now, we’re testing Cloud Composer to evaluate using it for data workflow orchestration instead of Apache Airflow.

The openness of the Google Cloud environment is further enabled by Anthos, which we may deploy soon to perform data integrations quickly as we acquire more companies over the next year. For example, if we acquire a company using Azure, we can easily align it with our Google Cloud ecosystem.

Enabling ecommerce 2.0

Recently, our team has been experimenting with Google Cloud Vertex AI and the fully managed services of AI deployment and ML operations. The capabilities would save us substantial time in the management of the ML lifecycle which allows us to focus more on developing proprietary AI that will transform commerce at scale.

Because Google Cloud is so far ahead in data science, our teams benefit from deep Google Cloud expertise as we look to provide brands with unmatched insights into customers to improve services and revenue. We're also planning to test Recommendations AI among other tools to deploy customer product recommendations and personalization as turnkey productized offerings. Moving forward, we will likely use Bigtable to aid in serving machine learning to hundreds of thousands of brands due to its low latency and scalability.

Fanatical about brand success

We know that our work with Google Cloud for Startups and use of Google Cloud solutions for best-in-class data management, analytics, ML, and AI will enable us to offer even more transformative services to brands.

We also see the opportunity to use our platform and customer insights to break down barriers between brands, enabling retailers to share information and work better together when it’s in their best interests. What we’re building today on Google Cloud is fundamentally changing what’s possible for retailers of any size everywhere. 

As a startup, when recruiting talent or working with prospective customers, it helps to share our success with Google Cloud. We view them as an extension of the Cart.com team. It also validates our business as we continue building a more integrated, holistic approach to commerce that opens new opportunities and drives growth for brands worldwide.

For more details about Cart.com’s vision for unified ecommerce, check out our video.

If you want to learn more about how Google Cloud can help your startup, visit our page here to get more information about our program, and sign up for our communications to get a look at our community activities, digital events, special offers, and more.

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