Internet & Retail Technology via the White Label Approach
Internet & Retail Technology: Go 0 – 60 in 90 days
In August 2011, Marc Andreessen coined the phrased, “Software Is Eating The World.” His essay sparked the idea that investing in software will lead to a company’s potential for growth. Years later, the industry continues to dissect this idea as they look for ways to serve as many consumers as possible through single upfront investments.
In the evolution of internet-based software, we are seeing a convergence of platforms looking to own the entire consumer experience. Previously and especially in the case of enterprise, there was not enough technology to have one software or platform that could service customers end to end. However, through product acquisitions, integrations, and partnerships, that reality is changing quickly (and for the better).
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:
One of the most notorious examples can be illustrated by Salesforce’s evolution. The company started off as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool and eventually evolved into a Sales Cloud. In 2013, they purchased ExactTarget/Pardot evolving them into a Marketing Cloud. In 2015, they acquired DemandWare to become a Commerce Cloud. Today, Salesforce nearly has the ability to own the entire business customer experience. Another example is Oracle and their 2016 acquisition of Bronto’s parent company NetSuite expanding Oracle’s operations into cloud services. They now have the ability to market themselves not only as a database provider but also as a marketing and commerce platform.
Now that we understand the direction that public companies are converging their software, it’s important to note challenges that arise during this process. When investing and implementing new software, it’s common that businesses need corporate and executive buy-in. Typically there is a corporate mandate to introduce new tech or category of business. This process may involve partners, startups, and companies to evaluate business models, teams, tech, and customer bases. As a result, the convergence of platforms happens at a glacial pace, potentially taking years to be rolled out – and often times evaluations are focused on the wrong aspects leading to unsuccessful outcomes.
There are alternative methods that can aid businesses in a more agile way as they work to achieve corporate goals. With a white label approach, businesses can remove roadblocks and the risks of immediate and direct acquisition of products. Instead, they can forge stronger business development and partnership ties in a potential “try before you buy” paid partnership. For example, let’s say a brand or manufacturer is looking to distribute directly to consumers. However, they don’t have experience in DTC or the technology to make it happen. There are two options:
Mandate corporate development to scout for companies that have been successful with similar fulfillment strategies and follow their model and/or acquire them.
Allocate budget for a software developer to sign up for services like ShipEngine to integrate shipping APIs and a proof of concept customized for businesses’ software, needs, and use case.
As mentioned earlier, it can take years for new software to be approved, acquired, and implemented at a corporate level. However, the white label approach can be leveraged by a corporate mandate quickly. Instead of having to significantly invest to achieve the same goal, businesses may cut time and achieve value within fiscal quarters instead of years potentially lifting market value faster.
If you’re a platform and understand how important marketplaces are to e-commerce, and you have customers that need marketplace management in your platform – the SureDone platform can be white-labeled and offered in a way that is seamless to your end users.