Partnerships / Acquisitions

Merger of eCommerce Search Companies Aims To Address Amazon Pressure Cooker

eCommerce

When you’re competing with Amazon it helps to have strength in numbers. That’s the thinking behind this week’s merger between two eCommerce site search players, Searchspring and Nextopia. As the new venture goes to market, it will focus on bringing differentiated brand experiences to its clients.

Currently that client list includes Moen, Fabletics, Volcom, WildFang and Alternative Apparel. As separate entities, the two companies have different value propositions. Searchspring focuses on strong launch and integration programs, customer support and search relevancy. Nextopia focuses on geo-merchandising, personalization and email recommendations.

According to a joint statement announcing the merger, the newly created company will give eCommerce brands an iterative and data-driven approach to merchandising, with the goal of driving conversion and customer acquisition, and elevating the overall customer experience.

“Today’s online retailers are facing increased pressure to stand out against the convenience that online marketplaces like Amazon offer to consumers,” Searchspring said in the Tuesday (Feb. 4) announcement. “To do so, retailers and brands must differentiate through their brand and shopping experiences. However, the existing tools and technologies previously available to online merchandisers lack the affordability, ease of use, and in-depth control needed for a business user to optimize the shopping experience.”

Searchspring CEO Peter Messana said the merger “will bring faster innovation that will help emerging direct-to-consumer brands launch high-converting shopping experiences.”

Specifically, the newly merged company expects to deliver “in-the-moment” merchandising decisions with product listing displays that are user-friendly across category, search and landing pages; higher conversion rates via banner ads and visual merchandising prompts; and customer acquisition by attracting buyers with recommendations. It also promises to increase online revenue and up conversions with analytics and reporting; and to control brand presentation without expensive development. “Searchspring matches the brand’s unique website style and experience on launch,” the firm said.

Last May Searchspring was acquired by San Antonio-based private equity firm Scaleworks, which acquires startups with between $4 million and $10 million in annual run rate (ARR) and works to grow them. Scaleworks bought eight companies with its first $60 million fund, which collectively grew 52 percent to $80 million in revenue last year. It recently launched a second fund — this one totaling $80 million — to target startups with greater than $4 million in ARR.

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