Empowering Global Brands with Unmatched Commerce Experiences

Vanessa Cartwright, CEO North America at Astound Commerce, delves into Astound's data-driven approach to crafting exceptional commerce experiences for global brands.

Could you provide a comprehensive overview of the cutting-edge commerce capabilities that Astound brings to the table, highlighting how these capabilities empower brands?

Can you share insights into Astound's unique approach to consistently delivering successful commerce projects? What strategies do you employ to maintain excellence in your methodologies while serving e-commerce clients?

How has Astound's unwavering client-centric approach contributed to the cultivation of enduring client relationships and the establishment of long-term partnerships? What methods have you employed to foster productive and lasting client relationships, characterized by satisfaction and mutual success?

The e-commerce marketplace is constantly evolving, and our clients rely on us to be at the forefront of innovation. Furthermore, economic uncertainty, tighter budgets, rising competition and high consumer expectations require us to be fast, flexible, agile and laser-focused on ROI. We start by understanding our clients’ customers by building an actionable customer data foundation, followed by Solution Definition tailored to client business needs. We then unleash the power of commerce technology, particularly the full potential of the Salesforce ecosystem, to build faster, more scalable, more personal and relevant commerce experiences. With customer data at the center of our approach, we can quickly pivot and optimize to move at the accelerating speed of the marketplace.

We have created lasting relationships with our clients by never settling and constantly evolving. Digital commerce has shifted greatly coming out of the pandemic, and so have our clients’ needs. As a client-centric organization, we always have an open, two-way dialogue with our clients to understand the changing needs of their businesses, and the changing needs of the customers they serve. These needs can shift month-to-month, week-to-week. We focus on implementing flexible technology systems, experiences and strategies so that we can pivot quickly based on insights from customer and performance data. We then continually test, learn and optimize everything that we do, from site design, to site experience, to digital marketing.

Astound has a 20+ year heritage in designing, building and deploying state-of-the art digital commerce solutions, ranging from technology planning, to platform enablement, to systems optimization and support. Beyond our expertise in commerce technology, we provide “total commerce” services, including website design, performance marketing and customer data integration/activation. This end-to-end approach enables us to cohesively engage our clients’ customers before, at and after the “buy” button: from driving traffic to our clients’ sites through paid media, email, SEO or affiliate marketing; to on-site user experience, visual design, personalization and conversion rate optimization; to post-purchase initiatives like remarketing and loyalty.

Astound's 20+ years of commerce expertise isn't just about technology; it's about 'total commerce.' From driving site traffic to post-purchase loyalty, our end-to-end approach engages customers before, at, and after the buy button, ensuring brands thrive in the digital marketplace.

Could you elucidate how Astound effectively taps into the psychology of shoppers, aligning their needs with the business objectives of the client? What are some of the key behavioral triggers that influence customer decision-making, and how does Astound leverage these insights?

A key focus for us is the activation of our clients’ first party data. While many brands sit on a wealth of customer data, they struggle to organize, build and activate that data into commerce and digital marketing experiences. Shopper needs, behaviorial triggers, psychology oftentimes lives in these data sets; the challenge is extracting those insights. At Astound, we start by setting the data foundation for our clients, by implementing Martech systems and analytical models to derive intelligence from the data. From there, we leverage the insights from this data across the end-to-end commerce journey; guiding the experiences we create on our clients’ websites, as well as in demand generation channels like paid and organic digital marketing.

Innovation is a crucial driver of creating exceptional experiences. Can you provide insight into the culture of innovation that thrives within your teams at Astound, and how it contributes to your success in the market?

At Astound, our teams never stop learning. Everyday, our teammates are gaining new certifications on Salesforce and beyond. In particular, our Salesforce Practice is squarely focused on innovation, constantly engaging with Salesforce, generating thought leadership for our clients and exploring and activating accelerating technologies like generative AI, and powerful platforms like Salesforce Data Cloud. While we don’t know what the future holds, Astound is made up of people who are passionate about testing, learning and influencing the next generation of digital commerce.