Consumer shopping behavior has undergone an extraordinary shift toward E-commerce over the last decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic is now accelerating that transition for consumers across virtually every demographic. However, the growth and adoption of E-commerce is still in early innings. According to research by DigitalCommerce360, online spending in the US reached $6 trillion last year, which accounts for only about 15% of total US retail sales. We expect this proportion to shift meaningfully in favor of E-commerce as the long-term effects of the pandemic push more shoppers online for a greater share of their shopping activities. At the same time, there has been a corresponding expansion in the number of online retailers. Statista reports that there are currently over 22 million active E-commerce merchants. This group includes retailing giants like Walmart and Amazon, but it is predominantly made up of small and medium sized retailers who sell products through multiple online channels such as eBay, Etsy, and personalized Shopify websites. In fact, the latter category makes up over 90% of the total number of active retailers. Furthermore, we expect this group to continue to grow rapidly as the cost and technical understanding required to adopt online channels is diminishing sharply over time.
However, the E-commerce infrastructure tools available today, which help E-retailers with activities including managing inventory, shipping products, managing orders, and conducting data analytics, are primarily suited toward larger institutional retailers. The current offerings from the most popular companies in the E-commerce Management space are prohibitively expensive and far too complex for the vast majority of emerging E-retailers.
Soapbox provides a best in class solution for the enormous and vastly underserved emerging retailer market. Soapbox’s SaaS platform delivers a command center for all E-commerce management functions and is designed specifically for the emerging E-retailer. The Soapbox platform integrates easily with existing sales channels (ie. Shopify, eBay, Etsy, etc.) and is simple, intuitive, and affordable.
The Seed Project is pleased announce our investment in the Soapbox’s latest fundraising round, and we look forward to collaborating with the all-star team at Soapbox.