In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Frank Nesci, the Co-founder of Comestri. Comestri is a central ecommerce hub that integrates, enriches and synchronises data from multiple business systems for retailers and marketplaces. They currently manage over 150 brands, close to 10 million SKUs and process more than 20 million order transactions a year for clients like General Pants,, The Iconic and Amazon. In this chat we discuss the importance of understanding business processes, how to navigate real time inventory and Frank shares his learnings from scaling Comestri and going international.
“The way it started was, like many good technologies, with a glass of red wine in a board room“Frank Nesci
Red wine in the boardroom
“We just finished a very complex Magento and eBay project and complex data requirements, the client then wanted to do Google and Facebook, and product data was all over the place, it wasn’t centralized.
And we sat there and drew a few boxes on a whiteboard saying, “What would the world be like if we had a cloud-based application that would first allow you to centralize the product data, enrich it for different sales channels, but then also be able to synchronize it and integrate it with those different sales channels together with pricing, inventory, images, and then harmonize the orders on the way back, so that a retailer wouldn’t have to worry about, how do I integrate with that channel for orders?”
So that’s how all it come about, good old red wine and a problem that we saw the industry was going to face more and more as time went on.”
No more midnight calls
“Fortunately I’ve got a great team behind me where I’m not getting those midnight calls anymore.
So I recently had a client ring me up just before Easter and saying, “Frank, your team’s doing great, but I just wanted your permission that if something happens over east Easter, I can give you a call,” and I’m sitting there going, “Sure you can.”
All weekend I was worried that I might get that call, but fortunately the application did its job and the team was on standby, so I didn’t have to lose any sleep.”
“We’ve had some very successful clients and some very challenging clients and I think it comes down to resources and the two key resources I see, number one is support from the IT department because Comestri doesn’t live in isolation. It actually works together with back-end systems, the point of sale, or the ERP or the warehouse management, so that integration is very important and we need support from the IT.
The other resource criticality would be people understanding business processes and how data impacts their business process, and it doesn’t live one without the other. So you may have good data, but if you don’t understand the business process within the business or the way the application that we’re talking to works, then you can certainly say we’ll have some challenges. So people with some data experience, business process experience, and then support from IT.
Questions answered in this episode include…
- Can you share the most commonly used features of Comestri?
- Can you give us an example of how Comestri has opened up new growth opportunities for one of your retail clients?
- What do you think the biggest data challenge will be for retailers in the next couple of years?
Links from the episode:
- The Iconic
- Retail Apparel Group
- Adore Beauty
- Shopify Plus and Strandbags (sponsored)
- Packleo (sponsored)
This episode was brought to you by…