Pets+ Pet Store Technology Spotlight Podcast with Celerant

Who is Celerant Technology?


Welcome to this Pets+ Category Spotlight video. I’m Chloe DiVita with Pets+ and today we’re talking with Michele Salerno, Director of Marketing and Assistant VP for Celerant Technology, a pet store software system to manage your entire pet shop, in-store and online. Welcome Michele!


Hi, Chloe. Nice to be here.


So we’re excited to talk more about this and I always like to start at the beginning, give people a little bit of the foundation. So let’s talk about who is Celerant and how long you’ve been offering software and services to pet retailers.


Yes, thank you. So we actually were founded in 1999, so about 22 years ago, and we actually were born in the soft good space. We don’t just service pet shops, we service a lot of different retail markets and over the years, we’ve just grown and expanded and for several years now, we’ve been offering a complete retail software solution to the pet industry.

Related: Explore Celerant’s Learning Center »

What does Pet Retail Software Mean?


Awesome, so we mentioned your retail software. Let’s talk about exactly what that means, like what is it that your software actually does?


So it’s a complete retail software solution for a pet shop’s entire business. So it’s not just their point of sale in their store, it’s also their eCommerce and even their digital marketing.

At Celerant, we really pride ourselves in being a one-stop shop where a pet shop can have one technology partner with one retail software solution and everything’s integrated on one system.

All-in-One Point of Sale System


Wow, it sounds wonderful. Right where my mind goes is, “okay, so if I currently have a point of system software, I got a POS system, but I also have a separate technology partner for say my website, and I use something completely separate for sending my emails.”

It sounds like your platform can combine all these functions. Is that true and how does that work?


Yeah, so that’s exactly true. One of the challenges I should say that retailers often face is they have one technology provider for their point of sale, and it’s not just point of sale, it’s a full retail solution for their brick and mortar.

So it’s point of sale, it’s inventory management, it’s CRM, it’s loyalty rewards, frequent buyer programs, it’s order fulfillment, it’s the software that runs their entire brick and mortar business. And then a lot of times, retailers are often using a different technology provider for their eCommerce, or maybe they have a third-party developer that they hired and they kind of built their own homegrown eCommerce, and then either the two systems are not in sync and your eCommerce is totally separate from your brick and mortar, or maybe they are somewhat integrated.

But when you’re piecing together disparate systems, there’s a lot of issues and challenges; data integrity, it’s not real time. The worst thing you can do is have a sale completed in store, depletes your inventory and then you’re selling it on your eCommerce because the two aren’t connected. And then you can’t fulfill the order.

With Celerant, it’s one technology provider. We’re providing both the complete in-store and the complete online solution, all in one system.

Related: Explore Celerant’s Point of Sale Solutions »

Celerant Point of Sale and eCommerce Implementation


It sounds fabulous and I think one of the things that will be on people’s minds is, “okay, so if I’m already in the space where I do have more than one partner, I’ve got different things going on and I can move to Celerant, and make it a one-stop shop.” What does that integration look like and how do you support that process?


That’s a good question. For the start of the project, some of our retailers, they want to do everything all at once: they want to replace their point of sale in the store, they want to build a new eCommerce site, they want to switch to our platform for email marketing, and we can do all of it at one time.

And then we have other retailers who say “okay, I want to start with the brick and mortar and then I want to launch my eComm site, and then after that, I’ll switch my marketing platform, my email marketing platform.” So we assign a dedicated implementation manager so when you become a new client, you’re assigned a dedicated person who’s going to help you with every step of the project.

They’re going to schedule training sessions, which can all be done remotely, they’re going to teach you how to use the software and they’re going to be your single point person to walk you through the entire process from the start of your project until you go live.

And if you do it in phases, that’s okay too because then you’ll have the point person for the phase one, which might be the point of sale, then phase two, eCommerce, then phase three could be say your email marketing.


It sounds like, not only is Celerant kind of the one-stop shop, but you actually don’t see it as one-size-fits-all and you have different ways that you could support any person, any retailers situations, so that you can support the integration in the way that they need?


Yeah, that’s exactly right and to that point, we actually offer two platforms.

Stratus Enterprise Solution


So we have our Stratus Enterprise, which is our more enterprise solution.

Now we live and breathe in the SMB space, so we really only serve small to mid-size merchants. That said, we have our Stratus Enterprise solution that’s meant for the upper end of that market and then we’ve taken that more enterprise advanced software, we scaled it down, we took some features away, made a lighter solution, a more cost effective monthly SaaS solution and that we call Cumulus Retail.

Cumulus Retail Solution


We actually offer two options to pet shops and the really great thing about it is they can start small.

A pet shop can start small with Cumulus, they can add on some of the enterprise features from Stratus, and then if and when they’re ready, they can upgrade to our enterprise solution which is Stratus. There’s no re-implementation, there’s no new data conversion, no additional training for the new features.

But it’s the same software, so it has that enterprise upgrade path as well.

Learn More: Which System is Right for your Business? »

Innovative Solutions for Pet Supply and Retail Stores


So I think you just hit on something that some people watching were probably thinking, which is “I only have one location.” How can something like this, which sounds maybe, you know, big in terms of the offerings, fit my one little location?

But you have both so that people can again, get what they need when they need it and sort of take their time with any integrations.


One of our goals, or should I say or differentiators, has always been we provide an innovative software solution, so our goal is to provide SMB small merchants with the technology that once was only available to tier 1 big box.

So we want to enable our pet shops to be more competitive against those big box retailers by giving them the innovative software, so that they can compete.

Integrated Digital Marketing in One System


Take the email marketing for example.

There was a time when you would think of point of sale, and point of sale was just point of sale. It was just tracking inventory and making purchases, but now it’s so much more. And it can and should do so much more.

For email marketing for example, you wouldn’t normally think that a point of sale company offers their own email marketing platform. And probably a lot of people watching, they’re using Constant Contact or MailChimp to send out their emails and that works. But when you use an integrated full solution, our email marketing platform integrates with their customer and sales data, both in the store and online, so that they can send really personalized emails based on triggers.

So things like, if they leave items in the shopping cart, abandoned carts, an automated email can go out encouraging them to finish the sale. If they purchase whatever product in the store, automated emails can go out to them based on that purchase suggesting other items that might complement that item.

There’s a lot of possibilities and retailers can really get creative with the digital marketing aspect and that’s just not something you think of when you think of a point of sale, or even an eCommerce provider.

We really do try to encompass everything, not just get their brick and mortar live on new software, not just launch their ecommerce site, but support them long-term and help them drive business, and get more customers in their store and on their site.


That sounds wonderful and when I think about that, I know that like as somebody who shops at the local indie pet store around the corner, it’s nice when they actually can personalize that kind of reach out, right?

And as a buyer, to get something from a company who knows what I just bought, knows that I might be running low, reminds me that I need something, that is a really like encouraging things and it helps build that relationship.

Related: Celerant’s Digital Marketing Services »

Vendor Rebates and Rewards Integrations


So you’ve touched a little bit on how POS in general is becoming more than just a point of sale system.

But the benefits of integrating with email, are there any other pieces that maybe people don’t realize Celerant could offer and integrate to make that relationship they’re building with their customer even more solid?


Yeah, we also have a lot of third-party partnerships and integrations.

You know, for us as a company, partnerships are really important, and so we go out and we find the right partners, the right companies to integrate with to really bring value to our shared customers, being the pet shops.

So an example of that would be ASTRO. We integrate with ASTRO so retailers don’t have to enter everything in a separate system, it’s all managed within our software and there’s a full integration for their manufacturer rebates through ASTRO and so that loyalty, it’s all built into our software.

We also have integrations with distributors, whether it’s General Pets or Phillips Pets or Sunburst and there’s a whole bunch of others coming soon. We build an integration with the distributor so that the retailer can streamline their processes.

Pet Supply Distributor Integrations


I’ll give you a few examples: in-store, we offer what we call a catalog import, where right in our back office software, they can click on catalog import and select, let’s say General Pets.

They can access the entire General Pet catalog within our software, they can select the products they want to sell, they can import them to populate their entire database. Think about all the manual entry that’s now eliminated and with manual entry, there’s errors.

When you’re able to just select it and import it, you can do it much faster and with much less risk of any mistakes. Then within our software, we can set what we call minimum/maximum inventory levels, so once your inventory hits a certain minimum level, our software can automatically generate a purchase order, and then it sends the order directly to General Pets or whichever distributor you have this with.

So we’re pushing orders instead of the retailer having to call, or go on their website or send emails or however they’re ordering their products. Now it can all be done right through the back office software and it’s all electronic.

Product Data Feeds Integrated with eCommerce


Then for the eCommerce, we can pull what we call online product feeds where we’re pulling the product information, the product images, the product descriptions, from the distributor, to help the retailer go live with an eCommerce site that much faster.

Because when they’re launching an eCommerce site typically, the hard part is finding all the product images, and getting all the product descriptions, and then getting all that data on your site.

Through vendor integrations, you can pull all that, and you can leverage your distributors and take all the awesome product data that they already have in most cases, and use that on your site to sell more of their products.

Related: Celerant’s eCommerce Solutions »

Automated Purchase Orders for Inventory Management


So I love all this because what I’m hearing is something that I think a lot of pet retail owners deal with, which is lack of time.

And so it sounds like there might be a little bit of a learning curve, which there isn’t anything new and which we’ve definitely all experienced recently over the last couple years with everything that’s happened and how just buying has shifted.

But you get to that point with Celerant where when you know the system: it’s click this, click that, and even to what you just mentioned with being able to send a purchase order, that’s more than just notifying, right?

There’s one thing to get a notification, it’s like “your inventory is low and now you have to do something,” but it sounds like Celerant actually goes “your inventory’s low and we took care of that for you.”


Right, the system is actually generating the purchase order, so you’re not even having to create the purchase order.

Now of course, you can choose to not have it auto-send. You can review it, make sure you want to send it. You can also go into the software and actually create a purchase order and send it electronically, but the key is it’s all done through the software.

So you’re pushing the purchase order to your distributor from the software, and then the distributor is pushing back, in a lot of cases, an acknowledgement and even an advanced ship notice, and so it’s all managed within our software.

And to your point about there’s a learning curve, that’s why I really do recommend that retailers do it in phases, because a lot of times, we have small pet shops who have one store and there’s no IT team. They don’t even have an IT person or a marketing person. But we have those resources, we have the dedicated implementation manager that’s going to help them through the whole project.

Utilizing Celerant’s Digital Marketing Team


We have an entire team of digital marketing experts, so going back to the email marketing and the SEO services, which I don’t even think we mentioned, but we also we also offer SEO services to not just get your site live, but also help you rank better on Google.

We have a whole team of digital marketing experts and they can handle everything and they can do everything for the retailer or of course, they can teach the retailer how to do it and then give you the tools and the platform to do it on your own.

You know, it all depends on the retailer. It depends on if they have somebody on staff who can do the marketing or not, and if not, then we can do all of it from start to finish and just send you reports and hopefully a lot of traffic to your website and sales.


I love that because it doesn’t really matter the situation that any particular retailer might be in, whether they’re one store or 10 stores.

Their ownership is doing everything or there’s a team, you and Celerant are built to help them in whatever situation they’re in.

Celerant’s Digital Marketing Team can Support your In-House Team


Some of our larger retailers who may have 15 or 20 stores, they have a team.

They may have a marketing department, or they have a technical team, so those implementation processes on our end, we handle very differently because it’s a different type of retailer. Depending on if the retailer is purchasing Cumulus or Stratus, which of course to go back, is our more enterprise software or our more you know single store uh lighter solution

The implementation process, the go live process, is going to vary greatly. Because it’s two different systems, it’s two different type of retailers.


I love that, I feel like you’re really taking the approach of wanting to meet any pet retail owner where they’re at and help them get to where they could be or should be.


Our mission has always been to, through innovative technology, help retailers grow and enhance their business.

We don’t want to just support their business with what they’re doing now. We want to teach them and support them long term, and help them with new channels and new initiatives, and how to improve what they’re doing now.

Explore: Services You May Need »

Integrated Mobile Shopping Apps for Retailers


One thing that I haven’t mentioned, we actually just announced it today, is we now offer mobile shopping apps for retailers.

That opens up a whole new channel and the beauty is, it’s all integrated in one system. Retailers have a hard enough time keeping up with their eCommerce site, then they have to keep up with an app too, it’s just too much.

But with our software because it’s all integrated, going back to that single solution, product updates, images, promotions, pricing, all of that stuff, is updated in one place in the back office Celerant software and then it automatically updates all your channels.

It’s going to push out to your point of sale, push out to your ecommerce site, push out to your app, so there’s really minimal extra work. You’re just updating everything in one place, your back office and it updates everything and your orders too.

Your orders flow in from all your different channels, whether it’s the store, the website, and now the app, they all flow in right through your central back office Celerant software and that’s where everything is managed.

‘Buy Online, Pickup In Store’ and Curbside Options


That’s amazing and I think really important right now, as the world is getting more digital, which it has been for a while.

But if you look at how millennials are coming up and shifting buying habits, they like apps. I have an app for my vet, i have an app for so many local things.

So having an app for my local independent retailer where if I’m out and about, like “Oh, need this. I wonder if it’s in stock.” That feels very innovative, integrated, and easy as a buyer, too.


Well you know, it’s great on both sides, it’s a win-win. It’s a win for the consumer, but it’s a big win for the retailer, because you can focus on your, like you said, your local customers.

Our app comes standard with ‘buy online, pickup in store’ and curbside pickup. One thing I don’t even think I mentioned yet, is our curbside pickup application. Orders from the ecommerce site, now orders from the app, they all flow into our Celerant curbside app and then, it’s a notification system that can streamline the process.

When your order is ready for the customer to pick it up, they can automatically get a text message sent to their phone. Then when they drive to the store, you can put instructions in the message: come to the curb, come to the parking lot, a specific parking spot.

When the customer’s there, they can just click the link within the text message, and then that’s going to alert the store staff inside the store that they’re at the curb. Again, it streamlines the process, so there’s not making phone calls and trying to figure out where the customer is, and which parking spot they’re at, it’s all done automatically through the system and via text message.

All of that comes standard with the new app as well.

How to Contact Celerant and More Resources


I love that, I really like how Celerant is thinking ahead and supporting all sizes of pet retailers to really save time, be one-stop shop for everything from the app, to eCommerce, to in-store, that’s amazing.

So for people who are watching right now and they’re like, “we need to learn more, we want to get in touch with you,” how can someone get in touch with you?


There is a webpage that you can visit and I think it’s right there on the screen, it’s

We have on that page a 10 minute demo that you can just watch, a 10 minute video. And of course, we’d love to talk to you so when you’re ready, we’d love to have a one-on-one conversation and actually schedule a personalized product demo for you.

But you can go on that page and there’s a bunch of resources on there. We did a really nice SuperZoo recap video that’s there, and then of course, my email if you want to reach out directly to me is and that should be there up on the screen.

Your Retail Business Success is Our Mission


Yes it is. well thank you so much, Michele.

Do you want to leave anybody with any uh inspiring actions? because I feel like very inspired by what you’ve said and the potential of it.


We love what we do and our goal is really to help retailers expand their business.

We don’t want to just make you run more efficiently, we want to make you more successful and in doing so with eCommerce and the app and email marketing and SEO and all these different pieces of the puzzle, but when you put it all together, it really helps your business excel.

And when you can do it all with one company as opposed to having all these different companies. And guess what? when something breaks or something goes wrong, they’re all blaming each other.

Well with us, it’s just us, so of course, there’s bumps in the road. No software’s perfect and implementation is always a process, but we’re going to work with you and we’re going to work alongside you and get you live and be with you through go live, and then of course after go live too.

It’s just a transition, but once you get through that implementation, you will definitely be moving in the right direction and be advancing your business probably more than you ever have before.


That’s perfect. Well, I want to thank you Michele for sharing all about Celerant’s intuitive software system for pet retailers. And thank you viewer for tuning in and watching this Pets+ category spotlight video.


Yes, thanks Chloe, and thanks everyone. Hope to talk to you soon.