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.
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.
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.
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.