The Supply Side: WhyteSpyder, Crossmark partner on digital merchandising offerings

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,048 views 

Crossmark, a marketing and merchandising services firm, announced a new alliance with Fayetteville-based WhyteSpyder designed to provide clients with immediate digital merchandising solutions to grow online sales.

David Newman, chief insights officer for Crossmark, said his company continues to build on 114 combined years of expertise by strengthening its e-commerce presence with the WhyteSpyder alliance. He said the alliance allows them to provide a one-stop omnichannel shop to serve all brands’ and retailer needs.

“With their expertise in in-store merchandising and marketing and our expertise with digital shopper behavior, we can build a cohesive experience for the shopper, benefiting both the retailer and brands,” said Eric Howerton, CEO of WhyteSpyder. “Crossmark plus WhyteSpyder really does equal an omnichannel type of service and technology business.”

Howerton told Talk Business & Politics the companies began talking in mid 2018 after Cross mark approached WhyteSpyder to help them provide digital merchandising solutions in addition to the in-store service they provide.

“WhyteSpyder was vetted against all other eCommerce technology companies and service providers across the nation, and we were chosen because of our knowledge, market place position and technology,” Howerton said.

Howerton said Crossmark clients have the opportunity to opt in WhyteSpyder services and vice versa. He said Crossmark clients may leverage Crossmark for a full suite of their services, and only purchase a few products from WhyteSpyder or may engage with WhyteSpyder on a strategic level. Clients can engage as little or as much as they want, or not at all. He said WhyteSpyder’s role in the alliance is to develop strategy and content to help retailers and suppliers win with digital merchandising. As Crossmark expands its digital services, Howerton said WhyteSpyder will be company’s go-to for all things digital. For both companies, increased sales for clients is the goal.

“WhyteSpyder knows what it takes to sell more online and they know what the retailers are searching for and what key words they’re using to help people buy more online,” Newman said.

While both companies will continue to operate independently, they will attend customer meetings together as a unified organization to address customer needs, according to Newman. Howerton is unsure if there’s another alliance that includes vision, data, technologies, execution, strategy and insights all focused on omnichannel growth.

Crossmark and WhyteSpyder were chosen by Walmart in recent years as “preferred partners” for the retailer as it revamped and scaled down the number of service providers for in-store merchandising and online content/sales merchandising. In late 2018, WhyteSpyder was selected as one of the 12 connected content partners by Walmart as the retailer reduced the number of options suppliers. WhyteSpyder is tagged as one of the enrichment providers with deep content expertise in apparel, auto, lawn and garden categories. In July 2017, Walmart selected five Preferred Services Providers (PSP) to be part of the new program. Crossmark was one of the five. Other in-store merchandisers also retained by Walmart were Anderson Merchandisers, Acosta, Premium and SAS Retail Services.

While WhyteSpyder and Crossmark do work directly with Walmart they also serve other retailers and suppliers across many retail categories.

Editor’s note: The Supply Side section of Talk Business & Politics focuses on the companies, organizations, issues and individuals engaged in providing products and services to retailers. The Supply Side is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by Propak Logistics.

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