Rogers-based Bold Strategies, an e-commerce marketing and sales consultancy, has seen rapid growth in a short time.
Founded in early 2017 by Allan and Lisa Peretz, the business recently made the 2021 Inc. 5000 list as the fastest-growing private company in Arkansas, with revenue soaring 1,781% over the past three years.
Bold Strategies ranked No. 259 out of the top 5,000 fastest-growing U.S. companies on the magazine’s list. Peretz said he and his wife primarily bootstrapped the business, and in 2019 they raised an additional $1.1 million in capital through CrunchBase. Peretz said employees, family and friends own the company. They also comprise most of the board seats.
Bold Strategies’ mission has been to make e-commerce and direct-to-consumer business easier. Having spent 14 years at Procter & Gamble running U.S. and global brands, he saw how fragmented the e-commerce world had become, and there had to be a less cumbersome way for brands to grow their online business.
“Brands would typically work with five or six different partners on their e-commerce business, along with media and content agencies, and then Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and Target each have different systems to navigate. We sought to provide a one-stop-shop for medium-size brands that need help navigating the cumbersome e-commerce landscape,” Peretz said.
Over the past four years, Bold Strategies has grown from two employees to 37. Most are in Northwest Arkansas, with a handful working remotely from Chicago and other major cities. The company focuses only on consumer packaged goods (CPG) and does not serve general merchandise categories. Peretz said consumables are what the company execs know best, having worked on e-commerce strategies for Gillette, Nestlé, Pampers, Molson, Barilla, L’Oreal and Samsung.
“We swim in our lane, and that’s e-commerce,” he said.
Last year as COVID-19 paralyzed much of the world, Peretz said their business stalled for the first couple of months. But then, as operating in a pandemic became the norm, he said the demand for help with e-commerce and direct-to-consumer businesses skyrocketed. Website building, configuring the back-end, and logistics and payment solutions became a substantial part of the company’s growth over the past year.
Peretz said e-commerce continues to grow, and there is plenty of growth potential for Bold Strategies. In 2021, eMarketer predicts e-commerce sales will increase roughly 18%. Peretz said that the company had expanded its services over the past year to help clients capitalize on this rapid growth. He said Bold Strategies’ sweet spot is the fully managed end-to-end services across more than 20 direct-to-consumer and leading retail sites, including Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Instacart.com.
“While we’re proud of the Inc. 5000 recognition, we’re even more proud of the growth our team members deliver for our clients every single day,” Peretz said. “We’re deeply thankful to all of the companies who have trusted us with their e-commerce business.”
Peretz said the company takes a three-step approach with its client base. The first step is assessing the needs of brands looking to get started selling online. He said that could take up to four weeks as Bold Strategies works to understand the landscape and issues the supplier may have with their online business. For instance, perhaps the client doesn’t understand all the mechanics of selling on Walmart.com, or they may need help assessing their competition and industry trends. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of helping them focus on fewer items, simplifying the offering and helping them to find pockets of opportunity.
He said that once the assessment is complete and the presentation is made, the company builds the solutions to help drive better results. Successful online sales start with suppliers making a good impression on the digital shelf, which is much more complex than brick-and-mortar. He said the online world is bogged down with many sponsored ads and millions of items, and cutting through the clutter is the first step.
Bold Strategies does in-house design and copywriting for brands to help with search engine optimization. The company worked with an organic cereal brand to raise the visibility and easy access to ingredients knowledge on the company’s Amazon.com page. Shoppers can scan a QR code on the landing page and get a complete list of ingredients and sourcing information along with recipes and nutrition facts. There is also an easy buy button that takes shoppers directly to Amazon’s site from a smartphone.
Peretz said getting the retail media right is essential to driving brand awareness and gaining sales momentum. Retailer websites and apps are a new frontier in media, with brands now investing close to $30 billion in retailer search, display, and video ads, Bold Strategies states on its website. The company covers media planning and creative development working with tried and true technology to streamline the user experience. From forecasting, budgeting, and managing display and video ads, Bold Strategies is an Amazon Accredited Partner and has interfaces with Walmart, Instacart, Target and Kroger. The company also provides access to in-house search and social media teams.
Once the client plan is built and activated, Bold Strategies will manage and support the strategy. Generating sales is only half the equation. Online commerce also requires getting the product delivered to shoppers efficiently, tracking results and handling logistics.
Peretz said Bold Strategies could help suppliers complete their “back office” and business management capacity without adding employees and growing their payroll. He said clients pay a set monthly fee for the end-to-end management and real-time-data insights.
“We built Bold because e-commerce today is harder than it should be. Most brands end up with three or four different agencies to manage their digital shelf, retail media, social media marketing, and more across numerous channels. In addition to creating confusion and frustration, this slows down the progress,” Peretz said.
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.