Almost three years ago to the day, Accel led the Series A in Narvar, the premium post-purchase customer engagement platform. At the time, the concept of establishing a post-purchase relationship was still relatively new — and needless to say, widely neglected. Most companies focused their efforts on customer acquisition and conversion and would sever the relationship with the customer as soon as they hit “buy.”
Shipping, returns, and communications were outsourced to outside vendors instead of being viewed as strategic opportunities to create customer loyalty. But with the meteoric rise of Amazon Prime and its two-day free shipping policy, that mentality changed pretty quickly. It became clear that in order to compete, retailers not only needed to integrate a post-purchase customer experience, they needed to prioritize it.
Despite this realization, retailers were still hacking solutions together — and not very well. Narvar was the first technology platform to give retailers the ability to seamlessly monitor shipment tracking, returns, delivery optimization, and more so that these companies could continue to deliver an exceptional experience long after their customers checked out. We mused at the time that Narvar’s technology platform would soon “enable hundreds of retailers to take advantage of real-time delivery options without one-off integrations or relationships.”
While our team was excited about Narvar’s concept and product, it was the founder and CEO, Amit Sharma, who truly impressed us. Amit spent over a decade helping leading merchants like Walmart and Apple tackle next-generation supply chain and logistics challenges. It was abundantly clear that he not only had the vision, but he had the deep experience to execute it.
Fast forward three years and it’s almost unheard of for a retailer not to have a clearly defined post-purchase customer experience. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Today, Narvar has more than outpaced that initial potential. They now boast more than 500 of the world’s most admired retailers, including Patagonia, Gap, Levi’s, TUMI and Sephora. They’ve served nearly 5 billion customer interactions across 38 countries and 50 languages. More than 70 percent of adults online have interacted with Narvar through the retailers it supports — and that number is only expected to grow.
It has been a sincere privilege to have supported Amit and his team from the beginning and watch as they scaled Narvar to the company that it is today. It was an easy decision to lead Narvar’s Series C investment, and we’re looking forward to continuing to support them on their journey.