I’m excited to announce that Kaspien has raised $13.5MM in equity funding from the public markets through Aegis Capital. This fundraising round comes at a pivotal point in our journey as Kaspien transitions from our “Growth” phase into our “Scale” phase. 

As CEO of a missiondriven company, I like to start my conversations with our mission statement, which is to optimize and grow brands on today’s leading online marketplaces, such as Amazon and WalmartThis funding takes us one step closer to that mission.  

Here is how Kaspien intends to deploy the newly raised funds to fuel our growth:  

1. Continue to Invest in Kaspien’s Marketplace Growth Technology Platform  

Omnichannel Distribution Infrastructure 

The future of eCommerce is digitally native brands managed through an omnichannel approach across multiple distribution channels – marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc., online shops through platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce, and brick and mortar. I look forward to the day where brands are managed in a centralized manner across various distribution channels, as opposed to the manual aggregation of performance from multiple channels.  

Although there are advantages to be gained simply by diversifying, there are even greater performance gains found in holistically managing inventory across multiple ecommerce sales channels. Why keep inventory at Walmart that’s not selling when you might run out of stock on Amazon? 

Global eCommerce Expansion 

Secondly, the future of eCommerce is global. More international brands are seeing demand for their products in the US and vice versa. The distribution problem extends beyond multiple marketplaces. Instead, it should really be called “Global Distribution Channels Online and Offline.” This is true omnichannel.   

Supply Chain Diversification 

Finally, this diversification extends beyond demand generation channels. The future of eCommerce is supply chain diversification through multiple warehousing and logistics solutions. COVID reminded the world of eCommerce that putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Amazon might restrict you, your carrier might be backlogged, a manufacturing facility might close due to a COVID case, etc. You need to be able to seamlessly shift between Amazon’s warehouses, to 3PLs, to potentially your own warehouse to keep up with the pace of demand. The future of eCommerce is managing supply demand in as real-time as possible, across distribution channels, and on a global scale 

Kaspien’s Technology Platform 

All that I’ve mentioned above is almost impossible to do (especially at scale), without the backbone of a strong technology infrastructure that utilizes the power of data, prescriptive insightsautomation, and artificial intelligence to efficiently manage the entire value chainDeciding which products to sell, managing demand through ad management tools, managing a diversified supply chain, recovering lost dollars from Amazon, managing pricing and unauthorized sellers – all of it requires a strong technology infrastructure that fuels growth and efficient operations, thereby giving you an edge in a fragmented and competitive market.  

That’s where Kaspien comes in. Kaspien’s Marketplace Growth Platform of software and techenabled services is built to help brands scale. Our platform  powered by data, insights, artificial intelligence, and automation – provides all the applications needed to run a marketplace business in a onestop shop. More importantly, it is vertically integrated across the entire value chain and fully extensible to multiple service providers, providing the only solution needed to build a global omnichannel business.  

Our platform also lends itself to network effects. The more brands we have on the platform, the more data and insights we collect; the more data and insights we collect, the more services, marketplaces, and service providers we can onboard; the more we do that, the more brands come onto the platform, and the flywheel continues, benefiting all our customers.

big part of our investment will be continuing to fuel this growth platform, making it more automated, more intelligent, and utilizing data and insights to both optimize and grow our customers’ presence on multiple marketplaces globally.  

2. Expand to a New Business Model: Brand Acquisition 

The beauty of running Kaspien’s various businesses on top of our Marketplace Growth Platform is that it gives us the economies of scale required to build next generation brands on marketplaces. Our strategy of diversification across various business models empowers us to capture more GMV and better leverage our assets for profitable and efficient growth. In 2020, we introduced three business models that sit on top of our marketplace growth platform. 

Retail as a Service: In this model, Kaspien buys inventory and sells it on marketplaces, such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, as a third-party seller. Additionally, we support dropship integrations with various suppliers and distributors, as well as incubate our own brands. At the end of fiscal year 2019, Kaspien had a total of 6 incubated brands: JumpOff Jo, Brilliant Bee, Big Betty, Domestic Corner, Coy Beauty, and Keto the Great 

Agency as a Service: In this model, Kaspien serves as an extension of a partner’s eCommerce team, providing full service and managed services for inventory management, marketing management, creative services, brand control, tax, compliance, and other marketplace growth services. Kaspien charges a subscription fee and receives a percentage of the revenue generated. 

Software as a Service: In this model, Kaspien provides partners access to software through its platform of proprietary technology to empower partners to self-manage their marketplace channel. Kaspien charges a subscription fee and receives a percentage of the transaction. 

Today, we’re excited to announce the fourth pillar of our strategy – brand acquisitions, once again utilizing our platform of software and techenabled services. As part of brand acquisitions, Kaspien will deploy capital to buy brands and grow them via the Kaspien platform. 

Brand Acquisition FAQs 

What’s in it for brands? 

  • We work with brands throughout their lifecycle, including helping founders exit via our brand acquisition arm. 
  • Founders/employees get to participate in the upside of a liquid stock through a public company.  
  • Employees get a new home with a company that is partner-obsessed 

What’s in it for Kaspien?

  • We make better margins when we work directly with manufacturers.  
  • We expand our selection through more SKUs and exclusivity.  
  • We acquire capabilities that we currently don’t have (e.g., new marketplaces). 

 Why is Kaspien well-positioned to acquire brands?  

  • We are Operations First. We have the tech. We have the services. We know how to optimize and grow brands on marketplaces.  
  • We are Already Working with 1,000+ Brands. We already have a pipeline. We can look into our own portfolio and bring them inhouse, thereby controlling the entire supply chain. Brands would prefer to work with someone already managing their operations. 
  • We are a Public Company with a Liquid Stock. Brand owners/employees can get access to a liquid stock and share in the upside of the business. 

3. Grow Our Subscriptions Business Even Faster, Organically and Inorganically   

In 2020, we operationalized our Subscriptions business, which includes our Agency, Managed Services, and Software segments. 2021 is about fueling that business. We’ll be adding more resources to grow the topline of the business, increasing the lifetime value of our customers while also continuing to reduce the cost to acquire new ones. In addition, we’ll acquire other service providers that complement our value proposition to brand partners.  

We’re excited about this new phase of Kaspien’s growth, and we look forward to sharing our results as we continue down this journey of optimizing and growing brands on today’s leading online marketplaces. Welcome to “Scale. 

Sincerely,  

Kunal 
CEO, Kaspien

We are proud to announce that Day Parting is now available in our Amazon campaign management software, AdManager. Day Parting enables Amazon advertisers to schedule pay-per-click (PPC) ads to run only during the days and times that deliver the best resultsThe Day Parting feature also displays performance results for multiple key metrics broken out by day and time, helping guide users’ strategy.  

AdManager is one of the only Amazon ad management applications available to offer Day Parting. Amazon’s native advertising console lacks the ability to segment performance metrics and schedule ads by time. 

Through Day Parting, advertisers can grow sales while minimizing ACOS, maximizing their Amazon marketing profitability. By displaying multiple metrics by day and time, users have the information they need to support various goals. For example, if focused on growing brand awareness, users can set ads to run during times when impressions are highest. If focused on reducing costs, users can run ads during the time that ACOS is lowestWhatever your goals, Day Parting provides the data insights needed to achieve them.

Promising Early Results from Day Parting

Six weeks since implementing Day Parting for our partners’ Amazon advertising campaigns, ACoS has decreased by 40%! This translates to an additional $6 return on every ad dollar spent – a very material impact!

We expect AdManager to drive continual improvements as it constantly intakes and acts upon Day Parting data to refine optimizations.

Kaspien Delivers Results through AdManager

Day Parting is just the latest of ongoing enhancements to AdManager. As a tech-enabled marketplace optimization platform, Kaspien is a firm believer in continual iterations. The Amazon marketplace continues to evolve, and sellers’ tools must evolve with it to meet new challenges and seize new opportunities.  

In 2020, Kaspien used AdManager to drive extraordinary results for our brand partners. 

  • 55% avg. increase in ad sales YOY  
  • 39% avg. increase in ad orders YOY 
  • 41% avg. decrease in ACOS YOY 
  • 6% avg. ACOS on over $90M ad revenue 

AdManager is available as a self-service software or as part of our Amazon advertising managed service. AdManager is provided complementary to our Retail and Agency partners’ ad campaigns. 

Why Use Day Parting for Amazon PPC? 

One of the first questions we hear asked about Day Parting is, “Why would I turn off ads? Even if the people that click the ad do not convert after clicking, the click still indicates interest. Maybe they’ll come back another day to purchase. Furthermore, the failure to convert may be attributed to poor targeting rather than time of day.” 

We understand that viewpoint. There’s logic to it. But we created and strategically use Day Parting because empirical evidence – not hypotheticals – proves that Day Parting makes Amazon ads more effective. To briefly elaborate, here are three data-backed reasons to use Day Parting:

#1 – The data shows that clicks late at night or early in the morning produce fewer sales at a higher ACOS than clicks during business hours or in the early evening.  

#2 – Second, more clicks without a purchase can ultimately reduce campaign relevancy and decrease performance over time.  

#3 – Lastly, if a brand is having trouble keeping campaigns active all day due to budget constraints, it’s much more beneficial to run ads during times when shoppers are more likely to convert to maximize their ad dollars. 

Each brand should assess the impact of Day Parting for themselves. Some may find they prefer to run ads without it. But based on what we’ve seen for our partners’ ad campaigns, we expect that most brands will enjoy better results when using Day Parting. 

How AdManager Enhances Amazon Advertising Performance 

In addition to Day Parting, AdManager offers many other competitive features for Amazon advertising. 

Dynamic Bid Optimizations 

Unlock the transformative power of tiered bid optimizations. Create custom bid management rules that can bid up or down daily at the keyword level based on any combination of performance metrics. 

Search Term Optimization 

AdManager automatically identifies and adds high-converting search terms as keywords to your campaign to ensure continued relevancy and sales. It also automatically identifies and negates poor-performing terms to minimize wasted ad spend. 

Search Term Optimization

Profitability Enhancing Budget Optimization 

Make sure your most profitable campaigns are always running. AdManager lets you set custom rules that automatically increase daily budget for high-performing campaigns if they run low, so your most profitable campaigns never turn off. 

Budget Optimization

Out of Budget Table 

AdManager also includes an Out-of-Budget table, which shows you when campaigns ran out of budget, how often they run out of budget, and the ideal budget for each campaign. 

Out of Budget Table

Campaign-Agnostic Keyword Management 

Save time and streamline campaign management using the centralized keywords table, which enables users to manage keywords across their entire portfolio in one place. 

Automated “4 Campaign Build” Creation 

Maximize data insights and improve performance using our proven “4 Campaign Build” architecture. When creating a new campaign, you can select our “4 Campaign Build” to automatically create three manual campaigns (one per match type) and one automatic campaign. 

4 Campaign Build Ad Architecture

Try AdManager for Free for 30 Days 

Try AdManager’s self-service option through a free 30-day trial, no strings attached. If you’d prefer to have Kaspien’s marketing experts manage your Amazon advertising, reach out to us here. 

Sign Up for a Free Trial


Kaspien Now Selling on Target Plus Marketplace

We are excited to announce that we are active on Target.com! Kaspien is one of the only third-party sellers currently approved to sell on Target.com. We are selling on Target.com as Target Plus partner. 

“The average revenue per listing on Target.com during Q4 2020 was 9x what we saw on Walmart’s marketplace.” 

What is Target Plus? 

Target Plus is a third-party company that sells and ships items directly to customers through Target.com and Target’s apps. 

Target launched the Target Plus Partner program in 2019 to thoughtfully expand their product offerings in popular categories, like home, toys, electronics, and sporting goods. Unlike other marketplaces, Target hand-picks the sellers and brands, rather than allowing any seller to list products on Target.com 

As a result, “Targets’s invite-only marketplace has less than 300 sellers, despite traffic on the website growing more than 50% last year,” according to Marketplace Pulse. Subsequentlybrands selling via approved Target Plus partners like Kaspien experience virtually no competition on this fast-growing marketplace.  

Promising Results from the Target Marketplace 

We were invited to the selective program in early 2020, and we’ve worked closely with Target Plus to confirm the brands and products approved to sell on Target.comWe have been taking a strategic approach, carefully testing each approved category for opportunities. We currently represent four brands that span 30 product listings in the baby, pets, sports and toys categories. 

“I’m extremely excited about what the initial results we’re seeing on Target.com means for our brands,” said Megan Lauterbach, General Manager of Retail at Kaspien. The average revenue per listing on Target.com during Q4 2020 was 9x what we saw on Walmart’s marketplace, an early indicator that Target will be a very meaningful platform for eligible brands in 2021. As we continue to ramp up our Target.com efforts, we have many brands that have expressed interest, and I look forward to continuing to strategically expand our catalog in partnership with Target’s product selection team.” 

As eCommerce continues to grow, so does the need for brands to diversify the platforms on which they sell. 

How to Sell on the Target Marketplace 

Because Target Plus is a gated platformpartnering with approved sellers like Kaspien is one of the most direct routes to sell products on the marketplace. In addition to gaining access to the marketplace, brands also benefit from Kaspien’s easy fulfillment solutions and marketing expertise.  

When selling products on Target Plus through Kaspien, brands ship their labeled inventory into our third-party logistics network, which packages and ships the products as orders come in. We handle all customer returns. 

We also draw on our 13 years of marketplace experience to adapt proven marketing tactics for the Target marketplace For every Target.com listing, we implement optimized listing titles and content, upload a variety of images to showcase the item, and promptly respond to shopper questions.  

Any brands that are interested in partnering with Kaspien to sell on Target.com should reach out here. However, due to Target Plus’s category restrictions and stringent requirements, brands should understand that it is only possible to onboard Target-approved products onto Target.com. 

Read the press release here.

A company’s mission statement should concisely and compellingly explain what that company does. Ishould be the “why” for every business decision made by the company as a whole and individual employees 

As we embark on our most aggressive growth phase yet, we recognized the need to bring our “why” into sharper focus. Today, we are excited to unveil our new mission statement:  

To optimize and grow brands on today’s leading online marketplaces.” 

This new mission statement adheres to our leadership principles of being simple in our approach and being partner-obsessed 

“Our new mission gets to the heart of our purpose,” said Kunal Chopra, CEO of Kaspien. “We optimize and grow brands and we do it on the leading online marketplaces.” 

All our plans, efforts, and measures of success – for the entire company, our teams, and individuals – will be based on how they contribute to our mission of optimizing and growing our partners’ brands.  

Achieving that goal means positioning our partners on today’s leading online marketplaces. What was is not what will be. We will focus on the marketplaces that offer the highest revenue potential for our partners today, and vigilantly prepare for the marketplaces of tomorrow. As the landscape and opportunities change, so too will our strategies. 

Internally, we are excited and motivated by this clarity. As you see it in action, we believe you will be too. 

 

We are happy to announce that Scott Allen has joined our company as our new Chief of Staff! Allen is a 21-year Air Force veteran with a background in strategic leadership experience and guiding large teams through operational execution. He will report directly to our CEO, Kunal Chopra, and will focus on streamlining Kaspien’s strategic initiatives, overseeing program management, and communicating objectives between departments. 

“Kaspien is experiencing a period of immense growth, and we need an individual to champion strategic initiatives across our expanding team,” said Chopra. “Scott’s leadership experience will be an invaluable asset as we continue to scale our operations throughout 2021.” 

Allen has a master’s degree in Human Service Counseling & Executive Leadership that he’s used extensively during his 21 years in the Air Force. Throughout his service, he worked as a Career Development Senior Leader, a role in which he led a team of 30+ to execute improvement processes. He also held the role of Organization Superintendent, where he led a change management initiative focused on recruitment, resulting in a 28% increase in key personnel recruitment. Allen is passionate about using team building, professional development, and process improvement to elevate employee potential and execution. 

“I am excited to be a part of the Kaspien team and the phenomenal culture they have built,” said Allen. “I hope to leverage my outside lens to streamline our operational execution and thereby meet our teams’ vision and goals. I look forward to partnering closely with the executive team and every department to facilitate cross-functional, organization-wide projects and developing new processes to support Kaspien throughout our scale phase of 2021. 

Throughout the rise of the ecommerce marketplaces, millions of sellers have emerged, but few have endured long along to reach a billion dollars in lifetime revenue. Kaspien is pleased to announce that, this week, we reached this milestone.

“One billion in lifetime revenue represents a significant milestone in the history of our company,” said Brock Kowalchuk, Chief Financial Officer at Kaspien Inc. “It symbolizes our ability to endure as one of the original third-party retailers in the marketplace industry. Not only have we persevered as the industry continues to evolve, but we’ve also built a scalable business that is meeting a real need for brands looking to optimize and grow on online marketplaces.”

According to Marketplace Pulse’s recent post, The Disappearing Amazon Resellers, “There are still successful resellers left, and some new entrants manage to build a business around it. The few that remain are very strong … Successful resellers are now often positioned much more like agencies than retailers.”

Kaspien has adapted with the market, expanding from our wholesale retail roots to also offer a best-in-class marketplace agency, as well as seller software solutions. Our robust offerings were created in our pursuit to become the one-stop ecommerce shop for brands; whatever brands need for selling on the marketplaces, we’ve got it. Our ability to adapt quickly and expand our offerings has been foundational to us reaching this billion-dollar milestone.

Additionally, on Jan. 22, 2021, Kaspien Holdings received written notice from the Listing Qualifications Staff of The Nasdaq Stock Market confirming that the company had regained compliance with the continued listing requirements after the company’s market value exceeded $35MM for 10 consecutive days in January.

Significant highlights of the past year include:

  • Rebranded parent company from Trans World Entertainment to Kaspien Holdings Inc.
  • Named Kunal Chopra CEO of Kaspien Holdings
  • Moved corporate headquarters from Albany, NY to Spokane Valley, Wash.
  • Announced a net revenue increase of +36% in Q3 2020 compared to prior year
  • GMV increase of 127% in Q3 2020 compared to prior year, led by gains in subscription business

Kaspien’s full Q3 earnings report can be found here.

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Kaspien 2020 in Review

2020 has been a year like none other. As we approach its end, I want to take a moment to review all that we’ve achieved in this remarkable year. None of it would have been possible without our partners, who trusted us to get through this year together. Thank you for your partnership. Here’s to growing together in the new year! 

What We Planned 

In December 2019, I shared a blog post recapping my first 90 days at Kaspien and our vision for 2020. In that post, I outlined six goals: 

  1. Scale our platform 
  2. Grow our retail division 
  3. Grow our agency and software divisions 
  4. Increase automation and operational efficiency 
  5. Improve our customer experience 
  6. Revitalize our focus on our employees 

 

What Actually Happened 

While 2020 went in directions that we could not predict, I’m proud to say we delivered on all six fronts.  

We’ve brought more services into our platform, grown our net revenue, grown our subscriptions business, improved operational efficiencies (in large part through automation), invested in our customer experience lifecycle, and added more programs and benefits for our employees. 

In fact, even as turbulent as the year has been, we saw many successes in 2020: 

We Raised $30.2 Million 

We started our 2020 fiscal year with a bang. On February 21, 2020, we secured $25 million in new financing to expand and enhance our offerings. In April, we raised another $5.2 million in funding as our parent company, Kaspien Holdings, shifted its entire focus to ecommerce. 

  Kaspien Raises 25 million dollars

Kaspien Raises 30 million dollars

We Successfully Adapted to Remote Work 

On March 16, 2020, our corporate office shifted to working from home. Many of our employees took desktops and monitors home, but left belongings on their office desks with the expectation of being back in a few weeks. Oh, how little we knew then.  

Kaspien Office March 2020

But we adapted, quickly and efficiently. We left the office on a Friday, and by end of day Monday, we had 150 employees working from home while maintaining their duties and delivering results for our partners.  

Kaspien Work From Home

We had our share of bumps along the road, and remote work certainly came with a learning curve for us as an organization, but I am very proud of how well and how quickly our employees adapted.  

We Launched our Amazon Ad Management Software 

In late 2019, we launched our Amazon campaign management software, AdManager, in beta. In April 2020, we launched our full release.  

AdManager originated from internal needs – over our history, Kaspien has served over 4,000 brands as their ecommerce partner, which means that our advertising portfolio quickly grew. To successfully scale, we had to automate that process without sacrificing performance.  

We spent over 4 years and over 5,000 manhours developing AdManager, refining and enhancing it to better meet our internal teams needs. We built AdManager into something truly remarkable, and eventually, we realized that others might like this software too.  

We Defined a New Leadership Principle 

Even faced with a pandemic, this year saw protests across the nation drawing attention to violence and racism that still haunts our country. In late June, we added a seventh “leadership principle” to guide our company culture and vision:  

We believe in the power of diversity and teamwork. 

While Kaspien has always welcomed diversity, it was done too passively. With the addition of this leadership principle, we made attention to diversity part of our company DNA. It is shifting from a passive welcome to a conscious consideration that permeates our culture and work.   

We Rebranded from “etailz” to “Kaspien” 

On September 3, 2020, we announced our rebrand from “etailz” to “Kaspien.” Rebranding was exhilarating, full of opportunities and potential risks. We had built our reputation as etailz, but we had also outgrown the name as our company evolved to offer so many more services than just online retail. It was a risk, but one we believed worth taking.  

Three months later, I’m proud to report that our team didn’t miss a beat. Operations and business expansion continued uninterrupted, and our marketing department did a phenomenal job implementing the rebrand across all our assets in one fell swoop.  

We were Named One of the Best Places to Work 

In October 2020, we had the honor of being named as one of the best places to work in the Inland Northwest by the Journal of Business and Best Companies Group. 

This award recognizes our progress toward the sixth goal I designated at the end of 2019: renew focus on our people.  

Kaspien Work From Home

In the past year, Kaspien has instituted many new employee engagement programs, such as a Charitable Contribution and Giving Committee. This committee is focused on giving back to our Spokane community, and recently organized a diaper drive for the local Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery after the committee became aware that the nursery was unable to host the annual diaper drive themselves due to COVID-19. 

We Beat Financial Targets 3 Quarters in a Row 

The fourth quarter of our fiscal year is still underway at the time of this post’s publication, but we’ve published our earnings for the first three quarters of FY20. In each quarter, Kaspien exceeded our target EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization), testifying to our strong operating performance. 

In the third quarter, we reported a 36% in net revenue year-over-year and our Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) increased 127% year-over-year. Before that, in the second quarter, our total revenue increased 23.5% year-over-year and our GMV increased 46% year-over-year.  

We have been continually improving, and it’s showing. 

We Expanded our Offerings 

Over the course of the year, we continually expanded our offerings to include more self-service and managed service software solutionsUS Tax compliance for online sellers, and an unauthorized seller removal service. We also expanded our FBA warehouse network to include 7 facilities across the US and were among the first approved users for Walmart’s new FBA-like service, Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). 

What Lies Ahead in 2021 

As we’ve alluded to in our quarterly earnings reports, 2020 was all about building a strong foundation by centralizing our services into a platform. We’ve made tremendous progress on that initiative.  

As we look ahead to 2021, our focus shifts to scaling everything we’ve developed. We will expand to new markets and marketplaces, upgrade our existing software and services and release new offerings, and serve new clients. Kaspien is becoming the industry leader in Marketplace Seller Services.  

11 Strategic Themes 

Like last year, we’ve outlined our goals as a list of strategic themes we will focus on throughout the year: 

1. Centralize our Platform 
We will continue creating a centralized location for brands to access everything they need to flourish in online marketplaces, including reporting and management for sales, inventory, marketing, and more. 

2. Expand Our Platform 
We will increase the number and quality of features, products, and services in our platform, making Kaspien truly a one-stop shop. 

3. Continue Improving Tailored Offerings 
Each brand has different circumstances and different goals, so a “one size fits all” approach is simply a disservice. To be the ultimate online growth partner, we must continue to enhance our ability to tailor strategy and services for each brand.  

4. Build Upon Our Category Expertise 
As part of offering tailored solutions, we will focus on deepening our expertise in key categories so we can deliver ever greater results for our partners. Kaspien has and will continue to serve brands of every product category. We are not diminishing our breadth; we are deepening our knowledge. 

5. Expand to New Marketplaces 
Amazon is the dominant marketplace in the US, but other marketplaces offer immense potential that should not be ignored. We will continue expanding our offerings on other major marketplaces, including Walmart, Target, and many more. 

6. Expand Globally 
New marketplaces are springing up around the globe. To better meet the needs of current and future partners, we will expand our operations into additional markets to become the global leader in marketplace services. 

7. Expand through Inorganic Growth 
As we continue to scale, we will seek opportunities to grow Kaspien organically and inorganically. We will consider strategic partnerships and acquisitions that enable us to improve our existing offerings, add new offerings, and serve new audiences. 

8. Create and Enhance Automations 
We seek to empower brands through automation. By offboarding repetitive, manual tasks, we free brands to focus on more ambitious projects and strategy, without sacrificing quality. 

9. Optimize Our Value Chain 
We will continue to refine our internal structure and processes with the end goal of accelerating progress and improving outcomes for initiatives that add the greatest value for our partners.  

10. Diversify Our Value Chain 
We intend to support multiple corporate partners and tool providers on our platform, cultivating a robust ecosystem of brand services that delivers even greater value to our partners. 

11. Continue Operational Control Focus 
We’ve been EBITDA positive for the last three-quarters, which means we’re maintaining profitability and sustainability. We will continue increasing operational efficiencies across our business. 

Our goals are built around adding value for our partners. You’re the reason we come to work every day. We have seven leadership principles, and two of the most important are being partner obsessed and delivering results. 2021 will be all about continuing to uphold those principles. 

Kaspien Inc. Is thrilled to welcome Lisa Meisenbacher as their new CTO of Software Engineering, Product Management and Data Engineering. Lisa has extensive technical executive leadership experience and brings over 20 years of experience in software development, enterprise cloud computing, SaaS architectures, and predictive analytics to Kaspien. Her breadth and depth of experience and proven leadership will help Kaspien continue to evolve as an industry-leader in marketplace retail technology.  

“I’m very pleased to have Lisa join the Kaspien team,” said Kaspien CEO Kunal Chopra. “We took the hiring process for this role very seriously, seeking someone who brought the right set of values, behaviors, and experiences to the table. It’s important that we get the right skill fit and culture fit, and Lisa does exactly that. I’m confident in her ability to help Kaspien continue to emerge as a major player in the retail technology sector.” 

Lisa is a PhD software engineer who has spent more than 20 years of her professional career in various executive level technical leadership roles of increasing responsibility in the healthcare, high-tech and financial services industries for both large and small global organizations including ADP, Siemens and Merck. Her most recent experience includes defining and executing digital strategies across industries using artificial Intelligence, predictive analytics and blockchain. In addition, she has in-depth experience modernizing and scaling large-scale, cloud-based SaaS platforms and mission critical distributed computing systems.  

Lisa will report directly to Chopra, focusing on developing Kaspien’s internal and Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies. Kaspien currently has a robust portfolio of proprietary internal software that helps with inventory forecasting, marketing automation, performance reporting, dropship optimization and supply chain management.  

Kaspien also offers a variety of SaaS products focused on marketplace retail. Most recently, the company launched an Amazon advertising SaaS game in April 2020, AdManager. Their technology portfolio also includes seller tracking and seller reimbursement software.  

“We’ve developed such incredibly useful internal software and now we’re ready to scale our SaaS offerings and share our technology with the world. Lisa will be a key player in driving this exciting initiative,” said Chopra. 

etailz rebrands to Kaspien

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we have rebranded from “etailz” to “Kaspien. Our parent company, Trans World Entertainment, has also rebranded to Kaspien Holdings, consolidating the two brands into Kaspien.  

Even more important than streamlining the corporate structure, this rebrand also reflects the next era of our journey. Our company has been evolving ever since our founding in 2008. We grew from a niche third-party seller of eco-friendly products into a top FBA retailer, created proprietary software for our internal teams that are now SaaS products, and launched an agency division to manage brands’ marketplace channelsWe were creating fantastic tools but realized that we were limiting their potential and efficacy by only leveraging them for internal needs.   

When Kunal Chopra joined the company as our new CEO in September 2019, he brought a new vision, one that harnessed all the different components we had built, expanded them, and brought them together in a unified, cohesive system. 

Guided by a strong executive team, we underwent a metamorphosis, evolving from a top Amazon third-party retailer to a robust platform of ecommerce services and software. Through the platform model, we now provide leading services, software, and strategy for all aspects of an online business, regardless of what, where, or how a brand chooses to sell.  

Why is etailz Rebranding?  

In short, we outgrew our old name. 

“Kaspien is in a different place in the market than we were 1 year ago, much less 10 years ago,” said CEO Kunal Chopra. Today, there are thousands of third-party sellers, agencies, and software providers offering brand services for online marketplaces. It’s a fragmented market. As etailz, we were one of those fragments. As Kaspien, we are defragmenting the market, pulling together all the services, tools, data, and integrations brands need to succeed on ecommerce under one roofWe’re a onestop shop. 

“By defragmenting the market, we enable brands to grow and evolve without having to change systems. Through Kaspienbrands can continue building upon the same strong foundation of insights, results, products, services, and committed relationships no matter how their ecommerce needs change, Chopra said. 

etailz’s name was synonymous with third-party retail, and after 12 years of experience, weve become exceptionally effective at it. Our success was built upon our software and strategies, and these tools have now become the core of our platform as we know it today. While we’re still a third-party retailer, it’s only one of many parts. As Kaspien, everything we’ve developed to drive our past success is now available in flexible models to suit your business’s needs.  

Listen to our CEO, VP of HR, and Creative Director discuss our rebrand to Kaspien on our podcast 

 

What does Kaspien Mean? 

The Name 

The name “Kaspien was inspired by the Caspian Sea, the largest inland sea in the world. Like many waterways, ita hub of commerce. There is also debate whether it’s a lake or a sea; it’s more than it appears to be, and so are we.  

Unlike a traditional retailer, we operate in three sectors – as a retailer, agency, and a software provider – and we wanted a name that can grow with us in the future. Kaspien does this. 

The Logo 

The logo utilizes an abstract ‘K’ as a graphic element. The negative space subtly incorporates a forward pointing arrowrepresenting forward thinking, innovation, and leadership – traits that etailz was founded upon and Kaspien will continue to embodyThe hexagon behind the ‘K’ is inspired by patterns prevalent in nature due to the hexagon’s efficiency, from bees’ honeycombs to the Giant’s Causeway. Our value proposition is rooted in maximizing efficiency, and Kaspien’s logo is an homage to this. 

The Future of Kaspien 

We’re as committed as ever to being “partner obsessed” and providing the best possible service for our partners. That mission and promise will never change. 

We’ll continue expanding our services and software through internal development, integrations, and partnerships, unlocking greater efficiencies and performance. It’s an exciting time at Kaspien, and our partners will reap the benefits. 

We’re thankful for all that we have learned over the last 12 years and to the etailz name for getting us here. Now, we’re excited for our bright future – together – as Kaspien. 

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etailz diversity and teamwork

Like many successful companies, Kaspien has a set of guiding principles that we use to inform our strategy across the organizationestablished six “leadership principles for us when I joined the company: 

  • We are Partner-Obsessed  
  • We are Insights Driven  
  • We Deliver Results for our Partners 
  • We Innovate on Behalf of our Partners  
  • We are Simple in our Approach  
  • We are Owners 

I review them in every company-wide meeting. They are displayed on posters in our corporate office. Wreference them when serving our partners. We reference them when determining internal strategy and resource allocation. We reference them when interviewing job candidates. We use them to assess our company, team, and individual performance. They permeate our company through and through.  

But the heightened national awareness of the violence and racism that still haunts our country made me realize that we’ve been lacking an important factor in this set of guiding principles: Diversity. While we have welcomed diversity in the past, it was done too passively. It’s time to change that. I worked with my leadership team, and, in late June, we announced the addition of a seventh leadership principle: 

  • We Believe in the Power of Diversity and Teamwork 
    We value diversity in every way, and we collaborate as a team to drive the best results for our business and our partners. 

With the addition of this leadership principle, we make attention to diversity part of our company DNA. It will shift from a passive welcome to a conscious consideration that permeates our culture and work.  

Combining diversity and teamwork in a single leadership principle may strike some as odd, but I believe they go hand in hand. Cultivating diversity is step one, but it’s only when we act upon on it and build something together as a team that we can fully realize its power.  

We value diversity in every way: Race, gender, origin, religion, creed, orientation – all these factors and more shape our experiences and perspectivesBy bringing different perspectives together and empowering collaboration, we inspire and ignite innovation, creating a stronger and more agile team that can better serve our business and our partners.  

I’m excited by this addition to our company’s core guiding principles. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, thoughts, or just want to chat. I’m always available. 

  

Kunal Chopra, CEO,Kaspien & TWE 

| 425-281-3566 

I hope you are all staying safe and doing well through these unprecedented times. We are thankful now more than ever for our strong Kaspien community who has banded together during the tough times that have occurred throughout 2020. The pandemic has left many people and businesses throughout the nation in a very challenging place, and on top of these troubled times, we’ve seen how inequalities across the nation have impacted people everywhere. I wanted to share a recent email that was sent to all Kaspien employees, as I believe it is important to share our view of the world and how we can navigate through this, together as one.   

As the CEO of Kaspien and Trans World Entertainment, I strive hard every day to create an environment that is inclusive for all. Inclusion is not just my duty, it is embedded deep into my personal values, especially as a person of color. But inclusion is a lot more than what it seems on paper. Inclusion is when every employee at Kaspien – whatever religion you belong to or don’t belong to, whatever color you are, whatever background you come from, whether you’re male, female or other, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, however young or old you are, or any other classification –– will get the same opportunities as everyone else. From opportunities to share your ideas to opportunities in your career and everything in between, Kaspien is a culture that prides itself on its “Leadership Principles” and nothing else. There are no divides here. We don’t divide between manager and individual contributor; we don’t divide among departments; we don’t divide among religion, caste, creed, dress code, age, gender or anything else that identifies who you are. We will always hold hands and move forward as one Kaspien team.  

Yes, we debate and will continue to debate every day, because at the heart of debate is a solution to a problem and our job as leaders is to solve problems; solve problems for our customers to become their ultimate online growth partner and empower them to help build massive businesses online. We succeed when they succeed. This debate should never be confused for a divide. You will never be judged at Kaspien on a question you ask or an email you send or whether you question even my actions. Our objective every day is to get to the truth of the issue at hand and we do it in an inclusive manner with no divides.  

Lately, I’m saddened and angry at the events that I’ve seen unfold in our country unfairly targeting African Americans and other people of color in our communities. This behavior and this injustice are not something we can tolerate. There is no place for racism in this modern world. At the same time, I also condemn the reaction that many have had in the form of violence, looting, and rioting. Violence is never the answer to a problem.  

At a time when the world is trying to fight one of its biggest health crises; at a time when we should be celebrating innovations in our world like the SpaceX and NASA launch of astronauts to space, our country continues to battle medieval problems of racism and violence.  This is not 21st century thinking, like we have here at Kaspien. 

To all my fellow co-workers: I want to assure you that you have my commitment to strive even harder to build our inclusive future. If the events of the recent past have hurt you, I completely understand. However, if you feel vulnerable at our workplace, I want you to know that you shouldn’t. Kaspien is a safe place for all. The executive team is committed towards this. 

Today, let’s all take a moment today to mourn the death of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives as victims of racism, inequality, xenophobia and other acts of violence. Let’s also wish our officers the very best as they curb the current violent situation here in Washington and in other cities in The United States.  

Looking forward to another week of holding hands and inclusively achieving our mission together.  

Thanks,  

Kunal 

etailz AdManager is your marketer who never sleeps

We recently launched Kaspien AdManager, software for Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ad management. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we sat down with our AdManager experts to discuss some of the most pertinent questions, like “What is AdManager?” and “What makes it better than other Amazon ad management software?”  

You’ve asked. We’ve answered.  

Find all the juicy details below. 

What is Kaspien AdManager?  

AdManager is your Amazon search marketing team member who never sleeps. In more technical terms, it’s marketing software for Amazon that minimizes manual campaign management by automating keyword and bid optimizations for PPC ads. Users can take a simple “autopilot” approach, where they select their target advertising cost of sale (ACoS) then let Kaspien’s proven optimizations turn on, or users can get into the weeds and create custom rule sets around specific goals per ad group. Additionally, AdManager also captures and composes data, giving you the insights needed to improve your marketing efforts.  

What problems does AdManager solve?   

On Amazon, marketers face three consistent problems: campaign management is time consuming, achieving optimal return and product placement simultaneously is challenging, and data is limited and spread across several reports. All three of these issues become more problematic as a business scales. AdManager solves each of them.   

Automates Optimizations: AdManager gives back time by automating optimizations, including bid up and bid down, adding new high-converting keywords from the Search Term Report, and adding low-converting keywords as negative keywords. It also saves time for manual optimizations by allowing users to adjust all keywords, all ads, all ad groups, or all campaigns at once via a centralized keywords table.

Enhances Efficiency: Second, it maximizes returns and placement by using a combination of value-based and rule-based bidding, which enables optimizations to be more nuanced, precise, and efficient.

To get more insights into why this is such a big deal, download our AdManager eBook. 

Empowers Data-Driven Strategy: Third and finally, it solves the data issue by collecting data from the lifetime of the campaign (instead of just the trailing 90 days), then presents it in a single place, so you can easily assess campaign performance and make strategic improvements. 

etailz's PPC management software increases Amazon sales

What circumstances brought about the need for AdManager?   

Saying that we “just launched” AdManager is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, Kaspien created AdManager over 4 years ago for our own teams to use when managing our partners’ ad campaigns. What we really mean when we say AdManager “just launched” is that it is available for the first time as a self-service application.  

Interestingly, the impetus for AdManager was the need to reduce the time it takes for reporting. As one of the largest 3P sellers on Amazon, Kaspien was running thousands of campaigns for hundreds of brands and reporting on those campaigns was time intensive. As we built out the reporting functionality, we quickly found that there was so much more potential in automation.   

Amazon lacked a way to effectively manage ads for every product, so we had been making all our optimizations via macros in Excel. The files grew so large that they literally crashed Excel. By creating AdManager, we could save time for not just reporting, but every aspect of campaign management. And since we were building the software ourselves, we could ensure it ticked all our boxes, first and foremost being that automation did not sacrifice our experts’ ability to tailor optimizations down to the product-level. 

How does AdManager differ from what’s available in Seller Central?  

Where to begin? AdManager is much more robust and has a more user-friendly interfaceUnlike Seller Central, it provides access to lifetime campaign data, displays realtime changes, enhances optimization functionality, uses AI algorithms that optimize based on product-level KPIs, allows max bid ceilings, and provides cross-campaign reports of keywords, ad group, and product performance 

etailz AdManager vs Seller Central

software for Amazon PPC ads outperforms Seller Central

Amazon advertising via Seller Central is limited compared to AdManager

How does AdManager differ from other PPC Management software for Amazon?  

AdManager is more sophisticated. Most other Amazon PPC management applications dumb down the ad management process by only allowing users to select a target ACoS for their entire product line. This is great for small catalogs or marketers who want to maximize return at a very high level, but it does not serve brands that have products at varying stage of their life cycles (i.e. new products need more aggressive ACoS targets), and products with different margins (which require different ACoS targets)AdManager has dynamic optimization capabilities. Marketers can either set a target ACoS and use Kaspien’s proven optimizations, or they can create custom optimizations using a combination of metrics in a tiered structure, enabling a more nuanced strategy than most competitors. 

It’s also one of the only PPC management tools built by Amazon sellers. We’ve spent over 12 years in online retail and have been refining and validating AdManager on our own and partners’ campaigns for over 4 years. We know the ins and outs and all the pain points of advertising on Amazon, and we used that experience to make the best Amazon advertising software available 

Who should use AdManager as a Managed Service vs. Self-Service? 

AdManager is available in two formats: as a Managed Service and as Self-Service. In the Managed Service model, Kaspien’s marketing experts use AdManager to run your Amazon ad campaigns on your behalf. As such, the Managed Service is ideal for brands who don’t have the personnel, time, or expertise to run and optimize Sponsored Ads on Amazon. This model is available to everyone: our retail partners, agency partners, and businesses using just a select set of Kaspien services.  

The Self-Service model is for brands or agencies who have the personnel and know-how to run PPC ad campaigns on Amazon but could use a better tool. If you have the expertise, but struggle to find the time or want to see improved performance, then the Self-Service model is a great fit. 

Who could benefit from using AdManager?  

All businesses who advertise on Amazon could benefit. The PPC management software can handle a few campaigns or hundreds of campaigns, depending on your needs. AdManager gives you the tools you need with the option to get as granular as you’d like, so anyone from an entrylevel marketer to a veteran marketing manager can drive improvements to their campaigns.  

Some businesses are cutting back on marketing spending now due to the human and economic impact of COVID. Why should impacted businesses be looking for software at a time like this?  

The biggest winners in uncertain times are the ones who can maximize wherever theyre investing time and money. With the reduction in ACoS that AdManager provides, we typically see the software pays for itself through spend reduction and sales increases in just a few months. If you’re skeptical, start your free trial. You’ll see results. 

Amazon PPC software drove consistent year over year sales growth

What are the next steps in AdManager’s journey? What else is on the roadmap? 

There is so much potential for this unicorn! We’re developing Vendor Central compatibility and improved automated optimizations. We’re close to releasing Day Parting, which is a feature that many advertisers (and we at Kaspien) are very excited about. We’ve been beta testing Day Parting, and the results are very promising. We’re also looking to expand to additional domestic and international marketplaces, which is a huge need within the marketing world. The goal is to simplify and enhance every marketer’s online performance through the use of this incredibly powerful software. 

Learn more, request a demo, or start a free trial at Kaspien.com/admanager.