Astound Commerce buys The E-Tailing Group

April 6, 2016 04:35 PM

Online retail research and consulting firm The E-Tailing Group has been acquired by e-commerce implementation vendor Astound Commerce. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the acquisition, E-Tailing Group founder Lauren Freedman will become senior vice president of digital strategy and chief merchant for Astound Commerce. She founded The E-Tailing Group in 1993 and has established herself as one of the leading voices in the online retail industry. The group is well-known for its annual Mystery Shopper Study, which benchmarks 100 online retailers across 272 categories.

She says the timing was right to sell the business. “The opportunity to bring my voice and my front-end experience to a systems integrator, someone who understands the back end and can actually execute it, seemed interesting to me,” she says. “It was also an opportunity to take some of those mystery shopping tools that I have and bring them to a global platform.”

Freedman says she will continue the mystery shopping and proprietary research on which she has built her reputation, so in a lot of ways, things won’t change much on her end.

“What will be different is I’ll have a chance to work that merchandising magic with Astound’s existing clients,” she says. “I’m also going to be involved in some of the global marketing and bringing some of these global tools to some of their other offices.”

Astound Commerce lists such major brands as adidas America Inc. (No. 246 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide), Crocs Inc. (No. 240) and L’Oreal Group among its clients.

“Retailers' traditional competitive advantages, such as price or brand, are now being challenged by consumers who value consistent, compelling experiences across all channels,” Astound Commerce CEO Igor Gorin says. “Consequently, retailers are looking for a partner to help them navigate through these dynamics. This acquisition positions us well to be that partner."




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