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Meet Engine – A Conversion Focused E-commerce Platform For Mid To Large Cap Vertically Integrated Digitally Native Brands

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Below is our recent interview with Blake Puryear, Head of Product at Engine:

Q: How would you describe Engine in your own words?

A: Engine is a conversion focused e-commerce platform for mid-to-large cap vertically integrated, digitally native brands. For the most part, we are here to serve brands that are making their own product and selling it through primarily digital channels. Think of brands with products similar to Stance Socks and Lush Bath Bombs. We provide our brands with a marketing toolkit that’s built to increase their on-site conversions and build their online presence. The Engine platform provides a content management system, email marketing, event-driven marketing flows and more. We’re built to embrace the shifting market of 2020 e-commerce and are continually looking to the future for ideas on how we can embrace emerging patterns in e-commerce.

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Q: Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your company based on?

A: Our CEO and I ran previously ran Hayseed Ventures, a venture capital startup that made investments into about 13 e-commerce brands. We grew these brands from different stages in their lifecycle and each of them had a common set of problems with existing e-commerce software. They’d all use the same set of 21 plugins, bogging down their stores with bloatware that cost them a lot more than the promised monthly fee. We began to joke about how building our own e-commerce platform would be a better solution. Well, we stopped joking and that’s how we started building Engine. Now, almost two years later, we’ve got an amazing foundation for our product and can’t wait to share it with the world.

Q: Who do you see as your competitors?

A: We’re currently looking primarily at brands that are locked into Magento, Volusion, and BigCommerce. They’re being underserved by their current platforms and Engine is a great solution to their problems. We think that our marketing toolkit and our product itself is uniquely positioned to be the exact fit for these types of brands.

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Q: You’ve recently raised $3.5M, could you tell us more about it?

A: We’re going to deploy this capital to grow the team and enhance the product, looking to make Engine the best e-commerce platform for brands in the half million to $80M range. This new capital is all being put into our product and people. We are truly excited about raising this kind of money in the heartland and building such an innovative product here in the “flyover states.”

Q: What’s next?

A: Early next year, Engine will become available for outside agencies to use. Further on in the year, we will have a self-serve option that’s basically a “click-click-sell” solution. We’re really excited about both of these initiatives and can’t wait to share more about the future of Engine. We’re going to be doing some really cool stuff focused round machine learning and marketing automation. I can’t give too many details right now but it’s a dramatic departure from what’s considered “normal” by the eCommerce community today.

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