Commerce strategy and networking was in full swing at The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show in New York in January. Rithum made its debut at the NRF Big Show in New York, where Chief Technology and Product Officer Aarthi Ramamurthy shared three lessons about how to achieve profitability while combating rising costs, part of the event’s Exhibitor Big Ideas Sessions.   

Lesson 1: Profitable Growth > Growth at all costs 

Growth at all costs use to be the norm, but we now know that doesn’t work, Ramamurthy said. With rising costs and ever-changing consumer demands that can constrain profitability, focusing on profitable growth is key. 

So how do brands and retailers do that? To combat these costs, Rithum allows brands and retailers to be asset light. Asset light inventory models increase profitability. It is also essential to be proactive about operational costs and get ahead of rising delivery and returns costs, Ramamurthy said. 

How Rithum helps brands and retailers dropship  

Rithum has helped many retailers manage dropship operations and cost of service.   

We’ve attracted new customers because of the way we’ve been able to help keep open costs under control, Ramamurthy said.   

Rithum has an established network of vendors. We empower you with logistics, including combatting expensive delivery problems and building trust with customers, she said.  

Private marketplaces for strategic growth 

Retailers take advantage of private marketplaces because of the speed of onboarding, the ability to expand their marketplace presence quickly, and go live and to market faster, Ramamurthy said.  

Rithum provides automated SKU conversion, rapid product launch, and supplier and product performance.  

Lesson 2: Speed + Scale = Where the magic happens 

Rithum’s goal is to help brands and retailers launch and scale quickly. By expanding your market presence, you can improve profitability and grow your business. 

Everyone wants to launch faster, and that makes sense, Ramamurthy said. “But scale matters,” she said. “With Rithum’s large commerce network, you’re able to leverage it to get any supplier or any seller, discovered and live on different marketplaces or with retailers.” 

Rithum provides a customized onboarding process, detailed reporting, and dedicated support.  

Rithum’s data-driven performance marketing technology allows for improved ROI, the ability to find new customers, realize greater traffic and convert more shoppers. This is achieved through paid search and shopping, paid social media and product feed management.   

Lesson 3: AI is changing the game, and we’re already starting to see gains 

Rithum recently acquired Cadeera to build out AI and machine learning capabilities to help retailers and suppliers accelerate and scale faster. “AI is such a hot topic. Everyone is talking about it. But for us, it’s not this flashy buzzword,” Ramamurthy said. “It’s more about taking AI and machine learning tools and being able to apply those capabilities for very simple structural problems like supplier onboarding.” 

AI technology helps Rithum normalize product data and get suppliers live faster, she said. “We’re talking minutes – not days, or weeks,” Ramamurthy said. “This is now possible because we have the tools to do it quickly and cost effectively.”  

Second, is the ability to curate the perfect product catalog. This enables you to prioritize products that are expected to sell well, she said. During the holidays, retailers and brands can map against trends. “You can find the right products, find the sellers who want to sell those products at the price you want them, and onboard them,” she said. “This is a really big data problem, and this is where AI can come in and make a huge difference.” 

Using AI for fulfillment

Rithum can also conduct better inventory management on behalf of retailers with cost effective operations costs and the ability to fulfill all these products to customers. “It’s not just about stocking the right products, or having the right sellers onboarded,” she said. “But rather, identify when you should do it, and at which fulfillment center should have what kind of inventory.” 

That’s just the beginning. “We’re just scratching the surface on AI,” she said. “We acquired Cadeera with a team of awesome engineers. We’re now able to talk through how we can apply the technology to build supplier performance and onboarding speed.”  

Rithum is now the largest commerce network in the world with over $50 billion in GMV, serving more than 40,000 retailers and brands and generating more than $500 million in managed digital ad spend. More than 2.4 billion products are updated daily on more than 400 marketplaces and retail sites. Learn more about our story here. 

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If you want to hear more from Aarthi, follow her on X and LinkedIn 

You can watch Aarthi’s talk here.