Minnesota [E] Commerce Captains: Brett Thoreson, CartStack

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Thanks to Irish Titan for underwriting our Minnesota [E] Commerce Captains series focused on local leadership in e-commerce.

Minnesota SaaS founder & CEO Brett Thoreson started bootstrapping CartStack in early 2012 and brought beta to market by the end of that year.

A few quarters later, the company had hit revenues and hired multiple employees. Now with team of seven, CartStack is at an inflection point as the business continues to scale under Thoreson’s guidance.

He will be speaking to his success, lessons and future at the next TC E-Commerce Meetup at Apruve HQ next week.

What exactly does CartStack do and how does it work?

CartStack is a shopping cart abandonment recovery solution for e-commerce websites and hotel booking engines. After the CartStack customer adds a JavaScript tracking snippet to their website, CartStack “watches” website visitors and will send retargeting emails to visitors that start the checkout process but don’t finalize their order. CartStack customers can set up their retargeting
email sequence and view reports via a web based dashboard.

When, why and how did you get started?

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Digi-Key Sees Secretive Welfare Handout Amidst New State Budget

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Minnesota’s $1.5 billion dollar/year electronics e-commerce distributor Digi-Key first announced the potential for a Thief River Falls expansion of operations back in March, 2017.

The pending one million square foot facility, possibly constructed adjacent to current headquarters, could cost between $200m to $300m and might employ up to 1,000 people within ten years. Maybe?

The uncertainty in this expansion comes down to the contingencies, as the lobbyist aptly noted, based on money from the public (accounts of the many) transferred to the private owners (accounts of the few) at Digi-Key, it was reported:

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Best Buy’s New Weapon Against Amazon

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By Jason Del Rey, ReCode

“Over the last few years, the idea of short-term rentals has taken off in industries from lodging to fashion. Now Best Buy is trying to push that same trend into the mainstream for consumer electronics.

Later this month, the big-box retailer will start advertising try-before-you-buy rentals on its website for cameras, audio equipment and fitness trackers, the company recently told Recode. Best Buy is working with a San Francisco-based startup called Lumoid on the partnership.”

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Local E-Commerce Startup Step One Foods To Pitch At Google Demo Day

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Via News Release

Step One Foods — a startup based out of COCO and founded by Cardiologist Elizabeth Klodas, that has been selected by Google for Entrepreneurs as a finalist for Google Demo Day on Thursday, June 8 at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. Representing the Twin Cities and the local COCO community, she will have the opportunity to pitch her platform to a room full of top investors, VCs and judges for a chance to secure Series A funding of $1-4M.”

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Vibrant Technologies Acquires TechWorks

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS — Vibrant Technologies, Inc. (Vibrant) today announced the acquisition of TechWorks, LLC (TechWorks). TechWorks, LLC, a leading networking remarketer, specializes in Cisco and HP networking equipment. This acquisition represents Vibrant’s increasing commitment to remarketing of networking equipment. Jon Maring, TechWorks Founder, will join Vibrant Technologies beginning immediately and will lead Vibrant’s newly established Networking Division. “

TechWorks brings category expertise and industry leadership to Vibrant in refurbished and off-lease Cisco Networking switches and routers, Juniper equipment, HP ProCurve Networking, Dell PowerConnect Switches, and additional brands of new and used network hardware. TechWorks will be integrated into the existing Vibrant team.

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MN E-Commerce Captains: Dug Nichols, Kidizen

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Thanks to Irish Titan for underwriting our MN E-Comm Captains series focused on leading local online retailers!

Dug Nichols is the co-founder & CEO of Kidizen, a peer to peer marketplace for kids clothing and apparel started in 2014.  Since then, they have acquired over  over 250,000 registered users, grossed over $5m in sales, and raised ~$5m of angel/venture capital.

He’ll be speaking to success in person at the next Twin Cities E-commerce meetup on 5/24.

What do you sell online?

Kidizen is a social marketplace for buying, selling, and sharing kid style. Our mobile apps provide a source of discovery and inspiration for children’s fashion and a reselling marketplace for buyer and sellers all over the U.S. to exchange resale items.

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Target To Expand Ecommerce Capability With ‘Restock’

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By Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

“Target announced this morning it’s now testing a next-day home delivery service called Target Restock. The service, which is currently being trialed with Target employees ahead of a customer-facing pilot this summer, is designed to offer an easy way to shop online for household essentials which will arrive the day after you place your order.”

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