Commerce vendors are busy consulting with their clients to keep retail — online and offline — moving as best possible during the pandemic. Now, some of those big-name vendors are helping small businesses adapt quickly through Keep Small Strong, an organization that didn’t exist until a little over a month ago. The organization’s mission is to help small shops move online fast (think projects that are well underway within days and fully functional in just a few weeks).

Adam Grohs, founder of Keep Small Strong and CEO at agnoStack, got the ball rolling after seeing a heartfelt plea from the owner of L’Artisane Creative Bakery in Miami encouraging her customers to order for pickup and delivery. Small business accounts for about 43% of GDP in the US. Recognizing that this bakery was one of thousands of businesses in a similar situation, Grohs tapped his network of, as he calls them, “inspired individuals” — employees of some of the largest consultancy and vendor firms in the commerce technology industry (Astound Commerce, Capgemini, PFS/LiveArea, TAOS Digital, and several others).

In a matter of days, Adam rallied the troops and found himself surrounded by a collective of power players who truly just wanted to help. As Aditya Pandurangan, managing partner at TAOS Digital and a member of the Keep Small Strong collective, noted, “We all needed to stop focusing on what we did before and start focusing on what these businesses needed to do to survive.”

Only the first couple of businesses are live so far, but around 50 more are in the current pipeline. And the team shared that they should have the capacity to support hundreds to thousands within just a few weeks. So what happened to L’Artisane Creative Bakery?

  • In a matter of days, the bakery was up and running with an eCommerce website powered by Shopify (selected for its ability to stand up a website so swiftly — and its three months of free service).
  • PFS donated its RetailConnect solution and consulting services to put labeling and ship-from-store operations in place for this shop — which had to learn for the first time how to pack, label, and ship.
  • The bakery is accepting hundreds of orders per week and shipping its amazing French vegan delicacies all over the country . . . including into Adam’s delighted hands.

Keep a look out for my upcoming research on other quick-pivot moves that retailers are making with support from their commerce tech providers, and do get in touch with me if I can help you!