“The premise is that our clients already have great products—they simply need the right tactics and tools to really bring them to market.” - Timothy Paskowski, Founder of Plura Interactive.
In the age of Amazon, customized subscription boxes, and shoppable Instagram posts, the eCommerce industry is surely booming. As small-to-medium businesses work to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace, optimize the customer journey and internal processes, there is growing demand for strategic management of all of the above.
Enter: Hartford's own Plura Interactive.
Plura Interactive, a purpose-driven eCommerce consulting firm founded by Connecticut-native Timothy Paskowski, was built not only to aid SMEs in driving greater online sales, but also to foster a community of business owners doing good in the process.
Plura Interactive offers online retailers a suite of digital marketing and data science services that are typically only available to corporate enterprises, including, but not limited to:
Digital Marketing - SEM/SEO, earned media, content creation, CRM, marketing analytics
Sales Consulting - "Plug-in" Customer Experience (CX) Director and/or Sales Director services
Development - Custom website development, Shopify/Magento store management, custom app development, "Plug-In" Chief Technology Officer (CTO) services
Data Science - Custom data engineering, visualizations, ETL, profitability research
Plura is committed to bringing these high-impact services downmarket to small-to-mid-size online retailers that may otherwise be unequipped to scale their product-based businesses. Founder & Principal, Timothy Paskowski, says Plura is designed to meet the needs of eCommerce businesses generating between $2 to $15 million in direct-to-consumer online sales:
"These companies might have a little seed capital but are often in a pre-fund situation where it’s important to be efficient up and down the value chain. It’s a large and naturally underserved market because most high-end consulting firms and digital agencies are too cost-prohibitive to consider."
Paskowski, a business analyst by trade, initially launched Plura with a heavy focus on service offerings, but soon realized the necessity to pivot from a broad-market approach to a targeted strategy that directly addressed the needs of eCommerce businesses. Speaking to Innovation Destination Hartford's Nan Price, he notes, "It wasn’t until we put our services in the context of [online retailers'] needs that we could construct an offering we were confident would deliver meaningful value."
To reach this audience, Plura Interactive employs a mix of content across channels, including its signature PluraCast® ecommerce podcast, entrepreneurial spotlight blog Plura Presents, and direct-from-founder musings via written word and visual content.
"The goal is to provide thought leadership in unique and informative ways."
Beyond Plura's position as SME's "retail rocket fuel," they are also a proud pending Certified B Corporation, meaning that their key values drive every aspect of the business.
It's a stunningly rare occurrence to see a marketing agency or strategic consulting firm in pursuit of B-Corp status in Connecticut. Paskowski was adamant about his company's status as a certified B-Corp as a vehicle for change and positive impact on its customers, society, and the environment. It’s even written into their bylaws. He admits that:
"The most critical and therefore challenging aspect of my job as Founder is orienting the team around our values to ensure that everything we do is in service or respect of the mission...It’s really important to me that Plura Interactive - no matter how big it gets - remains a value-driven business."
In this first year of business, Paskowski plans to take Plura Interactive's values and expertise to market among as many small-to-medium online retailers as possible, and share their successes with the world.
"For the longer-term, we’re also considering ways to capture the spirit of our mission and translate that into self-service tools that have the potential for wide-scale adoption."