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Ross Paquette, CEO of Maropost, Talks About Scaling His Ecommerce Business

Updated on May 31, 2022

6 Min Read
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Ross Paquette, the CEO of Maropost, has had quite a journey. He built Maropost from a small, one-man operation and scaled it into the multi-million giant that it is today. From focusing on conversion rate optimization to other growth strategies, Maropost has come a long way under Paquette’s leadership.

But how’d he do it? In the following interview, we sat down with the man himself to find out more about his journey with Maropost, and his vision of the ecommerce future.

Q. Tell us about yourself. What do you do? What is your business about? What are your core responsibilities? Is this your first venture?

A. My name is Ross Andrew Paquette and I’m the founder and CEO of Maropost, North America’s fastest growing tech company, as ranked by the Deloitte Technology Fast 500. I’ve led Maropost to double its annual growth each year since its inception in 2011, turning a one-man operation into an international business.

Maropost’s Software as a Service Cloud technology provides organizations with a single platform to connect with customers across Commerce (Online and Retail), Marketing Automation, and Help Desk.

Q. What are your business’ core product offerings?

A. Maropost is on a mission to revolutionize the way marketing, ecommerce and Service Desk Automation work together by providing a unified platform to manage them all.

We cover the three core areas of any ecommerce or retail business which is to covert, retain and service you clients all under one platform, with one customer view and one partner being Maropost.

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Q. How did you come up with the idea of Maropost?

A. Prior to founding Maropost, I worked in sales and discovered very quickly how much the supply didn’t match the demand. In other words, what people were looking for didn’t exist. So I knew that I had to fill that niche and take matters into my own hands.

If not me, then someone else would do it! Together with a few partners we created a truly unique platform that, first and foremost, helps businesses save time. Because that’s what automation does – it frees up time that marketers typically spend on mundane and repetitive tasks.

Without automation, there’s a lot of friction that leads to inefficient day-to-day operations and eventually burnout. On the revenue side, it’s not great either. When marketers can’t dedicate time to revenue-driving activities, when they spend most of their days trying to make various systems work together, the bottom line suffers.

All around automation is key – that’s how I see it. And that’s why our automation platform is so valuable and in-demand. Now we help clients in commerce, media & publishing, travel & hospitality and other industries take back their time and scale faster.

Q. What were some of the challenges that you faced growing Maropost from a one-man operation into a multi-million dollar company?

A. Many prominent companies seem to be just cruising along without any hurdles. But rest assured – that’s just the surface. Underneath it all, we all share similar struggles.

What sets successful companies apart from those that fail is the ability to get back up and keep going. And then repeat it hundreds of times. The truth is – we all make mistakes. And making them is easier than you think.

You can try and calculate your every move, but something unexpected will jump at you anyway. Making a poor hiring decision, launching a product or service that isn’t ready, waiting too long to make it “perfect” – the possibilities to “fail” are endless.

One of my biggest lessons came from bootstrapping Maropost to profitability, selling 25% in 2016 and then buying it back in 2019. It was a wild ride! Taking ownership of your mistakes, addressing them, and resolving them as soon as possible is the only way to move forward though.

Q. It’s impossible to achieve success without having a great support network and a strong team. Who do you have to thank in helping you build Maropost?

A. First of all, let me say that the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know! That’s why I love connecting with peers, internal stakeholders and customers. With my peers (CEOs at other tech companies) we often touch on the best ways to run our businesses from a strategic perspective, but also in terms of internal processes.

With internal stakeholders, i.e. our management team, there’s a lot of collaboration and constructive conversations around the future of our industry and how things are changing in the ecommerce/marketing space.

And that’s extremely exciting because we love to push forward and drive innovation in such a competitive sector. Finally, but most importantly, customers. They are the true drivers of our success, so it’s important for me to talk to them, ask questions, understand how they are using our product and how

Maropost is supporting their growth. We always strive to do better. And the goal today is to give our customers the tools they need to be successful tomorrow.

Q. We are still feeling the after-effects of the pandemic, and many industries have changed completely. How do you think it has impacted your line of work? What, if any, changes, do you anticipate in the near future?

A. It’s true: every commerce player has to be flexible, adapt extremely quickly and, more importantly, anticipate them to stay ahead of the competition. Even if a store isn’t selling the latest trendy obsession, the right marketing and messaging will help sales skyrocket.

Moreover, trends often turn out to be fads very quickly (does anyone still remember fidget spinners and Pokemon souvenirs?)

Our commerce customers have seen great success with:

  • Buy Now Pay Later – this is rooted in convenience and flexibility and is becoming more and more popular
  • Mobile Shopping – with the ever-increasing mobile shopping, mobile ecommerce optimization has to always be top of mind
  • Fast and Flexible delivery – matching Amazon’s 2-hour delivery is quite a challenge, but offering a variety of options is key
  • AR and VR – enhancing the online experience with an immersive component
  • Chatbots – they can be very personalized and can increase customer satisfaction

Q. Do you think shopping malls and retail chains will exist, say, ten years from now?

A. I believe that retail stores will continue to exist; the proof is in the fact that Amazon has opened physical bookstores across the country. People still want to see, touch, and try on certain products to make informed buying decisions. But for retailers to stay in the game, they must also accept and embrace change as an opportunity for growth and development.

Q. Maropost has achieved astronomical growth since its inception. Do you have any growth strategies that you’d like to share?

A. To stand out and be successful, you must put your customers first and engage them where they are, which typically means a strong digital presence that includes social media, email, and online advertising.

And this should be cyclical. Leverage solutions that support your online marketing efforts and provide actionable data, which should then inform your marketing approach, and so on.

The better you can understand customers, the more effectively you reach and engage them. And a positive experience will keep customers coming back for your products again and again.

Q. In your experience, what are some non-negotiable tenets that ecommerce businesses should never compromise on?

A. Managing an ecommerce or retail organization has become a rather disjointed experience. Using one platform to handle inventory, another one for shipping, yet another one for email, SMS, chatbots and trying to make them all work together – that’s a very common reality for many commerce organizations nowadays.

That’s where we bring the disruption – we offer one place where it’s easy to manage it all, get access to all the data and simply get more productive. All of that time wasted on countless platform configurations is now free to actually run the business.

As we all know, time is the most precious thing we all have. So, in fact, we’re not selling a platform. We’re giving business owners back their time.

Q. Do share something interesting about your experience in building Maropost?

A. Before I founded Maropost, I spent a few years working in sales. Very quickly I realized that the supply didn’t match the demand. In other words, people couldn’t get the solutions they really needed.

They were simply picking from a number of inferior solutions, building overly complicated tech stacks and spending way too much time trying to make all the solutions co-exist. I saw an opportunity, a niche to fill right there and started creating Maropost.

Q. What exciting new projects are you working on now that you think will help people?

A. Our overall mission remains the same – to empower brands to challenge the status quo through a unified Commerce stack across Commerce, Marketing Automation and Helpdesk. In addition to that, we’re also working on new features that will help commerce businesses automate their operations more effectively.

In particular, we focus more and more on AI (e.g. product recommendations, AI-enhanced suggestions about how to improve your campaigns and ROI) and Machine Learning (our proprietary technology is called DaVinci and will be playing a central role).

Q. Thank you so much for your time! One last question: where can our readers follow your work?

A. Here are our social channels:

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Shoaib Israr

Shoaib is a passionate digital marketer who believes creativity is everything. His interests lie in content, digital marketing and he loves to help agency and ecommerce business owners in growing and expanding their businesses. In his free time, Shoaib loves to play football or binge-watch some interesting shows on Netflix.

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