Of course, like many of us, the news in Ukraine consumes me. When it comes to ecommerce, issues range from the supply chain to logistics to financial dynamics. Many companies have suspended ecommerce sales to Russia, including Apple, Nike, Dell and Canada Goose.
But for me, it’s about the people. I am a mother, first and foremost. My heart sinks seeing images of families being torn about as they board trains or arrive at the border.
Ecommerce is a global industry, and over my 40-year career in this business, it was the people who I loved most — all the people who came together from every region of the earth to build this business, one company and one country at a time. Their hearts were big, and it shows in some of the actions and sentiments seen in the industry today.
In 2016, I sold my company, the e-tailing group, to Astound Commerce, whose founders all hail from Ukraine. My heart goes out to them and their employees I had come to know. I reached out to two of the co-founders, Igor Gorin and Ilya Vinogradsky, as I was concerned. Ilya responded within 24 hours, and reading about the circumstances he faces, I can’t help but admire him taking the time and the effort they are putting in place. He is a special person, and I’m not surprised.
Taking care of their people is of the utmost importance, and Ilya’s note suggests every effort is being made. As this is a humanitarian crisis, donations supporting an array of organizations will be invaluable. Astound listed a few organizations, which helps their friends, families and colleagues across the industry give back.
The world is watching, and as our Digital Commerce 360 2022 Retailer Conversion survey of 56 retailers suggests, showcasing brand values is critical for 34% of those surveyed.
The statements retail companies make matter, especially as their customers are watching. The same is true for technology companies as they seek to support their employees and the company itself during these dire times. Business is global, but so are human beings. I hope the forces of good prevail and peace returns sooner rather than later.
“Thank you, Lauren, for taking the important time to focus on and write about Ukraine, Astound and Ilya. The situation is tragic, and the global response has been unprecedented. In support of our Ukrainian teammates, we are doing all we can to keep them safe in every circumstance” said Michael Kahn, Astound Commerce Global CEO. “We consider ourselves a mission-critical commerce-technology customer to our clients. Right now, our mission-critical work is and will be to our people.”