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Author Miguel Amado
Miguel Amado
Updated on Nov 22nd, 2022
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Boxed 2023: eCommerce Enabler Coming to Public Markets

Boxed was launched in 2013, with the intention of making shopping for bulk items easy, convenient and fun. Eight years later, it’s on the verge of graduating from the private markets to the public.

Check out our interview with Chieh Huang, the CEO of Boxed, as we talked about results, the pandemic, and next steps.

Please introduce Boxed to our audience.

Boxed is an ecommerce participant and an enabler. We started off as a wholesale club and then built our own technology to help others sell

We sell products like potato chips and toilet paper and also the software that enables our business. The software that powers our business in the US is now licensed all over the world, including powering a division of Aeon, one of the biggest retailers in Asia.

Boxed grew exponentially in 2020. Do you think it’ll continue to grow following the COVID19 pandemic?

I think so. Certainly, the level of growth will slow down, but what we’re seeing in all the charts is that the crazy 2020 jump set a new baseline. So now it’s growing at a more normalized rate from a much higher baseline.

Ecommerce is here to stay. Most people who buy stuff online continue to do so. I think this is a big moment for us.

How will B2B sales factor into that growth?

We’ve definitely been seeing green shoots of recovery, especially earlier this year. Here in the US the Delta variant has now become more widespread and fewer people are going back to the office, so we have an eye on that.

But the most recent trends seem to show we’re getting better again. When people start to return to the office, I think we’re going to benefit from that.

How can you be unique and stand out from your competitors, especially across a range of global markets? 

This is something we try to do well. The good thing is that the software doesn’t care about the characteristics of the items we sell, it just wants to sell a lot of them to our customers.

Whether they’re big, small, or unlimited items, it doesn’t matter to the technology, and that’s the reason why internationally the strategy is to sell the technology and software, rather than to sell products ourselves in local markets.

What are the main challenges you’ve faced with Boxed since its launch?

We’ve faced countless challenges, in operations, recruiting – you name it! But we always try to remember that things are never as bad (or as good!) as you think – and this gets us through it all.

What are the next steps for Boxed?

We’re getting closer to the public markets. This is going to be a big leap for everyone because we’ll be graduating from the private markets to the public.

What changes do you have to make to prepare for this transition?

I guess the practical changes are the auditing system, the financial system, and business continuity. But I think, more than that, it’s a different mindset, almost like graduating into the big leagues, and everyone has to step up. Aspects such as how sharp we are, how fast we’re moving – expectations heighten. I think this is a good thing and we’re all excited.

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