Business ecommerce firm Tradeshift has launched a new app to better matchmake traders by leveraging data and offering buyer insights to sellers, as well as streamlining seller onboarding.

Delivered as a cloud and mobile app solution on its Tradeshift platform, Engage offers data-driven insights to suppliers based on their relationships with buyers. It provides them with real-time visibility into transactions and enables suppliers to connect with multiple buyers through a single interface.

“We think mobile apps are the future of business – especially small business,” Tradeshift’s vice-president of Network, Tony Alvarez tells GTR. “The insights for sellers are: ‘Who are my good buyers? Who are my buyers that are paying me on time? And, which buyers are not losing my invoices?’ They can also get insights as well about invoice rejections for particular products or services from specific buyers that they may need to monitor. A major part of the hurdle is getting all that information into one place to be able to compare, and utilising the app does that.”

At present, a handful of enterprise buyers are using Tradeshift Engage with thousands of sellers tapping into the app.

As Covid-19 triggers lockdowns around the globe, disrupting trade and paper documents, Tradeshift Engage is also offering a digitalised and streamlined approach to onboarding sellers.

One enterprise buyer using Tradeshift Engage onboarded 5,000 suppliers in four weeks – an amount that Alvarez says is “at least five times, if not 10 times more than you would expect in that amount of time”.

Before the fintech’s “onboarding system 2.0”, as Alvarez calls it, sellers would be onboarded by Tradeshift strategically. Onboarding would be prioritised by the volume and value of transactions involving a buyer and its suppliers. “We would go and reach out to them [suppliers] and be the facilitator between the buyer and seller to get that seller onboarded. Now, the vast majority of these, especially the small businesses, can be onboarded completely independently through the platform, so it’s scalable, meaning it’s all self-service for those vendors.”

Alvarez says that the launch of Tradeshift Engage was carried out in “zero context” of Covid-19. “We’ve been working on this probably for almost two years now, developing it and getting it in place. As the pandemic came into focus, what Tradeshift has been trying to do is stack up as many resources as we can to help sellers convert to digital,” he says.

He says that there has always been an economic incentive of moving from paper trade documents to digital and streamlining supplier onboarding, but now the pandemic has forced the issue because in a lot of instances, “paper is not moving anywhere”. He adds that when it comes to signing documents and scanning them: “Paper is not moving and people aren’t showing up to run the scanners.”