Saturday, July 13, 2013
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Here's my latest post on Sovedo, talking about how Pinterest is now accounting for 10% of traffic via social channels for e-commerce websites. It comes at an interesting time, considering that social media directly accounted for only .3% of recent Thanksgiving sales.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
While Yelp is the de-facto review site for North American cities, the Middle East lacked such initiatives. Also, I can speak from personal experiences that I've had some great and some not so great experiences in Dubai.
Not only does the start-up have a good chance at building a strong community, the real money is in getting local advertising dollars. With a lot of help from the CMO - Andrew Lee Miller, I got the CEO and Co-Founder, Saif Zarooni to agree to an exclusive email interview with Sovedo. Here's the link to the article:
Friday, July 6, 2012
This month's meetup focused on PPC advertising within the context of e-commerce.
Katie Hudson from Demac has already jotted down the minutes of the meetup on Demac's blog.
Some of the important topics that were raised during the meetup involved displaying PPC ads on mobile devices and how crucial can it be when majority of the websites (in general) are not even mobile friendly. Especially from a e-commerce perspective, this can literally mean a very high bounce rate and loss of sale.
If you're interested in getting a report about PPC trends in several industries (US data), have a look at this report from Marin.
Screen shots from the report:
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Hey! Just read about Facebook launching an ad exchange program to use RTB and target users when they search on engines and return to Facebook. Using Demand Side Platforms, Facebook wants to help advertisers further target users for which they are conducting searches outside the Facebook environment.
Have a read of the full article on Sovedo:
This free webinar was a good opportunity to learn about retail e-commerce trends in the US and what to expect in the coming years. The speaker was Jeffrey Grau, Principal Analyst at eMarketer.
The webinar focused on the outlook for retail sales, best/worst performing categories, "mega-trends" and a profile of online shoppers. A key thing to note is that Department of Commerce (DOC) does not count online ticket sales within retail and because eMarketer uses DOC data as baseline, it does not include it either.
Looking forward, US retail ecommerce sales are expected to maintain early double digits growth till '16, rising from #224bn in '12 to $361bn. An interesting slide showed that even though total retail sales experienced a 3.5% fall in '09, retail ecommerce grew at 2.1%. A couple of reasons were cited:
- Especially in a recession, people are used to stretching their money for the best deal
- The internet allows for a price comparison
- Product selection and convenience of shopping at any given time
Even though ecommerce still accounts for only ~6-7% of total sales, the amount of influence it exerts in helping make a purchase decision is a combined 45% (7% purchase+38% web influenced sales)
- Smartphones satify immediate product needs
- Tablets are used in a more leisurely environment and are well suited for impulse buying
The key takeaways from the webinar were:
- Ecommerce has the potential to grab 15% of total sales by 2020
- Lower prices, selection and convenience will continue to favor ecommerce
- Impact of different devices on purchases made online
- Personalization and Segmentation of users will provide more targeted products, increasing conversion rates
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
So the launch of Airtime was filled with glitches. With Sean Parker (ex Facebook, Spotify) and Shaun Fanning (Napster) as co-founders, Airtime appears to be well thought idea of "Chatroulette without nudity"
Using data about interests from Facebook to connect users based on location, common interests or are friends of friends. Airtime promises to be a major progression from the infamous ChatRoulette and features such group video chats (Hangouts...?) are expected to be roll out soon along with iOS and Android versions.
Most notably, brands would be hoping to utilize group chat feature in Airtime to connect with fans and share brand experiences. User details remain anonymous till users approve requests to add in their Airtime list. Sneak previews could be shown to seeders to get the WOM going.
Update: Just read in G&M that Airtime hopes to make money through:
b. Sale of virtual goods (will be very interesting to know details as they emerge as Zynga might try to break free from Facebook credits)
Would you try Airtime to connect with other users soon?
Monday, May 28, 2012
Bryan Halligan, CEO of HubSpot , had insights galore to share about why inbound marketing is crucial.
The easiest definition he had for inbound marketing was that it was the opposite of outbound...
A couple of things to know about inbound marketing:
1. Create remarkable content
2. Knowing the machinery( systems to constantly split test the funnel to get better results from leads
3. 80/20 rule: knowing content will get shared, viewed etc.
Content should be relevant but not over-sell. E.g. a shoe store using a post how to shine shoes vs please buy this'.
Some of the brands that do an amazing job at segmentation include amazon and most notably, Netflix. By personalizing the web and email experience for every user, Netflix drills it down to 1 user/ segment.
It was a great experience to volunteer at mesh conference. DJ Patel (former eBay, LinkedIn) held the first session by talking about how data can help newcomers to social networks feel welcomed.
This is the equivalent of a person in real life entering a room and searching for friends to ease the anxiety of being there.
2 good (and 1 bad) examples of use of data by companies include:
1. LinkedIn: the most successful feature on the site has been people you may know' . With highest CTRs, data acquired from a users profile about possible connections helps build a stronger professional network.
2. Amazon: Earlier Amazon pages used to be a dead end, with back /home being only options. This was changed to include 'people who viewed x, bought Y' and so on.
3. TiVo: this was based on a blog post by a user titled my TiVo thinks I'm gay'. After this user recorded Will and Grace, TiVo assumed a LGBT taste in programs, which was incorrectly deduced from the user's profile