February: Location based shopping services

4 Oct

TBA Speakers

TBA Partner – Felicis Ventures

December: Opportunities in multitouch ecommerce

4 Oct

ECommerce Blast: Opportunities in Multi-Touch ECommerce

Speakers (tentative list) – December:

Jake Bailey: Chief Evangelist – Rich Relevance, Bobby Jadhav: CEO – Spotzot, Mar Hershenson: CEO – Revel Touch, Mitali Patnaik: Product Management – Twitter

RSVP: http://meetup.com/svforum-websig | Mailing List: http://svforum.org/websig (scroll down)

DESCRIPTION:

SPEAKER BIOS:

Jake Bailey: Chief Evangelist – Rich Relevance, http://richrelevance.com

Jake is Chief Evangelist at Rich Relevance responsible for helping the e-Commerce market—retailers, influencers and brands—understand the potential of RichRelevance’s personalization platform and offerings as it relates to their businesses. A recognized thought leader in e-Commerce, Jake’s expertise in creating new and innovative customer-driven marketing channels is based on his experiences in online retail. Most recently, Jake built RichRelevance’s new offering, Shopping Media, which delivers personalized advertising on retail websites, and empowers retailers to become premium advertising publishers. Jake joined RichRelevance in 2009 from Overstock.com where he was Director of Marketing overseeing all channels (SEM, affiliates, comparison shopping, display and portal relationships) as well as lead generation and Overstock.com’s 60,000-strong affiliate program. While at Overstock.com, Jake launched the international business, which now ships to over 70 countries. Jake is a participating member of the Shop.org content committee and has spoken at premier industry events including the Global E-Commerce Summit, Shop.org Strategy and Innovation Forum, eTail, Linkshare Symposium, and Affiliate Summit. Jake holds a BS in Business from BYU and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Agenda:

6.30 pm – 7.00 pm Snacks, Drinks & Networking

7.00 pm – 7.15 pm Introductions

7.15 pm – 8.00 pm Panel Presentations

8.00 pm – 8.30 pm Moderated Panel

8.30 pm – 9.00 pm Q&A and Adjourn

Useful links:

Contact:

Ritu Malhotra | Chris Wong, Chairs

Benjamin Hautefeuille, Associate Chair – Technology Management

Mihoko Ward, Associate Chair – Investor Management

October: Opportunities and emerging areas in Multi-Channel ECommerce

12 Sep

ECommerce Blast I: Opportunities and emerging areas in Multi-Channel ECommerce – October

Speakers (tentative list):

Cathy Chiu: Partner – Opero Parners, Andreas Ehn: Co-founder & CTO – Wrapp, Ramneek Bhasin: Vice President of Product Management – TheFind.com, Peri Kadaster: Co-founder – Coffee Table

RSVP: http://meetup.com/svforum-websig | Mailing List: http://svforum.org/websig (scroll down)

DESCRIPTION:

Until recently, Multichannel e-Commerce was driving sales, customer communications, and product search across multiple marketing and selling channels such as, online stores, search, affiliates, marketplaces, comparison engines, and more…

Today, the revolution of mobile commerce and social media open new business opportunities deeply impacting established e-Commerce channels.

On the other hand, consumers do not distinguish between multiple channels. They expect to find the brands and products they want however, wherever and whenever they please. Brian Walker, from Forrestor, even goes further saying multi-channel commerce is no longer relevant. Instead, he opines that the connected consumer will seamlessly interact with the company through a series of touch points (e.g. retail, social, Internet, etc) – no longer tied to a specific channel.

During the recession, customers gained an appreciation for a new set of cheaper and store brands while selecting from a new set of criteria that is dominated by value and price however includes convenience and user experience in various forms. This is continuing to re-arrange market share of different sellers within sectors and opportunities for a new generation of sellers.

Online brands are setting up shop and acquiring market share in new markets and from incumbents. Consulting companies are advising retailers to organize themselves along customer micro-segments that have become available via fine grained user data from multiple touch points. Traditional sectors like grocery stores and luxury brands are now fully onboard or rapidly investing in the multichannel way. Retailers, especially those who have a brand presence, are capitalizing on the finding that their online websites are a major source of customer purchase information even as compared with search engines.

Our panelists will help us to examine facets and trends of these new marketing and selling channels, including: Facebook stores, Twitter ads, products aggregators for mobiles, etc.

As always, we will host VCs panelists who will share their feed-back on what they are looking for, and emerging business models. We will also feature emerging companies who will share how these multiple channels are adding value to their bottom line.

SPEAKER BIOS:

Cathy Chiu: Partner – Opero Partners, http://operopartners.com

Cathy is a partner at Opero Partners and finance specialist with investment banking, venture capital, and angel investment experience. Highly effective in identifying key issues with penetrating questions, Cathy’s incisive analysis brings clarity to organizational challenges. Cathy’s professional career in investment banking and venture capital honed her expertise in shaping joint ventures, structuring and negotiating mergers & acquisitions, perfecting equity and debt financings, and investing in startup companies. She has worked at senior levels inside operating companies in financial
planning & analysis, fund-raising, and acquisitions. With her broad perspectives on the entire food chain of capital markets, from first-round angel funding through public offerings, Cathy has advised clients on finance and M&A strategy in the technology, internet-retail, channel distribution and real estate sectors, having closed deals ranging from $5 million to $100 million of financing, and $5 million to over $1 billion in M&A. Cathy is an active angel investor and a member of the Keiretsu Forum, where she also serves on the Due Diligence Process Committee. Cathy is a frequent speaker about the necessary ingredients for startup success, important angel investing considerations and ways to manage the due diligence phase of an investment process. Cathy received her BS – Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and her
MBA from UC Berkeley Haas Business School.

Andreas Ehn: Co-founder and CTO – Wrapp, http://wrapp.com

Andreas Ehn is the Co-founder & CTO of Wrapp, a mobile gift card service. Before founding Wrapp, Andreas was the CTO of Spotify, where he was responsible for building the technology behind the service. Andreas has described himself as a man who can get interested in almost anything as long as he feels it’s important. Not surprisingly, he is also an angel investor. Wrapp is a fun and easy way to give free and paid gift cards to your Facebook friends. Wrapp’s board of directors include Niklas Zennström (Skype co-founder), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn co-founder) and Fabian Månsson (former global CEO of H&M and Eddie Bauer).

Ramneek Bhasin: Vice President / General Manager – TheFind, http://thefind.com

Ramneek Bhasin is VP/GM for all things mobile & tablets at TheFind.com. He is a seasoned mobile exec with deep experience in both F100 companies and co-founding startups. He brings a global entrepreneurial perspective, including consumer mobile and wireless, web/enterprise software (B2B/B2C), and social media. Most recently, Ramneek was Founder and CEO of Mobio Networks, Inc., focused on the next generation of mobile platforms and consumer wireless services. Prior to that, he held several executive and technical roles at companies such as Schlumberger, Digital Equipment (Compaq/HP) and Synercom Technologies. He has an MS from Louisiana State University, a BS from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, and is a somewhat reluctant blogger.

Peri Kadaster, Vice President of Marketing – CoffeeTable
Peri Kadaster is Vice President of Marketing for CoffeeTable, the leading catalog shopping app
for iPad. CoffeeTable partners with 150 top retailers – including Crate and Barrel, Neiman
Marcus, Athleta, West Elm and Tory Burch – to showcase their catalogs and lookbooks in an
iPad app and provide unprecedented catalog engagement analytics. Previously, Peri was an
Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where she advised leading companies in the
retail and consumer technology industries. At McKinsey, Peri specialized in consumer marketing
and served as interim Director of Client Development for NM Incite, a Nielsen-McKinsey joint
venture on social media intelligence. Prior to McKinsey, Peri was a Marketing Associate at
PepsiCo, where she was a brand manager for AMP Energy Drink, and a Senior Associate at
The Parthenon Group, a Boston-based boutique strategy consulting firm. Peri received her MBA
from Harvard Business School and her AB from Duke University.

Jake Bailey: Chief Evangelist – Rich Relevance, http://richrelevance.com

Jake is Chief Evangelist at Rich Relevance responsible for helping the e-Commerce market—retailers, influencers and brands—understand the potential of RichRelevance’s personalization platform and offerings as it relates to their businesses. A recognized thought leader in e-Commerce, Jake’s expertise in creating new and innovative customer-driven marketing channels is based on his experiences in online retail. Most recently, Jake built RichRelevance’s new offering, Shopping Media, which delivers personalized advertising on retail websites, and empowers retailers to become premium advertising publishers. Jake joined RichRelevance in 2009 from Overstock.com where he was Director of Marketing overseeing all channels (SEM, affiliates, comparison shopping, display and portal relationships) as well as lead generation and Overstock.com’s 60,000-strong affiliate program. While at Overstock.com, Jake launched the international business, which now ships to over 70 countries. Jake is a participating member of the Shop.org content committee and has spoken at premier industry events including the Global E-Commerce Summit, Shop.org Strategy and Innovation Forum, eTail, Linkshare Symposium, and Affiliate Summit. Jake holds a BS in Business from BYU and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Agenda:

6.30 pm – 7.00 pm Snacks, Drinks & Networking

7.00 pm – 7.15 pm Introductions

7.15 pm – 8.00 pm Panel Presentations

8.00 pm – 8.30 pm Moderated Panel

8.30 pm – 9.00 pm Q&A and Adjourn

Useful links:

Welcome to the Era of Agile Commerce, Forrester, Mar 2011, http://blogs.forrester.com/brian_walker/11-03-11-welcome_to_the_era_of_agile_commerce

The value proposition in multichannel retailing, McKinsey, Mar 2011, http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/The_value_proposition_in_multichannel_retailing_2800

Seven Strategies to beat the Retail Apocalypse, McKinsey, May 2012 http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/dotcom/client_service/Marketing%20and%20Sales/PDFs/McKinsey%20CMSO%20forum%20-%20Seven%20strategies%20to%20beat%20the%20retail%20apocalypse.ashx

Retailer Websites Are Leading Source of Purchase Information, EMarketer, Aug 2012, http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009306

Grocery Stores plan shift to social, EMarketer, Sep 2012, http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009331

Contact:

Ritu Malhotra | Chris Wong, Chairs

Benjamin Hautefeuille, Associate Chair – Technology Management

Mihoko Ward, Associate Chair – Investor Management

August: Recommendation Systems and Brand Commerce

1 Jul

ECommerce Blast: Emerging Opportunities in Recommendation Systems and Brand Commerce

RSVP: http://meetup.com/svforum-websig | Mailing List: http://svforum.org/websig (scroll down)

Speakers:

Dan Darell, Vice President of Products & Marketing – Baynote  (http://baynote.com)

Vik Singh, Founder & CEO – Slice Data (http://slice-data.com)

Paul Twohey, Co-founder – Ness Computing (http://likeness.com)

Brian Johnson, Director of Search Query Services – Ebay (http://ebay.com)

DESCRIPTION:

Recommendation engines suggest products and services that a user might like based on past transactions and the transactions of users with a similar purchasing style. Current performance metrics suggest that recommendation engines can add up to 8-10% in incremental revenues.

This panel will discuss emerging technology companies and trends in recommendation systems with the backdrop of new e-commerce trends such as,

Channel Strategies & Methodologies: Users are increasingly mobile and social and businesses are using ad exchanges. How do recommendation systems adapt to the type of channel that a consumer uses? How are emerging recommendation systems describing, weighting and assigning lifetimes to likes, raves, faves, social graph context, relationship type, relationship strength, social context, social intent, and recency of social information? Depending on the channel, are there ideal locations/contexts/times to insert recommendations?

Emerging Algorithms: Sites, such as Amazon, have use collaborative filtering techniques to power their systems.  Is it still king or are we moving towards newer techniques?  How are the performance of the engines being measured?  How are emerging recommendation systems describing, weighting and assigning lifetimes to data independence / randomness, integrity, consistency, reliability, completeness, context, frequency, recency, accuracy, bots, etc

Recommendations as a complement to Shopping Portals and Brick+Mortar Brands: Recommendation engines have typically catered to the interest of the consumer. Can it be used to improve a company’s brand? How do you categorize different brands – e.g. by type of goods and services, customers, channels, ad budget, financial markets, web presence, web traffic, web engagement, store presence, etc. How can brands be matched up with different recommendation techniques and categories.

SPEAKER BIOS:

Vik Singh, Founder & CEO – Slice Data

Vik SinghVik Singh is CEO and Co-Founder of Slice Data, a big data intelligence venture focused on helping companies close more customers. Slice Data is backed by top tier investors like Andreessen Horowitz and the Social+Capital Partnership, and its customers include several of the Fortune 1000. Prior to starting up Slice Data, Vik was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Sutter Hill Ventures, where he helped the firm identify new ideas and markets as well as evaluate early stage investments. Previously, Vik helped create and architect Yahoo! BOSS, an open search platform that runs over 1 billion queries a month. He developed supporting examples like TweetNews (which Wired called “the best mashup we’ve ever seen”) and the new Delicious.com homepage. Vik also worked at Google and Microsoft, both in research and products, helping ship Custom Search and XP SP2 Wireless. At MSR he worked with Turing Award winner Dr. Jim Gray, co-authoring a paper about the SkyServer. Vik has filed 13 patents in the areas of search, social networking, systems infrastructure, and content optimization. At 24, MIT’s Technology Review listed him as one of the Top 35 under 35 Innovators for his contributions to open search. He and his work have also been mentioned in news sources like CNET, Slashdot, TechCrunch, Washington Post, and the WSJ. Vik graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. In high school, Vik competed in policy debate; he won the California State Championship and was selected as a Kentucky Fellow, which ranked him among the top 12 debaters in the country.

Dan Darrell, Vice President of Products & Marketing – Baynote

Dan is an experienced software industry marketer with a strong background in marketing automation, online optimization, and analytics. Prior to Baynote, Dan was the Director of Marketing for both Adchemy, a digital advertising technology company, and Interwoven Optimost, a multivariable testing and targeting platform, where he focused on product and company messaging, public relations, analyst relations and marketing programs. Before that, Dan was a Director of Product and Solutions marketing at Oracle and Siebel where he drove innovative projects for the marketing automation and analytics products. Dan holds an MBA from the Carnegie Mellon University and Bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Paul Twohey, Cofounder – Ness Computing

Paul Twohey is co-founder of Ness Computing, which provides
recommendations catered to your unique tastes. Their first product is the Ness
Dining Guide, helping you find great places to eat. Before founding Ness, Paul
was an early software engineer at Palantir Technologies where he designed and
implemented the first version of the Palantir geo-spatial search engine to
support queries over millions of versioned objects. Prior to joining Palantir,
Paul was a PhD candidate at Stanford where his research focused on automatic bug
finding and error detection in large open source software projects. He earned
his undergrad degree from UC Berkeley in EECS where he was president of the
Computer Science Undergraduate Assocation and spent three summers interning at
Apple working on the first three versions of the Mac OS X server. Paul is also a
distinguished student of martial arts and was nationally ranked in Takewondo,
having medalled both nationally and internationally.

Brian Johnson – Director of Search Query Services, eBay

Brian knows the satisfaction and importance of good search results, and his team is responsible for ensuring that the millions of queries entered onto the eBay website provide just that. The words “Did you mean…?” are incredibly meaningful to Brian as he combs through a universe of queries altered by synonyms, acronyms, attributes, and expansions. Brian is responsible for query reformulation, spell correction, and related searches as the Director of Engineering for the Search Science Query Services team at eBay.  Brian has been at eBay since 2002 in a variety of engineering management roles, including search metrics, crowdsourced human judgment, classification, data publishing, and browsing.  Prior to eBay Brian was at Handspring, Excite@Home, Synopsys, and AT&T Bell Labs.  Brian received his PHD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 1993.  His papers regarding visualizing hierarchical and categorical data with Treemaps have been cited hundreds of times. http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianscottjohnson

Agenda:

6.30 pm – 7.00 pm Snacks, Drinks & Networking

7.00 pm – 7.15 pm Introductions

7.15 pm – 8.00 pm Panel Presentations

8.00 pm – 8.30 pm Moderated Panel

8.30 pm – 9.00 pm Q&A and Adjourn

Useful links:

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/mgi/research/technology_and_innovation/the_social_economy

http://mashable.com/2012/07/10/ecommerce-trends/

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1942-10-Questions-on-Product-Recommendations

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/30/amazon-5/?iid=obinsite

http://www.quora.com/E-Commerce/What-are-the-top-5-SaaS-ecommerce-platforms-by-number-of-paying-customers

Contact:

Ritu Malhotra | Chris Wong, Chairs

Mihoko Ward, Assistant Chair – Investor Management

Benjamin Hautefeuille, Assistant Chair – Technology Management

“The world according to Google”

27 Jun
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The founders of tech companies are the fountain-spring of growth and innovation of the majority of companies. Google is proving that again. At the I/O conference Google made it clear that it shall remain the Queen of Search just as Microsoft still is the Ruler of Office apps and Facebook the Friend of friends.

Continue reading

Relevance Re-Discovery at the Keyword Commerce panel

7 Jun

We were 100% sold out with 108 people registered and almost all attending at the “Keyword ..” panel led by John Heltzel (industry guru / investor), Ashutosh Garg (Bloomreach co-founder & CTO), and David Selinger (Rich Relevance co-founder & CEO). The topic intrigued and engaged the audience and everyone had answered and pending questions at the end. Many people came over and told us that they really thought it was great, so we will look out for your reviews as well.

My key takeaways from the event were — keyword search, content discovery, loyalty and engagement tools all come into play as the user’s product exploration moves from one step to another, sometimes back and forth; personalization with or without technology – as per user context – remains the timeless key to customer loyalty; the balance between user experience & privacy is something that users implicity evaluate; and that Google keyword search is here to stay at least for another 5 years.

Continue reading

Jun 6 – Keyword Commerce, Content Discovery, and Marketplaces

12 May

Panelists: David Selinger: CEO – Rich Relevance, Ashutosh Garg: CTO – Bloomreach, John Heltzel: ECommerce Advisor & Investor

TOPIC:

The panel will discuss about the different contexts in which buyers purchase goods & services and emerging companies that are taking these forms of transactions to the next level. The IAB recently announced that 2011 Internet Ad Revenue hit $31 billion – a 22% YoY increase. Moreover the line between commerce, marketing, and ecommerce is becoming blurred as companies are increasingly assimilating and automating to deliver timely, personalized, and relevant content to each consumer from search to discovery to purchase, aiming to provide a better ecommerce experience for the buyer and a better ROI for the seller.

Keyword Commerce – Search is still king with IAB reporting that 46% of Internet ad dollars go towards search marketing. This is the best fit when buyers know exactly what they want and do a price / feature comparison regardless of who the seller may be, and it has worked well for “the long tail” of SMBs.

Content Discovery (Keyword-less search) – Advances in Big Data and analytic are enabling companies to sift through the vast Continue reading

Future of Commerce, How will we pay?

15 Apr

“… The club held an animated panel discussion on “The Future of Commerce: how will we pay?” with leaders from the top global companies at the front and center of the current global commerce transformation. The panelists discussed critical issues facing the $50 Trillion global commerce markets as it transforms in response to the confluence of mobile commerce, increasing smart phone use, near field communication initiatives, and consumer protection issues – both at home and globally …”

Click the link below for full article

Future of Commerce, How will we pay? at Churchill Club – May 15

Apr 4 – Game Commerce panel!

11 Mar

Game Commerce panel!

Speakers: Bipul Sinha: Partner – Lightspeed Venture Partners, Brian Wong: CEO – Kiip, Andrew Schneider: President – LiveGamer, Chethan Ramachandran: CEO – Playnomics

Call it “Game Commerce”, “G” Commerce, “Gee” Commerce, or virtual goods monetization — the games ecosystem is in fast forward mode with new emerging monetization methods and platforms transforming Gaming to new experiences. This market did not exist ten years ago, and today it is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Gaming, shopping and sharing now are three of the most ubiquitous activities online, on facebook, and on mobile devices. Boggle your mind with these facts and figures:

­         Zynga and others trying to build their own platform in addition to Facebook while:

­         With social gaming, new revenue doors are have opened up for gaming commerce. People all over are spending time and money on virtual goods: clothes for their characters in online hangouts, virtual pets and pet foods for feeding their farms, weapons for their fighters in massively-multiplayer games, and presents for their friends in social networking platforms (RockYou 2011)

  • Social gamers spend 13 hours per week on social networks and an average of 9.5 hours per week on social games Continue reading

Feb 1 – Day in the Life of a Coupon – Virtual Currency & Loyalty tool

1 Feb

Consumers want savings and online sellers are eager to compete for their business. Brands have found that while consumers are happy to spread word of mouth and re-tweet messages, when it comes to converting users to buyers, even the loyal customers want deals as a trigger to make a purchase.  Coupons are a useful tool for Brands and Retailers to raise the customer conversion rate.

Coupons can be used to both incentivize purchases from new customers and reward existing customers for their loyalty. Coupons provide a tried and tested virtual currency that is conveniently flexible and fungible for both brands and customers. They can be exchanged between merchants and customers across a multitude channels, media, geographies, formats, time durations, and promotions

  • Market channels from paper coupons on week-end newspapers to free business class upgrade Continue reading
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