Talk Commerce - Udayan Bose

The Future of E-Commerce: Insights from Udayan Bose on AI-Powered Marketing

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of speaking with Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir. With over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, Udayan shared his insights on the rapidly evolving landscape of e-commerce and how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way businesses approach marketing.

Failing Faster and Learning in Digital Marketing

One of the key themes that emerged from our conversation was the importance of adopting a “fail faster” mindset in digital marketing. As Udayan put it:

Just the willingness to dive in and figure things out and suddenly sort of you really have to obviously hustle hard but things slowly come in place and when it comes in place the impact is quite magical.

He emphasized that in an industry as dynamic as e-commerce, being open to experimentation and learning from failures is crucial for staying ahead of the curve.

Navigating Competitive Pressures and Rising Costs

Udayan also shed light on the challenges faced by e-commerce businesses today, particularly the squeeze on contribution margins due to intense competition and rising advertising costs. He noted:

If you certain categories saw a CPC increase of almost about 32%. So the cost per click, the same Google ad, costs a lot more now. So just think of it. You are unable to increase your prices, and the variable cost keeps on increasing. And this is leading to a massive squeeze in the contribution margins.

As someone who has worked with numerous e-commerce clients, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of these pressures on businesses. It’s more important than ever for merchants to optimize their marketing strategies and find ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

The Power of AI and Machine Learning in Marketing

One of the most fascinating parts of our discussion centered around the role of AI and machine learning in transforming digital marketing. Udayan explained the difference between horizontal AI, which focuses on productivity and doing more with less, and vertical AI, which is tailored to solving specific problems using a company’s own data.

Vertical AI, I think of it, is very specific to solving your problem. And the problem that, for example, our tool, Alexa Insight, solves […] is we just wanted to solve a simple problem that the entire e-commerce world or digital marketing was focused on new customer acquisition. We wanted to change it marginally and say that, can we use machine learning to help you do new high value customer acquisition?

This notion of leveraging AI to identify and acquire high-value customers resonated with me. As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, the ability to target and retain the right customers can make all the difference in a business’s success.

Advice for E-Commerce Merchants

As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Udayan what advice he would give to e-commerce store owners looking to stay ahead in today’s market. His response emphasized the importance of experimentation and staying informed about industry trends:

I would actually sort of have two very specifically. The first one is just creating, carving those experiments of those tests. […] The second one effectively is as simple as that. I mean, you have to reserve 10% of your personal time as the business owner or the CMO to just explore what is going on because in many cases the biggest mistake I have seen a lot of lot of business owners really make they’re just so so much working inside out that they just never get the time to look at us to what season am I in, right?

I couldn’t agree more with this advice. In my experience working with e-commerce businesses, the most successful ones are those that prioritize continuous learning and adaptation.

Watch the full episode on YouTube

Final Thoughts

My conversation with Udayan Bose offered a wealth of insights into the future of e-commerce and the role of AI in shaping digital marketing strategies. As we navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, embracing experimentation, staying attuned to industry shifts, and leveraging the power of AI will be key to thriving in the years ahead.

To dive deeper into these topics and hear more of Udayan’s expertise, be sure to listen to the full Talk Commerce podcast episode. Let’s keep the conversation going – reach out and share your own experiences and insights on the future of e-commerce!

Contact Details:
3 Independence Way, Suite #203,
Princeton, NJ 08540
Call: 609.356.5112

Connect on Linkedin:

AI-powered product discovery transforming ecommerce in EMEA

Constructor Experiences Rapid Growth in EMEA: Driving Ecommerce Success with AI Product Discovery

Constructor, the leading AI-powered product discovery and search platform, announces rapid growth and momentum in EMEA, helping ecommerce companies improve product discovery with personalized AI solutions.

Anthropos empowers companies to build future-ready workforces through AI-driven skills development and employee growth.

Anthropos Secures $2.7M to Empower Companies in Building Future-Ready Workforces with AI

Anthropos, a startup with offices in the US and Switzerland, has raised $2.7M to revolutionize the way companies help employees evolve their skill sets in line with business needs while improving retention.

Talk Commerce - Brian Gerstner

Strategic Partnerships: Navigating the Evolving Marketing Landscape with Brian Gerstner

Welcome back to Talk Commerce! Today, we had the pleasure of chatting with Brian Gerstner, President of White Label IQ, about the crucial role of strategic partnerships in the ever-changing marketing world. Brian’s insights into leveraging partnerships, navigating the rise of AI, and preparing for the upcoming holiday season were truly insightful.

The Power of Niche Expertise and White Label Partnerships

Brian emphasized the increasing need for specialization in the marketing industry, especially with the rise of AI tools like Jasper and ChatGPT. He believes AI will ultimately “beat the mediocrity out of all of us,” pushing agencies and businesses to focus on their core strengths and partner for specific needs.

“AI is going to not be your friend” if you’re “just getting things done and checking off boxes.”

This resonated with me deeply. As someone who has witnessed the evolution of the digital marketing landscape, I’ve seen firsthand how crucial it is to develop and excel in a niche. Partnering with experts like White Label IQ allows agencies to access specialized skills without the fixed costs of hiring full-time staff.

AI: A Tool, Not a Replacement

While AI presents incredible opportunities, Brian rightly points out that it does not replace human expertise. AI tools are powerful for content creation and iteration, but they lack the emotional intelligence and strategic thinking humans bring.

“AI is great at creating the pieces… but it’s not really great at bringing the pieces together.”

I couldn’t agree more. As marketers, we must guide and curate AI, ensuring it aligns with our brand voice, understands our audience, and ultimately serves our business objectives. The human touch is essential in crafting compelling narratives and building authentic customer connections.

Gearing Up for the Holiday Season and Beyond

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, Brian offered valuable advice for merchants and agencies.

“Plan ahead for next year… collect the information so that you can follow up with people so that you can grow your audience.”

His emphasis on leveraging first-party data for post-holiday nurturing resonated strongly. Building relationships with customers acquired during the holiday rush is key to long-term success.

Final Thoughts

Brian’s insights underscore the importance of adapting to the evolving marketing landscape. Embracing niche expertise, leveraging strategic partnerships, and understanding the potential and limitations of AI is crucial for staying ahead of the curve. As we head into the holiday season and beyond, remember the value of human connection and strategic collaboration in achieving sustainable growth.

Be sure to check out the full episode of Talk Commerce to hear more from Brian Gerstner and gain valuable insights for your business!

Amplifier Security's AI-powered security copilot guiding an employee through security protocols.

[NEWS] Amplifier Security: Bridging the Workforce-Security Divide with AI

Amplifier Security launches from stealth with $3.3M funding to bridge the divide between the workforce and security using AI-powered automation and a human-centric approach.

Talk Commerce - Raul Galera

E-Commerce Referral Marketing: Insights from a Partnership Manager with Raul Galera

As the co-host of the Talk Commerce podcast, I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Raul Galera, the Partnership Manager at ReferralCandy, to discuss the dynamic world of e-commerce. In a landscape that’s constantly evolving, Raul brought to the table a wealth of knowledge on current trends, challenges, and strategies that are shaping the industry. In this blog post, I’ll share the key insights and lessons from our conversation, offering a deep dive into the world of e-commerce from the perspective of a seasoned expert.

The Role of AI and the Impact of Rising Ad Costs

Raul began by shedding light on his role at ReferralCandy and how the company is navigating the e-commerce space. One of the most intriguing points he mentioned was the increasing use of AI for content generation. As brands strive to stay relevant and engaging, AI tools are becoming a game-changer in producing content at scale.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Raul pointed out the significant impact of rising ad costs on e-commerce brands. With the cost of customer acquisition climbing, brands are feeling the pinch, especially during high-stakes sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Shift to Organic SEO and Understanding Consumer Behavior

The conversation then turned to the strategic shift towards organic SEO. As ad costs rise, e-commerce brands are looking to organic search engine optimization to drive traffic without breaking the bank. Raul emphasized the importance of understanding the nuances in consumer behavior, particularly the differences between products that fulfill needs versus those that are more likely to be impulse buys.

Offline Interactions and the Resurgence of Physical Mail

In a digital age, it’s easy to overlook the power of offline interactions. Raul highlighted an interesting trend: the use of physical mail for marketing purposes. This throwback approach can cut through the noise of digital marketing, offering a tangible touchpoint for customers.

Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Looking ahead to major sales events, Raul anticipates a softer approach to discounts from e-commerce brands. Thanks to better stock management and preparation, brands may not need to rely as heavily on deep discounts to attract customers.

The Importance of a Clear Post-Purchase Plan

A key takeaway from our discussion was the importance of having a clear post-purchase plan. Raul stressed the significance of post-purchase customer journeys and the introduction of new and complementary products after the initial sale. This strategy is crucial for engaging customers and encouraging repeat purchases, which fosters brand loyalty.

The Power of Partnerships in E-Commerce

Raul then delved into the world of partnerships, explaining the two main types: co-selling and influencer marketing. He underscored the value of mutually beneficial relationships, whether between brands or with influencers. Co-marketing with complementary brands and strategic influencer marketing can drive sales and elevate brand awareness.

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth with ReferralCandy

Introducing ReferralCandy, Raul explained how the solution empowers brands to leverage word-of-mouth marketing through a referral program. The automated nature of the program incentivizes customers to refer friends, benefiting all parties involved.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of E-Commerce

As we wrapped up the episode, Raul extended an invitation to brands to consider implementing a referral program to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing. He also offered his contact information for further discussions or inquiries.

The e-commerce industry is a complex and ever-changing beast, but with the insights from Raul Galera, brands can navigate it with greater confidence. From the impact of AI and ad costs to the strategic use of partnerships and referral programs, there are numerous opportunities for brands to thrive. As we continue to explore these topics on Talk Commerce, I invite you to join us on this journey and discover how to leverage these insights for your own e-commerce success.

  • Referral Candy: 00:01:22, 00:29:52
  • Shopify: 00:02:01, 00:22:36
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence): 00:07:00
  • Organic SEO: 00:10:33
  • Clienteling: 00:14:14
  • Amazon Days: 00:18:35
  • Klaviyo: 00:23:43
  • Influencer Candy: 00:28:50
Talk-Commerce Cary Lawrence

Mastering Personalized Marketing with Decile CEO Cary Lawrence

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of chatting with Cary Lawrence, the CEO of Decile, a customer data and marketing platform built by marketers for marketers. Cary shared her passion for food and cooking, but more importantly, her deep insights into the world of data-driven marketing. Join us as we delve into the power of first-party data and how Decile is helping marketers create personalized experiences that drive customer loyalty and profitable growth.

Navigating the Cookieless World with Decile

Cary explained how Decile is well-positioned to help marketers thrive in a world without third-party cookies. By focusing on identity-based marketing and leveraging first-party data, Decile enables marketers to create personalized experiences without relying on device IDs or cookies. As someone who values privacy, I appreciate Decile’s approach to using data responsibly while still delivering value to customers.

The Art of Personalization: Balancing Relevance and Privacy

One of the key challenges in personalized marketing is striking the right balance between relevance and privacy. Cary emphasized the importance of creating an equal value exchange, where customers willingly share their information in return for personalized offers and experiences. By leveraging machine learning to analyze customer attributes and behaviors, Decile helps marketers deliver targeted messages that resonate with individual customers without crossing the line into invasiveness.

Finding Your High-Value Customers with Predictive Analytics

Cary shared a fascinating insight: the top 10% of customers are often responsible for 40-60% of a company’s revenue and profit. This highlights the importance of identifying and nurturing high-value customers. Decile’s predictive analytics capabilities help marketers identify not only their most valuable customers today but also those with the highest propensity to purchase in the future. As a marketer myself, I can attest to the power of focusing on retention and extracting more value from existing customers.

The Future of Marketing: Sustainability, Loyalty, and AI

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, Cary identified several trends that will shape the future of marketing. Sustainability, both in terms of packaging and product, will continue to be a key focus for consumers, especially younger generations. Customized loyalty programs that cater to individual preferences will become more prevalent. And while the role of AI in customer service is still evolving, Cary believes that generative AI and chatbots have the potential to streamline and improve the customer experience, provided they are executed flawlessly.

The Final Data Bit

My conversation with Cary Lawrence was a fascinating deep dive into the world of data-driven marketing. As marketers, we have a responsibility to use data ethically and responsibly, always keeping the customer’s best interests in mind. By leveraging the power of first-party data and predictive analytics, we can create personalized experiences that delight customers and drive profitable growth. If you’re looking to take your marketing to the next level, be sure to check out Decile and the innovative work they’re doing in the space.

Akeneo Spring 2024 Release: AI-powered product experience management dashboard with Salesforce integration, featuring product catalogs, data enrichment, and multi-channel syndication

Akeneo Spring 2024 Release: AI-Powered Innovations and Salesforce Integration

Akeneo unveils its Spring 2024 release, featuring AI-powered innovations, deeper Salesforce integration, and enhanced PIM capabilities to create exceptional product experiences that drive commerce success.

PriceSpider's Vision for Data-Driven Brand Monitoring

PriceSpider Ushers In New Era of Brand Commerce with Cutting-Edge AI

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Talk-Commerce Akeneo Kristin Naragon

Transforming Retail through Product Experience with Kristin Naragon

The future of retail lies in delivering exceptional product experiences. That’s the key message from digital commerce expert Kristin Naragon in this insightful episode of Talk Commerce. As Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Akeneo, Naragon has seen firsthand how centralizing product data and incorporating AI is revolutionizing online shopping.

Key Takeaways:

  • Implementing a product information management (PIM) solution led to a 36% sales increase for Rural King and 15 minute time-to-market for Staples Canada.
  • 61% of retailers are adopting augmented reality, with some seeing conversion rates double for AR-enabled products.
  • AI can be transformative but needs human validation – incorrect product details could be dangerous.
  • A comprehensive product experience strategy requires buy-in across the c-suite, not just marketing.

About Kristin Naragon

With nearly 20 years in tech marketing, including senior roles at Akeneo and Adobe, Kristin brings a wealth of go-to-market strategy experience. As a customer-obsessed, outcomes-focused leader, she’s passionate about developing partnerships and solutions that drive business success. At Akeneo, that means delivering product experience innovation that transforms retail.

Exploring Centralized Data and AI for Next-Gen Shopping

Kristin traces the genesis of Akeneo back to a frustrating shopping experience – her husband struggling to find compatible AV equipment across various retailer sites. The problem? Inconsistent and conflicting product information stemming from decentralized data. As Kristin explains, “You can control the product information. Having that core record, categorized, cataloged, complete, enriched…that’s what Akeneo uniquely solves.”

That product record lies at the heart of Akeneo’s product experience cloud. By centralizing all product data into a PIM, retailers can distribute accurate, up-to-date listings to every touchpoint – web, mobile, print, and more. The result, as evidenced by Rural King and Staples Canada, is operational efficiency, reduced time to market, and revenue growth. “It touches every part of the business,” Naragon states.

And that was just the beginning. The launch of Akeneo’s in-platform app store unlocked innovation opportunities through 3rd party AI integrations. As Kristin explains, “We had about a dozen applications developed leveraging AI to help different parts of the product experience management process.” From onboarding data to generating descriptions and translating content, AI is transforming PIM capabilities.

Ultimately, Akeneo’s acquisition of AI startup Unifi was fueled by demand for enhanced data enrichment. But Kristin cautions AI requires oversight. “Bad product information generated from these AI models can really serve the business in a bad way,” she warns, sharing examples of incorrect phone storage stats and dangerously mixed chemical data. The solution lies in Akeneo’s workflows – “introducing a checking system with employees, humans.”

The Future of Retail Will Be Experiential

As the podcast wraps up, Kristin points to AI, AR, and the blockchain as technologies that will converge to enhance shopping dramatically. But the biggest shift must start internally. “Making product experience strategy a C-suite initiative – that’s something we’re going to be focused on,” she predicts. Because as omnichannel retail blurs lines, the brands offering the most contextual, consistent and helpful product experiences will win consumer loyalty.

In closing, Kristin perfectly captures the ethos of our digital era: “It seems so obvious, I guess. And sometimes the things that seem so obvious are often overlooked.”

Memorable Quotes

“You can control the product information. Having that core record, categorized, cataloged, complete, enriched…that’s what Akeneo uniquely solves.”

Here Kristin eloquently sums up the universal product data dilemma facing retailers – and how a properly structured PIM solves it through centralization.

“Bad product information generated from these AI models can really serve the business in a bad way.”

A stark reminder that while AI delivers efficiency, its capability to propagate nonsense means implementing guardrails is crucial.

“Making product experience strategy a C-suite initiative – that’s something we’re going to be focused on.”

This prediction underscores Kristin’s belief that optimizing product content across channels needs to become a boardroom priority to drive sales.

Tune In and Join the Product Experience Revolution

If mindset shifts, emerging technologies and real-world use cases have you rethinking your ecommerce content strategy, be sure to check out the full episode. Subscribe to Talk Commerce so you don’t miss future conversations at the intersection of commerce and digital disruption.

At its core, this podcast highlights that product experiences represent the new competitive battleground. As consumers increasingly demand personalized, contextual, and helpful shopping journeys, retailers must transform product content from a cost center into a revenue driver. The brands that invest in product experience now will shape the future of retail.