We recently had the pleasure of meeting the team from Owned it, an innovative new company with an innovative new product. Owned it, plugs into eCommerce applications and allow customers to share purchases to friends and followers on Social Networks. The marketing reach of targeted social marketing tool like this is quite staggering, so we spoke to Owned it to find out more.

So how did it all start?

We all feel the urge to be trendy, want to know what’s new and also keep an eye on what our friends are buying. This thought interested us and we started developing a platform that would log and display all the purchases that have been shared on social networks. We realised that the best way to get this information was to encourage customers to share their purchases right after they have completed it.

We raised seed funding for building this platform and approached online stores to integrate our system to their store. After trying our system for a few days, many of the stores suggested us to build a dashboard in order for them to have a better understanding of the product sharing trends. Based on the feedback, we built a system to encourage product sharing and provide retailers with detailed analytics. When more and more stores opted for the system we pivoted from the initial idea of creating a platform for customers to a platform for the stores.

Yeah, this is how we started!

How would you sell Owned It to a store owner who doesn’t know what it is/does?

Our platform helps the stores to create various post purchase marketing and referral campaigns. Lots of opportunities exist for online stores to generate additional sales by engaging more with their customers and one such place is the order confirmation page. This is a great place to engage with customers as they’re usually excited about their purchases and they want to share it with their friends. Stores are not fully utilising the opportunities on this page apart from displaying a ‘Thank you’ message and the order details.

For example, by running a product share campaign on this page, the store can encourage customers to share products with their friends on various channels such as social networks and emails. As a result, the shop gains exposure to new visitors from the customer’s social circle, leading to more sales.

Using our system stores can create and run a wide range of campaigns including special offer campaigns, feedback campaigns etc. The built-in campaign optimization module helps stores to identify the offer that delivers the best results. This way stores can optimize their web pages, get additional revenue without changing any code on their pages and create viral offers with ease.

Although the system has obvious benefits to online retailers, how has the Ecommerce community reacted to your application?

The first response was, it’s a simple proposition presented in a clever way. The Ecommerce community is results oriented and they’re open to new and innovative ideas. We built this system with the support that the retail community extended through their suggestions, feedback and also by being part of our initial trials.

For instance, the integration was a lengthy process and few stores pointed this out. So we addressed this issue by developing easy to install plugins/ add-ons for major Ecommerce platforms including Magento, Opencart, Zencart, Ubercart and osCommerce that has made the integration simpler.

We are currently working with retailers from fashion, electronics, toys etc. and would like to engage more with the wider Ecommerce community in the coming months.

What is the strongest social network for online retailers in terms of generating ROI, and which up and coming social networks are you most excited about?

From our experience, the ROI differs significantly for various stores and for different social networks. Also, many a times the performance of a social network depends on the products the store sells. Facebook is the top performer for clothing and accessories whereas Twitter is generating more sales for gadgets and digital products.

We’ve noticed a general trend amongst our clients that most start with Facebook but eventually use a combination of major networks including Facebook, Twitter and emails to drive the referrals. We have a facility to test multiple networks at once and identify the platform that generates maximum returns.

Pinterest is an interesting platform that we’re looking into, however for now Facebook and Twitter produce the best results.

What new developments are planned for future releases?

A couple of months ago we launched a new version of our platform with features such as an App Panel for stores to create different types of campaigns, a campaign optimization module and an analytics module. We have a number of new and exciting Apps in pipeline that can further improve the returns. Also, we are working on APIs that would display Owned It analytics on third party dashboards.

We will announce more exclusive features soon.

Are there any other projects apart from Owned It in the pipeline from you and your team?

We are a small team of five and all are committed to growing the business and taking it to the next level. It has been very exciting so far and we feel we’ve created something that can change the way word of mouth marketing works for online retailers.

Along the journey, we do intend to conduct events for the Ecommerce community to bring out and share the best practices in the sector particularly to help small and medium size stores. We hope this would encourage store owners to learn from each other’s experiences in a more open and collaborative environment.

What does the Owned It team get up to when you are not coding?

Well, that’s a tricky question as the past few months did not allow us many occasions to do anything except for coding. However, we did manage to grab some sunshine along with some sports and beers. We also explored the lovely and historically rich countryside of UK. I think we are a fairly adventurous lot as well and don’t usually miss adventurous outdoor activity deals on Groupon.

NuBlue are a Magento Solution partner, working with Magento community, professional and enterprise additions.

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