Interview with Ivan Mazour (Ometria): E-commerce is far too competitive now to do anything in a generic way

ivan-mazour-ometriaThe GPeC team is back on track after the Easter holidays with a fresh interview with Ivan Mazour, Founder & CEO Ometria and one of our guest speakers at GPeC Summit. Ivan is a Russian-born, London-based serial entrepreneur, investor and author. He is the CEO and Founder of Ometria – a predictive analytics and marketing platform built specifically for retailers, which helps them use data to automate and personalise their communication with their customers. Ometria is his seventh company, in a career spanning various industries from property to education. Alongside this main role, he is also the Founding Partner of Innova Kapital – an early stage VC firm investing in UK-based technology startups, including successful companies like YPlan, Adbrain and organisations like Entrepreneur First. As well as holding multiple degrees in Mathematics from Cambridge University, and in Economics from the Open University, Ivan Mazour is the author of a number of books including “Russian Convoys – Memories of the Heart”.

You can meet Ivan for the first time in Romania at GPeC Summit (Bucharest, May 11-12-13 2015)! He will deliver a keynote speech on May 11 about the future of e-commerce and about the way data can improve your conversation with the customer. Ivan will try to explain why traditional marketing no longer works and will give some insights into automated strategies that improve engagement and increase revenues. It’s a must-attend for all those who want to make more out of their data and of their e-commerce marketing strategies.

GPeC: Ometria is not very popular in Romania among online shops, although it is very popular among e-commerce specialists here. Could you tell us in a few words about Ometria’s mission and what it does for online shops

Ivan Mazour: Ometria’s mission is to be the brain that powers all communication between retailers and their customers. We give ecommerce businesses truly comprehensive insight into their customers – who they are, what they do, what they are interested in, and what they are likely to do next, and then we use that information to power automated marketing that encourages those customers to interact more with the site, and ultimately spend more money.

GPeC: What is the secret sauce these days in the highly competitive landscape of e-commerce and how does Ometria help e-commerce entrepreneurs deal with the challenges they will meet here?

It comes down to how well you can understand your customer, and how well you can give them exactly what they want. The landscape of ecommerce is far too competitive now to do anything in a generic way – to stand out each interaction with the customer has to be perfectly tailored to them. Otherwise those customers will go somewhere else. There are plenty of options, whatever vertical you’re in. And that’s exactly what Ometria does – gives you the power to use data to ensure that those interactions are perfect, which means that you stand out against the sea of other businesses selling the same things online.

GPeC: How is customer lifecycle marketing different from classic marketing based on channel view?

The concept of customer lifecycle marketing is based on an understanding that customers will want different things at different times, and have different value to your business at different stages of their journey. Someone who has signed up to your mailing list may not have bought yet, but they already have value – there is a probability that they will buy in future, and it’s up to you to maximise that probability by communicating with them in the right way. Previously, marketing was about spending money on channels, and seeing how much revenue comes from them. Now, it’s all about taking that customer on a journey through steps – from signup, to first purchase, to becoming a VIP customer.

GPeC: Ivan, you are also an investor. Would you invest in e-commerce? What exactly would you invest in: online shop, e-commerce tool, which area?

Actually that’s one of the reasons Ometria came about. Of my investments, only three have failed, and two of those were ecommerce businesses. I learned first hand the struggles of ecommerce CEOs in trying to understand their customers. The tools they had were hard to integrate, weren’t built for ecommerce specifically, and at best provided data that wasn’t actionable. So I realised that something needed to be done, and founded Ometria. These days I’m no longer investing – I’m fully focused on making Ometria a global success.

GPeC: What e-commerce influencers are you following often and would recommend to the GPeC E-Commerce Community?

There are a few individuals in London who I greatly respect – Dan Barker (ecommerce expert) and Cian Weeresinghe (CMO Secret Escapes) come to mind straight away. There are also a few companies I greatly admire – Stitch Fix in the US and Swoon Editions in the UK. Truly data-driven businesses, and growing extremely quickly. But overall I’m very proud of Ometria’s blog called “How to Win at Ecommerce” – http://www.ometria.com/blog – it’s one of the most popular ecommerce publications in the UK and whenever I speak with retailers they always mention how much they have learned from reading it.

 GPeC Summit, 11-12-13 May 2015, Bucharest

GPeC is the most important E-Commerce Event in Romania and South Eastern Europe. The first major event from this year is GPeC Summit where you can meet honorable international speakers like Neil Patel, Craig Sullivan, Chris Goward, Simo Ahava and many more. Get your ticket!