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Q&A With Robert Tallack Of ConversionPoint Technologies: AI In E-Commerce And How The Industry Is Advancing

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Robert Tallack is the CEO of ConversionPoint Technologies, an e-Commerce technology company focusing on increasing reach, revenue and return on investment for brands, agencies and advertisers selling online.

Robert Tallack

Q: What led you to this aspect of the e-commerce space?

A: The first businesses that I led were in the martial arts industry, which was pretty natural for me since I grew up under a martial arts master father and was a professional UFC champion. I was also intrigued by the digital environment and its implications for consumer marketing. The e-commerce market is really continuing to grow, as well as the number of innovations in the area, and that’s particularly exciting to be a part of.

Q: Can you explain briefly what ConversionPoint Technologies does?

A: Sure. We are an e-commerce customer acquisition platform that integrates solutions for such needs as media optimization, customer relationship management and fulfillment. Our platform emerged from failings we saw in piecemeal solutions. We’ve scaled the business from launch in mid-2016 to estimated revenues of about $70 million last year.

Q: E-commerce is a fast-moving market with a lot of moving parts. What have the challenges been to ensure ConversionPoint stays ahead of the curve?

A: Probably the biggest one is doing just that: staying ahead of the curve. When Facebook and Google account for half of all paid media buys, you have to stay proactive if you want to have a hope of avoiding the havoc an algorithm change can wreak on metrics. That never-ending battle aside, there’s also the challenge of integrating our system smoothly with the big guys in the e-commerce ecosystem like Amazon and Shopify. Our success at this reduces possible friction points when working with clients to improve their e-commerce customer acquisition process.

Q: What are the biggest mistakes that brands make with their e-commerce strategies?

A: Well, for starters, there are still an inordinate number of advertisers who don’t really have a strategy. They just throw money at it and then wonder why they’re not seeing more conversions. You have to make your advertising investment count, and that means understanding your customers and targeting them. Another area is focusing on the right metrics, which should be fairly simple, but isn’t. Too many brands don’t know what to track – which is ultimately what’s driving conversions, whether the offer or the message and whether the target is right.

Q: What do you see as the most interesting developments ahead for e-commerce?

A: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will be an interesting development. Actually, this is evolving now, and uses are only mushrooming in real time. I read one report that suggests that by 2020 as much as 85 percent of all e-commerce transactions will be managed through AI – without a human.

Q: Are you utilizing AI at ConversionPoint? And what kind of uses do you see in the future?

A: We use it for the media optimization process, showing, in real-time, the impact of different combinations of image/copy/offering. It turns guesswork into data-driven decisions. But beyond that, think chatbots. They are increasingly being used and are an effective way to automate the order process and personally and cost effectively provide a higher level of customer service.

AI can also be used for predictive marketing purposes, supporting marketing, sales and CRM systems. Over time, we expect to see many more opportunities for AI to be integrated into e-commerce and really help level the playing field between smaller and larger e-commerce producers.

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