We recently had the chance to participate in the Shoptalk event. At this event, we interacted with experts from the e-commerce and digital world. In particular, we were able to talk to Steven Mohl, Director Strategic Partnerships Europe at Rokt.
Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be the Director Strategic Partnerships Europe at Rokt?
Having worked in E-commerce for 10+ years in both New York and Paris, my experience enables me to help a high-growth US company to develop its operations in Europe. Working with companies like Veepee and Amex as well as smaller startups shaped my ability to work in fast paced, goal-driven and disrupting environments. My team and I primarily focus on the French and Southern European markets while our colleagues are covering the UK and Germany.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing ecommerce companies today, and how does Rokt help them address these challenges?
Ecommerce growth has been driven by the pandemic and a strong economic cycle, but that trend is starting to swing in the opposite direction—and that means competition is going to get more fierce. This is going to put more pressure on companies and force some out of the market. Those that survive and thrive will need to ensure their economics are better than their peers’ and, to achieve that, they’ll need to optimize the metrics of ecommerce. One of the biggest drivers here is relevancy—ensuring precise customer engagement and time are used in the most valuable way. Companies that crack this will have an edge over their competitors.
Retailers will need to demonstrate to shoppers that they remember and value who they are and what their preferences are. They’ll need to provide consumers with highly engaging and relevant shopping experiences, across every selling channel, to delight customers and keep them coming back. With the death of the third-party cookie and the changing regulatory landscape, retailers that are behind the curve in understanding and utilizing their own first-party data will face significant challenges. Every company will need to revamp its personalization strategies to meet customer needs while remaining compliant with continuously evolving regulations.Those that rely on third-party cookies will need to shift to a first-party approach or partner with a technology provider to ensure they are offering customers the most relevant shopping experiences.
Can you give an example of a particularly successful partnership Rokt has formed in Europe, and what made it successful?
Every ecommerce transaction involves multiple parties—including the merchant, shippers, payments providers, insurers and many others—working together to deliver a successful outcome. It’s all connected. With the recent changes in privacy and tracking regulations and policies, businesses need to be able to use their own first-party data, and that requires a trusted intermediary like Rokt. Ecommerce businesses that partner with Rokt are able to use their own first-party data to offer a competitive solution to the big, dominant digital advertising players.
Rokt can drive incredible results for both ecommerce sites and advertisers by delivering relevancy at the transaction moment, such as an incremental profit of more than €1.5 million for every 10 million transactions and an eCPM of more than €150. Our technology helps solve the paradox of choice for consumers, who are typically overwhelmed by so many random offers that it’s difficult for them to choose one. Rokt’s advanced machine learning, which has been continuously learning from more than 5 billion transactions so far, knows exactly which are the best offers from non-endemic, premium brands to show each customer, creating a better customer experience overall.
One such case has been ManoMano, the largest marketplace for products and services in the DIY, gardening and Home Improvement sector in Europe, is one of our major new clients
- ManoMano was looking for strong predictable revenue without compromising their customer experience
- There are 3 key factors for this successful partnerships
- A shared focus on Manomano’s customers’ experience. Rokt enables ManoMano to show only what is relevant to each of their customers on a 1:1 level
- Diversifying and accelerating ManoMano media revenue strategies and channels on a page that was untapped, the order confirmation page.
- High quality non-endemic offers from our premium advertisers which ManoMano was able to tap into without having to individually create those relationships directly
What do you see as the key trends shaping the ecommerce industry in Europe over the next few years, and how is Rokt positioning itself to take advantage of these trends?
In short, ecommerce will get even more relevant and more connected. With ecommerce slated to grow 15% annually for the next four years, customers will expect even more relevant and customized experiences every time they shop—wherever that may be. Customers already reward retailers that make transactions more relevant today, but in the future, customers will actively switch to where they feel remembered and valued.
We are already seeing that retailers are increasingly looking to unlock more from their assets—and their customer interactions in ecommerce are a massive asset. The growth of ecommerce, tightening of data privacy laws from companies like Apple, and with cookies well on their way out, first-party data has become a goldmine for improving the customer relevancy and economics of ecommerce. This becomes even more powerful when you are able to work together in a smarter way with your partners—as your customers are often also their customers. This connected nature of ecommerce, where your products and services can sell through many channels and you need other partners (e.g., payment companies) to be successful in ecommerce, is only going to become stronger. Brands’ retail media strategies will continue to power top-of-the-funnel experiences, but more and more brands will realize that offering optimized, relevant transaction experiences can unleash significant potential.
What excites you most about the future of ecommerce, and how do you see Rokt contributing to that future?
Companies are increasingly creating their own retail media networks, but these support browsing, meaning they only add value during the shopping portion of the buying journey. This means retailers are missing out on a massive opportunity, specifically in-cart and on the confirmation page. Rokt’s technology has been purpose-built for the transaction moment, to unleash the potential of that moment by doubling the economics of an ecommerce transaction.
Also, Rokt’s algorithm can determine the best message to show individual consumers, from cross-sells and upsells in-cart to loyalty program offers and third-party offers on the confirmation page. The opportunity is huge, and Rokt ensures that each ecommerce transaction is both highly relevant to the consumer and provides maximum value for the brands.
We are talking about Shoptalk, what do you think of this edition and have you participated in the previous ones?
I attended Shoptalk in London last year and found this edition much richer, particularly for the connections I made. Last year’s Shoptalk was at the tail-end of covid with many countries still implementing restrictions together with some strikes, which I believe resulted in fewer people able to attend than anticipated. This year the turnout felt great, with many familiar faces at the event and many new connections made through the meetings feature. It was the perfect opportunity to rekindle certain conversations and begin some fantastic new ones, all in sunny Barcelona with some great speakers and a fantastic organization by the Shoptalk team.