One man’s mission to help retailers help each other
Holger Numrich has a new way for online retailers to reward their customers this holiday trading season and support their e-commerce peers in the process. Ovisto is a shop-to-shop voucher network that allows retailers to reward customers who make purchases by letting them choose from a range of vouchers for other online retail brands.
These include Tyroola, Costumes.com.au, Wild Earth, Dr Carl and RY.com.au, Stuffed With Plush Toys, Mountain Bikes Direct and Discount Party Supplies.
“It’s a give and take between Aussie retailers to support each other,” said Numrich, who has worked in e-commerce in Germany and Australia.
Internet Retailing spoke with Numrich about the reason he started Ovisto and why he thinks online retailers should support each other.
Internet Retailing: How did you come up with the idea for Ovisto?
Holger Numrich: We were thinking how we could support Aussie retailers and enable them to support each other in generating better leads and higher conversions. The idea was to offer exclusive voucher deals to customers of other retailers after the order has been completed. Ovisto has been up and running in Germany since the end of 2014 and it’s very successful as the conversion rates are great and retailers only pay based on performance. It is similar to an affiliate network, it’s just that the publisher is another retailer and the lead quality therefore is significantly higher.
In addition we enable Aussie retailers to reward their customers at the end of the order process by offering them to select an exclusive voucher from another online retailer. The network enables online retailers to “access” customers of other online retailers.
IR: How is it unique in the Australian market?
HN: There is no network in the Aussie or APAC market offering this service where online retailers can directly support and benefit from each other. The fact that the vouchers are only available to actual online customers makes it an exclusive and closed user group. Online retailers can even blacklist certain retailers they do not want to support, e.g. competitors.
IR: How do you see this tapping into broader e-commerce trends around customer engagement and retention?
HN: The idea of Ovisto is not to monetise a customer even further after check out (e.g. via subscriptions or surveys) but to enable the retailer to say “thank you” and reward the customer for ordering. This leaves a great emotional touch with the customer and they feel rewarded and treated well. They will remember the retailer as the retailer gave something in return for placing the order. We strongly believe this will result in stronger customer engagement and retention as the customer may come back to order here again.
IR: You currently have 15 retail partners on board. How do you plan to get more retailers signed up?
HN: We will attend conferences and industry events like NORA and explain the concept in a personal meeting and then follow up later with details. Currently it is about getting the Ovisto brand and the concept out there. With the upcoming Christmas shopping season Ovisto is a great opportunity for online retailers to get involved, and I am currently reaching out to online retailers to get engaged for the Christmas season and have their best Christmas season ever! Online retailers get free traffic and do not have to pay commission until the end of 2016 if they get involved. This allows them to test the system over the next few months and decide if they want to proceed next year or not.
IR: Are these e-vouchers? Are you partnering with mobile wallets, or other loyalty programs?
HN: These are e-vouchers only. So far we do not partner with mobile wallets or other loyalty programs but this is on the bucket list once we have established the basic business model.