Ask the Attendees: @Mavatar #techstylenyc
TechStyleNYC is an event, held during Fashion Week, that brought together fashion and technology. The event had a wonderful turnout and attendees enjoyed the chance to celebrate NYC’s fashion week in techsy style!
But just who are the brands that attended the event? What’s their take on the event industry? And what did they think of TechStyleNYC? We took the opportunity to interview a few of the attendees and over the next few days will be featuring their interviews, read on for a peek inside the guests’ heads:
We spoke to Susan Akbarpour, Co-Founder and CEO of Mavatar
1. First of all, please tell our readers about you – what is the company all about?
Mavatar started from my research project on new advertising models & user privacy at GSB for data modeling and optimization course in 2010. I paired up with a bright InfoLabs’ Ph.D student and 7 months later brought in the Oracle VP of e-business platform (another CS Ph.D) to build the engineering team. We hired other amazing talents and for the last 4 years and were head down building, testing and analyzing data to create a pure consumer centric e-commerce platform.
My vision was refraining from aggregating users’ data, shadowing, retargeting (and even targeting) and bombarding them with useless, outdated and impossible to process recommendations! We wanted to build a consumer centric e-commerce platform that could aggregate and optimize every piece of data and content around products, all in one window! This way we could give consumers a 360 view of products to make a quick & smart shopping decision and control the sales attribution process.
The nucleus of the platform is a smart, universal and personal shopping cart that users can carry store to store, web to mobile and offline to online, fill it with products, share it with others, co-shop from it, write their story evolving around their selection, publish it and get a simple link, QR code, widget and button to promote the cart in social media, blog, vlog, movie and print! When others buy from those carts that can be everywhere, they get paid! Most importantly they can track their sales in a simple dashboard! These shopping carts gradually fed our own marketplace. Our engine in the background, is indexing products, content and even coupons validated on those carts or selection of their products to become closest to their real-time online inventory of top retailers combined. We are not getting involved in fulfillment but facilitate multi stores checkout propagating products and coupons, placing the users in the stores last checkout page to confirm total! Users pay stores directly and can return or exchange the product and aggregate loyalty points as they normally do!
Basically Mavatar is a convergence of Amazon, Retailmenot, Pinterest, Kayak and Uber for retail sales for top retailers’ products!
2. What were the 3 keys to getting the company off the ground – where did you invest your time?
Team, Smart Money and Checking on every remote competitor to see what they are good at and where they suck!
3. Just having participated in TechStyle NYC, what role do live events play in your branding and marketing initiatives?
TechStyleNYC is a bespoke platform to connect technology and fashion worlds in a unique way. It seems everyone is there for a predefined purpose. Visitors who come to your booth, had been already briefed and were handpicked to talk to you. Your potential partners, vendors and customers have been recognized and are schedulable to meet with you! When you get there, you even see the TechStyle team already have novel marketing material ready for you!
The event organizers from top to bottom are there not only to serve your business needs but also to think ahead, having them already identified FOR YOU!
This unique approach requires a lot of thinking, planning and diligent execution that is very rare to be seen in other networking events and exhibitions.
Attending TechStyle event was a very sudden decision for me this year We decided to patcipate only a few days before the event! Frankly we were not ready but I must say the turnout of this event with 3 celebrity bloggers creating Mavatar Cart For Cause ™ that morning, 63 influencers signing up in a few hours and 200% increase in our site traffic compare to the day before outsized the return on all the events in which we had participated before, combined.
4. What was a successful social media campaign you hosted that showed great engagement and traction?
Our platform is not only a shoppable content publishing platform for influencers but also includes a suite of embedded social marketing tools. Basically they can put their carts behind their own, their friends’ posts or even brands’ that are targeting them in social media to promote their sales.
They can also devote the carts revenue to their cause which will be matched by Mavatar and send the entire revenue of that cart forever to the mentioned non-profit organization.
Obviously these carts get a lot of engagements. Our Do Good & Do Well with Carts for Cause ™ has been our most successful campaign specially the one we had for breast cancer month where shoppers were buying pink products from our influencers’ carts, taking a Selfie at pink and post it on social media encouraging others to do the same. Lil’ Kim’s Cart for Cause alone attracted 12000 visitors to our site in two days.
5. Finally, what is your favorite app?
After Mavatar, I love Linkedin! I think any entrepreneur has to spend at least one hour in LinkedIn to know people, companies and their relationships together.