Paul’s company Vervaunt is one of Klevu’s biggest partners globally and we have a wide range of mutual clients, including O’Neills, Bulletproof, Waterford, Wedgwood, The Sports Edit, David Austin Roses, OPUMO, Borough Kitchen, The Science Museum and lots of others!
So, we asked Paul Rogers and Shamoli Miah (an e-commerce Solutions Consultant for Vervaunt) to do a spotlight interview with us.
1. Hi Sham, Hi Paul, great to have you with us. Tell us about Vervaunt?
Vervaunt - which is about to turn two later this month - is a bit of an unconventional company in that we provide two very independent services, that mostly work in isolation. These two services are e-commerce consultancy (with a focus on technology) and e-commerce paid media management (paid search, shopping, social, display, Amazon etc). Across the two sides, we have a team of 9 (soon to be 11), with the paid media side being the bigger of the two.
Some of our current clients across the two sides of the business include The Science Museum, Sunspel, The Conran Shop, Byredo, Lulu Guinness, PMT Music, MUJI, David Austin Roses and Bulletproof.
2. What is your area of expertise?
We both work on the e-commerce side, where the vast majority of our projects are focused on re-platforming - be it platform selection, requirements gathering or supporting the actual re-platforming project (either project management or solutions support). The platforms we work with most commonly are Magento Commerce and Shopify Plus, but we’ve recently been doing a lot more with BigCommerce and Salesforce Commerce Cloud as well.
On the paid media side, we manage all paid channels, but specialise in working on Google Shopping - although paid social is getting increasingly important for us now.
3. Name 3 words that describe the future of e-commerce?
4. If your agency was an animal - what animal would it be and why?
Hyenas - group of feisty characters, who are fiercely loyal (and noisy!)
Paul: I would like to point out that Sham wrote this, not me ha.
5. What would you say to online retailers that have not used an agency like yours before?
This is a really tricky one - I guess we represent a smaller agency that has some really experienced people. I would say that size of a company doesn’t always correlate with quality / the best results. We’ve definitely had situations where we’ve lost out to a larger agency on the paid media side when we’d have a more experienced consultant working on the account and we’d allocate more time etc.
On the e-commerce side - I think a retailer really needs to ‘need’ us. These days, we do a lot of hands-on work through re-platforming projects and this is only really needed if the client doesn’t have a very technical team or a small and / or time-poor team - but in those scenarios we can add a lot of value in getting things done properly and to a good standard.
6. Bring the offline to online? What technologies are important in this?
There’s so many - here are a few that we like:
- Hero - Hero allows live chat users to show products via video. Most commonly used by in-store team members, this can have a really positive impact for multi-channel retailers.
- Retain.me for personalised order inserts (amongst other things). This is a really nice service that can help to retain customers and also improve the ‘unboxing’ process. Online orders don’t generally have the same customer experience in a lot of industries, so this can be a really nice value-add.
- Klevu - helping to return results for users that are looking for something specific (emulating the sales person / concierge experience).
- Yotpo - not necessarily an obvious one, but their visual UGC features help to provide more context around the product.
- NOSTO - providing the right products and navigation to the right users.
- Ometria / DotDigital - helping to make communication more relevant
- Adyen - making the payments process cleaner and more seamless
- PWA / headless - this is a really big one at the moment. We’re not entirely convinced with most of the technologies we work with currently - but it’s getting more compelling and viable by the day. PWA capabilities are getting more and more important as mobile CR% continues to grow.
- Broader personalisation - personalisation is gradually becoming broader and the holy grail of being able to fully personalised an end-to-end buying process is getting closer (content, product recs, product sorting on PLPs, navigation, checkout options etc).
- More multi-channel improvements - again, this is an area where more and more brands are starting to invest and it’s getting better all the time. Things like multi-channel returns, click-and-collect, endless aisle etc are a lot more accessible these days and are becoming common practice.
- On the ads side - the audience approach against all forms of digital advertising is a big one and is getting better and better (in terms of targeting capabilities and being able to better utilise budget).
8. Tell me about one of your biggest success stories?
Bulletproof was a really good project for us on the e-commerce side - we worked with their in-house team and WeMakeWebsites to migrate them from Magento to Shopify Plus in two months - which was a really challenging and exciting project! Our team took ownership of various areas through the project and then ran some key projects beyond launch which had a really positive impact on the online business. Search and personalisation were two of the biggest areas.
On the paid media side - MUJI has been a really nice case study for us. We started off doing a proof of concept for paid search and shopping in the UK, which drove really positive results. Since then we’ve gone on to manage all paid media channels in a number of key European countries and their numbers continue to improve and help to grow the online channel.
Paul Rogers | E-commerce Consultant & Co-founder at Vervaunt
Shamoli Miah | Digital Solutions Consultant at Vervaunt
Thanks Sham, thanks Paul!