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New York-based social photo platform Olapic introduces new single gateway to all its supported e-retailers and supplies savvy marketing analytics

Adroit e-commerce managers are increasingly aware of the marketing power of user-generated photos and videos – which is why they may be interested in the progress made by the New York-based B2B service Olapic, whose technology platform helps agencies, e-retailers and publishers to integrate user-created images from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Following its handsome $5 million Series A investment in July, Olapic decided to go hell-for-leather for e-commerce, even though it insists that it will go on supporting all its media customers (that’s who it started with upon its launch in 2010). And it’s being true to its word.

Just why are user-generated images so powerful?

Now, hard-boiled e-commerce managers like analytics. And Olapic claims that its data shows that user-generated images are a thundering five times more likely to persuade people to make a purchase than other content. It’s not exactly clear why this should be so, but the intrepid e-commerce manager would probably not be far wide of the mark in speculating that it probably has something to do with the fact that user-generated photos encourage us to feel that someone like us is happy with their purchase – why shouldn’t we be, too? A real woman, for example, may remain skeptical about whether an outfit would look as stylish on her as on the waifish model used by clothing retailers, largely because, not to put too fine a point on it, the average woman isn’t waif-sized.

Simplifying access, extending reach

Olapic has recently added a new single-sign-on feature that acts as a one-stop consumer gateway to all of the e-commerce sites it supports. That cuts out a lot tedious keyboard tapping and mouse clicking – no one has to laboriously re-register on each individual site anymore. But e-retailers can also see what their customers are doing right across the Olapic platform, allowing them to hone their recommendations and marketing to what product images consumers have looked at and what purchases they have made.

The company has also just partnered with the e-commerce platform Demandware, whose approximately 200 customers will now be able to use plug-ins to integrate Olapic’s services. That’s not a bad increase in reach.

In the pipeline is a new integration with e-retailers’ email marketing, a move which is designed to encourage consumers to send a user-generated snap or video after they’ve bought something.

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