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$2 million investment sees Fanplayr help small ecommerce outfits compete with the big beasts

Can­ny e‑commerce ana­lysts and web con­tent man­agers aim­ing to increase their rev­enues might be inter­est­ed in the for­tunes of a Palo Alto-based start­up called Fan­playr, which has just secured seed invest­ment total­ing $2 million.

The two-year-old start­up devotes its ener­gies into dri­ving con­ver­sions on all web­sites offer­ing e‑commerce options.  Essen­tial­ly, its plat­form helps e‑commerce mer­chants ana­lyze their vis­i­tor traf­fic and pin­point the opti­mal tim­ing and val­ue of pur­chase incen­tives.  It also helps sites offer Ama­zon-style recommendations.

Big con­ver­sions for the small guy

Much less has­sle than Google Ana­lyt­ics, Fan­playr pro­vides a lot more guid­ance on how to get the best out of it, too.  It typ­i­cal­ly mon­i­tors e‑commerce site vis­i­tors for a month to get a firm han­dle on their behav­ior before ini­ti­at­ing any action.  Once it’s col­lat­ed the data and built up reli­able pro­files of site vis­i­tors, it springs into action, iden­ti­fy­ing shop­pers who share char­ac­ter­is­tics with actu­al buy­ers but haven’t yet made a pur­chase.  E‑merchants are then giv­en rec­om­men­da­tions on how to con­vert these cau­tious vis­i­tors into customers.

Fanplayr’s CEO, Simon Yenck­en, explains his firm’s approach like this:

“We deliv­er an auto­mat­ed report to the eCom­merce site show­ing what we found about vis­i­tor behav­ior on the site, and rec­om­mend­ing some strate­gies for how they can get increased con­ver­sion. Oth­er prod­ucts pro­vide com­pa­nies with this data and they don’t ana­lyze it.  We can get any­where from 20 to 50 per­cent increase in con­ver­sion, of course depend­ing on size, and up to a 50 per­cent increase in aver­age order value.”

How to com­pete with the big beasts

And, e‑commerce man­agers take note, you only pay if Fan­playr deliv­ers – its pric­ing struc­ture is per­for­mance based.  Unsur­pris­ing­ly, with a pric­ing strat­e­gy like that, it’s ide­al for the small­er guy – small to medi­um sized e‑commerce firms are the ones it’s prin­ci­pal­ly aim­ing for.  It allows these small­er firms to match the on-site shop­ping entice­ments offered by leviathans like Ama­zon, even though they haven’t got the kind of bud­gets to hire the kind of in-house engi­neer­ing tal­ent need­ed to do so.

Retar­get­ing and per­son­al­ized offers are at the ker­nel of Fan­playr — pre­cise­ly the kind of deal small­er e‑merchants are seek­ing so that they don’t get squeezed out of the mar­ket by the big beasts.  E‑commerce Goliaths are sud­den­ly faced with some very com­pet­i­tive lit­tle Davids.

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