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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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