Pau Sabria is a Co-Founder at Olapic, a technology platform enabling eCommerce, Media Companies, Agencies, and almost any site to integrate photos from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The Makegood recently spoke with Pau about Olapic’s past, its value proposition, and the current state of eCommerce.
The Makegood: Olapic was founded 3 years ago. Can you talk a bit about the process of turning this from an idea into a successful company?
Olapic began as a side project at Columbia Business School for which we got funding by the University, allowing us to get started. We also won a pitching competition that got us our first customer: NY Daily News. We decided to become the first B2B visual platform to allow brands to tap into visual communication with their users. It wasn’t easy, and we certainly took a leap of faith: when we launched, Instagram wasn’t even live! After that, we pretty much followed the recipe to maximize success: listen, work extremely hard, and be humble about how to evolve one’s product. Additionally, we went through an incubator (NYCSeedstart) and raised two rounds of funding.
The Makegood: You closed a $5 million Series A round last July and began to shift your focus to retail. What drove this decision?
About 18 months ago, we started approaching eCommerce customers to see how we could work together. For these retailers, collecting photos and testimonials had become very challenging as users kept sharing more and more visual content surrounding their purchases. Olapic developed a solution that allowed companies to recognize their users, and enable all that content being created to be at the disposal of potential customers who sought out extra information at the point of purchase. Such value proposition was so strong that essentially many eCommerce brands started approaching us to deploy our solution, no matter the size or vertical.
The Makegood: Can you give us a typical example of how a client might use your service?
Olapic helps its customers define their visual commerce strategy. It starts by including photos into the end-user ecommerce flow. We ask end consumers to submit content in different ways about the products they just bought and the brand is allowed to curate this collected user generated content. Olapic then provides different solutions to display the approved content throughout the ecommerce experience: product detail page widgets, mobile galleries, newsletter integrations. Finally, we track how photos effect purchasing behavior, enabling brands to know who their influencers truly are based on sales uplift, not likes or followers. From the consumer perspective, users get to enjoy a much more visual ecommerce experience – by providing and viewing visual information on how products look like on “real people”. This authentic content is also harder to fake than text reviews, and thus is consumed more widely than text reviews. By interacting with our tool, end consumers can get a better sense of what they are actually buying, resulting in a better match of expectations and a better shopping experience overall.
The Makegood: eCommerce is a field that has been developing a lot with most consumers now having multiple screens. How does Olapic deliver a differentiated eCommerce experience from its competitors?
eCommerce experiences have largely been the same since the Internet’s inception. Sites are digital versions of catalogs, and there has been very little innovation in the online purchase experience since the incorporation of text reviews in the early 2000’s. Our approach with our customers is to rethink ecommerce from the ground up with the following main cornerstones: people like to get inspired visually, facilitate discovery of products, and make decisions based on true ROI and sales metrics. Having different screens implies having appropriate experiences while keeping a consensus around the overall experience, and thus Olapic helps companies add visual components in the appropriate way.
The Makegood: How do you see Olapic developing from here? What’s the next step?
Olapic is focused on delivering results for the brands we work with. That means ultimately helping end-users make more informed purchase decisions through our robust capabilities. As we continue to innovate with our partners, we will continuously deliver better and more satisfying ecommerce experiences that, someday, will represent the standard of how people purchase online.
The Makegood: Thank you, Pau