Welcome to the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson, and today we have a very special guest, Jonas De Cooman who is the co-founder & CEO at Spott which allows anyone to create unique experiences with interactive images, catalogues and videos. Jonas also has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing having worked at some of the worlds largest brands that include Unilever & The Coca-Cola Company. Welcome to the podcast, Jones.

Thank you for the invitation. Arlen, very glad to be here. So thanks for inviting me.

Yeah, no problem. And thank you for joining me. I’m really excited to talk to you today because our topic is going to be how do you effectively and seamlessly rather move customers from the bottom of your sales, funnel all the way to the top? And you’re going to give us some actionable tips on how ecommerce businesses can do that. But before we dive deep into that, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into what you’re doing today?

Yeah, sure. Like my background, I’m an engineer, an engineer, turned into a market here, which is not the typical career path. Started my career at Unilever, the big, fast moving European fast moving consumer goods company. Worked in Belgium, Netherlands and Brussels, then switched over to Quequola, the Quirkula, a company, which is, let’s say, holding the recipe the secret recipe of Quecool and which is doing the marketing campaigns for the brands. I saw it on Sprite, then moved to London and became responsible for Northwest Europe and Nordics, first on Price and then moved on to Quack Hola, 2015, decided to become an entrepreneur and jumped out of my golden cage back with 2ft in the mud, which was certainly not easy.

I had to get to the moment. I now have three. And so my vision from day one was actually to support marketers on their journey, moving away from push marketing into full marketing. And I saw more and more marketers using content and content strategies, mainly images, videos. And my mission is to help them turn this inspiration into actionable leads or sales so that they get a better return on investment. So that’s what we do. And that’s the reason why we exist. We want to create seamless experience between inspiration and action by offering interactive content, interactive videos, interactive images, interactive PDFs.

That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And as you mentioned, you really have a pretty remarkable background. You’ve definitely came from some of the largest companies in the world, Unilever as well as Coca Cola. Those are some huge brands. And so if you were doing marketing on those companies, you must have been doing the right thing. And so definitely encourage our listeners to sit tight, because those are some companies that don’t just get anyone on their marketing team. So kudos to you for also, like you said, taking the leap of faith and escaping from your golden cage, as you say, and then starting your own business.

That takes a lot of guts to jump out of those types of situations and the stability that you have, especially with those brands that Coca Cola Unilever. They’re really not going anywhere at this point. So I’m sure it was a little nerve wracking, leaving that stability and starting your own brand. So hats off to you for trying to quench your entrepreneurial thirst and joining you’re the club of entrepreneurs. So that’s awesome.

Well, great.

Well, you mentioned that you’re in a space where you guys have a platform, of course, that really helps people take advantage of moving people through the various funnels, the bottom of the funnel to the top of the funnel. And so what I wanted to start at is with the average ecommerce business. What are some methods that any business can really do to implement just initially starting to build that funnel if they haven’t really put much emphasis into it.

Yeah. Like, you know how everything today is around experiences, right? Especially in covets like Pre Covets. We could actually wander around the cities and be inspired by the windows things in the shops. And you could glimpse through the windows. All these shops had to close in Europe, I think, goes to the US. And so suddenly it became way more important on what is the type of experience you create for your shoppers online. And so there we see a huge trend away from the functional shopping, which is a type of shopping where you search a certain item white shirt and you get like a page full of white shirts, 30 white shirts.

But how boring is it? Two shoes. Let’s say the shirt out of the list of 30 white shirts. And so we are moving away from this functional shopping into an inspirational shopping. And that inspirational shopping is a total different way of shopping. It’s a shopping where you are watching certain images, certain videos, certain personai, and you become inspired because you want to be like that person, you want to look like that person. And so we see that those clients that are waiting today in the markets are those ecommerce companies that understood that ecommerce is no longer the old functional type of shopping.

But it’s much more behaving like kind of a publisher creating your own content, having your own content strategies. And of course, these content strategies are mainly visual and making sure that your audience can actually go seamlessly from inspiration to action. So that’s what we aim to do at Spot. It’s help our clients to increase conversion, increase average order value, increase engagement, and even increase as your ranking because we add metadata on top of their videos on top of their images so that you as a consumer checking out these videos on your smartphone, you don’t need to close the video to take any action that you can add to the basket straight from within the video.

And so what we see is that conversion goes up by 25%, average order value goes up by 15% because of the simple tricks. So that’s why today we are working with the big ones like Mango. Hmm. Ikea, Luxottica, Bennett, all kinds of ours that use our technology to actually improve conversion because they’ve all seen the light. And the light is inspirational content.

Yeah, very true. I think really, this inspirational content as a way to get people into your funnel has really been kind of birth because of all of the options that are available for people to purchase anything these days online. Whereas in the past, I think it was more functional, like you said, just because there wasn’t many avenues to purchase. If we’re talking, even before the days of the Internet, you had a couple of local stores, probably maybe depending on where you live. If you’re in a suburban area, maybe you had a mall.

That was it your options.

And you should not forget that the Internet initially was created as a kind of a textual medium. What is the Internet? The Internet used to be an aggregation of text, and you have hyperlinks from one thing to the other text, you can go, let’s say two hyperlinks. So that’s why the Internet is attractive now. Today. Luckily, the Internet is evolving into becoming more and more of a visual media, which implies that if you want to keep the Internet through to itself, you need to enable going from one picture to the other or from one video to another or from one video to a certain product in that video.

And so that’s what we do. We want to keep the Internet interactive and that’s why we believe that in this new facial reality, you need to keep that interactivity at the core. And so that’s why companies like ours exist is because we want to be the standard in this new visual reality, enabling our clients to go seamlessly from inspiration to action, to go seamlessly, from video A to video B to video C to video D to go seamlessly from a certain image to a certain video or Visa version.

Got you. So initially, of course, when you are marketing your company, let’s say you’ve got ads. You got visual ads. You’ve got video ads, whether it’s on the very social platforms, whether it’s on YouTube, you’re informing people, of course, about your brand. Like you said in these days, you’re trying to inspire people to do something to take action to, to go trust your company for that particular purchase. You’re getting them in there. And I guess the goal is, of course, getting them to take action. But I know depending on the product that you’re selling, a lot of times, it will require a lot more of someone’s time research before they can make that decision.

So let’s say you’re in a particular brand where you got to educate somebody a little bit more rather than somebody may not necessarily make a spot impulse to purchase something. Where are some ways to using tools to initially get people into your funnel and then kind of keep that engagement until they make that decision across your various platforms. What are some suggestions for that?

Yeah, I do know that not all of our clients are stealing for conversion. For example, certain clients that have more complex products. We’ve got about eight automotive brands that are working with us. They don’t expect their clients to book their test drive immediately. Right.


So what we do for these clients is to highlight the USB, which could be kind of, let’s say, a new dashboard that has been implemented, new type of lights that have been implemented. So you need to think about attention where you have two sorts of attention. You’ve got the passive attention and you’ve got the active attention. And as you intuitively would think, the active attention is way more valuable than the passive attention. So the fact that people can choose to interact with content and can choose to interact with certain kind of USB structural benefits that are being highlighted, and they are in power to do so, or they have the power to just leave it as is and to just watch that content piece without interaction.

But the fact that they have the power to choose between either interacting or not results in very good conversion results. So do know that not everything is about straight going into the basket or straightening going into the purchase, but it can also be discovering USPS. We’ve seen, for example, a huge increase in real estate. The segment real estate is not our ICP, so we’re not focusing on that. We’re focusing on retail e commerce. But during coffee, suddenly we saw an increase in real estate companies like Barnes.

It’s one of our real estate clients. And so we asked them, Why are you using Spot as a platform? And so they told us, look, we cannot organize visits, so we need to do everything with the video. And so with your technology, we can actually Zoom in on, let’s say, what is the ground plan of that apartment? So people can click on the plan and the plan will open in the video so that you see how big is the kitchen? Thanks to your technology, we can actually enable metadata like, how close are the schools?

How close is a little bit transport so that you can easily get all this type of extra information that the salesman would tell you when you will be navigating the apartments in real time. And that’s all that information in the video so that you as a viewer, you will only click on those items that you like. So if you’re not interested in knowing how far the schools are, you will just leave that there and you will not interact with it. But if you are interested, the information is there for you to engage with it.

So that’s why Sunday and Kovi, we’ve seen a rapid increase in real estate. And we’ve now also have clients that are doing their annual financial reports, which used to be a boring PDF. Now these annual reports are being done in video formats. And so there, if you talk about sustainability, you can click on sustainability targets. And you see, let’s say a window popping up about four senior targets. So it’s a very intuitive way to increase engagement so that everybody can consume the content at his or her pace.

And if you want to go deeper, you can go deeper. If you want to stay superficial, you can stay at a higher level. So it’s a bit like the tea markets here where you’ve got, let’s say, the overall competencies. But you can go deeper on certain elements. And that’s why we call it like TV. If you want to go deeper in certain elements, you can go deeper if you don’t want to, you can just keep it at high level.

Got you? Yeah, that’s a pretty powerful stuff. But I think really the takeaway here. And I think with the technology, such as what you guys provide, adding the interactive technology through these different visual mediums is it seems like all of this is what it’s really doing. Is it’s holding people’s engagement? And it really almost seems like you’re kind of lessening the time that you get people from the bottom of the funnel to the very top because you’re really, I guess you could say, providing them with the answers to their questions right then and there rather than, I guess you could say, the old school methods of getting people into the funnel would be more of.

Okay, opting somebody into your list, getting them opted in and then maybe asking some basic questions before they opt in. And then from there, tailoring the campaigns that you sent to them based on their responses. And so you’re kind of slowly dripping them the information that you think they would be interested in. But doing it like this with interactive solutions like you guys are providing you’re really kind of doing all of that all. There an example of the real estate company where somebody is going through touring the house.

Of course, they could get somebody out of their list. They could email them all of these floor plans and all this and that. But with the interactive solutions, they’re getting their answers right then and there by just clicking around, finding out all of that detail, all of the research empowering them, if you will, to make that decision, which then is really boosting them up to the top of the funnel because you’ve already answered their questions right then and there in an interactive way, which is a little bit more appealing because rather than somebody having to go through the website, read through pages and pages of features and information, you’re giving it to them a little bit more interactively and more attractive to them.

Yeah, especially like in a time where 64% of all is consumed on these mobile devices, you don’t want to have to close the video to search for the information, like being able to offer everything within. Let’s say the content experience is a huge added value. And also from an SEO perspective, we structure the metadata in such a way that Google understands metadata. So just by adding the metadata to your videos or your images, your videos will be ranked higher by Google because you’re being rewarded for having the metadata structure so that Google doesn’t need to analyze itself your video with your help in Google to rank you higher.

So also, from a search perspective, your videos will get better results. Of course, on top of the impact of being there at the right moment, at the right time, at the right place because the consumer is choosing him or herself to interact. So you know that you’re not disturbing. The consumer is saying, hey, I want to get more information, and the consumer is taking these actions. And also as a last point in a cookie less society, you’ve heard what Apple iOS 14 is doing, focusing on Privacy, not allowing cookies between different platforms.

Google has just been postponing with 18 months. There could be less strategy, but also that is coming around. So you as an e commerce company, you want to focus on first party data and so being able to give you insights, link to your video strategy or content strategy, your image strategy to know what are the items people have been clicking on? And like, how can I use this data to actually let’s say, follow up and use the data for relationship marketing strategy for an email strategy is a tremendous value.

You’re actually creating a spot of gold because it’s all first party data. That is not just behavioral data. It’s the actual data, what people are clicking on, what you are buying. So it helps you to increase conversion, increase average order value, but also grow your data.

Definitely. Yeah. That’s good stuff. Let’s get ready to wrap things up. I’m always a huge advocate of getting some kind of good case studies of companies that are really taking advantage of these types of things. You mentioned a few companies that you guys are working with. What are some other examples of some companies that really embraced all of this interactive funnel growing? I guess if you will. And what have they done that you’re familiar with?

Yeah. We call them inspirational ecommerce company. So it’s those companies that have understood that the future is not in the functional ecommerce but in the inspirational e commerce. So it’s kind of let’s say brands moving into retailers and retailers and brands moving into publishers. And that’s the area that we are playing. They are all investing in content strategies. They’re all using this inspiration as a force to drive value, and we help them to increase the efficiency of that inspiration, whether it’s an HNM in a fashion segment, whether it’s an X two o in a bathroom segments, whether it’s an Ikea in a furniture segments, whether it’s a luxury car in a Sunglass segments, what they all have in common is that they are using the power of inspiration to drive value.

And so let’s say what we are doing. We are putting an accelerator on the strength, and you might like it or not, Ireland’s. But in this new reality, every company in the world will become a video producer because videos will become the language that we all speak. Our children will no longer read texts online. So you might think, oh, my gosh, what’s happening? But that’s just the reality. Our children, they will just go from one video to the other video. So it will be like back in the 90s and early 2000s.

If you wanted to exist as a company, you needed to have a website in five years. If you want to exist as a company, you need to become a broadcaster. You need to become a publisher, and you need to have your own content and content strategies. And so we can help B to B companies, increasing leads and getting more efficient leads. We can help fashion companies to sell more. We can help real estate companies to more efficiently convert from inspiration into an actual booking for an apartment, whether it’s a rent or whether it’s purchase.

And so, yeah, we are just focusing today on those earlier doctors that are investing in videos, images, PDFs. We help them to turn those interactive, and we help them to increase the efficiency of these content assets through the interactivity. So it’s a kind of augmented reality layer on top of it and the future will be visual. So this is just the beginning all tight, because you will see lots of things happening in the coming months and years.

Yeah, definitely. And that’s a great takeaway. As you mentioned, that’s a great clip and sound bite. The future will be digital will be visual rather. And so we move a lot away from this text based messaging to more than visual messaging where we’re already kind of halfway there, but we’re going to be fully there pretty soon. Well, that’s awesome. Jonathan, I appreciate you coming on. It’s been great talking to you. I’ve learned a lot more listeners have as well. Before I let you go, I would like to close out one closing fun fact that you don’t mind sharing with us that you think our audience would be interested to know about yourself.

Fun facts. There are so many fun facts. Maybe a fun fact is the fact that even though I looked 29 or 30, I’m already 40 and I’ve got a girl that just turned the teenager. So that’s a fun fact to answer.

Okay, I don’t think I would have guessed that you have a young daughter, teens and you’re 40. Wow. Yeah, I would have pegged you at about 30 something. Yeah, for sure. Well, that’s awesome, man. Well, thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it, Jonas. Lastly, before let you go, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you and pick your brain anymore about this interactive funnel building, how do they do that? How do they reach you?

Yeah, they can reach me on my email. My first name Yonos Dakoman C-W-O-M-A-N at Spotwi Artificial Intelligence, or they can also reach me on my cell phone. 249-85-8668. Always happy to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Okay, that’s awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that, Jonathan. I definitely encourage people to reach out to you so they can connect with you and see how you can help them out. And thank you again, of course, for joining us today on the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast.

Thank you for the invitation and enjoy the rest of your day.

Thank you for listening to the Ecommerce Marketing podcast.

Podcast Guest Info

Jonas De Cooman
Co-founder & CEO at Spott