May 30, 2018 12:00 am

3 Retail Real Estate Notes From ICSC RECon

We’re back from ICSC RECon, where the mCart shoppable wall drew plenty of attention for Innovation Concepts according the ICSC report. There were a few comments we repeatedly heard from mall and shopping center owners, which means others may share the same concerns. Read on to learn more about mCart and the impression made at ICSC RECon.

mCart by Mavatar is a turnkey solution for retailers who want offer a true omnichannel experience to their shoppers.

  1. “Where would this Shoppable Wall go in my mall?” This question was posed time and time again by mall owners and management. They wanted to know where the mCart shoppable wall could go in their shopping centers. mCart shoppable wall as-a-service can easily work in different spaces including a recessed wall, or a smaller wall of varying proportions can be made to order. mCart is web-based, so it works on any existing touch screen you have. The QR code allows you to place your “phygital” mall anywhere on the web or in-person.  The mCart team is happy to work with mall and shopping center owners to understand their design requirements and to best accommodate their shoppers.
  2. “This is where things are going.” mCart omnichannel experience enables retailers to capitalize on social and traditional media and online engagement revolving around products at their local mall. Property managers understand it’s time to make a push towards “phygital” shopping that services customers whether they’re at the mall or not. mCart does just that.
  3. “So they can search products from all of our stores….?” Brand loyalty is dying and shoppers want options, ability to process information faster  and accessibility more than anything else. mCart as-a- service showcases not only all of a malls’ products in one place but also allows the brands’ influencers to create featured mCarts to promote. Shoppers get inspired and search, filter and sort your mall’s inventory quickly, create mCarts and send them to store’s sales reps for picking up or trying out. Because of mCart, the shopper who typically shops the same three stores in your mall now ventures into other retailers because they are able to see similar products from other stores using mCart. This improves conversion for other tenants because it exposes shoppers to products they would not have seen without the mCart platform.

Did you see us at ICSC and have questions about our omnichannel technology? Feel free to email us or reach out to us on Twitter

Remember whitelabel means your shopping center’s own logo appears on the shoppable wall, which means shoppers have a comfortable experience with your omnichannel efforts.

mCart enables retailers to create your Amazon+Pinterest + Uber for retail sales and make 100 of million dollars from your integrated affiliate sales.  

May 16, 2018 12:00 am

How Does GDPR Impact Advertising And E-Commerce?

This article originally appeared in Forbes by Mavatar CEO, Susan Akbarpour

Seven years ago, I predicted that the era of push advertising was over. With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg testifying in Congress and Facebook users questioning their loyalty, the turning point seems closer than ever.

For you, like most consumers, the act of searching, using a third-party plugin or signing up on a site to buy products or read news might be a no-brainer. But the simple truth is some of those forms you fill out can further cement the sale of your soul to the devil and introduce the ubiquitous use of your data in ways you may not want or understand.

The cookies inserted in your browser can send your data to a common pool for anyone who can afford to bid on you so they can target you with tons of ads. Try an experiment: Erase the cookies from your browser and wait a few minutes. The malicious ones all come back, sometimes before your eyes. Persistent cookies sound shady because they are. And it’s happening despite the fact that respawning cookies is frowned upon in most cases by the FTC and DAA.

 If you could translate some of the gibberish, you’d see that some of those deceitful publishers and advertisers even admit wrongdoing in the fine print buried deep in the terms and conditions of their websites, which is an inadequate practice against consumers.

For years, the advertising industry’s bad actors have been getting away with this behavior. As a result, consumers are overwhelmed and wary of advertisements that are chasing them everywhere, and advertisers waste 60% of their advertising dollars. But now, the EU is choosing to crack down on iniquitous practices in its new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, which will make this ubiquitous form of advertising impossible. With it, EU users regain control over their data by obtaining the right to access their data, object to data processing and the right to be “forgotten.”

As of May 2018, the GDPR is set to not only impact European data security but also many businesses around the world.

Credit: Pexels

How Will GDPR Affect U.S. Businesses?

According to Article 3 of the GDPR, if you collect personal data or behavioral information from a person in an EU country, your company is subject to the requirements of the GDPR. For U.S. companies, this means you can’t ask your European consumers to subscribe to a research study and then send product advertisements to them, and you can’t push ads based on their search history.

Businesses must also provide transparency to users in clear language — specifically, what you will be doing with their IP and email addresses, phone numbers and other personal data. Leveraging sensitive data related to medical or financial records or identifiers associated with children requires notification of an EU regulator or other relevant authority within 72 hours. Companies choosing not to report a breach within 72 hours may face the cost of 2% of its global revenue.

Lose Your Cookies?

While cookies are only mentioned briefly in the GDPR, under Recital 30, it’s an important update and requires robust opt-in consent. Basically, the EU has made it clear that if you’re using cookies, it knows you are collecting personal data. To stay compliant with the GDPR, you will either have to abandon the practice or obtain consent from your customers.

Surviving GDPR

Making matters more complicated is the massive shortage of GDPR-compliant advertising platforms available on the market right now. And unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon, as many programmatic advertising technology providers, ad and affiliate networks are clinging to phony marketing metrics like cost per click (CPC), click-through rates, cost per thousand (CPM) and more — all of which rely on cookies.

They’re hanging onto these metrics because they don’t know how else to proceed. The system they have been relying on for years — scamming countless organizations in the process — just hit a brick wall called GDPR. These companies simply aren’t built for change. They are too vested to cannibalize themselves.

GDPR Killed Cookies, Now What?

User-generated advertising, such as influencer marketing or sponsored content on consumer-facing sites, has the potential to grow exponentially. Why? The consumer-centric nature is aligned with the needs and trust of today’s shoppers and advertisers because it puts the consumers in the driver’s seat. If consumers are compelled enough, they would make a purchase and the influencers would get paid for that sale. It would be much more cost-effective for advertisers to share a percentage of the revenue with influencers than paying multiple intermediaries for producing noise that may not catch the attention of shoppers.

For the last seven years, my team and I have been doing something similar — developing groundbreaking consumer-centric technologies reliant on user-generated advertising and scaling influencer marketing. Our goal has always been to empower consumers, allowing them to create personal, store-agnostic mCarts (shopping carts), add content and media and share them with others. They get paid if any of those items get sold. We just added a blockchain layer to allow retailers to reward influencers for promoting products and reward shoppers for verifying their transactions in one decentralized network. There’s no need for ad networks, affiliate networks or other middlemen.

Retails and advertisers are trying to understand how blockchain can help them. Blockchain can bring more transparency to advertising, not simply scale the phony metrics and malfunctions dominating the programmatic space. Blockchain is here to disrupt antiquated attribution models, remove bad actors and middlemen as well as excess fees from the landscape. The goal of innovative, next-gen solutions must make advertising much more consumer-centric and transparent for shoppers and influencers, while also making it more secure, transparent and profitable for advertisers.

While GDPR and DAA may sound adversarial at first glance, they can spark innovation and a fresh start for much-needed consumer-centric advertising.

May 3, 2018 12:00 am

Mavatar CEO breaks down what ICOs shouldn’t do at Crypto Invest Summit in LA

Mavatar CEO Susan Akbarpour spoke at Crypto Invest Summit in LA discussing ICO marketing. It’s a hot topic that continues to gain traction because of the ICO news in terms of the SEC possible reaction and unspoken forthcoming regulations.

Where does the SEC stand on ICOs right now?

While those who only read headlines will tout ICOs getting shut down left and right, the SEC Commissioner just told CNBC this past weekend that the goal isn’t to get rid of ICOs or prevent them from flourishing but protecting investors who don’t know how to assess the difference between legitimate investments and fraud.

Mavatar CEO Susan Akbarpour spoke on the panel at Crypto Invest Summit.

mCart token eliminates backend hassle

While those who only read headlines will tout ICOs getting shut down left and right, the SEC Commissioner just told CNBC this past weekend that the goal isn’t to get rid of ICOs or prevent them from flourishing but protecting investors who don’t know how to assess the difference between legitimate investments and fraud.

Susan has spoken before on the importance of content and influence marketing around ICOs and specially viable tokens — the token that are filling a void. She pressed that original and genuine content and storytelling always sell, “Your story is your product and company’s vision; people resonate with that. You don’t have to rely on phony metrics of CPM, CTR and CPC and paying a few bitcoins for a banners ad at the homepage of a website that didn’t even exist a few months ago.”

She also explained how the mCart token is a viable token because it facilitate millions of real -time micro payments for paying influencers leveraging blockchain. She again pressed that as an entrepreneur she rather share the upside with developer investors in her ICO who poke Mavatar on Github and are genuinely excited about the innovation rather than accredited investors who are only investing on the company for the sake on investment

We had a great response on Twitter, namely stating how easy Susan makes it to understand ICO and blockchain. To paraphrase, Susan said if you’re an ICO and hiding something, you’re doing something wrong — the same logic she uses with her teenage daughter.

Susan said what many in Silicon Valley think: we need to get back to developers as investors. The crowd cheered when she made this statement because it contributes to more innovation and viable products.

May 2, 2018 12:00 am

How To Make It Easy For Influencers To Trust You

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s integral stores and brands understand how to appeal to the trendsetters they want spreading their message. Make it easy for influencers to trust you with branded affiliate marketing that’s simple to digest.

mCart by Mavatar allows retailers, stores and brands to create their own branded affiliate marketing.

Who Can Influencers Trust?

Influencers cast a wide net of revenue and know social sharing is the tactic that’s making money around the clock. As a retailer or brand, you can capitalize on this by creating a trustworthy relationship with the influencer that begins with blockchain.

Blockchain offers total transparency for the retailer and the influencer. The retailer is easily able to identify where products were placed and how many purchases happened because of the recommendation.

Influencers Get Data Unlike Ever Before

Influencers can see the same, which means for the first time ever, content creators will see the hard numbers that are a result of their opinions and recommendations in their respective communities This model also enables shoppers to be part of the rewards system and gives them the option to share data willingly.

When a retailer immediately offers transparency to the influencer it creates an immediate sense of trust for a lasting relationship, increasing retention rate. The influencer has no reason to go through a third party agency or affiliate network in order to navigate the financial end of their relationship with the retailer.

More $$$ For Influencers, Publishers AND Retailers

This results in a bigger cut of the profit for both retailers and influencers. Blockchain makes this possible and scales to million of influencers to promote retailers’ products instead of limiting influencers to celebrities and Internet personalities. This will become the preferred way stores work with content creators for an authentic relationship that carries genuine appeal to consumers.