Vik Murty Talks About Channel Intelligence & SellPath



Part of my job requires that be up to speed on newer technologies and that I thoroughly research cutting edge eCommerce shopping carts so that when I am asked about them by my clients, I actually have some understanding of what they are talking about. Recently, I have been looking into the Channel Intelligence Solution and was really impressed with what I saw. They are making some big announcements and have a lot of insights into the world of selling online, not to mention they offer solutions for nearly any type of eTailer.

I had a chance to get some of my questions answered when CI graciously accepted my invitation for an interview. Vik Murty, Vice President of SellPath Manufacturer Solutions, at CI was kind enough to spend a few moments going through my question in order to provide answers to our readers and myself.
Channel Intelligence Company Overview:

Channel Intelligence has been empowering online commerce since 1999 and offers a wide range of eCommerce services specifically designed to meet the needs of many different types of online sellers. CI has programs that are tailored to directly serve product manufacturers, online retailers and content publishers who wish to use a combination of cutting edge technology, unique intelligent software and quality company staff, including customer service/support.

In addition to servicing fortune 500 companies such as Best Buy, Sharp or Kodak, CI has partnered with some of the leading companies in online commerce. CI partners include companies like BazaarVoice and Shop.com.

Channel Intelligence Solutions:

SellPath Solution

SellPath

  • SellPath Channel Manager: Gives manufacturers the ability to display online and local points of sale, within its online product pages.
  • SellPath Brand Manager: For retail partners without an online store, Brand Manager gives manufacturers the ability to create and “lease” one for those partners which is driven directly from the manufacturer’s product catalog.
  • SellPath Media Exchange: Provides rich media (i.e., Flash or Quicktime) product demos and training to retail partners without impacting their Web sites.
  • SellPath StoreFront: Quickly creates and distributes brand showcases for use at retail partner’s web sites or a manufacturer’s own site.
  • SellPath TrueTag Analytics: Tracks the effectiveness of manufacturers online advertising, from point of display to point of sale.

SellCore Solution

SellCore

  • SellCore Publisher Solutions from Channel Intelligence provides scalable data management and optimization services for online product data. These services include the aggregation, standardization and organization of product data from multiple retailers.

SellCast Solution

SellCast

  • SellCast Online Marketing – solutions designed to drive qualified buyers on shopping sites to a retailer’s online store to increase Web sales and improve ROI.
  • SellCast Marketplace Integration – solutions designed to help retailers with their cost-per-action (CPA) marketing programs through a complete offering including product data and order integration with online marketplaces.
  • SellCast Spend Management – solutions designed to provide retailers with multiple options for managing online marketing programs such as comparison shopping engines.
  • SellCast Local Marketing- solutions designed to drive qualified buyers on shopping sites to a retailer’s local store to increase overall store sales.
  • SellCast Mobile Marketing – solutions designed to drive qualified buyers to online and local retailers through branded mobile affinity marketing programs.
  • SellCast Data Enhancement – solutions designed to help retailers optimize their Web sites or product data to capture more consumer interest and turn more browsers into buyers.
  • SellCast TrueTag Marketing – solutions designed to help retailers accurately implement, track and measure their various online marketing programs.

Vik Murty Talks About Channel Intelligence & SellPath:

eCopt Interview Icon Channel Intelligence offers solutions for retailers, publishers and manufacturers. What is the most popular solution you offer? SellCast? SellCore? or SellPath? Why?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Each product line uses the same overall patented meta-base and each line is meant for a different audience. In terms of sheer numbers, there are far more retailers in the world than manufacturers or publishers so our client list in proportion to this.

eCopt Interview Icon How long has Channel Intelligence been developing and using the SellPath solution?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon SellPath was the company’s first product line, CI is a technology/internet company in business since 1999.

eCopt Interview Icon Who are some of the BIG NAMES in eTail currently using the Channel Intelligence SellPath solution?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Retailers: Office Max, Best Buy, Circuit City, eToys, Home Depot, Lowe’s; Manufacturers: Sharp, Mitsubishi, Intuit, Kodak, Sling Media, WMH Tools, Black and Decker

eCopt Interview Icon How does SellPath help manufacturers manage Online and Offline channels and what makes SellPath unique compared to other providers?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon SellPath uniquely offers both online and traditional store channel management. SelPath customers get a dashboard to see how much traffic is interested in local stores, how much interested in online shopping and where! With SellPath, our clients’s retailers can submit store inventory to the sku level to drive traffic to those stores that have products in stock to offer a far easier consumer experience. Online, we can report how much traffic was sent where, and from that traffic, how much sales was generated.

eCopt Interview Icon What is the benefit of using a solution like SellPath to work with Online and local retailers?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Answered above, Channel Support and Management, end to end marketing statistics with sales, better consumer experience, and extending the manufacturer’s brand to retail.

eCopt Interview Icon How does SellPath help manufacturers manage their brand?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon A peculiar aspect of the online world is that customers tend to gravitate towards manufacturers sites while shopping, in addition retailers tend to build the merchandising online. This is the opposite of the traditional world! In fact, in traditional stores in the older paradigm, manufacturer packaging and messaging is prominent whereas shoppers go to retailers for awareness and product comparison. With the growing amount of research online and traffic to manufacturer’s websites, manufacturers need the online guidance and channel management that CI provides.

eCopt Interview Icon What solutions are available to manufacturers who do not yet have an Online presence?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon CI offers soup to nuts online presence and services to get to full speed from a standstill: We can build and host product pages rapidly, optimize them continuously for search, build a taxonomy and categorize these products in the way consumers expect to shop, offer the tools to effectively communicate the clients brand, and quickly support and manage their channel online.

eCopt Interview Icon How can manufacturers use SellPath within their current eCommerce enabled store?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Similar to above.

eCopt Interview Icon Why is it important for manufacturers to share media and training materials with Online and local retailers?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Manufacturers are the primary source of truth or expert in their products. They know their products better than anyone. It is they who need to create the most depth to product training to get the most effective messages disseminated.

eCopt Interview Icon How does SellPath Media Exchange help manufacturers to share their media and training materials without impacting their brand or web store?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon SellPath Media Exchange allows a Brand to create product and brand tours to put their message out and support their channel with first class merchandising without burdening their channel partner’s sites.

eCopt Interview Icon What are the benefits to manufacturers who use the SellPath StoreFront solution?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon Extending the manufacturer’s brand to the point of sale. StoreFront is a packaging and messaging vehicle that allows simple shopping for consumers fond of a particular brand. It is like a kiosk in a traditional store. For the manufacturer we offer a dynamic solution that is easily adaptable across a variety of retailers or for their own site. Furthermore, the dynamic nature means that the StoreFront automatically displays only available products and categories and thereby offering simple management of this experience.

eCopt Interview Icon Channel Intelligence has recently made some big announcements such as the addition of SellPath TrueTag Analytics. How will the new analytics tool work and what kind of data will be available to track?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon TrueTag is a truly amazing tool that represents the HOLY GRAIL of marketing. It is the only tool that directly marries sales to marketing dollars. With TrueTag analytics, a manufacturer can not only measure the traffic that is generated by each ad but also view the whole process from generation of the interest to awareness at their site, to interest in shopping at retailers to sales! Manufacturers can manage ad spend, development funds, or coop marketing programs by seeing which channel programs are most effective. In this manner, manufacturers not only create more sales from ad spend, but also become more intelligent about which promotions, advertising, messages, creative or channel partners are the most effective.

eCopt Interview Icon Where do you see Channel Intelligence in the next 3 to 5 years?

Channel Intelligence Interview Icon We are a platform and one of those companies that LOVES data. We think that we can standardize merchandising similar to the peg hook in a traditional store! With a lack of standards, the wrong entities are presenting brands and consumer messages – that is why retailers do not repackage boxes in stores! 3-5 years is an eternity in the online world, CI is poised to not only prosper but drive the nature of eCommerce in that period of time.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts:

To Vik: Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and write back such thorough answers to my questions. I really enjoy learning about innovative ideas, new trends and ’smart’ technology (which CI has a lot of). I discovered a lot of of new things I hadn’t known before this interview and will continue to watch as you release new features, expand product offerings and grow within the industry. I look forward to seeing where you go and all the upcoming intelligent tools you have planned. Thanks again Vik, feel free to drop us a line anytime you are planning a BIG release, I’d certainly be willing to cover it on the blog.

About Vik Murty: Currently, Vik holds the Vice President position within SellPath Manufacturer Solutions part of Channel Intelligence and is responsible for the product development and business growth of the SellPath product line. Prior to joining CI, he served as Senior Brand Manager for Mitsubishi Digital Television responsible for various brand, product and channel marketing functions, including Mitsubishi’s online marketing and channel support program.

Vik’s experience also includes launching Samsung brand major appliances in the US for Samsung Electronics as a Category Product Manager, and managing relationships with key Midwest retailers for DIRECTV as manager of Sales and Distribution. He began his consumer electronics career at Circuit City Stores, Inc. in store management.

Vik had served on the CEA Communications Committee from 2005 to 2007. He has a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Managing Technology Intensive Enterprises from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Economics from Bentley College.

ecommerce Optimization




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