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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Jacob Cooke, CEO of Web Presence in China (Part 6)

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 28th 2014

Jacob Cooke: One more thing I should point out is it’s not that you can’t contact those users. Even with those unique identifiers on Tmall, it’s actually the same as their AliWangwang account, which is similar to Skype. You still can contact that user. You just have to work within that ecosystem. You have enough consumer data to work with. You always have the shipping addresses as well, so you can go and send offline flyers.

The biggest flaw right now is getting that final referrer data. We’ve been in this industry for a long time. A lot of people said they can do it, but they can’t. We’re just hoping for approval on Chinalytics. Once we get that approved, we got that problem solved.

That’ll even make the case more so to go to a standalone property. Crucial Micron has its standalone website too, but when you click that final button to buy, it transfers you to Tmall. We do use them as a payment gateway. One of the reasons is Baidu doesn’t list any of the Tmall web pages organically. If you want traffic, it’s all paid. People who don’t want to miss out on that traffic will build a website. The product information is all there. Everything you need to make your purchasing decision is on the website but when you click, you go to Tmall. That works really well for the consumer too because they get the presentation of the website but with that last step, they get the guarantee of making the transaction on Tmall.

Sramana Mitra: For this situation to change though, you need Alibaba as a group to create a structure such that all these small merchants who are operating on the platform can collect email information and other identifier information that allows them to market to those people.

Jacob Cooke: The smaller merchants are focused on Taobao. We don’t expect to get permission to have that type of tracking software on that platform. We’re trying to make the case to the larger companies, which have multi-million dollar advertising budgets. These are budgets that we want to spend to drive to Tmall, but the information that we’re getting in terms of the success of those campaigns makes it difficult.

Sramana Mitra: So you use the large advertising budgets of these larger merchants to drive home the point that if we drive traffic to this site, we want to be able to track better.

Jacob Cooke: That’s correct. They’re very receptive to it. We’ve been in talks for a little bit more than a year now. Hopefully, we’re going to make some progress but we’re still looking at about six months before we have permission to insert our tracking code onto the actual pages.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Jacob Cooke, CEO of Web Presence in China
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