PROFILE

Arie Shpanya

Founder & Executive Chairman, Wiser

Arie Shpanya is the COO, Executive Chairman, and Co-Founder of Wiser, the leading dynamic pricing and merchandising optimization engine for online retailers. He has extensive experience in business development with a focus on eCommerce (eBay and Amazon), as well as social media optimization, marketing strategy, and multi-channel platforms. Arie was previously an eCommerce consultant to various capital firms and early-stage eCommerce start-ups.

He is a second time eCommerce entrepreneur, having successfully bootstrapped both imOnline and Wiser to profitability. Before starting Wiser, he founded and led a full-service e-commerce consultancy called imOnline that focuses on marketing strategy, multichannel platforms, comparison shopping websites, SEO, paid search networks, and more.

Arie is a guest blogger at Econsultancy, VentureBeat and more. He holds an LL.B (Magna Cum Laude) in Legal Studies from IDC in Herzliya. The Wiser blog chronicles his insights on the state of ecommerce, as well as the latest pricing and merchandising trends in the industry. Learn more here: www.blog.wiser.com

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  • Posted on: 08/19/2016

    Are store closings a positive sign for Macy’s?

    While closing underperforming locations could drive more business to the remaining units (especially if they invest in upgrading the remaining locations' customer experience), I think the value will be found more in using the savings to invest in ecommerce and strengthen their presence there.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2016

    Will other brands follow Birkenstock in cutting off Amazon?

    MAP violations and counterfeiting can definitely be a problem, especially on marketplace like Amazon. And enforcing brand protection policies are a challenge, especially with Amazon's limitations in helping brands. While cutting off Amazon may mean cutting off a large distribution network, if those issues are ultimately damaging the brand, it's the right move.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Study: Overly positive reviews driving product returns

    Reviews can be used to reduce the level of returns if they are more detailed. For example, requiring the reviewer to rate the fit (runs small/large or true to size), fabric color and feel, etc. Make sure fitting charts are accurate too. Genuine reviews are important — while negative reviews can be harmful, what is more costly, a missed sale or a returned one?
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Why is Target making nice with Amazon?

    Well, 2 things could happen (taking a simplified view):
    1. Shoppers buy Amazon devices at Target -> they make additional purchases at Target.
    2. Shoppers buy Amazon devices at Target -> they make additional purchases for those devices on Amazon and make additional purchases on Amazon that they might have bought at Target.
    I think the convenience factor plays a major role here. This is great from the consumer's perspective, but seems like Amazon stands to benefit more than Target.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    When should brands go down market?

    If they have different tiers of products/they can be positioned a bit differently, it makes sense. By expanding into lower-tier channels, they can broaden their brand awareness and reach to a new customer segment.Some risks might be possible brand damage/change in brand perception, relationships with existing channel partners, but keeping the above in mind, I think it's fairly minimal, especially in UA's case.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Would Walmart + Jet.com be an Amazon killer?

    It makes sense from an ecommerce perspective since Walmart's online growth has slowed. I'm curious to see if/how they can integrate Jet into the Walmart marketplace.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Are loss leaders a losing proposition for stores?

    Loss leaders still have a role to play in retail marketing — within reason of course. Individual retailers must run their own analysis on whether they are effective enough at driving add-on purchases. Especially for in-store promotions, convenience is still a factor. Are busy parents really going to want to run around to multiple retailers to only purchase items with these types of promos? My guess is that oftentimes, no.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2016

    Walmart’s CMO talks time, money and message

    Yes, convenience could become a larger part of their message, given that their largest target group is busy families. But convenience comes in different forms to different people even within that segment. Retailers (not just Walmart) would benefit from digging deeper into the pain points of this segment to come up with new ways to enhance the shopping experience for them.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2016

    Are retailers missing marketing opportunities with gift cards?

    Retailers could better capture emails for future marketing opportunities at the time the recipient uses the card (or having them register it as Steve Montgomery suggested) vs. at the time the card is purchased. While capturing emails then would be great, I'm sure most people would be reluctant to give out the recipient's personal information to a retailer up front.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2016

    Is online a bigger threat to independent merchants than big boxes?

    Online is a threat to big box stores and to local independents. That being said, local independents still have access to online selling (whether it be their own webstores and/or online marketplaces). Competing on price will be tough, but finding ways to add value (service, unique products, etc.) both in person and online (if they choose to enter that channel) can be a differentiating factor.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2016

    Are wearables just for the kids?

    A bit both of both but primarily function. The key to growing adoption (regardless if it's among older generations or younger ones) is education — age is less relevant in the long run. I think if the value and use cases are communicated better to the general public, adoption with rise across the generations.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Pokémon Go showcases potential of augmented reality in retail

    It shows that AR can really have mass appeal. As for potential applications for retailers, the possibilities are endless.In terms of driving store traffic and sales, with Pokemon Go itself, I think it lends itself to work well in partnerships with restaurants and bars more so than apparel or other types of shops.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    What’s holding back scan & checkout?

    This may appeal to certain types of shoppers, but getting the execution will be tricky. A few potential problems that immediately spring to mind are tech failure, user error, and theft. I'm also wondering if this is actually any more efficient than self-checkout for the customer. I do see the app as a great data collection and marketing opportunity for the retailer though, as William Hogben mentioned.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    What does it take to compete in an off-price retail world?

    Department stores/full-prices businesses should focus on building loyalty by offering discounts or exclusive sales for loyal customers, adding value in other ways (service, selection, etc.). Also, you mention many department stores opening their own off-price businesses, but that they have not benefited each chain’s primary business — this is not surprising. I would be curious to see what top and bottom line impact those businesses have had though. (Is it taking business away from their primary business? Or is it attracting a different more value conscious buyer segment? If so, how profitable is that new segment/is it worth more investment?) Being middle of the line can arguably be the worst place to be (not a value retailer, but not a luxury one) since it's more difficult to differentiate your value proposition.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2016

    Amazon declares victory – Prime Day II concludes

    The most important success metric is related to Prime subscriptions (number of signups, and retention over time). The sales boost is great but ultimately the membership, and the lifetime value of those customers is the most important factor here.
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