Alex Levashov

Director, Magenable
eCommerce consultant, MBA
  • Posted on: 04/12/2018

    Is product discovery now the biggest pain point for mobile buys?

    Lot of good points already posted there; I'll add my 5 cents. Product discovery is very different from category to category. Compare for example buying a movie ticket, a dress, a laptop and a detergent. They have rather different patterns. In some cases the discovery barely exists (a detergent) in others it may be pretty long and involved (a laptop or expensive dress for special occasion). It's also more rational and based on logic (a laptop) and emotional/visual (a dress). I think that there is a possibility to involve AI in the process, but it is extremely hard -- if possible at all -- to make a kind of universal AI that helps you to discover everything from laptops to designer shoes.
  • Posted on: 02/21/2018

    Unilever warns social platforms to clean up content

    Even if it is a true intention, not a lip service, I am not sure that there is any practical way to achieve the desired outcome in current environment with automated matching of content and ads. It is not only social networks, the same issue is with ads on blogs, media and content websites. Any piece of content can be considered offensive, dividing, controversial or not quite matching a specific brand values. Then in addition to core content you have comments, links to related content, other ads. So I think that there will be a game of threats and promises, but not many real changes.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2018

    Incentives drive web survey responses

    Survey fatigue is pretty real. It is boring, especially filling long forms on mobile and/or inconvenient when you get a phone call out of the blue. As a consumer, I should either have very positive or negative attitude to the organisation sending the survey to take part in it without reward/incentive. So some sort of reward is a must for surveys that require more or less significant time if you want to have representative sample of responses, not only ones from the edges of your customer base. A possible alternative is to collect micro data based on the interaction. E.g. for online stores have one question at the end of checkout process like "What was your experience?" with thumb up or down as an answer.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2017

    Does it matter if social media is getting a bad rep?

    Social media is about having a dialogue between human beings and works for that. People are not really interested to "hear" from brands there. They tolerate it to a different extent, because social media is free to use. So in reality, it is pretty similar with old good TV, just more formats and targeting options for marketers.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2017

    Are retailers caught in a content trap?

    I think that the many if not most brands have a bigger problems with co-creation: the consumers just don't care about their products and their content, so the spokes do not talk to the hub or to each other.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Amazon undercuts rivals by adding discounts to marketplace seller prices

    When I read this it was exactly my thoughts Kiri: as a seller on a marketplace you expect to have control on prices. Amazon demonstrated that at their marketplace such control is an illusion. One more reason to double think if you want to be there for brands.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2017

    Walmart to open web mall with Lord & Taylor as an anchor

    Looks like an interesting experiment and probably not the last in this space for Walmart. They areaggressively trying to catch up with Amazon and test different methods. What will it bring to Lord & Taylor? Intuitive answer that, not that much, due to perceived low price stigma of Walmart. However there is a segment of people who don't want to overpay for basic things like pasta and ketchup, but will buy premium clothes. So I think that executed well, L&T webmall may work.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    What is the online marketplace opportunity for retailers?

    The marketplace space is a good place for startup businesses to test the market, especially if they are selling new products. For bigger businesses I think that it depends and they need to do your calculation carefully. To sell or not to sell on the marketplaces depends on many factors, including pricing, margin, acquisition cost with other channels, lifetime value of customers, probability to convert marketplace customers to the retailer's customer and the chances of cannibalization -- to name the most important. Often it makes sense to sell on the marketplace only a subset of all products; those that fit into the equation.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2017

    A mall carves out pop-up space for online brands

    Very promising initiative, especially that pure-play online retailers will be provided with guidance and support about going offline.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2017

    Amazon has plans to deliver packages to car trunks

    It is a problem for consumers, retailers and delivery companies. Here in Australia, our local Auspost is launching a product called receva which is kind of big, smart secure post box, intended to be used for packages.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2017

    What marketing lessons can we learn from Amazon?

    An important factor of Amazon's success is marketing to its investors. Mr. Bezos managed to successfully sell them an idea that Amazon's game is very long term, so the business operated with no profit for very long time. It started to be profitable just recently and not from retail, but from Amazon Web Services.
  • Posted on: 10/06/2017

    Can e-tailers use ‘digital body language’ to convert shoppers?

    I wonder about the accuracy of this classification. I kind of doubt that you can really understand if a customer is just exploring or has already made a decision by one click (from home to second page).
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Thrive Market co-founder: ‘Data and storytelling go hand in hand’

    It is true that there are now more and more customers who prefer to shop from brands who stand for the causes they share. According to an Edelman report 57% of customers buy or boycott brands based on their position on social or political issues. However, standing for something is a double edged sword and may work if what you are standing for corresponds with what your target audience believes. Otherwise you just face risk to alienate part of your customers. It is much easier to stand for something for a new brand who can wisely select the niche and align their position with target market. For established market players it is much harder. They built their customer base not really on the beliefs and standing, so just blindly taking position, especially on controversial issues is a huge risk. Hence often a wise choice to is be neutral and leave political and social activity to others.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2017

    Has Amazon really saved Whole Foods from its ‘Whole Paycheck’ trap?

    I am not sure if Whole Foods should really drop their prices and if they do, what happens with their brand? Yes, they may lure some new customers who preferred to shop elsewhere, but in the process they risk to lose others, who value premium quality and are OK with paying premium prices. Whole Foods also risks sacrificing their margin and/or lose suppliers who are not ready to pay their part of a price reduction bill.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2017

    Burger King goes all crypto with its own currency

    BK is already a winner there by getting tons of free PR which would not be a case with just launching a loyalty program. Cryptocurrency is a hot topic now, so they piggybacked onto this trend. Since they control the blockchain, the expense side should not be huge -- I assume there will be no miners they need to pay, and will use a Proof of Authority approach, so the cost will be probably comparable with more conventional loyalty program. So why not give it a try and see how it works? I am not sure that others who'll try to replicate that receive the same share of free PR, though.
  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.