ZineOne raises cash to help e-commerce companies predict customer behavior
In-session marketing is a form of inbound marketing that attempts to analyze and influence the purchasing decisions of web and app users, and is often challenging to implement. With so much competition for consumer attention these days, brands that make a lasting first impression are rare.According to Microsoft Research, only people spend If the page is not immediately associated with a marketing message, the page will remain on the company’s home page for about 10 seconds.
Debjani Deb, Manish Malhotra and Arnab Mukherjee, Co-Founders of Conversational Marketing Platform ZineOne, in their previous work directly dealt with the hurdles surrounding customer tracking. Deb previously co-founded EmPower, a company that provides tools for social media research and media monitoring, while Malhotra founded his own company, Social Lair, to build social media capabilities for large enterprises. As for Mukherjee, he left Oracle to found Udichi, a computing platform for “big data” analysis.
In the early days of ZineOne, Deb, Malhotra and Mukherjee met at Santa Clara’s Milpitas library and local coffee shop to speculate on where online marketing technology was headed. They concluded that recording real-time customer decisions was the key to improving conversion rates, and it was the springboard for ZineOne’s first line of products.
The company announced today that ZineOne has raised $27.4 million in Series C funding after attracting clients including Men’s Wearhouse, Wynn Resorts, Advance Auto Parts and Kohl’s. SignalFire led the round, with participation from Norwest and others, bringing ZineOne’s total funding to $42 million.
“We believe conversational marketing is the key, perhaps the most important component, of modern marketing for brands in a privacy-first world,” Deb told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Ultimately, what conversational marketing achieves is enabling brands to get the best conversions on their website, increasing pre-purchase costs and reducing reliance on remarketing strategies.”
At a high level, ZineOne, which specializes in serving e-commerce brands, uses AI to score behavior and personalize the personal experience of website and app users. By watching a visitor’s first few clicks or taps, the platform can ostensibly customize the messages, discount offers, and product recommendations they see in real-time.
It is worth noting that, at least according to some investigationa large proportion of consumers disagree any Forms of Marketing Behavior Tracking.Some rejections may stem from concerns about Bias in AI Systems, which has the potential to impact the experience of certain customer segments. But Deb believes ZineOne has appropriate safeguards in place to alleviate those concerns.
For example, ZineOne uses anonymized session data for analysis, Deb says — primarily a “fine-grained set of behavioral events” for each visitor, including product detail views, cart updates and checkout. She claims that since the platform targets short-term behaviors, there is no need to store any vertical identity or profile data.
“ZineOne’s conversational marketing platform focuses on these three key pillars: understanding the conversational behavior of anonymous visitors (not just known customers), predicting outcomes, and taking the best set of conversational actions,” Deb said. “ZineOne’s Early Purchase Prediction Model Tells [brands] Within 5 clicks, anonymous visitors are highly likely to make a purchase, who are on the sidelines, and who are less likely to make a purchase in that session. They can then trigger experiences based on consumers’ propensity to buy today, now, and now. “
ZineOne isn’t the only platform applying data analytics to drive e-commerce personalization. DynamicYield, acquired by McDonald’s in 2019 and then sold to Mastercard, uses AI to customize content on its website, insert product recommendations, and even dynamically change the layout of web streams. There’s also Metrical, which understands those who visit the site, who might bounce or abandon their cart, and “over-target” these prospects to convince them to keep shopping.
But Deb believes that what differentiates ZineOne is the breadth of its AI system, which can also predict the level of friction throughout the shopping journey and price sensitivity at specific points in the session. The current product roadmap is focused on producing new predictive models and building new data visualizations, as well as rolling out self-service dashboards, she said.
ZineOne also plans to expand its headcount by 70% by the end of the year.
“ZineOne provides end users with a better personalized browsing and shopping experience through cookie tracking and shadow profiles without violating their privacy… Now is an ideal time for conversational marketing due to many factors: Consumer data privacy regulations are moving Increasing and customer acquisition costs retailers are on the rise,” Deb said. “E-commerce in the retail sector, which grew rapidly at the height of the pandemic, now faces different challenges as the economy slows and inflation soars. ZineOne addresses the blind spot of these major brands, which is the need to serve anonymous consumers, and When consumers are actively engaged with the brand, there is immediate confirmation of what is going on.”