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Keeping Our Eye on E-Commerce

Ashish Mistry
Managing Partner-BLH Ventures
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Ashish Mistry
BLH Venture Partners is an Atlanta-based venture fund that focuses on early-stage technology companies. Founded in 2009 the company has a specific concentration in e-commerce.

E-commerce is not just for big box retailers and major consumer brands. The $1 trillion industry now continues to experience rapid growth and is re-seeding innovation within its own sector as well as laterally.

E-tail, similar to any brick and mortar shop, is about keeping the customer at the heart of the business. However, unlike traditional retail, e-commerce has been much less personal, forcing those supporting elements around customer engagement to become more critical.
From our vantage point at BLH, many newly formed e-commerce innovators are blending technology and marketing into customer-centric companies that hold great promise for us as investors and consumers. Specifically, we look to split our time looking at innovation taking place in the tools, platforms, and stores where engagement occurs.

TOOLS- Video is the needle-mover for driving awareness online

We see how important and successful the video experience can be for e-commerce growth. This tool helps a business close an engagement gap by creating a richer and more prolonged dialogue between the company, its products and the consumer. For example, one of our e-commerce portfolio companies, KontrolFreek (www.kontrolfreek.com) attributes 30 percent of its direct site traffic and sales directly to YouTube. This includes user-generated reviews as well as fan testimonials and unboxing videos. In fact, companies like Joyus (www.joyus.com) have taken video one step further, from being a tool to being their platform for commerce.

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