As all the fretting over Amazon’s arrival in Australia has shown, competition in the retail sector – online and off – is fierce and retailers must be constantly on the front foot to ensure they’re at least keeping up with the pack.
A big part of this, of course, is online advertising; because it depends on so many different variables – wording of ad copy and product descriptions, images used, channels, and so on – it can get expensive and time consuming to constantly analyse their performance and optimise to ensure you are hitting the right spots.
Working to automate this process is Sydney startup Muzaara. As founder Neil Thomas puts it, Muzaara is a marketing platform designed for ecommerce clients, making it easy to create advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google.
“The secret to Muzaara and its clients’ success is its algorithm that optimises each campaign for sales. It is like having a dedicated data analyst in their marketing team. Muzaara helps brands can get seen online and ultimately increase their return on investment or ad spend, if you like,” he explained.
Having worked in the ecommerce space for more than 10 years, working with thousands of small to medium enterprise (SME) retailers around the world, Thomas saw a few common issues.
“I noticed that many SMEs had too many channels to market their products, and saw the demand for an automated solution to enable them to create and optimise product level campaigns so that their marketing teams could focus on more creative marketing campaigns.”
Thomas bootstrapped the development of Muzaara for two years before finding investors for a seed round that helped the platform go to market in its third year.
“Development is ongoing, as ecommerce changes and platforms like Google and Facebook introduce new features to help retailers connect with clients…[it] has only had one change since conception, we started with three platforms to integrate with Google, Facebook, and Bing, but decided to remove Bing for now as we prefer to focus on intent and browsing audiences.”
The platform works by connecting to a client’s Google or Facebook account, or both, and then allows them to generate and execute product-level campaigns.
From there, Muzaara works to collect and analyse data to determine which products are converting and why, and then optimise the campaigns daily to ensure they are providing the best return on ad spend.
“This is a task many companies achieve by hiring a full-time PPC expert. Collecting, analysing, and interpreting the data takes a lot of man hours, and it doesn’t necessarily translate into action.”
The startup reported that this past September it helped deliver over $98,000 in sales for its clients, from a total ad spend of $14,295.
With its head office in Sydney and outposts in New York and Singapore, Thomas said Muzaara is targeting “any ecommerce client around that world that is looking to increase their return on investment on Google PLAs and Facebook”.
To reach potential clients, the startup has a partner referral network including the likes of Neto and Shopify.
Looking ahead, Thomas said the startup will be focusing on increasing its market share and reinvesting the revenue back into its platform, with the aim of adding Instagram as another channel.