MarTech Interview with Rob van Nuenen, Co-founder & CEO at Channable

‘’If you have an idea, go build on it,’’ encourages Rob van Nuenen, Co-founder & CEO at Channable in this quick conversation with MarTech Series where he takes us through his startup journey and how personalization will become more crucial in day to day eCommerce and Ad operations:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Rob. We’d love to hear more about your journey through the years and what inspired Channable?

It was two of my friends (Stefan Hospes and Robert Kreuzer) and me that started our first company while we were still in university. During an entrepreneur course, we won money through a contest to actually build our own company. This turned into an online DIY tool, which created a mobile-ready version of your website and/or web shop. Since newly built websites were already using responsive web design, we knew it would only be a temporary business model, but it was our start as entrepreneurs. Later, we saw that our clients (marketers) actually had many IT-related problems exporting their information into marketing platforms such as Google. With the model we created from our university project, we knew how to solve this, and pivoted our contest-modeled business in 2014 into a global eCommerce solution in which we are today.

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How has Channable evolved since its inception, tell us more about your recent enhancements and innovations?

Channable solves two main problems for online advertisers and agencies:

Channable optimizes and organizes data feed management through automation for online shops that want to advertise their products on multiple shopping websites, marketplaces, and affiliate networks in one place. Our platform empowers small businesses to be able to handle their product placement without a marketing team or IT department. Inversely, the platform allows large companies to automate much of the advertising process, saving a significant amount of time and energy.

Through the Channable platform, users can create automatic, dynamic text ads connected to their web shop items or product feed. Meaning, when a product advertised goes on sale or becomes out of stock, the ad will automatically reflect this. Depending on the situation, it can increase traffic or pause ads. The power of the Channable platform decreases ad spend and saves advertisers a lot of time in campaign creation and management.

As for innovation, we constantly update and develop our platform based on customer feedback and industry trends. We recently announced our Amazon Repricer (in time for Black Friday). With listings and prices in constant flux, Channable’s real-time, rule-based Repricer is fully integrated into the Amazon Marketplace to:

  • Eliminate the need for manual price adjustments
  • Keep up with high-frequency, competitive pricing 
  • Provide sellers full control of pricing strategies
  • Work globally on Amazon marketplaces (10+ countries in Europe and North America)
  • Win the Buy Box

What are some of the top eCommerce technologies/features that are driving change for eCommerce businesses today, globally? 

What Channable focuses on are product data feeds. These are the XML, CSV, or data files that provide an overview of products or items that agencies or retailers use to advertise online. (They include information such as: a product’s name, color, size, EAN/GTIN numbers, and more.) When a business gets to a certain point, managing this product data manually is impossible. Either because there are too many items or you are advertising on various platforms, which multiplies your advertisements. The automation being adopted by advertisers to continue to grow is where we see eCommerce technology moving towards. With Channable’s product data feed management, clients can automate and centrealiz many tasks which online marketplaces, affiliate networks, and price comparison sites require to advertise on their platforms. 

We’ve seen this need for a while, but this past year has accelerated eCommerce adoption due to COVID and lockdowns, which we do not see being reversed.

How do you feel the future of eCommerce technologies will start to look like given all of this?

The future is custom, curated, advertising on an individual level. You can already see this being implemented. 

Have you ever just thought of something, let’s say a new chair, and the next thing you know you’re seeing chair ads! This level of customized and targeted advertising can only be achieved through automation and feed management. Recently, the privacy of this data has come into question so depending on the outcome, we could see technologies shift again. At least in terms of re-targeted ads. This has led many companies to create and offer useful information in exchange for contact information or permission to contact individuals. As these rules of engagement become more solidified, eCommerce will adapt accordingly.

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In what ways do you feel eCommerce marketers need to work more strategically to differentiate their products and services from the crowd? 

It is all about understanding your way around the big players such as Google and marketplaces like Amazon to be seen and get the ad placement you need. Customers come to us with the idea of a multichannel marketing strategy and the solution comes down to data feed management to achieve their desired ad placement and product management. Because multichannel marketing is not as simple as just deciding to advertise on Google, Amazon, or eBay. Once your strategy is in place it has to be implemented. This is where management solutions like Channable become a crucial tool in an advertiser’s arsenal.

A few thoughts on the future roadmap for Channable and what users can expect next?

As stated earlier, Channable develops based on customer feedback and needs. As of right now, that means focusing on feed management and PPC automation. Streamlining and developing deeper into these two features is our main goal. But that does of course result in new features and functionality, such as our Insights & Analytics for a more comprehensive view of your data’s performance. Or our newly released Amazon repricer which helps advertisers win the Buy Box, resulting in more sales. As for 2022, I am going to have to stay quiet. I cannot give away all our secrets for next year, but what I can say is we are listening to the needs of the market.

Some last thoughts and marketing / martech takeaways before we wrap up?

The main takeaway I would like to instil in people is that if you have an idea go for it! I know that is easy to say, but as this interview has shown – ideas can become reality. The reason Channable was a success is because we listened to our audience and created a service/solution that is useful. Technology and eCommerce is so fast paced. Technology that was a dream just a few years ago is now a reality, so if you have an idea, even if it is not technically feasible yet, do your research. Who knows maybe you will be the one to make it real.

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Channable helps automate feed management and PPC ads. The online-based feed management tool is powerful enough to create, optimize, and export your feeds to over 2500 comparison websites, affiliate platforms, and marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, bol.com, and more. Channable’s PPC tool allows users to automate Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) with rules and dynamic variable fields, for ultimate quality scores and performance.

Rob van Nuenen is the Co-founder & CEO at Channable

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