TechBytes with Chemi Katz, Co-Founder and CEO, Namogoo

Chemi Katz, Co-founder and CEO at Namogoo

Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle.

I am Co-Founder and CEO of Namogoo, the company leading the fight against Online Journey Hijackinga rapidly growing challenge facing e-commerce brands. We have 100 employees across our offices in Israel, Boston and London. To date, we’ve raised $29 million in investments and are working with over 100 of the world’s largest online brands by protecting their digital investments. Amongst our customers, you can find Asics, Tumi, Dollar Shave Club, Argos, Office Depot, and many others.

What is Online Journey Hijacking? How does it impact e-commerce experiences?

Online Journey Hijacking happens when unauthorized ads are injected into consumer browsers. These unsanctioned promotions are injected by digital malware that infects browsers and devices when users install software downloads or program updates, or in other cases, when they connect to public WiFi networks. Once digital malware is running on the web browser or device, online consumers are exposed to injected product ads, pop-ups, banners, and in-text redirects when browsing e-commerce sites. Because this malware resides on the consumer’s browser or device, server-side security solutions lack visibility or control over the problem. In short, the e-retailer probably doesn’t even know the problem exists.

This comes at a significant cost to online brands, and it robs them of between 2-5% in annual revenue.

In the digital commerce arena, any interruptions distracting customers away from the intended online experience hurts the ability of businesses to convert and retain site visitors and generate revenue. These brands make huge investments into building a winning customer journey, but at the end of the day, 15-25% of their users are not receiving this experience as it was intended, and instead undergo an experience littered with unauthorized ads that redirect them away from the original site, and possibly even harm brand reputation.

How do you leverage AI and Machine Learning to prevent and warn against the hijacking of online journeys?

Most online shoppers and retailers are not aware of Online Journey Hijacking. It is our mission to educate the industry about this problem. Namogoo’s proprietary code identifies which users are impacted by unauthorized ads and makes sure these ads or interruptions will not show up on their browsers while visiting a Namogoo customer website.

To combat this problem, Namogoo is using Machine Learning and AI technology to classify web patterns, identify new and suspicious web activity, and flag new malware-driven injections. This capability is critical since these malware injections keep evolving with new mutations on a daily basis. To put this into perspective, Namogoo’s technology is analyzing hundreds of millions of web session on a weekly basis.

Which geographies and customer groups are most infected with these hijacking cases?

Namogoo’s data shows that Online Journey Hijacking is impacting users across every region in the world. Since it is a client-side problem, consumers from the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and other locations are impacted in the same manner. Between 15-25% of consumer traffic is infected with unsanctioned injections.

One of the most common misconceptions regarding infected users is that they are less digitally savvy and are not as important a target audience for e-commerce businesses to focus on. But our data shows exactly the opposite: The most active online shoppers are more inclined to download extensions and other web services that are surreptitiously bundled with digital malware — and consequently, become infected. While unauthorized injected ads disrupt these users, they are still, on the whole, more active online consumers than the rest of the population. When these distractions are removed from their online experience, they end up converting at more than double the rate of regular, “clean” users whose journeys weren’t hijacked.

How can e-commerce brands benefit from your products and services?

While there are many benefits to providing an optimal digital experience, the main benefit our customers report is a marked increase in conversion rate and revenue. Our customers are reporting a conversion rate increase of 2-5%. Since we are working with the world’s largest brands, such an increase in conversion rate is a game-changer for these retailers — many of them mention Namogoo as the best-performing solution they have ever used.

In addition to the increase in conversion rate, e-commerce brands benefit from overall improvements in their sales funnel, including an increase in Revenue Per Visitor (RPV), and a decrease in checkout abandonment and bounce rates.

Last but not least, protecting brand equity is also a major benefit. Today, the online store has become the flagship store that represents the brand, and usually the first go-to destination for both online and offline shoppers. For legacy brands, which have spent years establishing their reputation, having ads from competitors on their homepage or unsavory content featured anywhere on their site has a sharply negative impact on the brand, as most consumers do not realize these ads are running on their browsers and hold the retailer responsible for the poor experience.

How do you see Mobile Marketing and Customer Experience platforms growing better with AI and Machine Learning applications?

Customer experience is becoming the number one priority for online retailers today. The main benefit of engaging users digitally is the amount of data accessible for retailers to inform better decisions. But capturing these insights efficiently also poses a challenge, as it requires abundant resources to process the data and extract insights. This is where AI and Machine Learning come into play. Retailers today are not looking to collect more data, but rather prefer to buy technology that provides valuable insights extracted from existing data, or even better, to independent actions.

What are your predictions on the state of Online Customer Journeys in 2019-2020? How do you see email, video and social media maturing further with better technologies and innovations?

The retail world is still undergoing rapid transformation. While the number of channels available for retailers to communicate with consumers has multiplied, consumers are ultimately looking to buy a good product for a good price, and to have a good experience throughout. Retailers must continuously ask themselves who their target audience is and where they can be found and ensure they have a relevant and engaging presence there, be it on social, email, or other channels. Moreover, the amount of “noise” consumers must deal with today is greater than ever. Thus, brands which find creative ways to cut through this noise will emerge as winners.

To summarize, I will quote our customer’s Senior Director of Brand Technology Patrick Berry, “The user experience is not about the flashy feature you have on your website, it’s about making sure the customer is getting what they need without anything in their way.”

With over 17 years of experience in the security, commerce and advertising spaces, Chemi is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of leading some of the tech industry’s most innovative companies. Prior to co-founding Namogoo, Chemi was General Manager of DoubleVerify Israel and co-founded Seapai and Reissod. Earlier in his career, Chemi led Production Operations at LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN), was Global Business Technology Manager for Aladdin and managed IT Outsourcing for Bynet.

namogoo logo

Namogoo is pioneering the field of Online Journey Hijacking Prevention. Namogoo’s holistic platform enables online businesses to deliver a distraction-free customer journey by identifying and removing unauthorized product ads injected into consumer web sessions that divert the customer journey and harm conversion rates. The world’s largest online brands rely on Namogoo to gain control over their online customer experience and consistently improve conversion and business metrics. Leading global brands such as Tumi, Asics, Argos, and Dollar Shave Club have reported increase in conversions by 2-5% with Namogoo’s cloud-based solution.