Retail & Ecommerce

[INTERVIEW] Hepsiburada’s Performance Marketing Director Alper Boyer on “Making a Mark in Ecommerce”

Illustrating interview with Hepsiburada

Last Updated on: 24th May 2024, 09:01 pm

Key takeaways:

  • How to leverage the opportunities of cookieless solutions
  • AI’s indispensability in ecommerce
  • How to make gamification work for you
  • The importance of agility

Table of contents:

The ecommerce sector is incredibly competitive and for good reason. Revenues have been growing and it’s predicted that the market will reach 939.3 B US dollars by 2025 in Europe alone. More and more consumers are taking advantage of the convenience that ecommerce allows. But with more new players, including a proliferation of brick-and-mortar shops opening up online stores, you need something special to stand out. 

Alper Boyer is the Performance Marketing Director at one of Türkiye’s leading ecommerce brands, Hepsiburada, which has over 12M users. He provided us with his inside view on how to stay ahead in ecommerce, and the overriding theme is agility.

“No company can afford to be unalert to rapidly changing customer behavior, the growing demand for data privacy, and the upcoming phasing out of third-party cookies by Google,” said Boyer. “Agility is easy to talk about, but true agility comes from ‘walking the walk, i.e. always having your eyes open for opportunities and being quick to leverage them.”

Identifying cookieless solutions opportunities

For years, third-party cookies and their tracking of cross-site behavior have been the cornerstone of personalized ad campaigns. Without them, personalizing ads would be more complex.

But, in complexity, Boyer sees a new opportunity for growth: “Only the most flexible and responsive brands will be able to identify, and then fully leverage, the opportunities of cookieless. At Hepsiburada, we want to make sure that we hit the ground running, so we’ve been preparing for cookieless digital marketing for about 2-3 years.

“Of course, cookie restrictions lead us from user-based targeting to event-based targeting in advertising technologies. So, from my first day at Hepsiburada, I’ve been invested in finding the most accurate ways to look at data for estimation or modeling studies. In our preparations for cookieless, we’ve produced solutions specific to many different data collection strategies and made radical changes in our measurement methodologies.”

When asked what the upcoming phasing out of cookies will mean for the ecommerce sector, Boyer said, “We have entered a period where we need to be more proactive in terms of optimization and audience determination by obtaining the most accurate data modeling and, accordingly, the most accurate outputs for the actions we will take. For this reason, we can say that at Hepsiburada, data-oriented performance marketing management constitutes our main focus of strategy this year.”

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AI in ecommerce isn’t just recommended; it’s essential

Boyer fully recognizes that performance marketing is all about the ability to interpret data and that only AI is capable of doing this to extract actionable insights. “Currently, our technology departments manage different AI-based applications both in process management and in some components on the site. In marketing, we have started to use AI-based solutions for visual content production and personalized marketing communications in the last year, and we aim to start tests on segmentation and scoring models with the help of machine learning algorithms. Our main goal is to create more micro-segments and achieve higher performance by serving the most suitable product groups to these segments. AI is key to this.”

Catching the eye with gamification and live commerce

In such a competitive sector, it’s imperative to stand out. “Gamification is one of the ways to do this,” said Boyer. “We can say that Hepsiburada is a pioneer in this field in the ecommerce sector. Increasing user frequency using this is one of the important business plans of the company, of any company. So, as of the last quarter of 2021, our platform includes games such as lottery, bingo, and ‘know and win’ quizzes. And strong customer demand for our digital products contributed to the 39.1% quarterly rise in order frequency.”

But gamification needs to be used in the right way. “Our analysis showed that gamification introduced in the upper and middle funnel stages has the potential to reduce lower funnel rates. So, in order to increase return visits to the platform, a menu was created where the games can be seen immediately on the main page. We have observed that these games have positively contributed to the number of sessions.”

In recent years, the power of influencers for ecommerce companies has grown. Boyer gave us the Turkish perspective: “In our own country, Türkiye, this is now fully felt, and at the beginning of 2022, influencer-led live commerce started to become popular. As our first broadcasts were being rolled out, we started to see a serious sales effect, particularly from those emphasizing discounts in Black Friday Week. Going forward, we intend to include live broadcasts in our planning at least 4-5 days a month.”

Illustrating quote from Hepsiburada Performance Marketing Director

Hepsiburada’s final advice – think on your toes

Hepsiburada is a leading ecommerce platform in Türkiye with over 12m customers, 100k merchants and around 165 million products, but Boyer fully accepts that it can be even more challenging to defend your place at the top than to chase the leaders. “Overall, in the ever-changing world of digital commerce, the keyword to standing out is agility. It’s about responding quickly to shifting consumer preferences; for greater privacy, for content through new channels, for new ways to be engaged. It’s also about the partners with whom you choose to do business. Teaming up with partners like RTB House—who add extra agility to our performance campaigns through their Deep Learning-powered solutions and peace of mind with their robust Brand Safety feature—is part of our strategy going forward. Select your traveling companions carefully and pick those most able to assist you on your brand’s journey into the exciting future of ecommerce.” 

If you have any questions, comments or issues, or you’re interested in meeting with us, please get in touch.

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