Interview with John Elkaim, VP of Marketing at Gigya


Can you tell us about Gigya and your unique solution for increasing website conversions?

Sure. Just picture yourself visiting a website. The first thing you will do is to take a look at the homepage, then scroll down and (maybe) read. After this, you will often click away, instead of signing up, which is a huge loss for the owner of the site. So what keeps someone from signing up? Even if you see the value in the product, there is sometimes too much interference for you to complete the sign-up process. This is where we intervene. Our goal is to help websites increase their acquisition, retention and engagement through a simple action: social connect.

So you help companies identify their potential customers and understand their online behaviour?

Exactly. We make it very easy for companies to determine which information they want about the visitor and which social networks are more relevant in regards to their value proposition. On the web, cookies are a good way to identify a visitor, but social usage has branched out across different platforms (web and mobile). Often there is no communication between these platforms on their affiliated website. If someone visits a site on a laptop and then purchases on a mobile none of this customer information is transferred. This is a big loss for the brand. Social connection solves this problem by giving one entry point to the visitor, who goes from being an anonymous person to an identified user.

Can’t the developers create the social connection themselves?

Although this is possible, it is very tricky for one simple reason: the constant evolution of the APIs from the social networks, not only in technical but also legal terms. We have special agreements with all these services that allow us to stay up-to-date and handle the APIs. We also take care of the maintenance and of all the legal aspects that come with the gestation of a database of users.

Can you give me one example of how Gigya is used?

Imagine a website that enables people to compare estate agents. Visitors go the website, log in with LinkedIn and immediately see who is connected with which agent. This allows you to make a decision more easily. For the company, social connect helps them understand the degree of influence a user has and offers the user perks accordingly. Knowing your users thanks to their social connections is the best way to achieve high personalisation.

Finally, what is your prediction on internet trends for the next ten years?

Well, I’d say that in the next ten years we are going to see the rise of the ‘Internet of Things’. I am not just talking about connected objects. The ‘Internet of Things’ is a much deeper and wider phenomenon. It refers to the increasing connections between the internet and the real world. For instance, KLM’s offering is part of the ‘internet of things’: we’re not just talking about a plane seat, but about an ephemeral community. People will be able to choose their seat according to their networks and their profile. TV is also becoming more connected: LG TV enables you to connect through Facebook and share your experience with your network.

We have also seen a huge growth in social media along with e-commerce and online shopping. Companies will need to combine both channels to succeed. Google is already tackling both fields, and other services are going in this direction. This will be an interesting evolution to watch!