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Boost Your E-Commerce Brand with Avatria’s Harry Thakkar

Jerome Knyszewski

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Harry Thakkar, co-founder of Avatria

Harry Thakkar knows the potential value of machine learning and analytics data on the future of e-commerce. At Avatria, which he co-founded in 2014, Harry wanted to use technology to help businesses drive their operations forward. Through a progressive understanding of technology, Avatria can shift companies’ focus toward their clients’ needs and provide better value.

Before co-founding Avatria, Harry Thakkar was the Director of Program Management for Acquity Group, up until it was acquired by Accenture in 2013. While at Acquity, Harry led its “eCommerce solutions group.” He worked with various business stakeholders to design, plan, and implement their e-commerce strategies. He also led large teams that devised elaborate plans to help Fortune 100 clients successfully implement their e-commerce strategies. Also, he oversaw Acquity’s delivery of e-commerce strategies with his expertise.

Now, Harry Thakkar has brought his experience and knowledge to manage large-scale projects at Avatria. At the company, he leads his team to build “innovative solutions for customers of all shapes and sizes.

One of the primary projects developed by Harry Thakkar and his team at Avatria is the Convert tool. This tool uses machine learning ana analytics to drive up conversion rates for e-commerce sites. With this tool, you don’t have to spend money and resources to assemble a tech team to handle your site’s search functions. Convert uses “40 different metrics” to push up toward the top of the list those items most customers are likely to buy.

By embracing technology, Harry Thakkar and Avatria makes e-commerce businesses’ lives easier, and in turn, their customers.

You can read more interviews with business visionaries here. If you’re curious about AI and e-commerce, Harry Thakkar breaks it down in this video.

 

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Harry Thakkar: I have always had a strong interest in math and science, and so naturally, I decided to study electrical engineering at the University of Illinois. While I loved the problem-solving elements of my engineering curriculum, I found myself more drawn to the business side of engineering. This led me to pursue a career in eCommerce consulting — the thought of helping solve complex technical challenges without having to sit in a lab all day was very appealing. Plus, I love to travel and thought this would be a great chance to see more of the world. I joined a company in Chicago called Acquity Group fairly early on and was fortunate enough to get some very deep hands-on experience helping Fortune 500 companies improve their eCommerce presence.

Jerome Knyszewski: What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Harry Thakkar: After having spent 10 years with Acquity Group working on dozens of eCommerce projects, I decided it was time to move on. I learned a lot about the ins and outs of eCommerce systems during my decade as a consultant, and one problem that always came up across all of my project work was the issue of product findability. Our clients would say things like “our search results aren’t showing the right products” or “customers aren’t able to find what they’re looking for due to our catalog size”. When we decided to start Avatria, we knew that was the problem we wanted to focus on as there was no good solution available in the market.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Harry Thakkar: One of the hardest things about starting Avatria was the shift in mindset you need to have when moving from being an employee to being an employer. There are a lot of things related to company operations you tend to take for granted as an employee, which we had to put in place while also looking to make sure we were generating revenue. Basic things like payroll, accounting/tax, contracts, office space, purchasing equipment, insurance, etc. were all things the three of us had to juggle and figure out while also building the business. While this could be exhausting, it was also very exciting. At the end of the day, we knew that we were ultimately in control of our future and that we could shape Avatria into the company we envisioned.

Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Harry Thakkar: Avatria has grown significantly over the past six years and we have been successful from a financial and company vision standpoint. We have fully built and launched our first product and are now in the midst of executing on the next stage of our company’s evolution.

Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

Harry Thakkar: Having a good handle on eCommerce data tends to be overlooked in organizations large and small. It’s one thing to be tracking analytics data for your website but making sure that you are collecting the right type of data and also analyzing it correctly to make it actionable is where most brands tend to struggle. The volume of data tends to be very large and can be overwhelming, which leads to a problem of where to focus the limited time and energy available. Making good use of data can be a very effective way at winning customers and keeping competitors at bay.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a few examples of tools or software that you think can dramatically empower emerging eCommerce brands to be more effective and more successful?

Harry Thakkar: Leverage the power of AI and machine learning to be more successful. There are a number of AI tools available that can help give you an advantage — from intelligent chatbots that streamline your customer service process, personalized product recommendations to help sell more effectively, or dynamic pricing that adapts to your customer and market trends. AI is just going to continue to increase in prominence with eCommerce, so it makes sense to start investing there now.

Avatria Convert also uses machine learning to help boost eCommerce sales. It can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for at the top of your search and browse pages based on their shopping behavior.

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?

Harry Thakkar: You can visit https://convert.avatria.com or follow us on twitter (@avatria) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/avatria).

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

 

Jerome Knyszewski is the Reputation Management Expert with the most recommendations and endorsements on the professional network, LinkedIn. His specialties are Online Reputation Management & Marketing, Strategic Alliances, Business Growth Strategies, He is a best selling author and Professional Speaker.

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