Feelter, the Startup That Makes Online Shoppers Buy Now, Not After Endless Consultation

People go online, find a product they like – and leave the site to consult social networks. Feelter breaks that cycle.

There is a world of products to buy via Internet, but people don't just find what they want and buy it, says Feelter's Smadar Landau. They find what they want and then leave the site to tap the community for opinions on it.
Ayala Tal

People love shopping on Internet, but that doesn't mean online stores have it easy. Around 98% of the people visiting an e-shop site don't buy a thing, says Smadar Landau. Her company, Feelter, can change that, she claims.

When people see an item they like online, almost none simply click on Shopping Cart. They go to Facebook or other social network to ask their friends and other beings what they think. Then, maybe, they'll come back and buy. So for all that North American e-businesses spent around $150 billion on advertising in 2014 alone, Landau claims, they didn't get much bang for their buck.

On average people open seven different tabs for "mass information" on the product, including Youtube, Google Plus, Facebook and Instagram, Feelter has found. Its trick is to bring that information to the shopper without him or her leaving the e-shop.

Feelter's solution is a virtual shopping adviser that collects information on products from social media. It creates what Landau calls a "virtual concierge".

The websites that buy the Feelter solution get a code plug-in that they embed in their site, which takes just a few minutes, she says.

So, when a surfer visits an e-commerce site that has contracted with Feelter, and chooses a product or category, the company's unique algorithm sends crawlers out into cyberspace looking for information on the product, from mere mentions to descriptions of experiences to videos and recommendations.

"We analyze the sentiment, what people said about the products. Then we produce a grade from 0 to 100. In a glimpse, the surfer can see what the wisdom of the masses says about the product," Landau explains. Clicking on the grade opens a window where the company summarizes what people are writing about the product – if it's relevant.

The algorithm is so smart it knows how to weed out inconsequentialities. Say you want information on the iPhone6. You want to know how people feel about its battery life, not if the battery died because they dropped it into the toilet, Landau observes.

Given that the seller has no control about what trolls on the Internet say, why would any e-shop risk buying this service? What if the masses conclude that the product blows?

Today people are into credibility and veracity, says Landau. "We share the truth. We create credibility for the site," she says.

Feelter's clients are anybody who wants to do business on Internet. While growing its own business, establishing its U.S. headquarters and recruiting employees, it already has paying customers, Landau says. The startup's existing customers (all in Israel so far, including the Issta tourism company and Walla Shops) have already increased their sales by about 10% - and increased the site's stickiness, how long people spend on it, by around 160% on average, she claims.

The feedback from the mass mind in cyberspace also brings managers insight. Say a company sells 1,000 products, Landau explains: "I help organize the products on the virtual shelf. I show what has positive and negative buzz. I show what people like and what they talk about."