For the latest in our a day in a life series, I decided to sit down with Ben van Rooyen, CEO and founder of haveyouseen.com, to find out more about his role and haveyouseen’s unique offering. Find out more below.
How long have you worked at have you seen?
I am the founder of haveyouseen and have been working at this amazing business since November 2013. The humble beginnings were in my living room, which was a small flat above a garage. So while some of the biggest technology businesses we know today started in a garage, we started above a garage.
What does your role at have you seen involve? Tell us a bit about your typical Monday morning…
As founder and CEO I am responsible for everything that happens within the business, from raising funds to monitoring staff performance to ensuring our blogger community love the product and managing product development. We are a very small team still and therefore we all have to wear many hats on a daily basis. Monday’s are typically very busy for us. We have a full team trading meeting, running through performance of the last week, while discussing the priorities for the week ahead. I would then have separate meetings with Greg, our CMO and Britt, our community manager to talk more about specifics within the marketing and community streams of the business. This is typically followed by a product meeting with our Head of Development to discuss product roadmap and new releases. In the first couple of months of launching, which was in September 2014, we were releasing a new version of the platform on a weekly basis. The rest of my day will be filled with email responses and telephone calls, varying from investors looking for an update, discussing our checkout widgets with a merchant partner or discussing new potential brands to work with one of our network partners like affilinet.
Tell us a bit about have you seen and its unique offering in the market
haveyouseen is the first community driven, social shopping website to reward sharing on a multi-level basis across the social graph. Social sharing is such a big part of our lives and with the explosion of social media, ecommerce and access to data, this activity has moved from dining table and locker room conversations to online interactions with friends and family. What haveyouseen is doing is enabling this activity to be monetised by every individual that has this digital conversation about a brand and its products. Brands and merchants are willing to reward their customers and advocates for driving sales activity, but until haveyouseen was launched, this was not accessible to the masses. Bloggers and professional publishers have been rewarded for this activity for some time, using networks like affilinet, however there was no mass market product available and this is the gap haveyouseen is looking to fill,. With our tool bloggers receive attribution for sales deep into the social graph. So if a blogger talks about a product, using a haveyouseen link, their direct audience have the ability to generate their own monetised link and share that with their own social circles. If anyone buys from this new link, not only does that referrer get paid, but the blogger also receives a part of the sales commission. We do this up to six degrees of separation away, which is a really unique part of our platform.
Could you give us a quick overview of your site to potential advertiser?
In a nutshell, haveyouseen allows anyone to collect and manage their favourite products from all over the internet into collections and wish lists on a single platform. We work with thousands of retailers in the UK and US, who want to reward their customers for sharing and advocating their products. haveyouseen is the evolution of traditional cashback models, where incremental sales are triggered by the power of social recommendation. It can be thought of as a flexible refer a friend campaign, where you leverage the infrastructure already in place with the affiliate network, powered by haveyouseen technology. The big upside for our merchant partners is the incredibly unique and rich data about brand advocates and influencers we are able to capture. This can be used to empower consumers and drive new sales for your business.
What was the last thing you purchased online?
A pair of brown leather brogues from Debenhams, one of haveyouseen’s merchant partners, which was on a 50% sale.
What advice would you have for someone looking to join the have you seen community?
If you are great at finding incredible deals and want to share those with others, haveyouseen is the perfect platform to express yourself. You will not only help the rest of the community, but you also have the opportunity to be financially rewarded for your efforts. If you are an online influencer or blogger and have a large following and want to explore the best way of monetising that influence, while maintaining your editorial integrity, then haveyouseen is the partner for you.
What are the tops 3 websites you can be found browsing on during lunch?
haveyouseen.com – to see what amazing new deals and products the community have added
Maxviral.com – I love the share-ability of these viral content stories
BBC news – just to catch up on what is happening in the world right now