Retail

How we came to this shogo history in terms of retail

"In an age of advanced technology,
inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost."

A. Huxley
1
It all started in 2004. To be more exact, by this time Shogo had completed formulating its mission and values.
The company's mission is a comprehensive and efficient solution of the client's business tasks using Internet technologies.
2
Our web development studio created its first websites in 2003. Already at that time our team arrived at understanding that the boom in creating websites for the sake of the website is a short-term phenomenon.
The future lies in comprehensive Internet marketing.
At the time we did our best to pursue this line as, bearing in mind the long-term perspective, we believed in the potential of the Internet as an efficient means of communication.
3
Another significant stage we had been actively offering at the time was attracting the target audience using search engine optimization
( SEO )
We had about ten success stories at the time, but still it was not easy to persuade the business to continue working with the website after its creation investing in Internet marketing.
At the time only few companies became our clients, the so-called "pioneers" that achieved business success with us within several months. It was they who set off the boom in SEO services.

This seems ridiculous now)
4
We have long since, approximately since 2007, realized judging by ourselves and our most progressive clients — leaders in certain areas of Internet trade — that
efficient business development can only be based on
long-term (strategic)
planning
5
We assess the efficiency of our work using KPI metrics. For us, this is not merely a term used to promote Shogo. This is a set of real values we keep improving and adding. And, what's most important, we show and report them to our partners. Currently the main KPIs look as follows:
Shogo's KPIs
  • Studying the market and the client's tasks,
  • Auditing the client's possibilities, designing the client's individual KPIs;
  • Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy of Internet presence;
  • Assessing the advertising transaction cost to include it in financial planning;
  • Assessing the time and financial budget for the project (for the financial planning);
  • Work schedule (plans) for short, medium, and long term;
  • Consulting or complementing the client in poorly planned (inefficiently conducted) transactions;
  • Performing the work at a high quality level and on time;
  • Reports, analysis of provisional and absolute conversion and sales indicators;
  • Strategy adjustment, planning, and carrying out new works to increase efficiency.
6
Naturally, the number of the projects increases. Still, the increase is very gradual, taking place along with the growth of Shogo's production capacities.
Now, we have approximately
65 professionals —
strategy managers, managers, marketing experts, designers, layout designers, programmers, and system administrators — on our staff.
For us the decisive criterion for choosing partners and clients is not the ability to pay, but the ability to get things done.
If a businessman is aware of what needs to be done to accomplish the objective, we are aware of what needs to be done in our sector and ready to invest our effort and money.
7
Let's go back to 2007.
During this year we mastered new predictable tools of attracting target visitors for direct sales —
  • Contextual advertising,
  • Product offering
    on specialized sites,
  • Highly-targeted
    ATL advertising.
8
The growth of our clients' advertising investments and Shogo's intention to
provide for their high return
( ROI )
stimulated us to quickly develop the strategic management and planning area, as well as to master new communication tools.

From among the values we had at the time we would name a team of like-minded people (technicians, marketing experts, strategy managers), ready to work efficiently to achieve the end result, i.e. study the best practices, introduce their own ideas, experiment, implementing everything in practice, analyze the results achieved and adjust further actions, reaching new horizons.

This mission is still preserved, and the values are still added as we continue developing our company and the projects we work on. The added values can be discerned from our subsequent history.

We held a great number of meetings, explaining the businessmen that the website purpose is not to be able to specify its URL on business cards stressing how cool the company is. A website is an important link in the chain of communication with the target audience, and for this it must be as informative and user-friendly as possible. And these notions are backed by tremendous work on the part of Shogo and the client!

One can hardly imagine businessmen not dreaming about their websites taking top positions in the search engine rankings. This "majority lagging behind" still tries to put into practice the success story of the "pioneers" from nearly ten years ago. It looks like they keep looking for contractors who could guarantee that they remain in TOP10. And they find them. Unfortunately, most advertising or marketing agencies (and in essence merely SEO-companies) providing this service that the customer is always right and promise anything he/she wants, even if the promise is impossible to keep and the results are not the ones the customer needs for his/her business.

It must only be backed by predictable tools and methods based on continuity and the in-house know-how, the ability to distribute priorities, competencies, and responsibility, as well as on the immunity to immediate profit! And also on being willing to work, work in a team, work efficiently, work for a result! All of this applies both to Shogo and to the client!!!

And we do not accept kickbacks, do not work with clients that cannot delegate competencies or use Internet marketing tools to satisfy their own ambitions which are not result-oriented. We never violate these basic principles, not even for the sake of money.

The efficiency in achieving the result depends both on the agency and on the client. And it is extremely important for these links to be equally strong (highly efficient), and not sponging off each other.

In 2010, the practices we had developed in different fields allowed us to start working on formulating the individual KPIs for our customers.

Management KPIs:
  • Project mission and values being formed and already formed;
  • Medium- and long-term financial planning;
  • Taking strategic decisions, including operational;
  • Ambitious nature of business development plans;
  • Attracted or own investments;
  • Team and forming it;
  • Partner selection and cooperation, competency and responsibility delegation;
  • Maintaining high motivation in the full-time and outsourcing (partner) team.
Team's KPIs:
  • Implementing the range, price, service, and after-sales policy*;
  • Conversion in the sales of goods or services;
  • Working with feedback and claims;
  • Adjusting the work in accordance with the claims and the project policy*;
  • Content support for the project (producing photos, videos, and texts);
  • Carrying out marketing events (activities, etc.);
  • Communicating with the agency, working as a single team.

*in accordance with the strategic plans of the management

Another important criterion is directing the effort vectors (efficiency vectors) of the client and the agency. Simply stated, a well-tuned team work on the project carried out by the client and the agency. If we perceive the business tasks of the project differently, there will be no team work. No result. We will always speak out and suggest stopping or not starting the cooperation.

For instance, in that same 2010 we parted with Jeelex — the largest national producer of domestic pumps. We had been trying to get the efficient development strategy across to the company for 3 years. It was connected not with direct sales, but with shaping the demand for the products and developing the dealer system. Unfortunately, the director was more concerned with the company's position in the search results for two or three queries which was lower than that of his former partner.

Fortunately, such results are not numerous. We are very scrupulous about choosing clients. We have no intention of working with several hundreds of projects. We intend to work with a limited number of projects to which we devote ourselves entirely. The prospects of Shogo’s long-term development are the improvement of the projects qualitative and not quantitative indicators.

During just 2 years our successes and efficiency of the advertising campaigns based on the continuity of the best practices and the in-house know-how allowed our company to become one of the first Yandex-certified agencies and an accredited dealer of Begun.

We have also continued developing and strengthening the SEO line, as it used to have and has now a significant effect for those of our clients who understand the peculiarities of this traffic attraction method correctly. We have several of the best analysts in this field working in the SEO division. We still hold the leading positions in this service area.

In 2011, we conducted the first successful SMM promotion campaigns for online stores of our most progressive clients. These success histories gave an impetus not only to the development of this line in our company, but also to our clients' development.

Besides, in 2011 the strategic management and planning department got the first results on the projects we worked on following the ROI principle. The results were positive, which ultimately convinced us that our company can undertake complex and ambitious projects of Internet retailers or offline retailers looking for an additional communication channel and a new impetus to their Internet business development.

Period Shogo Development Stage Clients
2003-2007 SEO Small, home-based businesses, without plans or ambitions. None of them are currently about. They either used our services to go one level up, or simply left our company.
2007-2010 Internet marketing Projects involving ambitions which are not supported by the client's ability or desire to do his/her part of the work efficiently; and the client is unwilling to delegate the relevant competencies to Shogo.

The number of such clients becomes less every year thanks to our work. The greater part of the clients do not leave us, but go one level up.
2010-present time Working to get the result (KPI, ROI) Ambitious projects striving to become sales leaders in the corresponding area, clients prepared to work a lot as part of a single team and just as efficiently as our team, capable to delegate authority in accordance with the responsibility for the result.

We are very much interested in working with just this kind of projects. Achieving the result replenishes our energy, gives us new power. We are happy to see just this type of new clients. We also do our best to convert the existing ones.

Currently our strategy managers based on the experience gained in a large number of online trade areas, penetration into subject areas and business processes (including operational processes) on the client side, can forecast the transaction cost with a great degree of accuracy, based on the required sales volume and range, design and implement ROI increase recommendations.

Our professionals will draw up the work schedule for a year, distribute Shogo's and client's responsibilities and competencies, and thanks to a stock of our in-house facilities will momentarily organize a team of professionals. Based on the planned sales volume, strategy managers will provide the expense estimate for the technical works and the marketing component. Later on these investments will be included in the common financial structure of the online store.

The competencies of strategy mangers can, if necessary, include developing recommendations on forming the commodity matrix, building the logistics scheme, organizing a storage system, building a call center, job descriptions or recommendations for the key divisions (or employees) of the client on which the direct sales and, accordingly, the transaction cost and the ROI depend.

Our know-how goes beyond the acquisitions area. We are extremely efficient in other areas.