Q&A 4Her – Keren Zimmerman, Co-Founder of Netotiate
Woman entrepreneur Keren Zimmerman has been designing online consumer shopping systems for over a decade starting with Shopping.com, which was acquired by eBay. Prior to co-founding Netotiate, an online shopping site that lets you compare prices and name the price you are prepared to pay for just about anything, Keren was General Manager and VP Products at SmartShopper and later VP of Web Search products at Oberon Media.
She is an online consumer experience expert who delivers excellence, from concept to killer product. In addition to being a multi-tasking trailblazer passionate about Netotiate, her family and sports, Keren manages to hold the reigns in an office chock-full of testosterone.
Keren took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to MyCity4Her about her business, how she defines success and more. Read her full interview below.
Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?
I worked as an executive for many years and always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. I waited for the right idea and the right person to partner with in order to take the leap, both of which I found when Amir Farhi (Netotiate’s CEO and co-founder) introduced me to the Netotiate concept.
Netotiate is redefining the rules of online shopping. Consumers are now able to engage with retailers, telling them how much they wish to pay for an item, without bidding against or grouping with others. It sometimes takes just one click to get the deal they hoped for, and one thing’s for sure – Netotiate shoppers don’t pay full price. Retailers also benefit from this model, as they now know what it will take to close the sale, and are given the chance to do so, instead of losing countless sales to competition.
Being a part of this amazing shopping ‘revolution’ is a dream come true for me.
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?
Educating a market is not an easy thing to do [and] we at Netotiate need to educate both consumers and retailers. We need online shoppers to understand that it’s completely legitimate to name their own price for a product. At the same time, we are imparting to retailers that they have the power to compete and close more sales than they do today by taking a step towards their customers. You’d be surprised that sometimes, a few dollars off will do the trick.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
The best business advice that I ever been given is to listen to the customer – both to our users and retailers, as they know best what they need and what we can do to serve them better.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
I love the energy and atmosphere in the company we built. We are very agile and move quickly, which allows us to respond to our retailers’ and users’ needs accordingly.
What if you knew then what you know now – would you do differently and why?
It’s always easy to reflect and judge your decisions; I believe that no matter what you do you will probably err and that the only important rule is to learn from your mistakes going forward. I learned that the path to success inevitably includes some mistakes.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
I’m blessed with an amazing family; I have a very supportive, loving husband and 2 gorgeous kids (twins!). Besides spending quality time with them, I also swim and run regularly. I find exercise is the best way to clear your head and charge your energy.
How do you define success?
Personally, success is happiness. As for Netotiate, when internet users around the globe stop settling for asking price and begin to name their own price for the products they want , I’ll know we’ve succeeded.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business what would it be?
Find the balance between work and family. You’ve got to get them to coexist. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.