Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview With Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer & Giftshuffle’s Founder, Oliver Neely

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1- Hello Oliver, Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m a digital marketer with a passion for business living in the south-east of England just an hour’s drive from London.  I have been designing websites for about 8 years and in that time have started a few of my own projects, of which Giftshuffle is one of those.

2- What pushes you to work in the digital marketing field?
Digital marketing is an appealing avenue for business because anyone can get set up, from anywhere, with relatively little upfront costs. You don’t have to set up huge premises, or even buy stock yourself.  I don’t sell any of the products I promote, I just collate them for other people.
I’m really keen on helping other people to get maximum benefit from the internet.  I’ve always been quite good at researching on the web and manipulating Google to find things quickly.  I’ve used this to my advantage, in the past finding and collating the best money-saving offers and now cool and quirky gift ideas.   

3-How do you describe Giftshuffle in few words?
It’s a collection of the most unique, quirky useful gift ideas from across the web.  All hand-picked to help people choose the best gift ideas for a friend, family member, co-worker etc..

4- How did you build up an entrepreneur spirit, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I would have loved to be born with it, but I think that it’s more something I have developed over time.  Being a business person is something that appealed to me from early on, I like the excitement of coming up with an idea and following it through to completion, then getting to share it with the public.  I feel like working for someone else can be a little restrictive in that sense, it doesn’t always give as much opportunity to express yourself, or do things the way you want to.

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5- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with your success?
I don’t like to settle for the ordinary. I like to do things that are different.  I think that helps.

6- If you could turn the time, what would you love to do or change in regards to Giftshuffle?
Maybe an algorithm based approach would have been easier, however simple. It’s a lot of work manually finding, selecting and adding each gift idea to the website.  Some technology to speed up this process would definitely have made things easier.

7- What advice would you like to give to those just starting a new App?
Keep it simple. Funny enough, this is one of the hardest things to do, it should be easy but most of the time it’s really not.  It’s easy to get excited by different potential features, but that can: 1. Ramp up the project costs, 2. Put people off using the app.  It’s better to test out limited capabilities to get an idea of how people respond, and then scale the app with other features if necessary.

8- What is the “one-word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding in buying gifts?
There’s no secret to buying gifts, but there are plenty of tools that exist to help and will show you some of the best suggestions.  Have a search for a “gift suggestion tool” and see if that helps.

9- Do you find as an expert, that you enjoy the challenge of an industry being complex and the game rules are always changing?
Absolutely, it keeps things exciting.  I’m always fascinated by some of the incredible products that designers are coming up with.

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10- The last word or final thoughts?
Feel free to give Giftshuffle a try, and I would love to hear everyone’s feedback too!

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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