The Ecom Show

Daniel Budai

The official podcast of Budai Media hosted by Daniel, the founder of our team. Great discussions with the most successful eCommerce people, from owners to digital marketers. Let's grow your business together.

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#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year
4d ago
#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year
#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year Hey Budai Nation! Welcome to The Ecom Show, your go-to weekly podcast series for inspiring e-commerce success stories. This week's episode is about Sarah Vezina, the co-founder of the Canadian apparel brand Octopied Mind. Sarah Vezina got the idea of starting Octopied Mind while working at Shopify. Octopied Mind is a gender-inclusive, ethical apparel brand that creates hand-drawn designs in small batches. In this episode, Sarah shares the story of how this fastly growing apparel brand has managed to grow its sales revenue by 3X each year. Tune in to this episode to learn more about: ✅ Sarah's Journey From Shopify To Octopied Mind ✅ The Secret Behind Octopied Mind's Steady Growth ✅ Sarah's #1 Advice For Entrepreneurs Sarah's Journey From Shopify To Octopied Mind Sarah dived straight into the world of e-commerce by landing a job at Shopify. She worked at Shopify for a little over a year, and during that time, she had the chance to speak with hundreds of business owners daily. This motivated her to research and start her own entrepreneurial journey. Shopify has an extremely nurturing culture that's perfect for growing entrepreneurs. While Sarah worked at Shopify, she had access to a free website, an extensive resource library to learn, and an allowance of $500 each year to pursue her entrepreneurial journey. She used these resources to start Octopied Mind, and within a year itself, she was able to pursue her vision full time. Sarah co-founded Octopied Mind with her best friend, Jill Davis. Their apparel brand focuses on creating meaningful conversations around mental health through hand-drawn art on apparel. Their vision has been to create a community built on acceptance and radical self-responsibility, which they've been able to successfully achieve and grow since their inception in 2018. The Secret Behind Octopied Mind's Steady Growth Octopied Mind started as a homegrown venture started by two best friends. Sarah and Jill would create hand-drawn art on preloved clothing items for each other and wear them to parties and other events. They noticed a lot of positive comments and decided to test selling these graphic shirts in small batches to friends and family. Their word-of-mouth marketing spread like wildfire, and this motivated them to go all in and launch their e-commerce store through Shopify. Octopied Mind is now celebrating four years. They've grown their sales revenue by 3x yearly and are now available in multiple countries. Sarah attributes most of this success to their Facebook ad marketing. Facebook marketing has helped them target customers in different parts of the world and helped them discover new markets. They also have an extremely high returning customer rate of 30%, which they've been able to maintain by creating a community around their brand. Octopied Mind has several automated email marketing flows that they set up using Klaviyo; these flows alone help them generate $30,000 revenue each month. Apart from this, they've also successfully created a community through their general brand ethos. At its core, Octopied Mind is creating a space for individuals to speak about mental health and positivity through their gender-fluid clothing line. Their commitment to providing fair wages to their workers, ethically producing their shirts in small batches, and attention to detail regarding quality, size, and fit is what's helped them resonate with their customers. In addition, Sarah and Jill actively share their journey with their community through social media. Sarah's #1 Advice For Entrepreneurs Sarah's number one advice for entrepreneurs just starting is to focus on building a website and getting it up and running. "Don't wait for the perfect website to go live. You can always make changes to keep improving your website once you go live, but it takes time to build a mailing list and get subscribers. Even a simple website is a great start because it allows you to start collecting data." Her #1 advice for existing business owners is to spend more time working on your business rather than in your business. "If you're spending too many hours in your business, you need to find somebody and delegate that to them. The faster you delegate, the faster you can just get back to working on your business, and that's where you see growth. That's where you see sales." Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Ecom Show. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's YouTube Daniel's Newsletter
#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year
4d ago
#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year
#120 Sarah Vezina: How Octopied Mind Grow Their Sales 3X Each Year Hey Budai Nation! Welcome to The Ecom Show, your go-to weekly podcast series for inspiring e-commerce success stories. This week's episode is about Sarah Vezina, the co-founder of the Canadian apparel brand Octopied Mind. Sarah Vezina got the idea of starting Octopied Mind while working at Shopify. Octopied Mind is a gender-inclusive, ethical apparel brand that creates hand-drawn designs in small batches. In this episode, Sarah shares the story of how this fastly growing apparel brand has managed to grow its sales revenue by 3X each year. Tune in to this episode to learn more about: ✅ Sarah's Journey From Shopify To Octopied Mind ✅ The Secret Behind Octopied Mind's Steady Growth ✅ Sarah's #1 Advice For Entrepreneurs Sarah's Journey From Shopify To Octopied Mind Sarah dived straight into the world of e-commerce by landing a job at Shopify. She worked at Shopify for a little over a year, and during that time, she had the chance to speak with hundreds of business owners daily. This motivated her to research and start her own entrepreneurial journey. Shopify has an extremely nurturing culture that's perfect for growing entrepreneurs. While Sarah worked at Shopify, she had access to a free website, an extensive resource library to learn, and an allowance of $500 each year to pursue her entrepreneurial journey. She used these resources to start Octopied Mind, and within a year itself, she was able to pursue her vision full time. Sarah co-founded Octopied Mind with her best friend, Jill Davis. Their apparel brand focuses on creating meaningful conversations around mental health through hand-drawn art on apparel. Their vision has been to create a community built on acceptance and radical self-responsibility, which they've been able to successfully achieve and grow since their inception in 2018. The Secret Behind Octopied Mind's Steady Growth Octopied Mind started as a homegrown venture started by two best friends. Sarah and Jill would create hand-drawn art on preloved clothing items for each other and wear them to parties and other events. They noticed a lot of positive comments and decided to test selling these graphic shirts in small batches to friends and family. Their word-of-mouth marketing spread like wildfire, and this motivated them to go all in and launch their e-commerce store through Shopify. Octopied Mind is now celebrating four years. They've grown their sales revenue by 3x yearly and are now available in multiple countries. Sarah attributes most of this success to their Facebook ad marketing. Facebook marketing has helped them target customers in different parts of the world and helped them discover new markets. They also have an extremely high returning customer rate of 30%, which they've been able to maintain by creating a community around their brand. Octopied Mind has several automated email marketing flows that they set up using Klaviyo; these flows alone help them generate $30,000 revenue each month. Apart from this, they've also successfully created a community through their general brand ethos. At its core, Octopied Mind is creating a space for individuals to speak about mental health and positivity through their gender-fluid clothing line. Their commitment to providing fair wages to their workers, ethically producing their shirts in small batches, and attention to detail regarding quality, size, and fit is what's helped them resonate with their customers. In addition, Sarah and Jill actively share their journey with their community through social media. Sarah's #1 Advice For Entrepreneurs Sarah's number one advice for entrepreneurs just starting is to focus on building a website and getting it up and running. "Don't wait for the perfect website to go live. You can always make changes to keep improving your website once you go live, but it takes time to build a mailing list and get subscribers. Even a simple website is a great start because it allows you to start collecting data." Her #1 advice for existing business owners is to spend more time working on your business rather than in your business. "If you're spending too many hours in your business, you need to find somebody and delegate that to them. The faster you delegate, the faster you can just get back to working on your business, and that's where you see growth. That's where you see sales." Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Ecom Show. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's YouTube Daniel's Newsletter
#119 Tyler McCourt: Wearable NFTs and eCommerce
28-07-2022
#119 Tyler McCourt: Wearable NFTs and eCommerce
#119 Tyler McCourt: Wearable NFTs and eCommerce Have you hopped onto the NFT bandwagon yet? If not, would the idea of being able to wear your NFT persuade you to purchase one? Today’s episode is all about what happens when the internet spills over into the real world. We’ve got Tyler McCourt, the founder of Dott, here with us today to uncover the world of wearable NFTs. Dott is an e-commerce company that enables you to create wearable merchandise using the NFTs and GIFs you own. It was founded by Tyler McCourt, who’s a serial e-commerce entrepreneur and visionary. This episode is sponsored by Budai Media. Budai Media is a retention marketing agency that helps e-commerce stores increase their customers lifetime value through the power of email and SMS marketing. This episode of The Ecom Show talks about: ✅ Tyler’s Journey As A Serial Entrepreneur ✅ The Easiest Way To Start A Customized Apparel Store ✅ NFTs And E-commerce Tyler’s Journey as a Serial Entrepreneur Tyler double majored in college in marketing information systems and finance—and landed straight into a corporate desk job. Realizing that he wasn’t passionate about a career in corporate, he shifted gears and found himself working with a small apparel company that designed clothes for wrestlers. Working there with a small team of just 5 employees helped him discover his interest in e-commerce and marketing technologies, and he left soon after to start his own venture. Tyler and a friend of his started a venture called Emblem Athletic, where they helped e-commerce apparel stores automate their systems. They were able to grow this to generate a steady 7-figure revenue in a couple of years, and Tyler then proceeded to sell his shares back to his co-founder to pursue other ventures. After exiting this space, Tyler pursued his vision of creating wearable NFTs and GIFs and launched his latest venture, Dott. He also launched Teamtime, a fully custom apparel store. The Easiest Way to Start a Customized Apparel Store Starting your own online e-commerce brand can be difficult when you don’t have a big team. Between production, design, inventory management, marketing, sales, and accounting, there are a dozen different hats entrepreneurs need to wear to get the show-up and running. Tyler McCourt’s latest venture, Teamtime, helps individuals get started with zero upfront costs. It gives users access to a free online store and custom designs. All they need to do is sign-up and fill out a form. Users can even outsource the logistics to Teamtime, as they offer free shipping. In short, Teamtime lets users build a fully custom, automated storefront with personal team designers and unlimited customization options. How do they achieve these goals? They use a combination of developers, designers, artificial intelligence, and Shopify to create your store and products. This enables them to quickly provide you with a store with up to 10 products. They’re building a massive library of editable templates and an application that allows users to create their basic templatized custom design; users can then directly speak with the in-house designers to modify their products till they’re satisfied. All of this is connected to Shopify using APIs, making it easy to set up and edit the store as the brand scales. NFTs and eCommerce NFTs have been taking the world by storm. It’s already fusing technology, finance, and art together. Could it also find its place in the world of the apparel industry? Well, it already has! Tyler came up with this idea in college after attending several music festivals; he’d always notice people around him wearing cool shirts, which got him wondering as to why you couldn't wear a GIF. He started looking into products that could do the same, and the closest he came to this were bulky LED tee shirts. He saw an opportunity to create a new product that could reinvent wearable technology, but he just didn’t have the funds to start developing it. However, he noticed the rising popularity of NFTs after he cashed out of Emblem Athletic, and he jumped at the opportunity to bring his old idea to life. That’s how Dott was born. Dott is an e-commerce apparel store that connects with your wallet and allows you to create a personalized item of clothing with your NFT or GIF on it. Dott gives you the ability to wear your NFT out and then show off your NFT in a way that you couldn't before. It’s also great for artists because they’re able to promote the NFT in a way that they couldn’t before. Dott is changing the way that customized e-commerce apparel stores work, and it could open a huge opportunity for artists, designers, and other NFT enthusiasts looking to fuse NFTs with a physical wearable product. Listen to this episode of The Ecom Show to learn more about Dott and the world of wearable NFTs. It also contains information on the best automation tools and systems e-commerce stores can use to streamline their operations. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out episode 96 of The Ecom Show to know more about another extremely innovative company called Ketonia. See you again next Thursday! Links for the companies and people mentioned in this podcast: Follow Tyler McCourt Dott Teamtime Daniel Budai LinkedIn Ecom Show
#118 Steve Dennis - Retail vs. eCommerce
21-07-2022
#118 Steve Dennis - Retail vs. eCommerce
#118 Steve Dennis - Retail vs. eCommerce Hey Budai Nation! Welcome to episode 118 of The Ecom Show. This episode is a showdown between the world of retail and e-commerce. We’ve even got a celebrity guest on board to make things more interesting. We’re beyond thrilled to share that the bestselling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, Steve Dennis, will be joining our founder and podcast host, Daniel Budai, for this incredibly stimulating and insightful conversation about the future of shopping in a rapidly evolving digital world. So, listen in to learn more about: ✅ Professional Journey of Steve Dennis ✅ #1 Reason Why Retail Businesses Fail ✅ Takeaways From Successful Retail Businesses ✅ Retail vs. eCommerce Professional Journey of Steve Dennis Steve Dennis is a consultant, keynote speaker, and author specializing in retail and innovation. He made a name for himself in the retail space after climbing up the corporate ladder and becoming a senior executive at two major Fortune 500 retailers. He’s also the writer of the best-selling book—Remarkable Retail: How to Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption. He is also an esteemed consultant whose thoughts on the future of shopping are frequently shared in his role as a Forbes Senior Contributor. Let’s backtrack to the beginning, though. Steve initially set out to pursue an education in law. However, he changed course after starting a small business with marketing guru Seth Godin during their junior year in college. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, Steve decided to pursue an education in business. After this, he started working for a big consulting firm where he developed a special interest in food companies, so he got a job working in retail for “Sears, Roebuck and Company” in Chicago. Ever since, he’s continued to stay in the world of retail. Fascinated by consumer psychology, Steve has made a flourishing career for himself in the retail industry with over 30+ years of experience. He’s currently the president of Sageberry Consulting, a strategic advisory firm that provides consulting services to the retail, fashion, and luxury industries. He’s even got his own podcast called Remarkable Retail. #1 Reason Why Retail Businesses Fail We’ve shifted to a more digitally connected world which has greatly affected consumer behavior and the way we shop. In the past, consumers were used to going to a physical store, and you know, having to gather information largely from salespeople, or their friends, or maybe a magazine, but you know, very traditional media, to see what was available. This meant that consumers had to physically run around if they wanted to explore a lot of choices. But over the last 15 or 20 years, we’ve shifted to this world of abundance where there are almost infinite choices at the tip of our fingers. So, in a world of this abundance of choice, the abundance of information to be merely very good is no longer enough. Retail businesses need to be remarkable to survive. The number one reason for retail businesses failing is mediocrity. In other words, businesses that don’t have a competitive edge or differentiating factor that makes them stand out often fail to succeed. This edge comes from offering competitive pricing, exceptional customer service, understanding the blend between the retail and digital world, and using it to enhance consumer interactions. Businesses that fail to actualize this and evolve are often stuck in the boring middle and lead to failure. Takeaways From Successful Retail Businesses There are a lot of wildly successful brands that are almost synonymous with the word retail. Here are some quick takeaways and learnings that Steve Dennis shared from observing these real-life retail champions: Apple: One of the most aspirational and popular technology brands in the market, Apple has succeeded by selling a lifestyle rather than a single product. They’ve built an entire community around their brand ethos, which shows how important community building is; and they provide excellent customer service, which shows the value of cultivating a nurturing customer experience. Restoration Hardware: They’re not a very digitally driven company, but the lesson from them is to focus on solving problems for a niche. Restoration Hardware is really focused on a fairly narrow set of customers, and they try to meet their needs in a very direct way. This is one of the key ways to be remarkable. When a business can understand their customer and give them what they value, they’re able to retain customers even if they’re charging a premium price. Target: They’re one of those brands that beautifully blend digital and physical in a much more profound way. Not only have they improved their e-commerce capabilities, but they’ve also recognized that there’s really no such thing as the e-commerce channel and the brick-and-mortar channel. It’s all just shopping. So, their focus has always been on how to best take care of the customer across a spectrum of needs and a spectrum of customer journeys. One of the main learnings from them is to try and blend both retail and digital as your business grows. This brings us to the last part of our discussion. Retail vs. eCommerce A lot of people say that the future of shopping is e-commerce and that retail is dying. This is only half true. While e-commerce and digital are the future, retail is far from dead! People still love the convenience and instant gratification that comes with shopping from physical stores. The customer experience that’s provided through live shopping cannot be entirely replaced through e-commerce which is why both are essential for a business to grow. So, instead of focusing on e-commerce vs. retail, businesses should be asking how e-commerce and retail can work together to enhance the customer’s shopping experience. Customer acquisition becomes challenging after a digitally native brand grows to a certain extent. Post a certain mark; businesses find it difficult to find new customers, which is where entering into retail and physical stores can help them grow further. Similarly, purely offline businesses are limited to smaller market sizes. Going online opens up the door to a much wider geographic market and makes it easier for customers to find exactly what they want. We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show. You can check out some of our previous episodes if you’d like to learn more about e-commerce. Thanks for tuning in. See you again next Thursday! Follow Steve Dennis: Steve’s LinkedIn: Website: Twitter: Remarkable Retail Book: Remarkable Retail Podcast: Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn: YouTube: Newsletter: Ecom Show:
#117 JB Kellogg: These Tips Have Helped Over 20,000 Small Businesses Grow
14-07-2022
#117 JB Kellogg: These Tips Have Helped Over 20,000 Small Businesses Grow
#117 JB Kellogg: These Tips Have Helped Over 20,000 Small Businesses Grow Hello Budai Nation! Today’s episode of The Ecom Show is for all the small business owners out there. Running a small business is not an easy task; there are always 360 different things you need to do and 360 different directions you’re being pulled in. Which is why, we’ve got the co-founder of Marketing 360 here to give us his expert advice on helping small businesses scale. JB Kellogg is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Madwire, a tech company that’s helped over 20,000 SMBs grow with this singular tech platform called Marketing 360. He founded Madwire when he was just 28 years old. In this episode, JB Kellogg and our founder and CEO, Daniel Budai, will share business tips, real-life success stories, and learning experiences. So, tune in and learn more about: ✅ JB Kellogg’s Entrepreneurial Journey ✅ #1 Advice For Small Business Owners ✅ The Most Unique Thing About Madwire’s Company Culture ✅ One Mistake Every Small Business Should Avoid Before we jump right in, we’d like to give a quick shout-out to Raj, the CEO of Bloomreach. He also runs a tech platform that helps small businesses grow. Make sure to check out episode 62 of The Ecom Show for some additional tips on scaling a small business. Let’s dig in. JB Kellogg’s Entrepreneurial Journey Like every good success story, JB Kellogg’s journey starts with a humble beginning. As a young college student with some extra time on his hands, JB Kellogg was on the lookout for new learning opportunities. This is what drove him to approach a travel magazine asking for a job opportunity. The magazine needed a website, so JB Kellogg jumped at the opportunity and taught himself everything he needed to know to build a website. This is where he got his first taste of working in the digital world. He continued learning more about digital marketing and running ads and finally took a gamble by starting Madwire. In 2009, JB Kellogg teamed up with his father to start Madwire. A tech company that offered businesses help to grow. He founded Madwire when he was 28 years old and helped grow the company to a run-rate of over 100M+ in revenue and 500+ employees in under 10 years. Madwire is technically really one company, but they have a number of brands. Marketing 360 is their biggest brand, which enables small businesses to set up an account that takes care of all their business needs under one umbrella. They can have everything from managing their leads and customers with the CRM to sending emails to managing social media and beyond, so everything they need to manage and grow their business can be done through one login. However, a lot of these small businesses don't have time to do their own marketing or the resources to keep hiring experts to help them figure it out. This is why Madwire also offers additional services where businesses can hire expert consultants to help them with executing projects as well. #1 Advice For Small Business Owners We asked JB Kellogg what’s the number one advice he would give to small business owners in 2022. Here’s what he had to share: “I think the most important thing to think about is, what is the world going to look like in the next two to three years for your particular industry. And, you know, put a lot of thought and counsel into that, you know, get feedback from other people and then try to develop, you know, your vision for the next three years.” Once you’ve figured that out, you need to reverse engineer your way to build a strategy that helps you reach your mission. Basically, businesses need to figure out how their industry will evolve and find ways to adapt to these changes. This involves researching and adopting new systems and processes to help you achieve your goals. So if you’re in e-commerce, you need to ask yourself, what are the new platforms or processes I can work on to improve my payment process? Or, how can I use AI to provide my customers with a better experience? This is essential because if you’re not thinking of the future, you will get passed up. The Most Unique Thing About Madwire’s Company Culture Building a business with over 500+ employees teaches a man a thing or two about hiring and people management. We asked JB Kellogg to share the most unique thing that’s helped him create an inclusive and positive work culture at Madwire. Here’s what he said: “Madwire has always lived by the motto, execution excellence. And what this means is that you don't, you know, try to make the same mistake twice; it doesn't mean that you're perfect. But it means that you're constantly trying to get better. And it also means you step outside of that job description.” So, if there's a piece of trash in the hallway, when you're walking down the hall, pick it up, if the sink is messy, clean it up, if your neighbor's phone's ringing, answer it, and don't let it go to voicemail just because it’s out of the job description. Execution excellence basically fights the mindset that convinces employees to be married to their job descriptions. In the early days, Madwire didn't even have job descriptions! Everybody's description was the same, which was execution excellence with whatever is put before you. The idea was to hire people that are able to pivot and help the company scale with the same growth-minded attitude. One Mistake Every Small Business Should Avoid Every business owner goes through tough phases that teach them valuable lessons in the journey of entrepreneurship. JB Kellogg shared that the hardest thing that he learned was the realization of when to let people go. Firing people is never easy, especially when you’re new to building a team. You want to give people enough opportunities, but it’s important to realize the cost of these opportunities. Give your team members an opportunity, coach them, and give them everything you can. But also look at their attitude, effort, and performance. If a team member's performance is weak, but their attitude and effort are strong, keep them on a long leash and let them learn and improve. It’s always better to have a team member with the right kind of attitude than a well-performing team member with a poor work attitude. It’s best to let employees go when you notice a poor work attitude that matches a lack of interest in their overall job. These were some of the most interesting highlights from today’s episode of The Ecom Show. Thanks for tuning in! See you again next Thursday. Click on the links below to follow and learn more about JB Kellogg and his venture Madwire: Madwire JB Kellogg’s LinkedIN JB Kellogg’s Website JB Kellogg’s Youtube Click on the links below to follow and learn more about Daniel Budai: Daniel’s Youtube Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook Click on the link below to check out some of our previous episodes: The Ecom Show
#116 Adam McDonald: 3 Things Every E-Com Business Needs For Success
07-07-2022
#116 Adam McDonald: 3 Things Every E-Com Business Needs For Success
#106 Adam McDonald: 3 Things Every E-Com Business Needs For Success  Hello Budai Nation! Your favorite e-commerce podcast is back with a brand new episode on how to create a successful e-com brand. This week we've got serial entrepreneur/growth strategist/angel investor/e-commerce genius Adam McDonald, with our founder and podcast host, Daniel Budai. Adam has successfully sold 4 businesses and is now investing in several e-commerce projects. His achievements include building the largest sport surface advertising company in Australia, producing a TV show that he sold to Disney, building Australia's largest outdoor event company, and investing in several e-commerce projects. In this episode, Adam will reveal the 3 things that every e-com business needs for success! So, tune in to The Ecom Show to find out more about: ✔ Adam's Entrepreneurial Journey ✔ How To Grow Your Business Without Returning Customers ✔ How To Improve Your Customer Experience ✔How To Nail Organic Marketing Adam's Entrepreneurial Journey Adam's been a serial entrepreneur throughout his life. He first dabbled into selling products online way back in the early 2000s by reselling American shampoo and conditioners in Australia. He did this for a while before the company expanded and decided to take their selling in-house. You couldn't really call this e-commerce, though—it was more of an online brochure to sell the products to other brick-and-mortar stores in Australia. Things changed when Adam received a call for help from his dad. Adam's father had run into some taxation issues, which led to him having to sell the business. Adam stepped in and managed to find his father a buyer who owned a big sports advertising agency. As a part of the contract, Adam worked with the buyer to revive the business. However, this contract was short-lived because Adam discovered that the buyer was involved in wrongful business practices and bought back his dad's business and all the equipment. He then continued growing the venture for the next 3-4 years. He managed to successfully grow it to an 8-figure valuation. He used his wealth from this venture to produce a TV show, which was acquired by ESPN. Since then, Adam has had a successful and colorful business journey, which ranges from building Australia's largest event company centered around fun to acquiring a physical pet collar business and growing it online. He's currently freelancing as a growth strategist, investing in several e-commerce projects, and building his own picnic rug e-commerce store. Let's move on to discuss the three things that have helped him find success in all these different ventures. How To Grow Your Business Without Returning Customers CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) and returning customers are pivotal in growing a sustainable marketing plan for your e-commerce brand. It's what ensures that your brand can survive and scale without solely depending on ad spends. But, what do you do if your product's lifecycle is too long to have returning customers? Adam faced this problem with his pet collar business, where his products often outlived the pets themselves! However, he discovered a great alternative to returning customers: referrals! If you're selling a product that doesn't have the scope of generating returning customers, focus your energy on converting your existing customers into brand advocates! When you provide an excellent customer experience, your customers are inclined to talk about your brand, which leads to organic word of mouth. Both returning customers and brand advocates have one thing in common; they need to be happy customers first! Customers will only trust your brand enough to keep purchasing or advocating for you if they are satisfied. So, focus on your customer journey, engagement, and referral programs to create a strong base of brand advocates. You know your brand is on the right path when your customers are willing to sell your product for you! How To Improve Your Customer Experience The one thing that can help every business become a brand is a genuinely strong network of brand advocates, which only comes when a business can provide a good customer experience. Between new technology, changing customer preferences, emerging trends, and competition, businesses have to constantly work on redefining their customer journey and experience to ensure that their customers are satisfied. Adam strongly advises every business owner to conduct a self-audit of their brand to help them consistently improve. He diligently orders through his own business to experience everything from the user experience on the website, to entering the flows, to getting the delivery. This activity helps him discover what needs to be tweaked. After one such audit, Adam realized that their shipping partner provided a terrible delivery experience; this pushed him to find a more reliable shipping service and helped him improve his customer journey. Conducting a self-audit even once every quarter can help business owners understand their customers' pain points better! Only if you go through everything will you realize what can annoy your customers. How To Nail Organic Marketing At the start of the podcast, we touched upon building a sustainable marketing plan for your e-commerce brand. This basically refers to finding organic ways to grow a brand. Anyone can generate 10 million in sales revenue when they're pouring in 8 million on ad spends. The skill is in being able to grow your business using a mix of organic and paid marketing efforts. This brings us to the third thing every business needs to succeed- a community. If you can build a community around your product, your organic side of things gets looked after. Not only because you end up with a big database, but because you have the power to engage with them. Your community can help you create user-generated content, get ideas on product development, and much more. The key to building a big community lies in giving. You must keep adding value to your customers' lives to earn that trust and build a community. Having customers sign up to your email list isn't enough. You need to leverage your email list to engage with your customers and work towards creating that sense of community. On that note, we'll wrap up this episode of The Ecom Show! If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow Adam, and check out his website for more stories to help you grow your e-commerce brand. Thanks for tuning in; we'll see you again next Thursday! Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook
#115 Rakefet: Outsource Your Marketing With Mayple
30-06-2022
#115 Rakefet: Outsource Your Marketing With Mayple
#115 Rakefet: Outsource Your Marketing With Mayple This podcast is about marketing, but it isn’t about marketing techniques, SEO, paid ads, or any of that other technical stuff. Instead, it’s about how you can and should outsource your marketing. Today, we’ve got Rakefet, the CMO of Mayple, to talk to us about the easiest way to grow your business. Mayple is a vetted professional marketplace that connects marketing experts with businesses looking to build their brands. Tune in to this episode to hear our podcast host and CEO, Daniel Budai and Rakefet discuss: ✅ Rakefet’s Journey With Marketing ✅ How To Hire The Right Talent ✅ Mayple Vs. Other Gig Marketplaces So let’s jump right in! Rakefet’s Journey With Marketing Rakefet has always been in the field of marketing. In fact, prior to Mayple, she worked as a marketing consultant for over eight years. She’s assisted over 100+ CEOs, CMOs, and business managers with their business and marketing strategies. In addition, she’s worked with various consulting firms and helped both B2B and B2C businesses grow with her strategies. However, Rakefet soon realized that building a strategy is only half the job. It’s usually the execution phase that companies struggle with. She came across Mayple and realized that this business could help bridge that gap between planning and executing. Three and a half years ago, Rakefet took a leap and joined Mayple; the rest is simply history. Mayple began with the mission of solving all the trust issues that come with working in the marketing industry. But, they soon realized that this was a very broad statement to follow. So, they focused on one of the most common pain points: building a brand’s strategy. Mayple connects businesses with marketing experts that build brand strategies and facilitates the team a business would require to execute this to achieve their desired result. They do all the groundwork so that businesses are able to find the perfect expert with the help of a simple click. How To Hire The Right Talent Marketing is a complex field. There are a dozen different platforms, all kinds of data, and a million other things to do, which is why it’s never a one-person job. Businesses that want to grow need to hire a team and get an extra set of hands to help them create and execute strategies flawlessly and, most importantly, to keep up with ever-changing algorithms and trends. As a business owner, your execution is based entirely on the people you work with, and finding the right kind of people isn’t the easiest of jobs. The industry is fragmented; with everyone claiming to be the best freelancer, the best agency, or the perfect candidate out of the lot, it becomes difficult to find the right fit. Especially because there’s nothing stopping people from calling themselves an expert. And unfortunately, this leads to many businesses seeing bad results and losing trust in the marketing field. Conversely, the vetting process isn’t easy on candidates either. Around 40% of anyone’s time when you’re a freelancer or run an agency goes into managing the account and maintaining your business rather than doing their professional work. So, there are a lot of pains for the marketer side as well. Vetting is the most critical process of hiring or finding work. Both professionals and businesses should weigh and assess their opportunities before starting any new project. A robust vetting process can help reduce the number of negative experiences and also streamline work processes. However, vetting can take time and cost businesses a lot of money. Mayple vets the experts so that businesses can get straight to work. Mayple Vs. Other Gig Marketplaces There are plenty of websites that connect businesses with freelancers and experts to help get the job done. What’s so special about Mayple, and how is it different from platforms like Upwork or Fiverr? Platforms like LinkedIn, Upwork, and Fiverr connect businesses with freelancers or agencies, but the onus of vetting their work still lies on the business. Mayple isn’t an open platform. They have a network of only 600 expert professionals. This is because they’ve taken the time and energy to interview, assess, and personally handpick the best of the best in marketing. Mayple not only offers a curated list of highly trusted and qualified professionals, but also guarantees satisfaction by acting as an intermediary between a business and the professional. Their alliance guarantees that businesses benefit from the strategies that professionals create. Mayple also has a vast network of experts from different fields of marketing, providing businesses with an agency-like roster to horizontally expand their marketing efforts in a seamless fashion. Interested in learning more about Mayple? Click here to check out their website. You can also follow Rakefet on LinkedIn by clicking here. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Ecom Show! We come out with new episodes every Thursday. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook
#114 Joey Coleman: Build Lifetime Customer Loyalty In 100 Days
23-06-2022
#114 Joey Coleman: Build Lifetime Customer Loyalty In 100 Days
#114 Joey Coleman: Build Lifetime Customer Loyalty In 100 Days We're back, and we're in conversation with Joey Coleman, the famous author of the bestselling novel "Never Lose A Customer Again." Behind every successful brand, there's an army of loyal customers, and Joey Coleman is an expert when it comes to turning any sale into lifelong loyalty. Joey has been helping businesses build customer loyalty for almost 20 years now. He's a bestselling writer, teacher, advisor, and incredible speaker. Tune in to this episode of The Ecom Show to hear Daniel Budai and Joey talk about: ✔️ Joey Coleman's Eclectic Career Path ✔️ The 8 Phases of A Customer Journey ✔️How to Analyze Customer Feedback Joey Coleman's Eclectic Career Path Joey had a unique career path. He studied international and national security law in college and went on to serve the nation by working in the United States Secret Service. He also worked in the Central Intelligence Agency and eventually made his way up to serving as counsel to the US president himself. From working as a salesperson to a criminal defense lawyer to teaching in a postgraduate class and eventually starting his own ad agency, Joey's worn several career hats over the years. But what's interesting is that he found a common thread that connected the experiences he gathered from all his jobs over the years. And the thread that connects all of them is, in each of those positions, the way you advanced or were rewarded was by having a keen understanding of the human condition. Why do humans do the things they do? What can we do to convince them or persuade them or encourage them to do the things we'd like them to do? And so as all of those experiences and kind of different career paths meld that together. Joey found himself really focusing on human psychology as it related in a business context to customers. He applied this to his own ad agency and began researching how he could help his clients retain the customers he worked so hard to acquire for them. This search led him on a decade-long journey in uncovering why customers leave and what can be done to convince them to stay. This search has formed the foundations for his book, business consulting, and speeches over the years, and he's now a well-renowned customer retention expert. The 8 Phases of A Customer Journey In Joey's bestselling book, "Never Lose A Customer Again," he talks about the 8 phases of a customer journey. These phases show businesses how they can convert any customer into a lifetime buyer. Here's a quick run-through of these phases and how they relate back to e-commerce: 1. Assess: This is when a prospect is assessing whether or not they want to become a customer. In common parlance, we think of this as marketing and sales. They're looking at your website and your marketing materials; they're in some sales conversations with you. They're in the decision-making process to figure out if they want to become a customer. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? E-commerce businesses need to ensure that their website checks all the boxes a customer would look for. Have ample reviews, product information, a variety of photos, links to social media, and helpful resources to make your customer feel comfortable with your website. 2. Admit: This is when a prospect admits that they have a problem or a need that they think you can help them solve. They sign on the dotted line, and they hand over their hard-earned cash. This is day one of the first 100 days process. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? This is where customers are on your checkout page. E-commerce businesses need to focus on providing an easy checkout process. This means giving customers a choice to sign up through social media, providing guest checkout, and making sure there are enough payment options available. 3. Affirm: In common parlance, we call this buyer's remorse, where they begin to doubt the decision that they just made to work with you. Now in most businesses, we're celebrating because we got a new client, we're really happy. Meanwhile, at the client's office or at the customer's home, they're saying, Ooh, did I make the right purchase? I was looking at a couple of options. And I chose this one. But what if it's not right? Well, I'd be able to get my money back when I get in trouble. How will I do this? And that difference in our emotional high in the customer's emotional low or uncertainty. If we don't address that, we're in real trouble. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? This phase involves keeping customers in the loop! It involves sending out order confirmations and shipping updates. 4. Activate: This is the first real moment of truth when they receive the product. We want to energize the relationship. We want to let them know that doing business with us is going to be unlike any business experience they've ever had. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? In this phase, e-commerce businesses need to start thinking of ways to engage with customers who have just received their products. 5. Acclimate: This is the phase where most businesses lose their customers. In the acclimate phase, our job is to hold our customers' hands to help them acclimate to our way of doing business to get used to our way of doing business. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? Find ways to make sure that customers are actually using the product they bought. There are a bunch of ways to do this! You could send them an email showing them how to use your product or even personalize it by sending customers a survey asking them about why they made the purchase. 6. Accomplish: This phase is all about helping your customers accomplish the goal that they had in mind when they did business with you. What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? In this phase, e-commerce stores need to check in with their customers and see that their customers are actually making the most out of their purchases. It involves sending out recommendations based on their previous purchase or simply asking for feedback. 7. Adopt: This phase is where the customer becomes loyal to us and only us; they're not looking at the competition; they've adopted the relationship, and they're committed to continuing to do business with us in the future. And if and only if we've gotten through all seven of those phases, do we get to the last phase, the final phase, the holy grail Nirvana, the thing everybody's striving for, which is the advocate phase! What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? E-commerce businesses need to continue the conversation and build a long-lasting relationship with their customers by checking in and providing them with value-based content to keep them engaged. 8. Advocate: When customers are loyal enough to go and refer your brand to people around them. Most businesses want to jump to that phase eight right away. They want to get the customer signed up and then say, Well, who else do you know that might need our product? Or, hey, there are some other things we want to sell you and have you join up and participate in it as well. We need to pace ourselves and take time to work through each of the eight phases to earn the trust and comfort of the customer before asking them to become brand advocates! What do e-commerce businesses need to look out for in this phase? This phase comes naturally after a customer passes through the first seven phases! A returning customer is more likely to be a brand advocate as compared to a new customer. They're easier to get referrals from and to upsell. It's important for businesses to value these customers by treating them to discounts and special deals.  How to Analyze Customer Feedback Customer feedback is crucial, but it's hard to learn from feedback when your customers aren't being 100% honest. Customers might find it difficult to be critical if they have a personal relationship with your brand. This is why it's important to create honest spaces for customers to freely communicate how they're feeling. Here are Joey's tips for getting customer feedback: Provide multiple channels for feedback: Each customer has their own personal preference when it comes to communicating, which is why businesses should have multiple avenues to receive customer feedback. Give your customers the freedom to choose from sending you a message, filling out a feedback form, or directly speaking to you via a scheduled phone call.Ask for feedback at various stages: This is super important if you have a product that works on a subscription-based model or you deliver an ongoing service. Ask for feedback when you're halfway through your transaction, and at the end, that way, your customers have the opportunity to see how you improve based on their recommendations.Acknowledge their feedback: A lot of companies ask for feedback but don't bother notifying the customers about their next steps. It's important to show your customers that you respect the time that they've taken out to help you improve. Give your customers credit where it's due, and thank them for taking the time to give you feedback.Be specific: Asking broad-ended questions can get confusing and vague. Instead, be specific and ask your customers exactly what you want to know. Giving your customers direction makes it easier for them to collect their thoughts.Mix it up: Don't go fishing for compliments! Feedback consists of both positive and negative observations that can help you better your business. Keep it balanced and make sure to ask your customers what they'd like you to continue doing, what they'd like you to stop doing, and what they'd like your brand to start doing.  That's all for today's episode. Make sure to check out Joey Coleman's website if you'd like to learn more about him. You can also check out his book, "Never Lose A Customer Again," to learn more about the 8 phases of a customer journey. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out episode 109, where Shep Hyken shares some more golden nuggets on creating a memorable customer experience. You can also click here to check out the rest of our episodes. Thanks for tuning in! See you back here next Thursday.
#113 John Burgess: Start Dropshipping With $0
16-06-2022
#113 John Burgess: Start Dropshipping With $0
#113 John Burgess: Start Dropshipping With $0 Everyone thinks it takes a LOT to start your own eCommerce business. And it does take a lot, a lot of effort, creativity, patience, and perseverance! But thanks to dropshipping and businesses like Shine On, what it doesn't take is a lot of money to get started! John Burgess, the head of global accounts at Shine On, joins our podcast host and CEO, Daniel Budai, in an interesting conversation about starting your eCommerce journey through dropshipping. Shine On is a dropshipping store that specializes in producing personalized viral accessories. They empower new businesses across the globe with their easy-to-sell platform that allows individuals to start selling with zero upfront payments. Tune in to this episode to learn more about: ✔️ John's Background With Dropshipping. ✔️ How Shine On Empowers Businesses ✔️ Scaling A Dropshipping Business ✔️ Expanding Your E-Commerce Store With Dropshipping. John's Background With Dropshipping John Burgess heads the global accounts team at Shine, a leading dropshipping business that enables thousands of sellers across the globe with their personalized viral line of products and easy-to-use platform. But his journey didn't start there! In fact, his story begins in early 2006. Right out of college, and having learned textile design and merchandising, John decided to take a leap and pursue his interest in the internet to see how he could make a career out of it. John combined his knowledge of merchandising with his self-taught skills of C plus to start his own consulting/print shop business. John basically helped businesses build their own e-commerce stores using the platform BigCartel, and also doubled up his services by providing them with in-house print-on-demand service to create graphic tee shirts. Unfortunately, due to the market crash, John was forced to sell his business. He then got into digital marketing and learned the ropes of paid advertising, social media marketing, and building e-commerce stores and apps using platforms like Magento. This experience gave John the exposure to working with brands of different sizes, which helped fine-tune his knowledge of the eCommerce industry. John eventually got an offer to join Shine On and decided to jump ship after seeing the potential in dropshipping. When John joined Shine On, they were fairly new and operating with a small team of only five employees. They've now grown and have a team of over 130 employees, with factories in both the USA and Europe. How Shine On Empowers Businesses Shine On is a dropshipping platform that removes the biggest barrier to entering e-commerce: dealing with products! Sellers can simply create an account, connect it to their own website, or sell using the Shine On the marketplace and start selling in under thirty minutes. The idea behind Shine On is that there are zero upfront costs. With Shine On, you can start taking orders and pay only once it's time to fulfill them. Basically, Shine On takes care of the manufacturing and supply chain so that you can focus on brand building and selling. Shine On attracts two kinds of customers. The first are new customers that need help starting from scratch. The second is existing eCommerce businesses that want to expand their product line or sales revenue. Since Shine On offers personalized accessories, brands can customize items based on their niche and still cater to a whole new audience with virtually no upfront costs for testing a new market. Shine On has over 10,000 active sellers in the US market alone, and they've also expanded with a new factory in Europe. Shine On caters to sellers across the globe and has helped generate over $152,500,914 worth of products to date. Scaling A Dropshipping Business There are a lot of people that say that dropshipping is a dead end. However, the truth is far from it! Dropshipping is simply a choice of how you choose to handle your logistics as a business. How well your e-commerce store does still lies in your hand and on how well you treat your customers. Dropshipping is a very viable and profitable business model for those that focus on brand building. A big part of this involves picking the right kind of suppliers/platforms to help you dropship. You need to move away from Chinese suppliers like Alibaba and find localized platforms that offer reliable and timely fulfillment and quality of products. Another important thing is to establish your own USP through your service by doing all the things that a brand does to be successful. This involves building lifetime value and brand loyalty. Advertising platforms like Google, Tik-Tok, and Facebook all have advanced algorithms that see how legitimate your business is, which is why it's crucial for dropshippers to focus on brand building. Another good way of scaling your dropshipping business is through a horizontal approach. You've got the products and the content ready. Research how local markets in different countries operate and expand your reach to other countries with similar audiences. You might have to modify your strategy in terms of language and pricing, but expanding your store to different regions opens you up to a wider market. Dropshipping makes testing and expanding to a global market easy since there are no upfront inventory or product development costs. Expanding Your E-Commerce Store With Dropshipping A lot of eCommerce stores that are doing well and have their own products also often have a giant email list. And just like every store out there, they might have times where they don't have products to offer during specific occasions like Mother's Day, for example. Here's an example that John shared with us in this episode: "One of our clients runs a golf shop, and he's got a huge database of emails, but he had nothing to offer them for Mother's Day. So, we spoke to him and convinced him to run an experiment by adding a personalized gift from our dropshipping collection at Shine On. All he had to do was send out one promotional email. He sent out that email and made over $10,000 in revenue. Just like that, he was able to create a bump in his sales on a promotional day that otherwise didn't exist for his store." The beauty of this is that it requires very little effort for existing eCommerce brands because all they have to do is sign up on an app, add the product to their store, and run ads. Dropshipping allows existing eCommerce stores to tap into the seasonal market and widen their pool with minimal effort. It also makes it easier for existing e-commerce stores to test out new products. And with platforms like Shine On, e-commerce stores have the freedom and creativity to customize the product to fit their brand's aesthetic. Check out their website to learn more about dropshipping and the services that Shine On offers. If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe because we release new episodes each Tuesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, you can binge on our previous episodes by clicking here. We also send out weekly newsletters with some excellent tips on scaling your eCommerce business. Click here to subscribe. Thanks for tuning in, see you again next week! Follow Daniel: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook Daniel's Youtube
#112 Boyuan Zhao: E-Commerce Agency CEOs Share Their Best Tips
14-06-2022
#112 Boyuan Zhao: E-Commerce Agency CEOs Share Their Best Tips
#112 Boyuan Zhao: E-Commerce Agency CEOs Share Their Best Tips Welcome back to The Ecom Show! Today's discussion is special for anyone with their own e-commerce store because we've got the founder of not one but two e-commerce agencies to talk about everything Ecom! Our guest for today is Boyuan Zhao. He is the founder of the e-commerce email marketing agency PLTHORA. Apart from this, he also has his own Youtube channel where he shares tutorials on how to master Klaviyo, and he's got professional investments in cryptocurrency as well. In this episode, Boyuan Zhao and Daniel Budai, podcast host and CEO of Budai Media, will be discussing everything that goes into growing an e-commerce brand. Tune in to hear more about: ✔️The Key To Designing A Viral Product ✔️Be A Content First E-Commerce Brand. ✔️ Boyuan's Advice For E-Commerce Entrepreneurs. The Key To Designing A Viral Product This one's important for anyone that's looking to enter the e-commerce space or to even expand their product line. There are two things that can make any product go viral.  The first is coming up with something quirky. Take the brand Oodie for instance. Oodie is an apparel brand that creates oversized hoodies that double up as blankets. This Australian apparel brand has built a nine-figure business by creating a unique and quirky product that stands out. In fact, one of our previous guests, Jason Williamson, runs an SMS marketing agency that handles Oodie's SMS flows, and he shed more light on this brand in episode 105. The second is to create hyper utility. Products that can find a unique solution to a very specific problem have the potential to go viral. The Shark Tank legacy brand, Scrub Daddy, is a perfect example of this. There is a sponge that helps clean out every corner of a dish. Similarly, any product that solves a specific problem has viral potential because those types of products are great for ads. You can create simple direct videos that drive customers to purchase your product. If you're looking to enter the e-commerce space with a new product, start by finding a problem and find a unique way to create a solution for it. A lot of people do it the other way round. They create their product and look for a USP after. However, the best way to beat market saturation is by creating a product that can easily stand out. Be A Content First E-Commerce Brand With the explosion of social media, everyone's a content creator! It's no longer enough to just have a good website. In order to create a successful brand, you need to have a great social media presence. This includes being omnipresent on channels like Tik-Tok, Instagram, Facebook, or even Youtube; based on what you sell. Social media platforms help you build a community that can drive your sales even if your website isn't great! For example, there's this company called Ancestral Supplements. This company's founder markets himself as the Liver King. Their products sell extremely well despite having a simple website, high prices, and a high shipping fee. This is because they have great marketing in place. Being a content-first brand helps in building social capital in the form of trust. The more your customers trust you, the more they're willing to shop from you, despite your brand's shortcomings. Boyuan's Advice For E-Commerce Entrepreneurs E-commerce agencies interact with entrepreneurs from every walk of life and solve problems by coming up with innovative strategies on the regular. We asked Boyuan to share some of his biggest learnings and takeaways from his experience in the industry. Here's what he had to say: What has been your biggest learning from running a business? "My biggest learning has been understanding the value of time. People are constantly advertising how they achieved success in very quick timeframes; this can mess with your perception of how well you're doing something. But it's important to understand that things just take some time, especially if you're pursuing more high-leverage activities. For example, when I first started out, I was doing cold email outreach. So, it'd be about a two-week delay between me putting in the effort and seeing the return. But then, when I started pivoting towards content, it was actually like a three to a six-month time period before I got my first big client. But the thing is, cold outreach is linear in the sense that you just send the email, and that's it. And it's forgotten about, whereas content is more or less evergreen, so it's higher leverage. So, it took me a while to understand that exponential growth can take time to build." Hiring is extremely crucial for agencies because, in an agency, you're selling a service. And the quality of your service depends on the people in your team. Could you walk us through your hiring process? "I'm pretty proud of my team at the moment; I'm working with some really great people. I usually hire from within my own community. I get several inquiries about job openings from my YouTube follower base. The second has been through LinkedIn and extensive interviews. I outsource it to professional recruiters and try to find quality leads by filtering them out with good assignments and a detailed interview process. I also keep finding ways to retain my team by incentivizing team members when they accomplish good targets. This is usually done by rewarding them with a bonus when the project they're working on performs extraordinarily well." To sum it all up, the key to growing your brand lies in building a viral product, focusing your energy on creating a strong content strategy to market your product, being patient, and most importantly, surrounding yourself with the right kind of team to help your brand grow! Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The Ecom Show. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. You can check out our previous episodes here.  Follow Boyuan: LinkedIn Youtube Instagram Twitter Follow Daniel: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook Daniel's Youtube
#111 Antoine Gagné: Media Buying Secrets To Achieve Hyper-Growth!
09-06-2022
#111 Antoine Gagné: Media Buying Secrets To Achieve Hyper-Growth!
#111 Antoine Gagné: Media Buying Secrets To Achieve Hyper-Growth! TGIT! Thank god it’s Thursday because that means it’s time for another new episode of The Ecom Show! In this episode, Antoine Gagné, the founder and CEO of J7 Media and Pure Commerce, joins our podcast host and CEO, Daniel Budai, in an interesting conversation about media buying. J7 Media is a Facebook advertising agency that turns companies’ growth into hyper-growth. This episode of The Ecom Show deep dives into: ✔ Antoine’s Experience With Media Buying. ✔ Is Facebook Still Relevant For Media Buying? ✔ How To Take Your E-Commerce Business International. ✔ Antoine’s Advice For E-Commerce Entrepreneurs. Antoine’s Experience With Media Buying Antoine started J7 Media almost ten years ago. They started as an agency that helped businesses in the hospitality industry manage their organic Facebook and Instagram marketing. The change in the Facebook algorithm in 2017 is what pushed Antoine to shift his agency’s focus on media buying. Since then, they’ve positioned themselves to take over media buying and focused on how to scale e-commerce agencies from growth to hyper-growth. Currently, J7 Media manages over $30 million a year in Facebook advertising for e-commerce brands and are experts when it comes to creating ad funnels for direct-to-consumer companies. J7 Media may have started from Facebook advertising, but they’ve grown immensely ever since. They expanded into Google Ads and other media buying avenues by acquiring a knowledgeable Google Ads agency. Antoine has also acquired several e-commerce brands, which has added to his understanding of what e-commerce clients want, as he is now on both ends of the spectrum. Antoine recently launched his second agency, Pure Commerce. Pure Commerce is a specialized e-commerce marketing agency that covers all the marketing needs an e-commerce brand would have. Is Facebook Still Relevant For Media Buying? The world of e-commerce keeps changing, and there are a ton of different avenues that business owners can choose to spend their money on. With the ever-changing Facebook algorithm, it can get hard for e-commerce businesses to nail down a strategy that works for their brand. And with other more economical options like Tik Tok Ads, a lot of e-commerce businesses have been wondering if Facebook is still a relevant medium for running ads? The answer is yes. Facebook is still relevant even despite hurdles like their stock going down, the iOS 14 changes, and the emergence of newer ad spaces. Because despite all these factors, Facebook is still a very powerful tool. The key to nailing your Facebook marketing is to keep testing. Facebook keeps changing its algorithm, which is why as an e-commerce business, it’s important that you keep testing different campaigns and adjust your plan based on the results. You should also diversify your media spending. Focus on driving business through email marketing, SMS campaigns, TikTok ads, and Facebook. Don’t just rely on one medium to drive your sales! Double down on different avenues to increase your customer’s lifetime value, and use media buying to engage with your customers and build a community. How To Take Your E-Commerce Business International There are two key things that every business should keep in mind before taking their store international. The first is understanding trends and culture. It’s easier to expand to countries that have similar trends and cultures. For instance, it’s easy to run ad campaigns in England if you’re already selling in US markets. This is because both countries have native English speakers, and trends hit the US markets first. The second is to align your expectations. There are several barriers to entry like language, price sensitivity, understanding of the local culture, and more that will affect the success of your campaigns in newer markets. Give your business the time to learn and adjust to newer campaigns. Also, research which markets would be easier for you to expand into. For example, it’s much easier for American brands to enter any other global market, this is because their market is way ahead of the curve. On the other hand, it’s far more difficult for international brands to enter the US market because of how crowded their existing market is. So if you’re looking to expand your business globally, ensure that you do your research about different markets, test and adjust your ad campaigns, and align your expectations since expanding into any new space requires persistence and patience. Antoine’s Advice For eCommerce Entrepreneurs We asked Antoine about what his biggest challenge as an entrepreneur has been, and if he could only share one piece of advice for e-commerce business owners, what would it be? Here’s what he had to share: What was your biggest challenge? “My biggest challenge has been to actually learn what it means to be in business, which I think a lot of people don’t understand. A lot of people think it’s cool to be an entrepreneur. Like, it’s great to put that on your LinkedIn or tell your friends during Happy Hour that you are a business owner, but when it comes down to it, it’s 20 times harder to live the life of a business owner. Because it takes years to reach a point where you can finally start paying yourself a salary, this understanding has been my greatest learning.” What’s your number one advice for eCommerce businesses in 2022? “I would say double down on email acquisition! In the past, you could just run ads and generate conversions straight away. It is not as easy anymore, so double down on running media to acquire more emails. Emails are a great way to maintain a community, and my personal experience as an e-commerce business owner has made me realize how valuable email marketing can be.” On that note, let’s conclude this episode of The Ecom Show. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, so don’t forget to tune in! You can also check out our website if you’d like to learn more about email marketing. Our mini-course is perfect for businesses that are just getting started with email marketing. We hope you enjoyed this episode. See you again next week! Follow Antoine: LinkedIn J7 Media Pure Commerce Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#110 Alvin From Relab Studios: Designing The Perfect Website
07-06-2022
#110 Alvin From Relab Studios: Designing The Perfect Website
#110 Alvin From Relab Studios: Designing The Perfect Website Today's episode of The Ecom Show is special because it's the first time we'll be diving into the intricacies of product design. We have Alvin Hermanto from Relab Studios here with us today to talk about everything that goes into designing the perfect e-commerce store. Relab Studios is a specialized design agency that helps e-commerce businesses design products like websites and applications by combining design thinking with UI/UX capabilities. Daniel and Alvin met through YouTube as they're both YouTube entrepreneurs that share expert tips and strategies specific to their field. Daniel talks about his experience of running Budai Media, an e-commerce retention marketing agency, on his Youtube channel; he also shares tips and strategies to help other businesses scale. Similarly, Alvin Hermanto also has an active Youtube channel, where he teaches businesses about design thinking and product design. Tune in to this episode to find out more about: ✔ How Relab Studios Began ✔ The 6 Stages of Designing A Website ✔ Design Tips From Alvin How Relab Studios Began Relab Studios is Alvin Hermanto's first business. It's a design consultancy firm that provides digital product design and solves design problems for e-commerce clients. They build and work with websites, applications, and other portals. Growing up in Indonesia, Alvin had always been interested in design. Unsure about what to specialize in, he went to Malaysia and studied graphic designing since it was a broader field of study. His university gave him the opportunity to complete his course in Australia, which is where he earned his degree in graphic designing with honors. Alvin began offering his services as a graphic designer almost 15 years ago. He worked with several brands and transitioned to becoming a digital designer during the time of the e-commerce boom. It's been over nine years since Alvin started his own UI/UX design consultancy firm Relab Studios. They focus on an intersection between business and UX design or user experience design. Alvin's firm designs software websites and applications; they also share their expertise and techniques on their growing Youtube channel. The 6 Stages of Designing A Website Alvin has devised a six-stage design process to create the perfect website for his clients. These stages blend design thinking and agile design methodologies to create a website that truly represents their client's brand. The idea is to pay equal attention to strategy and user empathy to create a user-friendly experience through a collaborative process. Here are the six stages to perfecting your design: Understanding: Stage one is understanding the user, which is the end-user itself. But you're also trying to understand the business. And the way you would do this is by conducting interviews with different stakeholders of the business in the room. You do this to understand the vision of the business, future plans, needs, and expectations from the product. This is the most crucial step, as it forms a base for the rest of your decisions.Defining: You've understood the problem; now it's time to sit and define the goal of the product. This is done by outlining the premise to create a user strategy template, or a set of design principles, success metrics, the value proposition canvas, and solutions that will define all the needs established in the understanding phase.Ideating: This is where you start sketching solutions and start putting down ideas on what you want your product to look like. This stage is the most collaborative as it involves both the clients and the design team sitting together to put down ideas that they'd like to see in the product. It's basically a visual representation of all the thoughts and ideas that will frame the website.Deciding: The ideation phase involves jotting down all the ideas and thoughts that could go into the product. Stage four is where you narrow your focus down and shortlist the solutions you like the most. This stage involves voting on ideas and finding a winning solution. By the end of this stage, you usually have a blueprint of what your website would look like with your website flow and user journey outlined.Prototyping: This is the stage where you create your storyboard by sketching out what your product would look like on different screens. This can be done in a variety of ways. If you're comfortable with Adobe, you can create your entire prototype using tools like Figma or Adobe XD. If you're not a designer, you could use tools like Canva or even Powerpoint to illustrate what each page or part of your website would look like. This step helps you see what your end product will look like, and the perks of using Figma or Adobe XD is that your UI can directly be given to the UX designer to implement.Validating: The last stage is to conduct a round of objective user testing to weed out any kinks in your design. This step allows you to see how smoothly your user journey is in action and is an essential quality assurance step before you release your MVP for the world to use. Design Tips From Alvin Your product design is a true reflection of your brand's identity, and it's one thing that directly affects your relationship with your customers. Your user interface and experience shape the way your customers will interact with your brand as a whole; which is why it's important to remember to ensure that your digital product is in tune with your physical product. Here are some expert tips for Alvin. Do your research: Look at actual products you use in your everyday life, and observe how their digital presence ties back to their physical products. Find brands that you like purchasing from online, and observe how their design is creating a positive experience for you. For instance: Check out Herman Miller. They create high-end office chairs, but more than that, they serve their customers really well, from a customer service point of view. They've done this by creating well-segmented user flows to provide essential content in the form of videos and blogs.Create a holistic experience: Good design is something that goes beyond just looking or feeling good. It's about the holistic experience it creates for everyone that uses the design. So let's say we're designing a portal for a wine company, a wine distributor, then it also needs to work really, really well for their salespeople, customer service people, not just the end-user or their customers. So yeah, good product design is something that works seamlessly for every person that uses it.Try to be inclusive: Design is subjective, which is why it's best to have multiple opinions and make it a collaborative process. The ideal design team involves having a facilitator, a designer, and a decider. The facilitator is the person that holds the compass and navigates the direction in which the product design should be aimed at. The decider is usually someone who has a deep understanding of the brand and oversees all the ideas being suggested by the facilitator; the designer carries out the vision that's been laid out by the facilitator and decider.Hire someone who's empathetic: Ideally, a product designer is an individual who has a strong acumen for design thinking to back their experience in UI/UX design. They fuse their understanding of your business with design principles to create a product that matches the needs of your customers. If you can't afford to hire a product designer or product designing agency, look for user interface designers that have a strong understanding of how to solve problems. They should be able to understand and empathize with the needs of your clients to help you design a product that best caters to your needs. If you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show, make sure to check out Alvin Hermanto's Youtube channel for more design and user experience expertise. You can also check out his latest work on his website Relab Studios, or directly connect with him via LinkedIN. Thank you for listening! We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook
#109 Shep Hyken: Building A Memorable Customer Experience
02-06-2022
#109 Shep Hyken: Building A Memorable Customer Experience
#109 Shep Hyken: Building A Memorable Customer Experience We’ve all heard that the customer is king, but today let’s hear from the king of customer experience himself! We’re honored to welcome Shep Hyken as a guest on this episode of The Ecom Show. With over 39 years of industry experience and over eight bestselling books under his belt, Shep Hyken is a master at building a memorable customer experience, and today he’s going to let us in on some of his bestselling secrets. Make sure to check out hyken.com to know more about him and get access to bonus research materials to enhance your knowledge of customer experience. This show is sponsored by Budai media , which is a fully remote eCommerce retention marketing agency. We, at Budai Media, have worked with over 100+ eCommerce clients and generated $30M+ additional store revenue in the last 3 years. In this episode, Shep Hyken and Daniel Budai, our podcast host and CEO, will talk about: ✔️ Shep’s Journey With Customer Experience. ✔️ How To Win Your Customer’s Confidence. ✔️ Finding Balance With Customer Automation. ✔️ 6 Steps To Master Customer Experience. Shep’s Journey With Customer Experience Shep’s story starts just like Harry Potter’s, with a little bit of magic. Young Shep ventured into the world of business as a magician back when he was just 12 years old. He would book gigs performing magic for kids at birthday parties, and that’s where he got his first lesson in customer service. His parents taught him all the basics like sending out thank you notes, following up for feedback and finding out areas of improvement, and basically just everything related to the art of talking to people. This art was finessed by a series of odd jobs that he’d picked up during his years in college. From nightclubs to corporate events, Shep had done it all. However, his true passion for building a career in the world of customer experience was fuelled by his time working in a gas station. "I was working in a gas station, and it was a very cold, cold day, and I pumped a woman’s gasoline for her. And a very elderly woman, probably in her 80s, I didn’t want her to get out of the car and get cold. And my manager actually yelled at me for helping her. I learned two things that day that has stuck with me ever since. Number one, people like me are all over the place; we want to take care of people. So when we’re talking to our clients about customer service, and hiring people for the right experience in the right culture, just know that you need to find someone who likes taking care of people. The second thing I learned was that your experience of how to treat your customers comes from the people training you and the people in charge. But just because someone is in a high position doesn’t mean they know how to treat customers right. You need to hire based on qualities that complement the role you’re trying to fill." Shep started out working in customer service and soon started using the term customer experience to define his role because he was told that it’s just a fancier term for customer service. But, he soon realized that customer experience goes far beyond customer service; it includes every touchpoint of a customer’s journey that affects their perception of the brand. With over 39 years of experience, Shep is now a well-known keynote speaker and the bestselling author of several valuable books that talk about customer experience. How To Win Your Customer’s Confidence In e-commerce solutions, you have to recognize that you won’t always have the opportunity to interact and create a relationship with your customers. So, you need to find other ways to make that customer say, they are the ones I want to go back to again and again. Basically, find that one thing that drives your customer to keep returning. And that one thing is confidence! Creating confidence means the customer will refer to you with the word always followed by something ideally positive. You never want your customers to be confident about having a negative experience. Now, I’m confident when I do business with them; I will love what happens. That’s what we’re looking for. And this is what a confident customer would sound like:  “You know what, it’s always there when I log on, it’s always easy. They always have what I want. They always answer my questions; they always get back to me quickly.” The key to gaining your customers’ confidence is very simple. Focus on how you can create positive experiences for them throughout their customer journey. As long as the customer recognizes that whenever they reach out or interact, they’re always going to have a positive experience, they’ll keep coming back. You can create this positive experience by leveraging automation tools, creating self-service resource libraries, having a quick response team in place, and providing a seamless customer journey from pre to post-sales. Finding Balance With Customer Automation Automation is a great tool that can enhance customer experience if implemented in the right manner. Having an omnichannel customer support system is the ideal way to provide an excellent customer experience. The trick is to have a seamless handoff between automation and human experience. For instance: If your customer asks a question that the chatbot isn’t able to answer, your chatbot should be advanced enough to hand over the customer’s query to a human executive to take over. So, automation is really just one part of it. You can create an automated experience by having a smart resource library, a chatbot and by implementing automated flows in place. However, you shouldn’t depend on automation for everything. Tomorrow, if your customer needs to speak to a human, they should have a medium to connect with and receive help from one. All the best companies find a balance between AI-infused technology and humans to create a wholesome customer experience. Shep Hyken recently conducted an in-depth survey to find out the ideal way that customers like to resolve their complaints when they run into an issue. This 30-page report gives a detailed outlook on customer preferences; you can check out the entire report here. This report revealed that 65% of customers would prefer to resolve their problems over a phone call with a customer service agent; now keep in mind that the rest, 35% prefer having a digital self-service solution which is why it’s important to have both in place. 6 Steps To Master Customer Experience Shep Hyken had come up with a six-step checklist for brands that are looking to audit and improve their customer experience. This checklist takes you from the entire customer journey to reflecting and learning from competitors and brands that you love and use as an individual. Let’s take a look at the different steps. Act like there’s a problem and call and see how hard it is to get your problem resolved: This helps you figure out how smooth your customer journey is and what your areas of improvement are.Ask yourself why somebody chooses to do business with a competitor instead of you: Don’t try to find your positives to answer this question; instead, focus solely on what your competitors are offering and find out what they’re doing differently. This will automatically lead you to step three.What can I do that my competitor is already doing: Remember that you’re not looking to do things exactly how your competitor does it. The point of this step is to find inspiration and alter it in a way that makes it your own.Identify brands that you love as a consumer that are outside your industry: Every professional is also a customer. Find brands that you love, regardless of their size or industry, and figure out qualities that make you loyal to that brand. Try to observe and understand the behavior of brands that you have a likeness for.See how your observations can better your brand: Say, for instance, you love Amazon because they’re reliable with their deliveries. When you properly observe, you’ll realize that the reason you love Amazon is not that you receive emails; it’s because you receive information that makes you feel confident, which brings us to the final step.Take a look at all of the different reasons a customer does business with your competitor or the reasons why you love doing business with somebody even outside of the industry, and implement those: Once you’ve done that, you’ll automatically find areas that you can improve on. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out episode 107, where Daniel speaks with Steven Van Belleghem, another customer experience wizard who reveals some of the best customer experience strategies for e-commerce. Stay tuned because we come out with new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday! And if you’d like to see more, you can check out some of our earlier episodes here. Follow Shep Hyken: LinkedIn Website Latest Book- I’ll be back Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#108 Jure Knehtl: Growth Hacks for Ecommerce Businesses
31-05-2022
#108 Jure Knehtl: Growth Hacks for Ecommerce Businesses
#108 Jure Knehtl: Growth Hacks for Ecommerce Businesses One episode was nearly not enough to share all the golden growth nuggets that Jure Knehtl offers, which is why we’re so excited to have him back on The Ecom Show. Jure Knehtl is an expert in growth hacking, and he’s the founder of the successful growth marketing agency, WeScale. In episode 49 of The Ecom Show, he walked us through some of the key pointers of starting and scaling an e-commerce business. Today, we’re going to dive deeper into strategies to pivot and quickly scale your business in a fast-paced world. This show is sponsored by Budai Media. Budai Media is a fully remote eCommerce retention marketing agency. In the last three years, Budai Media has worked with over 100+ eCommerce clients and generated $30M+ in additional store revenue. If you’re interested in knowing more, check out our website, or feel free to directly contact our founder and podcast host, Daniel Budai. Join us on the latest episode of The Ecom Show to hear more about: ✔️ Navigating Your Business Through iOS Changes. ✔️ How To Take Your E-Commerce Business Global. ✔️ The Formula To Building A Multi-Million Dollar Business. Navigating Your Business Through iOS Changes The latest iOS privacy changes hit eCommerce stores around the world like an earthquake—shaking the ground right from beneath them. It’s changed the way businesses advertise; and forced everyone to regroup and find more creative ways to adapt. Jure works with multiple e-commerce brands from across Europe, and it’s interesting to note his observations on how different brands were affected to different degrees based on their location, audience demographic, and marketing channels. This update hit the US markets much sooner than it started affecting European markets, but European countries started seeing a downfall between May and July.  You could notice a bigger data loss in countries like Germany and France, where the majority of the population is young and in between 25-34, as compared to countries like the Czech Republic, where the majority of the population uses android phones. These new privacy regulations were causing huge data loss and majorly affected the way that applications were reporting their analytics. Jure and his team used their expertise in CRO to pivot out of this situation by changing the way they analyze data. They used a three-prong strategy where they’d take data from the Shopify dashboard and the attribution platform that can actually stack all the marketing platforms together. And in some cases, use apps like Iris to have a more visual and real-time view of the performance. The focus shifted away from numbers and more towards understanding consumer behavior. DIversification of digital marketing efforts is another tactical strategy that’s helped businesses perform better in these testing times. Utilizing a mix of email, SMS, social media, influencer marketing, and paid advertising diversifies your risk to changes. It also helps in community and brand building alongside paid marketing. How To Take Your eCommerce Business Global David Ogilvy, also known as the father of advertising, has famously spoken about the power of localization, a philosophy that Jure strongly believes in. The idea is that you need local employees to connect with local communities and customers. Each country you expand to has its own cultures, traditions, and ways of living. You need local people to bring in their local expertise on customer experience and consumer behavior to successfully operate in a foreign country. Going global also works well when you take your time to understand each market. It’s easier to expand to countries with similar mannerisms; for instance, when you look at English-speaking countries or countries that are neighboring each other and have some similarities in culture. The key to taking your business global comes down to finding the right people to help you navigate the new territory, taking time to understand the new culture, and incorporating strategies that are specific to the new countries you’re expanding to. For instance, Tik Tok is huge in the USA, but it’s banned in India and many other Asian countries. The Formula To Building A Multi-Million Dollar Business Jure and his team helped a brand scale their e-commerce business to generate over 42 million euros annually in the span of two years. This isn’t the first multi-million brand he’s helped build. Prior to this, he’s helped scale several other brands to a multi-million dollar empire. Here’s the winning formula he attributes this success to: You need to have an amazing product where there’s a high potential for the return customer rate. Businesses that can generate a return rate of between 30-40% experience a great amount of success. In order to do this, you need to invest a lot of time in actually understanding your customers. Talk to them and understand why they actually want to buy your products, their dislikes, and hopes from your future collections. Then you start working on your plan of action, “What are our acquisitions channels? What are our retention channels? How do we implement influencers into that? When do we actually start an ambassador program, and how do you implement all of these in your market?.” And then, you basically analyze how to grow globally by identifying similar markets. But, nailing down your returning customers is really crucial to growing your brand. When you have 200k customers with a good product behind them and a good returning customer rate, you automatically start getting referrals. You can keep pouring money, but it isn’t a successful brand until customers continue purchasing without needing any additional advertising push. When you have returning customers, you're able to focus your funds on new customer acquisition, with only a small bit going towards retargeting your returning customers. Interested in learning more about growth marketing? You can directly reach out to Jure or check out his company website WeScale. They’re a growth marketing company that helps e-commerce businesses scale internationally with the power of paid social, direct-response creatives, user-generated content, retention channels, proven growth hacking tactics, and delivering profitable results. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out episode 49 to hear more from Jure and Daniel. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. You can check out some of our earlier episodes here. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#107 Steven Van Belleghem: Best Customer Experience Strategies For E-Commerce
26-05-2022
#107 Steven Van Belleghem: Best Customer Experience Strategies For E-Commerce
#107 Steven Van Belleghem: Best Customer Experience Strategies For E-Commerce We’re delighted to welcome Steven Van Belleghem, bestselling author, YouTuber, and co-founder of nexxworks, to this episode of The Ecom Show. Steven is the author of the bestselling book, The Conversation Manager. He also has a very helpful YouTube channel where he speaks about customer experience strategies. Steven has successfully founded several ventures like Snack Bites and Nexxworks. In recent years, his primary focus has been towards educating entrepreneurs about customer experience through webinars and YouTube. In this episode Steven and Daniel Budai, our podcast host and CEO, will discuss: ✔ Steven’s Youtube Journey. ✔ Building An Emotional Customer Experience. ✔ Customer Experience Trends To Watch Out For. ✔ Why Businesses Need To Deep Dive Into Data. Steven’s Youtube Journey Steven started his Youtube channel back in 2010, back then it was more to promote his newly launched book, The Conversation Manager. He had created an animated infographic video, a style which was really trending back in 2010, and he received over 50,000 views on his first videos. Post this, he took a hiatus up until 2014 and realized that he needed consistency to grow. Steven created an entire series of value based videos to help businesses better their customer experience. However, these videos didn’t receive much traction. Instead of getting demotivated, Steven decided to push harder, and he now has a strong and growing community of over 20,000 subscribers. “It's slow. The hardest thing is the first 1000 subscribers, and then you're starting to have a community you start to feel it. It took me I think two or three years before it really took off. Now, I have a pretty active group of people who watch my content, and I enjoy it myself. I make a few videos each month.” So, the key learning for anyone looking to start a career in YouTube is to be persistent and patient through the entire journey. It takes time, but eventually it’s worth the payoff. Building An Emotional Customer Experience Customer experience has changed a lot over the past few years. The past 10 years were really about making things very convenient. But after the big digital jump forward from COVID, convenience has become a commodity. It’s no longer a differentiator. We live in a world where there's almost zero tolerance for digital inconvenience, people are not willing to waste their precious time on the digital incompetence of an organization. So, it's no longer a positive differentiator, it's a negative differentiator. Being very convenient is very cool, but it’s only creating a transactional relationship. So, the goal to differentiate yourself in the next couple of years will indeed be to make it more emotional and there are two main ways to create a more emotional bond with your customers: The first one is what Steven calls, a partner in life strategy, where you try to understand the human behind the customer. This involves learning more about the interests, ambitions, and tastes of your customers. The better you understand that from each of your individual customers, the more value you can add to their life. So to become more emotional, it's not about optimizing the customer journey, it's about creating positive change in the life journey of people.The second one is about society. If you look to the world today, there are a lot of challenges on our plate, we have a fight against racism and discrimination, we have more geopolitical tension than we had in the last seven years, we have a climate crisis that is becoming more and more urgent, and we're still in the biggest healthcare crisis of our generation. And more and more customers expect organizations to make a difference to become part of the solution. Having a strong brand philosophy that works towards making the society a better place is a great way to emotionally connect with your customers. Everyone loves to support a brand that’s genuinely trying to do good for people and the world around them.  This applies to businesses at all levels! If you're a small local company, try not to change the world, try to change your world, look at things in your own local community, where there's a challenge, where there's a problem, and see how you can contribute towards solving it. And if you do so, people will recognize that, and you will build a stronger emotional relationship. Customer Experience Trends To Watch Out For There are basically two key evolutions that will play a big role in transforming customer experience:  The first one is everything related to technology. Technology is evolving, and because of that the expectations of customers are evolving. The second dimension is the human part. As technology evolves, what does that mean for human customer service, human customer experience?There are three technology trends that can heavily change the way businesses and customers react. The first is artificial intelligence. AI will help us to automate customer relations and make it more personalized, which will in turn lead to faster interactions.The second technology trend that will change a lot in the next five years is the hype of cryptocurrency and NFTs. There's a lot going on now with NFT's and it could entirely change the way you look at customer loyalty. Because if you look at customer loyalty today, it’s still very old fashioned. Let’s take the example of a supermarket, imagine that the supermarket starts with their own coin as a loyalty instrument. Today in Belgium, when you go to the supermarket, you have to have 500 points, to avail a discount of five euros. It's not creating loyalty today, but what if you had a coin from that supermarket, which means that if the supermarket performs well, the value of your coin goes up. So as soon as you invest one euro in that supermarket, you get a coin as a reward system, so every time they perform well, you benefit from that. That means that the more successful they are, the more value you get, which means that there's a chance that you will evolve towards an active ambassador, because you have the same goal.  And then you have the whole evolution of the metaverse that has become a real hype since Mark Zuckerberg rebranded his own company which can have a huge impact in the next 5 to 10 years. The other side of the equation is the human part. The more digital the world becomes, the more value customers will find in a human relationship. While the role of humans might change they will always be needed to ace customer experience. Especially, when it comes to adding empathy, creativity, and passion to technology. Why Businesses Need To Deep Dive Into Data? There’s a lot of talk about data and analytics being the key factor in driving business decisions, but let’s deep dive into this a little bit more. Let’s look at the Net Promoter Score survey, for instance. As a business owner, you fill out the survey and receive your score. But, what exactly do you do with that data? Most companies measure it, and then communicate the score in the organization, let's say you have 26. And then they tell the teams, we want to go to 30. And usually, that's where it ends. If you want to make NPS or any data work for you, you need to get to the bottom of it! You should be able to answer: what your score means and how a higher score would benefit you more to be able to understand the way to achieve it. As a leader it’s important to translate what that data means for every individual employee, where you go to your account manager, for instance, and that you say, hey, look, dear account manager, you got to six. And that's because this small detail that may not be important to you was really crucial to the client. And if there's one thing that really gave or explained his low score, so if you improve that part of your job, you're going to score a 9 or a 10. If you can successfully tell your employees how their individual work is affecting the score, it becomes a workable goal that the entire team can work towards achieving. This erases the disconnect between the figures and the day to day activities on the floor. This works with customer feedback as well. Quantitative feedback is easier to get but it’ll never be as effective as qualitative feedback. Instead of just asking for ratings, ask your customers questions to understand their perspective better. If you’re keen on knowing more about customer experience make sure to follow Steven Van Belleghem on Youtube. You can also check out his bestselling novel here, and follow him on LinkedIn for some more expert advice. We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. You can check out some of our earlier episodes here. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook
#106 Hannah Gardner: Etsy Is Like E-Commerce For Beginners
24-05-2022
#106 Hannah Gardner: Etsy Is Like E-Commerce For Beginners
#106 Hannah Gardner: Etsy Is Like E-Commerce For Beginners Welcome back to The Ecom Show! Let’s talk about Shopif, no wait! Today, we’re going to focus on the niche marketplace Etsy for a change! Etsy is a global marketplace for e-commerce businesses focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. In addition, it’s a great platform for individuals looking to start selling online or even expand their online presence by having an omnichannel presence. In today’s episode, YouTuber and entrepreneur Hannah Gardner and our podcast host and CEO, Daniel Budai will deep dive into the world of Etsy and E-Commerce. Hannah has built a successful seven-figure eCommerce business using Etsy and Shopify. She also has a YouTube channel where she shares her journey and tips to run an Etsy business. Tune in to find out more about: ✔️ Hannah’s E-Commerce Journey. ✔️Benefits Of Having An Etsy Store. ✔️Talking About Your Business On Social Media. Hannah’s E-Commerce Journey Hannah’s first real job in the digital marketing space was for an electric surfboard start-up. She worked with a small team of three, including herself, and spearheaded the marketing campaigns for this company. She picked up various skills like media buying, how to create marketing funnels, website optimization, and much more. Encouraged and intrigued by e-commerce, she then started working on her own e-commerce ideas. After several failed experiences in e-commerce, she decided to gain some agency experience. After working with several e-commerce brands, Hannah was confident about her skills and started her own swimwear line from scratch. She started small by sewing her own swimwear pieces but soon expanded into having an entire production line for her collections. Her swimwear Etsy store was successful and thriving. However, she realized that the swimwear business had a very intensive production process which would eat up her profits when she tried to scale. She then steered away from swimwear and aligned her focus with the fashion accessories niche. Currently, Hannah runs a successful seven-figure Etsy and Shopify store. Benefits Of Having An Etsy Store “Your cheapest and fastest line of traffic is from third-party platforms.” If you have a product that fits in the world of Etsy, which means that you’re either making it yourself and designing it, or designing it and then getting it made by somebody else, or if you’re selling a digital product or print on demand product, you need to be selling on Etsy! People coming on your website are either directly searching for you or your product, or have found you through your ads. On the other hand, these people visit platforms like Etsy, eBay, or even Amazon to search for products in general. By having a store presence on Etsy, you increase your chances of getting discovered by newer customers. Unlike Amazon or Shopify, Etsy is an incredibly easy and straightforward platform to get started with. It’s perfect for people who are just looking to get their feet wet in the world of E-Commerce. Etsy also gives you some wiggle room in building your customer base. The platform has its own customer base that allows you to advertise your products with a budget as low as $10 per week. You can also set up email automations within Etsy to engage with your Etsy customers. Etsy is a great place for eCommerce businesses looking to attract niche customers. Their seller community offers sellers an open forum to interact and collaborate with other Etsy sellers, and overall it’s a simple platform to get started with. However, Etsy is not a scalable marketplace. If you’re looking to build a giant global eCommerce store, you need to be looking at bigger marketplaces like Amazon and Shopify. Talking About Your Business On Social Media Hannah isn’t just an entrepreneur, she’s also a popular YouTuber who documents her entire entrepreneurial journey on this video streaming platform. Her channel covers all her wins and losses, including the story about how she had to start from scratch after getting her YouTube channel banned, and deep dives into real-life strategies that have helped her scale her Shopify and Etsy stores. Hannah isn’t using YouTube as a medium to promote her brand. In fact, she doesn’t even reveal her brand name on her channel. This is to protect her content from getting stolen. A lot of competitor brands steal content ideas and assets like product images from brands. She’s instead used her entrepreneurial experience to create a personal brand for herself on YouTube. Hannah’s built a growing community of fellow business enthusiasts using YouTube. She’s also got her own TikTok channel called HowToHannah. Seeing the positive response to her value-based YouTube videos, Hannah compiled the best of her learnings and strategies to create an all-inclusive masterclass on Etsy stores. If you’re interested in learning all the ins and outs of Etsy, check out her Masterclass. If you’d like to learn more about getting started with Etsy, get your hands on her free beginner’s guide. If you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show, make sure to check out episode 79, where Chris and Miriam, the founders of KetoChow, share their experience with building their brand using Shopify and Etsy. We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Thank you for tuning in!   Follow Daniel: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#105 Jason K Williamson From E2 - SMS Marketing Can Blow Up Your E-Commerce Sales
19-05-2022
#105 Jason K Williamson From E2 - SMS Marketing Can Blow Up Your E-Commerce Sales
#105 Jason K Williamson From E2 - SMS Marketing Can Blow Up Your E-Commerce Sales We’re beyond thrilled to welcome Jason K Williamson, the founder of E2, as our guest for this episode of The Ecom Show. E2 is an email and SMS marketing agency that helps Shopify eCommerce brands scale. They create tailored automations to help boost sales and revenue and help businesses profitably scale. Today’s episode is special since we’ve got two email and SMS marketing experts, Jason and Daniel Budai, our podcast host and CEO, to break down everything e-commerce businesses need to know about SMS marketing. If you’re an eCommerce brand looking to learn more about SMS marketing, tune in to this episode and uncover: ✔ Jason’s Background In Digital Marketing. ✔ The Crash and Rise Of SMS Marketing. ✔ The Trojan Horse Method Of SMS Marketing. ✔ How SMS Marketing Can Skyrocket Your Sales. Jason’s Background In Digital Marketing Jason’s story starts far from the world of digital marketing. He’d completed his schooling and apprenticeship as an electrician and was just one step away from getting his fully qualified license when he decided to switch gear and start afresh in the world of sales and marketing. Jason had always been interested in lead generation, and he’d been avidly following Russel Brunson, the famous digital marketer, to see how he could apply his learnings to generate more leads as an electrician. Jason poured in all his savings and then some to attend an event where Russel was a speaker. At the event, Jason met several other speakers in the field, and after receiving some advice from one of the speakers, he decided to pursue email marketing. Jason taught himself email marketing and provided his services to a teeth whitening clinic for free; this helped him kickstart his career. Three months after setting up Klaviyo campaigns and experimenting with popups using OptinMonster, Jason was able to generate $60,000 extra revue for his client. Not only did he start getting paid for his services, but he also received several referrals that kickstarted his email marketing agency. One of Jason’s clients, Joshua Tatum, offered him an incredible opportunity to scale his operations, and that’s the point where everything pivoted in his career. Here’s how he describes his journey taking off:  “So he says to me, 'Look, you can be an electrician for the rest of your life, or you can come work with me; I’ll give you a couple of months to get your stuff together. And then you can go ahead and do your business.' So I threw all my stuff in the back of a bag and drove like 18 hours to Sydney to stay with a guy I’d only met online to start my business. And literally, whilst I was driving to Sydney, I got about four phone calls and landed three or four new clients. So it was kind of like that massive action, I put everything into plan A, and my plan B was to make plan A work, and it just kind of took off from there.” The Crash and Rise Of SMS Marketing Jason had several years of email marketing experience under his belt when the founder of Oodie approached him to take over their SMS marketing. Jason helped the brand set up Postscript, which is the SMS marketing equivalent of Klaviyo, and began running campaigns. Oodie already had a large volume of website visitors, and in the early days, they were easily able to capture both phone numbers and email ids. In just six months, Oodie was able to capture over 100,000 subscribers and generate $500,000 in sales from abandoned cart recoveries each month. However, SMS marketing keeps changing, with new compliances being frequently introduced. It became increasingly difficult to capture leads as compliance became stricter, and Jason suddenly saw a drop from $500,000 a month to just $50,000. New compliances made it compulsory for brands to have the visitors knowingly subscribe to receiving promotional SMS via a separate check inbox; this deliberate extra step is what led to the crash in the growth of SMS marketing. Jason realized they needed a new strategy to pivot out of this situation and fell back on one of the most powerful tools in email marketing - Pop-ups! But there needed to be a careful strategy to execute this because while you want to grow your SMS marketing list, you don’t want it to hurt your email marketing campaigns. And not to forget, phone numbers are far more private than emails. You can’t just walk up to a stranger and ask them for their phone number; chances are they’ll say no! However, people are more open to sharing their email IDs. This is where the Trojan method was born. The Trojan Horse Method of SMS Marketing. “I was going through a drive-thru one day to order a regular meal, and the lady at the cash register asked me if I’d like to upgrade for just $1. I agreed without a second thought because my buyers’ resistance was already so low. I realized that because they had broken through that wall by already getting me to spend, upgrading my order was much easier. And that’s the exact same thing we do with upsells. And I thought to myself, How can I take that exact same philosophy or that same mentality into the popup? How can I get the SMS? Whilst also getting the email and thus the Trojan horse was born.” The Trojan Horse is basically a method where you entice a visitor by providing them with a discount to sign up on your mailing list; you then include a secondary offer to upsell your SMS list to the same user. Like, say for example, if you provide 10% off for subscribing to your email list, you then give your customers a choice to upgrade because customers love to feel like they’re in control. This could be a secondary banner where you provide 20% off for joining the SMS club. It’s a win-win for both you and your customers. Your customers receive a bigger discount, and you receive a new lead on a platform that offers a 98% open rate. You can also apply the Trojan horse method by offering your customers convenience in place of a bigger discount. For instance, once a customer opts-in on your email discount banner, you can simply offer to send them the code via text message instead. How SMS Marketing Can Skyrocket Your Sales SMS marketing has 98% open rates. This automatically increases your click-through rates as well. For instance: In a list of 100,000 people, you’re likely to receive a 5-15%. I just did a launch for a conservative US apparel brand where we sent out communication about a limited edition launch to a list of 400,000 people, and we got an open rate of 20 to 25% on the email. However, the click rate was only 0.3%. We also sent out SMS broadcasts to promote this collection. And we saw a click rate of 28% from the 3500 messages we sent out. SMS marketing can help boost your eCommerce sales since it’s reaching your audience on a device they spend most of their day on, and unlike emails, your message isn’t getting lost in spam.  Here are Jason’s top two SMS marketing tips to help you design your next SMS campaign: Use Postscript: This is one of the best SMS marketing tools available to eCommerce stores looking to expand. They offer advanced analytics tools, an easy-to-use interface, and several options to customize your message.Optimize Your Popups: Design your popups to be optimized for mobile users. Also, have a strategy to capture your customers' phone numbers along with their email ids in the popup. Creatively using images with real people using your product works better than just showcasing your product. Sell your customers the lifestyle your product offers; it’ll drive more engagement. If you’d like to know more about Jason, you can reach out to him on LinkedIn. If you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show, please leave a review, and stay tuned as we release new episodes each Tuesday and Thursday. You can also view our previous episodes by clicking here. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#104 Paul Cunningham From Notch: How To Create A Socially Responsible E-Commerce Brand
17-05-2022
#104 Paul Cunningham From Notch: How To Create A Socially Responsible E-Commerce Brand
Paul Cunningham From Notch: How To Create A Socially Responsible E-Commerce Brand Welcome back to The Ecom Show! Today, instead of focusing on the world of eCommerce, let’s take a look at the world in general. For example, did you know that globally over 5.7 million children under the age of five are at risk of starvation each year? And this number, like our global population, is only increasing! As humans, it’s our responsibility to make the world we live in a better place. In this episode, we will explore how businesses can do their part to make a difference with our podcast host and founder, Daniel Budai and Paul Cunningham, the CEO of Notch, a socially responsible apparel brand. Notch is a headwear apparel brand specializing in creating hats that don’t interfere with your glasses. Committed to resolving world hunger, they’ve managed to put food on over 600,000 tables through the revenue from their sales. Tune in to hear Paul and our podcast host and CEO Daniel Budai discuss: ✔ The story behind Notch. ✔ The key to creating a socially conscious brand. ✔ Paul’s advice for eCommerce business owners. The Story Behind Notch If you’re a fan of Shark Tank, you’ve probably noticed that the most successful pitches are by entrepreneurs that identify problems and create a product to solve them. Notch started the same way. Paul has always been an inventor. One fine day, as he sat at home watching a game of golf on his television, he stumbled upon a problem that changed several lives along with his own. The need to prevent his eyesight gave him the foresight to create the perfect hat, one with a notch on the side that allows you to comfortably wear your sunglasses along with your headgear. After researching, Paul and his wife realized that their product was a one-of-a-kind solution to a very common problem. They perfected their design and immediately applied for a utility patent. After five years of hard work, their patent was finally approved! Notch is now a patented eCommerce headwear apparel brand with a wide global reach. Paul and his wife Terra have always believed in giving back more than they receive. Hence, since its inception, Notch has been proudly affiliated with Children’s Hunger Fund, where they contribute to resolving the issue of world hunger with every hat they sell. Let’s explore this more deeply in the next section. The Key to Creating a Socially Conscious Brand Every human has one thing in common: We all live on the same planet. Sharing this planet also gives all of us a sense of shared responsibility to treat it kindly and do our part to make things better. In the last couple of decades, there’s been an increased awareness of creating socially conscious brands. But, what are socially conscious brands? Socially conscious brands are for-profit organizations that provide products or services to consumers while maintaining a not-for-profit objective that aids the welfare of society. These include brands that promote ethical and slow fashion, greener production practices, and brands that contribute a part of their revenue to NPOs. Giving back to the community is an act of goodwill that will positively impact your customers. However, it shouldn’t be used as a marketing gimmick. Paul and his wife Terra deeply believe in giving back to the community and hence have donated a part of their revenue towards the Children Hunger Fund. Through the course of their business, they’ve been able to sponsor over 600,000+ meals to hungry children across the world. Their purpose has always been to help the children that need these meals the most, and hence their funds go towards sponsoring kids on the brink of starvation. Social welfare is something that should be woven into the culture of a business. While businesses can increase or decrease the amount they choose to contribute towards goodwill, making it a practice from the start is more impactful than waiting for your business to reach a certain level. You can start smaller than you’d like and increase your donations as your brand grows. Social entrepreneurs should also practice transparency. Partnering up with a verified NPO and disclosing your contribution helps your customers know how authentic your cause is. For instance, Notch has partnered up with Children Hunger Fund since they know that this NPO donates most of the proceeds towards the meals themselves. If they contribute $100, they know that $99 will end up towards children’s meals. Sharing this information with their customers not only makes the customers trust Notch more but also incentivizes them to look up more about Children Hunger Fund in general. Paul’s Advice for Ecommerce Business Owners Paul has always been in sales. He started off as a real estate agent and used his savings from real estate to build his eCommerce business from the ground up. As a successful business owner with ten plus years of eCommerce experience, we thought it’d be interesting to get his take on several common hurdles all eCommerce entrepreneurs face. What is your approach to attracting customers? We realized very early on that we can’t be putting all our eggs in one basket, which is why we diversified from depending solely on Facebook ads as a way to spread brand awareness. Currently, we use a combination of paid ads, you know, Facebook, Instagram, and then a lot of email marketing. We also have a lot of customer affinity. So we have customers, you know, that will take pictures of their product and tag us from all over the world, and so we’ll try to leverage that as well. And we’re always learning about how to engage the customer better on social media. So that, you know, we’re not at the mercy of paid ads, but we do use quite a bit of paid traffic. We’re also constantly researching how to improve our SEO. How did you build a global presence for your brand? And what platform did you use to build your business? All our business is done through Shopify Plus, 100% of it! About 70% of our revenue is generated from direct-to-consumer sales, and the other 30% comes from our wholesale side. We used to sell through Amazon up until early 2021. However, we discontinued this to gain more autonomy over our returns and customer engagement. With Amazon, you lose out on the customer data. As a brand, we decided to sell exclusively through our Shopify website and wholesalers. We created a global presence by partnering with retailers across the globe. We offer them wholesale prices for reselling our products. And we have dealers in countries like Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the UK, Greece, Germany, and Spain. How do you approach hiring? And what’s the secret to successfully running a business with your life partner? So, we have five full-time employees apart from my wife and me. What I’ve learned is we need to hire the right type of person, and then we can train him for whatever we need because you can’t teach personality. And so we always hire people that are low drama and easy to get along with, and then we fit them into the positions that best fit their qualifications and interests. My wife and I have been working together at Notch for the past five years, but because we’ve been married for so long before it started, we have a solid foundation, and we know how to get through disagreements without blowing things up. She’s great with handling the day-to-day operations and systems required to keep Notch running smoothly, and I like to focus more on the other end of the business, so it works out well since we balance each other out. That’s all for this episode of The Ecom Show. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out Notch to learn more about the brand, you can also follow Paul to keep up with his business journey. And don’t forget to check out the Children’s Hunger Fund and all the amazing work that they do! Stay tuned because we come out with new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. You can also check out our previous episodes here. Before we end this, we’d like to give a shoutout to one of our clients, High Dive Apparel. They’re also an eCommerce apparel brand with a strong global presence. You can read through our case study to know more about their story. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#103 Adam Brown from Sircle Media: How To Organically Build Your Brand Using Social Media
12-05-2022
#103 Adam Brown from Sircle Media: How To Organically Build Your Brand Using Social Media
#103 Adam Brown from Sircle Media: How To Organically Build Your Brand Using Social Media Social Media is the most powerful tool that businesses have at their disposal. It enables them with the power to go from being a business to a brand. Social media has erased the divide between consumers and brands. Brands can now have conversations with their customers and create a strong and loyal community of like-minded people that resonate with their business. Today we’ve got Adam Brown, the CEO of Sircle Media, here with Daniel Budai, our podcast host and CEO, to discuss how businesses can use organic social media strategies to build their brand. Sircle Media is a social media agency that specializes in helping CPG and beverage brands dominate their online and in-store sales through organic social media strategies. They focus on content creation, social media management, and community engagement. In this episode, we will discuss: ✔ Adam’s Social Media Story. ✔ How To Stand Out On Social Media. ✔ Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Stop Making So let’s get started! Adam’s Social Media Story The year was 1999, and it was the age of the “.com Boom.” Adam had just finished graduating from college and was starting out life as an early twenty-something in the world of advertising in New York. He spent his initial years switching between multiple ad agencies trying to grasp all the knowledge that he could and found himself at 24/7 Media; which was one of the first two ad networks—it was a DoubleClick and 24/7 Media represented websites and sold their advertising for them. He also worked at the first pay-per-click search engine called GoTo.com, which predated Google back in 2000. This is where Adam got introduced to the world of digital marketing. It took a hiatus from working in the financial sector for Adam to realize that his true passion lies in digital marketing. He founded Sircle Media in 2012, and since then, their focus has been on brand building through organic social media management and content creation. Sircle Media focuses on helping high growth brands in the CPG and beverage niche scale their business through. How To Stand Out On Social Media "How can my brand stand out on social media?" This is one of the most common questions asked by brands when it comes to digital marketing. And the answer is honestly quite simple: By representing their brand in an authentic way! You don’t need to be selling a one-of-a-kind product, you just need to have an approach that’s unique to your brand to find your USP! Shoutout to Oatly, an oat-based beverage company, that’s managed to create a cult following through its humorous social media presence. If you really want to stand out as a brand that’s built to last, like an Oatly, you have to have memorable content that makes people want to share it. Nik Sharma, the king of D2C brands very popularly, once tweeted out saying: “Create content that makes people want to screenshot and share it in their group chats.” When we say create memorable content, we mean to create content that’s valuable to your audience! And don’t be afraid to mix it up; focus on a mix of high-quality photography, graphics-based content, videos, and user-generated content to keep your social media fun and engaging. Engagement is another vital part of building your brand organically on social media. Social media platforms allow for two-way communication for a reason! Your audience won’t feel like they’re a part of your community if you don’t engage with them and create content that is tailored to their interests. The best way to do this is by asking yourself: Would you want to consume the content you create? Be quick to act! Social media changes by the second, so you need to be quick to act, adapt, and learn to keep up with social media. This involves consistently researching trends, auditing and reworking your strategy, and conducting multiple trial and error campaigns to see what’s working for your brand. Creating memorable content, engaging with the audience, and always being on your feet are the foundation of building your brand on a digital platform. If you can crack this code and stay consistent, you’ll see some remarkable results. Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Stop Making Let’s debunk some of the most popular misconceptions brands have about social media. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make: Hiring an expensive social media expert: If you’re a small business looking to find someone to manage your brand’s social media presence, don’t spend all your money on one resource! Social Media involves a plethora of roles like designing, copywriting, running paid ads, engagement, and management. While you might find a professional who’s experienced in multiple roles, it’s not practically possible to be great at everything. Instead, allocate those funds to hire multiple digital native junior resources with different acumens.Trying to be everywhere: Spreading your brand’s presence is great, but don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be on multiple platforms at once when you have limited bandwidth. Instead, focus on creating a dominant presence on one platform like Instagram, and then repurpose your branding efforts on LinkedIn.Measuring organic social media efforts with ROI: Organic social media activities aren’t a numbers game! Instead of focusing on quantity, measure your growth by analyzing the quality of the content that your team is publishing, and focus on your brand’s overall messaging. Organic marketing requires patience, as it takes time to build a community that trusts and vouches for your brand.Not capitalizing on your story: Everyone from the founder of a business to its employees are advocates of the brand. Sharing your journey involves showcasing your achievements, failures, and all the little moments in between with your audience. Doing this helps build credibility and makes your brand more appealing to your audience.Trying to do it all alone: Organic social media marketing is all about consistency! If you try to do it all alone, you can’t be consistent with growing your organic social media presence. Having a team or even an additional resource helps you as an entrepreneur to put your focus on other business aspects. This doesn’t mean that you should just completely remove yourself from the picture! Ideally, you should still be involved in important aspects like setting the tone of your brand’s messaging. We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show. If you’re a CPG or beverage brand looking to scale your organic social media presence, make sure to check out Sircle Media. You can also follow Adam Brown for some more stellar tips on digital marketing. We come out with episodes that venture into new avenues in eCommerce every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned! Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel’s LinkedIn Daniel’s Facebook
#102 Greg Howlett from Cobblestone Trade: How Logistics & Fulfillment Affect Your Customer Experience
10-05-2022
#102 Greg Howlett from Cobblestone Trade: How Logistics & Fulfillment Affect Your Customer Experience
#102 Greg Howlett from Cobblestone Trade: How Logistics & Fulfillment Affect Your Customer Experience There’s a lot of talk about marketing and brand building surrounding eCommerce. However, that’s just one side of things. In today’s podcast, Greg Howlett from Cobblestone Trade and our podcast host and CEO, Daniel Budai will unbox the behind-the-scenes operations of an eCommerce brand. This episode will highlight the importance of logistics and fulfillment in enhancing customer experience. Cobblestone Trade is an intelligent logistics company that delivers custom eCommerce solutions like warehousing and logistics, website development, customer service, Amazon specialist services, and end-to-end eCommerce consulting to increase a brand’s customer lifetime value. This episode of The Ecom Show takes us through: ✔Greg’s journey into Logistics. ✔The different kinds of logistical solutions for eCommerce businesses. ✔How to enhance customer experience through logistics and fulfillment. Let’s dive right in! Greg’s Journey Into Logistics Greg started his career as a software guy, working for Delta technology. It didn’t take long for Greg to realize that he didn’t enjoy software, and he quickly made the move to starting his own eCommerce store in 1999. He started by reselling retail products through his own online platform. Over the years, Greg has successfully built and sold multiple companies. He also built an eCommerce brand from scratch and successfully exited it within the span of six years. That experience in particular made him realize that his strength lies in logistics and fulfillment, which is what drove him to start Cobblestone Trade. Cobblestone Trade is an intelligent logistics solution for eCommerce brands that are looking for help in fulfillment and increasing lifetime customer value. They take over the day to day operations of a company by assisting with inventory management, customer service, fulfillment, brand management, price management, and advertising. Different Kinds of Logistical Solutions for eCommerce Businesses Let’s start by discussing how logistics and fulfillment can affect your brand before we jump into the different kinds of solutions available out there. There are several things involved in running your business. While having a good product and great marketing is essential, you can’t miss out on logistics and fulfillment when you look at delivering excellent customer experience. Quick deliveries, great customer support both during and after sales, product availability, and brand transparency are qualities that all customers look for when they’re shopping online. This is precisely why Amazon is one of the most famous brands across the world. As an eCommerce brand you have three options when you look at outsourcing your logistics and fulfillment: Third party logistics: These are third party brands that offer warehousing and shipping solutions. They usually charge a monthly membership for warehousing, and charge a per order fee for providing shipping solutions. eCommerce brands can easily create an account and get started. This is ideal for brands looking to get their inventory out of their basement, and outsource without heavy investment costs. However, third party logistics often have hidden costs, and brands rely heavily on the service of their third party provider. The brand has to take accountability for order delays, and lost shipments.Amazon: Amazon provides eCommerce brands with a listing spot on one of the busiest websites on the internet. Brands can leverage advertisements to secure higher search volume on the website. They also offer fulfillment and shipping options which make it convenient for sellers to get started in the world of eCommerce. Customer retention is the main issue with Amazon. They don’t provide the sellers with information about the buyer, this means that it is much harder to get repeat customers on Amazon.Cobblestone Trade: Cobblestone Trade goes beyond the traditional duties of logistics and fulfillment. They partner up with businesses and take over the end-to-end operations of an eCommerce brand. They assist with everything from optimizing the website, to setting up systems and processes for scaling eCommerce logistics, and customer service.      How to Enhance Customer Experience Through Logistics and Fulfillment Logistics and fulfillment are the two pillars that all eCommerce businesses rely on for smooth operations. It’s no secret that having smooth daily operations will help you create a trustworthy and credible brand in the long-term. Both of these terms cover a broad range of elements ranging from product availability to deliveries and after sales support. It basically comprises all the backend work that goes into providing customers exactly what they need, such as: On-time delivery: If you’re a brick and mortar store shipping out of your basement, handling even 10 orders a day can seem time consuming. This gets even more complicated when you add express deliveries, and returns/exchanges to the mix. Outsourcing logistics and fulfillment enables brands to seamlessly scale the number of orders they ship out, and in turn reduces the order processing time. There’s nothing customers love more than quick shipping.Order fill rate: Order fill rate is the percentage of wholesale orders that are filled. This is a metric that enables eCommerce businesses to calculate how much inventory they have in hand. As a brand you don’t want customers to turn away from your website because 70% of your products are sold out, on the other hand you don’t want to be sitting on a huge pile of unsold inventory as well. Inventory management is a skill that can make or break your eCommerce business.Customer support: There’s nothing customers hate more than a complicated customer service line with too many touchpoints. While automation is great, it’s essential for businesses to know what they should automate, and use human support for customer escalations. For instance: Sending out order confirmation and tracking details can be automated, however, customers would prefer having human assistance if their order gets lost in transition.Brand management: There are a ton of eCommerce brands selling similar products. Infact, the market is flooded with individuals selling counterfeit products from popular brands. As you grow, it becomes increasingly important for you to police the internet and keep a lookout for counterfeit products, or unauthorized retailers that are trying to misrepresent your brand.Exposure: Having an omni-channel presence for your products increases your visibility and makes it easier for customers to buy your products. However, each platform has their own set of regulations and compliances to list products. eCommerce businesses need to have a flexible and strong logistical solution in place to supply to multiple platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.      Check out Cobblestone Trade for more expert advice on logistics and fulfillment. If you liked this episode of The Ecom Show, please feel free to leave any comments you have on our YouTube channel, contact Daniel on LinkedIn, or check out another episode! We release new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook
#101 Josh Dittrich from Branded Seller: How To Sell Your Business For Millions Of Dollars
05-05-2022
#101 Josh Dittrich from Branded Seller: How To Sell Your Business For Millions Of Dollars
#101 Josh Dittrich from Branded Seller: How To Sell Your Business For Millions Of Dollars Entrepreneurs put in their blood, sweat, and then some to scale their dream business. But, there comes a time and point in every business owner's life when they decide to take the next big step - cashing in. However, too many online business owners leave the game too soon and miss out on their big payday because they lack a good exit strategy! Today we've got Josh Dittrich, the Founder and VP of BrandedSeller, here with Daniel Budai, our podcast host, and CEO, to discuss how businesses can maximize their value before exiting. Branded Seller is full-service management and consulting firm that helps e-commerce businesses grow and plan their exit strategy. Josh Dittrich founded BrandedSeller after successfully selling both his e-commerce ventures for millions of dollars. Josh is also the writer of "Aggregator Navigator: The Ultimate Playbook for Selling Your Amazon Brand Successfully." In this episode, we will discuss everything from why businesses should sell to planning your successful exit strategy. Tune in to find out: ✔ Josh's multi-million dollar success story. ✔ Why sell your business. ✔ When to sell your business. ✔ How to prepare your business for a sale. Josh's Multi-Million Dollar Success Story Josh's story begins in a sales job where he ran into someone that worked at Amway. Fascinated by the prospect of generating recurring revenue without any glass limit, Josh was determined to get a job at Amway. After two/three failed attempts to get a job working at Amway, Josh decided to try an alternate route that led to him dabbling into eCommerce. He started by reselling products he'd purchased from China on channels like Amazon and eBay. However, he realized that he wouldn't go too far without a good strategy. Josh then joined forces with a growing startup to get some industry experience before venturing out on his own again. In the short span of three years, he moved his way up the ladder from being a salesperson to managing their business development and advertising. He helped the company grow from a 3 million dollar business to a 50 million dollar business. He achieved this by focusing on multi-channel growth. As a result, the business started selling everywhere, from Amazon to eBay. He also onboarded the help of experts to nail down their advertising campaigns and SEO. During his time there, he learned eCommerce; end-to-end technology, supply chain inventory management, tech, digital marketing, eCommerce, and the whole nine yards in private label. After seeing what an enterprise-level eCommerce organization looks like, he was inspired to leave and start his brand. Josh then started two e-commerce ventures; Essential Values and Sniper's Edge Hockey. The first business provides a versatile range of liquid homecare products and follows a multi-channel strategy. The second caters to the hockey niche and dominates its sales through specialized Amazon marketing. Within six years, Josh has built and exited both brands with a multi-million dollar valuation. While this may appear like a short time to build and exit a company, it took Josh 15 years to acquire the knowledge and experience that helped him successfully scale both his ventures. Why You Should Consider Selling Your Business Before we jump to how you can sell your business, let's cover why an entrepreneur might want to give up their corporate child. Every entrepreneur is aware of the risk and rewards of running a business. Cashing out means you eventually reap the rewards of your hard-earned labor. Change is the only constant, and every product has its lifecycle. So if you can sense changing regulations or restrictions that will affect your business, it's a smart idea to consider selling out. Your personal life is another great reason to consider calling it in. Sometimes the reason to sell can be driven by your personal circumstances. For instance, if you're looking to retire, spend more time with the family, or even if you want a new challenge to chase after. Growth is one of the most common reasons entrepreneurs consider selling their business. There comes a time when you need to stop and ask yourself if you're satisfied with not taking money out of business. If you find yourself in a constant crunch with cash flow each time you try to grow, it's a sign that you should be considering selling your business, especially if it's stopped giving you personal joy and returns. When To Sell Your Business You've decided to sell. That's great! But, how do you actually know when's the right time? There's never a clear perfect time to make these decisions. However, there are certain factors that can help business owners make a more calculated decision. You have to start by evaluating and being truthful about yourself and your business. And it's really important because if you cannot answer why you want to sell, your buyers will get skeptical. You also need to ask yourself if you have the bandwidth to sell? Once you've got your answer, you work backward and start calculating the value of your business, predict its growth trajectory, and your goals post-exit. How To Prepare Your Business For Selling You need to have all your data points in place and books in order before you consider selling your business. Think of selling your business as a marathon; it requires patience, persistence, and perseverance! Once you have decided to sell your business, step back and focus on your exit strategy. You can't be planning for growth if you're constantly occupied with the day-to-day runnings of an office. Every decision post the decision to sell should be focused on how you can maximize your business's current value. In order to do this, businesses first need to get their books in order and shift from the cash accounting model to accrual accounting. Businesses also need to reevaluate their expenses and goals. You need to consider whether an expense will benefit in short-term or long-term growth. If it's a long-term growth benefit, you need to stop and consider how this will affect your profitability at the time of sale. While selling, the focus needs to be on maintaining profitability, not on product development, unless a business owner is planning to retain their role or maintain some involvement in the business post-sale. The last piece of advice would be to analyze your data and identify trends. As a business owner looking to sell, you need to know what your profit, add-backs, and sellers' discretionary earnings are. You should also be able to identify trends. For instance, your profits for the last 12 months will affect your business's valuation. So if January of the previous year was your least profitable month, you can take that month off your books by waiting until April of the current year since your trailing 12-month period would be February-April. There are a lot of resources and help available to business owners looking for assistance with selling their company. If data and negotiating aren't your strong points, you can look into bringing a broker to help you facilitate your deal, do keep in mind that this would be an expensive ordeal. Alternatively, you could also do some more research, network, and consult other business owners that have made a successful exit. We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Ecom Show. If you're interested in knowing more about selling your e-commerce business successfully, make sure you check out Josh Dittrich's playbook. You can also check out BrandedSeller for more information on selling your business or reach out to Josh Dittrich. We come out with episodes that venture into new avenues in eCommerce every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned! Follow Daniel Budai: Daniel's LinkedIn Daniel's Facebook