Human in the Loop

Teikametrics

This brand new show explores the dynamic intersection of human intelligence and cutting-edge technology within the ever-evolving landscape of ecommerce. From in-depth discussions on artificial intelligence, to viral brands that launched on TikTok, to the stories behind today’s biggest technology companies, brands, and sellers.. Welcome to the forefront of the ecommerce revolution, where being a Human in the Loop is not just a just a strategy... But the very essence of progress. read less
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Episodes

The Rise and Fall of Thrasio: From Unicorn to Bankruptcy
May 15 2024
The Rise and Fall of Thrasio: From Unicorn to Bankruptcy
Summary In this episode, Cameron Yoder and John Derkits discuss the bankruptcy of Thrasio, a prominent Amazon aggregator. They provide an overview of Thrasio's rise to unicorn status and the factors that contributed to its downfall, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, operational and strategic missteps, and financial strain. They also analyze the implications of Thrasio's bankruptcy for the e-commerce industry as a whole and the evolving aggregator model. Takeaways Thrasio's bankruptcy is a result of a combination of factors, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, operational and strategic missteps, and financial strain.Thrasio's bankruptcy is a Chapter 11 reorganization, not a complete shutdown, and it allows the company to restructure its debt and continue operating.The e-commerce industry is experiencing softer demand and margin compression, and success in this environment requires operational and financial acumen.The aggregator model is evolving, and future successful aggregators will likely focus on strong product development, traditional private equity-like strategies, or deep specialization in specific categories.Thrasio's bankruptcy serves as a cautionary tale for the industry and highlights the need for sustainable growth and profitability in the e-commerce space. Chapters 00:00 - Introduction and Background 03:19 - Overview of Thrasio and its Rise 10:09 - Factors Contributing to Thrasio's Downfall 27:26 - Implications for the E-commerce Industry 35:19 - The Future of the Aggregator Model 42:46 - Conclusion and Where to Find John We'd encourage you to follow and engage with Jon across his social channels and website: LinkedInBlog / NewsletterWebsite
Everything, Everywhere: How Amazon AI is Changing Ecommerce
Apr 10 2024
Everything, Everywhere: How Amazon AI is Changing Ecommerce
The way people shop online has drastically changed over the years. Content has become an essential aspect of a brand’s ability to capture the attention of its audience and turn them into loyal paying customers. This episode explores how Amazon is capitalizing on this revolution of content, attention, and buyer behavior.  We’ll dive into Amazon’s ability to meet sellers and buyers at any point in their journey of either buying or selling products, and Amazon’s “everyone all at once” presence Whether you’re a seasoned Amazon seller or just getting started, this episode will provide valuable insights into the future of where ecommerce is headed, and how you can leverage these content trends to enhance your brand’s presence and success on Amazon’s marketplace. TikTok: ⁠https://www.tiktok.com/@hitlpodcast⁠ Instagram: ⁠https://www.instagram.com/hitlpodcast/⁠ YouTube: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihXYbJckEDqaaLg3l1fuNw Key Takeaways: Content is Changing The Way People Shop Shift from linear TV to streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video.Gen Z represents a significant demographic with distinct values and preferences.Third-party sellers on Amazon have surged to represent a majority of sales. Amazon is Everywhere Amazon's acquisitions like Whole Foods and ventures into sports streaming and virtual reality demonstrate its omnipresence.Leveraging various platforms to engage with customers in diverse ways. Content is King Content plays a pivotal role in advertising and selling products across Amazon's different lanes.Platforms like Twitch and Thursday Night Football offer unique opportunities for engagement. AI's Role in Ecommerce AI enhances customer experiences and aids in operational efficiencies.Amazon is committed to using AI to solve problems and improve customer experiences. The Future of Buyer Behavior Buyer behavior will continue evolving, necessitating brands to adapt swiftly.Amazon emphasizes test and iterate methodologies, keeping pace with evolving trends. Integration of Content into Shopping Journeys Amazon continuously innovates to integrate content seamlessly into the shopping experience.Sellers should revisit features and adapt strategies to suit evolving trends. Taking Advantage of the Evolution in Ecommerce Start with a great product as the foundation.Build a loyal customer base and attract new audiences through effective marketing strategies.Leverage Amazon's rich signals to identify and reach potential customers.
Machines Can Run Ads Better Than You
Mar 27 2024
Machines Can Run Ads Better Than You
Outline: AI has been a hot topics for a long time now… but what aspects of artificial intelligence are actually useful?  When it comes down to it… What can AI do that we can’t? What should AI do, that we can’t? This episode explores just how much AI can (And should) do in the ever-changing, ever-growing world of ecommerce and beyond.  Laura Pattison, an expert in leveraging artificial intelligence to run ads on Amazon, Walmart and beyond, walks us through this concept in detail. By the end of this episode, we hope you’ll walk away with a clear understand of just how much AI is changing and impacting the world of ecommerce, how you can take advantage of it, and where your personal time is best spent growing your business. TikTok: ⁠https://www.tiktok.com/@hitlpodcast⁠ Instagram: ⁠https://www.instagram.com/hitlpodcast/⁠ YouTube: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihXYbJckEDqaaLg3l1fuNw⁠ Chapters: 00:00 Introduction and Podcast Context 01:15 Exploring the Singularity 04:15 Why AI Outperforms Humans  05:22 The Numbers-Based Aspect of AI in Ad Management 06:21 External Influences and Factors in Managing Ads 10:58 Specific Examples of AI Improving Advertising 17:27 How to Leverage AI in Different Areas of Ad Management 25:03 AI-Dominant Lanes  29:22 The Future of AI  36:46 Conclusion and Final Thoughts 41:23 Fear of the Unknown 44:51 Getting Left Behind Takeaways AI has the ability to outperform humans in certain areas of ad management, particularly in handling large volumes of data and making decisions based on multiple signals. The combination of AI and human expertise is crucial for successful ad management, as humans can provide insights and make decisions based on external influences and factors that AI may not be able to fully understand. AI is currently dominant in areas such as bidding, campaign creation, inventory adjustments, and creative content generation. The future of AI in advertising holds the potential for further advancements in creative content generation, including image, video, and audio creation. Advertisers should identify their weaknesses and the greatest opportunities for their brands to determine where AI can be leveraged to improve ad performance and efficiency. Fear of technology often arises from a lack of understanding. Leveraging AI and technology can provide a competitive advantage. Refusing to embrace technology can result in being left behind.
Sud Scrub Sensation: TikTok's Shower Power Product Goes Viral
Mar 13 2024
Sud Scrub Sensation: TikTok's Shower Power Product Goes Viral
A large majority of the sellers listening to this podcast are already selling on Amazon and/or Walmart… but what about TikTok? What does it look like to sell and grow your brand on TikTok today? What about starting your brand on TikTok, going viral, and then expanding into Amazon and Walmart second? In this conversation, the founders of Sud Scrub, Steven and Ray, discuss the beginning of the Sud Scrub brand, how they leveraged TikTok to go viral and skyrocket sales, and how it all lead to the incredible growth of a shower scrub.  Overall, the story behind Steven and Ray highlights the power of social media in driving awareness and sales for a business, just how much power and influence TikTok has in a core group of untapped buyers, and what potential sits waiting for sellers and content creators to grow with. This is one of our best conversations to-date. I highly suggest you take a look at the Sud Scrub TikTok channel for inspiration: https://www.tiktok.com/@sudscrubAs always, thanks so much for joining us on HITL, and follow us on social media to keep up with the latest and greatest clips from the show! TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@hitlpodcast Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hitlpodcast/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihXYbJckEDqaaLg3l1fuNw Chapters 00:00 Introduction and the Beginning of Sudscrub 05:26 The Creation of the First Sud Scrub 07:43 Launching Sud Scrub to Crickets 09:59 Discovering TikTok as a Marketing Platform 16:17 The Mentality of Creating Content  19:51 The Shift in Approach After Going Viral 23:09 Sud Scrub and the Role of TikTok Shops 25:51 The Shift from Doing Everything to Building a Team 30:38 The Future of E-commerce and TikTok 31:39 The Future of Sudscrub 41:08 Advice for Starting a Product-based Business on TikTok Takeaways Utilizing TikTok as a marketing platform can help drive awareness and sales for a business. Consistently creating content and engaging with the audience is key to building a community and growing a brand. Being transparent and authentic in your content can help establish trust with customers. Building a team and delegating tasks is essential for scaling a business and freeing up time for strategic growth. TikTok and content marketing can be powerful tools for promoting products and driving sales. Over-communication with customers is essential for building loyalty and addressing any issues or delays. The future of e-commerce involves the integration of content and commerce, where both are necessary for success. Expanding product offerings requires careful consideration, and retail may not always be the best option. When starting a product-based business on TikTok, it is important to have a well-developed idea and consider patent protection. Dealing with counterfeit products requires educating consumers and protecting your brand. Persistence and dedication are key to overcoming challenges and achieving success in the e-commerce industry.
Benchmark Blitz: Today's Biggest Trends on Amazon and Walmart
Feb 28 2024
Benchmark Blitz: Today's Biggest Trends on Amazon and Walmart
The first of our first recurring series, Benchmark Blitz explores the most essential trends and changes happening on two of the world’s largest marketplaces - Amazon and Walmart. Episodes from this series will help you understand how Amazon and Walmart are changing; How seller strategy is shifting, how buyer behavior is changing, how the economy is altering both marketplaces, and ultimately what trends you need to be aware of as an advertiser and seller. This is our most data-focused episode and largely speaks to current sellers on either marketplace. Chapters 00:00 - Introduction to Benchmark Blitz 02:17 - Efficiency Comparison: Amazon vs. Walmart 07:02 - Competition and CPCs: Amazon vs. Walmart 11:26 - Sales Per Click and Conversion Rate: Amazon vs. Walmart 16:21 - Average Order Value: Amazon vs. Walmart 20:28 - Buyer Behavior and The Economy: Amazon vs. Walmart 25:23 - Efficiency and CPCs: Amazon 28:35 - Sales per Click and AOV: Amazon 31:11 - Efficiency and CPCs: Walmart 34:57 - Sales per Click and AOV: Walmart 38:17 - CPCs: Amazon 43:12 - Consumer Behavior: Amazon 46:26 - Conclusion: Predicting the Future of Ecommerce Key Takeaways:  Amazon vs Walmart: Efficiency Comparison (ROAS): Walmart exhibited strong efficiency over Amazon in 2022, but the efficiency gains began to decrease in 2023, indicating increased competition and growth on Walmart. CPC Trends: Amazon and Walmart are both increasing in saturation and competition. Cost-Per-Click (CPC) for both Amazon and Walmart increased each quarter in 2023, with Walmart's CPC steadily rising.  Walmart seems to show great efficiency despite increasing CPCs. Walmart displays better returns on clicks than Amazon in some cases.  Conversion Rate and AOV:** Walmart's conversion rate is higher than Amazon's, while Walmart's Average Order Value (AOV) is notably lower. This suggests that Walmart attracts buyers looking for everyday low prices and lower-value goods. CPC Increase Impact: The increase in CPCs on both platforms led to tighter profit margins for advertisers, emphasizing the challenges faced in maintaining profitability. 2024 Outlook:** We anticipate this election year's impact, making predictions challenging, but suggest AOVs and conversion rates may return to Q3 levels. Walmart Impact on the Economy: Walmart's lower AOV in the first half of 2023 suggests economic softness, but a steady increase in the second half indicates growing consumer confidence. Preferable Entry Timing: Entering Walmart's marketplace is advantageous due to its strong efficiency and lower CPC compared to Amazon. Considerations for Advertisers:** Advertisers should pay attention to buyer behavior, conversion rates, and AOV to adapt strategies based on changing market dynamics. 46% Greater Efficiency:** Despite efficiency decline, Walmart's efficiency remained approximately 46% greater than Amazon, emphasizing significant opportunity on Walmart. Amazon Cautious Consumer Behavior:** In the first half of 2023, Amazon shoppers were price-conscious, seeking bargains and being conservative with spending. Efficiency Decline on Amazon:** Amazon experienced a softer efficiency throughout 2023, with a noticeable decline in Q4, indicating increased competition. ROAS Indicator:** Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) on Amazon showed a decline in efficiency, but the year-over-year difference was 4%, with a 7% decline in Q4. Sales Volume Increase:** Despite efficiency decline, total ad sales on Amazon increased by 55%, indicating a significant acceleration in sales volume. CPCs Increase:** Amazon's CPCs increased in 2023, particularly in Q4, showcasing heightened competition among brands for consumer dollars. Sales Per Click Indicator:** Sales per click on Amazon remained relatively flat, with brands adjusting to changes in consumer behavior and competition. Note: The summary highlights key points, and for a more detailed understanding, listening to the entire podcast episode is recommended.
From Amazon Seller to Software CEO
Feb 14 2024
From Amazon Seller to Software CEO
Summary This conversation explores the journey of Alasdair McLean Foreman, one of the first third-party sellers on Amazon that became the founder and CEO of a successful, thriving software company, Teikametrics. The discussion highlights the challenges faced by sellers and the evolution of the e-commerce landscape. Alasdair also explains the role of AI in solving these challenges and the future of AI in e-commerce, business, and daily life. In this conversation, Alasdair and Cameron explore what the transition and journey of a seller to successful owner and operator of a thriving software company looks like, and what it really takes to succeed in today’s always-on and always-changing market. Takeaways The journey from third-party seller to software CEO involves navigating the challenges of selling on Amazon and adapting to the changing e-commerce landscape. The problems faced by sellers, such as gaining new customers and growing their businesses, have remained consistent over time. AI is a crucial tool for sellers and software companies, enabling automation and optimization at a scale beyond human capability. The future of AI in e-commerce holds limitless opportunities for innovation and differentiation. Effective communication is crucial in both personal and professional relationships. To grow, it is essential to listen to your core customers and adapt quickly when necessary to reflect what your customers desire to grow their own business. Keep a pulse on the market, adapt quickly, listen to your customers and employees, and always strive to improve. Chapters 00:00 - From Third-Party Seller to Software CEO 01:34 - Starting as one of the first Third-Party Sellers on Amazon 03:41 - Transitioning to a Software Company 14:46 - The Scale-Up of Teikametrics 25:03 - The Challenges for Sellers and CEOs 31:28 - The Role of AI in Teikametrics 40:40 - The Future of AI in E-commerce 45:50 - Conclusion We hope you enjoy the very first episode of Human in the Loop, and look forward to many more episodes to come!