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47 minutes | 5 hours ago
Episode 153 - Process Automation & Using Gifting for Growth with Brennan Agranoff
Brennan Agranoff was building spreadsheets at age 13. He learned a little HTML in High School. Growing up playing club basketball in Oregon with Nike HQ in his backyard, Brennan saw the appeal of custom socks as a young teen. So he launched his first eComm brand called HoopSwag at age 13. Brennan is a master of creative growth ideas. He combines that with an intense focus on product and process development and automation. We talked about both growth ideas and process automation at length in this episode. How creative gifting has opened up his Micro-micro influencer approach How to go from VA to automation Always asking “how do I remove myself from this?” How Brennan shares a similar philosophy to Amazon to automate anything repeatable The comparison of good code to good process development The power of good mentors Plus more
54 minutes | 7 days ago
Episode 152 - Referral Marketing Programs for eCommerce with Arlen Robinson
If you sell a great product, then no doubt you’re getting referrals. Referrals are great, but just waiting for them to happen on their own is NOT a formula for rapid growth. Referral programs are a proven, but underutilized strategy for growing eCommerce brands. In this episode, I interview Arlen Robinson, referral marketing specialist, podcast host, and co-founder of Affiliate Software. We dig into some powerful points to help you take your referral marketing and affiliate marketing to the next level. Here’s a look at what we cover: What’s the difference between referral, affiliate, and influencer marketing and how they each impact your business. To incentivize or not to incentivize? Understanding the when, why, and how of referral incentives. Creating a viral loop to get customers into your referral program Tools and approaches to make it easy Plus some real-world case studies
51 minutes | 14 days ago
Episode 151 - Lessons in Amazon Growth from a Husband & Wife Team - Josh & Becca Hadley
This eCommerce power couple is ON FIRE. They are cranking out AMAZING products on Amazon and growing fast. More importantly, they’re having fun in the process. More surprising and impressive than the growth is that they’re married, work together and, wait for it...still like each other! We uncover some really powerful lessons in Amazon growth, business growth, and maintaining healthy work relationships. I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoyed recording it! Here’s a look at what we cover: How to pivot and grow How being in the right role to compliment each other is super important (whether you’re married to your business partner or not) Mistakes in hiring the wrong people and how to get this right How to know when and how to “let it go” and not get your feelings hurt How Tenacity and passion create the ultimate 1-2 punch Learning from your successes - a great tragedy is business is succeeding and not know why you succeeded. Knowing your super power and using it consistently
47 minutes | a month ago
Episode 150 - 3 Things Facebook Advertisers Should Do Right Now with Bob Regnerus
Facebook is still a land of opportunity, but it is NOT currently smooth sailing. The most powerful storm right now is, of course, privacy concerns. Namely, the iOS 14 update and how it will impact advertisers' ability to track and optimize campaigns. Facebook’s ability to track users everywhere online as they did in the past is going to be severely limited. Whenever I talk to Facebook advertisers right now, uncertainty is the best way to describe their outlook on the platform. In this episode, Bob and I tackle some really key issues facing Facebook advertisers right now. How do we continue to scale and maintain CPAs in the face of privacy changes? What kind of video ads are working right now? What data do we focus on and optimize toward when some data is taken away? Bob is the author of a brand new book - The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising (4th edition). And he owns a company that specializes in creating authentic video content called feed stories. Spend 80% of your time on your offer and on your creative What is the conversion API and why you need it The power of interview-based video ads How you should think about audience targeting right now How targeting based on engagement metrics such as watch time on a video ad can be just as effective or MORE effective than retargeting landing page visitors. While Facebook is pushing for shorter videos Bob is finding success with :60 to :90 videos consistently How changes in online platforms is creating a renaissance of sorts for marketers
41 minutes | a month ago
Episode 149 - 2021 Predictions Show with Andrew Youderian of Ecommerce Fuel
Andrew Youderian is a bit of a legend. Podcaster, investor, former eCommerce store operator, and now founder of the premier online community for 7 and 8 figure eCommerce store owners - Ecommerce Fuel. That’s why I’m super pumped to have him on the show this week to talk predictions for the rest of 2021! In this episode, we put on our Nostradamus hats and try to predict what we might see more of this year. I focus a little more on the ad and marketing space as it relates to eCommerce. Andrew focuses his predictions more on eCommerce as a whole, plus a few macroeconomic predictions. Hopefully, you find this fun and entertaining, and helpful. Even if we end up being dead wrong about our predictions, I think you’ll find some interesting nuggets here.
49 minutes | a month ago
Episode 148 - Step-by-Step Influencer Marketing + Community Building for Rapid Growth with Adi Arezzini
How does potty talk on Instagram lead to a thriving eComm brand and a world-class influencer marketing program? Normally it doesn’t, but Adi Arezzini isn’t your typical eCommerce entrepreneur. Few companies run influencer marketing as successfully as Adi Arezzini. And few people understand what it takes to build a brand and a community like Adi. What started as discussions on Instagram about gut and bowel health transformed into a thoroughly engaged community and a brand that’s growing by leaps and bounds. Everyone says they want to build a brand. Few know what that means. Even fewer are willing to do what it takes. In this episode Adi and I break down her step-by-step approach to influencer marketing + brand and community building. Here’s a quick look at what we discuss: How to find influencers with REAL influence How influencer marketing help Adi land in UltaHow to use a spreadsheet to build your first influencer lists The difference between IG and YT influencers How to leave nothing to chance and help influencers feel like you’re rooting for them and helping them succeed When to pay fees for influencers vs. when to pay commissions Tools to tracking and making influencer marketing easy How spreadsheets can be your secret weapon when getting started with influencer marketing Plus more!
52 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 147 - Branding + Listing Optimization on Amazon with Emma Schermer Tamir
Once upon a time you could source any old product you wanted from Alibaba, slap your name on it, throw up a listing on Amazon, and presto! Instant sales. I personally know several people who sold 7-figures + per year doing this. Well….those days are over. Everyone I know who ran that kind of business is either 1. Out of business or 2. Had to make a hard pivot. To succeed on Amazon now you need to build a brand. You need products that delight customers and serve a unique purpose. You need listings that clearly communicate your brand difference and value proposition. And you need to work on driving rankings the right way. My guest today is Emma Schermer Tamir - Co-founder of Marketing by Emma. We talk about how listing optimization on Amazon has shifted in recent years and how brand building now plays a major role in your success on Amazon. Here’s a look at what we discuss: From brand registry to making customers happy, to Google traffic - why building a brand makes sense. Spammy product titles or more pleasing to the eye titles - what works and what doesn’t when crafting the perfect title Why skimmability should be one of your primary goals when writing bullet points and descriptions How proper listing optimization on Amazon can possibly lead to more traffic from Google What great brands can teach us about A+ content, product differentiation, and breaking through the noise on Amazon.
56 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 146 - Handling Adversity, Setbacks and Constant Change in eCommerce with Ken Kline of VHC Brands
Few eComm and wholesale businesses reach the heights that VHC Brands has reached under the leadership of Ken Kline. You’ve maybe seen their home decor products in big retailers like Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond or online at Wayfair, Amazon and many more. Also, few eComm businesses have faced the setbacks that Ken and team have faced. From a fire that completely destroyed their inventory in the mid 2000s to COVID wrecking their in-store retail plans in 2020 - they’ve faced some crazy times and come out stronger. Here’s a look at what we cover. Why over communicating is the secret to vendor, investor and employee relationships. How they overcame a warehouse fire that likely would have destroyed most businesses (Plus the story of Ken’s Winston Churchill painting that miraculously survived the fire). How to relay your road map to your team, make adjustments and celebrate along the way (even when things are bleak). How to take initiative to help your retail partners in selling more of your stuff. How to inspire and empower your team when challenging times hit.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 145 - Overlooked Growth Hacks (How to NOT be a One Trick Pony) with Jared Mitchell
Jared Mitchell has a unique perspective on the eCommerce industry. He and his wife, Alana, run two eCommerce sites - skincarebyalana.com and alanamitchell.com. He’s also the lead eCommerce consultant for Neil Patel and he runs an eCommerce training group at beefysites.com. This guy has forgotten more good eCommerce ideas than most will ever learn. Jared is also a close friend and he’s my surfing mentor. We do take a very brief detour to talk surfing on this episode, but mostly we talk about overlooked growth ideas! Here’s a look at what we explore on the podcast: How to NOT be a one-trick pony. And many, many successful eCommerce businesses are far too reliant on just one traffic source or one product. Why Jared recommends at least 10 sources of sales and what channels make his top 10 list. Push notifications - how and why they work and why you shouldn’t over-think them Phone sales - customers who buy over the phone often have twice the average order value of other buyers. Postcards - how Jared and Alana sold almost $30,000 worth of product on a simple and cheap postcard. Live video - what to share in a live video, how to broadcast your video, and how to repurpose your video once it’s complete.
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 144 - Cyber 5 Recap
Cyber 5 Recap While holiday shopping is still in full swing at the time of this writing, we do have some preliminary numbers for the Cyber 5 2020 (Thanksgiving Thursday–Cyber Monday) and an early look at how Holiday 2020 as a whole is shaping up. Here are five key observations, so far, for Holiday 2020. We’re breaking every eCommerce record and it’s not even close. No surprise here, but this year marks a record for online sales for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Adobe Analytics was predicting two years’ worth of growth being packed into this Holiday Shopping season. So far, we’re on track. It’s less about a single day, and more about the weekend. This has been the trend for the last few years where retailers and shoppers alike view the Cyber 5 as one big event rather than just the individual days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is still the largest single day, with Black Friday coming in second place. However, Saturday, now dubbed Small Business Saturday, isn’t far behind. In fact, Black Friday this year was only 8% larger in total sales than Small Business Saturday. Here’s a quick look at how the Cyber 5 performed. A lot of this growth has come at the expense of in-store shopping. CNBC estimates that Black Friday in-store traffic was down 52% year over year, while curbside pickup is up 52%. Day Total Sales YoY Growth Thanksgiving (11/26/20) $5.1B 21.5% Black Friday (11/27/20) $9.03B 21.6% Small Business Saturday (11/28/20) $4.68B 30.19% Cyber Monday (11/30/20) $10.84B 15.1% Shipaggedon is real. I first heard this term on one of my favorite podcasts—the Jason and Scot Show (Episode 245). Basically, it’s the idea that delivery networks were already strained due to the pandemic-induced boom in online shopping before the holiday rush. Now, with a record-breaking holiday season on top of a strained system, something has to give. It’s no joke, and it will be interesting to see how it impacts the rest of the holiday shopping. Both UPS and FedEx have recently announced they are cutting some retailers off from being able to ship more packages. This will likely mean early cut offs for guaranteed delivery before Christmas. It could also mean a lot of packages just won’t make it in time for Christmas morning. Costs are up, but performance is up more. As a digital advertising agency working with some up-and-coming eCommerce brands, we get an inside look into both ad spend and performance across Google Ads, YouTube Ads and Amazon Ads. While numbers aren’t finalized yet, we are seeing that costs have indeed gone up from last year, but conversion rates have gone up even more creating really nice year-over-year growth in total sales and total ad performance. Early analysis shows that CPCs are up nearly 20% year-over-year, but conversion rates are up over 50%. Predictions for the remainder of the holiday shopping season. With more cities across the US seeing surges in new cases of COVID-19, it’s unlikely to see a material shift from online shopping back to in-store shopping. We should see this record breaking pace continue for the rest of the holiday season. The wildcard is shipaggedon. My prediction is that we’ll see a fair number of digital gift cards purchased and printed off, as well as pictures of gifts that are in transit, but won’t be under the Christmas tree. Online shopping likely won’t slow down too much. Fingers crossed that shipaggedon won’t be as bad as we’re expecting.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 143 - Building & Protecting Culture - The Story of Thread Wallets with Colby Bauer
Colby Bauer has personality. He’s a half-pipe skating, snowboarding, former collegiate athlete who turned a simple idea into a thriving eComm business. He and his wife McKenzie started Thread Wallets with just a single product idea. Simple, functional, minimalist wallets with personality. That initial product took off and Thread quickly grew into a team of 22 that now boasts an expanding product line including lanyards, phone cases, and more. While there’s a lot to be impressed about with Colby and McKenzie, and their team I really wanted to key in on Thread’s culture and the unique steps they took to grow. I think you’ll find a ton of good lessons here: How the key to scale might be engaging in activities that DON’T scale How financial intelligence (or lack thereof) can make or break startups How to hire for culture first and is the “hire slow, fire fast” mantra really the way to go How installing a half-pipe at the office lead to a fight amongst the thread founders, but lead to mental health as a focus for the company A good CEO is a non-busy CEO…what does this mean and how is it the key to effectiveness
51 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 142 - Turning Conversational Commerce Into a Competitive Advantage with Phil Roireau
Conversational commerce. What is it? Basically, it’s taking the in-person shopping experience of asking questions and talking to retail sales staff and moving it into multiple online channels seamlessly. Today shoppers want to interact with you in a variety of ways and they want near-instant feedback. Messenger. SMS. Chat. Facebook comments. Your customers expect you to be everywhere they are when they need you. In this interview, Phil and I talk about some of the foundations of conversational commerce - both strategies and tactics. This will help guide all of your conversational commerce efforts. Here’s a quick look at what we discuss. What components of conversational commerce should you consider? What impact can conversational commerce have on conversion rates? How to look at the dashboard and KPIs related to conversational commerce. How this impacts your paid acquisition efforts. Lots of real-world examples Plus more
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 141 - Prime Day + Early Holiday Insights with Chris Tyler of OMG Commerce
Very little about 2020 has been normal - including Prime Day. This year’s Prime Day was in October vs. Amazon’s usual July time frame. What did this mean for 2020 Prime Day vs. 2019 Prime Day? Would this year’s Prime Day make the official launch of holiday sales? In this episode, I bring back OMG Commerce’s Amazon Director Chris Tyler to discuss what we noticed this year during Prime Day with our clients. Here’s a look at what we discuss: Total prime day sales grew 70% year-over-year in 2019 vs. 2018, but only grew 45% year-over-year in 2020 compared to 2019 (Statista report). $3.5 billion of the estimated $10 billion in total sales on Prime Day were from 3rd party sellers, but the most popular item on Prime Day was Amazon’s deeply discounted Echo Dot. What categories of products we saw perform the best for our OMG clients. 62% of Prime Day purchases this year were for gifts for someone else according to Digital Commerce 360. Why we didn’t see as dramatic of a list for 2020 Prime Day vs. 2019 Prime Day, but sales immediately after prime day this year have been strong. The impact of Prime Day on Sponsored Brand Video Ads and overall ad performance Interesting Amazon DSP trends during Prime Day and since Plus more!
48 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 140 - 6-Figure Product Launches on Kickstarter with Khierstyn Ross
Khierstyn Ross is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to launching products on Kickstarter. She’s experienced the highs of multiple 6-figure product launches, plus she’s endured the heartache of a launch gone bad. She knows what to do and, just as importantly, what to avoid. In this podcast, we talk about the keys to building a 6-figure crowd-funded product launch including: What products work best for a Kickstarter launch Why audience building is so important, how to do it, and why so many people underestimate it. What kind of targets to set for your first day of your Kickstarter launch What to consider when it comes to shipping Top mistakes to avoid How storytelling fuels crowd-funding launches Plus more!
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 139 - Making Data Actionable and Developing a Data 6-Pack with Dan LeBlanc of Daasity
What do six-packs, successful pilots and 2020 have in common? No, it’s not a drinking game. We’re talking data here people! Do you know your data…like really know your data? Do you have a feel for it? Do you look at the right numbers daily? Let’s talk pilots for just a second. If you’ve ever seen a cockpit, it looks kinda like most eCommerce dashboards - an overwhelming amount of buttons, data, dials, and meters. But pilots actually focus mostly on just a few key instruments. The rest is there to help if there’s trouble. The same should be true for the dashboards you use to run your business. I absolutely loved this interview with Dan LeBlanc at Daasity. We cover some really important topics to help you really get a handle on managing your business. Here’s a quick rundown: Is your data accurate? Seems like an easy question. Not always an easy answer. Do you know what your metrics mean? It’s all in the definition. If you don’t have the right definition, you can’t make good decisions. How you should look at your Lifetime Value (LTV) and why Cohorts matter Why contribution margin is super important plus an easy way to calculate it Knowing your RFM - Recency, frequency, and monetary value. Here’s how to look at this and why it matters.
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 138 - The Integrated YouTube Influencer Strategy Ridge Wallets Used to Build a $60 Million eCommerce Business with Sean Frank
There are two different types of sponsored YouTube influencer videos: An integrated sponsored video and Stand-alone sponsored video. Stand-alone sponsored influencer videos are what most brands use and what most people think of when they hear “YouTube influencer marketing.” Stand-alone videos are typically an influencer providing a quick review or endorsement about a particular product. So the video is titled “Widget 12 Pro Unboxing and review.” An integrated sponsored influencer videos is an ad put inside of video on a separate topic. The video might be about fortnite or camping, or whatever, but inside the video is a 30 second ad, read by the creator, for your product. These integrated video ads are Ridge Wallets secret sauce. Here’s a quick look at what we uncover on the show: Why integrated sponsored videos are so great and why they scale better than stand alone influencer videos. How to approach influencers Why subscribers on YouTube is largely a vanity metric How to spot a dead channel vs. an active channel How to measure the impact of your influencer videos What to pay influencers and how to think about CPMs (cost per thousand) How to achieve scale in your outreach and deployment of influencer videos Plus more!
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 137 - SEO, Content & Influencer Marketing with Kevin Urrutia from Chester Travel
During a pandemic, marketing for a travel company isn’t easy. Kevin Urrutia and team at Chester Travel are getting creative and hustling to drive sales now and set themselves up for success in the future. In this episode, we talk about the perfect combination of short term and long term growth strategies. Using influencer marketing for short term growth and SEO for long term traffic and growth has proved to be a winning combination for Chester Travel and their line of modern luggage. Here’s a look at what we cover in this episode: Leveraging returns and unsold inventory for influencer marketing. Understanding the value of your product in influencer marketing. Simple outreach for influencer marketing….you’re probably overthinking it. Try this one sentence approach. How a solid Instagram account is a necessary prerequisite for influencer marketing. Leveraging your homepage to rank your blog posts Combining remarketing and SEO to drive sales.
46 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 136 - Line Extension and Licensing to Fuel Growth with Chris Lynch Everyday Cali
In a word, Chris Lynch is cool. So is his brand Everyday California. It’s not a surprise then, that what started as an adventure tour company also became a super popular apparel line. But Chris and the Everyday Cali team didn’t stop there… The brand has now grown to include flip flops, beer, CBD and even a line of sunscreen. So what separates a solid business move into new products vs. an unhealthy distraction? When should you partner, license, go on your own, or scrap an idea? Here’s what we dive into on this episode: When to lawyer up and why it’s sooo worth it Be patient - speed in some instances almost guarantees that you land on your face. One of the best questions to ask about adding a new product is “does it feel right?” How Chris and team partnered with a brewery on a California IPA and a CBD company to make a CBD product all while strengthening their core brand offering. Lessons learned from a few license deals How and why Everyday Cali is launching a brand new sunscreen - if you’re considering a line extension, you’ll love Chris’ advice.
50 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 135 - Balancing Growth on Amazon & Your Own Store - Peter Awad of Mission Meats
Mission meats is just a few years old, but it’s gobbling up market share in the red-hot meat snack category. Peter Awad is a long time eCommerce pro. He started selling auto parts on eBay in 2000. Now he and his co-founder Nick have built a meat snack store with a mission. They’re using profits from eCommerce to help fight deforestation, educate children in Africa, and support homeless women and children. But they don’t just have big hearts, they have some serious marketing chops too. In this episode, we explore the challenges and opportunities of marketing a product that could literally appeal to anyone. We also explore how to maintain the balancing act of growing your own store AND growing on Amazon. How to treat Amazon from a merchandising perspective. Prospecting for new customers - Is this and Amazon first or Shopify first strategy How to increase repeat purchases in a fun way How pride or ego can limit growth with any paid ad channel Crazy CRO tests and the practice of asking “what if the opposite were true?” Important mindset issues that help fuel successful entrepreneurs
50 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 134 - Navigating Volatility with FB Ads and Turning Problems Into Opportunities with Molly Pittman & John Grimshaw
CPAs that suddenly double overnight. Skyrocketing CPMs. Winning ads that suddenly turn into losers. Data changes that impact how ads are being run now. The list of potential issues, potholes, loopholes, and blackholes for online advertising goes on and on. So what’s an eComm store owner or media buyer to do? Call in Molly Pittman and John Grimshaw from Smart Marketer. These are two of my favorite people to interview and today I have them both with me for the same episode. And it’s a doozy. Here’s a look at what we cover: How to have the right mindset for navigating volatility (this is more important than you think) What to do when ad performance tanks Where you should tinker to improve performance and where you shouldn’t Why this is still the greatest time in history to be a marketer - volatility and all. 3 Spot checks to make sure you are ready to scale traffic The impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act and new changes coming to iOS 14….the good, the bad, and the scary.
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