eCommerce Evolution is hosted by Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. Tune in for fresh interviews with the merchants, vendors, and experts shaping the eCommerce industry. We take an in-depth look at what's new and what's next in eCommerce.
As some of you may know, my very first foray into online marketing was in the crazy world of SEO. That was circa 2004. After creating some wins for an online print shop I was hooked on SEO. In the early days of OMG Commerce, SEO was our bread and butter. Now it’s still an important channel, but as Google has become more of a pay-to-play environment, more companies come to us wanting help with ads. But…ignoring SEO is a mistake. The best, biggest and enduring eCommerce companies have an SEO strategy and they execute it. My guest on the podcast today is one of the very first OMG Commerce employees, Brandi Johnston. She runs our SEO department and works with Amazon organic optimization.
In this episode we cover a host of practical tips and insights related to SEO including:
How SEO has changed since 2013 and what that means for us today.
What are the easiest SEO wins merchants should focus on?
What are some SEO wins that take a little more work but still pay off in the long run?
What is a rel=canonical tag and a cross-domain rel=canonical tag and could we get any nerdier?
What is a zombie page and how doe they impact SEO results?
What are the top SEO tools, blogs and extensions to consider?
Connor Young is a bit of a health nut – and an exercise enthusiast. He’s also an entrepreneur.
He’s combined his passions into a powerful and growing commerce business called Ample Foods. Connor and his team are doing a lot of things right with Ample. What potentially stands above the other wins is that they have achieved two very successful crowdfunding campaigns. The first was a traditional crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which set the platform’s record for highest funded project in the food category. The second was an equity crowdfunding campaign that raised just under $800,000 on a $15 million valuation.
If you’re launching a new product or considering a crowdfunding project or equity funding project you need to check out this episode. Here’s a look at what we cover:
3 elements of any great crowdfunding pitch
Why your crowdfunding pitch needs to go viral and how Connor did it for Ample Foods
Use crowdfunding both to launch a company or a new product
Why Connor would skip hiring a PR firm for his crowdfunding campaign if he had to do it all over again
How to use Facebook Ads and Influencers for a successful campaign
How “all the work” is in the pre-launch
How to set your goal and why it’s important to be strategic about your goal
Why momentum especially in the first 2 days is so important.
The first glowing testimonial I heard about Joana Galvao was from Ezra Firestone. Next was my buddy, Jared Mitchell, of Skincare by Alana. Joana was described as a designer who “Gets it” – who understands how design impacts online experience and sales.
She recently spoke at Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego and I heard she brought down the house. So I wanted her to come on the podcast and talk about how design and visuals impact shopping behavior. Here’s a look at what we cover:
The branding triad and where most businesses fall short.
How color can influence experience and results…and a truly mind-blowing laundry detergent user experience that illustrates this beautifully.
How we’re wired to make assumptions at the subconscious level about whether something is expensive or cheap, quality or shoddy…all within seconds. You need to incorporate this for your products!
How your product packaging should engage all of the senses.
How to make your copy more visually appealing.
Joana’s 5-Step Process that every brand should go through for better performance.
Austin Brawner is a legend in the eCommerce space, namely because his podcast – Ecommerce Influence – is one of the most popular in the industry. Austin has worked with, and is friends with, many of the top DTC brands in eCommerce – MVTM Watches, Pura Vida Bracelets, Blenders Eyewear, Four Sigmatic and many others. In fact, we reminisce on the podcast about a dinner we both attended in San Diego with the founders of those companies all together in a room hanging out and swapping stories.
What separates eCommerce brands that scale vs. those that stall and plateau? What separates the Bonobos and Away Luggage companies of the world from an eCommerce company that hits a ceiling at 5 or 10 million per year in sales? Austin has a unique perspective on this topic, having walked alongside dozens of the biggest ecommerce brands of our generation.
In this episode Austin and I break down the following:
What you need to know about AOV and LTV and how it directly impacts your ability to scale.
How product market fit impacts scale potential – and why combining a hungry market with a product people want to identify with is so important.
Demand Generation vs. Demand Capture…which is better and which lends itself to scale.
The road map to building a team and scaling your business
Why a CEO’s role is mainly about people and product and what that means.
How and when to hire an agency.
Why it’s hard to scale single SKU businesses and why line extension is imperative.
My buddy, Johnny Pinto, has a unique product, a unique story, and a unique approach to eCommerce growth. He’s the CEO and Co-Founder of Boom.Boom. Boom.Boom produces an essential oil based inhaler that refreshes and energizes you. These types of inhalers are super popular in South East Asia, and Boom.Boom is determined to make them popular in the US too. The story of Boom.Boom is chock full of fantastic marketing and entrepreneurial lessons.
John got his start in business working for an LA start-up that would later become SnackNation which is now a 200 person thriving company. When John joined he was one of 3 employees. That’s also where he met our mutual friend and host of the eCommerce Influence podcast – Austin Brawner.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview and I’m confident you will too. Here’s a look at what we cover:
How John has masterfully used bootstrap marketing and “sampling” to propel his company’s growth – you should too!
How John and his wife Chelsea got on Shark Tank.
What he learned from being in the tank and why they ultimately walked away from a deal.
How they went viral on Twitter AND ended up on Ellen.
How he’s perfected the art of boot-strap marketing. Most eCommerce companies overlook this to their detriment.
Their philosophy for building long-form PDP pages that convert!
Ro Bhatia has some serious eCommerce chops. He started his career at Google, then spent 5 years at Yahoo, then worked for eBay with merchants, then ran the dot com division for Home Depot. Now he’s the Chief Product and Strategy officer at Limelight Ecommerce.
In this episode we dig into growth tactics that you probably either haven’t thought of or aren’t leveraging properly. Ro has a wealth of experience and he dishes it out in this episode. Here’s a quick look at what we cover:
If you’re using chat on your site, you’re probably making one fatal flaw. Here’s how to fix it quickly, plus Ro’s favorite chat tool.
Cross-sells and upsets make up 30% of eCommerce sales! We talk about Ro’s favorite ways to boost cross-sells, upsells and downsells.
In the new relationship economy cost of acquisition is high, and bumping AOV is critical. If you don’t have a high enough AOV your marketing options will be limited.
How to properly use data to create buckets of users to show them the right message at the right time (plus an embarrassing eBay story).
How to delight your customers like Netflix does…(and how “stale” is a kiss of death)
How to build loyalty and beat friendly churn.
The best remarketing cohorts to build and how to communicate with them differently.
How to put all of this together to create a compounding growth effect!
I just got back from a trip to the Amazon HQ in Seattle. Chris Tyler, our Director of Amazon Services, and I were there visiting with our Amazon DSP reps (more on DSP in a minute). We recently found out we were the fastest growing agency in 2018 in terms of DSP spend. We got to preview new audience targeting options, discuss new ad options coming soon to the Amazon ecosystem and more…Blow your mind kinda awesome stuff.
If you’re not familiar with it, Amazon DSP (stands for Demand Side Platform) is a way to run display ads on and off Amazon targeting Amazon shoppers. With DSP you can run retargeting ads targeting people who’ve visited your product listings on Amazon but didn’t purchase. You can also target people who’ve visited your competitors’ products on Amazon but haven’t purchased. And there are a TON more audience targeting options to consider. Here’s a quick look at what we cover on the episode:
Highlights from our Amazon trip including dogs, domes, and, of course, great coffee!
What about Amazon DSP makes it “blow your mind awesome?”
What are the top audiences to target with DSP and where should you start?
What kind of return can you expect from DSP?
How to use DSP to build loyalty with Recapture, Reorder and/or Cross-sell/Up-sell campaigns.
How does Amazon DSP compliment Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands – the core of Amazon advertising?
My guest today is John Li, co-founder of Pickfu. John is a really sharp dude, with a very unique service. A service that started as a side project and became a standalone business sort of on accident…more on that in the episode.
Pickfu is a consumer feedback tool that allows you to get real customer feedback in minutes. This has driven insights into product page enhancements, better product imagery, better ads, better Amazon listings and more.
In this episode, we dive into some of the top learnings John and his team have gained from the myriad of tests run on their platform. Some are quite surprising. I’m confident that you’ll take away a few things you need to test or change to improve your sales on and off Amazon. Here’s a highlight of what we cover:
Surprising learnings from testing images and how your biases might be hurting your results on and off Amazon.
3 keys to better descriptions on your Amazon listings that consistently outperform the norm.
How to find out what features and benefits a customer is really buying when they buy your product so you can highlight those features and benefits in your ads.
How there are probably some things that you think are “good enough” that are probably costing you sales.
How to properly run a test and how to ask consumers good questions. If you ask bad questions, you’ll get bad feedback…the kind that’s unhelpful and not actionable.
If you are interested in Checking out PickFu Click Here
Steve Chou is an eCommerce podcast host, eCommerce store owner, and former microprocessor designer. In fact, the microprocessor running the phone in your hand was likely designed by Steve’s team. All of that to say, Steve is a pretty smart dude.
I recently saw Steve in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World where we were both speaking. We had lunch and talked a little about Chatbots. I was instantly intrigued. Chatbots and Messenger ads have huge potential to create more helpful, more personal experiences with your brand. All with the goal of increasing sales and building loyalty.
Here’s a quick look at what Steve and I discuss…
The rules behind using Messenger as a business. Facebook is very strict here. If you don’t know the rules, you’ll likely get yourself into trouble.
How often should you send promotional messages on Messenger?
When to run true Messenger Ads vs. when you can run other ad types on Facebook but tie in Messenger in a stealthy way (this will save you some money on ads).
How Steve is using Messenger bots to cut down on customer service calls by 70%.
My guest on this show is a legend in the eCommerce space. He’s the founder of the Shopify Agency, Ethercycle. He’s the host of the wildly popular Unofficial Shopify Podcast. And, he’s just an overall really smart dude.
When most ecommerce companies consider conversion rate optimization the usually immediately think of split testing, multivariate testing, cart optimization, etc. BUT, most merchants fail to ask a very important question – “where should I start with my conversion optimization efforts?” And, according to our guest today, the answer to that question is rarely – if ever – split testing.
I knew the general direction of this interview before we started to record, but I didn’t know specifics. I was blown away by the simplicity, but also the power of Kurt’s suggestions. EVERY store owner would benefit from going through the exercises discussed in this episode. Here’s a quick glimpse at what we covered:
The power of surveys for your best customers and how a recent survey totally transformed a brick oven seller.
How to ask questions of your best customers including Kurt’s 3 favorite questions to ask.
What information to glean from people who visit your site and don’t convert.
How to harness the power of heat maps and scroll maps.
The little known “coffee shop gift card” test for watching how users interact with your site.
Some of Kurt’s favorite tools for testing
Tips for split testing if you chose to go that route.