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eCommerce Evolution

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.
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Mar 31, 2020

Liz Germain is a YouTube Marketing legend.  We met when I was speaking at an event for eCommerce brands at the YouTube LA Offices.  Between her own fitness channel and her client’s channels, she’s helped rack up over 100 million organic video views on YouTube.  Wow. In this interview, we deep dive into how she does it. From the content, she creates to the research that inspires it. We also discuss where you should start and how to take your YouTube channel to the next level. 

Here’s what we cover

  • Liz’s killer YouTube Influencer structure that leverages evergreen content for years of leads 
  • How Liz created a video and blog post for a natural birth control method that is still generating leads and sales 4 years after it was created.  Compare that to an Instagram story that has a shelf life of just 24 hours.  
  • The 3 types of YouTube content and where you should start
  • The fundamentals of building a great YouTube Channel
  • Plus more!
Mar 25, 2020

We’ve all had the following experience.  We’re on a quest for a specific product hoping if will fulfill a very specific need.  So we visit a product page on Amazon or another eCommerce site hoping that this might be the product we’ve been eagerly searching for….But, to our disappointment the product page doesn’t clearly tell us if the product will meet our need or not.  So we don’t buy. Uh-oh.

Pop quiz.  What can increase customer engagement, improve conversion rates by 2-10x, and drive substantial organic traffic?  Easy - Q&A content. My guest this week is James Arnold, the Co-Founder of Answer Base a SaaS platform that makes it easy to collect and leverage Q&A and FAQ content.  In this episode we dive into the following:

  • Why Q&A content on product details pages is so powerful
  • Taking a cue from Amazon where and how to use Q&A content on PDPs
  • How to build a Knowledge Based that answers 80%+ of your shoppers questions
  • How to structure your Q&A content to rank well on Google….HINT:  Google LOVES Q&A Content. And so do shoppers.  
  • How to leverage FAQ pages
  • Plus more!
Mar 18, 2020

Quick - what’s the best, most effective viral video ad you’ve seen?  Poo-Pourri? Purple Mattress? Maybe Squatty Potty? Chatbooks? Each of those videos (plus dozens more) were created by my guest today and his team at Harmon Brothers.  And not only where these videos viral hits…they SOLD stuff. Funny. Memorable. And persuasive to the tunes of hundreds of millions in sales. That's hard to accomplish.  

In this episode, we dig into some of the tips, tactics and secrets behind the Harmon Brother’s unrivaled success.  We dive into the following:

  • 3 big mistakes most companies make when it comes to video ads
  • Why humor is NOT a silver bullet 
  • The inside scoop behind Poo-Pourri and haw it launched the Harmon Brothers to national prominence
  • How do you land on the right “BIG idea”
  • How and when to get feedback on your script and initial video edits
  • How to think and create videos like the Harmon Brothers
  • Plus more
Mar 11, 2020
The thought of going International with your eComm business is both exciting and scary. It also seems like a HUGE undertaking. New tax codes, laws, and confusing acronyms to deal with like VAT and GST. Plus we still have the dated mindset that says we only expand internationally once we’ve maximized what we can get here in the good ole U S of A.  

Kevin Sanderson will challenge your thinking and bust some myths to help you go international much sooner than you possibly thought…maybe right now. Here’s what we discuss:
  • What market you should target first when you go international
  • What markets should you consider 2nd and 3rd when going International
  • What are some non-obvious benefits to going international like lower ad costs and lower competition
  • What about Australia?
  • What steps to take and when to try your first international market
  • Plus much more!
Feb 26, 2020

Transparency. Sustainability. Social responsibility. More than just buzz words these are now expectations that consumers have of the brands they buy from. In this episode, we dive into what it means to be a mission-driven eCommerce brand. We share lots of powerful examples like Everlane, All Birds and more.
My friend Ezra Firestone’s company Smart Marketer has the perfect slogan - Serve the World Unselfishly and Profit. Now you can do the right thing by fighting hunger, helping orphans, cleaning up the environment or supporting mental health AND build a profitable brand in the process.


In this episode with Stephen we discuss the following:

  • Who is the conscious consumer and how are they impacting eCommerce?
  • Do companies have to go “all-in” on a mission or can this be a gradual process?
  • What is “greenwashing” and why should you avoid it.
  • Exploring the Mission Driven Marketing Playbook
  • Plus more!
Feb 19, 2020

There are over 150 million Alexa devices in use today.  Google has sold upwards of 50 million of its Google Home devices.  While most devices are used primarily to listen to music or play games or control appliances like lights and heat and air…voice commerce is on the rise too.

In this episode, I interview Anmol Oberoi the Founder and CEO of Emitrr - a voice-first SaaS Platform.  We dive into voice commerce use-cases that are making an impact now. We also talk about where voice commerce is likely heading in the near future.  Here’s a quick look at what we discuss:

  • How games and quizzes through voice can benefit ecommerce companies
  • What voice skills to develop and launch first and how to use customer feedback to make sure you’ll have high adoption rates
  • What are the most popular voice skills that customers want right now 
  • How voice can build loyalty and put a “fence” around your top customers keeping competitors away
  • How smart devices with screens like the Echo Show and Google’ Nest Hub might make the biggest shopping impact right away
Feb 5, 2020

Shopify apps are great.  Someone else spends hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, developing functionality that you can use for just $30 per month.   Apps on Shopify are so easy to install and so seemingly harmless that many store owners install dozens and dozens of apps - many of which they uninstall or never use.  This approach can have serious unintended consequences.

In this episode we dive into a smarter approach to apps that can help any Shopify store owner.  Here’s a look at what we cover:

  • How to determine if it’s better to use an app or hire a developer to hard code a desired functionality. 
  • What category of apps are best to consider now for Shopify
  • What apps are almost always a bad idea
  • How to tell if you have app conflict
  • When should you consider apps vs. just switching to Shopify Plus
  • Plus more!
Jan 29, 2020

It’s safe to say that your SEO approach is likely outdated.  If you’re looking for the latest hack, trick or SEO loophole - you’re barking up the wrong tree.  If you’re obsessing over ranking and traditional keywords then you may be off target.

In this episode we talk about why “intent” is now the most important word in SEO and content marketing.  We look at how search behavior is changing. We also consider how Google is indexing different forms of content like podcasts and video transcripts and what that means to us as marketers.  

In this episode we dive into: 

  • The BERT Update.  What is and how it’s the nail in the coffin for old-school SEO.  
  • Why is intent the most important word for SEO?
  • How REI tackles intent and what you should learn from their content strategies.
  • Different content types - articles, podcasts, etc.
  • How do you figure out what people are searching for and asking at different stages
  • How to create content and rank that content for shoppers at different stages of the buying journey.
  • Plus more!
Jan 24, 2020

Mike Ugino is the CMO and co-founder of Sellbrite a SaaS platform for marketplace sellers.  Sellbrite was recently acquired by GoDaddy. In this episode we breakdown how Mike and his business partner Brian approached building the company with selling it in mind.  We also talk about what the acquisition process was like including saying no to GoDaddy initially. In this episode we uncover some golden ideas for scaling and exiting your business including:

  • How constraints lead to creativity
  • What building it to sell means and looks like
  • Hitting plateaus and how to grow again
  • How to know if a deal is right and saying “no” when it isn’t….even if it means turning down GoDaddy
  • How to keep your culture when you sell
Jan 15, 2020
Who doesn’t love a good story? As humans, we’ve relied on storytelling for entertainment, education, and preservation of culture since the beginning of time. Storytelling is also for marketers.
 
During my first sales job at a local radio station my boss sagely advised me that “facts tell, but stories sell.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. In this episode, I chat with the charming Jaime Cross the founder of MIG Soap. From her kitchen table to now a multi-million dollar eCommerce business Jaime has grown largely based on great products and solid storytelling.  Here’s a taste of what we cover:
  • What’s the psychology behind storytelling?
  • How good storytelling can increase the perceived value of a product by 2x or more.  
  • Common storytelling mistakes to avoid. 
  • The process MIG uses to get their overall story right…and then to get the story right for each product.  
  • How to turn customer testimonials into stories
  • How do you deliver your story across email, product detail pages, and more.  
  • Storytelling resources
Jan 8, 2020

Jeremiah Allen has been driving growth for small-to-medium-sized eCommerce companies since 1997 — before the internet was cool — and has helped hundreds of company founders grow. While he still enjoys client work, in 2017, he began acquiring and building his own eCommerce brands.

In this episode, we get super TACTICAL. It’s a deluge of tips and tricks on how to improve your checkout process. There’s so much here you’ll probably want to listen to it a few times. Here’s a sneak peek at what we cover.

Tips:

  • How to use a cart slide outs after you hit add to cart and why it’s effective.
  •  Simple works - larger fonts, larger buttons, larger thumbnails can all create big wins.
  • What % of your shoppers should hit checkout and what % should complete checkout? If you’re below these numbers you have some work to do.
  • How shipping options can increase checkout.
  • 4 ways to drive post-purchase upsells - fast!
  • What asks and offers should you put on your thank you page.
  • How an email from the founder can be your secret weapon.
  • How to handle payment options.
  • Plus sooooo much more.
Jan 1, 2020
Dec 23, 2019
For our 100th episode we wanted to do something different. Rather than one guest, we invited 6 of our most popular guests we’ve ever had on the show. Since we’re wrapping up 2019, we decided to ask these super smart eComm pros what their top predictions were for 2020. They did NOT disappoint. We cover some GREAT predictions including:
  • How and why some merchants will shift some of their focus away from Amazon (we’re already seeing this with Nike).
  • How merchants will shift their video strategy in 2020 (will we go short form or long form?)
  • Why “profitability” may be the focus rather than scale in 2020
  • How SEO is shifting away from traditional keywords in 2020
  • How automation is working (and how it doesn’t replace everything)
  • How new privacy laws and policies will make things harder (and easier) for marketers
  • Plus more!
Dec 4, 2019

Molly Pittman is a bit of a legend in the digital marketing space.  Bartender turned marketing intern for Ryan Deiss, turned VP of Marketing for Digital Marketer, turned entrepreneur - Molly’s story is an inspiring one.  And she flat knows her stuff!

In this episode, we dig into some real gems.  We do go pretty deep on what’s working now on Facebook, but we also talk about the benefits of building an in-house team vs. the benefits of an agency.  We talk about entrepreneurial lessons and what life is like in Amsterdam (where Molly currently lives).

Here’s a look at what we cover:

  • Why being fluid might be the most important entrepreneurial trait…and why it’s important for digital marketers
  • Why curiosity and fascination are crucial in our current marketing landscape
  • What is CBO and how it’s impacting Molly’s Facebook ad campaign and what you should do about it.
  • What are the 3 facets of Facebook’s new Quality Ranking and how to optimize your ads
  • How low quality rankings can dramatically drive up costs or get your ads shut down
  • Plus more
Nov 27, 2019

Charles Livingston knows a thing or two about rapid growth.  He turned a supplement offer into a 12 million per year business. And now his Coffee Company - Lifeboost Coffee has grown 1,000% in less than 1 year. 

What’s the secret to this kind of growth?  Good Marketing and becoming a “yes” company.  

Charles is also known for having his picture displayed in every single Ezra Firestone presentation.  And this isn’t any old picture. It’s a shirtless pic of Charles all swole up wearing a stethoscope. Yes, there’s a story behind this that we dive into in the podcast.  

More importantly, here’s a breakdown of the keys to rapid growth we breakdown on this episode:

  • Become a “yes” company.  How saying yes more has led to a shockingly low 1.5% refund rate for Lifeboost Coffee.
  • Why clarifying your message is key to scale. ‘
  • How to find your hook and your hone in on a powerful positioning statement
  • How to engineer a great customer experience framework
  • How to charge a premium and make customers gladly pay more
  • How to encourage subscriptions and improve your “stick rate”
  • What’s better - building a brand on Amazon or building a brand off Amazon?  
  • Plus more!
Nov 20, 2019

I recently saw Rachel speak at an agency event in New York City.  I was blown away. Rachel has quite the resume.

Forbes listed Rachel as one of its “30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World”, Fast Company named her one of "The Most Creative People in Business", AdAge named her one of "The Most Creative People of The Year," Entrepreneur named her one of the "50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs," Inc named her to the “Female Founders 100,” and the list goes on and on.  After being the Global Director of Digital and Social Media at Gap Rachel traveled the world for 100 days and then founded MikMak, the first native commerce platform for the social video generation. 

Here’s a look at what we cover:

  • Why big companies like Facebook and Google and Amazon are at war for first party data. 
  • Why Rachel believes in the philosophy that if you give up your first party data, you give up your brand.
  • Rachel believes that today’s funnel starts at the consideration level first and that true brand building and loyalty start after the first purchase.  
  • Lessons from Kylie Jenner and Native Deodorant
  • Rachel’s thoughts on Twitch and how it might be a glimpse into the future 
  • Social is the world's largest mall and point of end checkout...are you treating it that way?
  • Plus much more!
Nov 13, 2019

Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-founder of Amazing.  Amazing is the company behind the most successful info product/training course of all time - Amazing Selling Machines.   He and his partner Jason Katzenback also run SellerCon - one of the leading events for Amazon Sellers.  

In this episode we take a quick look into what’s new on Amazon and then we dive deep into a subject I’m quite passionate about - making better decisions.  I’m not sure of another skill more valuable than this one. This doesn’t need you need to always be right...you just need to get it right. We share a great Steve Jobs story in the podcast to illustrate this point.  

Here’s a look at a few of the topics we cover:

  • Confirmation Bias - and getting it right vs. being right
  • Mitigating Risks - with lessons from Sarah Blakely and Richard Branson.  Here Matt shares how he wasted $1million in Ad Spend when he could have tested with only $20,000.  Also we discuss the the Fire bullets, then cannonballs framework from Jim Collins.  
  • Diderot Effect - This deals with how to handle success and how success can lead to bankruptcy.  We also discuss 2nd and 3rd order consequences.  
  • Keep a decision log - Why and how and what this looks like for Matt. 
  • Some of Matt’s favorite books on the subject
  • Plus more!
Nov 6, 2019

If you’re currently running ads to cold audiences - whether that’s on Facebook, YouTube, Google Display Network or anywhere else - you need to consider where you’re sending that cold traffic.  Do you send it to your home page? Product detail page? Those options can work, but you need to test sending traffic to pre-sale content.  

What is pre-sale content?  To explain, I brought in one of the foremost experts on the subject, Lindsay Marder.  

Lindsay Marder is a self-proclaimed content marketing nerd.  She served as Managing Editor for Digital marketer for 4 years.  Now she’s working with brands to spread their missions and engage with customers.  She’s also the Co-founder of Digital Strategy Bootcamps with Molly Pittman and John Grimshaw.  

Here’s what we cover on the show:

  • What is pre-sale content?  
  • Why pre-sale engagement content is PERFECT for cold traffic, especially paid cold traffic.  
  • Real-world examples including the legendary 5 make up tips for older women - page used by Ezra Firestone and Boom by Cindy Joseph.  
  • How Third Love used pre-sale content to show women everywhere that they were putting on their bra all wrong.  
  • How do you identify topics using free Google tools and some simple online research?
  • How to let customers write your ad headlines and content headlines for you. 
  • What can you learn from 5-star and 1-star reviews from your competitor’s products (this is so brilliant).  
  • Dos and Don’ts for the page itself
  • Plus more!
Oct 23, 2019

What’s the ultimate metric you should measure to grow your business?  Smart direct response marketers might say Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).  Advanced direct response marketers might say Lifetime Customer Value. But what does John Grimshaw say?  Well, you’ll have to tune in, but I’ll give you a hint? It’s CVV.

John Grimshaw is traffic Marketing Director at Smart Marketer.  He runs a consulting business called Data Centric Marketing. More importantly than any of that, he’s wicked smart.  

I LOVE this episode.  Here’s a quick look at what we cover:

  • What is lifetime customer value (LCV)?  Why it’s important and why it’s so tough to calculate.
  • How should you calculate LCV and why it’s such a head-scratcher for most entrepreneurs.  
  • Why LCV is often a flawed or imperfect metric and why Customer Value Velocity (CVV)  is a better metric for scaling your business.  
  • Real world example of how to use CVV to scale?
  • Why you should ignore the canned Lifetime value metric in Google Analytics (but we got nothin’ but love for GA in general.  Just not this metric.).
  • John’s favorite tools and resources for measuring CVV.
  • Plus more!
Oct 16, 2019

Building an irresistible culture.  Creating raving fans. Treating your customers like friends of 10+ years.  These are some of the philosophies that’s taken LiveBearded from a single product lifestyle business to now a leader in the men’s personal care space. 

The only thing more impressive than Anthony Mink’s beard is the culture of raving fans he and co-founder Spencer Bryce have built together. 

Mink has gone from traveling to 30 countries in 7 years to now having a warehouse, office and an incredible team.  

This episode is critically important to any eCommerce company.  Especially as competition heats up and more and more products are becoming commoditized.  

Here’s a look at what we cover:

  • Why culture is the most valuable asset you have
  • How adding value should be your objective ...but this doesn’t always mean cash value.  
  • Why every touch point matters and how to create memorable experiences
  • How Live Bearded has created its own mottos and lingo that fans have adopted.  
  • Treat your customers the way you would a friend of 10 years
  • Your main job is to build raving fans
  • Some crazy Live Bearded stories
  • Plus more!
Oct 9, 2019

Kiri Masters is the founder & CEO of Bobsled Marketing and marketplace institute and host of ECommerce BrainTrust. Author of Amazon Expansion Plan and new book Amazon for CMOs.  We talk Amazon a lot on this podcast.  I wanted to have Kiri on to discuss her philosophy both in how to expand and how to manage growth.  We discuss some really interesting topics including:

  • What CMOs of big brands know about Amazon that we don’t
  • Who you need on your Amazon team
  • How to assemble your own all-star Amazon team?
  • How to take advantage of the full Amazon stack rather than just focusing on one area.
  • Plus more!
Oct 2, 2019

Arri is a whizkid of sorts when it comes to messenger marketing and SMS marketing.  At the ripe old age of 22 he’s leading his team at Conversmart and has worked with some pretty impressive brands including Tuft & Needle, Poo-Pourri and the Beard Club just to name a few.   

 

I know very little about SMS marketing for eCommerce so I was super excited to have Arri on the podcast to learn how he does it.  We both spoke at Ezra Firestone’s event in Seattle a few months ago. I was so impressed by his talk that we immediately scheduled a time to record the podcast.  

 

Here’s a quick look at what we cover on this episode.  

 

  • Some stats around mobile usage related to text messaging that are important to note?
  • How does SMS marketing compare to email marketing
  • What are some of the top ways eCommerce companies should consider using SMS marketing
  • How to grow SMS subscribers
  • Most common SMS campaigns and tactics with some real examples
  • How to combine SMS + email + messenger for mind-boggling results
Sep 25, 2019

To date, this was one of my favorite episodes to record.  Partially because I love Amazon and love hearing behind the scenes stories from people who’ve worked there.  Brad does share a couple of great stories. 

Mostly I love this interview because the advice shared is pure gold.  Brad Moss has a unique perspective on business and growth. At Amazon he served as the first business lead over all of Seller Central.  To say he’s had the inside scoop on seller central would be a gross understatement.  

 I met Brad at an event in Miami.  When I found out he was a former Amazonian I was eager to find out a few things - 1. A good Jeff Bezos story.  2. What is was like to work there. The stories he told when we met and the stories told on this episode did not disappoint!  

In this episode we cover some pretty powerful lessons including:

  • How Amazon thinks about and deals with areas of the business that stop growing.  As you might guess, they don’t have warm and fuzzy sentiments here.
  • How Amazon looks at analytics…this is truly brilliant.  Understand how Amazon decides what data to measure, and what to change to get better results.  This is part of the key to Amazon's speed and their ability to scale successfully.
  • Two mindset shifts that Amazon looks for in their employees that will help instantly make you a better entrepreneur.
  • A few funny (and potentially painful stories) about how little Amazon celebrates successes.  These stories underscore the Bezos mantra that “it’s always day one.”
  • Top mistakes Brad sees Amazon sellers making and how to avoid them.
  • Plus more!
Sep 18, 2019

Paulina Masson is the founder of Shopkeeper and a longtime Amazon seller.  She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pricing products. She understands the competitive forces behind pricing decisions as well as the psychological factors.  

Ultimately you want to price in such a way to maximize total profits.  While you should consider profit per transaction, that might not be the ultimate metric to try and maximize.  Here’s what we look at:

  • How to run pricing split test and why it’s so complex.
  • How to price your products at launch including a free margin calculator
  • How to balance competitive price factors with consumer perception and psychology
  • When to end your price in 99, or 97 rather than 00.  And how a premium product or your target market might influence this.
  • 3 Types of Shoppers on Amazon and how to price for each
  • When and how to use coupons - when to do a % off vs. a $ off
  • How price impacts conversion rates
  • Plus more!
Sep 11, 2019

Is AI coming for all of our jobs?  As agencies and marketers, are we on the road to irrelevance?  Probably not fully, but our roles and our perspectives better shift and shift quickly.  Frederick Vallaeys is a brilliant marketer and programmer. He was one of Google’s first 500 employees and was on the original AdWords Quality Score team.  In this episode, we discuss how agencies and marketers of the near future should think more like pilots or doctors, or coaches (my metaphor). Pilots increasingly rely on instruments and AI to do their job.  So do doctors. But, deep expertise, strategy, and a human element are still really important. Here’s a hopeful but eyes-wide-open look at the future with Frederick Vallaeys.   

  • How Quality Score was yesterday’s black box and AI is today’s black box.
  • Using Fred’s Two Levels of Automation - Leveraging things like AI and Machine Learning (ML) and then creating a layer of automation to keep the machines in check.  
  • How is AI most impacting marketing now and how will it impact marketing in the next few years.
  • What new changes to Google Ads is Fred most excited about.
  • Some of Fred’s favorite Google Ad Scripts?
  • Automation can be simple. AI and ML are cool but you can achieve a lot with the simple stuff
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