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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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Aug 5, 2020

Michael Jamin knows a thing or two about telling a good story.  He’s written for popular sitcoms like King of the Hill, Rules of Engagement, Tacoma FD, and Beavis & Butthead to name a few.  More importantly, for our purposes, he’s also the Co-Founder of Twirly Girl - an eComm brand that features some truly magical storytelling ads.  I wanted to have Michael on the show so we could learn some of his secrets….and because I knew it would be a ton of FUN.  He delivered.  Here’s a quick look at what we cover:

  • Using setup and punchline to deliver features and benefits in a truly fun, funny and memorable way
  • If customers focus on price, it’s your fault and how to fix it
  • How some powerful tweak in FB ads dropped their cost per share from $178 to just $1.16
  • When Michael combined what he knew about TV script writing and eComm Twirly Girl grew 30.6%
  • Why people aren’t really buying stuff, but rather relationships and magic
  • A few powerful “story makeovers”
  • Plus more
Jul 29, 2020

Almost every eCommerce company I talk to is investing heavily into Facebook and Google Ads.  Probably less than 30% are actively investing in Affiliate marketing.  I first met my guest, Greg Powell, while we were both providing consulting services for another agency.  I instantly could tell that he knew his stuff.  Now he’s running an extremely successful Affiliate Marketing agency - Tactical Marketing based in Joplin MO.  

  • Fringe benefits of an affiliate marketing program including free PR and new audience discovery and testing.
  • 3 ways to tell if your product is a good fit for Affiliate marketing
  • Avoiding affiliate horror stories - namely, how to avoid coupon site hell.
  • How attracting the right affiliates makes all of the difference.
  • Best affiliate networks for your category
  • Plus much more!
Jul 22, 2020

The online buying journey is a complex process.  It rarely looks exactly the same for different shoppers.  BUT, there are distinct stages that most shoppers pass through in their unique journey.  Video can be your secret weapon along each stage of the journey - compelling customers, educating customers, and delighting customers.

Ben Amos lives in Australia’s Sunshine Coast and is a master at creating video content that shapes buying behavior.  In this episode, we talk about how video can impact these 4 distinct stages of the shopping journey:

  1. Awareness - this is where we tell our brand story in a compelling and helpful way…Ben shows us how.  
  2. Consideration- this stage is all about information and education.  As shoppers evaluate their options, your video should be there to help guide the way.  
  3. Conversion event - your video can and should do the job of a salesperson whether on a product detail page or as a remarketing ad.  
  4. Advocacy - Your video strategy shouldn’t stop with a happy customer.  Use video content to encourage more referrals and repeat purchases. 
Jul 8, 2020

Everyone knows that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing.  The problem?  How do you facilitate, encourage, and track it without being weird?  Enter Nick Stagge and Wooly.  In this episode, we discuss two important topics - building Ambassador Programs and putting digital rails around word of mouth advertising.  Nick has worked with some awesome brands including Skull Candy, Purple Mattress, and more.   Here’s a quick look at what we cover in this episode: 

  • Salomon shoes got 22.6 million impressions without running a single ad
  • How to Identify and segment your best customers and how to know when you have a customer make a referral that ends in a  purchase
  • How ambassador programs focus on credibility while some influencer programs focus on reach…and why credibility is often better and more profitable
  • Word of mouth customers are happier, better educated and often stick around longer - here’s how you get more of it
  • Driving six figures of incremental referral revenue.
  • Plus more
Jul 1, 2020

Online shopping has shifted dramatically since the start of the pandemic.  Some experts believe we’ve seen 5+ years of eCommerce growth condensed into just a few months.  Attitudes towards quantities ordered, shipping rates and times, and pricing have ALL shifted from the norm.  I wanted to have Jon MacDonald come back on the show (see his first appearance on the podcast for Episode 60 to talk about what’s working right now in terms of Conversion Rate Optimization.  We cover some truly fascinating subjects including:

  • How buying in bulk it a new trend - even if your marketing to non-peppers
  • How to structure new shopping options for buying in bulk to make the process easier on shoppers and easier on your fulfillment centers
  • 3 ways to use SMS marketing to before, during and after the shopping experience to surprise and delight customers
  • Where you should start optimizing now including some key data points and quick wins with Google Analytics that you’re likely missing 
  • How to quickly and inexpensively benefit from Heat Maps
  • Why taking care of your highest value customers is more important now than ever before
Jun 24, 2020

Learn how Tru Earth is disrupting the laundry detergent space by selling subscriptions and understanding the power of villains in marketing.  My guest in this episode, Ryan McKenzie is a marketing and eComm wiz.  He built his first online business in his 20s and after some extreme wins and some humbling losses, he found his eComm game.  In this episode, we uncover some of Tru Earth’s keys to success including 

  • 3 types of offers that get shoppers to subscribe to auto-replenishment. 
  • How to structure pricing and discounts for subscriptions
  • Blair Warren’s amazing 4 keys to persuasion (literally one the best marketing quotes I’ve ever heard) and how to leverage it for your business
  • How finding a “villain” can make your marketing more powerful and help you build a closer community (hint: villains don’t have to be people)
  • How to approach ad fatigue and new creative development for Facebook
  • How OMG Commerce is helping Tru Earth leverage Google Shopping and YouTub ads
  • Plus more!
Jun 17, 2020

CrossNet Game began as a crazy idea dreamed up late at night by two brothers and their best friend.  But ideas are a dime a dozen.  Chris and his brother Greg and co-founder Mike turned their crazy idea into a wildly popular product and a rapidly growing company.  So what is CrossNet?  It’s 4-way volleyball.  Put another way, if volleyball 4 square had a baby, it would be CrossNet.  And it’s amazing.

This is a phenomenal story about how to launch a product from total obscurity into a sensation.  We talk about how the product came to be, how the founders successfully boot-strapped everything initially,  and how a combination of playing volleyball all day on the beaches of Miami plus Facebook Ads fueled their launch.   Here’s a look at what we discuss:

  • How their first “prototype” and first test market let them know they were onto something big
  • Why they packed their bags and moved from Connecticut to Miami to launch CrossNet
  • Creating the snowball effect - doing lots of little things well and watching success and momentum grow over time.
  • Their first brand ambassadors and their first influencer…all by accident (but still duplicatable) 
  • Their most important sales channels
  • How they view Amazon
  • How they are using events (pre-pandemic) to grow the brand
  • Getting their product in 5,000+ schools
  • Getting into Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy Sports and more
  • What products are next for CrossNet and how they plan to grow (including running YT ads with OMG Commerce…)
Jun 3, 2020

Jeremy Horowitz helped create the marketing engine behind Lumee, the selfie phone cases made famous by the Kardashians.  He now helps growing eCommerce brands create 6 figure + product launches.  He also builds what he calls “replenishment engines” - a concept that was new to me but that I absolutely love.  

Interested in doing $100,000+ in sales in 24 hours on a new product launch? Want to know the secrets of building huge demand, selling out of products, and generating real urgency like Supreme, Jordan and Kylie Cosmetics.

Here’s a quick look at what we cover:

  • The difference between a product launch that sells out vs. a “meh” launch
  • How to create a “web” so that your customers are highly engaged and eager to buy
  • How to build anticipation, excitement, and generate huge sales without discounting
  • How to utilize messenger marketing and Facebook private groups
  • Lessons from movie launches
  • Plus more
May 27, 2020

You walk to your mailbox.  Inside you find a hand-addressed envelope.  It looks like it could be a thank you note of a birthday card.  What are the odds you open it?  100%.  

 

I love direct mail.  Especially now because mailboxes are nearly empty (compared to 15-20 years ago).  In this episode I interview David Wachs, CEO of Handwrytten.  We discuss creative and affordable ways eCommerce companies can use Direct Mail to build customer loyalty and increase sales.  We also discuss how his technology allows for automated handwritten notes...it’s pretty fantastic.  

 

Here’s a look at what we discuss:

  • How to use handwritten thank you notes to increase referrals 
  • How an online fashion company sent 700 handwritten notes, scored a 16.8% redemption rate and drove an ROI over 300%.  
  • Using direct mail to build your loyalty program
  • Leveraging direct mail to get more positive reviews and/or mitigate negative reviews
  • Launching direct mail Win-back campaigns
  • Abandon cart direct mail sequences
  • Automating handwritten thank-yous 
  • And more!
May 20, 2020

In early February before all live events were cancelled I presented at Social Media Marketing World 2020 in San Diego.  My talk covered the latest tactics and strategies we’re using right now to scale on YouTube.  This is the recording of my presentation at this paid event.  Here’s a quick look at what I cover in this talk:

  • Could YouTube be your next big thing?
  • 2 Proven Ad formulas for cold traffic
  • Ad formulas for warm traffic
  • What is progressive audience testing and how to use it
  • How to leverage YouTube and Google Display Network together
  • Plus more!
May 13, 2020

I’m sure you’re aware of chat marketing.  But if you’re like most marketers and Amazon sellers, it’s still an area of immense opportunity for you. Maybe it’s even still a bit of a mystery to you. Michelle Barnum Smith is the Queen of chat marketing for Amazon sellers.  I had a chance to sit down with her and discuss some super powerful ways to grow your Amazon business with chat marketing that you probably haven’t thought of, including…

  • The 3 types of messenger campaigns to run consistently
  • Why product re-ranking campaigns using chatbots should probably be an ongoing strategy for you
  • The difference between a 2-step URL and a Search, Find, Buy campaign
  • How many times per month should you message your list on messenger…too many and they’ll hate you.  Too few and they’ll forget who you are and be annoyed the next time you message them.
  • How to build a chat bot list.
  • Plus more!
May 7, 2020

Strengthening customer relationships.  Building valuable assets.  Improving and documenting SOPs.  Growing email and remarketing lists.  Watching every episode of the Michael Jordan/Chicago Bulls Documentary - The Last Dance. That’s just a few of the ways Ezra and Co are surviving and THRIVING in the current climate.  Ezra is often the first person eCommerce entrepreneurs turn to when they need advice.  This episode delivers some true and timely gems and words of wisdom.  eCommerce will likely come out of this crisis stronger than ever.  Will your company be ready to thrive in the new normal?

Apr 30, 2020

My guest today knows a thing or two about growing DTC eCommerce brands to 8 figures and beyond.  His agency, Wavebreak, focuses on email, SMS and loyalty marketing for growing eCommerce brands.  On today’s episode we talk about how email marketing has shifted in light of the pandemic and how it will likely continue to shift in the months and weeks ahead.  

Here’s a quick look at what we cover:

  • How to go on offense without being offensive
  • How to build community and goodwill now
  • How to stay true to your brand but adjust your message in light of the recent crisis
  • Top email marketing mistakes to avoid
  • How email, sms and loyalty programs work together
Apr 28, 2020

This is an episode a couple of years in the making.  I’m a huge Ryan Daniel Moran fan.  We had dinner together after an event for speakers at an event in LA a few years ago.  Then we both got busy.  Ryan came on the show to discuss some burning topics facing all entrepreneurs right now.  

  • Advice for an eCommerce company who’s struggling right now in the pandemic
  • Advice for an e-commerce company who’s excelling right nowThe number 1 way to be instantly happier right now (and it leads to better business outcomes)
  • How Ryan thinks about eComm companies to invest in - it’s way more about the leader and the product than anything else.
  • Not playing the comparison game
  • How to instantly be happier where you are right now
  • The 3 phases of growing to $1 million in 12 Months. 
Apr 22, 2020

Currently, over 77% of our eCommerce clients are either still UP in sales even during this time of extreme uncertainty or are the same (plus or minus 1-2%).  Yes, some are hurting - but for most eCommerce businesses you CAN do something about sluggish sales right now.  We’ve learned a lot in recent weeks on what messages resonate with prospects and what falls flat.  In this episode (taken from a recent highly-popular webinar) Chris Brewer, Co-Founder of OMG Commerce and I dive into these important topics:

  • Understanding the different physiological segments of shoppers right now and how to appeal to them
  • People still want to buy even when stuck at home - how to provide retail therapy to your customers
  • How to handle paid search on both Amazon and Google right now (search trends are shifting)
  • Why this could be the perfect time to consider YouTube ads…viewership is up 100%+ on the platform and ad costs are down 20% or more
  • How you can gain market share and get ahead of the competition right now
Apr 15, 2020

Supply chain, lock down, store closures, falling ad costs, rising costs of sanitation…just a few of the areas impacting retail and e-commerce right now.  In my interview with Eamon Kelly of Edgewater Research, we talk about the following hot topics to recent data points.

  • How ad costs are impacted on Amazon, Facebook and Google during the crisis
  • What categories are seeing spikes vs. dips in sales…there are a few surprising areas here plus some opportunities for companies to pivot.
  • What major retailers like Dick’s sporting goods are seeing
  • How retailers like Chewys are experience both growth and interesting shifts in costs and increased margin pressure
  • How to think about inventory levels with more shopping shifting online
Apr 8, 2020

Original Grain has an origin story that’s as cool as it’s products…and as cool as it’s founders. In this interview, we tackle some critically important topics for all DTC brands.   We discuss building a product that has an authentic story that resonates. We look at the Original Grain approach to sourcing and designing that next winning product. We hear the Original Grain example of launching successful kickstarter campaigns, and we talk about marketing during a crisis and much more.   

Brother’s Ryan and Andrew Beltran grew up playing basketball together and starting businesses together from painting houses to mowing lawns. In 2013 while living in Hong Kong, Ryan had the idea for wood and steel watches.  The brothers took that inspiration and started what is now a leader in the watch and accessories space.  

Here’s a look at what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How a chance meeting at a nearly failed event lead to their most successful watch line to date
  • How wooing an investor (I love this story - and it embodies the entrepreneur’s spirit) led to some of their most popular collector’s edition watches
  • How Original Grain is going up-stream while strengthening its core watch offerings
  • How they plan to market and stay strong during the COVID-19 storm 
  • How to build an authentic voice and truly connect with customers even when being together physically is impossible
  • What’s ahead for Original Grain
Apr 2, 2020

Economic Crisis - time to panic or time to press ahead?  While challenging and painful, there are huge opportunities right now.  Some of the world’s most successful companies grew leaps and bounds during recessions (Toyota, Kellogs and many others).  On this show investor, mentor and brilliant marketer and entrepreneur Roland Frasier and I talk about what you need to do to survive and thrive right now.  From getting your head right, to ensuring financial stability to how to market your product - right now. The market has shifted but money is still up for grabs.  Here’s what we cover:

  • Understanding the physiological segments of the market and how to reach customers that are still actively buying now
  • How your product positioning should pivot during times of extreme uncertainty
  • How companies like Toyota and Kellogg’s crushed their competitors during a recession
  • How to secure financing right now
  • What to measure and how to measure to keep your head above water
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!
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