eCommerceFuel Live 2016 Takeaways

ECF LIVE

Fresh off of eCommerceFuel Live 2016, Bill D’Alessandro and Andrew talk about key takeaways from this year’s event. We’ll give you a rundown of the spectacular keynote speakers who attended, some highlights from the panel-led discussions, and our overall takeaways from Savannah.

Listen in on the changes they’ve made to their businesses since eCommerceFuel Live, especially because of the keynote speakers. We also talk about why there’s still time to jump on Amazon if you’re not there already, and why meeting up with inspiring entrepreneurs in person is so powerful.

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(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D’Alessandro of Elements Brands)

Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow e-commerce entrepreneur Andrew Youderian.

Hey, guys, welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. Thanks so much for joining us on today’s show. And, today, I’m looking forward to unpacking and talking about what happened at our third annual e-commerce live event. And joining me to talk about all the festivities, hopefully, some of the impactful takeaways, is Mr. Bill D’Allesandro who…third-time attendee. You’ve been to every one. Although, you bailed early this time, man. You left before the closing ceremonies, which tend to kind of be…you’re kind of the ringleader for those.

Bill: I usually am. But one of my friends got married. And I was in the wedding. I couldn’t ditch it. That was the only thing. In the wedding or my own wedding, the only two things that…reasons I would ditch eCommerceFuel.

Andrew: Were you the best man?

Bill: I was not the best man. I was standing up…

Andrew: I mean that would have been a reasonable excuse, right? But like groomsman? I don’t know, man.

Bill: Ah, borderline. I mean I was already late. Let’s put it that way.

Andrew: No, I’m just teasing. So glad you were able to make it even with the wedding. But, yes, so this year was in Savannah, Georgia. And we did it at a much smaller venue. Last year, the place was just ginormous. I mean how do you describe it? We did it at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville.

Bill: Yeah, the Nashville venue was…basically, it was a Vegas casino, a scale. So we had a 10-minute walk from your room to the…wherever the conference was being held. There were five other conferences going on at once. And it was gorgeous and magnificent. But it was just too big. Everything felt like an ordeal. So this year, in Savannah, we had it in a historic mansion in downtown Savannah. And we rented out the whole place.

So it was like eCommerceFuel world for a couple days. Like I came in from the airport in my Uber, and I pull up to the hotel. And as I’m getting out, Michael Jackness is getting into my Uber. He was the one that called it. So I mean I literally hadn’t put my foot on the ground yet, and I had run into people that I knew. So I really liked it. I basically…we showed up. I didn’t leave except to go to bars and dinner. And then we came right back, which I thought was really, really convenient.

Why We Chose Savannah

Andrew: And props to Laura for finding the venue. We kind of tried to reverse-engineer. Everyone asked, “Why Savannah? Why Savannah?” And after last year, we pretty much said, “Hey, we want something more intimate. We want something that’s really cozy, because, one, it’s cozier. And second, we want something that forces us to keep this event fairly small, because that was really important to people. So like all across the nation, and Savannah came out as a place with a fantastic intimate venue. And, also, it’s a beautiful city. Like I know you’ve been there before, Bill. But the place was just gorgeous. You feel like you’re going back like a hundred years into just a lush southern…the streets are cobblestone. And you get these beautiful weeping trees everywhere. It’s incredible.

Bill: It’s gorgeous. I love Savannah. And, also, interestingly, Savannah is actually one of the only cities in America that is open container, just like Las Vegas.

Andrew: Yeah, crazy. If you’re having a drink, you just walk outside with your beer, and you won’t get sort of a whose cast. It’s amazing.

Bill: That’s why you actually have to go-cups at the doors of the bars.

Andrew: So we did it in Savannah. And this year, we did it a little differently. We restricted it 100% to community members or team members of community members, which is cool, because everyone there was very vested in the community. Had about 135 people in total with all of our attendees and our speakers and sponsors. And this one was my favorite one so far. Had a blast.

Bill: Yeah. I thought this one was perfect. I also like the first year in Austin. We had a blast too. That’s just because the keynotes were so good, obviously.

Andrew: Yes, Mr. Keynote, first-year keynoter. Yeah, we’re gonna have to get you back up for…

Bill: Yeah.

Andrew: We’re gonna get you back up for another keynote here in the near future. I try not to tap you too much. But I may have to tap you next year if you’re up for it.

Bill: I’m always glad to do it, as you know. I just don’t want to monopolize the microphone. There’s a lot of people with a lot of smart things to say.

New This Year: Topic-Based Mingle

Andrew: So speaking of keynotes, let’s maybe…at our first step here of talking about some of the key takeaways, let’s go through those, the big events. So for those that weren’t there, the conference was organized into in the mornings, we had kind of your traditional keynotes. Everyone gets into a room and listens to someone talk for about an hour. And then in the afternoons, we did a couple of things. We did breakout sessions, like we’ve normally done. We also do a topic-based mingle where we just set up tables in a big room. And we had an Amazon table, a Facebook table, an Instagram table, a manufacturing products table. And we let people go at it for two hours talking about it.

Maybe a quick little aside before we get into the keynotes. The topic-based mingle was new this year, Bill. What did you think about that? We haven’t had a chance to talk about this. Did you actually sit down and talk to people about the topic that was at a ta-, oh, you were gone! You were gone for that.

Bill: Yes, I would have loved to go the topic-based mingle. But I was on an airplane. I heard it was great. But I didn’t get a chance. The only part I missed, really.

Michael Jackness on Email Marketing

Andrew: Well, we’ll have to bring someone else on it that can give objective opinion on that. So maybe keynotes, let’s start with keynotes. Let’s start with Jackness’s, Michael Jackness from colorit.com. He’s a, you know, a very impactful and contributing community member. He’s the guy behind the EcomCrew and a lot of other stuff. And he talked about how he created a seven-figure business in less than a year, amazingly enough, with 50% of the sales coming from email marketing, which you hear about email being powerful. But 50% of a new business that quickly in email? It was amazing.

Bill: Well, yeah. Well, that’s because Mike is an absolute animal. I mean he gets up there, and you just feel so inadequate. You’re just like, “Oh my god!” Mike must have, you know, 20 different email flows with 15 emails in each. He actually said, you know, “If you get on my email list, God help you.”

Andrew: Pretty much, yeah.

Bill: And the audience going, “Man, I really need to step up my game.” I also learned from Mike that being friends with Mike is a dangerous proposition, because he opened his talk by roasting Steve Chou and I, which was hilarious. And I had no idea that Steve Chou wore so many plaid shirts all the time. It just cracked me up. Mike had a slide that…”Steve Chou’s new course, plaid shirts for e-commerce.” And it was all picture that he had stolen from Steve’s Facebook about him in plaid shirts all the time. It was hilarious. But Mike really got into it and broke down. He had specific email campaigns that he had done. He talked about his contest that he does every month on colorit.com, if you go to colorit.com/contest. He does a giveaway a day. So he gives away a product, a set of coloring gel pens, literally every day. And it drives a ton of email traffic, a ton of social traffic. And he was showing conversion numbers that were like, $1, $2, $3 a conversion. People that were entering the giveaway and then, you know, driving into his email list. And then his email list is converting them like crazy.

And so he really made me think what are some things that I can give away for free either in exchange for, you know, email address to social share, maybe making a purchase to earn more entries in the contest? What do I have that I can give for free or give away for free plus shipping? You know, what do I have that I can use, you know, as a freebie to engage people? So we do a number of lip balms and some other cheap things that we’re gonna start doing for free. We’re gonna implement some of that in our social media over the next few months, over the holidays.

Being Deliberate in Driving Email Engagement

Andrew: Yeah, and specifically, along the same lines, the two things I took away from his the most was, one, the way he used the contest to not just get people to opt in, but to drive engagement of people opening emails. So he was very deliberate about every day he’d announce a winner. But he only announced it via the email list. So to see if you won, you had to open his emails, which forces you to engage at some level, but also improves your deliverability metrics. And so I thought that was interesting. And I also thought it was fascinating on how…I think…I’ll speak for myself, I’m probably overly hesitant to mail people. And I think this is kind of a common theme I hear from marketers, because you don’t wanna annoy people. You don’t wanna bother people.

But Mike, like you said, he just bombarded you with emails. But he did it in a strategic way. If you were opening stuff, you wouldn’t continue to just, you know, be shooting a cannon at it. But if you were engaging and opening, I mean it was just a nonstop deluge coming at you. So I think sending more emails, as long as you’re doing it in a way you know you’re targeting engaged people. And the contesting was really interesting.

Bill: Yep, if you wanna see excellent email marketing in action, go to Mike’s website, colorit.com, and sign up for his flows. You know, click on certain things and pay attention to what you clicked on and how the emails you get adapt after that. It’s really pretty impressive.

Andrew: And if you wanna see Mike Jackness lying in suggestive poses for his new line of coloring books, compliments of Steve Chou getting back at him, join the eCommerceFuel community, and we’ll link up to the burn that Steve did in retaliation.

Bill: I also now know not to mess with Steve Chou, because Steve has Photoshop, and he’s not afraid to use it.

Andrew: Exactly. So moving on, Peep Laja was one of our speakers as well, Peep from conversionxl.com. Not “peep,” “pep,” the common mistake people get with his name. And he, of course, knows everything and anything there’s to know about A/B testing and, more broadly, conversion rate optimization, CRO. And what I liked about his presentation was he talked about… You know, CRO isn’t about A/B testing. Fundamentally, it’s not about testing colors or buttons or layouts. It’s about using a systematic process to find problems, create and test hypothesis forum, and analyze your results, which I think, you know, a lot of times people look at, you know, A/B testing and CRO as just running tests. And it’s so much more than that.

Peep Laja on Conversion Rate Optimization

Bill: Yeah, I thought Peep’s talk was really great. He’s really funny also. A couple of cool takeaways for me from Peep’s talk was for all of the incredible knowledge that he dropped about conversion rate optimization, he basically also said, “Look, if you have three sales a day, you’re just not gonna be able to run an A/B test long enough to get statistically valid results. So if you are less than, you know, say, 300 conversions a month, you should instead focus on the broad strokes and getting more traffic. If you have less than 300 conversions a month, you’re not gonna be able to detect whether changing your call to action from yellow to red made any difference, because there’s so much noise day to day in your performance anyway. So you have to try things that are gonna create a 20%, 30%, 40% bump. So you got to try big things. If you don’t have the volume, you got to try like reorganizing the homepage into a long form, one-page sales page versus your standard homepage, and A/B-test that. You got to A/B-test big things so you can see them, even though the signal is gonna be diluted by your low volume and just kind of the miscellaneous whims of whether your conversion is up or down that day. So that was a very interesting takeaway from Peep for me.

And also, I realized that I hadn’t thought about conversion rate optimization in a while. And I went back to one of our websites where we sell detergent, which is very heavy and expensive to ship. And we had free shipping up at about $75. And I noticed that… Actually, my warehouse manager Matty came to me and said, “Hey, we noticed we have a lot of people dropping off at checkout and are finishing. And I think it’s because the shipping price is too expensive.” So we actually saw that our average order value was $45. And we brought down the free shipping to $45. And I was a little bit nervous. I just thought we’d be giving away free shipping to people who were already buying the average order value. But after two weeks of running this test, our conversion rate went from 1.75% to 2.75%.

Andrew: Wow!

Bill: And our average order value actually went up. Before, we had an average order value around $47. And now, our average order value is $51. And I think it’s because it was the smaller orders that had $25 in their cart. It was possible for them to reach for free shipping at 45. Whereas, it was impossible for them to reach the free shipping at 75. So it actually had the effect, I think, of increasing the size of our smaller orders, which brought our overall order value up. So to nearly double your conversion rate and increase the order value, that’s about as close to a grand slam as you can get in eCommerce. So Peep’s talk inspired me to go back and actually look at what’s actually going on in my sites. And I found a huge win because I did.

Make Big Site Changes to See Big Changes

Andrew: Yeah, for me, it was a little bit validating in that all of my historical site redesigns and migrations, I’m terrible at systematically testing things. It’s not that I never do it, but not nearly as much as I should. I’m much better at looking at a website and saying, “Wow, here’s 30, 40 things that are wrong, and we’re gonna try to fix and address all of these in one big migration.” And I always did that and looked at the net result. And some people would say that’s kind of crazy. But it was nice, because I felt like Peep kind of validated that approach and that, yeah, if you don’t have thousands of conversions or, you know, thousands of order every month, that’s really the only way you can…not the only way you can do it. But it’s by far the best use of your time versus trying to do one…you know, individually test everything, which is just hard to do.

Nate Friedman gave an incredible talk. He owns a couple of stores, muckboots.com… And it was probably, you know, one of the most…I think most talked about, especially on an emotional level talks of the whole conference, I’d say.

A Personal Entrepreneur’s Story with Nate Friedman

Bill: It was authentic. I mean Nate got up there and talked about his huge success with Muck Boots, how he had a phenomenal win there, like tripled the business, I think, inside of a year.

Andrew: And he bought it and then tripled it, right?

Bill: Bought it and tripled it, yeah, just a total financial slam dunk. And then he had a less than slam dunk with the next business that he bought. And he presented a number of takeaways, kind of mistakes that he made. And the level of candor was something you would never get reading a blog or listening to a podcast or in public. You know, the fact that it was a small community and Nate felt it was like he could be honest I think that made the talk extremely valuable.

Andrew: Yeah, the title of the talk, that was probably the best clickbait title of a presentation I’ve ever seen. It was called “How I Made a Million Dollars and the Big Bet that may Lose it All.” And the two big takeaways for me probably were, one, that sometimes as entrepreneurs we can get so caught up with what we don’t have in a business model that we try to replicate that in a different business and completely fail to see all the things that we were doing before that were right that helped us succeed. And for Nate, his original business Muck Boots was… I relate to this because I’m traditionally…you know, my background’s in drop shipping. And his Muck Boots business was a drop shipping business. And it fit everything that he wanted for a business. It had decent margins. You know, he had mapped pricing on a lot of the items. He liked the customers. It fit his lifestyle well. There’s all these things that were just perfect fit. The only thing that wasn’t a great fit was it wasn’t proprietary. He didn’t own the product. He wasn’t a manufacturer.

And obviously, yeah, long term, that’s gonna be an issue, as we’ve talked about a lot on the show and on the blog and in the community. But he became so consumed with that that he bought a business that was able to check off that box. It was a proprietary product. But almost everything else, the lifestyle fit, you know, the market, you know, all these other things for him that were important didn’t fit. It was almost an obsession that he let cloud his judgment when he bought the business.

So the final talk we had was Ezra Firestone talking about Facebook advertising. And, Bill, when we were getting on before this, you kinda mentioned you were talking with your team about all the stuff that you were gonna have them implement from his talk. What are some of those things?

Ezra Firestone on Inventive Facebook Marketing

Bill: Oh man. I came home with five eight and a half by eleven pages full of notes. My marketing team hates it when I go to eCommerceFuel Live. I come back all full of really good ideas. In addition to kind of all the giveaways I’ve about talked that I took away from Mike’s talk, Ezra really made me realize I’m dramatically sleeping on my marketing. I mean the guy is just a maniac. I mean it’s like…I don’t know how he ever sleeps. I feel like he must be just sitting in bed just coming up with ideas all the time. Like he clearly just loves it, which is very cool to see a guy that is kind of at the pinnacle of his craft and just loving it. So hearing Ezra talk was fantastic.

And the takeaway, like I said, is that I’m sleeping. I kinda had marketing in this box of we’ll do pay-per-click and SEO to drive people to the site. And then we’ll use e-mail marketing to retain them. And we might drive traffic to the site by maybe doing a giveaway with another brand. But the general flow was get somebody on the webpage and then either capture their purchase, their credit card, or their email address and then continue to nurse them via email. And that such a small way of looking at marketing. I totally was discounting, you know, the value of somebody watching a video of yours on Facebook, the value of a Facebook like, the value of somebody entering a contest, the value of somebody sharing your stuff. I had been thinking of a conversion value, of a CPA, as sort of this one chunk, like we’ll pay $30 for somebody on AdWords to convert.

But Ezra really opened my eyes. I’m thinking about it as we’ll pay $2 to get somebody to watch this video all the way through. And the peoples that we get to watch the video all the way through, we’ll pay another $2 to drive them to like the page. And then of the people who do both of those things, we’ll pay another $2 to get them on the email list. And then we’ll pay another $2 to finally get them to buy. And so this concept of CPA as additive where every action is not necessarily just get the credit card, so breaking down that huge CPA into lots of little actions that you can pay for and then targeting, you know, only the people that watch the video, you only spend the $2 then to get them to like the page. And if they watch the video and like the page, then you spend the $2 to drive them to the email capture piece of content.

So this idea of an ecosystem of marketing where everything is working to touch all of your customers in lots of places and paying for micro conversions that then stack up to that one macro conversion in the purchase, it kinda changed the whole way that my thinking had been limited around our marketing. We’re trying to do a lot more now on social with giveaways, getting people to engage, you know, cheap CPAs for a couple bucks, getting people to engage in ways that can lead to another cheap CPA and, finally, an acquisition. So that was my big takeaway from Ezra’s talk.

The Power of Video on Facebook

Andrew: Yeah. And I’d say, for me, or maybe I’m more of a micro level in that whole overview, the power of video marketing with Facebook. And I never realized or I guess it wasn’t on my radar why video was such an effective tool to build a market with…you know, within Facebook. And I think the three things that stood out to me were…that Ezra presented… Every time I’m on Facebook, Ezra’s got a new video up about, you know, something. And then the powerful things are…is, one, you can see how engaged people are. You know, if you go on an ad and you just show it on the Facebook in your feed, a static image ad, you don’t know…you don’t click or not click. That’s it. But with video, you can see that somebody clicked on it and watched for five seconds or if they sit there and watch for six minutes.

And secondly, with a video ad, I mean how powerful is it to be able to talk directly to someone for five to six minutes at a time. Like in online time, that’s an eternity. And you can potentially do that with video ads as well as be able to, like we’ve both mentioned, retarget based on how much of that ad they watch.

And then, finally, like it’s kind of like podcast. Like it’s great for branding. It’s great for building relationships. And people engage with videos and get to trust you probably a lot more so as long as you’re not too sketchy on the video versus just a static ad. So that was for me was like how can I be leveraging Facebook videos more effectively, because they’re really powerful.

The First Two Seconds are the Most Important

Bill: Yeah, I thought Ezra also has some really cool tactical tips about the videos that you should use, that, you know, if you think about it, it makes total sense what might not have come to you. He said, you know, the first two to three seconds of your video have to be extremely punch-you-in-the-face engaging, because when you think about it, what’s happening is somebody is scrolling through the feed. Your video is only on-screen for two seconds, tops. So if your video opens with three seconds of your logo, no one is gonna stop scrolling to watch the video. So your video needs to open with somebody, you know, drilling through a watermelon or, you know, something that’s visually engaging to get people stop scrolling and then watch the rest of the video.

And that other thing that Ezra said is that you shouldn’t end your video with an outro either, you know, of your logo or “Thanks for watching” or anything like that, because when videos end on Facebook, they end to a call to action to a website. So you should end your video abruptly. And so it leaves the call to action right there, and people will click it, which, again, I just thought would never…it would never come to you unless you had done a ton of Facebook advertising, like Ezra has.

An All-Star Amazon Panel

Andrew: We also had a panel. You didn’t keynote this year, but you were on Amazon panel with yourself, Lars Hundley, Chris Boerner from cielopillsholder.com and just talked about, you know, all things Amazon. Took questions from the audience, talked about a few things, and we covered a lot of different ground. But I think, for me, maybe one of the biggest things was, you know…from a high level, is that, yeah, Amazon still has a lot of problems. It’s not the world’s best solution. It’s not a silver bullet as we’ll kind of talk about maybe in some of the things I mentioned at my talk. But still, kind of across the board, you guys just affirmed that there is still a tremendous amount of opportunity. And, really, we’re still in the early days for Amazon.

Bill: Yeah. And that was my biggest takeaway, actually. I’m even being on the panel and taking the questions from people. You know, I expect, you know, you go to a place like eCommerceFuel Live. It’s some of the most cutting-edge e-commerce business owners in the world all in a room. And I’m still getting questions about whether Amazon is right for me or whether I should try selling my stuff on Amazon. I mean I thought like everybody… Amazon was fully penetrated at least from the savvy operators. But even the savvy operators are still dipping their toes into Amazon.

There’s just so much more room. Amazon is gonna still explode over the next five years. If you feel like you’re late to the game on Amazon, you’re really not. We’re in the second inning right now. I mean it’s getting started. There’s still a ton of room on Amazon. And the best practices that you think are very widespread are still not. And that was the cool thing about eCommerceFuel Live. And I think we even turned off the cameras a couple times to talk about, you know, some slightly controversial stuff or some cutting edge things, which you only get by coming to the live event. So it was very interesting to me, despite all the hype, still how far Amazon has to go.

Andrew: Yeah, it gets crazy with…I did something called the State of the Merchant survey. About, you know, 300-plus store owners replied to it. And kind of one of the things I looked at was what percentage of store owners are using Amazon and aren’t. And more store owners than not are still not even selling on Amazon at all. Like 51% aren’t even using it, which is just crazy. And not to say it’s not a fit for, you know…Amazon’s not a great fit for absolutely every model. But it surprised me that there was such a large percentage of us that still aren’t even leveraging it as a channel.

Bill: Yeah, I know.

The Future of eCommerceFuel and the State of the Merchant Findings

Andrew: And so, finally, my talk, I kind of talked about three things, talked about the future of eCommerceFuel, talked about kind of the State of the Merchant report, which I hope to release here in the near future about what’s going on with the industry and specific kind of like…some of the trends within independent retailers. But the thing I wanna kind of maybe touch on in the podcast here is reverse engineering the perfect e-commerce business. And so from a lot of the data I was able to gather from the survey and given that, you know, I’ve recently sold a business, really looking for trying to decide what I wanna do next, I wanted to see what do e-commerce companies that are insanely profitable do really well?

And the metric I looked at was profitability per employee. So if you look at Apple, their profit like per employee is like 400k. Your average store owner is probably about 25k. But I want a look at the top 20 percentile of, you know, store owners that make over 100k in profit per employee. And what I found…kind of the bottom line was that subgroup that was doing really well, A, they make their own products. B, they’re large. They’re about three million in sales versus about a million for the rest of the group. So they have some efficiencies of scale. They focus on a smaller number of skews relative to their size. So they’re very concentrated on, you know, producing fewer but really high-quality products. They outsource effectively. They’re much more likely to use a 3PL. And they do…but it’s probably the biggest thing, they don’t do 1 or 2 things a factor of 10 better than everyone else. It’s not like they’re selling 10 times as much on Amazon or their conversion rate is 4X. But if you look across the board, a lot of their metrics, they tend to be about 30% to 50% better. They sell 25%, 35% more stuff on Amazon. Their conversion rates, 35% higher, across the board. And you get this incremental effect that’s akin to compound interest. And that just, combined with all the other things, is really what those just stellar cash cow companies are doing well.

Bill: Yep. The key really is to get as big as you can. I mean it’s sort of freshman level business school stuff. But economies of scale are real. You know, the fixed cost don’t scale. And if you can crack that million dollar ceiling, even, you know, $2 million ceiling in revenue, that’s when a business really starts to spit off some nice amounts of cash.

Andrew: Bill, any other big takeaways or notes from the conference?

Can’t Put a Price Tag on In-Person Meetups

Bill: Just overall, it made me rethink. It lit a fire under my, basically, to get back. And that’s part of the reason I go every year, honestly, is, you know, you can read all of the information online. You can listen to this podcast. You can, you know, participate in the forum. But there’s just nothing like three days, full immersion with the people at the top of this field. It’s just energizing in a way that I’ve never gotten anywhere else. And that’s why I will continue to be a life-ready eCommerceFuel, because I just don’t get it anywhere else.

So that was the big takeaway for me is that, you know, we did a couple podcasts over the summer when we had all of us down at my beach house in Fripp Island. But just the value of in-person connection is just really being driven home for me this year. So I’m trying to find ways to do that more.

Andrew: A couple things for me as is I thought Nate’s presentation on being honest and candid about some of the struggles, it’s so easy in our industry especially to project, I think it’s human nature, but especially in business, to project this sense of like we’ve all got it together, the sense of strength. We doubled our revenues. We’re killing it. You know, Amazon sales are taking off. And this stuff is hard. And I think a lot of people struggle with things. I mean I know a handful of people I talked to at the event after Nate was brave enough to talk about some of things that were, you know, went south for him. Other people opened up too, people that I thought…not even I thought, that are experienced, really savvy, smart entrepreneurs talking about hard stuff that they’re going through. So I think it’s really good to know. We’ve talked about this multiple times with people that…a lot of times, when you go to these events, you come away thinking everyone is so much smarter than you and work so much harder and their business is so much more successful. And I don’t think that’s always the case. It’s so easy to sometimes come away feeling like what am I doing with my life, you know? So it’s refreshing I think to see Nate be able to talk about that. And also just to know that what you see from people even at conferences is only one side of the story.

Bill: Yup, and that’s why I think you only get that in person.

Andrew: Yeah. And then, secondly… I don’t know. You didn’t do this with us, Bill. But we did a basketball, a pickup basketball to kick off the conference before it started. And basketball with ECFers is pretty awesome. We had like 16 people running, you know, three-plus teams, Shaquille from SZVentures just dominated just about everybody. Good work, Shaquille. We may or may not invite you to the court next year, because you just took us to town. But it’s just fun. Like you said, man, it’s getting out connecting with people in person versus their avatars is pretty powerful.

So we’ll have all of the keynote videos in the community, if you’re a community member. We’ll have all the slide decks from the breakout sessions that we’ll be posting shortly as well. And so if you missed it this year, yeah, hopefully, we’ll be able to give you some of that stuff that you did miss.

Thoughts on doing it in Savannah again, Bill? Should we keep it there? I know it’s close to you. And I’d kinda, you know, love to keep it there. But I don’t know. There’s also a nice aspect to mixing it up every year. And plus, the people in the West Coast, it’s a little bit of a trek for them.

Bill: It’s a trek for them. But it’s easy for me, so… No, I loved it, The venue was fantastic. The level of intimacy was great. Savannah is a really fun city. And plus, I want the opportunity to go out in downtown Savannah with all the ECFers. So we got to do there at least one more time.

Andrew: Yeah, you missed it, man, your keystone night, your shining moment for the whole event, and you were gone.

Bill: Next year. This is hard.

Thank you, Sponsors!

Andrew: Before we wrap things up, just a few people I wanna thank for making this year possible. I wanna thank QuietLight Brokerage. They were our gold sponsor this year. And they’re the preeminent brokerage in the space for e-commerce, established e-commerce businesses. So if you’re looking to buy or sell, reach out to them, QuietLight Brokerage. Klaviyo, most people listening probably know about Klaviyo. They do email marketing for e-commerce incredibly well. And they were one of our silver sponsors this year. So thank you, Klaviyo. Yotpo, who does reviews, they do user generated content with Instagram, with Q&A, with all different facets of generating content from your customers for your site. They were one of our sponsors. Yotpo, thank you. And finally, The Commerce Shop out of Atlanta, they are a Magento development shop. But not just a dev shop for Magento, they know conversion rate optimization incredibly well. And so they specialize in building insanely high converting revenue-generating stores, because they’re able to marry those two disciplines. So thank you, sponsors. If you guys are listening, check out all four of those if it’s something that can help you with your business.

Thanks to Laura, who did an incredible job putting this conference on and did the lion’s share of the work, and just absolutely thrilled to be able to have her on team. So, Laura, thank you for that. And thanks for everyone who came. Bill, thank you. And if you’re listening and you showed up to the event, I know it’s a trek to Savannah, especially if you’re on the West Coast, and it’s not exactly a direct flight from most places. We had people come from Ireland, from Israel, from Australia. It was pretty cool to see people come. So if you came, thank you. I really appreciate it.

Bill, looking forward to doing it next year. And, yeah, you got some high expectations on leading the charge the final night if you’re gonna be there.

Bill: I’m up for it. I’ll see you there next year.

Andrew: Awesome. Thanks a lot.

Bill: Sure thing.

Andrew: Want to connect with and learn from other proven e-commerce entrepreneurs? Join us in the eCommerceFuel private community. It’s our tight-knit vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter million dollars in annual sales. You can learn more and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com. Thanks so much to our podcast producer, Laura Serino, for all of her hard work in making the show possible and to you for tuning in, thank you for listening. That will do it for this week, but looking forward to seeing you again next Friday.

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Post tagged in: Entrepreneur Profiles, Lifestyle & Growth, Podcast

5 Comments

    1. Thanks Alex! Event was between $699 and $999 depending on when you purchased. Tickets were only available to our Community members.

  1. Hey Andrew,

    Great notes! Already got me thinking about implementing a few of these things.

    Got a silly question for you. You say, “They’re much more likely to use a 3PL. ”
    What is a “3PL”?

    Thank you,
    roni

    1. Thanks Ron! A 3PL is short for 3rd Party Logistics. It usually refers to a fulfillment company who handles your inventory, shipping, etc.

  2. I hear you mentioning getting people who watched your video to like your page in order to then get them to sign up for your email newsletter. Why is that so effective considering the organic reach through facebook is almost non existant. Wouldnt it be more efficient to just run ads to the custom audience of people who watched your video and get them to either buy from you or just sign up for your newsletter?
    Again, awesome stuff !! Congrats guys
    Thank you !

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