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The Ecomcrew Ecommerce Podcast

An eCommerce podcast for store owners, hosted by 7-figure store owners Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant. We cover everything in eCommerce from Shopify, to Amazon FBA. From email marketing, to Facebook Ads. Never before has there been a podcast with store owners who are so candid. Subscribe to the Ecomcrew podcast today!
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Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 8, 2022

Mike is joined by 101 Commerce founder RJ Jalichandra as he talks about the growing pains of being a pioneering FBA aggregator and where the industry might be headed in the coming years.

 

If you’re well versed in the wider ecommerce landscape, you’d know that the FBA aggregator or acquisition industry have become a lucrative business in recent years.

 

RJ is the founder of 101 Commerce, which is considered the first FBA aggregator with institutional backing. Before names like Thrasio went big, there was 101 Commerce.

 

RJ's been on the podcast before, when 101 Commerce was just getting started, and so I thought RJ would be a great resource person to talk about the ins and outs of being an FBA aggregator, how the business works and the current environment of the industry.

 

If you want to listen to our first episode together, you can find it here.

 

Learn about the FBA Aggregator Space in these highlights:

  • Intro - 0:00
  • The genesis of 101 Commerce - 5:16 
  • What kind of businesses do aggregators look for? - 12:17
  • Challenges of being an aggregator - 14:20 
  • RJ’s retiring and unretiring - 16:00
  • Getting back into ecommerce - 15:27
  • The aggregator business model and its challenges - 19:41 
  • The learning curve - 23:28
  • The future of the aggregator space - 26:05 
  • What’s next for RJ? - 31:19 
  • Connect with RJ - 33:16

 

Thank you so much for your time, RJ. It was nice to catch up and chat a bit about the inner workings of the aggregating business.

 

If you need advice on how to sell your brand, you can message RJ on LinkedIn. You can also check out Incline Capital’s website for more information on their services.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Aug 1, 2022

In this yearly review episode, Dave gives an update on how his brand’s been doing the past year, from feeling the fallout of a post-pandemic market to increased competition in the niche.

 

I did the first one of these annual reviews on July 17, 2017. It’s kind of surreal how fast time flies. I’ve always enjoyed these because it makes me take an objective look at my brand.

 

Businesses in certain niches certainly benefited from the lockdown, us included. With people choosing to do more outdoor activities then, we saw a spike in our sales the first two years into the pandemic.

 

However, as the world slowly opened up again and travel resumed, our revenue went down. I’m sure other businesses in this niche are experiencing this as well.

 

The past year wasn’t all that bad though. We had our losses, but we had awesome wins too. I’ve also set some goals for the company that I hope will come to fruition in the coming months.

 

Check out the highlights from this episode: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • June 2022 revenue - 2:52
  • The Covid bump - 3:31
  • Increased competition - 6:17
  • Decline in TACoS - 8:56
  • Our massive hit product - 12:29
  • Finding a good fulfillment system in Canada - 15:30
  • New hires from the Philippines - 16:30
  • Developing a custom inventory software - 17:40
  • Our losses the past year - 19:20
  • My goals for the next 12 months - 21:25

 

That’s it for my year-in-review podcast episode. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you were able to take away a thing or two from this brief discussion.

 

I also did a blogpost where I elaborate more on these points in detail over at ecomcrew.com. Go check it out and leave a comment. I’d love to know what you guys think.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jul 25, 2022

Taking a more proactive approach, Mike and Dave talk about the measures they’ve taken to prepare for less-than-ideal market conditions in this Brand Report episode.

 

As we’ve mentioned in our previous episodes, Dave and I spent a good chunk of June in the Philippines spending time with our employees there.

 

We also made good headway on the content website we are launching this month–yes, this month! After several setbacks, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

For me, I worked on improving my margins, which included taking out an Amazon loan and fully transitioning to AGL. It’s definitely a tedious process, but worth it.

 

If you listened to our May Brand Report podcast, you’ll recall that one of Dave’s brands had an IPI score teetering below the required threshold. He’s got an update on that one.

 

Let’s get into our latest Brand Report, shall we? Check out the highlights from this episode:

 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Our revenue for June - 2:32
  • Average margins in ecommerce - 4:59
  • The impact of the declining economy - 6:18
  • Gearing up for the worst - 10:14
  • What we worked on in June - 12:44
  • The reason behind our new content website’s delay - 15:08
  • Our game plan for the launch - 17:30
  • Transitioning exclusively to AGL - 20:19
  • Dripping in LCL inventory via AGL - 25:07
  • Amazon’s new growth program - 30:25
  • An update on Dave’s IPI score - 32:37

 

That’s it for our June Brand Report. After several delays, I’m so happy to say we’re almost at the finish line. We can’t wait to finally show you our new content website in the next few days!

 

In the meantime, you can check out the blog counterpart of the Brand Report here if you want a more detailed account of what we did last month.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jul 25, 2022

Taking a more proactive approach, Mike and Dave talk about the measures they’ve taken to prepare for less-than-ideal market conditions in this Brand Report episode.

 

As we’ve mentioned in our previous episodes, Dave and I spent a good chunk of June in the Philippines spending time with our employees there.

 

We also made good headway on the content website we are launching this month–yes, this month! After several setbacks, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

For me, I worked on improving my margins, which included taking out an Amazon loan and fully transitioning to AGL. It’s definitely a tedious process, but worth it.

 

If you listened to our May Brand Report podcast, you’ll recall that one of Dave’s brands had an IPI score teetering below the required threshold. He’s got an update on that one.

 

Let’s get into our latest Brand Report, shall we? Check out the highlights from this episode:

 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Our revenue for June - 2:32
  • Average margins in ecommerce - 4:59
  • The impact of the declining economy - 6:18
  • Gearing up for the worst - 10:14
  • What we worked on in June - 12:44
  • The reason behind our new content website’s delay - 15:08
  • Our game plan for the launch - 17:30
  • Transitioning exclusively to AGL - 20:19
  • Dripping in LCL inventory via AGL - 25:07
  • Amazon’s new growth program - 30:25
  • An update on Dave’s IPI score - 32:37

 

That’s it for our June Brand Report. After several delays, I’m so happy to say we’re almost at the finish line. We can’t wait to finally show you our new content website in the next few days!

 

In the meantime, you can check out the blog counterpart of the Brand Report here if you want a more detailed account of what we did last month.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jul 18, 2022

Here’s a reality check: there’s more to life than just money. Amazon seller and aspiring personal development coach Jonathan Jesper shares his story of grit and resilience.

 

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I am very much aware of how unstable and unpredictable life in the business can be. The journey is never linear.

 

Fellow Vegasite Jonathan Jesper, who has never had a job, has been an entrepreneur his whole life – and he’s no stranger to failure.

 

He lived in a van straight out of high school; went to college and then dropped out; and eventually, as he described, “failed into ecommerce.”

 

Jonathan’s life as an entrepreneur is quite the story. From selling flowers at high school graduations to running his own Amazon business, he certainly knows the hustle.

 

Check out the highlights from this episode: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Background on Jonathan - 2:16
  • Jonathan’s early years as an entrepreneur - 3:20
  • Benefits of traveling - 6:19
  • Being “stuck” in our beliefs - 7:32 
  • Transitioning to ecommerce - 9:46 
  • Inventing a market - 13:04 
  • Dealing with failure - 16:01
  • The relativity of success - 20:42 
  • The blueprint of life - 23:16
  • Connecting the dots - 30:36
  • Helpful resources - 34:14

 

That was a great and insightful conversation, Jonathan. Thank you for coming on the podcast. This episode is a reminder that it’s important to reevaluate what success means to us. 

 

Speaking of success, if you want some tips on how to build a successful Amazon business, EcomCrew Premium is open to new members until Friday. Sign up now to get all the cool perks.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

 

Jul 11, 2022

The results are in! In this episode, Mike and Dave unpack their recently concluded Amazon Consumer Behavior survey, which includes a shocker you’ll want to know.

 

Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a survey to pick the brain of today’s Amazon consumer a little bit – to better understand their purchasing habits.

 

What pushes a consumer to check out an item? Which matters more: star rating or number of reviews? With the findings, we hope sellers can leverage them to improve their strategies.

 

We also found out something that we’ve somewhat always suspected. You’ll want to stick around till the end. It’s quite the bombshell. But don’t skip!

 

These are the highlights from this episode:

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • The most important buying holiday - 3:45
  • The deciding factor to make a purchase - 7:50
  • Good star rating vs number of reviews - 10:12
  • The impact of reviews - 13:40
  • Do badges matter? - 18:20
  • Sponsored products - 22:45
  • The real reason why buyers return products - 27:05
  • The impact of returns on ranking - 34:38
  • Shoutout to the team - 36:10

 

We hope you learned a thing or two from our survey. Of course, I can’t end this without recognizing the hard work of our team. This would not have been possible without them.

 

Mind you, we only covered a small portion of the survey, so if you want to see the full report, you can check out www.ecomcrew.com/amazonreport.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jul 7, 2022

According to Jungle Scout’s new report, Amazon seems to be making very good money on advertising. Mike unpacks the report with Jungle Scout's Jake Corkin.

 

Personally, I’ve been using Jungle Scout for several years and I’ve found it to be a great tool for any ecommerce business.

 

We’re also grateful to have worked with them as affiliates for a while now. We’ve even had their CEO on the podcast.

 

For this episode, we have their Director of Product, Jake Corkin. Aside from his full-time position at Jungle Scout, he also sells on Amazon as a side business.

 

Just recently, Jungle Scout released an Amazon Advertising Report for 2022 and I thought it would be great to dive into this with Jake.

 

Here are the highlights from this episode.

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • A brief background on Jake - 1:00
  • Jungle Scout’s new capabilities - 2:30
  • Dissecting the Amazon Advertising Report - 8:00
  • The difficulty of launching a new product these days - 12:17
  • Consumers’ preferred ad type - 13:44
  • ROAS changes - 17:05
  • The value for sellers in this report - 18:43
  • Most and least competitive categories - 20:14
  • Predictions and strategies - 22:16
  • The equalization of ad spending - 24:22
  • Where you can view the report - 29:26

 

You can read Jungle Scout’s Amazon Advertising Report in full detail over on their website. Jake, thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing your insights with us.

 

If you want to give Jungle Scout a try, you can sign up through our affiliate link and get a sweet deal on a subscription of your choice.

 

You know the drill, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jul 4, 2022

Mike is back with EcomCrew’s podcast manager Ben for a light yet informative Q&A session on keeping profits high and costs low amid inflation.

 

After recording this episode, I thought it would be nice to have Ben be in front of the camera more often and be a regular on the podcast.

 

In this new Q&A series, Ben will be asking me a bunch of questions on how to run a successful ecommerce business and I will do my best to answer them as exhaustively as I can.

 

This episode is all about costs and profitability. With Covid-related challenges to consider and inflation in full swing, we thought this was a highly important subject to kick things off. 

 

Here are the highlights of this episode.

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Getting to know Ben - 2:13
  • What are the several costs that eat into a ecommerce business' monthly net profit? - 3:58
  • How Amazon fees affect profit margins - 6:46
  • The struggle of maintaining profit in ecommerce - 11:00
  • Will Amazon fees stop increasing eventually? - 14:23
  • Raising prices to keep up with inflation - 16:04 
  • Helpful tools to gauge costs and profitability - 18:43
  • Finding opportunities in ecommerce - 23:10
  • Which one should you consider first, product or profit margin? - 24:08
  • Affiliate marketing vs ecommerce from Mike’s POV - 26:14
  • What to expect in the next Q&A episodes - 31:32

 

If you listened all the way to the end, then you know we have some exciting topics to discuss in upcoming episodes of this series, so make sure to tune in to the podcast.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jun 27, 2022

From finalizing a soon-to-be-launched content website to releasing a new cockroach product, Mike and Dave unpack a hectic May in this Brand Report episode.

 

Aside from our recent trip to the Philippines (which you can know more about here and here), May was quite an eventful month.

 

Revenue-wise, there was a slight increase from April by almost $70,000. If we’re talking about individual brand progress, there was a fair share of wins and losses.

 

IceWraps saw a big gain, while Offroading Gear and BTG Gear were down roughly 10% compared to May last year.

 

In May, we worked with our developer on the finishing touches for our new content website. Slight hiccup though, the launch is delayed by a week at least. But we’re still eyeing a July date!

 

For Dave, he recently rolled out a ‘cockroach’ product that sold out in a couple of days. If you’re curious to know what this is, you’ll have to sign up for Secret Sauce.

 

On the other hand, the IPI score of one of his brands dropped below the required threshold, which could result in inventory restrictions. But Dave’s not too worried about it.

 

Listen to the podcast to know more about what went down in May. Check out the highlights from this episode:

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • How was May overall? - 2:45
  • The ups and downs of being an entrepreneur - 5:08
  • The seasonality of products - 7:49
  • Raising prices - 10:49
  • Computing COGS - 13:09
  • A quick runthrough of our wins - 19:22
  • Dave hiring new people for his brand - 25:07
  • Dave’s new cockroach product - 27:40
  • The cockroach method and why it works - 29:15
  • How Dave dealt with his brand’s IPI score dropping - 32:03
  • Amazon’s excess space issue - 33:59

 

That’s it for our May Brand Report. It’s been a busy couple of months. I expect it’s going to be even busier as we near the launch of our new content website. Wish us luck!

 

If you want a more detailed breakdown of what we discussed in this episode, you can check out the blog post of the report here.

 

As always, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jun 20, 2022

Fresh (yet possibly still jet lagged) from their trip to the Philippines, Mike and Dave unpack their takeaways after reuniting with the team.

 

It finally happened–we made it to Cebu! Dave and I aligned our travel dates so that we’d have a few days to spend with the EcomCrew team while we were there.

 

It’s been three years since I last saw some of them (most I haven’t met in person at all), and it was Dave’s first time in Cebu, so we were pretty excited to say the least.

 

While it was definitely great to finally be back, this visit was also bittersweet because we recently lost a dear member of our Terran family.

 

If you’re curious to know more about what we did while we were in the bustling metro of Cebu, tune in to the podcast. Here are the highlights of this episode:

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • First impressions of Cebu - 1:06
  • Transiting through Manila - 3:06
  • Our jeepney adventure with the team - 5:06
  • How Mike spent his time in Cebu - 8:28
  • Dave on getting things done - 11:36
  • The shift in the country’s employment landscape - 13:49
  • Figuring out what else we can offer our employees - 19:50
  • Pros and cons of frequent meetings - 23:14
  • Problems we overlooked and uncovered - 27:06
  • Musings on life - 30:21
  • What we have planned for EcomCrew - 35:53

 

Although I wish this trip happened under better circumstances, I’m still very grateful that Dave and I finally got to see our PH team again. We’ll definitely do our best to make this an annual thing.

 

We’ve got some exciting plans for EcomCrew and the podcast but we can’t reveal them just yet. For now, make sure to tune in to our upcoming episodes for updates!

 

As usual, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Jun 13, 2022

Mike sits down with EcomCrew’s Podcast Producer, Ben, to talk about his recent trip back to the Philippines, the value of facetime with your employees, and our big plans for the company moving forward.

 

I’m in Cebu for a couple of weeks!

 

Over this short but fun period, I saw old friends again after the pandemic and got to meet new ones whom I've only ever spoken to on Zoom. I had a genuinely fun time being back to the Philippines after several years.

 

Joining me for this episode is our very own podcast producer, Ben. Ben has been with us for over three years and has done amazing work taking the EcomCrew Podcast to the level it’s at now. 

 

Today, we’ll be talking all about how much the pandemic affected our work environment, our big plans to give you more awesome content over the coming years, and why we bully Steve Chou a lot :)

 

If you’ve ever thought of building or growing your own Philippine team, this episode should be doubly insightful for you.

 

I wanna thank Ben for doing this episode with me. I really enjoyed my short stay here in Cebu and we can’t wait for you guys to see everything EcomCrew has in store in the coming years. 

 

If you haven’t already, please leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and I’ll see you on the next one!

Jun 6, 2022

Mike talks to Paul Okhrem, the co-founder of a global ecommerce consultancy company in Ukraine, on what it’s like to maintain operations even amid the escalating conflict.

 

What’s happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking. Who would’ve thought that an invasion could happen even in the 21st century?

 

I figured the least we can do is provide a platform to shed some light on the situation there from a local’s perspective, which is why we have Paul Okhrem on the podcast. 

 

Paul is the COO and co-founder of Elogic Commerce, a consultancy company with offices in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe.

 

In our conversation, Paul shares his firsthand account on the situation in Ukraine, Elogic’s emergency response, and how the invasion affected the ecommerce industry there.

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Elogic’s response when news of the invasion broke - 1:51
  • The resilience of the Ukrainians - 8:28
  • How Elogic’s clients reacted - 9:53
  • The IT talent in Eastern Europe - 10:48
  • Ukraine’s progress over Russia - 11:53
  • How the invasion affected Rozetka, Amazon’s Ukrainian counterpart - 13:41
  • The importance of having a contingency plan - 15:46
  • Elogic’s services - 19:47
  • Elogic’s clients - 20:05
  • Ukraine’s ecommerce industry - 20:48
  • How to reach out to Elogic - 22:51
  • Standing with Ukraine - 23:57

 

Paul, thank you for taking the time to be on the podcast and sharing your experience with us. We hope to hear good news soon. Stay safe and keep in touch. 

 

For more information about Elogic’s services, you can visit their website. If you just want to learn more about ecommerce, you can check out their blog.

 

As usual, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

May 30, 2022

Mike and Dave talk about their wins and losses in April, as well as exciting updates on their not-so secret project, including an official launch date.

 

It’s time for another Brand Report! Compared to March, there’s a slight decline in last month’s revenue numbers. But that’s not to say April was all bad.

 

April was a hectic month for me. After over six months of working with several developers, we finally got to launch Tactical.com’s new look, which I am very happy about.

 

Dave also shares about a recent oopsie doopsie he had with one of his product listings and accidentally changing the price from $199.99 to $19.99. Yikes.

 

An exciting update on Knitting.com: Hannah (our first new hire) flew in to record some videos with us. I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to script and record around 20 videos.

 

We’re also eyeing to produce at least 10 products. While I’m not confident we can make it this year, Dave is willing to air freight everything just so we can make it in time for the holidays.

 

Here are the highlights from this episode, including the launch date for the Knitting.com content website!

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Reconnecting in person, and meeting the team - 1:11
  • April’s revenue numbers - 3:14
  • A deeper dive into Dave’s revenue numbers - 4:25
  • Tactical.com redesign - 9:53
  • Challenges of website development - 12:42
  • Recording videos for Knitting (and the launch date) - 15:48
  • The content plan for Knitting - 16:04
  • Dave’s pricing oopsies - 20:48
  • An attempt to lower insurance costs for Dave’s products - 23:21
  • Product development for Knitting.com - 27:34
  • Wrapping up - 31:42

 

That’s it for our April Brand Report. Revenue is a little flat, but it was a productive month nonetheless. Here’s to hoping May will be better.

 

When this episode is out, I’ll probably be in Cebu by then. While I’m there with the team, we’ll be recording a few episodes for the podcast so stay tuned for that.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

May 23, 2022

Will Performance Max replace all singular campaigns? Mike chats with Brett Curry of OMG Commerce about Google’s latest campaign type feature.

 

There’s no debate on how efficient and incredibly convenient Performance Max is. It’s a unified campaign for multiple channels rolled into one.

 

However, there is a common misconception that it replaces your existing campaigns. While it will partially cannibalize some of them (more on this on the podcast), this is not the case at all.

 

In fact, Brett tells us that reps from Google had explained to him that Performance Max is designed to complement and not replace the campaigns you’re already doing.

 

It definitely requires some getting used to initially due to some differences in structure and language, but if you’re looking for new customers, a Performance Max campaign will do the job.

 

Thank you for being with us on the podcast, Brett. As always, it’s a pleasure to chat. I hope to see you again later this year; if not, maybe at the next Sellers Summit!

 

If you’re interested in working with Brett and his brilliant team of marketers, go to the OMG Commerce website and click on the ‘Let’s Talk!’ button on the top right corner of the home page. 


Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

May 16, 2022

Mike talks to Seller Universe Ecommerce Group CEO Martin Zerrudo about Amazon DSP and how brands can successfully leverage ads with it.

 

A relatively new system, Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP) analyzes consumer data and finds the right customers to target ads with. 

 

Unlike Facebook or Google ads, DSP gives you access to a wider network of third-party sites and reach people both on and off Amazon, albeit a pricier option.

 

A fair warning: doing ads with DSP can get very granular and specific, which can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with it. However, it can be highly effective when executed correctly.

 

I tried out DSP ads last year with IceWraps and although we didn’t get the results we wanted, I still think it’s a great system.

 

We have Martin with us today to give us better insight into how the system works and what makes it a formidable tool for ecommerce brands.

 

Martin, thank you for coming on the podcast and for sharing that message from August. It means a lot to Dave and I.

 

If any of you listening to this episode is interested in trying out DSP ads, go to the Seller Universe website and fill out the contact form.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

May 12, 2022

Dave goes through the top third-party sellers on Amazon, what products they sell, how much they make in revenue annually, and what their business models are.

 

At the start of the year, we began working behind the scenes on producing regular reports on top third-party sellers on Amazon.

 

Since Amazon doesn’t release reports on third-party sellers, we had to develop a way to harness this data ourselves. 

 

After months of research, we’ve managed to come up with a methodology that produces more or less accurate results.

 

Analyzing the sellers’ profiles, you see how vastly different their business models are. Some on this list are straight resellers, others are private label brands.

 

The product categories run the gamut too, from beddings and houseware to pharmaceuticals and electronics.

 

As we continue this series, we look forward to featuring new third-party sellers on the list and gain some insight into their business models.

 

That wraps up this episode of the podcast. Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

 

Join EcomCrew Premium

In other (exciting) news, registration for EcomCrew Premium will be open starting May 17 midnight! Join the Premium ‘Crew and get access to cool perks such as exclusive webinars and unlimited email support from Mike and I.

 

Registration will be open for only a week and slots are limited so make sure to sign up as soon as you can! For more information about EcomCrew Premium, visit www.ecomcrew.com/premium.

May 9, 2022

In this episode, Mike delves into subscription boxes and why it’s an effective business model, featuring special guests Paul Chambers and Chris George of SUBTA.

 

From food items to lifestyle products, subscription boxes have become quite the trend in ecommerce the past few years. 

 

Chris George and Paul Chambers got their start in ecommerce with Gentleman’s Box, a subscription service for men’s lifestyle products that they started in 2014.

 

In 2020, they exited the business and co-founded Subscription Trade Association or SUBTA, with a third partner, John Haji. 

 

SUBTA aims to foster a sense of community among entrepreneurs in the subscription industry and promote healthy competition in this space.

 

From their humble beginnings with Gentleman’s Box to the founding of SUBTA, here are the highlights from our conversation:

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:25
  • History of Gentleman’s Box - 3:50
  • Dynamics of creating subscription boxes - 7:50
  • Production cycle of these boxes - 10:33
  • Factors to consider if you want to get into subscription boxes - 15:00
  • Finding your audience - 19:15
  • Exiting Gentleman’s Box - 22:23
  • Recent news in the subscription box space - 28:20
  • About SubSummit - 29:055

 

Chris and Paul, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast and sharing your story with us. 

 

For anyone interested in going into subscription, SUBTA will be having its annual SubSummit on June 1-3, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Head on over to the SubSummit website for more details.

 

If you want to learn more about the subscription industry, SUBTA has free and premium plans where you can get access to educational resources. Click here to learn more.

 

As per usual, feel free to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

May 2, 2022

In this episode, Mike is joined by Spencer Jan of Solo Stove to talk about the evolution of ecommerce through the years and how innovation drives it forward.

 

After hearing him speak at eCommerceFuel Live last March, I invited Spencer Jan to be on the podcast to expound on a particular point in his presentation that struck me the most: innovation.

 

Spencer is the co-founder of Solo Stove, a company he started way back in 2010 in a garage. After exiting the business, he is now focused on helping other entrepreneurs build their own brands through informative content.

 

During our quick conversation, Spencer and I were able to cover a bit more ground about his journey and thoughts on the future of ecommerce. Here are the highlights from the episode:

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Spencer’s early years in ecommerce - 3:36
  • Choosing to focus on Solo Stove - 7:50
  • The ‘dopamine hit’ of starting something new - 11:40
  • Keeping up with the times - 13:53
  • Innovation as a force in ecommerce - 15:31
  • How ecommerce has evolved since he started - 20:08
  • Differentiating yourself from the competition - 26:13

 

Thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Spencer. I hope to see you at Sellers Summit. If you guys want ecommerce-related videos, make sure to check out Spencer’s YouTube channel.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Apr 18, 2022

For this episode of Under The Hood, Mike gives advice to Lisa Guenst–dental hygienist and owner of ToothShower, an innovative dental water flosser–on how to boost sales and get a business ready for selling.

 

Over two decades of working as a dental hygienist, Lisa Guenst noticed how a lot of patients she encountered hated using string floss. 

 

However, part of her profession is advocating for oral health, so as an alternative to help prevent gum disease, she always suggested using a water flosser instead.

 

While she did see significant improvement in her patients, they did complain that most water flossers were cumbersome and quite messy to use.

 

This was the impetus behind Lisa creating ToothShower, a water flosser that is powered by your own shower – no need for batteries or for plugging into an outlet.

 

After launching a Kickstarter campaign in 2017, the company and its flagship product (now with an impressive range of accessories) have become quite the lucrative business.

 

Pre-Covid, ToothShower had been selling exclusively on its website. It wasn't until the pandemic that ToothShower transitioned to being an Amazon business. 

 

Thus, Lisa sought our help on how to navigate the unique challenges that come with being an FBA business, especially for a product that’s as disruptive as ToothShower.

 

From refining your Amazon listing to optimizing SEO, I guide Lisa in increasing her sales and getting her business ready for selling when she decides to exit down the line.

 

That’s it for this week’s podcast. If you want to be featured in our next Under The Hood episode and get advice from us firsthand, fill out this form and we’ll check it out.

 

Also, don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Apr 11, 2022
Welcome to the podcast edition of Brand Report! In this series, we share with you our revenue across all our brands every month, so you can see what we did wrong and what we did right. 

 

In February, we raked in a total of  $621,816, compared to March's revenue numbers, where we broke past the $700,000 barrier. IceWraps continues the upward trend in sales, but one thing remains to be a source of difficulty: logistics.

 

All in all, several factors played into this outcome, but the increase in freight rates continues to be a headache.

 

That’s it for our Brand Report for March 2022. While we’re certainly hoping for better days, March was definitely the best so far.

 

If you want to see a more detailed and comprehensive breakdown of our revenue numbers for the past few months, check out the blog post up on our website.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Tune in next month for our April Brand Report. Till then, happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Apr 5, 2022
A lot has happened since the big announcement about Knitting.com. It went viral, but not for the right reasons. In this episode, Mike and Dave set the record straight.

 

Shortly after we released the blog post and podcast about Knitting.com, we got into hot water with members of the knitting community.

 

While we’ve gotten some pretty harsh comments, we’ve also received helpful advice from knitters that we will definitely implement as we grow this business.

 

Looking back, we realized that there were certainly points we could’ve articulated better, but there’s no point in dwelling in the past.

 

In this podcast, we hope to shed light on our business plan and hopefully, clarify some details. 

 

Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • What happened after we announced Knitting.com - 0:38
  • How our message was interpreted - 3:26
  • What we could’ve done better - 7:03
  • The significance of local yarn stores in the knitting community - 10:57
  • Our approach to Knitting.com - 12:47
  • The business plan - 17:45
  • Our goals for the business - 25:11
  • What we’ve been up to lately - 30:12
  • The impact we hope to make with Knitting.com - 31:53

 

When we launch Knitting.com later this year, we hope to put out a content website and a lineup of quality products that hopefully novice knitters will find useful and beneficial.

 

That’s it for this week’s episode. Feel free to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Mar 28, 2022

Mike is joined by Carlos Alvarez, an elementary school dropout who, years later, would exit a business for 2.6 million dollars.

 

This week on the podcast, we have the founder of Wizards of Ecom, Carlos Alvarez. If there’s one thing Carlos and I have in common, it’s that we've beaten the odds. As school dropouts, we’re not expected to succeed in life. But after a few years of grit and hard work, here we are. 

 

Carlos has quite the story to share with us today, from dropping out of school at the age of 10 and getting scammed by a non-existent Alibaba supplier to exiting a business selling insects and founding a successful ecommerce academy. Needless to say, his journey is quite the ride.

 

Audio Timestamps:

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Hustling at a young age - 4:00
  • The importance of education - 8:35
  • “Touching the stove” and learning from it - 10:23
  • Staying ahead of the curve - 14:16
  • Saving for a rainy day - 16:57
  • Finding motivation to keep going - 22:32
  • Work-life balance and burnout - 25:36

 

That’s it for this week’s episode. Carlos, thank you so much for coming on the show and telling us a little bit about your incredible story. I hope to have you again here in the future.

 

In the meantime, tune in to the latest episode of the Wizards of Ecom podcast featuring yours truly, which comes out on the 28th.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

 

Mar 22, 2022

Welcome to the podcast edition of our February Brand Report! Each month, we’ll break down our monthly revenue so you can see what’s working and what’s not. 

 

February’s revenue was $621,816, which is roughly equal to that of January, and we dive into what exactly affected our revenue: what we worked on, our wins, and our painful losses. Dive into each section here: 

 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Impact of increasing shipping rates on sales - 1:45
  • Finding a middle ground to keep your business sustainable - 4:47
  • Raising prices to compensate for higher shipping costs - 7:40
  • Disruptions due to global events - 9:18
  • Pros and cons of Amazon Global Logistics - 10:05
  • Hybrid shipping style - 13:20
  • Brand Report proper - 14:25
  • Using BSR to gauge impact of price changes - 16:15
  • Working with influencers - 18:20
  • Things that went well in February - 22:00
  • Things that didn’t go as well - 24:00

 

That’s it for our Brand Report for February. If you want to see a more detailed and comprehensive breakdown of our check out the blogpost up on our website.

 

Don’t forget to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our podcast. Tune in next month for our March Brand Report. Till then, happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Mar 17, 2022
Mike and Dave discuss quite the polarizing topic: cryptocurrency – and how it might revolutionize the financial industry in the future.

Our topic for today is not totally in line with ecommerce, but a bunch of you guys requested it so here we are: Ecomcrew’s one and only episode on cryptocurrency.

The subject is especially interesting since Dave and I aren’t exactly on the same team when it comes to this one, even though we both have experience investing in it.

For this episode, we break down some of the ambiguities surrounding cryptocurrency, how we think it’ll impact the business landscape, and whether or not it’s worth investing in.

Although, just a quick disclaimer: this episode is not, in any way, us giving financial advice; rather, simply our two cents on the matter at hand.

Timestamps: 

  • Using cryptocurrency to buy domains - 2:13
  • A gray area in sales taxation - 4:45
  • Mike’s investment in cryptocurrency - 10:18
  • Dave’s qualms about cryptocurrency - 19:55
  • How the Internet changed and disrupted businesses - 24:54
  • Day trading cryptocurrency - 30:57
  • Investing in Bitcoin - 38:08
  • The importance of timing in investment - 44:54

Whether or not you choose to invest in cryptocurrency, just remember to never put all your eggs in one basket. After all, risk is part of being in business.

That’s it for this week’s episode. Feel free to leave us a review over on iTunes if you enjoy our content. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

Mar 14, 2022

Mike is joined by Mediavine’s Eric Hochberger to talk about how enhanced privacy and data protection is affecting ecommerce and the future of advertising.

 

Consumers are becoming more wary and on edge about online security and keeping their data safe. Developers address this concern by doubling down on data privacy and limiting ads, albeit, at the expense of businesses’ efforts to reach potential customers.

 

In this episode, I talk to Eric Hochberger, who runs the ad management company Mediavine, about how these changes and consumer concerns will impact profit and shape the direction of advertising.

 

Audio Timestamps: 

  • Intro - 0:00
  • Eric Hochberger’s background in the industry - 2:07
  • What Mediavine does - 3:04 
  • Alarm Grid - 3:55
  • Repercussions of enhanced privacy on businesses - 5:34
  • A common misconception of consumers regarding privacy - 7:58
  • Curating ads based on users’ interest - 10:52
  • Possible impact on monetization - 14:48
  • Amazon and Facebook advertising - 17:14
  • Staying nimble and adapting to the market - 20:06
  • Trellis by Mediavine - 23:54

 

Thank you for coming on the podcast, Eric. If you’re planning to get a website running or already have an existing one that needs an update, check out Trellis by Mediavine. It’s a WordPress framework optimized for speed, which I tested out myself and can vouch for.

 

If you'd like to try out Trellis for yourself, Eric and the Mediavine team have been gracious enough to offer a discount for all Ecomcrew listeners. Use the coupon code SAVE20TRELLIS for 20% off your first year of Trellis.

 

In other news, we’ve got a Secret Sauce webinar coming up on the 16th. This month’s mini class is all about making incremental product improvements for big returns. Check out the linked page for more information about the latest course and the topics that we’ll be covering.

 

That’s it for this week’s EcomCrew Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, show us some love by leaving a review over on iTunes. Happy selling and we’ll see you in the next one!

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