Posts

13 Examples of Sustainable Ecommerce

A recent survey of 6,000 consumers in North America, Europe, and Asia found that 80% of participants felt it was “important or extremely important” for companies to design environmentally conscious products. Moreover, 72% said they buy more environmentally friendly products than five years ago, and 81% said they expected to purchase more over the next five years.

Ecommerce merchants can court this changing shopper base and create a positive impact by making their businesses more sustainable. Consider posting a statement about your focus on ethical and sustainable practices on the “About Us” page. Reduce packaging, shift to an eco-friendly shipping program, and create an optional carbon offset charge at checkout. Develop recycling policies and channels to resell your used merchandise. And partner with brands that have ethical and sustainable models.

Here is a list of sustainable ecommerce sites, for inspiration. These sites create change through environmental, economic, and social action and awareness.

Worn Wear – Patagonia

Home page of Worn Wear - PatagoniaHome page of Worn Wear - Patagonia

Worn Wear – Patagonia

Worn Wear is an online store for used Patagonia clothing. Customers can trade in used Patagonia clothing and receive credit for a used or new Patagonia item. Worn Wear is a way that customers can partner with Patagonia to extend the life of those products. Most items are cleaned using CO2 technology, saving water and energy (compared to conventional methods) and capturing microfibers.

Rêve En Vert

Home page of Rêve En VertHome page of Rêve En Vert

Rêve En Vert

Rêve En Vert is a luxury retail platform for sustainable and ethical goods. It sources the most ethical materials possible, emphasizing low-environmental impact and longevity. Alongside its retail offering, the editorial and community sections of Rêve En Vert explore the sustainable options of collective humanity.

4ocean

Home page of 4oceanHome page of 4ocean

4ocean

4ocean is committed to ending the ocean plastic crisis. Its ecommerce shop sells jewelry, apparel, and reusable items to support its mission. Every 4ocean product comes with a “One Pound Promise” to pull one pound of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines. While its full-time crews remove debris, it also educates people to end the dependence on single-use plastic.

Shades of Green

Home page of Shades of GreenHome page of Shades of Green

Shades of Green

Shades of Green is committed to creating healthier living spaces by sourcing and selling only non-toxic, environmentally-friendly products, offering green design consultation, and providing the latest information on green building products and practices. The company’s evaluation system offers customers smart choices and real value through honest and transparent details. Every product on its website is eco-friendly, with a green score from 1 to 5. Each product description contains information on why it’s recommended, as well as reviews from users

Our Commonplace

Home page of Our CommonplaceHome page of Our Commonplace

Our Commonplace

Our Commonplace is an ethical and sustainable marketplace for women’s fashion wear. Its mission is to help consumers shop ethically and sustainably. Each product displays the corresponding value icons: Ethical, Sustainable, Cruelty-Free, Woman-Owned, BIPOC-Owned (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and Toxic-Free. Shoppers benefit from product knowledge, transparency, and a better way to shop to help the world.

Pela

Home page of PelaHome page of Pela

Pela

Pela develops products from environmentally-sensible materials, with a mission to create a waste-free future. Pela offers biodegradable iPhone and iPad cases, smartwatch bands, sunglasses, and accessories. In addition, Pela works to streamline transportation and improve manufacturing efficiencies. And Pela offsets its entire carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits.

EarthHero

Home page of EarthHeroHome page of EarthHero

EarthHero

EarthHero is an eco-friendly online marketplace to make buying responsibly second nature. Partner brands are chosen because they’re helping to create a more sustainable future. Each product displays the corresponding logos to tell shoppers why it’s sustainable. Logos fall under Low Impact, Organic Content, Recycled Content, Renewable Resource, Responsible, and Upcycled Content. Product pages also detail sustainability features and specifications, as well as info about the brand partner.

Green Toys

Home page of Green ToysHome page of Green Toys

Green Toys

Green Toys is a provider of environmentally and socially responsible toys and tableware for children. It uses 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and manufactures all its products in the U.S., diverting materials from landfills and reducing its carbon footprint. For packaging, Green Toys uses recycled material with soy ink that biodegrades four times faster than petroleum-based.

Simple Switch

Home page of Simple SwitchHome page of Simple Switch

Simple Switch.

Simple Switch is a marketplace for apparel, household items, food and drink, and travel and outdoor goods. Partner companies have committed to improving livelihoods, protecting the earth, and empowering people to change our future. In addition to shopping by product or partner, customers can also shop by impact, filtering products by certifications (e.g., climate neutral, Forest Stewardship Council), social impacts (e.g., fights human trafficking, supports education), and environmental impacts (e.g., innovative environmental materials, renewable energy).

Thrive Market

Home page of Trive MarketHome page of Trive Market

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online grocery membership site that features ethical and sustainable goods, carbon-neutral shipping, zero-waste warehouses, and recyclable-compostable packaging. Upon signup, members select their most important values or causes, such as animal welfare, sustainable sourcing, fair trade, carbon impact, organic, and regenerative agriculture. Every annual membership to Thrive Market sponsors a free one for a family in need.

Ten Thousand Villages

Home page of Ten Thousand VillagesHome page of Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages has a mission to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to its markets. Ten Thousand Villages’ model puts the maker first, giving artisans opportunities to gain a safety net of financial stability and escape the cycle of poverty through transparent price agreements, interest-free microfinance investment, payment before export, and more. On each product page, shoppers can access the maker’s story, along with a link to more items by the maker.

Ethica

Home page of Etihica Home page of Etihica

Ethica

Ethica is an online retailer to learn about ethical fashion, discover emerging designers, and shop a high-style selection of ethical and sustainable labels. Its goal is to connect consumers and companies that share a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Ethica uses eco-friendly packaging and carbon-neutral shipping.

The Responsible Shop – Verishop

Home page of The Responsible Shop - VerishopHome page of The Responsible Shop - Verishop

The Responsible Shop – Verishop

The Responsible Shop is a store within Verishop, an aggregator for independent brands and designers of home decor, fashion, and beauty products. In The Responsible Shop, shoppers can filter products via “Shop By Cause,” which includes Clean Beauty, Conscious, Cruelty-Free, Fair Trade, Organic, Philanthropic, Responsible, Sustainable, Upcycled, and Vegan.

Ecommerce Product Releases: October 17, 2021

Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-October from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on email marketing, digital payments, subscription tools, social commerce, Amazon integration, WooCommerce, and live video shopping.

Got an ecommerce product release? Email releases@practicalecommerce.com.

Ecommerce Product Releases

HubSpot launches new payments service. HubSpot, the customer relationship management and inbound marketing platform, has announced the launch of its open beta for HubSpot Payments. Built natively as part of the HubSpot CRM platform, HubSpot Payments helps companies accept payments seamlessly in less time and with fewer tools. HubSpot Payments supports all major credit cards and ACH and features payment links, recurring payments for memberships, and native integration with HubSpot’s quotes feature in Sales Hub. To help customers get up and running, HubSpot is waiving fees on the first $50,000 of ACH transactions.

Home page of HubSpot PaymentsHome page of HubSpot Payments

HubSpot Payments

CedCommerce launches Amazon integration for Shopify merchants. CedCommerce has launched “Amazon by CedCommerce” for Shopify merchants to create and synchronize listings between Shopify and Amazon. The release follows Shopify’s recent closure of its Amazon-selling app. Sellers can get the benefits of the Amazon by CedCommerce app, free of any subscription cost, through December 31, 2021.

Lightspeed completes the acquisition of Ecwid. Lightspeed Commerce, an ecommerce and point-of-sale provider, has completed the acquisition of Ecwid, the global ecommerce platform. Once integrated, Lightspeed and Ecwid will help merchants reach shoppers on social media and digital marketplaces. Ecwid recently announced a partnership with TikTok to help shape the future of buying on the social media platform. The partnership will also help Lightspeed’s merchants access the core functions of TikTok For Business Ads Manager.

GhostRetail unveils live-video shopping platform. GhostRetail has emerged from stealth mode to launch a 1:1 live video shopping platform that simulates online an in-store experience. The white-label platform is for enterprise retailers and direct-to-consumer merchants looking to augment their in-store and ecommerce sales channels with personalized live video co-shopping. Multiple Fortune 500 brands — American Eagle, Authentic Brands Group, Canada Goose, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, others — now use the platform ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Home page of GhostRetailHome page of GhostRetail

GhostRetail

Shopify launches Global ERP Program. Shopify is launching a global ERP program, allowing select enterprise resource planning (ERP) partners to build direct integrations into the Shopify App Store. Shopify is partnering with leading ERP providers, including Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Oracle NetSuite, Infor, Acumatica, and Brightpearl, with more to come. Through the program, merchants can now access a suite of certified apps directly integrated with Shopify. The global ERP program provides partners with support from Shopify’s engineering team in building their apps.

GoDaddy’s point of sale now integrates with WooCommerce. GoDaddy launched its point of sale hardware last month. Now the POS is integrated with WooCommerce to make in-person payments quick and simple. The integration eliminates the need for multiple logins across platforms to manage a store, cuts down on training time, and helps stores launch in-person payments quickly and affordably. Businesses using WooCommerce via GoDaddy can add the POS offerings from their GoDaddy Payments Hub and start selling in-person. Developers can build WooCommerce websites with GoDaddy, and GoDaddy Payments will automatically appear in their WordPress admin dashboard.

BigCommerce announces integration with Chargify to deliver subscription management services. BigCommerce has announced a new native integration with Chargify, a billing and subscription management platform. In collaboration with developer Ebizio, the Chargify integration provides BigCommerce’s B2B and B2C merchants with the ability to manage, track, and analyze subscription activity. With a one-click install, merchants can sell their products on subscription directly through their BigCommerce store. Merchants can also quickly introduce subscription options to their customers without costly development work.

Home page of ChargifyHome page of Chargify

Chargify

Poshmark unveils new ecommerce innovations. Poshmark, a social marketplace for new and secondhand fashion items, has launched My Shoppers, a clienteling feature that mimics an in-store retail associate, suggesting relevant products and personal styling based on what a shopper is browsing or liking. Poshmark also introduced Closet Insights, a dynamic dashboard that provides sellers with real-time inventory and sales data. Closet Insights allows sellers to understand sales performance over time to inform strategy.

ActiveCampaign expands automations with custom objects and integrations. ActiveCampaign, an email marketing and customer-experience platform, now enables businesses to build automations using custom objects. With custom objects, companies of all sizes can trigger automations from unique data specific to their business. ActiveCampaign customers can integrate the 1:1 automation with their best-loved tools. For example, a new opportunity in Salesforce could generate a series of internal alerts or tasks, trigger an onboarding message sequence, and send a message to the contact within the opportunity. A live entertainment venue that sells tickets through Eventbrite could create an “Events” custom object through that integration, enabling it to manage types of events, tickets, attendees, dates, and more.

GetResponse introduces Free Forever. GetResponse, an email marketing platform, is now offering a free plan, following the launch of its new website builder this year. With the free plan, businesses use a drag-and-drop creator to build emails, build and host one landing page, connect their domain or choose a free one, and receive lead-generation tools, such as newsletter templates and signup forms. Participants can also access premium features for 30 days at no cost.

Home page of GetResponseHome page of GetResponse

GetResponse

Amid Facebook Ad Turmoil, Supply.co Retrenches

Patrick Coddou is a direct-to-consumer pioneer, having launched Supply.co in 2015. The company designs, manufactures, and sells premium shaving products — all to great success.

Until April 2021. That’s when Apple launched iOS 14.5, which tracks the actions of iPhone users only if they agree. The release upended Facebook’s ability to hyper-target ads. The result is Facebook’s cheap but profitable ads are now less cheap and not so profitable.

Coddou’s company relied on sales from Facebook ads. He told me, “Supply.co had a really tough summer. For the first time ever we recorded two monthly losses.”

But he has retrenched. He fired his marketing agency, adjusted personnel, and moved forward on two long-planned product releases.

He and I discussed it all in our recent conversation. The full audio version is embedded below. The transcript that follows is edited for clarity and length.

Eric Bandholz: What’s going on with Facebook?

Patrick Coddou: This topic is no surprise to anybody in ecommerce. The short of it is that my company, Supply.co, had a really tough summer. For the first time ever we recorded two monthly losses. We’ve always been profitable, except for the very early days. We recorded some pretty decent losses this summer. Those were some painful months, and they were 100% directly attributed to the iOS 14.5 updates. We started to see changes in our advertising performance quickly after that update, as early as early May. We had lower revenue months over the summer and much lower and negative profit.

Bandholz: We’re feeling the same pain at Beardbrand. iOS 14.5 made it hard for Facebook to track people and thus target ads. What was your response? What’s your plan?

Coddou: We saw those rough months coming. We shifted into an immediate problem-solving mode. It was clear to me that our agency at the time didn’t have a plan. They spent like drunken sailors on really poor advertising. They wasted a ton of money.

So I cut off that agency relationship. I moved everything in house. I hired an internal head of marketing. I reassigned one of my guys to be our new head of creative. I hired a new full-time developer. I hired a full-time copywriter. I’m currently on the look for a part-time senior media buyer as well. And then I upped our videographer budget.

I took this huge chunk of money I was giving agencies and, for the first time with our company, took ownership of our marketing channels. I’m not saying it was a silver bullet. But that was my initial response.

Bandholz: Are the new employees remote or local?

Coddou: A little of both. Most of them are in the Dallas-Ft.Worth area. Most of my full-time team is there. My developer is in Africa. I have other teammates around the world, but the new guys are in the U.S.

I took a very different approach this time in terms of finding the new staff. I’ve hired so many expensive people in the history of my company. I hired a very expensive, full-time head of marketing last year. I’ve retained fancy, costly agencies. None of them worked out.

So this time around, I hired green people, those without a lot of experience. I over-leveraged on hunger and chip-on-the-shoulder mentality. I wanted people eager to prove themselves and a desire to learn. Those are the kind of people I hired. I found most of them through Twitter, incidentally.

Bandholz: How do you distinguish between someone who’s hungry and driven versus annoying and overbearing?

Coddou: I’m no hiring expert. It’s very subjective. I look for raw honesty coupled with motivation.

Here’s an example. One of the new hires didn’t have a great resume. He couldn’t keep a job for more than a few months. I asked him, “Based on your resume, I don’t think you’re hire-able. Why I should hire you.”

His answer combined honesty and hunger. He admitted why his previous positions had been failures. He told me what he learned from them and how he wanted to prove himself despite those failures.

Otherwise, there’s not one thing that I always do. However, I use a book called “Who: The A Method for Hiring.” I pretty much follow it word for word. It’s always worked for me. You ask direct questions, and you get surprisingly good answers.

Bandholz: You’re hiring green people. Who trains them?

Coddou: I’m doing a bit of training and mentoring. I’ve set one of the hires up with some forums. I’m hiring a seasoned person to help him. I’m honest with my hires. I tell them that there’s not a lot of structure at my company. There’s not a lot of, “Here’s your job. Go do it.” It’s more like, “This is what we need. Go figure it out.”

For the most part, it’s worked well. But for media buying lately, nobody knows what they’re doing. So how can I expect a green media buyer to know?

Bandholz: Nobody knows what to do with Facebook ads now.

Coddou: Nobody. So we might as well make it up and start from scratch.

Bandholz: Do you have a primary KPI for your ads?

Coddou: I have two: total revenue and the marketing efficiency ratio, or MER, which is the percent of revenue spent on advertising. From there, it gets convoluted because our return on ad spend on Facebook doesn’t currently make any sense. We used to hit a 2 to 3-times return on ad spend easily. Now we’re lucky to hit a 1. So the challenge with media buying now is we don’t know what’s working.

It feels like we’re moving around in this dark room, hoping to shed light on what to do. We’re using Wicked Reports, which is a first-party pixel. It’s helped us know what works, but it’s not perfect.

What is a better KPI than MER? I haven’t come up with a good answer.

Bandholz: Let’s switch gears. You’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign.

Coddou: Right. This is our fourth Kickstarter. We’ve raised close to $500,000 over the past six years. We started our company on Kickstarter in August 2015. We love Kickstarter.

We went back to Kickstarter because we’re in the middle of an ambitious launch of two new products. I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development as well as tooling costs.

I need to place purchase orders to have these products manufactured. But I don’t have half a million dollars sitting around to do it. So we turned to Kickstarter to raise the money. Plus it’s a lot of fun. It’s an event.

And then there are other benefits. I’m acquiring new customers through Kickstarter at a much lower return on ad spend than other channels. I’m buying Facebook ads to drive ad traffic to the page.

Kickstarter is a fantastic platform to launch a new product on. Not every product will work, however. We had a campaign that was a dud a couple of years ago for our Dopp Kit, a shaving bag.

Bandholz: This is a big year for Supply.co. You’re launching two new razors and bringing marketing in-house. What will 2022 look like?

Coddou: Let me talk about the future in the context of our product launch. Our current razor, the one on our website, is $75. It’s not cheap by any measure. But it’s a bargain because it lasts forever. It has a lifetime warranty. It’s made from steel.

And blade replacements are cheap. So you’re saving money in the long term. But it’s a lot of money to pay for a razor. The reason is that it’s very high-quality and it costs a lot to produce.

So I’ve always wanted to offer a lower-priced version. I’ve also wanted one that’s easy to use. Safety razors are not always safe, and they’re not always easy to use.

One of our new products is called the SE, the Sensitive Edition. It’s super easy to use, with a 30% lower price. And so I view that product as my Amazon and Target product, my mass-market product. It’s still not cheap at $49. But it’s more affordable for a quality safety razor.

So we’ll have that product. And then, for my most seasoned customers, my shaving fanatics, we’ve introduced a new complex-engineered razor. That will be our higher-priced product.

So we’ll have a two-phase pricing strategy.

Bandholz: Are you killing the old razor?

Coddou: Yes, once it’s out of stock, we’re going to kill it. It doesn’t offer anything different from the other two.

So what’s the future for us? Next year, 2022, will be about this lower-priced version, getting it on Amazon and, hopefully, Target. There’s a lot of work to do. But getting that product in the hands of many people is my strategy.

The mission for me from day one has been to evangelize single-blade shaving worldwide. We call it the single-blade revolution.

Bandholz: How can listeners reach you, buy your products, follow your Kickstarter?

Coddou: Our website is Supply.co. I’m usually on Twitter, @soundslikecanoe. Our Kickstarter page is “The Single Edge SE & Pro.”

Are Stablecoin and CBDC the Future of Digital Currency?

Stablecoin and central bank digital currency may offer the benefits of buying and selling with cryptocurrencies without the worrisome price swings.

Blockchain-driven transactions could benefit the ecommerce industry. Transaction fees should be low if they exist at all. Fraudsters would be flustered. Even consumers without bank accounts and credit cards could shop online.

But absent fluctuations in value, crypto payments are not feasible for most merchants.

Stablecoin

Stablecoin is a cryptocurrency. But unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, stablecoin has a fixed exchange rate tied to an external reference, such as the U.S. dollar, the euro, or a commodity, say gold or silver.

Stablecoins are issued by private companies but work like governments, expanding or contracting the money supply to maintain fixed exchange rates.

In the case of a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, the issuing company or organization would hopefully hold at least as many U.S. dollars as there are units of the stablecoin in circulation. If there was a run on the stablecoin, the issuer could therefore exchange them for dollars.

Screenshot of Tether's home pageScreenshot of Tether's home page

Stablecoin has a fixed exchange rate tied to an external reference, such as the U.S. dollar or the euro. Tether, among the most popular stablecoins, is pegged to the dollar.

CBDC

Central bank digital currencies are a public sector alternative to stablecoins.

China, Sweden, The Bahamas, Marshall Islands, and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union have all released CBDCs for retail transactions.

In each case, the ledger or blockchain used to record and verify transactions is government-controlled, involving a central bank.

Thus a CBDC should be just as stable and safe as that government’s fiat currency, and a merchant or shopper could exchange a CBDC in confidence.

Several other nations are reportedly considering a retail CBDC. Again, these digital currencies could have the benefits of cryptocurrencies and the stability of, say, U.S. dollars.

Stability

Stability is important. Consider this example. In May 2010, a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoin for a pair of Papa John’s large pizzas. At the time, Hanyecz was getting a real deal. The 10,000 Bitcoin had a street value of about $10. The pair of pizzas were worth double that.

Fast forward to October 12, 2021, and 10,000 Bitcoin are worth more than $562 million. That is insane volatility.

It is little wonder merchants are concerned. Sell a widget for a tiny percentage of a Bitcoin, exchange it for a handful of dollars, and tomorrow you could miss out on a fortune — or vice versa.

Assets

Tether is arguably the most popular stablecoin in the world. In October 2021, it had a market capitalization of almost $70 billion. And Tether is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

If Tether or similar stablecoins are to be used in ecommerce, merchants and shoppers must feel comfortable holding it so that its value and the U.S. dollar are in lockstep.

Critics have questioned Tether’s asset base. They argue that Tether’s holdings are not sufficient or visible enough to make it trustworthy.

Tether has responded by opening up its books.

Ironically, the controversy around Tether might hasten its use in online transactions.

Concerned about what would happen to a reference currency if a stablecoin failed, some governments, including the U.S., have started to consider regulating stablecoin.

That regulation could remove some of the advantages of using a stablecoin for online transactions. But it could also build consumer confidence.

Latin America Fintech, Ecommerce Awash in Startup Funding

During the pandemic, Latin America became a hot market for tech startups, with foreign venture capital flooding the region. Latin America now hosts 23 private “unicorn” companies — valued over $1 billion — according to Crunchbase. Overall, these companies have raised more than $15 billion. Roughly two-thirds of them are based in Brazil, but data indicates other countries are catching up.

VCs continue to funnel money into the region. Brazil and Mexico, the two largest markets in terms of population and economic activity, have shown the biggest uptick in startup funding. The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA), a not-for-profit membership organization, reports that VCs invested $10.3 billion in more than 400 Latin America startups in the first half of 2021, doubling the investment in the same period in 2020. Brazil is home to 53% of Latin-America startups, while Mexico contributes 14%.

Digital payments are relatively underdeveloped in Latin America, which is why so many fintech startups have recently blossomed. Fintech is a major area of foreign VC funding as investors view better and more varied payment options as a boon to ecommerce.

In 2020, $2 billion in capital went to Latin American fintech companies. 2021 has equaled that amount and will almost certainly exceed it by year-end. Brazil-based Nubank, which is entirely digital, is the largest recipient, garnering $1.5 billion in VC investment, with $950 million coming in the last three years.

This month Mexico-based Konfio, a payments firm, secured $110 million in Series E funding, bringing its value to $1.3 billion. Konfío said it would use the funds for acquisitions and to expand its Mexican operations. The company, which serves that small and medium-sized businesses, offers credit, B2B payments management, and a cloud-based financial management system.

Latin American Ecommerce

Market research firm Statista calculates that Latin America has about 300 million ecommerce customers. While it lags other developing regions, ecommerce revenue is expected to reach $85 billion in 2021 and $121 billion by 2023. Brazil and Mexico contribute 31% and 28% of the total, respectively. Other countries — notably Argentina, Peru, and Colombia — are experiencing swift growth but have small ecommerce markets. Nonetheless, online shopping is growing across the region, due in part to Covid-19, and new companies are emerging.

The result is that Latin America-based ecommerce companies are attracting much investment capital.

Notable standouts include:

Merama. Launched in December 2020, this ecommerce aggregator raised $225 million in Series B funding in September to reach a valuation of about $850 million in less than a year. Merama buys private label businesses on Amazon and MercadoLibre, the largest Latin American marketplace. It acquires a majority interest but lets the founders continue running the business. With dual headquarters in Mexico City and São Paolo, Brazil, Merama has acquired stakes in 20 brands operating in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru.

Kavak. One of the biggest 2021 capital recipients is Mexico City-based Kavak, a platform for buying and selling used cars. It raised $700 million in Series E funding in September, which brought its valuation to $8.7 billion. Just five months ago, it raised $485 million. Kavak is now the second most valuable startup in Latin America after Nubank.

Nuvemshop. Brazil-based Nuvemshop is a marketplace that provides SMBs in Latin America with the tools to set up, manage, and promote their online businesses. Its latest funding round in August 2021 raised $500 million, turning it into a unicorn.

QuintoAndar. This São Paulo-based long-term home rental marketplace received $120 million in VC capital in August, less than three months after a $300 million Series E round. QuintoAndar’s valuation is now $5.1 billion. The firm has expanded into connecting home buyers to sellers.

Rappi. Colombia-based Rappi offers an on-demand delivery service for prepared meals, groceries, tech goods, and medicine. In July it collected $500 million in a Series F round, bringing its valuation to $5.2 billion. It operates in nine Latin American countries.

Mental Conditioning Is Vital for Entrepreneurs, Says Consultant

Lauren Johnson says high-performing entrepreneurs have similar characteristics as professional athletes. Both have mental traits that lead to inevitable success. She first observed those qualities when working for the New York Yankees, teaching mental performance to accomplished baseball players.

Johnson now consults with executives, entrepreneurs, military members. She told me, “I teach people how to develop mental skills to be their best regardless of circumstance.”

She and I recently discussed the importance of confidence, actions, habits, and more.

Our entire audio conversation is embedded below. The transcript that follows is edited for length and clarity.

Eric Bandholz: Tell us what you do.

Lauren Johnson: I work in the mental performance world. I studied sport and performance psychology, and I consult with all sorts of individuals — from pro athletes to CEOs, executives, military personnel, and everyone in between. I teach people how to develop mental skills to be their best regardless of circumstance.

Bandholz: What do you observe about high performers?

Johnson: I started in sports. I worked for the New York Yankees for four years. There are many parallels between professional athletes and the business and entrepreneurial world. Many qualities that make a major leaguer also make an elite CEO. What makes a Gold Glove winner are the same things that make incredible startup entrepreneurs.

First, they don’t feel sorry for themselves. Pro athletes, when they make a mistake, they may be upset, they may be frustrated, but they don’t pout and beat themselves up for too long. They recognize it, and they respond quickly. I’ve noticed the same with entrepreneurs. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Also, high-performing entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. They understand that, win or lose, they can gain something from it. They realize that there’s much to gain from failure.

Bandholz: How do high performers develop that confidence not to feel sorry for themselves and be comfortable in who they are?

Johnson: Whenever I think of confidence, I think of waterfalls. Waterfalls all have a source, sometimes multiple water sources, that come together to create the waterfall. When it comes to confidence, the question I often ask is, “What are your sources of confidence?”

What I notice in underperformers or new entrepreneurs is that their sources of confidence are often outside of their control. And when your confidence source is outside of your control, you’re controlled by it.

So the first thing is to recognize where your sources come from and whether they are within your control. And, related to that, confidence comes from our ability to do something well. And that comes from repetition. The best athletes in the world didn’t become that way from talent alone. It was because they put the time into repeating those movements or actions. That’s how they became better. And that’s how we develop mental skills. It’s little muscles in our mind that we have to exercise daily.

Sources of confidence and repetition — those are the two things I would start with.

Bandholz: How can entrepreneurs shift how they see things to achieve the success they’re capable of?

Johnson: It often comes down to their belief system. Here’s a story. When I worked for the Yankees, I traveled to minor-league affiliates. For one affiliate in particular, I knew every player and coach well. I was sitting in the dugout, and I asked this player a question. He was very short with me. I needed to do a better job of developing a relationship with him. So throughout that weekend, my goal was to spend more time with him, to know him better.

But it didn’t matter what I did. Anytime I asked a question, he was just really short with me. Finally, I got to the field early, and he’s there, hitting in the batting cages. I walked up to him and said, “Can I ask you a question?” He’s like, “What you got?” I said, “Why is it that you’re short with me when I ask a question. I want to make sure I haven’t said something that offended you.”

He said, “That’s not it. I’m not very good at speaking. When I was in elementary school and was asked to say or read something out loud, I struggled because I stuttered. My teacher told me, ‘You’re not very good at speaking.’”

And then I asked him, “Who’s telling you that now?” He said, “I am.” And so that’s very important. Our identity equals our belief plus our actions. His belief is he’s not good at speaking. Every time he took the action of not speaking, he reinforced that belief. And over time, when we reinforce our beliefs with actions, that becomes our identity.

So we can rearrange the formula and ask, “Who do we want to be? What identity do we want to have?” Belief equals the identity — who you want to become plus your actions. So I asked my player, “Who do you want to be?” He said, “I’ve always wanted to be the person that raises their hand in group meetings.” I said, “If that’s who you want to be, what action are you going to take?”

So I prepped him for every team meeting. And at the end of each one, I would pose questions to the group. His hand would go up first. And after a while, I didn’t have to prep him anymore because his belief took over. His actions supported it. So, as James Clear, the “Atomic Habits” author, says, every action you have casts a vote for who you want to be.

Bandholz: I love James Clear and what he preaches. It’s perfect for everything in life.

Johnson: Yes. I love “Atomic Habits,” his book. Everyone listening to this should buy it. It dives into the mechanics of habits. The reason I love it is because he talks about habit design. If we break that down further, it’s all about how behaviors interact with the way we think and feel, and our outcomes. I love it. He wrote the book based on what worked for him and his research.

Bandholz: He emphasizes tiny accomplishments that compound — the 1% things. As I’m building Beardbrand, it’s been the same thing. It’s like, “How can we get better at the things that we do well?” Rather than seeking a nuclear explosion, we’re looking for that 1% improvement every day. It’s very powerful.

Johnson: Going back to your first question, what are some things that incredible entrepreneurs and athletes have in common? One of them is they recognize that it’s those small things that add up over time. It’s the reason they are the best. They endure the boredom of consistency. Consistency is not sexy, but it’s often what leads to long-term results. Mentally tough people are not more talented. They’re just more consistent. And they’re willing to do those mundane, boring things every day.

But they are stringing together tiny improvements. The champion isn’t made on the day he wins the World Series. He’s made from all the days leading up to it.

Bandholz: How can listeners reach out to you, get ahold of you?

Johnson: My website is LaurenJohnsonandco.com. I’m also on the major social channels: LinkedIn, TwitterInstagram. I post to my YouTube channel regularly.

5 Content Marketing Ideas for November 2021

Comparisons, top 10 lists, customer stories, an old mystery, and Thanksgiving leftovers are all topics that could influence your company’s content marketing in November 2021.

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and promoting content with the express purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.

What follows are five content marketing ideas your business could try in November 2021.

1. ‘Versus’ Articles

In content marketing lingo, a “versus” page or article compares two or more options to help a reader make an informed buying decision.

A versus page might pit your product against a competitor’s, or it could compare two techniques, options, or ideas.

Picture of a pair of brown men's shoes from the Joseph Cheaney & Sons website.Picture of a pair of brown men's shoes from the Joseph Cheaney & Sons website.

Comparison articles such as this one contrasting Oxfords and Brogues are helpful to readers investigating a product. Image: Joseph Cheaney & Sons.

These pages can be both interesting to read and good for organic search rankings.

Here are a few example titles.

  • A power tool retailer: “Wood Studs vs. Metal: Which Is Better for Residential Construction?”
  • A supplement brand: “Soy Protein vs. Whey: Which Is Better for Women?”
  • A shoe store: “Oxfords vs. Brogues, a Guide”

That last one, “Oxfords vs. Brogues, a Guide,” is an article published on the Joseph Cheaney & Sons website.

For your November 2021 content marketing, create versus pages that represent topics for last-minute holiday shoppers.

2. Top 10

Similar in concept to a versus piece is a listing of the best products or services, such as the top 10.

These articles compare or list similar products or methods, and often identify the best overall, the best value, or best for some purpose.

A 2016 article from men’s fashion retailer Mr Porter, for example, listed “Ten Of The World’s Most Masculine Dogs.”

Image from the Mr Porter article showing a male and a dogImage from the Mr Porter article showing a male and a dog

Mr Porter has its top 10 list of dogs.

A direct-to-consumer kitchen supply brand could borrow an idea from Esquire magazine and publish “22 of the Best Gins to Drink in 2021.”

This article listed the top gins, described the research, and offered category winners. Ableforth’s Bathtub Gin, according to the Esquire editors, was best for a dry martini, while Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin was the best gift.

The top 10 articles you publish in November could seek to address common holiday searches.

3. Customer Stories

There is never a bad time to feature customers in content. This is especially true for aspirational brands with consumers who purchase, in part, to be included in a group or associated with an idea, such as shoppers who choose products or brands for environmental, social, or corporate governance issues.

Customer stories can take multiple forms, including profile articles, podcast interviews, or short video documentaries.

The content of these stories should focus on the customer’s experience and its relationship to the products your business sells.

Photo of firefighters in a forest settingPhoto of firefighters in a forest setting

Customer stories help prospects connect to a brand.

A hiking boot brand could feature a customer who is a wildland firefighter. The western United States, for example, has been experiencing difficult fire seasons, putting stress on firefighters who often work consecutive 16-hour days.

This story could describe the customer’s experiences on the job and then associate his experiences with the hiking boots he wears.

4. D.B. Cooper Day: November 24

On November 24, 1971, an average-looking fellow calling himself Dan Cooper paid cash for a ticket on Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305 from Portland International Airport to Seattle.

Shortly after the plane took off at 2:50 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Cooper ordered a bourbon and soda and passed a handwritten note to Florence Schaffner, a flight attendant seated nearby. The note said Cooper had a bomb.

Photo of two drawings of what D.B. Cooper may have looked likePhoto of two drawings of what D.B. Cooper may have looked like

These FBI drawings of D.B. Cooper have not necessarily helped solve the mystery.

Although he was calm, polite, and even considerate, Cooper clearly stated his intention. He would blow up everyone on board and destroy the plane unless he received $200,000 in cash, four parachutes, and a ride south toward Mexico City.

Without alerting the other passengers, the demands were passed to the pilots in the cockpit, then to the tower, and eventually to authorities and Northwest Orient’s president, Donald Nyrop. Nyrop approved the payment, and authorities gathered the four parachutes from a local skydiving school.

After circling the Seattle airport for a few hours and experiencing refueling trouble and complex flight instructions, the Boeing 727-100 headed south with a small crew, the booty, and Cooper.

At about 8:15 p.m., Cooper lept from the plane with a parachute and the cash, never to be seen again. The hijacking is the only officially unsolved case of air piracy in history, despite relatively recent claims that Cooper has been identified.

The mystery has had a considerable following over the past 49 years and has been the subject of numerous books, movies, and documentaries. The fictional Marvel character Loki recently claimed he was D.B. Cooper during an episode of the Disney+ series that bears the character’s name!

The D.B. Cooper mystery is intriguing. Recounting it could make sense for a D2C brand selling travel or skydiving gear.

5. National Leftovers Day: November 26

Photo of cooked TurkeyPhoto of cooked Turkey

Turkey left over from Thanksgiving can be used in many recipes.

In the United States, National Leftovers Day immediately follows Thanksgiving and focuses our attention on the turkey and trimmings remaining after the feast.

From the content marketing perspective, National Leftovers Day begs for recipes.

Ecommerce Product Releases: October 3, 2021

Here is a list of product releases and updates for late September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on augmented reality tools, conversational commerce, social commerce, small business financing, fraud protection, and buy-now, pay-later.

Got an ecommerce product release? Email releases@practicalecommerce.com.

Ecommerce Product Releases

WPP and Snap launch augmented reality partnership. WPP, the multinational marketing agency, and Snap Inc., the camera company behind Snapchat, have announced a global partnership (“The AR Lab”) to help brands build and deliver augmented reality experiences. With a focus on ecommerce, the partnership combines Snap’s AR technology with WPP’s integrated capabilities across creative, media, commerce, and technology, allowing WPP clients to better connect with their customers on the Snapchat platform and drive meaningful business results through AR.

Home page of WPPHome page of WPP

WPP

Quiq launches conversational AI platform for commerce payments and conversational surveys. Quiq, an AI-powered conversational platform that enables businesses to engage with customers, has announced the addition of two new features: payments and surveys. Quiq’s Conversational Commerce Payments enables brands to safely and securely accept payments across all Quiq supported channels, including SMS-text messaging, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages, webchat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and more. Quiq’s In-Conversation Surveys enable a short survey to be sent immediately following the end of customer interaction, regardless of the channel, for real-time feedback. Quiq has standard support for Stripe and Braintree payments platforms and integrates with any brand’s payment processing platform, through the Quiq Payments API.

GoDaddy Payments launches two point-of-sale devices. GoDaddy has expanded GoDaddy Payments with the launch of two point-of-sale devices: a countertop smart terminal and a mobile card reader. The introduction adds to GoDaddy’s commerce services, giving small businesses the ability to sell, track, and manage transactions in more places. GoDaddy’s POS seamlessly integrates with GoDaddy’s Online Store to unify in-person and online sales in the new Commerce Hub. For GoDaddy’s POS, customers are charged a transaction fee of 2.3% + 0 cents, and online transactions are 2.3% + 30 cents.

Amazon and Lendistry launch Amazon Community Lending program for SMBs. Amazon and Lendistry announced a joint pilot program, Amazon Community Lending, aimed at driving growth opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. The program is a new financing option through Amazon Lending. AmazonCommunity Lending will provide U.S.-based Amazon sellers access to short-term loans of up to $100,000. Lendistry is a minority-led community development financial institution that serves urban and rural small businesses in socially and economically distressed communities.

Home page of Amazon Community LendingHome page of Amazon Community Lending

Amazon Community Lending

TikTok launches shopping platform. At its inaugural World event, TikTok released the official TikTok Shopping suite, a commerce service for merchants wherein TikTok manages everything — from product upload to point of purchase, shipping, and fulfillment. The suite includes Product Links, Live Shopping, Collections Ads, Dynamic Showcase Ads, and Lead Generation. Additionally, brands can connect their product catalog to TikTok via third-party platforms, including Shopify, Square, Ecwid, and PrestaShop. Wix, Shopline, OpenCart, and Base will be available soon.

Google adds new ways to shop visually. Google is adding tools for shoppers to browse and find new products and brands in a more visual way. Users can now shop right from Search as it displays a visual feed of products, alongside other helpful information, which can then be filtered. This new experience is powered by Google’s Shopping Graph, a comprehensive, real-time dataset of products, inventory, and merchants with more than 24 billion listings. Also, when users search for products, they can now select the “in stock” filter to see only the nearby stores that have it on their shelves. And starting soon, iOS users will see a new button in the Google app to make all the images on a page searchable through Google. Google is also bringing Lens to Chrome on the desktop. Users can select images, video, and text content on a website with Lens to quickly see search results in the same tab, without leaving the page they’re on.

Cart.com partners with Clearco to deliver funding for ecommerce brands. Cart.com, an ecommerce services provider, has announced a partnership with Clearco, an investment company, to transform the way that ecommerce founders access financing. Through the partnership, Cart.com’s clients will have direct access to Clearco’s capital financing from within their Cart.com dashboard — up to $10 million in capital within 24 hours without giving up equity or control of their company — and then repay the loan from future revenues. Founders can also access up to $1 million in inventory loans. Clearco’s capital products will extend Cart.com’s financing offerings.

Home page of Cart.comHome page of Cart.com

Cart.com

Squarespace releases new selling features. Squarespace has released a series of features to help customers sell online for physical products, digital content, classes, appointments, reservations. and more. One of the products is the Squarespace Video Studio, an app to produce professional-quality videos to engage audiences and help sell ideas, goods, and services. The new features also include tools for Etsy sellers.

Carrot, a plugin that categorizes cart contents, raises $5.5 million. Carrot is a plugin that saves the products put in a cart and automatically categorizes them. The company has closed a $5.5 million seed round with investors that include Kindred Ventures, M13, Abstract, Designer Fund, Combine, Paris Hilton, Scott Belsky, Riverpark, and NextView. Carrot captures what’s put in the cart without any additional buttons or signals, regardless of the retailer. The plugin then automatically categorizes carts based on the retailer itself, but also allows users to create their own folders. The product also tracks pricing changes for items in a cart, giving users the chance to see when something goes on sale.
​​
Mastercard offers new installment plans for buy-now, pay-later. Mastercard’s new buy-now, pay-later service makes it easier for banks to offer installment plans, letting consumers pay for purchases over time. Lenders can approve consumers for an installment loan before purchase or offer the option during checkout. As part of the new program, Mastercard will allow lenders to use its consumer banking data in their underwriting decisions. For merchants, buy-now, pay-later services increase average sales by 45% and reduce the risk that consumers will abandon their shopping carts before they finish checking out online, according to Mastercard.

ClearSale partners with Bold Commerce for checkout protection. ClearSale, a fraud-protection service, has announced a partnership with Bold Commerce, an ecommerce platform. ClearSale can now integrate with Bold Checkout, the company’s customizable checkout framework, to provide global fraud prevention. ClearSale adds advanced statistical fraud analysis to minimize friction during checkout and provides the lowest level of false declines while providing a no-chargeback guarantee.

Home page of ClearSaleHome page of ClearSale

ClearSale

PPE Provider Thrives on Influencers (and Hollywood)

Roman Zrazhevskiy’s company, Mira Safety, sells protective gas masks. It launched in 2018, targeting consumers, medical providers, law enforcement, and military personnel. The masks protect against tear gas, chemicals, and, yes, viruses. Still, reaching prospects was a challenge.

“We did a lot of influencer affiliate marketing,” Zrazhevskiy told me. “We reached out to industry experts and said, ‘We’d love for you to check out our product and write an unbiased review.’”

Fast forward to 2021, and Mira Safety has thrived. Covid-19 created unprecedented demand. But Zrazhevskiy’s influencer marketing program spread the word. A Hollywood movie added even more exposure.

He and I recently discussed his journey. Our entire audio conversation is embedded below. The transcript that follows is edited for length and clarity.

Eric Bandholz: I’m guessing 2020 and 2021 were good for Mira Safety.

Roman Zrazhevskiy: Yes, we had incredible years.

Bandholz: How did people find you?

Zrazhevskiy: It was one step at a time. We started selling on Amazon. We funneled the money we made on Amazon to build a robust website. And we did a lot of influencer affiliate marketing. We reached out to industry experts and said, “We’d love for you to check out our product and write an unbiased review, whatever you feel about the product.” We’re very confident. We stand behind everything we sell.

The most important thing is to have a superior product, know the market, and what else is out there. All of the influencers that received it were like, “Wow, this is great.” We manufacture at a defense contractor, which has been making similar products since the 1920s or so.

Bandholz: How does influencer marketing work for personal protective equipment?

Zrazhevskiy: I went through a process called research hacking, where I would put myself in the shoes of someone researching this product niche, looking for a product like this, and see who’s talking about products like this and who the major players are.

For gas masks, I would search on Google for “best gas masks,” “gas masks for children” — all these keyword variations. I would list on a spreadsheet all of the blogs I found. Then I would personally reach out to each one. I would describe our product and invite them to join our affiliate program.

It’s essential to be transparent. Give them the resources they need to write good content, including quality images and technical specs. Send them a product. We give them access to our affiliate dealer folder that has product-by-product info, 360-degree photos, everything.

Influencer outreach has a cascading effect. When a few big guys feature you, others want to. Now we’re getting cool people reaching out to us, saying, “I love your brand. I love what you guys are doing. I think my audience would be receptive to this. They would love to learn about it. Could you send me something, and I’ll create some content?”

Bandholz: Do you have requirements, such as a minimum number of followers or domain rank?

Zrazhevskiy: Yes. Twenty thousand followers per channel, with engagement. We’re looking for someone strong in at least one channel. It’s rare to be strong in all channels. Our deciding factor is whether they create quality content. We’ll use some of that content and chop it up into ads later on. No one’s ever had a problem with it.

For example, I might take their video and divide it into mini segments of ads on Facebook. It’s been successful for us. We don’t have to produce the content ourselves.

With advertising, you have to keep creating fresh content. If you stop, your ads die. Then Facebook sees that engagement is going down, and they penalize you because they assume the ad is no longer relevant to the audience.

Creating content takes someone working full-time. Targeting is easy. What’s hard is producing the creatives.

Bandholz: Back to the influencers. You’re reaching out one by one. What are your goals?

Zrazhevskiy: I’ll decide each day what to work on. I’ll wake up and decide, for example, to focus on influencer stuff. I’ll do a full day of influencer sprints — research, outreach, sending out a bunch of emails.

I’ll create a series of templates. I customize those templates. And I start reaching out through email. I keep a pipeline of these influencers in HubSpot as a deal. That way I know who I reached out to. I take notes if they respond. My goal is to move it from outreach sent to products sent to review posted.

We work with an influencer agency for the big guys. They have gatekeepers, handlers. With the big guys, you have to pay for videos, and they create the content. There’s no guarantee of performance.

Bandholz: How many of those emails do you send each day?

Zrazhevskiy: Around 20 to 30. It’s all about quality, not quantity. You don’t want to blast through, make mistakes, and write something that’s impersonal or doesn’t read well.

I’m a student of neuro-linguistic programming. I write things in a certain way, and then I test it by the response. I try to craft my messages to entice a reply.

Bandholz: What subject lines get the most response?

Zrazhevskiy: One of my big ones is “Product review with 15% commissions.” I’m telling the influencer what I want and the commission percentage.

Sometimes I negotiate the percentages, but typically it’s 10% to 15%. People who we really want we’ll offer 15%. But roughly 95% of influencers get a 10% commission.

Bandholz: What affiliate software do you recommend?

Zrazhevskiy: For anything outdoor — camping, hiking, fitness — I would go with AvantLink. It’s an affiliate network. AvantLink has tracking technology. They show click rates, earnings per click, everything. They make 3% on every sale.

Some affiliate networks take more, some less. But the most important factor is finding a network that’s strong in your niche. For my niche, it’s AvantLink.

Bandholz: How often do you pay the commissions?

Zrazhevskiy: Every month. AvantLink takes their cut and pays the influencers.

I intended to mention another benefit of affiliate marketing beyond immediate sales. It’s a form of social proof. I put affiliate videos on my product pages.

I give visitors all the research they need on those pages right there and then. I provide them with a Q and A section, which goes deep into common questions. I give them my Instagram feed, which has the product on Instagram in use by customers. I include 360-degree spins. Most importantly, I include my YouTube feed. Some of our product pages have 15 videos from influencers. And, also, I include user-generated reviews.

That strategy has worked for us. We provide so much information that somebody could spend hours on that product page without having to look elsewhere.

Bandholz: Can we talk about your Hollywood win?

Zrazhevskiy: Sure. In May 2019, I received a voicemail from Warner Brothers. I first thought it was a scam. But I called back. I spoke to a lady, a product placement specialist with Warner Brothers. She said they were working on a new film by Christopher Nolan, the director of “Inception.”

She called the new movie “Merry Go Round.” That was the working title. She said Chris likes our mask.

Then we negotiated. It’s imperative to negotiate terms before sending anything, even if it’s an exciting opportunity, especially in Hollywood. You have to have everything in writing. We negotiated the credits. They initially didn’t want to include us in the credits. We insisted on it. We sent them around 300 masks and filters. That’s a lot considering each one retails for $250. But it was a dream come true, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. So we sent them the products. The movie released in 2020. It’s science fiction, called “Tenet.”

Bandholz: It’s such a cool movie.

Zrazhevskiy: For sure. A 10-minute section in the movie featured 300 people in a battle scene wearing our masks. It was shown to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Bandholz: The whole premise of the movie was wearing those masks.

Zrazhevskiy: Yes, exactly. It’s a blessing. I feel it was God who shaped that whole opportunity. It was such a humbling, exciting experience. It’s incredible. Since then, we have had three to four other movies, major blockbusters, which will feature our masks.

Bandholz: How can listeners learn more about you and your company and reach out?

Zrazhevskiy: Our website is MiraSafety.com. We’re on Instagram @MIRASafety or #MIRASafety. I’m on LinkedIn.

September 2021 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts

Since 2005 we’ve published thousands of articles, webinars, and podcast episodes to assist ecommerce merchants. What follows are the most popular articles that we published in September 2021. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.

21 New Social Media Tools for Merchants in 2021

New and updated social media tools can enhance an ecommerce business. Here is a list of new social media tools and platform updates in 2021. There are tools for shopping, influencer marketing, live streaming, payments, dynamic advertising, and more. Read more…

5 Content Marketing Ideas for October 2021

In October 2021, your content marketing could feature product-focused tutorials, storytelling, and annual observances, such as a little holiday called Halloween. What follows are five content marketing ideas your business can try in October 2021. Read more…

11 Product Page Features to Drive Conversions

When it comes to compelling product pages, less can be more. Cluttered pages distract from selling points. Focus on the crucial details. Embrace a minimalist approach to lessen the thinking process and close the sale. What follows are 11 product page features from three online stores. Read more…

3 Ways to Reduce Shipping Costs

Lowering shipping costs is a surefire way to improve profits. Same-day delivery, free shipping, standard transit, click-and-collect — all are candidates for cost reductions. Read more…

3 Optimizations for Google Shopping Campaigns

The benefits of Google Shopping are compelling. Advertisers consistently experience strong revenue, traffic, and return on ad spend while often paying less per click than standard search campaigns. Still, the performance of Google Shopping ads, like all ads, could plateau. Thus continuous optimizations are key to sustaining results. Read more…

12 New Ecommerce Books for Fall 2021

Here’s a batch of new ecommerce books for your fall reading list. There are titles on branding, social media marketing, personalized customer experience, entrepreneurship, and the post-pandemic workplace. Read more…

Ramping Up Google Analytics 4

I first addressed Google Analytics 4 last fall. It is becoming the go-to platform in Google’s analytics ecosystem. The older version, Universal Analytics, will eventually sunset. For now, continue using Universal Analytics while ramping up GA4. Read more…

Ecommerce Product Releases: September 16, 2021

Here is a list of product releases and updates for mid-September from companies that offer services to online merchants. There are updates on team productivity tools, small business financing, subscription sales, logistics, and managing campaigns on Amazon. Read more…

Remove These Distractions to Lower Cart Abandons

Cart abandonment rates remain high. I’ve seen estimates in 2021 ranging from 50% to 80%, depending on the product and industry. A common culprit is sticker shock from excessive shipping and handling fees. Another is distractions: unnecessary or confusing checkout fields. In this post, I’ll address steps to streamline checkouts to save the sale. Read more…

A Perfect Storm for 2021 Holiday Email Marketing

Labor shortages, pent-up consumer demand, and supply chain disruptions could dramatically impact retailers this holiday season. Those developments, coupled with privacy changes on Apple’s new iOS 15, mean email marketers face a perfect storm of uncertainty. Read more…