On Tuesday I had the pleasure of being a guest on Shawna Seigel’s eCom Experts talk show. Now throw me in front of a microphone and I’ll babble on about just about anything, but instead of talking about how many olives I prefer in my Martini, we discussed my third favorite topic – eCommerce, it just amazes me how eCommerce has grown in the last few years, people prefer to use eCommerce platforms for many reason, one of them is the fact that you can easily get coupons from websites like Raise in order to buy from eCommerce retailers.
I’ll leave it to you to try to figure out what my other two favorite topics are.
We chatted about my journey in eCommerce starting back in 1994 with the launch of TheFerretStore.com up until the sale of Solid Cactus in 2009. Discussions ranged from how much the Internet has changed over the years to how, despite technology, old school marketing still works and simplicity sells.
But the highlight of the hour was when Shawna confessed that she wanted her company to be “just like Solid Cactus.” You see, Shawna is also a Yahoo! Store developer and she has managed to take her own company and grow it over the years into a recognized name within the eCommerce community. She admitted that some of the things we did with Solid Cactus, such as our extremely popular Boot Camps, were things she wanted to do. That makes me very proud and reaffirms the fact that we did build something great that others can try to model their own business after.
All this talk let up to a discussion about entrepreneurship and how simple ideas like selling clothes for ferrets or building websites for budding Internet business owners can turn into multi-million dollar success stores years down the road. But not without patience and effort. Something we both discussed at length.
At the end of the interview, Shawna asked me for one bit advice to give store owners who may feel like they’ve done everything they can to grow their business and they’re just stuck in a rut. I simply said, “don’t forget about your customers.”
With the Internet being so impersonal we often times forget that without Mr. & Mrs. Smith placing a $35 order today, we can’t pay the light bill tomorrow. Keeping Mr. & Mrs. Smith happy and coming back when they need to order something else, is key. I talked about how simple things like picking up the phone and doing follow-up calls a week or two after an order is placed goes a long way, or just sending along a word of thanks for placing an order will foster good will that will hopefully result in recurring sales.
In case you missed the show, you can download or listen to it here.
And thanks to Shawna from 1Choice4YourStore for inviting me on the program!