eCommerceFuel (Lifestyle & Growth)

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Could there be benefits to going old school and connecting with people out of a physical store? Tony Rodono of City Prints Map Art and, more recently, MapShop.com did just that. Tony transitioned to working out of a brick-and-mortar shop, and shares his ups and downs of the shift, including interacting face to face with customers and managing a brand new team. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Tony Rodono of MapShop.com and City Prints Map Art) The Full Transcript Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey, hey, guys, Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Today on the show, bringing you a discussion with community member, Tony Rodono, who is the longtime owner of City Maps, an online site selling beautiful map art, and who recently purchased a brick and mortar store in Charlotte, North Carolina with 8 to 10 employees, a pretty big acquisition for him. And I think in our space, we definitely have people that have those storefronts, but I'd say the majority of myself, the majority of our members in our community are probably online only. And so just a fascinating acquisition from my perspective. I wanted to talk to Tony about how it went, what was the rationale behind doing that, how's it been going, what are some of the challenges and some of the benefits of getting that brick and mortar business. Interesting discussion, so I hope you'll enjoy it and we'll go ahead and dive right in. Tony, so congratulations on closing your first brick-and-mortar purchase. April 1st, right? Tony You got it. Now, thanks so much, Andrew. Andrew: Yeah, that's fantastic. And the name of the brick and mortar that you purchased was mapshop.com, or at least that's the website, but it also has a corresponding physical building, correct? Tony: Correct. Yeah, everyone in town just refers to it as "The Map Shop". Andrew: The Map Shop, that's so cool. But before that, you were running a business called City Prints, right? Tony: That's correct. Andrew: Okay. And can you give us just a real...obviously both deal with...or The Map Shop deals with maps, but can you give just a quick overview of what both of those businesses kinda do? Background of Tony's Businesses Tony: Yeah, so City Prints, we launched that about four years ago and we make map art. So our pieces kinda look like modern, abstract art, but represent the places that you're most passionate about. The Map Shop is more on the traditional map space, so wall maps, folded maps and then we do, you know, a lotta custom maps too for businesses. Andrew: Got you. And you've been running it for four years and that was a lot of print-on-demand, you didn't necessarily have a storefront, it sounded like it was a pretty lean operation, right? Tony: Absolutely. That was kinda, you know, what my mentality was at the time, you know, really lean staff, mostly outsourced, no people problems, you know, work from home, no commute and hang out with the fam whenever I want. You know, complete freedom, low overhead, t-shirts and jeans everyday, you know, like you said, print-on-demand 100%, carried no inventory. So yeah, The Map Shop is none of those things. So it's definitely been a transition, but I'm having a ball with it. Andrew: So it begs the question for a lot of people, it sounds like their ideal situation. And it's not like you did...I mean, it's not like, you know, the reason I got into drop shipping was because it's not proprietary. It's got some great benefits of a lot of the things that you had where you don't have to deal with inventory, these kinda things,

Direct download: EP163ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Bill and Andrew resume last week's conversation to finish looking at how current trends in technology will have an impact on the future of our economy. Although these shifts may be a few years away, understanding the how these change can impact your business will help you prepare and not be caught off guard. This week, we speculate on what will disappear and just how these shifts impact the economy and thus your livelihood. The predictions we propose have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the economy. Tune into this final segment of our two-part conversation to find out how you can get prepared. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D'Alessandro of Rebel CEO.) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey, guys. It's Andrew here. Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. And today, we're going to be continuing our discussion that Bill D'Alessandro and I...that we started last week, specifically talking about the massive world-shifting changes that are going to be headed your way in the coming years. And last week, specifically, we talked about robots and artificial intelligence. We talked about widespread virtual reality. We talked about negative interest rates and an extremely low-interest-rate environment for the coming future. And that's where we left it off. So what to dive in today is particularly about things that are going to be disappearing in the future that are going to have a big change on your life. So I'll go ahead and we'll pick it up right from where we left off last week. Enjoy! The Two Party System So moving into things that will be disappearing, the first one on here, and this is something that's really interesting, Bill, because we have different opinions on this. The two-party system. You and I were prepping, and we were like, "We've got to make sure that we do not turn this into just a political mock-fest," because I think you and I could go off for hours about what a nightmare elections... And apologies to people outside the U.S. This will be U.S.-centric. But most people would agree it's been a very unorthodox election campaign season. And I think this could be the final straw to break the two-party system, but you don't. And I'll let you maybe make the argument first. Bill: I would like you to make the argument first, and then I will rebut because I think... Andrew: Oh. Bill: Well, because I have not heard your angle on this, so I would like to hear it. Andrew: I think the two-party system in the U.S., of course, Democrats and Republicans, I feel like has been... It's kind of anachronism. And you have, I think, a lot of people our age, Bill. Not just like, you know, late 20s or early 30s. But going out 10 plus years in both sides, you have a very large portion of the population that is far more centrist, people that are maybe economically conservative but socially liberal, people that don't identify with the very extreme fringes of the Democratic and the Republican Parties. And for a long time, I think, traditionally, the two-party systems, they weren't quite as extreme, and so maybe that larger or kind of social norms were a little bit more divided. But I think that the parties historically weren't as extreme, and so people were able to relate to them more. But I think in the last 10 to 15 years, they've gotten so extreme on both sides. You have a lot of people that don't feel like they don't belong to any party at all. And I think this is the first election where you have just open rebellion in the Republican Party, and to a much lesser degree, in the Democratic Party.

Direct download: EP162ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Bill and Andrew pull out their crystal balls to peer into the future and predict how technology will usher in massive shifts in the economy. These shifts may be 5 - 20 or more years away, but they can potentially have a huge impact on your business. From self-driving cars to negative interest rates, large pools of employment sectors could face the chopping block as our society embraces the next generation of technological advances. Tune in to join the conversation so you can prepare your business for a future that may already be upon us in this two part series. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D'Alessandro of Rebel CEO.) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow ecommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey guys, it's Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today's episode. Today on the show, gonna be...do something a little bit different. Obviously, we focus on ecommerce and business here but from time to time, like to mix things up, and want to talk about massive world shifting changes headed your way from kind of a macrolevel, both because it's an interesting to talk about and also potentially because, you know, could have an impact on your business. So here to kinda peer into the crystal ball with me, mister Bill D'Alessandro. Bill, how you doing buddy? Bill: I'm doing very well and I did bring my crystal ball today. I'm excited. Andrew: Oh yeah, you got one of those crystal ball, or are we talking, like, the magic eight ball you shake and look into it? Bill: Yup, yup, exactly. After every question you ask me, I'm just gonna tell you what the eight ball says. Andrew: It's interesting, the original notes that we put together here, we had to par down because we had so many different things that we're like, "This is gonna be, like, an hour and a half discussion." Not that that necessarily means that we'd be any more accurate. I don't know, I think it's pretty safe to say, maybe everyone throughout history's already said this, but I feel like there's like a lotta change on the horizon. Bill: I think there is too and the topics you have picked for us today are all topics upon which I have very strong opinions. So this should be a good, good episode. Andrew: And there's a couple that I thought we'd be in agreement on and was not the case. So hopefully we can keep it civil for people, what do you think? Bill: I think we can try, yes. We're just screaming at each other by the end. Robots Will Run the World Andrew: Yeah. All right, let's dive into it. So Bill, the first prediction that we have, thing that's coming, and I'm gonna break these down into things that are coming and things that are disappearing in terms of massive shifts and kinda the world in general. And the first one is a pretty broad category and it encompassed a lot things that I thought about, that you thought about, and we kinda talked about it. It's really what I'm gonna call it, the robot in AI revolution in terms of just robots, but smart computers, so much automation. Automation has been a big part of the last, you know, 100 years one way or another, but just the rate at which it's gonna accelerate, the rate at which it's going to really make a lot of jobs and occupations that we have now completely unfeasible. It's got some really huge implications on in terms of just the convenience side of things, the efficiency side, but also in terms of social aspects of what do you do in a world where, you know, a good percentage of people, they don't have the skills to be meaningfully employed. So that's kind of a high level thing, a lot that we can unpack about that,

Direct download: EP161ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

One of the most crucial factors to having a successful product on Amazon is the quality of your customer reviews. This week, Jeffrey Cohen, Director of Business Development at SellerLabs, joins us to explain how to garner better reviews for your products and the strategies to create incentivized reviews. Jeff also shares up-to-date tools that bring organic reviews to your product listings and can boost the number of reviews your products get.  Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Jeffrey Cohen of SellerLabs) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. The show dedicated to helping high six and seven figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur Andrew Youderian. Hey guys. It's Andrew here, and welcome to the eCommerce Fuel Podcast. Thanks so much for joining me on the episode. Today, we're gonna be continuing our series on Amazon, and specifically talking about reviews. You know, getting reviews, how they impact, you know, the search algorithm, how important they are, some of the implications behind incentivized reviews. All this kind of stuff we'll be tackling today. And joining me to talk about it is Jeff Cohen from Seller Labs, and you may not have heard of Seller Labs, but there's a good chance you've heard of the products that they put out. Their most popular one is called Feedback Genius, and it's a tool that allows you to affectively set up automated email campaigns to communicate with your Amazon customers. I get feedback from 'em and drive reviews to Amazon. They also run a site called Snagshout, where they help facilitate getting reviews for your products on Amazon through, a lot of times, giving away products or discounting products, things like that. So those are the two businesses that Jeff is involved with. He knows a tremendous amount about Amazon, but particularly, how reviews impact everything. So without further ado, let's go ahead and dive into my chat with Jeff about reviews on Amazon. I think its interesting understanding Vine a little bit better now. You know, there's been a lot of press about non-legitimate, like paid reviews, which is against Amazon's terms of service. I know, you know, about Snagshout totally doesn't plan those at all. But it'll be interesting knowing that Amazon is very heavily in creating reviews through free products as well. I didn't know that they were so entrenched in that, especially with only offering it to people who sold directly to them. All that being said, what are Amazon's terms of service about generating reviews in terms of payments, giveaways? What can you do, what can't you do? Generating Reviews for Payment or Giveaways Jeff: Yeah, so here's kind of the easiest way to say it. Amazon allows you to sell products at a discount. Amazon allows you to give products away for free. Amazon does not allow you to sell products at a discount, or give them away for free, and require a review. You can encourage your review, but you cannot require it. And so Snagshout does not require a review when the product is given away. But we do ask our buyers to leave reviews once the product has been received, and so it is semantics. But it does make a big difference, and so what Amazon is going after are sites. So there are some sites out there who will say, "Our reviewers understand their obligation to leave reviews." Well, your buyer cannot have an obligation to leave a review. They cannot be provided an incentive to leave a review. You cannot provide the product to a family member, and ask them for review. And you cannot sell a product, never ship a product, and then have somebody write a review. And those are the main things Amazon has been going after. So Fiverr, there were literally people on Fiverr who were running deals,

Direct download: EP159ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Fahim Naim is a former Senior Category Manager at Amazon and founder of eShopportunity. Over the course of his time at Amazon, Fahim did P&L management for a multi-hundred million dollar category, managed relationships with vendors, and negotiated terms and costs with vendors and his team. We take a deep dive into the ways to make your Amazon listings fully optimized, as well as the common mistakes sellers make using Amazon's platform. If you are an Amazon seller, you definitely don't want to miss the vendor advice that Fahim has to offer. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Fahim Naim of eShopportunity) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow ecommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey guys. It's Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Today on the show I'm joined by Fahim Naim who is the cofounder of eShopportunity.com and a previous category manager at Amazon. So Fahim's got a ton of experience in this space with Amazon. We will talk about Amazon mistakes which was originally the intended focus of this discussion but we branched out a lot more. Particularly of interest to myself was the difference between FBA, Vendor Central, Vendor Express, how to negotiate with Amazon if they're buying product directly from you, which model, selling to third party or first party makes the most sense in different circumstances. So interesting discussion. I hope you enjoy it. But first, before we dive in, I want to do something I haven't done in quite a while and that is do a first sale shout out. I'm really excited to do this one for Laura Serino who...if the name sounds familiar it's because she's our community manager, she's the podcast producer here. I'm sure you've heard her or one of her episodes she's produced here on the show. So Laura, congrats on the first sale and her business is nhislandapothecary.com. Laura's been into the natural skin care space for quite a while and she's created her own proprietary line of skin care products with a little bit of island flare mixed in there. She lives on an island in Maine. So help Laura ramp up her business enough to where she can quit her job with eCommerceFuel. Check out nhislandapothecary.com. If that ever happens I'll be very sad to lose such an incredibly team member but thrilled for her and her business but yeah. So regardless, check it out, congrats to Laura and with that being said, let's go ahead and get in to today's episode with Fahim. So Fahim, before eShopportunity you actually worked at Amazon. What was your role there? Fahim's Amazon Background Fahim: I was a category manager. Managed one of the largest categories on the retail side of Amazon. Andrew: And what does that mean, to be a category manager? Fahim: Manage the first party so the direct part of the business. Anything that you would sell wholesale to Amazon. I was in the consumer electronics world under the PC components and peripherals part of Amazon. So essentially, manage all relationships with vendors, pricing, marketing, P&L ownership, forecasting, etc. Andrew: Do you miss it and why did you leave? Fahim: I do miss it although my consulting role and agency helps us stay in the game. The major reason I left was to move to San Francisco because of my wife who had to transfer for her work. At the same time, while everything was going well and could've happily stayed at Amazon, wanted to get out and do my own thing and get my skin in the game a little bit. So found a perfect balance with coming down to Bay Area, staying in the ecommerce space and still talking about going on Amazon as well as overall ecommerce. Andrew: Yeah,

Direct download: EP158ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New post from The eCommerceFuel Blog:

Amazon and the eCommerce merchant. It's a Shakespearean tale where love and hate is often a blurred line. There's no doubt that for many merchants, Amazon is a huge source of revenue for their product. But there's also plenty of pitfalls when you decide to sell on Amazon. To kick off our month-long series about all things Amazon, we've got a reality check about the potential problems with selling on Amazon. While it presents many opportunities for increasing your products' reach, it's important to be aware of the company's policies that have undermined many eCommerce businesses. Subscribe:  iTunes | Stitcher (With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Bill D'Alessandro of Rebel CEO) Andrew: Hey guys, Andrew here and a quick note before we get into that official theme music. Today is going to kick off a four part month-long series on Amazon. If you're in eCommerce, which you probably are, obviously that's a huge aspect of what we're doing these days. So over the next month we'll be covering all sorts of different topics Amazon-related, and I want to kick off this series with just an episode just to make you think a little bit more carefully about some of the things you should be considering from a downfall perspective on Amazon. Obviously a lot of opportunity there, but given when we're focusing on it and given the fact that some people make Amazon sound like, you know, just a money machine, I wanted to kind of have a reality check to launch us into this series. So hope it's useful, hope you make a bunch of money on Amazon, and hope you enjoy. Thanks. Welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I'm your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Hey guys, it's Andrew here and welcome to the eCommerceFuel podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Today, talking about the dangers of Amazon and the FBA business model. You know, Amazon is the talked-about game in eCommerce these days. Big courses coming out, you know money seemingly just falling freely from the skies, it's incredible, right? It's like the old, old days of AdWords when they were three cents a click. There's no downside! But there definitely are some pitfalls that we want to talk about today as a reality check, hat tip to David Heacock for the inspiration and some of the finer points on this episode. Thank you, David. And joining me to really dive into it, a man who knows a ton about Amazon, Mr. Bill D'Alessandro. Bill, welcome sir. Bill: Yup! Glad to be here. This is the topic I love to talk about. Andrew: Yeah, it's interesting, and you've been on, like I said, I mean you've been on Amazon for years. I have very little experience with it. It'll be interesting to kind of take the opposite approach of what I think has been a lot of ra-ra-ra cheering over the last, you know, two years or so. Bill: Yeah, and some of it well-deserved, but not without potential other sides of the coin. Beware the Hijacked Niches Andrew: Bill, I think the biggest thing that stands out as a potential danger of going onto Amazon is that building your core business on Amazon is, ultimately, is going to lead to heartbreak. A lot of people, I'm not sure if they realize, Amazon is not your friend at all. They've got a long track record of hijacking niches, of selling directly out from under merchants, and if you don't own the platform off Amazon somewhere, you're gonna get hosed eventually. Bill: Yeah, I think talk to anybody who used to sell any of the products now covered under the Amazon Basics program. You know, all the cables, all the SD cards, you know Amazon is more than willing to private-label their own stuff and compete with you directly, you know, obviously at much lower cost and with preferential algorithmic ra...

Direct download: EP157ECOMMERCEFUEL.mp3
Category:Lifestyle & Growth -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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