Building high-conversion email lists, using humor in advertising, and the pros and cons of partnering with Amazon

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They say that laughter is the best medicine. For Colin McIntosh, it’s also been a pretty good business strategy. After a couple of fits and starts in business, McIntosh found himself with no job but quite a few domains in his name, all of which were pun-based. So he cycled through what he owned with a plan to form a company in a disruptable industry where he could make a splash and earn some market share.

What he landed on was Sheets & Giggles.

“I wanted a physical product that was sustainably made in a massive commodities market that had zero brand differentiation or loyalty, that was highly fragmented, so I didn’t have to chip away at a market leader, and that was largely traditionally physical retail, so I could bring it online with a direct-to-consumer model and beat the retailers’ price so you’re not giving retailers any margin,” McIntosh said. “I thought, ‘Does bedding fit my criteria?’ And it fit perfectly. It’s a $12 billion U.S. market growing 10% year over year, highly fragmented, the top five players only own about 27% of the market, and it wasn’t fully online at that point. It was still mostly physical retail. …


Learn how the influencer market has become democratized

“Back then, the only brands doing this were these emerging ecommerce brands,” Lam says. “They can’t compete on traditional advertising, so Instagram had become this place where they discovered that consumers were coming there to learn about what to buy, what to do, where to go…. In our early days, what kept us going is that we talked to so many ecommerce brands and consistently what we heard was the biggest channel that they were focusing on was social media and specifically influencer marketing.” …


Being customer-driven is not as easy to put into practice as some might think

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Rachel Drori has come a long way from the days of filling a shopping cart at Trader Joe’s and packing up healthy, frozen meals for delivery to customers all around New York — all while being nine-months pregnant. As the Founder and CEO of Daily Harvest, Rachel bootstrapped her company from the very beginning, and eventually had a few big names reach out to invest, including folks like Serena Williams and Gwenyth Paltrow. In 2019, Daily Harvest generated more than $125M in revenue and the company is growing. So what makes her meal-delivery service different from the others? …


Why investors are interested in subscription-based services and personalization

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Keepsakes, mementos, treasures, heirlooms — whatever you call them, everyone has certain things that they hold dear. For many people, hand-written notes fall into that category. In a world filled with 240-character tweets, rapid-fire text messages, and a stuffed email inbox, getting a hand-written note means more than ever. Even if it comes from a brand.

Personalization is one of the buzziest words in ecommerce, and every business is trying to find a way to give its customers the best, most personal experience possible. David Wachs is helping them with that.

Wachs is the CEO of Handwrytten, a company that uses robots to send personal, hand-written notes. …


Why the power of data should help fuel marketers’ decision making

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Via unsplash.com

When Hyland was founded, its initial purpose was to help optimize workflows and processes by eliminating filing cabinets. More than 25 years later, as businesses have gone through digital transformations, the filing cabinet mission no longer applies. So Hyland did what any good business does, it adapted by following the data.

”The trick is you have to go where the data’s telling you to go. And if you’ve run certain types of tactics and certain verticals and they haven’t worked very well, you have to be able to then take those learnings and help set expectations”

That’s the advice of Hyland CMO, Drew Chapin and on a recent episode of Marketing Trends, he dove deep into the power of data and why marketers need to let it fuel their decision making. Plus, Chapin discussed the advantages of virtual conferences and why one particular partnership is leveling up Hyland’s game. …


How Fast is democratizing one-click shopping

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For many businesses, the checkout experience is never complete. It is estimated that the rate of cart abandonment is somewhere between 80 to 85%. And with buyers at this stage of the funnel, a purchase will happen, but will it happen on your site?

The reason cart abandonment is so high is because the checkout process is often over-complicated, requires too many clicks, asks the customer to provide too much information, the list goes on. There is so much friction involved that customers with intent to buy never reach the point of conversion. …


What’s to come for ecommerce companies moving forward

One of the most popular places to find insights is through industry reports put together by large organizations that have access to billions of data points. The Shopping Index is one of those reports. …


Insights from the first 50 episodes of Up Next in Commerce, plus a peek into the future.

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The world of ecommerce is changing rapidly, and, especially in 2020, the industry has seen an explosion of growth. Now is the time for brands large and small to build and optimize their digital platforms. Throughout the first 50 episodes of Up Next in Commerce, companies from Puma to Rosetta Stone to Bombas and HP have all been reprioritizing how to succeed in the digital world, and while every company is different, there are common themes that have emerged among the success stories.

On a special episode of Up Next in Commerce, host Stephanie Postles was joined by Albert Chou, the VP of Operations at Mission.org, to dive into some of the top trends that have come up in the first six months of shows. …


Building consumer trust, running tests, and gathering feedback to improve the eBay user experience

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Every shopping experience is unique, and every shopper has specific wants and needs. That is one of the biggest struggles brands face in the world of ecommerce. How do you create a customer experience that resonates with and meets the needs of drastically different customers?

This problem is magnified further when you run a marketplace that sells millions of products to tens of millions of users.

eBay has 180 million active users, which, according to Bradford Shellhammer, means there needs to be 180 million different eBays to meet each of those users exact needs. …


The importance of expanding brand awareness what channels to focus on to build out new audiences

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It is rare that a brand has such reach and such impact that people all over the world can not just recognize it, but have memories of using the product for generations.

Crayola is one of those rarities. Of course, Crayola was built around the production of crayons, but throughout its more than 115 years in business, Crayola has vastly expanded its product offerings and worked to build a community of consumers who gather around the idea of creativity. …

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