Insights From a Community of Seven-Figure Ecommerce Owners
Andrew Youderian, founder of eCommerce Fuel, discusses everything he’s learned from his community of 1,000+ seven-figure eCommerce business owners.
There are few things in the world stronger than a close-knit community. When people come together, they can achieve more than any individual can on their own and they can generate ideas and solutions that would be otherwise impossible to produce.
The idea of community is what drove Andrew Youderian to found eCommerce Fuel, which provides an online gathering place for more than 1,000 eCommerce store owners who have built seven-figure businesses. At eCommerce Fuel, business owners find not just community, but also content and the opportunity to raise capital for their companies all in the same place. The members themselves have been hand selected by Youderian — all industry leaders he knows will add value to the community.
“If I could only do one thing well in a community it would be to bring the right people into it,” Youderian said.
Youderian also shared a few other keys to creating a successful community. Along with getting the right people in the room, you have to deliver content to them that is highly-relevant and you have to do it in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming.
At eCommerce Fuel, there are hundreds of discussion boards and forums and thousands of individual comments every single month. To be notified about every single one would be a dealbreaker for most people. To avoid that, Youderian said that eCommerce Fuel has implemented personalization software to deliver the most relevant content at a reasonable cadence.
And the final element of community building is fostering a respectful environment. Even if someone seems qualified and has a roaring business and incredible success, there is no excuse for being disrespectful on the platform. Youderian and his team take that pledge seriously.
With the rules of the road laid out, Youderian stressed that what has blossomed at eCommerce Fuel is nothing short of an incredible incubator of ideas and a microcosm of the current trends in the industry.
One of the largest elephants in the digital room is the role Amazon plays in eCommerce. Everyone has questions and opinions. But there are also ideas, including ways to capitalize on the recent delays that Amazon has faced regarding its usually-fast shipping.
There is also always talk of how to measure the health of the business — what metrics matter and what metrics don’t.
“Repeat purchase rate is a big one,” Youderian said. “Advertising is doing nothing but getting more expensive. It’s getting harder and harder to get in front of people without paying the big tech gatekeepers. So, the more likely a customer is to come back to you and needing that product the more likely you can actually build a viable long term business.”
And the metric that Youderian values over all others? Profitability per visitor. The reason? Because it forces you to set your sights on the pricing of your product so that you can achieve the optimum value.
“If I would have to identify the one thing that I have done across multiple businesses in my life that has had the biggest impact and taken the least work, hands down it would be pricing,” he said. “So few people play with it. Some people can’t, a lot of people can. And it’s terrifying to change prices because we all fear that when you change the prices that your business is going to disappear, but that rarely happens especially if you do it in a really smart way.”
Along with all of these discussions and insights, there is another resource that companies are finding at eCommerce Fuel: capital. Recently, Youderian helped launch the investment arm of the business that blends the two traditional types of fundraising to create a new approach.
“We have a group of about 20 investors that are tentatively in,” Youderian explained. “I know them, they trust me, I trust them, they signed an informal thing that says, ‘I’m in for the next three years for this amount of money.’ Hopefully, that gives us the flexibility of not having to go out and deploy money just to deploy money, but we can also be a little flexible, and we can also have the commitment from some people to go forward.”
To learn more about eCommerce Fuel and what its members are talking about now, check out Youderian’s entire interview on Up Next in Commerce, here.