11 episodes

E-Com secrets for brands over your favorite brew.

E-Commerce with Coffee?‪!‬ Amber Engine

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

E-Com secrets for brands over your favorite brew.

    11. Building a Brand on Amazon - Then and Now with Liran Hirschkorn, CEO at Incrementum Digital

    11. Building a Brand on Amazon - Then and Now with Liran Hirschkorn, CEO at Incrementum Digital

    Liran Hirschkorn joins E-Commerce with Coffee?! for what is one of the most informative looks at Amazon we’ve heard yet on the show.

    Liran’s own experience growing brands and consulting hundreds more at Incrementum Digital has given him a wealth of insights into the “then” and “now” of Amazon, and curious insights into the future.

    This interview covers multiple unbeatable topics, especially for brands just getting started on Amazon, like:


    What did these 15 months of pandemic mean for the supply chain and for niche saturation for Amazon sellers?
    What have recent changes to the Amazon platform meant for sellers, new and old?
    How can a brand learn to “fail fast and fail forward” on the platform while coming out stronger for it?

    Liran gives detailed answers to these questions and more. Listen to the full episode for all his insights, examples, and insider tips.

    What to listen for:


    Liran got his start in wholesale modeling and quickly grew a successful Amazon brand and private label. Listen in to learn how he got there.
    Amazon ads have gotten more complicated over the last few years, which is right when Liran started helping other brands learn ad strategies to get a solid footing on the platform. Thus, Incrementum Digital was born.
    Liran has also seen some major changes for Amazon sellers in the last few years. For example, bigger organizations are acquiring successful Amazon brands to create mega-competitive conglomerate brands.
    The Amazon platform itself has changed, too. For example, incentivized reviews (which were once an easy way to gain many early reviews) were done away with. Listen to what Liran says this means for sellers today.
    In some niches, “you have to lose money for a set time until you can get enough reviews,” Liran explains. New sellers should consider how deep their pockets are when entering into a niche that already has big players.
    Liran also talks about some of the hurdles for new brands selling on Amazon. Products can get taken down, and competition is stiff. This fuels the love-hate relationship many sellers have with the platform, because ultimately, the opportunity to reach Amazon consumers is still too great to pass up. Liran talks about SOPs you can develop to be prepared for this. “The opportunity is greater than the headache,” he assures us.
    “Once you launch a product, within 12 months you’ll know if it has real demand,” Liran explains. What’s more, if you feel like you’re “fighting an uphill battle within the first two months from launch,” he adds, that’s an important sign that your Amazon strategy or product isn’t working. The first month is the most important for the Amazon algorithm's take on your brand. Listen in to what Liran says you can do about it.
    Amazon actually likes new brands and products to challenge existing brands, and Liran explains why in simple terms. He concludes, “if you're not converting early on, it's not a traffic problem.”

    A love letter from our sponsor:

    If you're a brand listening and you can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 46 min
    10. Amazon Strategy and “Products with Potential” with Christian Kelm, VP Product at Amalyze

    10. Amazon Strategy and “Products with Potential” with Christian Kelm, VP Product at Amalyze

    Summary

    In this episode of E-commerce with Coffee?! we talk to Christian Kelm, VP Product at AMALYZE. This analytics software firm focuses on multi-layered insights into Amazon search terms and consumer behavior, and Christian’s passion on these topics cannot be overstated.

    The interview opens, in fact, with host Nate Svoboda’s usual question about caffeine. Christian answers with a quick smile, then launches into a deeply thought out reply about exactly what energy supplements work best for his brain.

    Based on Christian’s energy throughout the episode, it’s clear he’s hacked the balance that works stupendously for him.

    From there, Nate and Christian dig into Amazon SERP analytics and competitor research, and Christian’s input on every point is meticulous. He covers many topics, including:


    Revenue-driving keywords
    Extracting opportunities from market trends
    Extracting opportunities from “missing variations”
    Portfolios of products
    SERP volatility
    Competition research
    Negative keyword research
    Adjusting strategy

    Listen to the full episode of E-commerce with Coffee?! for all of Christian’s insights!

    What to listen for:


    Christian definitely has his own two cents on caffeine, energy drinks, and Vitamin B12. Listen to how he’s leveraged these in business and life in general.
    Christian also talks about the power of targeting revenue-driving keywords instead of search-volume-only keyword SERPs. This kind of insight is what AMALYZE provides, and marks a turning point in the possibilities in SEO strategy.
    Search volume alone doesn’t give brands insights into relevance or potential, Christian explains. The “movers and shakers” understand their clients in a deeper way, and Christian explains how.
    Christian talks about going with market trends versus looking for opportunities where a product variation is “missing.” Both have their advantages, and both can be done successfully—if done right.
    SERP site volatility refers to how frequently top-ranking results change for the keywords you want to rank for. Based on that volatility, Christian explains, you can prioritize which opportunities to move on first (because you can't move on everything all at once).
    Competition research is good for more than just SERPs, too. For example, you can use it for “negative keyword research” to determine what you're NOT (so you don't waste resources optimizing for those terms or irrelevant synonyms of your target keywords).
    “What I like to look at is customer behavior and changes in customer behavior,” Christian says. He then talks about brand analytics that go beyond just what the consumer is looking for—instead, it’s important to weigh that against what consumers are buying at the end.
    “You can only adjust your strategy when you have one,” Christian points out. And if you just copy what your competitors do, or what your coach does, you’ll only get results as good as your competitors or coach. To get your own results, you will need your own strategy.

    A love letter from our sponsor:

    If you're a brand listening, and you can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork, and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 46 min
    09. DTC Customer Acquisition with Steve Dinelli, Chief Digital Officer at Barrington Media Group

    09. DTC Customer Acquisition with Steve Dinelli, Chief Digital Officer at Barrington Media Group

    Steve Dinelli, Chief Digital Officer at Barrington Media Group, joins this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! to talk about the direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-com world.

    Steve first tells the story of his own surprising trajectory, from starting a customer acquisition firm out of his garage to later arriving at Barrington Media Group with years of high-profile work (and success) to speak to.

    The journey taught him many lessons, and over the interview, Steve points to multiple topics where he feels differently now than he did just a few years ago.

    The DTC landscape is changing. The cost of customer acquisition has gone consistently up for more than half a decade, and now Steve says there’s no sign of it stopping. The barrier of entry to DTC is now so low, Steve explains, that even teenagers are starting Shopify storefronts and seeing success. The booming competition is what has driven prices up.

    Steve explains how hitting the right notes with your target customers only looks simple from the outside. Even the most tangible results are powered by some of the most agile and market-conscientious strategies behind them.

    Listen to this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! to hear about these key DTC strategies for yourself.

    What to listen for:


    Steve tells a fascinating story of how he got into digital marketing and customer acquisition as a “for fun” project on the side, and how it quickly snowballed. Steve’s story is like so many others in digital marketing today because many of the roles the pros have didn’t even exist five years ago.
    Steve then gets into how much lower the barrier of entry is today for online brands. Even teenagers, he says, are getting in on Shopify dropshipping. The lower barrier of entry has come with higher barriers (i.e., more competition and bigger investments) to acquire customers. “I’ve seen things over the last five or six years become a lot harder for DTC brands,” he says.
    The success of other DTC brands seems so tangible to the brands looking in that success in e-commerce seems more easily attainable than it is. With more competition now than ever, Steve breaks down what brands need for their own e-commerce success.
    Steve’s also learned a lot recently about the offline world that fascinates him, like with direct mail. Listen to the episode to hear what Steve says about paper types, envelopes, and other must-consider details that shape how prospects receive a message.
    Steve also has his own two cents on working with marketing agencies who “do it all” versus single-silo experts. He’s had his own evolution in recent years on which he prefers.
    DTC brands need to “start on Facebook and Google,” Steve says. “Get traffic and see if your product is going to work.” Then (and only then) is it time to look at other paid customer acquisition channels and strategies.
    Knowing where your customers come from is the most important part of customer acquisition, Steve explains. Listen to the full episode to hear what he has to add about Google versus Facebook.

    A love letter from our sponsor:

    If you're a brand listening and you can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork, and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 37 min
    08. The Scaling System Every E-Commerce Brand Needs with Chase Clymer, Co-Founder of Electric Eye Agency

    08. The Scaling System Every E-Commerce Brand Needs with Chase Clymer, Co-Founder of Electric Eye Agency

    In this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?!, host Nate Svoboda interviews Chase Clymer of Electric Eye. The digital marketing master has worked from his unlikely origins in a rock band to the head of a marketing agency as a product of his insatiable desire to learn new strategies and optimizations for product-based businesses.

    Perhaps a dash of nerdiness has helped, too.

    Indeed, the very name Electric Eye comes from a beloved metal song—but don’t let that fool you, because Chase is the kind of guy you’d love to get a beer with but he also knows how to get down to business.

    In this episode of the podcast, Chase talks through the principal benefits of using Shopify for product-based businesses. He also talks about his “Brand Scaling Framework,” which can be managed by his team at Electric Eye or by anyone else if applied correctly. The result? Month-over-month growth of all the metrics that matter, equating to a fatter bottom line.

    Listen in for all of Chase’s insights on this episode of the podcast!

    What to listen for:


    Chase first got into his marketing career as a freelancer, simultaneously helping a pal of his who was skilled but not as savvy on the business side of things. Chase helped him and, as a result, grew. Before they knew it, the two friends had started an agency together.
    “True service marketing is a whole different monster,” Chase points out as he talks about new trends on the horizon. Listen in for Chase’s insights on this trend and how to keep up with trends in general.
    “Our goals in the business keep evolving,” Chase says. This is the nature of digital marketing, because change happens so fast. With new technology comes new possibilities (and new KPIs for his clients).
    “Once you find a strategy that works, double down on it,” Chase says. Listen in to him explain why one funnel that works beautifully is so much better than 12 funnels that sort of work.
    “Product-market fit” is the hardest part of launching a business, Chase says. He then breaks this down in hugely relatable terms. “Just put blinders on until you have this figured out,” he says. “Until then, the rest is just noise.”
    Chase then digs into why he recommends Shopify over other platforms. He does point out, “the further you get away from the DTC model, the less Shopify makes sense for you.” Digging into which platform is right for what business is another question Chase dives deep into in the interview.

    A love letter from our sponsor:

    If you're a brand listening and you can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork, and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 35 min
    07. The Future of E-commerce Content with Emily Ferguson, Director of E-Commerce at Marie Claire

    07. The Future of E-commerce Content with Emily Ferguson, Director of E-Commerce at Marie Claire

    In this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! Emily Ferguson—the Director of E-Commerce at Marie Claire—joins host Nate Svoboda for an in-depth look at e-commerce content, tech, and ROI. 

    The interview bounces around each of these key pillars of e-commerce because Emily, herself, has a hand in all of it. Situated physically and figuratively between advertising, design, and branding and even the account managers at Marie Claire, Emily develops new products for the brand and is given the autonomy to do whatever it takes to polish and promote the company’s delivery of its chic personality.

    Emily’s autonomy and big decision-making came after a powerhouse career where she built her own brands. Emily actually started off in the fast-paced trading sector of banking, but fashion and e-commerce drew her in like a moth to a flame.

    With passion and perseverance, Emily has learned a LOT about e-commerce since jumping in.  Now, all you have to do to gain some top insights Emily enjoys is listen to this episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?!

    What to listen for: 


    Emily tells a fascinating story about how she went from the banking world to e-commerce. And if she was able to translate the skills of the fast-paced trading world to the fast-paced world of e-com, there’s a secret sauce that can help you, too.
    Emily even talks about being a little naïve when she got into e-com. There are a lot of gurus that make it sound easy. With perseverance and some great ideas, however, she made her dream come true.
    Building relationships is a big part of success in e-commerce, and Emily found that side of things natural. She did find the tech side of things to be harder, though, and if you listen in you can build off of what she learned.
    “You learn more in five minutes in your own business than you do in five years working for a company,” Emily jokes. But only sort of—then, she explains why.
    Emily occupies a fascinating role at Marie Claire at the intersection of multiple departments in the development of new products. Listen to the interview to hear just how she lays out what areas of the business she touches.
    Emily’s number-one goal on any given day at Marie Claire is for new products to “do well.” Her motivations are made clear throughout the interview as she talks about some of her early products.
    Talking about e-commerce “then” and “now,” Emily says, “back then we were all trying to play the SEO game, which was pretty much impossible unless you were one of the big players. Now we have the most opportunity we've ever had for people to build brands online.”
    Emily also talks about the key partnerships that e-commerce brands need to support today’s most competitive strategies. She also makes the point that your best “partner” will always be yourself.
    “Don't be afraid to make mistakes in your career,” Emily says. “The trick is to carry on.”
    Emily also talks about how to make a recognizable brand. Listen to the pinpoint focus she has in making brand decisions that render brands instantly “stickier.”



    A love letter from our sponsor: 

    If you're a brand listening and can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork, and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 21 min
    06. Stronger E-commerce SEO for Today and Tomorrow with Barb Davids, Owner of Compass Digital Strategies

    06. Stronger E-commerce SEO for Today and Tomorrow with Barb Davids, Owner of Compass Digital Strategies

    Barb Davids joins E-Commerce with Coffee?! to talk about the power of SEO now and how to prepare for the future. Just like Google changes its algorithm all the time, user behavior changes continually. With this growing tech and shifting paradigm, search optimizations are continually changing, too.

    To get found and make the most of your content and product data, Barb dives into topics like the different product attributes on different sales channels, SEO advantages small and medium businesses have over the big dogs, tangential content, and more.

    The biggest gap in SEO strategy and brands’ desired end results, Barb says, is when product listings don’t have their product data optimized (or even filled out completely). She then talks about this missed opportunity and others like it. Brands listening in can easily avoid these mistakes.

    Finally, Barb dives into the last 15 months since the start of the pandemic and what it’s all meant for e-commerce. She even leaves E-Commerce with Coffee?! listeners with special SEO strategy resources on her website!



    What to listen for: 


    If you sell your products on different platforms including Amazon, Wayfair, and others, your wording probably changes a little platform-to-platform. (Or, at least, it should.) Different platforms will have different product attributes to fill out. That said, the core of SEO strategy is the same across platforms, and Barb explains why.
    Start with each platform’s “Help” information to learn how to best utilize the system. You can also look for online communities of other business owners selling there. This kind of proactive learning is a key strategy, and Barb discusses the benefits.
    With all the product pages, content, social profiles and more your brand has online, learn how to prioritize which pages to rank.
    “Tangential content” is also worth learning about, and Barb gives you a quick 101 of what it is and how it’s beneficial. 
    Savvy keyword research is a big part of how small and medium-sized brands compete with the big dogs. After all, there’s a finite number of search terms to compete on. Barb walks through how this is done.
    Barb also talks about the advantages smaller organizations have over the big guys in branding and even SEO. 
    Competitors in SEO aren’t just the other brands that sell what you sell. They’re also the other entities that compete with the search terms you want to rank for, whatever their reason. Listen to Barb’s take on how to manage this.
    Email marketing might be the “dinosaur” of the digital marketing world, but it’s still an important piece of the marketing puzzle. It has, however, changed. Barb talks this over.
    Barb then goes into what's changed—and surprised her—the most in e-commerce in the last 12 months.
    The biggest gap in digital marketing for e-commerce is when products don’t have optimized product data, or are missing field data altogether. Barb explains what that means to Google.
    Barb also put together some resources just for the listeners of E-Commerce with Coffee?! Check them out here on the Compass Digital Strategies website. 



    A love letter from our sponsor:

    If you're a brand listening and can relate, don't stop here! Visit the Amber Engine blog for more tips, strategies, and insights to sell more online. We love e-commerce, and our product information software (PIM) and data enrichment strategies simplify and speed up your rollout to Amazon and other marketplaces. Our clients launch in weeks instead of months, eliminate the guesswork, and enable interdepartmental collaboration to drive a winning presence online.

    Stay awesome,

    Amber Engine

    • 19 min

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