Podcast by Brent Leary and Small Business Trends
One - On - One With Keala Gaines, VP Of Global Payments Services, EBay
Recently I spoke with Keala Gaines, VP of Global Payment Services for eBay, to learn more about the impact modern payment technology is having on the customer experience, how having the payment tech on certain device types can help increase conversion opportunities, and how using the latest technology can also make things run more efficiently.
Clark Twiddy of Twiddy & Co: Digitizing Southern Hospitality with Data Key to Surviving Pandemic
Earlier this week I spoke with Clark Twiddy, president Twiddy and Company, to hear how they used the SAS data analytics platform and Clark’s military background with intelligence to bring data science to his family-owned small business. And how that helped the company to “digitize their southern hospitality” and create new opportunities even in the heart of a pandemic that is crushing the travel and leisure industry at large.
Mike Volpe of Lola: We never thought of quitting even after losing 97% of Revenue due to COVID-19
I’ve known Mike Volpe for well over a decade, going back to his days as HubSpot’s first chief marketing officer. And I’ve spoken with him a few times over the years for the series, the last time being when he became the new CEO of Lola.com a little over two years ago. As a refresher, Lola.com is focused on making business travel easier for the travel manager and the traveler.
Being that business, it’s not surprising that the pandemic has had a major negative impact on Lola. But even that would be an understatement as the company lost 97% of its revenue when travel basically came to a screeching halt overnight at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdown. 97%!
Knowing the industry that he was in, I remember checking in on Mike at the onset of the pandemic via email. He told me that I should check back in a couple of months because they were working on a plan. And roughly five months later, Lola just announced a new service offering called Lola Spend, that helps companies to track expenses and manage spending. And the new offering was actually in part a collaborative effort from the same Lola customers who stopped traveling.
Vivek Pandya of Adobe - Phones will drive record holiday shopping season while we shelter in place
The folks at Adobe recently put out their holiday season shopping forecast, based on one trillion visits to US retail websites. Yes, you read that right – one TRILLION visits to retail websites in the country. And some of the key predictions include:
• Online holiday spend will surpass $189B (up 33% YoY)
• Black Fri: $10.3B (39% YoY); Cyber Mon $12.7B (35% YoY)
• 42% of all online shopping done from smartphones (up 55%)
• Small retailers ($10-$50M): +107% daily revenue boost for season
• 26% of consumers say knowing the election outcome will impact their holiday spend*
These are just a few of the interesting data points in the forecast. And to get a little more insight into the numbers I spoke with Vivek Pandya, Adobe’s Senior Digital Insights Manager.
Scott Beechuk Of Norwest Venture Partners - Lots of optimization left in the buying experience
With the pandemic impacting so many aspects of our daily lives – both personally and professionally – I was curious to find out how it is effecting how things in the venture capital space. And last week I had the opportunity to speak with Scott Beechuk, Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $9.5 billion in capital, and Scott focuses on early- to late-stage investment opportunities in enterprise SaaS with a focus on companies building business applications taking advantage of human-assisted AI, advanced behavioral analytics, client-agnostic platforms and industry-specific solutions.
Scott shared how his experience as an entrepreneur and later at Salesforce as SVP in product management has helped shape his approach to being a VC, and how COVID-19 has impacted how he operates.
Adam Blitzer of Salesforce: We crammed 5 years’ worth of digital acceleration into the past 5 months
Late last month Salesforce introduced Digital 360, combining their Marketing, Commerce, and Experience Clouds with some new components to help companies accelerate their digital transformation efforts with respect to customer engagement. And earlier this week I had the pleasure of having a LinkedIn Live conversation with Adam Blitzer, EVP & GM, Digital for Salesforce, to talk about how the coronavirus is affecting digital transformation efforts and causing foundational changes to companies will need to engage customers and prospects long after the pandemic is over.
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Business with backbone!
Brent, Paul, and their incredible guests WILL help you grow your business! You’ll get tons of actionable advice and tangible tips, but you’ll also get heaps of inspiration from truly engaging individuals that have been where you are and genuinely want to see you succeed. Thanks so much for putting out such a robust resource guys - keep up the great work!
If you own a business or are interested in business ownership, this series is a great start to get you on the right track for essential small business information.