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Ecomm Forum 2022 Recap

Green dust settles on Ecomm Forum 2022. If you missed the show, or just want to relive all the great energy, knowledge, and shenanigans, here's your 2022 recap.

Darin's State of Ecommerce

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum: Darin If you DID miss this year's show, we are sincerely sorry, this was a good one. From truly being back in person AND live streaming, to seeing the greens of people's eyeballs. All we can say is THANK YOU to our sponsors who helped make this all happen. We would also like to give a huge shoutout to Heather Willems from TwoLine Studios for her amazing drawings.

Keynote Speaker: Laura Boyd from Leadership Delta

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Laura Boyd We were lucky enough to have THE Laura Boyd from Leadership Delta kickoff the event. Laura spoke to us about a very important topic which is Imposter Syndrome. “That imposter syndrome happens to 70-90% of us, and we think the rest of you are lying.” We've all been hit by that sinking imposter feeling but were lucky to have Laura go through her process of demystifying imposter syndrome and ways to overcome it. More importantly how you can break this cycle by refusing to listen to those voices in your head. You hear them too right?

“Becoming aware of something needs to happen, before you make that change.” Awareness of imposter syndrome gives you the chance to stop and ask yourself the question of “Do these thoughts hinder me or help?” Secondly, Stop faking it. She talked about the phrase “fake it till you make it” and most of us haven't made it so what you are doing in your day to day life is faking it. You need to “Believe to achieve” if you want to close that gap between yourself and others. Closing that gap requires you to reframe your mindset. When you tell yourself that you are in control of your achievements or emotions, you are reframing your mindset away from spiraling thoughts.

With a changing mindset comes compassion for yourself. Laura spoke about how “compassion is the start to change”. Lastly, it's about finding your people. These are the people “you know their heart to be true.” Having the right people around you gives you the feeling that you are enough. Leaving us with the fact that to be a successful company you need to have culture and leadership, and when imposter syndrome is a conflict between those two, there is no room for growth and change.

Spotlight Speaker: Robert Gilbreath from ShipStation

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Robert Gilbreath Robert spoke to us about the concept of “making your ecommerce house a home”. Starting out with the foundational concepts of making sure you have the processes in place to allow your business to run seamlessly. Specifically, when it comes to shipping. “Consumers will order from 3 places, and cancel orders that didn't come on time”. If you don't follow through on your guarantees you will lose customers.

Secondly, the structural part of building a home. More important now than ever is making sure you have a platform set up for multichannel and focused on the customer experience. Asking the consumer what they are looking for in their online and retail experience.

Finally, “Finish outs and Furnishings” Robert talked specifically about personalization and thinking about how to add different personal touches throughout the whole experience. “Give your consumers choices if you can't give them free shipping”.

Build Panel: Jill Barle from Evereve, Greta Brooks from The Minnesota Wild and Aaron Sheehan from BigCommerce

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Build Panel When we talk building, we're talking about your first ecommerce site, replatforming, or building a new channel from scratch. Greta spoke about how she believes it's crucial to align all the departments in your company to understand their pain points before getting started on a project. Jill from Evereve, covered moving at speed on new technology. With a complex tech stack, “it can be hard to manage but focus on prioritizing how to make it better and adding enhancements that are going to add value and drive growth.” Combining those two topics, Aaron talked on how important it is to have balance and speed. The focus is on having “integrations on a purpose-built platform with solutions that allow you to go really fast.”

The industry continues to move fast to respond to pain in omnichannel, emerging technologies, headless, and marketing strategies. Personalization, SMS, headless, user generated content, shoppable video and advanced A/B testing. All of these require you to listen to your customers and truly know what they want (do you know what your customers want?). Jill, Greta, and Aaaon provided some great advice that an important strong leader on the project team who will be willing to pivot. Balance and speed. Keep pushing it forward.

Spotlight Speaker: Matt Hickey from Shopify

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Mat Hickey Matt spoke about the differences between single channel, multichannel and omnichannel. Specifically in relation to retail. “Retail is not dying, it's evolving and changing.” Merchants now have the ability to take different approaches in retail. Using an omnichannel approach is great for your brand awareness and getting your customers engaged.“It creates a harmonious experience with the ecommerce system, which makes it much easier for you to manage."

Grow Panel: Eric Feuerstein from Attentive, Robert Beaman from HDLUSA and Jason Hammerberg from Hammer Made

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Grow Panel After a build, we're on to growing your ecommerce channels. Growing is all about expanding applying acquisition, conversion and retention marketing strategies. The group talked about how important it is to put your customer at the center of the decision making process and know where they want your brand to meet them.

Mobile was a huge topic, specifically in growing your mobile audience. SMS helps reach customers at the post purchase phase to get feedback but also adds that personal touch. “It's really important to listen to customers in how they want to be communicated with” (Eric). Feedback is huge, listening to your customer and knowing what they want to see or hear helps you figure out the channel to reach them.

Jason and Robert talked on how they use A/B testing for rich feedback and data. At the end of the day, each business can grow in different ways but the feedback they left us with is important.

  1. "Get that honest feedback" - Jason
  2. "Have patience, growth takes time" - Robert
  3. "Keep it conversational and ask your customers questions" - Eric

Spotlight Speaker: Lizzie Andrew from Klaviyo

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum-Lizzie Andrew Talking to your customers and understanding what they care about is important but deceptively difficult. "Customer-First Marketing" and understanding your customer produces a ton of data. Sifting through that data is key. There are many opportunities to do this specifically with Klaviyo, but Lizzie notes, "you shouldn't be relying on cookies." You really want to understand your customers' wants and desires and then put that back into your marketing.

Lizzie provided us with 5 steps to go from guessing what your customers' wants into knowing what they want

  1. Understand the data you need to collect
  2. Learn from the people you're marketing to (Look for patterns)
  3. Leverage that data
  4. Create automations from your data, segment!
  5. Repetition. Ask again. You're never done

Spotlight Speaker: Tom Arehart from Avalara

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Tom Arehart Tom Arehart from Avalara gave us insights on tax compliance. Specifically, B2B is often overlooked in ecommerce technology. There's a big issue in having B2B companies taking payments and tax with a B2C-focused technology. We want B2B “bringing the back office operations to the forefront”. Conversely, Tom spoke about using smart UX from the B2C world and applying it to B2B. Easy navigation, merchandising and product information, customer accounts, and compliance. “You need to make sure you are “rethinking the customer journey and buyer profile because B2B is a lot different than B2C.”

Hustle Panel: Nancy Korsah from Black Business Entreprises and Susan Ojo-Fati from Wrapped in My Roots

Embedded content: Ecomm Forum- Hustle Panel You may have noticed we changed the name of this panel from Entrepreneur Panel to Hustle Panel. We realized that we had entrepreneurs packed on ALL our panels, yet we wanted this panel to focus on how the power of ecommerce enables solopreneurs to turn their side hustle into their main hustle. Nancy started Black Business Enterprises to help people of color get out of poverty through ecommerce. And Susan started Wrapped in My Roots which is a hair accessory store and Comfordom, which is a maternity clothing line. Both of these womens' stories are inspiring and deserve major kudos.

These two have turned their side hustle into a full on calling. Their history is too important not to share. Nancy and Susan spoke about the importance of taking a step back and looking at your business from the inside out. “You cannot be afraid to step away and let other people lead you. When you are too close you don't see the answers". Susan noted that it's important to know that change is okay and that negative feedback is a growth opportunity. “Take that negative feedback and apply it to your business. Make adjustments and use it as a stepping stone.” Nancy learned was that partnerships are way more important than you think. “People are what make your business and you only be able to grow your business by talking to others.”

Most importantly, their advice to any solopreneur is to start that business you may be thinking about, and not be afraid to get going. Make sure that you don't count certain people out, be willing to broaden your horizons.

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