How Digital Transformation Shaped the Future of eCommerce

Nov 9, 2021 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Is it possible to combine accounting, tax, and fraud monitoring capabilities into one seamless platform? How can your company meet the drive and need to evolve in a fast-paced digital world?

With the push for digital transformation, every business should spend money on the expertise to build a foundation cemented in a partnership focused on digital growth. How can you boost your digital performance? By improved relationships with consumers, better margins, higher efficiency, and less human middleware.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Jason Nyhus, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing, and Partnerships at Digital River, to detail how digital transformation is improving and shaping the eCommerce space. Jason explains how the pandemic shifted the digital age towards security, why companies should continue evolving and changing their digital strategies, and bringing value to direct-to-consumer engagement strategies.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • Jason Nyhus introduces Digital River and its role in transforming the digital eCommerce space
  • How are you changing the way you serve the market?
  • Why COVID shifted digital criteria and the surge for protected infrastructure
  • Jason describes how digital transformation can control the experience of the consumer
  • Taking advantage of emerging digital trends in different industries
  • Why the consumer is focused on their experience — and how that translates to brand benefits
  • How going international can cut profits by 20-30%
  • Jason talks about the complexity of international compliance
  • Why your brand should examine all aspects of an international market before taking the plunge
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Event Partners

Digital River

Digital River is a private company that provides global e-commerce, payments and marketing services.

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Guest Speaker

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jason Nyhus

SVP, Sales & Partnerships

Jason Nyhus is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing, and Partnerships at Digital River, an eCommerce provider of payments, fraud, tax, and compliance. He has over 15 years of experience in revenue growth and market adoption for leading technology organizations. Jason has established a career as an engaged leader, team-builder, decision-maker, and is passionate about inspiring the sales team to establish a winning culture of motivation, morale, and revenue production.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jason Nyhus

SVP, Sales & Partnerships

Jason Nyhus is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing, and Partnerships at Digital River, an eCommerce provider of payments, fraud, tax, and compliance. He has over 15 years of experience in revenue growth and market adoption for leading technology organizations. Jason has established a career as an engaged leader, team-builder, decision-maker, and is passionate about inspiring the sales team to establish a winning culture of motivation, morale, and revenue production.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Tuesday everybody, my name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co-founder Managing Director here at BWG Connect our networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of organizations who do exactly that we network analysis here together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be that shaping the digital landscape as a whole. I talk with 30 to 40 brands a week to stay on top of those. And it's from those calls that we get our topics like this. So anyways, look for follow up email for me, we'd love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today to see what's going on in their space. You know, I do a lot of just knowledge sharing as a whole, I'm going to still keep what letting some people in here. And so at any point in time, you ever want, you know, recommendations along service providers as well, don't ever hesitate to reach out, we've got a short list here of the top ones from across the the network as a whole, and we're approaching about 10,000 brands. So it's a pretty cool list. A couple of housekeeping items, as we get started, open conversation here, you know, just kind of regulated jump in, if you have questions, I'm going to jump around a little bit as well. We great to hear from other people what they're seeing in this space. And the other thing is, we're starting here, you know, five minutes after the hour, we're gonna try and wrap up with five minutes to go as well. You know, feel free to drop at that point in time. And it's fantastic conversation that keeps rolling, you know, we might take a little bit closer, but we're gonna really try to wrap up with, you know, latest three to four minutes to go on the hour. With that, I'm going to kind of just jump in here, just you know, kind of kick off the conversation on the idea of digital transformation is now coming up. Like it was like three years ago when it was like a real big buzzword and everybody think they thought they had to get on board. Now I think more than ever with with COVID It's pushed us into this space where, you know, everybody is, you know, gone out and found multiple different vendors that you know, are supposed to help enhance everything that we're doing. And yet, that's not necessarily digital transformation is a holistic view. And so we got some great friends, partners, supporters of the network and brands in it, and just come highly recommended over a Digital River. And so, you know, Jason's here to kind of, you know, give their oversight. They're dealing with a ton of brands in this space. And, you know, share across the board what they're seeing at a high level, but then answer as many questions as we can throw at them. So it's going to be fun. And so that, Jason, I'll kind of kick it over to you, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself Digital River, that'll be awesome. I'm still letting some people in here. But yeah, let's kind of kick it over to you.

Jason Nyhus  2:43

Fantastic. Thank you, Aaron. Well, my name is Jason Nyhus. And I'm a Senior Vice President of Sales and partnerships here at Digital River. And for those who don't know who we are, we are the back office connection or back office eCommerce provider for tier one brands selling online today. And so what that means is we are a simple way for brands to get a single provider of payments, fraud, tax and compliance to serve virtually every country around the world as it relates to direct, b2c, or even b2b. And we specialize in what we call the six dimensions of eCommerce. So physical products, digital products, b2b, b2c, and also this concept of onshore or cross border. And so we handle those six dimensions for about 5000 brands all over the world. So that's what we do.

Aaron Conant  3:42

Awesome. So and just again, anybody have any questions, comments, feel free to jump in, I'm just going to kind of kick it off from a digital transformation standpoint, you you guys have this, you know, broad view, just interacting with so many different, you know, organizations across the board, you know, how do you see digital transformation? How do you it was a buzzword a few years back? Now, it's a necessity, but it's still kind of used as a buzzword. But do you guys view digital transformation? You know, a lot of people are being asked, Hey, you know, are we on a desert transformation journey? And what does it look like? Sure, I'd love to hear your thoughts. And what does that mean to you?

Jason Nyhus  4:19

Yeah, so given our role in the world, we help brands kind of accomplish one of three things it's trying to go direct, for the first time, trying to go serve new markets are trying to simplify their complex over engineered back office. So those are really the three use cases that we really worked with brands on. And so when we think about digital transformation, all of my kind of views are going to be related to those use cases. And as we think about a digital transformation as it relates to brands trying to go direct. What we've seen so far is there's really kind of two kind of fundamentally different use cases. You've got These new DTC brands, who don't grow up in traditional retail, they're very agile. You know, they have these really cool products. And they primarily use social media and direct consumer and all those new ways of kind of marketing. Well, those people aren't worried about digital transformation, they started at most people's endpoint. The other end of the spectrum, are these brands that have 99.9% of their business through wholesale retail distribution, etc, complex go to market. And so we kind of see companies in both models, when we talk to the so I'll focus my part of the dialogue around those brands on the far right, the biggest brands in the world who sell billions of dollars through a complex go to market, those are the ones where digital transformation becomes kind of most relevant. And the conversations we have are really centered around two things. Number one, how do

Jason Nyhus  5:58

we identify the underserved customers, and I'll give you some examples. So underserved customers in a company that sells predominantly b2b is and through, you know, resellers or partners, or customers that are small customers that are small, you know, say in less than 100 units or less than 1000 units, or whatever it is, generally speaking are underserved by the champ. And so when brands think about digital transformation, and eCommerce, they look at those that segment and they say, Ah, I could use the web to automate their onboarding, to simplify my pricing to do to create some packaging, to create some automation, as it relates to eCommerce to better serve this customer base, but also improve the margin. So digital transformation, the buzzword, the practical application is better customer experience, better margins, more throughput, more sales. So that's so when we're in the context of b2b, that's what we really see. I'm in the context of b2c. They think about what is the role of eCommerce as it competes with effectively the channel? And so a lot of our conversation in that regard goes around what is the role and purpose for why you have store? It's not to compete with your channel, it's to be a creative. So how are you going to use pricing strategies, promotional strategies, partner strategies, to really give people a reason to go to your comm site. So I definitely said too much there. But Aaron, back to you with another

Aaron Conant  7:30

kind of

Aaron Conant  7:31

the thing that I want to jump in on is, you know, part of this is all the different plugins that have to happen, right? And so when I see is people getting a new ERP, a CRM, a CDP a new website up and going, all of a sudden, they have to plug in all these different service providers, and digital transformation, you know, is become just plugging all this different stuff in, how do you see people prioritizing what needs to be done? Right? And how do you see, you know, the the stack as far as on the IT stack? What needs to be done? And how do they organize it and prioritize it? I mean, that's a huge, huge thing for people right now.

Jason Nyhus  8:15

Yeah, well, so this is, I didn't do a great job of articulating it. But whenever companies start talking about digital transformation, it's really important to stop and say, What is the purpose or the outcome we're engineering towards? Is it to serve underserved customers is it to make us more efficient is it to eliminate a bunch of manual processes, like digital transformation on its own is just this buzzword. But when you really peel back the onion, there's a business case and a use case of trying to solve. And so you know, from from where we sit, buying a bunch of technology is the fact digital transformation, changing the way you work and the way you serve the market is. And so that's really when we try to have these conversations, we dig into that detail what exactly you're trying to accomplish. So then,

Aaron Conant  9:06

the organization who's having the buy in and the say on it now. You know, is it primarily who's the gatekeeper at the end of the day? Is it right, because in a lot of cases, they've it's just an interesting spot that we sit in now, right? Where we've had multiple people now have a different level or a different seat at the table, right? You've got supply chain, which we're kind of talking about in the freefall chitchat here. Yeah, there are now at it, but now you got it at it as well. Right. And, you know, there's only a limited amount of personnel to go around and, you know, time effort money to throw at it, you know, how do you see people organizing that thought and then I want to jump around to some people who have dialed in and get their thoughts on and what they're doing in this space as well. And others if you have comments, you want to jump in. We'd love to hear what you're doing in this space.

Jason Nyhus  9:56

Well, I would love to hear from others as well, but I'll tell you this When we sell digital river by the nature of who we are, we generally are selling into and propagating our value prop inside of the finance organization. Okay, so again, we do payments, fraud tax and compliance in every country around the world for brands. So, when we've seen digital transformation be successful, it's the one who has the best purpose, and the best business case. And we've been very successful inside of the finance organization doing it. Now, what's really interesting is when you start to get into the company politics around the builders, there's people who want to buy more technology want to have bigger teams, and they're using digital transformation as a place to build their kingdom. We certainly see that all the time. And so I'd love to hear from others kind of some of their experience around what digital transformation is enabling or driving different behaviors inside

Aaron Conant  10:50

of a business. Yeah, awesome. So let's jump around a little bit.

Aaron Conant  10:55

Neal. I mean, you're on mute right now, do you mind jumping in? You know, how do you look at? If you can, that'd be awesome. If you can't No big deal.

Aaron Conant  11:03

But we'd love

Aaron Conant  11:05

to hear your thoughts.

Neal  11:07

I don't think I'm on mute. Am I? Good? Yeah. Okay.

Aaron Conant  11:11

Sorry, go ahead. Now, I'd love to hear

Aaron Conant  11:13

what you're, you know, how you look at digital transformation as a whole. And then I want to jump over to Kara if we can, and others can jump in as well. I mean, this is a hot topic. And like I said, three years ago, buzzword now it's a necessity. And it's a necessity, because it COVID And everybody trying to you know, be get control of this, you know, new COVID world that we live in, and everything so digital, how do you guys look at it.

Neal  11:40

So I think a couple things. Certainly people got a COVID accelerated people's kind of digital transformation activities. But a lot of I think, in many cases was done without the thoughtfulness that you need, you know, that is necessary. So what people kind of did was these emergency fixes to their systems, expansion of systems, creation of systems. Now they're taking a step back and going, okay, great. We kind of met the initial need, but we really got to do it, quote, unquote, right? Or more thoughtfully, right. And to me, that first phase wasn't any transformation at all right? They just build it, and they will come kind of attitude, and they had to write, you know, the world change they had to, but now I think people are taking a much more thoughtful look. And I think when they do, what we find is a lot of customers that have existing systems realize what a mess they have, right? They've got these older monolith products that are really kind of slowing down the ability or impeding the ability to transform the way they want to. And they've got to take out a much heavier kind of technology approach to let them reach the business goals they're looking for. Right. And an interesting example I can I can give is that we've done three projects where the eCommerce infrastructure required an update, because they were end of life. But the selection criteria, they'd already picked the new platform they wanted to use, but they had to upgrade because they couldn't do it fast enough. So the selection criteria for the upgrade was 100% on the ability post upgrade, to move towards a new system, new architecture, etc. Right. And I think that shows you the Time Compression that's happened.

Aaron Conant  13:37

Yeah, no, I think you're right. I think you nailed it for a lot of people, which is that COVID hits, I got to throw something into place. And it's not the wrong thing to do. It's just, it was the right thing to do at that point in time. But now, how do we go back and stitch everything together to actually make it work? And then, you know, a lot of the stuff that they threw out there, you know, are they plugged in? Yeah, you're right now you're hitting end of life. You know, it'll just keep jumping around a little bit. I mean, Jason, I don't know if you had any thoughts there, that we can jump over to Sprigley. Next?

Jason Nyhus  14:07

No, I think you shouldn't I I'd love to hear when people comment, like, what their role is in their company, just so I understand some of the kind of perspective they bring to the dialogue.

Aaron Conant  14:17

Sure. He's really want to jump in into your company. And then your thoughts in this space. Just I saw your head nodding a little bit what Neal was, oh,

Sprigley  14:24

no, I was agreeing with Neil. I'm Sprigley. I started kind of in digital marketing in 1999. And I've never done really anything else. I love this stuff. Currently, VP of eCommerce at  also own a few stealth agencies in the Amazon and growth hacking space. So super excited to be here. Thanks for having me. I couldn't agree with you more, Neal. And I think something else to add on to this and the whole conversation about digital transformation is why are we doing it? Like Like, ultimately, is it for the purpose of ourselves in the company to become more efficient? Is it trying to provide a better to the customers. And I think that looking at some of the brands that are on this call, there's also, you know, with iOS 14, and all the changes that are happening in digital marketing and imperative, you know, kind of need for a company to have cross channel attribution for their customers on all channels. So to really understand like, hey, if they're interacting with our customer service department, how is that going? If they're interacting with our social media team? How's that going? Are they buying their products on eCommerce and then coming into our retail stores for a return? How are we handling, you know, that process and to Neal's point, when companies jump in, and they're just kind of throwing like piecemeal parts of the pie together, the integrations aren't there to automate the collection, and, you know, kind of storing of all of that data, which is ultimately what's going to make our brands most successful. And a post iOS 14, kind of unreal targeting type environment. So, you know, a lot of people look at digital transformation, and they look at only one piece like Jason was talking about, they look at, you know, kind of the financial aspect of it, or they look at the sales aspect of it, or they look at the, you know, marketing aspect of it. But I think what's really key is all of us as thought leaders in our companies is as we look at digital transformation, wanting to make sure that all parts of the company, you know, are involved in that process, and making sure that it's a seamless process as possible. Otherwise, there's a lot of conflict that can arise.

Aaron Conant  16:25

Yeah, no, agree, you know, Jason love to hear your thoughts there, and then jump out to a few more people and others, if you want to jump in, feel free to jump in?

Jason Nyhus  16:33

Well, you know, it's interesting,

Jason Nyhus  16:35

if you think about the role of, of a brand as it relates to and again, my bias is all around kind of direct buyer, eCommerce. So I come with that every single time. But if you think about, you know, where organizations really invest in times of digital transformation, there are, there are things like, I'll put it in three categories, there's technologies and tools and things you have to buy. There's the people who have to operate those things. And then there's kind of the brand and how that goes and executes. And so one of the things that I've seen more and more of in my time, and I used to be a chief marketing officer at Digital River. So I certainly appreciate all those marketing aspects as well is that brands take a moment when they look at digital transformation, and say, it's a moment to recalibrate how we're going direct how we're investing. And so it's about more money in brand, it's about more money in controlling the experience, making sure everything ticks and ties, and it's about outsourcing things that are core. And that's part of digital transformation is kind of shedding some of the legacy things you thought you had to do and own and be great at, and leaning on partners to do other things. So I think that's kind of an underrepresented aspect of what really great digital transformation is, is really a look in the mirror moment on what you're going to be great at.

Aaron Conant  17:56

Or you see people

Aaron Conant  17:58

like making that that stepwise, you know, it's a it's a change in thought, right? Because you're beginning with the customer in mind. And that's standpoint, but we've been completely reactionary for the past two years. Right? So you step in and engage with a brand. What does that stepwise process, you know, look like, you know, on your side, where if they're taking notes, like, Hey, this is a step, this is what I need to take away and do as my team, right? We're gonna do an evaluation of where we stand digitally, you know, on our transformation, journey, POST call, these are the things that we need to look at, like, you know, we'd love to hear you know, Jason, you know, how you kind of approach that new engaging, if, you know, what does that

Jason Nyhus  18:43

checklist look like? You know, it's interesting, I'd love to make it a checklist. I wish I could, but I'll tell you, there's a couple of really key compelling events that drive people into digital transformation mode, and you kind of have that look in the mirror moment. The first is probably the most obvious, which is a competitor came from nowhere and is now eating your lunch. And I know someone's from Jimmy John's is on so I wanted to make an eat your lunch reference. But, you know, we

one of our clients is a company called Ergotron and Ergotron. For those who know, make the standing desks and a lot of things that allow people to work remote, and they had an enormous Lee great period over COVID. But the reason they got into digital transformation was because of a company called isn't fair debt. No, it's a Varidesk you guys remember those ads? So the 800 pound gorilla in this space that was doing billions of dollars was Ergotron. And then Varidesk came and it became a we need to transform we need data See, we need better relationships with our consumer and it disrupted the way that they thought about digital transformation. So kind of that's number one. Aaron, kind of your other question or to your question. The second thing is a lot of times companies don't recognize it and can't do it on their own. And this is the role in a lot of ways around private equity or taking companies private. So private equity companies have these playbooks where they say, I've seen this work at these XYZ companies, I'm going to have a thesis that I'm going to acquire this asset. And I'm going to make you go on a digital transformation journey. Because the benefits usually you'll see improved relationships with consumers, better margins, more efficient, less human middleware. And so that's another transformational moment. And then the third is when you get kind of changes in leadership, or really progressive leadership that looks at a business and says, We can do better, therefore we will. So I Hopefully I answered your question around what kind of drives some of these digital transformation needs? And how do you kind of look at it and assess whether they're serious about making that journey or not?

Aaron Conant  20:52

Yeah, no,

Aaron Conant  20:53

awesome. That was the brandy. I don't know, if you want to jump in. From if you're going to be we'd love to hear your thoughts here. I mean, there's a Jimmy, John's reference, right? And love to hear you, you're all use your app, you know, at least once a week. But what are you looking at digital transformation in the restaurant industry

Brandy 21:13

as a whole? That's like a real

Brandy  21:15

loaded one. I'll try to unpack that a little bit. So Brandy and Director of Digital and eComm. For  have been in the role for just around two months now previously with Dunkin brands on the digital team up there, but also primarily, my role is very hyper focused on app and Web. eComm. So optimizations of both of those channels. I liked the question about whose responsibilities or is it tech is it marketing is it product team and you know, I met inspire brands, which obviously is a, if those were unfamiliar, is a is a group of seven brands now, including Dunkin who are owned, based out of Atlanta. The interesting thing is that when you look at, you know, kind of the the setup of how my role works, it's, you know, I would equate it to like, I'm kind of the strategy. And the strategic decision maker, I manage the partnerships with our third party vendors, primarily. So the Oh Lowe's of the world online ordering, pay tronics, to some degree, I overlapped with our loyalty team member who's pretty. So again, we have kind of vary a little bit more narrow roles, but all working towards a digital goal, that's a greater good. So there is a director of loyalty as well, as you know, it's kind of my counterpart, and we work with a tronics. And we also have a product, an IT product manager, who is directly brand appointed, we also have a cross functional it member whose true and true, you know, our IT representative that worked together. And then, you know, basically the group of us and an operations team member is kind of our cross functional team. That's our core team that works to roll out major initiatives, like, you know, one being curbside is a good example, that stuff does doesn't turn the lights on at least not with any decent logic behind it, and turn itself on without training in the restaurant and operationally and so I'm kind of user flow and, and, and franchise ops flow back on the on the backend. So I think that helps to answer a question kind of how we're structured, I'm looking, I'm in a bigger organization where those can be bodies for each of those roles versus you know, one or two people doing it all. When you get into kind of a looking at digital transformation is very, very buzzy being a marketer, which I was in the past and I no longer really consider myself too much of a mark a brand marketer at all. In fact, I'm kind of in the ugly weeds of all the things that can break and, you know, things work, that's all I care about is things working most of the time. And, you know, I think I like to look at stuff is what is a big bag, and what's a shiny project, I always say, you know, and I like to play a little game like what is the shiny project versus the big bed? And where are we actually getting comp dollars, year over year and what's sustainable. So I could worry about, you know, the here and now I could worry about five years from now, which are all important. But like, I need somebody to have a frictionless experience in the app and kind of get through with like, you know, and not be confused about how to put them in you and put something into their cart and like to pay. That's really the basics of what I care about. So when I look at digital transformation as a whole going forward, I look at it more as like what are this table stakes, like what are the here and now that I have to put out there from a restaurant standpoint, what is like everybody has and we're behind? And then I look at like what? Yeah, sure, I'd love to have a drone delivering food for me and not pay UberEATS to do that. But does he know it realistically, like that's not maybe going to move the needle right now and it's Not where my, my efforts are, and I just need bodies to show up and work in the restaurant. So So I think longer term, you know, long winded way of saying, from a digital standpoint, the nice to haves and the have to have have to, you know, marry each other a little bit. And longer term. You know, I think some, if I wanted to kind of get into specifics, and maybe what that looks like, it's having things centralized, it's owning some of the changes and some of the codes and being able to do some of that in house. So you're not relying on 18 different vendors and hoping that their integrations work together. And then coming to a place where you say, well, all the vendors can do it, but this one, so therefore, we don't have this capability or on app, but we do have it on the web. That's like my biggest nightmare. So kind of centralizing some of the technologies, and maybe making it turnkey to build some of those pieces in house, also relying with third party vendors and making that kind of a hybrid model. But also looking at,

Brandy 26:02

you know, where we start to really talk to our customers. From a personalization standpoint, I think, I think that is the underlying message of all of digital is we're making the consumer experience easier, but we are talking to the consumer, like we know them, and they then want to buy from us. And they feel like they you know, we are their friend, we are their family member. We know a lot about them. We know that they have children. And I think the personalization, and one to one piece of all of this needs to be talked about, because technology's technology without people feeling like they are tied to you in some way, shape, or form emotionally. Right? There's a ton of stuff out there a long way of saying that. I don't know if I answered your question, but

Aaron Conant  26:48

no, I think you did. I mean, there's some cool things that came out there. One is like, you know, you're saying, Hey, where are we at? are we behind? Are we ahead in trying to make that evaluation? I think there's a lot of people in that spot right now. They feel like they're way behind a digital transformation. But they're really not, you know, there are right there. But since there's not regular conversations like this, right, a lot of times people think they're way behind where they should be. And actually, in some cases, they're out ahead. I mean, again, I think another thing that came up was your idea around a big, you know, the consumer is what it's all about at the end of the day, which then, you know, has another question that come up, you know, I'm gonna kick you know, both of these over the Jason is, you know, where most people at today, would you say in their digital transformation? You know, how many are way ahead? You know, how many are way behind? How many are right in the middle? And then the other one is the KPIs. Right, like, You're doing all this different stuff. At the end of the day, you want sales, obviously, but what are the KPIs along the way that you know, you're, you're going in the right direction?

Jason Nyhus 27:49

Yeah, well, I'm gonna,

Jason Nyhus  27:50

I'm gonna draft off of some of the things Brandy said I thought were really great. You know, it's funny, when you hear someone from Jimmy John's who they do a really good job. I mean, they are generally speaking at the, at the, at the forefront of how simple and easy and quick it can be to order pitcher food and, and all that. So the fact that these guys are still thinking about transformation and how to change their offering shows you that this is a never done kind of initiative, the name might change, but they're going to continue to evolve and change. So I think actually, of the of the brands I talked about, you know, you have the ones that kind of are the new modern brands, they're starting on an end state. And I think the more mature brands who drive billions of dollars are the ones who are probably less mature. So it kind of flips in the context of digital transformation. So I think kind of the bigger and more established you are the early you are likely in your digital transformation. That's how the answer the first part of your question. I'm going to go back to something Brandi said it was right. I was once at this event in London. And the speaker said to everybody, how did you get here? Where are you staying? What do you like about your hotel, asked a bunch of questions and pulled from the audience. Basically, what they expected and what they liked about the experience they were engaging with.

Jason Nyhus  29:05

And they said, Okay, now, it's amazing people will talk

Jason Nyhus  29:08

about their hotel points or their miles or how lift now gives them miles on their Delta account, or whatever those examples are, and they'll go out of their way to tell people about, okay, and so they have an expectation that they pull it on every brand they interact with. But then when they go and sit in their work chair, and they're working on their eCommerce or their site, for some reason, they they lower their expectations. Right. And so, you know, Brady talked about loyalty, talking about picking up at the curb. All those things are Jimmy John's way of saying we're going to continue to incrementally improve this experience so that people go out of their way to talk about it, which has enormous brand benefits. So to me, I think as it relates to digital transformation and KPIs, everything should start with the customer. All of the next Should put around? How fast is it to get to our experience? How easy? How complete? Is it? Do they have local payment types, local currencies, they offer things that are better than you can get in traditional retail? How do you compare against your competitor, so all of these sorts of, and you have to put matched against them. But all of those KPIs are actually measuring how customer centric you are. And his digital transformation helping you become more,

Jason Nyhus  30:24

more. So I thought I'd tie the two together.

Brandy 30:30

Awesome. Thing, Aaron, one last thing that you know that I think you just have to look at your competitive set, like, you know, it really is. It's your, your competitive Sutton, who is the best in class, like, you know, we look at somebody like Domino's way far ahead and technology. And you know, a lot of that, again, it's important, I call it, you know, million billion impressions. But does it drive? Sales? Some of it does, some of it doesn't some of its just cool and put out a press release about it. And it gets a lot of, you know, media. But at the end of the day, at least the business I'm in, you know, people just want time back, they want efficiencies, and in a good product at that, you know, it's not the best product, it's not. And I you know, it's not it's not the most expensive products, the cheapest product, right? Like, it's what, what are we solving for and out of, you know, if, if Jimmy John's is kind of the fastest and fresh? Are we really taking those two things and expanding those from a digital standpoint, using our digital channels to, to, you know, make sure they are optimized to, to deliver on those value propositions?

Aaron Conant 31:35

Yeah. I read I mean, you've got, yeah,

Aaron Conant  31:39

the speed and efficiency, you know, and everything on the consumer, but also the internal team, right? Like, are you simplifying things internally? That awesome. So I'm going to change the conversation just a tad, because there's a topic that comes up over and over again, and conversations I have, that I'm having, which is going international, going global, this is something that's top of mind. You know, obviously, you know, 18 months ago, it wasn't top of everybody's mind, it was nice, but at this point in time, it's very top of mind. And so when you get down, you know, to it is a digital side of things is opened up, made the globe smaller, right, given opportunities to go international, you know, Jason, is this something that you're seeing on your side? You know, it, can you walk through, like, you know, any like examples, or anything of hey, hey, this is what when you get everything buttoned up on the back end, you know, how it enables you to expand internationally? Yeah, well,

Jason Nyhus  32:39

that this is this is where we have a real right to have a bully pulpit, this is what we do, we help brands kind of go beyond their borders. And real examples include, you know, you walk in Manhattan, down, you know, Fifth Avenue, and you see how much money brands put into their, their physical retail stores, how much their US eCommerce site, all the bells and whistles, you have the ability to donate to charity and the ability to gift wrap, you have all of these things. And then you go to that site from the UK or Brazil or Australia, and you get something far less far less than what you would if you were shopping domestically. And so when you think about kind of digital transformation, one of the key aspects around doing it is you have to deliver against the core brands value, prop and great experience. And if you're failing to do that, you're better off not even trying. Number two, what a lot of brands do is they offer what's called a cross border experience. And a cross border experience is usually between 20 and 30%, more expensive for the customer to buy. And it usually results in 20 or 30%, less customer satisfaction. And so when you think about the value or potential of going international, you've seen people get stars in their eyes around the revenue lift that you would get from being a brand without a border. But the tax you're putting on your consumer, in terms of cost and experience are very, very high. And so to tie it back to digital transformation, when you when you when you execute an international strategy, you have to do something that's going to deliver on the promise of the brand. And this is the hardest part, deliver something that delivers agility. Because the number one way to fail international markets is to not act locally, local payment types, local branding, local holidays, local, anything local customs, you have to belong and participate in the market in a local way to truly deliver a great experience and take full advantage of the market potential. So yeah, international. I can go on and on. So I'll pause there.

Sprigley  34:53

I want to I want to dive in on what Jason was saying there just because one of the kind of lucky things I've been able to do is we help I'm first US Amazon agency. And then I launched an Amazon agency in Europe and 2013. And I started taking companies from the United States into Europe and something Jason, just to your point about playing in a local area is I've worked with Canadian companies where they're going into France, and they're like, Oh, we don't need to look at the language. It's French, it's fine. Or like an American company going into Britain, something very, very small, as small, new and nuanced. And syntax can make all the difference in the world about customer experience. So I mean, huge, speak the language, even if you think you already do.

Jason Nyhus  35:34

Yep. And another thing

Jason Nyhus  35:35

that I learned, I noticed, but Americans, for the most part, it's in the 99 percentile, have international credit cards. So anywhere you go, your credit card will work. But if you're someone in Latin America, and you have a credit card, that's likely a domestic credit card, which you only have a very small limit that you can spend internationally. So if you go to Nike is not a client. But if you go to, and try and buy a product, and it's a US experience, and a US acquiring network of banks, that credit card will likely be declined, even though there's money because they aren't doing local acquiring in the region, to get that transaction to go through. So you did all the energy and effort to promote and market and get everything ready. And you have failed at the moment of truth, which is that transaction being local. So anyway, just an example that I thought, you know, a lot of people think kind of not US centric. That's an example we're thinking US centric, probably gets you in trouble.

Aaron Conant  36:34

You mentioned the fraud side. So that's something that's come up over and over again now. Right? What does fraud look like on an international level?

Jason Nyhus  36:41


Jason Nyhus  36:45

it's a complicated question, I'll try and simplify my response. So fraudsters in general, are looking for weaknesses. And when when brands, rollout international strategies that are effectively a what we do in the US, we'll just have our American in our US people screen these orders and try and make sure that they're fine. It probably create some vulnerabilities. And so whether you are actually getting found or not, is another question. But if you take a kind of half hearted attempt at kind of doing fraud internationally, you're very likely creating an uncapped liability for your business that if someone finds will be a problem.

Aaron Conant  37:23

Awesome, awesome. Love it. Are there? Are there other

Aaron Conant  37:31

like key things that that come up routinely, as you want to keep jumping around to different people that, you know, you get asked questions on on a routine basis, maybe it's a new engagement or something like that, like, there's always questions that come up around, you know, whether it's team size, or, you know, where are we at in the journey? Or if it's, you know, you know, who's the right decision maker, or who's the right people to have in the team to make the decision? I mean, Brandy was sitting there saying, like, hey, on our team, we got like five different people that are

Aaron Conant  38:03

having input. Like, what are the top things, you know, that,

Aaron Conant  38:07

that come up routinely, for you?

Jason Nyhus  38:09

Yeah, I'll over simplify. That's what I do. But generally speaking, the projects that touch so most organizations are aligned, kind of in functional verticals of expertise, and KPIs. And where we've seen digital transformation kind of succeed, is when they have a really good alignment across those verticals and shared goals, shared expectations, they all hit or miss those kinds of things. Where we've seen them fail is when the horizontals don't have mechanisms to work for the verticals don't have mechanisms to work horizontal, and they don't have shared goals. And each of them can hit their targets. But collectively you miss, that's when it happens. And I'll give you a real example. So in our world, companies come to us because they might have a beautiful website, they might have really strong payments, relationships, they might have fraud kind of handle. But all the tax law changes. And all of the the compliance law changes, makes them have to rely heavily on the internal teams. And they end up eating up a lot of capacity and the agility the organization originally had, and you end up having a ton of friction, because of the dynamic nature of the market. So that's why having this kind of shared alignment on what we're trying to accomplish really matters. Otherwise, you end up having massive competing priorities. And it becomes a problem or a risk in executing a strategy like this. Especially as it relates to global that's where all the complexity is

Aaron Conant  39:42

awesome, but you got to jump out to Jeff , if you can jump in, that'd be awesome. We'd love to hear your thoughts in this space, digital transformation, international expansion, you know any either of these topics. So our great brief intro on yourself in the company would be awesome.

Jeff  39:58

Yeah, you bet. Let me sorry, bye. didn't get my camera up here. Again, Jeff  here with. We're a company based here out of Oklahoma City. We do consumer electronic goods through all the major brick and mortar retailers. And we obviously sell on Amazon and a lot of other eCommerce only platforms. And so in that consumer electronics space for us, I guess, direct to consumer on our own site, we've been going through a lot of transformation just in the past few years. Because we changed the platform in which we sell, we were super archaic, before, and then we went to Magento. As far as a new platform, and there's been a lot of learning curves for us in that journey. I think there's been a lot more just even I think, just from us, in that from a coding perspective, and just how we want that consumer buying experience to be, it's taken longer to really put in, I would say for us a lot of times, you know, when we think about because we have so many products in so many different categories, and amongst about 12 different brands, it makes it a little bit more challenging than the usual ride. So we're really trying to develop the right filtering and purchasing process. Is it going to be by brand? Is it going to be by product? And how are they even getting to us and for us, we we do a ton of collaboration, I know there's been a lot of conversation about who's involved in whether it's the purchasing process, whether ERP systems, it all that, and I will tell you, for us is definitely our digital marketing team. It's our eCom team as our product team, because it is about making sure that we are really promoting and selling those products in the right way and making sure we're promoting those right features that we can make sure that buying experience is good, because there can be some complexities to some of those products, when especially when you get into the smart home category. And then it has been a big important piece with us, just because actually we are looking at a new ERP system on the back end, because I think, you know, while we sort of moved ahead already on the platform, on for our website, I think the company's back over here, knowing that, you know, there are some areas where we have to upgrade holistically across the board as well. So really, the two are sort of merging into it this next year for us. And so I just, I guess always go back to collaboration for us is huge. I think when you specially then you tie in all the other challenges with supply chain, you get into you know, when we look into promotions, or just the type of items that we can sell. And when we can sell, you know, we're having to really collaborate a lot with our purchasing team. And looking at because those dates are moving all the time, daily, weekly. And so you know, if you look at just Amazon in general, we're more of a one provider, we're setting up some of those promotional schedules months in advance. And we're having to adjust a little bit along the way, we're just even with those supply chain challenges, and maybe at the last minute, make some maneuvers there. But at the end of the day, I would tell you for us and one other aspect and I'll leave it there is that for us on the eCommerce because we work across all the brick and mortars, whether it's Walmart, Target Lowe's, Home Depot, Amazon, it on that buying experience for us, it's a lot of making sure that we're consistent with our content, and that buying experience, right and that that brand is consistent across the different platforms, wherever we're selling that and making sure that buying experience is consistent every everything from just your descriptions, your pictures, your videos. Right now, we're leveraging a lot of influencer content, making sure that we accelerate that part of it as well, because we think that provides a lot more credibility to that buying process as well. And that's sort of where we're at. I don't know if that helps you. But that's where we're at.

Jason Nyhus  43:54

I love it. Can I ask a question around international? Like, Jeff, how do you think about international as part of your journey?

Jeff  44:00

Well, we're actually so for us, I would say on Amazon is where we're going internationally first, I wouldn't say from the from our own corporate site. So we right now put a lot of energy into Canada and Mexico, because in AFN provides us as that luxury. But then we're starting to look at next in the UK and Europe. So we're really on the front end of that. So I don't have a ton of insight other than we're on the beginning parts of that journeys from Azure and Amazon will be the play

Jason Nyhus  44:33

for you Amazon's the place. So how do you think about that direct consumer relationship? Are you are you just trying to get kind of unit transactions trying to build up a big book of business and Amazon's fine, or are you trying

Jason Nyhus 44:45

to? I guess Yeah,

Jeff  44:48

I would say the translations for us. I know there was a comment earlier. Right. So Mexico and just for us, I will just tell you that they were selling some of our items at a certain point in time we didn't even know they were selling them right So we had no even knowledge of that those listings were going on because we were primarily focused on the US. But this past year, there were some things that brought that information to light. So we immediately went into translation mode, right in really working with our particular buyers over in Mexico. So it was about building relationships is about understanding what kind of translation services they've done. But anytime that we've worked with Canada, Mexico today, we know that while those listings are supposed to transfer pretty smoothly in the Canada, Mexico that could be totally opposite of the truth, they get jacked up, our twist are really messed up in a big way in addition to translation. So it's almost like we're starting from the beginning to make sure that we got, again, consistency with the content and descriptions and everything that we're selling to the consumer.

Jason Nyhus  45:51

Got it. So your international strategy is all around great product content, great distribution through marketplaces. And at some point in the future, you say, alright, I've built a big enough brand awareness in this market, I can start to build a direct consumer strategy that goes off the Jazz

Jeff  46:07

Probably at some point, yeah, I would just say the brands is tough, because we've got about seven or eight private label. And then we've got about five or so national, and the National piece, whether it's GE, Energizer, and Philips, for instance, there's complexities that come in that from a licensing standpoint.

Jason Nyhus  46:26

You guys are a house of brands a little

Jeff  46:29

bit, it's good. It's a good thing. And it can be a bad thing too. But I'll take I'll say the good outweighs the bad. So

Jason Nyhus  46:35

thanks for sharing that. That's bad. JC,

Aaron Conant  46:40

Jason, it Jeff has a dreaded consumer website up and running.

Aaron Conant  46:49

is it to launch on international marketplaces? I mean, his strategy is one, I think that it's fairly common, what a lot of your jam is on right now. Right? It's easy, they've already got the traffic, they've got the sales, you know, so the problem is, the same problem you have with Amazon is they've got the warehouse space, they can shut you off at any point in time, they can control the pricing, you know, you don't own the customer. But if you do, like, what does it take to turn on multiple other countries?

Jason Nyhus  47:14

Well, it's relatively

Jason Nyhus  47:16

easy for us to deliver, but it's more of a mind shift. Does does the brand value is the juice worth the squeeze. And so there's a continuum that you go on, where where brands have to think about how to service that customer in other markets, the first thing brands do is they simply allow the customer to buy. And they basically say it's gonna be a sub optimal experience, but go ahead and buy the product. And I'll figure out how to get it shipped to you. And that's kind of this cross border transaction. The second thing brands do when they recognize they have international demand, is they do exactly what Jeff is doing. They basically put the products in the marketplaces that are locally relevant, you know, in Asia, it's WeChat. Pay, or excuse me, Alibaba and other marketplaces, and most of the western cultures, it's Amazon, and or others. The third thing that brands do is is on that continuum is they say, I want to be on shore and I want to be local. Well, that has a word that has a challenge around where is the inventory sitting? And so and with a brand like jafco, that has an enormous catalog on nine different brands, or whatever it is, that becomes a physics problem, is it worth putting inventory in every country around the world to service those customers more locally and better. And for a lot of brands, that doesn't make a lot of sense. So it's really on where you're at on that continuum, and what financially makes sense and for your organization to adopt, it's not a one size fits all model. So but to enable what we do super easy, weeks worth of time, and then you have all of your payment infrastructure, all your local payment engine, all your local compliance, all of your tax, all of the fraud all dealt with weeks, days. But it's more of a conceptual Are we ready? Are we there? Can we put inventory there?

Aaron Conant  49:13

That's the right channel. Awesome. I

Aaron Conant  49:15

see. We're almost a time here. You know, I like to say thanks to everybody who dialed in awesome participation. Thanks for everybody, you know, who was able to ask question were able to get to, you know, look for a follow up email from us. We'd love to have a conversation with you also, you know, Jason, the team of Digital River, a great friends partner support as the network, if you make sense 100% worth the conversation, their leaders in the space and you know, it'd be 30 minutes worth your time for sure. Jason, you got to kind of like wrap us up here like key takeaways for people on the line today.

Jason Nyhus  49:44

Yeah, as your as you guys are thinking about what your plan is for digital transformation. And if selling direct to buyer helps you satisfy more customers, we'd love to talk to you. If trying to sell into new markets as part of your strategy. We'd love to talk to you If not, probably not a great fit, and I'll be customers of most of yours outside of this conversation.

Aaron Conant  50:06

Awesome. Well,

Aaron Conant  50:08

Jason, thanks again for your time today. Thanks for being such great friends, partners supporters, the network thanks to everybody who dialed in fantastic conversation as a whole. Like I said, look for follow up email from us. We'd love to have a conversation with you. Obviously, if you're looking for any kind of service providers across the board in digital space, never hesitate to reach out we got a great shortlist, Jason, the team at Digital River are on that list. And with that, we're going to wrap it up here everybody take care and stay safe and look forward to having everybody at a future event now. Alrighty, everybody.

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