Leveraging Technology to Optimize Marketplace Sales & Operational Improvements

Oct 28, 2021 11:00 am12:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Today, shoppers don’t shop with their hands — they shop with their eyes. When you’re online, you can’t pick up a product and feel it. Every decision is pinned on the available photo or video, which means that as a retailer, your online content is more important than ever.

They say a photo is worth a thousand words. If this is true, that means a video is worth ten thousand. Every image and video your company provides tells a story about your product — the features, the benefits, and the lifestyle behind it. That’s why it’s essential to be consistent with your voice and branding across every platform. And once you’ve obtained that, how can you efficiently fulfill all the orders now flowing to your site? How can you ensure a pleasant customer journey that guarantees a returning client?

In this virtual event, Nick Sands joins Gary Chavez from Solid Commerce and Eli Libby and Kyle Nelson from Results Imagery to discuss how media and technology can improve your sales and operations. They talk about the conversion power of videos and photos, how to find your brand’s voice, and how automation can simplify your supply chain demands.

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

 

  • Gary Chavez gives some pointers for the best way to start leveraging technology to optimize sales
  • Eli Libby describes how he crafts images and video that carry a brand’s look and feel
  • Kyle Nelson explains why your photo or video team should work hand-in-hand with your marketing team
  • The conversion power of videos and photos
  • The value of telling short, powerful stories through your content on social media
  • Kyle and Eli share examples of content that converts clients
  • Is the QR code trend here to stay?
  • How to stay consistent with your brand’s voice and messaging across all platforms
  • When traffic to your site increases, how can you leverage technology to fill orders efficiently?
  • Gary shares how social commerce is shifting the supply chain and eCommerce landscape
  • Simplifying the customer journey with easy returns
  • Strategies for avoiding the headache of overselling
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Nick Sands

Vice President at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Gary Chavez

Chief Revenue Officer at Solid Commerce

Gary Chavez is the Chief Revenue Officer at Solid Commerce. Solid Commerce helps clients expand, centralize, streamline, and automate their eCommerce business across multiple marketplaces and stores. Before joining the team at Solid Commerce, Gary was a Strategy and Technology Advisor for Tractor and the Vice President of Customer Success and Client Services at Bunchball.

Eli Libby

Co-Founder & President at Results Imagery

Eli Libby is the Co-founder and President of Results Imagery. Results Imagery helps online retailers bring their products to life. Eli is also the Co-founder and President of Bend Media, where he oversees the operations of local commercial photography and video productions. Additionally, he co-hosts the Biz Bros Podcast, which focuses on cultivating leadership and management skills, culture, business growth and development, and more.

Kyle Nelson

Co-Founder & CEO at Results Imagery

Kyle Nelson is the Co-founder, CEO, and CCO of Results Imagery. Kyle also co-hosts the Biz Bros Podcast and is the Co-founder of Bend Media. Previously, he owned Kyle Nelson Photography, was the Director of Photography for Blue Fox Media, and was the CEO and Founder of the Healthcare Professional Agency.

Event Moderator

Nick Sands

Vice President at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Gary Chavez

Chief Revenue Officer at Solid Commerce

Gary Chavez is the Chief Revenue Officer at Solid Commerce. Solid Commerce helps clients expand, centralize, streamline, and automate their eCommerce business across multiple marketplaces and stores. Before joining the team at Solid Commerce, Gary was a Strategy and Technology Advisor for Tractor and the Vice President of Customer Success and Client Services at Bunchball.

Eli Libby

Co-Founder & President at Results Imagery

Eli Libby is the Co-founder and President of Results Imagery. Results Imagery helps online retailers bring their products to life. Eli is also the Co-founder and President of Bend Media, where he oversees the operations of local commercial photography and video productions. Additionally, he co-hosts the Biz Bros Podcast, which focuses on cultivating leadership and management skills, culture, business growth and development, and more.

Kyle Nelson

Co-Founder & CEO at Results Imagery

Kyle Nelson is the Co-founder, CEO, and CCO of Results Imagery. Kyle also co-hosts the Biz Bros Podcast and is the Co-founder of Bend Media. Previously, he owned Kyle Nelson Photography, was the Director of Photography for Blue Fox Media, and was the CEO and Founder of the Healthcare Professional Agency.

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Discussion Transcription

Nick Sands 0:18

Thanks, everybody for joining. In Good morning, everybody. This Nick Sands with BWG Connect subbing in for Aaron Conant today, you know, he's stuck in some traffic as We're actually hosting an event tonight in the Chicago area. So if anybody's interested in joining us, for any in person or other types of virtual events on different topics, always feel free to reach out to Aaron, myself or anybody else on the BWG Connect team. We put together these events for networking knowledge sharing purposes. And that's exactly what we want to do here today. You know, this topic and call is going to be focusing on leveraging technology to optimize marketplace sales and operational improvements. And because of that, we brought in some experts from Solid Commerce. And also, you know, Gary Chavez, over on the Solid Commerce team, as well as the Eli Libby, Kyle Nelson from the Results Imagery team, who are going to be able to, you know, kind of tackle this topic together. So, Gary, I want to kick it off with you. Why don't you give a quick introduction on yourself, Solid Commerce and kind of how you guys are relevant, you know, for this topic here today, and how you're working with the Results Imagery team, to tackle this issue?

Gary Chavez 1:32

Yeah, sure. I'll just start out. And I'll say, I'm gonna lean heavily on Kyle. And he like, they've got a ton of great content around the the customer experience and how they engage with your product imagery and video, across channels across the multi channel online experience. So they've got great stuff there. I'm super looking forward to that. On my side, Solid Commerce, we just really helped with reach and scale. So how do we get you in front of that new customers, buyers? And then how do we help you scale your operations efficiently, so that you can deliver on the brand bombers have a great customer experience through operational excellence, and I've been in fast and fast eCommerce for 15 years. My passion is helping my customers bring a great experience to their customers. And that's what we do at Solid Commerce through automation, technology integration, and a whole bunch of acronyms, things like API, EDI, FTP, yada, yada. So we'll get to that, after all the interesting content from Eli and Kyle, and I just kick it over the line. Do you want to do a quick I know we've got a slide with you guys on it. But do you want to do a quick intro now? That's cool, too. Yeah, yeah.

Kyle Nelson 2:45

Good morning, everybody, or good afternoon, wherever you're at. My name is Kyle, this is Eli, Co-founders of Results Imagery. Our number one goal that Results Imagery is to truly bring products to life through product photography, and video production. You know, the number one thing that we all know, to really get in front of new eyes are those visuals. And that's what's gonna convert people to click through, and truly create an omnichannel experience through your marketing efforts that we're gonna talk about today. So we got a really cool pack slides for you guys. And we're gonna really going to break down different styles of media that really can help you speak to your, to your customers.

Nick Sands 3:18

Alright, so then why don't we kick, kick off with some of those visuals and kind of going a little bit deeper into what you guys are talking about here? So, you know, Gary, why don't I kick it off with you on kind of some of the things we're going to be starting off with? And, you know, as far as this topic goes, today, you know, where what's the best place to start, from your perspective, when, you know, looking to leverage technology to optimize your marketplace sales and start to begin to make those operational improvements? I'll keep it at a very broad open ended question there for you to start off with.

Gary Chavez 3:55

Yeah, so I would just say that everyone on this call understands that selling across channels online, is complicated. And there's complexity in Data Management, there is complexity in the customer experience across channels that on the presentation layer, they all give you great opportunity to engage in unique ways. But that diversity of engagement models, also creates that complexity that I mentioned. So there, there are a few things there. I think with with the great high quality media, the island UI I'm going to go through, they're going to simplify. How do you make that journey, look and feel in a way that's consistent with your brand without people kind of noticing it, making it kind of easy for them to experience your brand and understand your products and their value. And for us, we're going to talk about automation, and where people get tripped up once they kind of catch the tiger by the tail selling across channels, and they started to scale and they can get bumpy and oftentimes It appears in the customer experience, it's really hard to capture that first customer. So when you get that that customer on the first buy, you really want to make sure they stick around. And that's why automation, technology integration, to and to our exceptional customer experience on the back end is important. I'll be covering that later in the presentation. And we're gonna kick off with how you create that great visual customer experience and comparte product value and product knowledge with Kyle and Eli.

Nick Sands 5:33

Sure, that makes sense. So Kyle and Eli, once, you know, from your perspective, what's the best place to start when you know, when you're coming up with your content strategy, when you're coming up with trying to create, you know, a better brand experience across marketplaces, you know, your DTC channel all the way through Amazon, you know, eBay, walmart.com, target.com, whatever the case may be, where do you typically start? And how are you? You know, what are the KPIs you're putting in place? How are you measuring results? Let's start with some of those, you know, basic blocking and tackling and go a little bit deeper from there.

Eli Libby 6:12

Yeah, that's a great a great place to start with that is really discovering your brand in the space that you're in. So you know, a nice competitive snapshot, see what's in the industry? And then really start working backwards and figuring out what does that what does your brand want to look and feel like to that consumer? How do you want to pull on those heartstrings. So doing that through video production, those about us videos, really building the brand through media, there's a lot of amazing brands out there, both in the direct to consumer world. And then, you know, just brands that we know, they all have a style behind them. And they started with these foundational blocks of understanding what that brand needs to look and feel like to that consumer. And then they've crafted their media around that. So I think that's really a good place to start.

Nick Sands 7:01

or so where where do you typically begin when you're coming up with that brand story? And when you're and you're coming up with that messaging?

Gary Chavez 7:07

I think we could go ahead and jump into the deck. I think we I think we probably get a lot of that out of that. Yep. But you're good to go now.

Nick Sands 7:14

Yeah, absolutely. Cool. Cool. Let's do that,

Kyle Nelson 7:17

too. So yeah, we're gonna be chatting about the pirate power of high quality media and omnichannel, marketing, campaign. And overall, all kinds of where and what kind of media you need to be deploying on different styles, platforms. We, you guys clicking through it, we have access to this.

Nick Sands 7:36

So Bianca is clicking through really quickly, when you when you're talking about media? Are you talking retail media? Are you talking surgeon social? Is it a combination of all of the above? You know, what specific what specific media channels for omnichannel marketing? Are we you know, going to be going through specifically here?

Eli Libby 7:55

Absolutely. Some of it depends on the brand as well. But most of the time we're speaking I mean, you could everything from you know, catalog photography, if that's still what you're working on, depending the business all the way into social digital campaign media, and then the product listing display pages, that's that's really where we're spending a lot of our time, Walmart, Amazon, Shopify, Big Commerce, all these different places that you can distribute this content and gain sales and convert.

Nick Sands 8:26

Alright, awesome.

Eli Libby 8:28

Yep, absolutely. So a big question is, why is it so important in an omnichannel? Why is media so important in an omnichannel marketplace these days? And really, the answer is as simple as people are shopping with their eyes, they don't have the ability to pick up that product and feel it. As media experts, what we need to do. And what we do for our customers today is bring that product to life, like Kyle said, so showcasing the features, the benefits, the lifestyle behind the product, doing that through amazing product photography, and video production. And that is the goal. And that's why it's so important to have consistency across your all the different marketplaces that you're involved in. It creates credibility and trust. And that's what the buyer is looking forward to put their credit card in. So we're gonna go through today, like Kyle said, media variety. So what styles of media media targeting, brand awareness and that consistency in the omnichannel experience? And then at the end, how does it all tie up and represent the brand and give value to that brand?

Nick Sands 9:29

Yeah, and to take a step back, you know, just for everybody here, you know, this is the part of the of the conversation, we're really gonna be talking about how we're optimizing, optimizing those marketplace sales, and then Gary's going to be rounding us out with improving how we're going to actually go through all right, once we get the sale, what are we actually doing to optimize you know, leverage technology to optimize those operational improvements, get these products to the to the customer, and kind of complete that full customer journey and experience end to end but Sorry, just wanted to jump in to clarify Go ahead. You're in Kyle.

Kyle Nelson 10:02

No, no, you made a point. And I think something else to you know, point out is having your photography studio or your video production company being very tight with your marketing team or your marketing agency. So that all is a fluid, clean experience is super important. And we do our best work with lots of agencies to kind of help that, that edge education process. So anyways, we're gonna jump into media variety, we're going to go over four different kinds that we personally found that are kind of pillars and how you can deploy really good media assets, it's gonna be photography, video, graphic design and audio. First one's going to be photography, we're going to talk about product on white photography, lifestyle, creative product, photography, and brand photography and the differences on each one and when to really utilize those and depending on the platform you're utilizing. So the first is going to be product on my photography, we're all very familiar with it, the best way to present your product with an accurate professional visual with the least distraction possible. And as you can see, here, it's it is it is what you see is what you get, you're going to use on all eCommerce sales channels, it's going to be that first hero image. So when people are, you know, scrolling with their thumb in the marketplace, or the website, and that product listing or that search listing, you're going to really display that photo and that product correctly. Like it says right here, Amazon, Walmart website. And you know that first image referenced is always that first impression. And it really needs to be a strong representation of your product. The next one's lifestyle, product photography that we hear results, imagery, love doing. It's part of our passion. And it's that aspirational portion of your product and kind of your marketing messaging, and it creates desire in the customer to own the product. So as you can see here, these are three great examples with models. And they're really visually painting a picture of the product experience. And it's really showcasing your market fit and who your products with. And this is where a lot of times if you don't have consistency over that omnichannel marketing campaign, it can really confuse the buyer. And you're going to use this social media sales channels website advertising campaigns in the best, the best reason why you want to do some really good strong lifestyle photography is it's going to help build that brand identity, which we're going to talk about a bit and like what Eli said, create a human element and really speak to the people that you're trying to attract. The next is going to be creative product photography, which is a little similar to lifestyle. But this is typically done in studio. That's how we do it. And it contains a mood with your product by combining colors, backgrounds, props, and complementary items that really speak to your products. So as you can see here, this wine company, they were trying to go for kind of a dark and moody and a sexy brand. So that's what we created for him chomps, they wanted to really showcase the purity and rawness of their ingredients, and then Riff Coffee. This is their new energy drink that has to do with hydration. So we added water and a really good pop of color. And it's a great element for branding and showcasing that product and kind of how it could best fit for your buyers. And it's great for social media campaigns, listing imagery, your website social media, this is the type of photos that are going to get the best engagement on social media and just do one photo, you can really tell a story based on kind of how you're displaying it.

The next one's going to be brand photography that we feel is underutilized and that more company should be doing to really go from product to brand and really tell the story it kind of you know, tells the founder story in the vision and, you know, like this is Oregon's Wild Harvest, they have a beautiful ranch here in Central Oregon. And we really wanted to tell the story of why choose their products and their vitamins and mineral products that they have. And overall, it's great for digital advertising. You know, once you've kind of leveraged other campaigns, and those are doing well this is a great way to kind of do some public relations campaigns as well and kind of get to know the founders and the team behind the brand. And it's the best way to emotionally connect with the consumer by being just transparent in the rawness that everyone that's following brands is really looking for. Now we're going to dive a little bit into video production. We found that when you display a video, that's about 85% more likely to purchase and that's because you're getting more engagement in the longer time of people really considering your product. They're seeing how it connects with them. And they truly are. It's like scenario based marketing, they see themselves utilizing that product. So we're gonna dive a little bit into these five different kinds of videos that we feel are great ways for you to do that. The first is going to be excuse me Is lifestyle product videos. These are great for listings or ad campaigns around a minute long 30 seconds is all you really need for these. It's a great way to speak to the target of the product and brand that you're really looking after going after with that audience, great for social media, eCommerce sales channels, advertising campaigns, you can utilize voiceovers you can utilize someone talking in it you can just do simple call outs with strong music strong, fast clicky video pieces, and it really does showcase the product and environment it's tended to be and so this is like the best way to tell the story about your specific product. Not necessarily brand but if you're really trying to go all in on one product lifestyle product videos are the best way and typically what we find is that first three to five seconds. That's really where the the consistency. And really where you can punch and grab someone to really get them going. And that's something that we've studied and tried to do our best at is, you know that first three to five seconds to that video so you can actually get people to watch through the next stop motion animations. It's kind of a crossbreed between photos and videos. It really just is a great way for engagement with social media. I don't think we can play this but the example of this one is just the ingredients going into this chopsticks and then coming out as chopsticks. So it's just a great fun way for people to kind of bring people back to your social media accounts great for ads, or maybe social media reels, like the stories on Instagram and TikTok. So that's really

Gary Chavez 15:46

Yeah, yeah, your magic worked on me because I bought a 24 boxes of these charms recently.

Kyle Nelson 15:52

That's awesome. Yeah.

Eli Libby 15:55

Have a great day, guys right here.

Gary Chavez 15:58

Done, jobs done.

Kyle Nelson 16:00

That's funny. Yeah, you know, and stop motions are fun, because you can do it in studio like this one, or sometimes we'll bring it out in the environment and just lay on the shutter and get like 40 images in there, it almost looks like a video. So you can turn this into gifs or just MP fours. So it's a quick and fun way to represent your product. And then social media micro videos, these are just quick 15 Second bites of videos that are great first social media reels really, this used to just be for feeds that we were doing it for like on Instagram or Facebook. But with stories becoming such a big way to really communicate with your with your followers. And potential buyers are really starting to flip those videos and just quicker, snappier. stories that are about 10 to 15 seconds long, great for campaigns as well for ads. And then brand talks, a lot of companies are under utilizing these it you know, the number one way that you want to build loyalty and build trust with your brand, is people shop around, they look around in your website, and they're going to go to your about page it's going to happen or they're going to go on YouTube and type you in or Vimeo or maybe your Facebook page, in order to really convert that trust and get them to really buy into your brand, not just the product is through these brand docs. And these can be anywhere between one and a half minutes to five minutes to 10 minutes depending on your story in your company. And it really tells the story between the founding founding founding fathers, founding owners of the company, or if you have a philanthropic effort, or the mission of your brand, a lot of these bigger companies like Toms, Allbirds, which we'll dive in later, do these great, it's the buy in of the brand and the product. And they can really be used anywhere, whether there's long form media that you expect someone that is going to stay around and watch. And then animated explainer videos. These are really just visuals that really, they're like living infographics, I guess you could call them, they're about 30 seconds to a minute and a half long. These are great for Amazon listings, maybe a Shopify or Big Commerce listing that you might have. And it just really promotes the features of a product really showcases and is a great way to launch a new product. Yeah, and it's really just it. It's more of a visual of call outs and photos or maybe with a voiceover so. And other notable mentions, of course are you know, graphic focused images like infographics like you see here, you can do a comparison, which is always great before and after, showcasing the dimensions or the features of it. Like you I said earlier, people shopping with their eyes, not their hands anymore. And to get people to actually read descriptions on a listing. First, just having them using their thumbs to just look at the photos real quick. That's where infographics really come into play. And then of course, if you're on Amazon, A plus content, storefronts, utilizing quotes and testimonials to build trust, and audio is obviously an older thing. But now a new trending thing for podcasts really bring on your brand out there. And recently we've been seeing these cool product insert cards where when you open up the box there's like an insert card that starts talking and it's a message from the founder or the marketing team or whatever it may be so that's kind of fun if you haven't looked into those new way to kind of create that consumer experience even when it hits the door so you know a lot of companies that have like Apple beautiful packaging, it's an experienced open it. We're seeing companies now doing that plus these colons are cards that you know, highly recommend.

Nick Sands 19:22

A question for both of you. How do you see you know as a part of the notable mentions and kind of some of the things I've seen more brand and you know us here at BWG have seen more and more brands taking on as more things have gone digital have been QR codes. How do you kind of see that fitting in and where do you see you know, is that something that's a fad right now with the pandemic? Do you see that being continued to be leveraged and increase as far as being able to really, you know, show your products imagery, improve the you know, experience as a whole, like, how do you see QR codes evolving from a media variety perspective moving forward and How it can be used?

Kyle Nelson 20:01

Yeah, I think the best way that we're seeing QR codes being used is how to videos, or like how to build an item, you just throw the QR code anywhere on your packaging. We're also seeing special messages from the marketing team or founder that they're utilizing. Also a way to upsell. So scan, this QR code will be a 15% coupon sent to your email. So that's how we're seeing people utilize it.

Eli Libby 20:23

I think one more note, to put on there as if it's a if it's a brand in the sustainability sector, how the product was made, let's just use Allbirds as an example, because we're gonna talk about them soon. But their shoe brand, they use wool, same kind of thing, you'd scan that code, and you'd see maybe how that shoe was made. And there's a video that represents in the factory, seeing how that shoe came to came to life.

Kyle Nelson 20:44

It’s not like a guarantee. Like it, I feel like QR codes are kind of a little bit of a calculated risk, because you can't put much money behind it, besides just putting it on the packaging. But if you do do that, I feel like it's a, it's a it's a consumer that has the buy in to the company and they want to learn everything about it.

Nick Sands 21:02

So awesome. Really quickly, just because we're almost halfway through, if we can go through market target, and brand awareness and voice a little bit more quickly, since I know a lot of that is brand specific industry specific things like that, if we can hit the high level points on that, so we can get to the omnichannel experience and then have time for to go into more of the technology, you know, the stuff that Gary will be hitting on in the for automation and operational improvements for the second half of that this call, that would be awesome. And by the

Gary Chavez 21:35

end, they conclude with like, five to 10 minutes.

Nick Sands 21:39

Okay. And then if anybody here has questions, or comments along the way, you know, feel free to either raise your hand or send over a chat, so that I can make sure that we're getting any questions answered and topics covered that everybody here cares about. But go ahead and Kyle and Eli.

Eli Libby 21:57

Absolutely. Yeah, we can, we can fly through these. I mean, they're relatively self explanatory, especially with what Kyle already touched on. So the power of media is paired with going after the right market. So if you're going to target a kids water bottle, let's put let's put a kid, let's put it in the kid's hand, let's take a really beautiful photo of that. It really does lead to higher click through rates, especially when it's when it's a targeted market that you're targeting that media towards. Patagonia does an incredible job of doing that. They know their consumer, they know who they're looking for. And they create content and media, photos and videos that speak to that market. There's a lot of other examples that we can go and please ask questions after that. But we will continue to ramp through this. So again, another another great example here. This is actually a photo that we had taken which is a showcasing this inflatable standable kind of kayak for fishing. Again, let's not put it in, let's make sure that it's in the right market speaking to fishermen. And that's what we had done their brand awareness and voice, again, all done through media, what you're trying to do is you're trying to drive that engagement through the content, and build your voice and the credibility behind the brand. Again, we talked about it before consumer confidence, credibility, all kinds of synonyms within each other, but they're all crafted around the media and the brand. So again, we just keep kind of going through this same kind of thing, we're speaking to the brand versus the product. So Movement Watches is a really good example of that. They're a direct consumer brand, they started on Instagram. And all they did is they focused on the media, they focused on good models, good talent, good locations, a very, very high quality production. And then they story told through those images where they did what it did drove engagement, increase their reach, and then at the end of the day, increase their brand value, which is what we're going to kind of dive more into, like we said, Allbirds they're a great example of that. Very forward facing with their media, brand transfer, transparencies done through the media, like we said videos about the sustainability efforts, quality photos, that that again, creates engagement following and loyalty, which is again, what we're trying to do in brand value is create loyalty, you want customer retention. And I know Gary's gonna talk a little bit more about that in the end. So omnichannel, you guys can see the definition here. I'm not going to read it out loud. But omnichannel again, all the different channels that take place, your customer is going to bounce around into all those different channels. They see you on Amazon, they're going to bounce around, they're gonna look at your look at your look you up on Google on social, they're look on YouTube, they're gonna bounce around. So you need to be consistent across all of these different marketplaces, again, to get that conversion. Like, like we've been talking about, it's all about the right media on the right platform. There is media specific to all these different platforms. So website media looks much different than YouTube media. Same with social content. This is a really good example of a brand that we worked with Tall Hydration there. Walmart's big water bottle brand. Same themes you can kind of see through here, but it's been used in different spots with being used in on a social feed, maybe used in the product listing in a splash image on mobile. And then again, we have the photo, it's very consistent across the marketplace. And now you're in the cart. And that's the photo and you see that consistency, you have the trust, and you're willing to put your credit card in there. Again, a really good example of this Golf Smith, they've seen doing quality, quality media across their different marketplaces, they saw increase conversions of 10 to 40%. They fostered brand loyalty, they've created a community and now they have that client retention, they can reduce their marketing budgets, and they can keep holding those customers.

Kyle Nelson 25:41

Yeah, so I mean, at the end of the day, what we're talking about is brand value increase, people loving your brand, monetary value increases due to brand awareness. It's all supported by media, whether it's photo video, the honorable mentions that we talked about, the one way that we can communicate in today's commerce landscape is through photo and video, less people are reading more people want stimuli through their eyes and excitement and getting that adrenaline that we all want to photo and video. And there's some when when someone says you know, a photo has 1000 words, it's very true, especially when it comes to social and ad campaigns. And this is all just done through media.

Nick Sands 26:18

So when somebody is trying to define their brand value, where do you typically have them start? I mean, it's obviously got to be more than just the pricing itself. Right? So what are all the things that you're typically bringing in to really identify what is a brand? What is the brand value and how we're measuring whether or not we're increasing brand value, whether it's decreasing, you know, what are all the things that really go into that?

Eli Libby 26:47

Absolutely. bottom, sustainability is a pretty easy and obvious one, I think the other piece of value is, what does it bring to the consumer that might be different than the competition. So maybe it's a feature, maybe it's a material that's being used, like, let's take that, let's take that value, and let's bundle it into the brand, show the so we're talking about material, let's bundle that in as a quality brand, create quality imagery and allow them to increase that brand value, increase their prices, but it's again, maybe honing in on a feature honing in on a certain aspect of the company, maybe it's the founders, maybe the founders have this incredible story. Let's hone in on that feature. And then let's build that value through media.

Gary Chavez 27:29

That's what I was thinking about when you're showing the brand stories earlier. I think people really care about where their products come from nowadays, much more so than in the past, necessarily where you just ordered it and showed up. But now there's a connection to the sort of the provenance of the product and the experience on the backend of the company. So those stories, I find it interesting, personally.

Nick Sands 27:50

Sure. And Gary, I'm definitely going to want to loop you in on that for more of the supply chain side of things in a little bit. Because that's, you know, Amazon's major differentiating factor for the longest time had been and still is, in some cases, two day delivery, but now you have target doing same day, you have Instacart doing same day, you know, you have all these other marketplaces that have caught up in some regards, not not, you know, entirely to the extent that Amazon does pas with their product assortment, and everything else. But, um, I'll definitely want to get to you, Gary on that in a little bit here.

Kyle Nelson 28:27

Yeah, just kind of wrap this up a little bit, it's kind of a little bit of a, if you go back to that last slide, it's a little bit of a formulation for increased brand value, right, it's a piece of voice brand to that omnichannel experience targeted marketing efforts. So your marketing campaigns and then visually pleasing media sets assets through all different platforms. And you know, at the end of the day, hopefully your increased brand value is going to, overall bring an increased average order value. So that's a that's us in a nutshell, we bring products to life. That's our number one goal. There's some brands that trust us that we've worked with over time. And these are some of the services that we do. In Contact Us. One thing we'd like to bring up is our commitment to change. We do have a plot a program called Snap One Plan one for every photo that we deliver. And every second video we deliver, we plant a tree with one tree planted. And we got a podcast you like hearing our voice. We love you for checking out Biz Bros Podcast.

Nick Sands 29:31

Awesome, guys. Thank you so much. Yeah, absolutely. All right, we're gonna take for, you know, those on the line here, we're actually gonna take a quick poll. So, you know, do you think that your media will can compete with your industries competitive landscape, you know, basically kind of based on where you're currently at, just go ahead, and I'd really appreciate if you'd put some responses in here so we can figure out how people are currently feeling about their media strategy today. And we'll close out the poll. here shortly and use that for, you know the rest of the conversation here Bianca, I didn't get to, did you get all the results there? It looked like it was it was more people were leaning towards, from what I saw quickly. More people are alright with their media strategy right now. So that's obviously a good thing. But if anybody has questions, obviously, as we go through, feel free to raise your hand or sending questions. And we'll go back into some more detail on the media side of things. But jumping to you know, kind of Gary in the in the Solid Commerce team here. Gary, why don't we start off, you know, more on basically, now that we've gone through the omnichannel media strategy, you know, hopefully at this point, people are getting sales, they're increasing traffic to their site or to the marketplaces that they're selling through, you know, what's that next phase? And, you know, where do you typically tell people to start with being able to fulfill these orders in a timely fashion, creating, leveraging technology to improve efficiencies, automation, you know, regardless of where the customer wants to purchase products,

Gary Chavez 31:17

Yeah I think I would relate it a little bit to where to Solid Commerce come in, to play with a company's journey is the company kind of goes through the maturity cycle, life cycle of selling online, oftentimes, we catch sellers who built their own brand, they own their own product through the manufacturer. And they're kind of gone from 2 million to 3 million GMV a year, across their store, and maybe Amazon. And they're making it work. I'm logging into seller, Central and managing orders, they're managing orders, maybe on their Shopify or Magento Platform. And then they decide, you know, what my brand makes a good fit for other marketplace or too, they started to move to those marketplaces to get repeat impressions. And we'll talk about that a little bit, then capture net new customers, then that complexity comes into play when you're talking about order management, inventory update, tracking back to the marketplaces, product, information management, all that stuff. And we can flip into the headless eCommerce slide, and I'll talk about that a little bit. We've talked about Solid Commerce sales already. So we don't need to cover that. But yeah, so the great thing about the world we have right now and being able to engage in digital, is there's all this creativity that can come out and expressing the brand across channels, because of the particular channel itself. And what it allows you to do, I can tell you, like Instagram, knows that I buy products, my wife, shoes and clothes, because I like giving her gifts, and they stalk me all the time with really cool products. And I almost never buy there. But I screenshot it and I go somewhere else and do some research and whatnot. And, and then I get to a buying decision. So great thing is you've got this presentation layer where you can be super, super creative. And you're the thing though, is you're setting the tone for the brand experience. And as we'll see here in a moment, that brand experience needs to play out from the moment that someone actually makes a buying decision. And a lot of that is not just the product, it's how the product gets the buyer. So we can go to the next slide. How did the How did this great landscape for creativity and presentation of brand and products come to play? Well, I think most people don't have this eCommerce is just simply the separation of the front end presentation layer, from the back end business systems, all the nuts and bolts and everything that we help our viewers with when it comes to managing product information or customer information, managing returns and refunds and things like that. So Elysee congresses, just lots of engagement points, lots of creative expression, opportunity to win new customers across different platforms and channels. And then robust back end systems that are focused usually on one or two functional functions. They're best to breed accounting systems, CRM, whatnot.

Nick Sands 34:22

So really quick, you know, you mentioned Instagram shopping, you mentioned you know, I see social commerce here on this slide. How does that change the complexity of this landscape and ecosystem? As more and more orders are shifting and coming through social commerce platforms like an Instagram like a Facebook, you know, go down the list. How much more complex has this made this? You know, from an inventory perspective from a supply chain perspective? And what do you know as a brand or retailer, what do you what do you really need to do in order to continue to keep With all of the orders that are going to be coming in from all these different marketplaces, and social commerce platforms over the coming months and years, as you know, digital just continues to grow, share from, you know, of the consumer wallet.

Gary Chavez 35:13

Yeah, I'll use, we'll dive into some of the tactics, and then some of the gotcha areas here in a moment, I'll use a super specific industry KPI, when it comes to the complexity level and the rate of change and complexity. It's just really super complex. So that's my KPI measurement. It's it's, it's created opportunity. But with opportunity comes complexity is complexity around product information and the specifics around requirements in different channels for that product information, it changes. They all use different data schemas, and publishing that keeping it current is different from different sellers. And depending upon their product category, like apparel, apparel, they're always in drops with new products, it could be seasonal, it could just be promotional, but that's new product information that has to get out into the marketplace. And it's not necessarily ever pretty. So requires updates to product information catalog. That's one example of a challenge for a particular type of seller. So automation, and just broad strokes, automation, automation, automation technology that plays well with other technology and integrated tech stack. And we could jump into a couple of these slides here. Come on up and I could talk about the particulars of that believable

Nick Sands 36:39

All right, we'll put this up quickly. How many you know digital channels are currently selling across?

Gary Chavez 36:46

We typically Yeah, I was just gonna say we typically engage when sellers are that two to three channel point and they're starting to experience that complexity across channels and managing data and keeping customers satisfied and and then we help them get to four or five six whatever the number is right for them.

Nick Sands 37:09

Yeah, I'm if I had to take a guess I'm gonna say an overwhelming number of people are probably going to be in test for more at this point. But uh, let's take a look. Let's close out this poll and take a look at the results real quick. Yeah, so majority of people are selling them for more No surprise, I mean, more more channels are popping up on a, you know, weekly and monthly basis. Now TikTok is going to be, I believe, they actually may have already started some of their social commerce initiatives with their partnerships with like Shopify Plus in Big Commerce. So that's just another one that people are obviously going to have to keep an eye on over the coming months and you know, heading into 2022.

Gary Chavez 37:53

Typically, we typically see that for a more, we see obviously, more mature sellers, even around their plan brands may be nationally or globally recognized. And what they're looking for in an integrated eCommerce tech stack is that data is just flowing, it's getting where it needs to go, it's going to their BI solution that does product purchasing, forecasting and inventory velocity calculations and lead times fulfillment times or restock times in data is getting to the accounting system. So that finance department can do what they do and customer services, seeing the day to day any system that they work with. That's that whole backend on the headless eCommerce tech stack, the more channels and the more mature the business, the more important that open technology that plays well with others is reliable. becomes. So this is we talked a little bit about this is just these are the different stages of the customer journey. I talked a little bit about seeing shoes on Instagram from this, I think it's all of LA's the branded video, these handpainted shoes, they're really cute. I discovered them on Instagram, or they discovered me. And then I went to marketplaces and brands size to research the product. And then I kind of compare pricing across the different channels. And ultimately what happened is I made the buy on the brand store, because they have the most liberal return policy, which for as a guy buying shoes for his wife return policies, liberal return policy is good. But I discovered on social research and different channels. I did price comparison, the brand store wasn't the cheapest, but it had what was ordered for me as a buyer, which is flexibility around, you know, showing them in my wife and I may be sending them back.

Nick Sands 39:51

Actually a question on that, um, you know, returns are probably one of the more challenging parts of the customer journey at this point. and costly in a lot of cases, what are you know, what are you seeing from brands today? What are some of the things that they're implementing to help mitigate costs to help improve that experience? And to help kind of shift that purchase? Let's say and choose, how do you ensure that if you're returning the wrong size shoe that you're going to regain that, you know, that share by getting the actual right shoe to be purchased next?

Gary Chavez 40:29

Yeah, you know, it's interesting, we'll stick with the shoe analogy. We'll walk forward with it unintended, but alo sent me the shoes in your typical shoe box. And in the shoe box, under the shoes under the tissue paper was the another envelope, and a pre printed return label. And interestingly enough, on top of it, they had their size chart, because size is probably one of the biggest reason that fit for their returns, I assume. And they had a reminder about their size. And also, they had a QR code that was more educational about how their sustainably produced, etc, etc. So they have that brand story that Eli and Kyle were talking about before. So it was really cool experience. Overall, I didn't have to return the shoes, because again, I researched the size chart and the return policy. But had I had to do it, it was simply been shoes back in box, new envelopes around box, label on box and on packaging, and then drop it off at the local local UPS Store. So that's a great way to go lower end products, when I'm talking to sellers, what we've heard as far as price point that the lower the price point gets the critical mass there where there's a tipping point, so to speak, where they just like keep it you know, it happens all the time when my wife and something happens. And with the product that comes to the house and the seller, just like keep it, we'll send you the one that you that you ordered. We're sorry, we should do the one we don't want it back. We don't want restocking fee is it's not worth it. We don't want return shipping fees. I see that a lot on international as well, when you have us sellers selling the rest of the world. Oftentimes when it gets to the doorstep if it's returned, because the seller didn't expect that fees or something else. They're just like, throw it away for us, please, because we don't want to deal with it coming. Right?

Nick Sands 42:27

Yeah, I mean, we haven't even you know, you just brushed upon, you know, international, I think we've mainly been talking from the lens of, you know, the US market here today. But that, obviously, is a whole nother layer of added complexity for everybody here today. Sure.

Gary Chavez 42:45

Yeah, we've got partners we work with, to on that experience, from presentation layer, translations and everything else, they solve for all those problems around optimization and channel. And then we have logistics partners that will help you get your product to where it's going and you're or where destination maybe. And then we fall for that piece in the middle as far as data find where it needs to go. Leveraging power marketplaces and search engines, I kind of talked about this already. You know, they've got great technology, they're always innovating in the presentation layer marketplaces. So you can take advantage of that technology. And that engagement model, obviously, they're spending their marketing dollars to bring sellers or buyers to their marketplaces. So you get the power of those marketing marketing dollars, although you're in the pool with a lot of other people that are selling maybe similar products. Sellers, like myself, are buyers, like myself, do research on marketplaces, just to learn more about the products. And then for a new brand that's up and coming. Getting onto a marketplace can help you build trust and acquiring new customers, because people will more likely buy from an Amazon or Walmart than will from a brand and they're calm that they don't know. And so that's a way to take advantage of the power of marketplaces. And then picking channels is important. You can bounce back. Yep. So brand said, you know, that's it. That's an easy one. If I can tell you when I did my research for Oliver lay I did not find their issues on Walmart. I found them on a lot of kind of high end brand sites that had built collections around cool products. Category fit is obvious if you're selling consumer electronics. And maybe they're refurbished consumer electronics. I just want to be on eBay and the way certain other marketplaces and then Red Ocean Blue Ocean, I talked about the power of marketplaces and marketing their presentation layer the tools they have presenting product it on their platforms. That can be a great advantage for a brand that's up and coming. But maybe they're also getting into a category that's already saturated. It's kind of a red ocean. There's just too A bunch of charmin in the water are there other sellers and super hard to compete and stand out, finding neat niches in a marketplace where maybe they're just expanding to a new category. And I know new eggs doing a lot and new categories, where they're trying to just get outside of that, you know, consumer electronics fees, they're going to accessories and other things in the home. And so if you're up and coming brand, and you're in that category, you can foster relationship quickly through a partner maybe like us or another service agency. You can get in early and establish a foothold before it turns into red ocean. And then obviously, there's the cost benefit and expanding of the markets and the what is the value of getting into a new marketplace? Is it the new customer? Is it the cart value? Or is it the repeat impression, it's going to lead to a purchase, maybe on your own store? You got to understand

Nick Sands 45:58

Really quick on some of the comments you had there. So, um, as far as brand fit goes, I mean, I've seen in I'm sure you guys are seeing the same thing now is it? Do you find it for you know, and I'm just talking about from, you know, an eCommerce perspective marketplaces listing online? Do you find that more brands? And do you find that it's more important for brands to be listed on all the marketplaces where their consumers are shopping? Or do you think you know, your Walmart example? You know, just to take a quick detour? I've heard many brands at this stage now say they would sell on walmart.com, but not in store at Walmart still, because there's a different perception for whatever reason at this stage with consumers of selling online versus in store your thoughts? Were you saying?

Gary Chavez 46:48

Yeah, good question. In Walmart's a good example that you bring up is the demographics are found in store buyer in the on, on the online buyer. And for Walmart, in particular, Walmart, Canada, the demographics, demographics of the buyers on walmart.ca versus walmart.com. Even more, so there's a skews younger, excuse wealthier. So, so there's kind of a change going on. And perception in certain channels, and Walmart, certainly working on that to change that perception, they can still live well. And you have great value and all that other stuff. But demographics in a particular channel are how you figure out whether it's a brand fit or not, right. And that's changing all the time. And I'll hit the tops to the waves on this stuff here. So again, infrastructure that is highly integrated in the techie stack is super important. As people, sellers expand across channels, they get those growing pains. And these are the areas where typically that's happening. It's also the visit the places where you set a expectation, and then you deliver on that expectation and the customer experience. Now talking about maybe if I had to had to return those shoes, I would have been very happy to just put it in a box and not have to deal with it. So we can go on to the next slide here. Yeah, I want to jump to this one just because it is so important. The Multi Channel inventory. See I've seen across marketplaces that have frequency and your store, where you're avoiding things like over selling and out of stock, terrible customer experience for a seller to cancel an order because they don't have the product or put it on backorder. And if you're on selling on a marketplace, also is really bad for your sellers, your seller metrics which hurt your positioning and getting the buy box or not. And so automations necessary to scale in particular and inventory management, you want to have the balance between having visibility of the products that are available to sell across your channels, and balancing sales velocity with the risk of selling out. And when you do sell out, you want to have cushion before you actually go to zero. So there are ways to do that with technology is just say I units show 50 units in channel across the channels, and then I'm going to delist my product when it gets to 25 units remaining inventory or 10 Brown the only shift availability to my store. So there are lots of strategies there that you can employ an inventory management to avoid the negativity of of overselling and getting your product out in a way that maximizes your inventory so you have great turnover rates you don't have sales stock and inventory and whatnot. And then in more and more sellers are leveraging a very complex distribution network and so there were you know, not only with their own warehouses, but FDA three pls like deliver UPLC fulfillment where Adecco other large three chill services and they'll do that because of what you mentioned earlier, Nick, around two day and same day and the expectations on how quickly am I going to get the product I ordered in digital online or on my phone? How fast will that come to me and the only way to get there is to get product closer to the buyer. But with that comes complexity around order routing order manage,

Nick Sands 50:25

tend to, you know, they suck if we can go back to that slide really quickly. When we're talking about multi channel inventory management, and some of the you know, the automation and technology here is, is a lot of this stuff just geared towards marketplaces and kind of the true three P relationship or does this also expand to inventory management, border control? And, you know, order management, I should say, and actual supply chain and last mile delivery to one P as well, because it is this technology able to see order volume across both one P and three P two?

Gary Chavez 51:07

That's really great question. And I'll just try to do a quick example. We have a seller we're onboarding right now. They're established business and they built their business in physical retail. And then they built their business in B2B and selling to Amazon vendor Central. And then they started put a toe in the water in B2C on eBay and a few other marketplaces that make sense for them, their windshield wipers. So they've got a very large catalog. And one of the things they're doing now is vendor direct fulfillment, Amazon vendor direct fulfillment, which is Amazon owns the listing, but they send you just one order for every time a customer buys. So it's not Amazon, vendor central buying 10,000 units from you, is you acting as a drop shipper for onesies, twosies, sold on Amazon by Amazon. So you've got these guys, they're selling, you know, direct to consumer, they're selling physical retail, they're selling into vendor Central, they're also sending Amazon direct vendor direct fulfillment, and they're all using the same inventory. So you've got to have the feeder, have integrations that leads to your system of record for inventory, that is synchronizing frequently and reliably backup to the channel and out to your physical distribution network as well. So and in you're doing that with inventory in multiple warehouses across the country, so as complex as the top end and on the back end, and the only way you can supply for that is with automation and technology.

Nick Sands 52:49

Yeah, for sure. I mean, trying to sift through that manually would be a nightmare. Quick. Yeah, exactly. Quick question from, you know, one of our attendees here specific about Solid Commerce, do you integrate with Target Plus and their marketplace as well?

Gary Chavez 53:05

We do. Have new, it's new for us. But we're our goal is to add several channels a quarter, we understand that that's that's a significant part of our value proposition. And it's easier for us to maintain those integrations than for sellers and their IT departments to try to build them out. And then often, oftentimes, we're kind of the technology inside will help three PLs with a gateway to the marketplaces. So that if you sign on with a new three PL, they don't have a gateway that target plus, and you need a way to get orders to that three PL we can be that gateway and get those orders and the fulfillment data back to the channel. VCR technology.

Nick Sands 53:49

Awesome. I know we only have a couple more minutes here. So let's go through quickly. Yeah, for sure.

Gary Chavez 53:56

We can skip that one. Because we guys talked about it. And then we have a poll.

Nick Sands 54:04

There Yeah. So we can go through this one quickly. What is your number one challenge when it comes to your multi channel sales strategy? There's some really good ones on here. This will be an interesting one to heat to see what people are having the most difficulty with right now.

Gary Chavez 54:21

Yeah and I think the thing for the way we fit in is oftentimes, we're the technology that helps sellers get to new new channels. And then people like Eli and Kyle are partners retail glue, we're real good friends with them. They'll help optimize in the channel. So we'll get we'll be the bridge to and then the thing that helps you scale in channel and then our partners are doing a great job on optimization.

Nick Sands 54:48

Awesome. Alright, I think we can close this one out. So this is this one's a mixed bag. I mean, it's a little bit of looks like advertising or promotions, the you know the The only one that wasn't selected here. But that's, I feel like that's no surprise considering most people are working with an agency or some type of SaaS based platform at this stage. So a lot of the order management and inventory fulfillment seems to consistently be at the top of pain points that a lot of people in our network have. But uh, I think there's one more Yeah, go ahead

Gary Chavez 55:22

with Yeah, this is a finishing point, let's tie it off here. I talked about all this is you need a robust, scalable, open technology to expand across channels, right. And the only thing I would tack on this that I haven't talked about before, his reputation and responsiveness of the support, what I found is that my dog just walked in there that for sellers that the technology does all these things, and it works is super important. But technology is complicated, and things go wrong. And the most important thing for our customers, when something goes wrong is how quickly do we respond? And how quickly do we fix it. So understanding the reputation for support in the marketplace, with technology providers that you're looking to do business with is super important. SaaS becomes an integrated part of your technology stack, you need to trust. And I'll just brag because we're up to 523 days of 100% CSAT on our support ticket resolution service. So we're pretty proud of the work that we've done over the course of the last two years to get there.

Nick Sands 56:30

Awesome. I mean, that's, that's a great brag. I see where we only have a couple of minutes left here. I think that's probably a good slide to end on. I think we can wrap it up here. Give everybody a couple of minutes to get to their next meeting. So thanks, everybody, for joining here. today. We'll be sending around connection emails to you know, Gary and Kyle and Eli in case you want to set up a follow up discussion if you have any additional questions for them. If anybody wants to ever be connected to any, any others across our network, always, you know, feel free to reach out to anybody on the BWG Connect team. We're happy to help however we can. Also if there's any topics that are top of mind that you really want us to cover. Always feel free to kick those over to us as well. We want to make sure that we're always providing as much value and creating as many, you know, networking and knowledge sharing opportunities as possible for everybody here. So thanks again for joining us, everybody. And we'll see you all again soon. Take care.

Gary Chavez 57:26

Thank you everyone. Have a great day.

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