Whether you’re an entrepreneur or eCommerce professional, you spend a portion of your day in a reactive state responding to customers, co-workers, employees, suppliers, agencies, contractors or all of these on some days.
In our always-connected world, it can feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to do anything but react. You’re “busy”, but it’s easy to look up at 7 PM, reflect on the day’s accomplishments and say, “What did I even do today?”
I’ve found that the most effective way to end an extended bout of reactive-task-induced depression is to devote 30-40 minutes to proactively learning something new, every single day.
I’ve found the podcast format to be the most efficient means to both learn and retain new ideas from really smart people in the eCommerce world.
The podcast is my favorite format for a few reasons:
- New episodes can be seamlessly pushed to my phone using iTunes, Downcast or Stitcher.
- Consuming a podcast is a passive endeavor. You can do so while at the gym, walking to work, or while sitting on the subway.
- I’m an auditory learner, so I retain more information from hearing versus reading.
- Podcasts are the right length to fit into my 45 minutes of proactive learning per day.
- Podcast interviewees are the best and brightest in their respective fields, so you’re always learning from experts or interesting people.
Over the past year I’ve listened to pretty much every eCommerce podcast out there, and here are my three favorites in no particular order. Happy listening!
eCommerceFuel draws on Andrew’s experience as a successful online retailer, as well as his position leading the eCommerceFuel forum. Andrew tends to interview other eCommerce practitioners running small-medium sized companies on specific, actionable topics related to running or growing an eCommerce company.
What’s the one thing you wish you knew before you started your first eCommerce venture?
Starting out, I wish I would have spent more time focused on optimizing our pricing for profitability rather than just focusing on growing traffic and revenue. We raised our prices after a few years very successfully in terms of increasing our bottom line, but we left tons of money on the table in the first 18 months.
Andrew’s Favorite Interviews:
As eCommerce consultants, Austin & Chad draw on experiences working with retailers in a wide array of vertical industries. What I like about this podcast is that they bring on a very diverse group of guests, who may not necessarily work in eCommerce directly. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t valuable lessons to learn, though. Chad and Austin take their guests’ perspective or expertise and always find a way to apply it to eCommerce growth.
What’s the biggest opportunity that you see retailers / your clients missing out on right now?
Most of your competitors in online retail treat all their customers the same way, this has created an incredible opportunity for you. Profit is not made from new customers. Profit is made from repeat customers that are passionate about your products, and who encourage their friends to join them in their passion. The biggest opportunity I see for retailers is to start treating their customers differently based on their behavior and actions. You don’t treat all your friends equally, your best friends will hear from you more often because you care about them. This should be the same for your best customers!
Austin’s Favorite Interviews:
Ezra Firestone of Smart Marketer is known for creating mountains of content for eCommerce entrepreneurs including blog articles, videos, all while running a successful Mastermind group and his own eCommerce ventures. With everything Ezra is working on, it would be easy to miss the Smart Marketer podcast, but it’s actually a great way to keep up with the content Smart Marketer is putting out. The podcast is a combination of short insightful one-offs, longer interviews, presentation audio, and other helpful resources designed to help you grow your eCommerce business.
What do you wish you’d known before starting your first eCommerce business?
eCommerce is a long game. Maybe Pinterest is the hot thing right now, but it’s not about what’s hot right now … it’s about consistently delivering high quality products and even higher quality customer service. Do those two things, keep your attention on improving your traffic and conversion skills and you’ll be able to withstand the test of time.