This week on the “2 Regular Guys Talking Decoration” podcast, Aaron is joined by show producer Erich Campbell to discuss the ins and outs of e-commerce. While Erich is known for his expertise in embroidery and digitizing, Aaron and Erich take some time to discuss other areas of Erich’s experience. With Terry out this week, the duo dives into the pillars and pitfalls of e-commerce success. Erich shares insights from his years of experience building and managing online businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to optimize your existing e-commerce platform, this episode is packed with valuable insights and practical tips for success.
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Erich: I may always work on embroidery every day, but it’s not the only thing I do. For the largest part of my career, I’ve managed eCommerce properties alongside my embroidery duties. As much as things change, I’ve noticed some of the same pitfalls that decorators fall into and found myself that there are certain pillars on that a solid eCommerce presence rests. Today I’d like us to discuss some of those Pillars and Pitfalls and how we’ve seen those play out with decorators and in general over the years.
Aaron: Let’s get into it and start on the side of the things that you find online sellers really need to make their store work- What are some of these foundational ‘Pillars’?
Erich: Absolutely- let’s start with some of the basics, then get to the things that have the most effect on decorators. Every store needs to have basic functionality and policies established- First, Clear payment, shipping, and return policies need to be spelled out if you want to generate trust in your clients. Second, you must have one (or more than one) well-monitored channel for customer communication. Third, you must have clear, simple navigation. *Discuss platforms / tools
Aaron: Ok- if we assume everyone has these basics out of the way; everything is functional, policies are spelled out, and they are present for customers, what else should they be thinking about as they get their store underway?
Erich: These are the real pillars- foundational choices that make a difference to how you operate.
Clear Focus – General Purpose vs. Customer Specific – Custom Decoration vs. Company Store *Discuss online decoration vs. Curated stores- no need to replicate your brick and mortar.
Aaron: With the focus established, what are the universal ‘pillars’ that decorators should keep in mind? What questions should they be asking themselves as they put their store together?
Erich: The big questions here cover a few different topics, but they all stem from one major underlying question. “What makes the store the best way to buy this product for the client I want to serve?” * Discuss ease of use, presentation, and value to customers. Reducing friction and offer benefits specific to the online store.
Aaron: In thinking about the way the store presents products, are there any specific things to look for in how you describe your products or how you show your work?
Erich: Though this is going to vary depending on the store, I think there are some universal ways we want to entice our clients to consider the products. The way to overstate it is to help them see how their lives would be better if they bought the product. Sounds corny, but it makes a point. Copy should be more than a description, it should also have something to say about the results. Images should be instructive and show decoration, details, placement, and other critical info, but they could, at their best, include scenarios or people that make them aspirational. *Describe what content should explain about a given product. Action shot, Garment shot, Decoration shot, Texture shot – Functional, Brand Building (for your site / company) Aspirational
Aaron: With all of that information out there, we have a lot to think about in building our sites- now let’s discuss where things fall apart- what are the major pitfalls? Where do decorators often go wrong?
Erich: I divide the pitfalls up into 4 categories, and they really are reflective of not being attentive to the Pillars we’ve already discussed. They are (Explain each briefly) Lacking Responsiveness (communication), Lacking Clarity (Store direction, curation, policies), Blaming the Customer (under-informing), and Overpromising (Unrealistic promises / uses of decoration).
Aaron: We’ve covered a ton of ground today, but can you leave the listeners with a final tip or two as we get ready to close up the show?
Erich: Absolutely- the 2 major tips I want to leave everyone with are simple. First, imagine your customer- create a profile of a real person or persons to whom you want to sell. Remember, you are not your target audience. Second, ‘taste your own cooking’ – run sample buys, up to and including purchasing and shipping if that’s part of what you offer, and make sure you and your staff know every part of the purchasing process.
- The Half – 11:30 AM CST every Friday. Erich Campbell and Aaron Montgomery. Thirty minutes of Q&A. See past episodes and support the show – thehalf.club.
- Complete Screen Printing Business Course with Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago starting April 22-23, 2023.
- Complete Screen Printing Business Course with Workhorse Products in Phoenix, AZ, starting June 3-4, 2023.
- Master of Success Inner Circle – The next level for people who are serious about their success. Bi-Weekly Mastermind Groups on top of the industry-leading business training.
- Aaron’s “Small Business Saturdays” #SBS Every Saturday. Check out the Podcast version!
- Demystifying Next Level Digitizing Make your machine embroidery bolder, more beautiful, and more valuable to customers while making the digitizing process faster and easier. Online Training from Erich Campbell
- Understanding Emblems Digitizing, Production, Styles, and Sales of Patches. Learn from Erich Campbell about digitizing for emblems, including small detail tips, creating your own borders, execution for stitching, and more.
- The Take-up with Erich Campbell – Fridays at 2:30 Mountain Time
- Your Style Guide is a critical recipe. When all of the ingredients are combined, they create a powerful brand that is aligned, consistent & memorable! eBook by Jay Busselle
- Impressions Expo Atlantic City, NJ – March 23-25, 2023
- Decorated Apparel Expo Minneapolis (Welch), MN – March 31-April 1, 2023
- Decorated Apparel Expo Chicago (Tinley Park), IL – April 14-15, 2023
- Graphics Pro Expo Charlotte, NC – April 27-28, 2023
- Sublimation Summit Peachtree City, GA – April 27-29, 2023
- Graphics Pro Expo Indianapolis, IN – June 15-16, 2023
- Graphics Pro Expo Portland, OR – July 19-20, 2023
- ASI Chicago – July 25-27, 2023
- Graphics Pro Expo Long Beach, CA – August 18-19, 2023
- Graphics Pro Expo Baltimore, MD – September 13-14, 2023
- Impressions Expo Fort Worth, TX – September 14 – 16, 2023
- ASI Show ConneX Nashville, TN – October 9-12, 2023
- Printing United Atlanta, GA – October 18-20, 2023
All dates and events subject to change