Sell direct and own the customer relationship
You've come to the right place if you're building a great product company that aspires to more than fulfillment for Amazon.com.
It's understandable the appeal of selling on Amazon. More than half of ecommerce product searches begin there these days. It's a big opportunity.
Partnering with resellers like Amazon who buy from your factory and sell to retail shoppers on your behalf may have a place in your go-to-market strategy. Traditional wholesale distributors and big box retailers promising large orders may also seem attractive to you.
Build an asset: your customer list
But if you're planning for the long haul, you'll want a healthy fraction of all end-customer relationships to be your own. So you can communicate directly, keep your pulse on the market, and invite repeat purchases. That means your own e-commerce platform and email list. We help with that.
For nearly 20 years we've helped businesses make the most of their Internet opportunity. Today product companies seek out our programs to make sense of the landscape that Amazon dominates.
One idea stands the test of time: your list (of email addresses, postal addresses, etc.) is an asset worth as much or more than any product patents. With a list you can:
- launch new products to evolve with the market.
- profitably advertise despite rising costs of customer acquisition.
- bypass platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon that interpose between you and your customers.
Our recent work focuses on customer retention and purchase frequency. It's a fundamental need for the health of your list, and the sustainable profitability of your direct sales channel. (Here are common FAQ's about how we work and what we do. )
Do you want to build a sustainable company in today's multi-channel global marketplace? To us that means you're not fixated on top-line sales growth to boost your short-term valuation or vanity metrics.
Are you creating a beloved catalog of exclusive products? To us, that means you're a designer as much as a merchant.
Do you want to nurture the repeat buyer, valuing the customer you have more than the next new prospect? To us, that means patient presence not pressure to "convert."
Programs with a proven track record
Are you a good fit?
- Managers at a manufacturing company selling from the factory direct-to-consumer (DTC).
- Founders of product companies with vertical integration who are selling B2C on their own platform.
- Brand builders for physical product companies who publish stories online, control distribution carefully, and want customers via ecommerce.
Read what our clients say in their own words?
A business ought reflect the values of its people. Our programs are defined by what we value:
Operating for the long haul
We're skeptical of shortcuts, secrets and contrived scale. A sustainable business finds customers who trust enough to refer others and gladly buy again. Design accordingly.
Do more with less
We embrace the constraints of a situation and find creative solutions, starting with what's possible today rather than waiting for perfect timing or resources.
Listen more than we speak
While we are often in the role of guide, we have much to learn. With humility and curiosity, we can learn from anyone and any situation.
Process over promises
We envision but do not promise outcomes. We work the plan, we don't pretend to control the outcome. Intentional consistent effort, adjusted in an agile methodology, brings results.
Loyalty and profit
We do right by those with whom we work. Our strong relationships sustain us for the long haul and make the journey worthwhile. Profit matters for how it makes this possible.
Small is beautiful
Networks and software powerfully multiply the impact that can be made by a small team. We aim to scale up the impact of our work, not necessarily the organization behind it.
It matters up to the point it doesn't
We can take our work seriously, but ourselves not so much. What we do matters in how we maintain integrity for ourselves and our clients, but perspective is everything. It's only somewhat important.
What's important to you?
About what will you not compromise?
What is a 'must' and not just a nice-to-have when it comes to the products you make and how you offer them to the world?
We look forward to discovering your values should we work together. Our understanding of what you value will shape any consideration of strategy or tactics.
What we consider a business multiplier will work for your business in proportion to its alignment with your values.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes a good match with you?
- If you create your own exclusive products and are proud to offer them on your own website at a good value, then that's a start.
- If you are in it for the long haul, not a quick buck, then we'll be in alignment on how to communicate with your customers.
- If you want to avoid costly mistakes by learning from others who started in ecommerce in 1996 and continue to run stores in 2018, then you're onto something and may save a bundle.
- If you are building an internal ecommerce department but it lacks maturity and you resonate with the points above, then we're likely a good match. Check out our programs.
Who are you and where are you located?
We maintain offices in Austin, Texas and Livingston, Montana for founder Patrick Pitman. Our team works from locations across the USA, Europe, and Asia. Our clients are in the United States and United Kingdom.
Do you help sort out a strategy?
Yes, if your company is a good match. We help you answer the question of what to do next, what to do later, and why. We provide training remotely, on-site at your location or our own. We help owners and employees evaluate and decide among an evolving array of marketing and technology options. Check out our programs.
Do you design and build websites?
Yes, we can help if the website need be revised, sometimes replaced. But most already have an ecommerce website and want to improve how they market it and service its customers. Our team can build what you cannot, and then train you to make it hum. Or we can advise your agency or team with your agreement. Check out our programs.
Do you grow website traffic?
Yes, in a focused, special way. When it comes to traffic, our focus is encouraging returning customers. So mostly this means email-referred traffic. Organic search-referred traffic may grow when we revise your website to correct errors or flow. But we do not promote content on other websites, which is a common SEO task. We also do not manage social media nor paid traffic. We refer to trusted partners who do this important work. But we do advise where paid, social, and organic ought fit in your traffic strategy. Check out our programs.
Do you create email marketing campaigns?
Yes, but our focus is on improving how you communicate with the customer segment of your email list. So our campaigns concern the customer journey post-purchase and the encouragement of a repeat purchase. Segmented, personalized, story-driven messages that build a relationship are important. This can include messages that bring peace-of-mind to the order fulfillment process. We'll get things started and train your team to sustain the effort. Check out our programs.
Do you make customer service better?
Yes. The quality of the relationship with your customer after the online purchase determines so much about the health of your business. The cost of customer acquisition relates to customer retention. Repeat orders strengthen the return on ad spend. That's why we help train the VIP's who answer your phone, live chat, social and email queues. Check out our programs.
Do you configure analytics or testing?
Yes, we start from a base level of analytical measurement for all of our programs. Observing and testing the outcome when you make a change is so important. This includes heat and click maps, split tests, UTM tracking codes, visitor surveys and recordings, and summary dashboards that make obvious the trend lines.
Do you improve order fulfillment?
Yes, we'll map the customer journey from first purchase through to the second and beyond. Our focus is on what, when and how you communicate with your customer. It's not on the workings of your pick and pack warehouse nor shipping operations. So we encourage peace of mind among your customers by transforming how you communicate. Our attention is on how customers feel and the cultivation of brand loyalty. But we don't get involved in the logistics of manufacturing or order processing facilities.