- Let’s Chat D2C: Shoptalk 2023 Takeaways.
- What I’m Thinking about this Week: The Future of TikTok, Reels, and Shorts + The Need for Content Distribution Diversification.
- The D2Z Podcast: Driving Revenue with Content and Structuring an Agency for Success with Verbatim’s Founder Adrian Alfieri.
- App Highlight - Lifetimely: Lifetime value and profit analytics for Shopify that we use with every Electriq client.
- Upcoming Events: I’m presenting my “10 Steps to Building a Retention Program” at ChargeX in D.C. from 4/26-4/28 and have discounted brand tickets if anyone wants them.
Random tip: Leverage as much social proof on your website as possible. Every page should have testimonials and logos attributing to your past results.
Let's Chat D2C: Shoptalk 2023 Takeaways
I spent last week in Vegas at Shoptalk, meeting with tech partners, clients, and prospects, and I came away with some clear takeaways that will shape my approach to the rest of the year.
The Ecommerce Industry
If you follow the markets, ecommerce brands, and software companies have been through a wild ride, but their underlying business metrics haven’t changed too much. Sure, some brands have been decimated by advertising privacy updates and cash flow restrictions, and certain apps won’t make it through this current environment. However, the vast majority of companies I spoke with are not only still growing but are excited about their 2023 and 2024 growth forecasts.
It’s understandable if market overreactions have made you second guess ecommerce, but the panic is overblown for those in the weeds with boots on the ground.
Payroll and Marketing Spend
Every business I spoke with is taking a closer look at its profit and cost centers while also getting more intentional about what they’re putting its money towards in terms of advertising, sponsorship opportunities, and more. They’re also prioritizing initiatives that have attributable ROI.
Gone are the days of free Airpods for everyone just for taking a sales call (if anyone wants one of my five, just let me know).
My thoughts from last week's newsletter around tech stack consolidation and product bundling were only reinforced by my conversations with tech partners and their priorities for the rest of the year. Competition is heating up, and many technology businesses, especially in the Shopify ecosystem, see their growth coming from existing competitors - not necessarily net new merchants.
Shopify agencies are facing increasing competition from new agency entrants, freelancers, and offshore resources. Especially as brands look to cut costs, the “cheapest” solution often gets chosen when it comes to agency selection. And at a time when there’s never been more talent in the industry, the difference between a $100K web build and a $150K web build isn’t as extreme—Agencies need to focus on their differentiation to justify their rates.
The Importance of Networks and Influence
It can’t be overstated how much companies value your social presence and network. Companies are looking for thought leaders that allow them to tap into their pre-existing networks. If you’re looking to improve your value as an employee and want to continue working your way up the metaphorical food chain, start investing in your content creation and thought leadership. It’s going to significantly increase your value as well as your price tag to any prospective employer.
No matter what type of business you own or work at, you need to think about how AI impacts it and how you can leverage AI as a competitive differentiator. So many companies I spoke with are investing in AI add-ons to their core products and are looking at ways to make their workdays more effective and efficient through its usage.
What I’m Thinking About This Week: he Future of TikTok, Reels, and Shorts + The Need for Content Distribution Diversification
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that TikTok is at risk of being banned in the United States. So, for this week, I wanted to dive into the potential impacts of a ban and what I’m focused on moving forward.
What are the chances of a TikTok Ban?
Pretty high. According to multiple analysts, including Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a US ban on the app is looking increasingly likely in the next 12-18 months unless ByteDance sells TikTok to a 3rd party.
In fact, more than half of American adults support a US ban on TikTok!
TikTok Ban Implications
So if a sale doesn’t happen and the app gets banned? Multiple platforms would be positioned to take over significant market share and advertising dollars from this ban, including but not limited to YouTube, Instagram, and Snap.
The Importance of Content Diversification
It’s no secret that my audience is widely skewed toward Linkedin. It’s why this year, my big focus is building out Youtube and Twitter. Each platform has slightly different audiences, but second, and perhaps even more importantly, I’ve realized that relying on one platform for content distribution is extremely risky. The potential TikTok ban has opened my eyes to my urgent need to start diversifying.
For content creators heavily reliant on TikTok, they should start investing in Instagram reels and YouTube shorts to make their income stream more resilient. And for brands, it’s important to have a multi-channel content strategy.
Just because you need to be on multiple platforms does not mean you need to create channel-specific content. Sure, in some instances, that will make sense. For example, I create long-form Youtube tutorial videos that obviously are not a good fit for TikTok or Instagram. However, in the case of a D2C brand, a TikTok can easily be repurposed into an Instagram Reel and a Youtube Short. To use me as an example… my newsletter sets the foundation for all of my social content. One newsletter can be repurposed into 25 different TikToks!
The Power of Owning a Direct Relationship
Even more glaring is how important creating direct relationships with your audience is. I’ve been talking about this a lot in the past year as it relates to D2C brands, but never in the light of content creators or influencers who rely on eyeballs for their income stream.
Your email list is your email list, and that’s not going anywhere!
This Week’s The D2Z Podcast
#54 – Driving Revenue with Content, Focusing on ROI, and Structuring Agencies with Verbatim’s Adrian Alfieri
🎧Listen Now 🎧
In this week’s episode, I sat down with Adrian Alfieri, Founder of Verbatim, a content agency for SaaS products, to chat about how to build out content funnels. Specifically, we explored the following:
💰 Using content to generate revenue and the importance of strategic distribution
📲 Creating content for on-site, social, and email marketing to convert leads
😎 How to leverage social proof to generate an outsized ROI
🚀 Building a fast-growing organization and how to structure client relations
App Highlight - Lifetimely
If you need more insights into your customers' behavior and are trying to improve retention and increase LTV, Lifetimely is a quick and easy way to get actionable insights to help you focus your efforts where they matter most.
❓What is It: Lifetime Value and Profit Analytics for Shopify
🏅Differentiator: Lifetimely allows you to look at your customers’ lifetime value and other behaviors. Their in-depth features, functionalities, and data allow you to make better-informed decisions across your business. It includes:
- An automated P&L report with 10+ marketing and shipping integrations
- Custom dashboards and email reports with selectable KPIs
- Advanced cohort analysis filters, variable metrics, and CAC payback calculators
- Month-to-month projections of LTV and revenue
- 7+ in-depth reports that reveal your customers’ repeat buying habits.
💰Starting Price: Free
🚀How we use it: For cohort, retention, and LTV analysis. My “Using Lifetimely for Shopify CLTV Reporting & Analysis” video walks through how we use it at Electriq and what actionable insights and takeaways you can glean from the data.
I’m presenting my “10 Steps to Building a Retention Program” at ChargeX in D.C. from 4/26-4/28 and have discounted brand tickets if anyone wants them.
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