Sippin' & Shippin'Sep 30, 2022
Episode 24: Fear, failure, and success: lessons learned from an entrepreneur extraordinaire
The entrepreneur journey is not easy - it’s filled with twists, turns, roadblocks, and endless questions like “who can I reach out to,” “what am I doing,” and “what comes next?” To thrive in the entrepreneurial space, new founders must find an intersection of three things: understanding audience needs, being good at addressing those needs, and maintaining that passion that started the business in the first place. We sat down with entrepreneur James Marks from Trivial, and founder of Whiplash, to better understand the road to a successful startup and everything that comes along the way.
02:32 Authority, fear of rejection, and asking the right questions
04:40 First lesson learned: do one hard thing instead of 10
08:04 The “overnight” success story - what sticks and what doesn’t
09:51 Customer base, community building, and where to find guidance
15:49 Tales of woe: red flags to watch out for
17:28 How to overcome assumptions and accept feedback
21:33 Taking action and solving problems mindfully
26:10 Working on the business vs. working in the business
Episode 23: Making big companies feel small. Building a community from the inside out
In 2022, the key to a successful business revolves around the customer experience - and more importantly, the community-driven approach. But, building a community that feels authentic isn’t always easy. Customers are increasingly sensitive to whether retailers are simply selling to them or making an effort to strengthen relationships. The real question becomes: how can brands create genuine communities? Fun fact: it doesn’t always start with the customers. We took a deep dive into all things community with Caitlin Teed from Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash. One of her favorite quotes? “Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It's that simple, and it's that hard.” - Danny Meyer
01:25 Guest intro and background: Caitlin Teed (CC)
03:20 The Shopify ecosystem and what makes it a community
07:27 Community vs. audience - what’s the difference?
08:51 The power of authenticity and leveling up to your mission statement
12:41 What brands are harnessing a community?
14:45 Passionate people: if you believe it, your customers will believe it
16:19 A post-pandemic market: the experience-driven, genuine approach
19:50 What makes big brands feel small? And, how can they build a thriving community?
Episode 22: Welcome to returns culture: Leveraging reverse logistics for a better customer experience
Returns used to be one of the most challenging things about the buying journey. Customers had to go through multiple hoops just to cancel a subscription or return a product. In 2022, this is no longer the case. Reverse logistics is considered one of the most impactful ways to create a seamless customer experience. Why? Easy returns = happy customers who will come back again and again. This week, we sit down with Aaron Schwartz, VP of Loop to talk all things returns: current trends, how to optimize the returns process, and where personalization and revenue retention come into play.
01:24 Guest Aaron Schwartz: a serial entrepreneur’s journey
03:42 The founding story of Loop Returns
06:18 The fall of a difficult return policy
09:10 The new returns culture: personalization and automation
14:09 Returns vs. exchanges: optimizing the customer experience
17:49 Current trends: what to watch out for in returns
21:09 At what point does return management software make sense?
Episode 21: Is the server dead for online merchants? The power of a modern tech stack
Tried-and-true EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) has existed for decades, allowing big-name retailers and emerging brands to work together seamlessly. But this automated standard comes at a price - it typically works best with an older operating system. The new era of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) allows for greater connectivity between entrepreneurs and their partners, and prompts a looming question… is the old-school server dead? What does this mean for EDI? We’re chatting with Stuart Pick, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Brightpearl to get his insiders' take.
00:42 Meet our guest: Stuart Pick from Brightpearl
02:36 EDI vs. API and the need to modernize the tech stack
04:44 The need to modernize the tech stack
06:14 OMS. ERP. ROS. What makes the most sense for a scaling business?
10:25 The pain points of replenishment and how to strategize
13:26 Is the server dead? Should brands go cloud-based?
17:48 The modern tech stack and the end consumer: customer experience
20.30 The impact of scalable technology and what’s to come
Episode 20: Starting an e-commerce brand (and what they don’t tell you)
Founders start their companies with an idea and a passion. They've got an incredible product, want to tell a story, and, most importantly, create a loyal community. But there are many moving parts to building a successful e-commerce store - and it’s not as simple as setting up an online site. Details like SKU level margins, shipping options, and warehousing operations aren’t very exciting or creative but are essential parts of launching a sustainable business. We sat down with Nima Elyassi-Rad, Head of Business Development at Shippo, to dive into what founders need to know when starting an e-commerce business - the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
00:46 Being an entrepreneur: Nima’s background and experience.
03:35 Starting an e-commerce business - what they don't tell you.
05:44 The business of volume: why SKU level margin is important.
10:01 Oh, shoot - what about packaging? Covering small but important details.
15:01 Scaling and the need to outsource, but how?
16:54 The shipping side of e-commerce: choosing a carrier, capacity shortage, and more.
Episode 19: The biggest international shipping myths (busted!)
We’re talking all things international shipping as it relates to e-commerce. For online brands, international shipping can be a huge undertaking that becomes costly for themselves and their customers. So, what can brands do to smooth the process and manage costs? Our guest, Alex Yancher, Co-Founder and CEO of Passport Shipping, covers everything from unexpected fees and surcharges to old and new regulations to international returns and reverse logistics.
1:20 Guest Alex Yancher dives into his background and company.
3:33 What prompted the creation of Passport Shipping?
5:18 DDP vs DDU Shipping: What are they and what works best for ecommerce?
7:01 Which one of these methodologies (DDP v DDU) is recommended?
15:05 4 Myths around international shipping- busted.
24:18 The reverse logistics of international shipping: pain points, processes, and more.
32:34 Recent changes in international shipping – what should brands watch out for?
Episode 18: Welcome to season 2 of Sippin' & Shippin'
How can brands stand out from the crowd and deliver the best customer experience? What does proper peak season planning look like? In a post-pandemic world, where does the retail channel come into play? What does the Ryder acquisition mean for the logistics marketplace at large? In the first episode of season 2, we'll dive deep into these questions, recap season 1, and talk about what lies ahead for the next half of the year.
03:00: Revisiting all things parcel and peak planning.
08:52: The value of building a community around your brand.
11:30: Staying in pace with the evolving industry and selling channels.
14:16: Finding your audience’s niche products and values.
16:00: Choosing the right selling channels - is retail making a comeback?
17:42: The returns revolution: to create friction or not to create friction?
21:23: Exploring the Ryder/Whiplash acquisition - what does it mean?
Episode 17: The most wonderful time of the year…will holiday parcel make it to your doorstep?
Ah, it’s the holiday season! Along with colder days, warmer drinks, and a festive buzz in the air, this busy time of year comes with an increased demand in deliveries. What does this mean for ecommerce brands? A focus on parcel is the key to a successful customer experience. We sat down with Sean Kim, VP of Customer Experience & Global Parcel Strategy at Whiplash, for a look into carrier challenges, merchant do’s & don’ts, shipping strategies, and more this holiday season.
You can learn more about holiday shipping deadlines here: https://whiplash.com/blog/holiday-shipping-deadlines-2021/
Episode 16: What the heck is happening at the ports? And where do we go from here?
Congested terminals, vessels accumulating in ports, warehouses packed beyond capacity … supply chain deficiencies have always been present during peak season. But over the past few months, we’ve been exposed to more and more difficulties on the import side of the fulfillment process. This week we sat down with Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor at the West Coast Journal of Commerce, for a deep dive into what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what to expect for the future.
- JOC - Journalism of Commerce
- TEU - Twenty-foot equivalent unit
- ILWU - International Longshore and Warehouse Union
- CDL - Commercial driver’s license
- NGOs - Non-governmental organization
Episode 15: The micro-influencer movement and how it can help your brand
With customers looking for an authentic approach and genuine connection, having a micro-influencer marketing strategy can help drive growth and retention. But who are micro-influencers? We have good news – they may already love your brand. Brett Bernstein, Founder and CEO of Gatsby is here to talk about how you can find micro-influencers within your customer community.
Episode 14: How to green your business one order at a time
Today’s consumers want to make sustainable purchasing decisions - and they want merchants to help them do it. We’re talking to Dane Baker, Co-Founder and CEO of EcoCart, about how ecommerce brands can take the right steps to lessen their carbon footprint.
Episode 13: The evolution of headless commerce (and what’s coming next)
Ecommerce is evolving so rapidly it’s hard for merchants to keep up. So, what do brands need to think about when venturing into the world of headless commerce? Todd Welling and Andrew Potkewitz from Overdose. are here to tell us all about the challenges and opportunities of decoupling the front end from your back end.
Episode 12: How to best manage channel conflict in a post-COVID era
More selling channels, more problems? Ecommerce expert and author, Brian Beck, joins us to discuss the power shift transformation in the marketplace and the channel conflict it can create. In this post-COVID era, ‘value’ has a whole new meaning.
Episode 11: Peak is coming. Do you have your boots on the ground?
Labor shortages have been an ongoing problem across industries during COVID-19, and logistics has been one of the hardest hit. So, what can businesses and 3PLs do to secure the seasonal labor they need to meet the demands of a busy peak? Mike Venditti, the VP, Western Region at Whiplash, has some answers.
Episode 10: Peak season is here. Here’s how retailers should be approaching 2021.
If you haven’t started forecasting peak season demand already, it’s high time to get started. Andrew Bagwell, the VP of Engineering at Whiplash, is joining us in this episode to tell us how 3PLs are getting their clients peak season ready.
Episode 9: How to use content to drive community in ecommerce
Online shoppers are often flying solo through the purchasing process. So, how do you make sure that your brand is connecting with customers and building that repeat purchasing power? Habib Salo, CEO of the phenomenally successful cosmetics brand Young Nails, is here to talk about the importance of community-building in ecommerce.
Episode 8: Finding your brand’s voice in today's digital era
Roosterly founder, Irfan Jafrey, found out the hard way that the strategy of ‘if you built it, they’ll come’ simply doesn’t work in today’s business climate. In this episode, he explains how the humble sales funnel is the lifeblood of today’s digitally native brands.
Episode 7: The A to Z of launching a D2C brand
The direct to consumer marketplace has never been more competitive. So, what separates the brands that succeed from those that don't? We speak (and drink) with Founder & CEO of Brunt Workwear, Eric Girouard, about how he built a thriving online brand just seven months after launching.
Episode 6: Finding relevancy in post-pandemic retail
Should direct-to-consumer brands bother with brick and mortar in the age of ecommerce? That's what we're here to discuss with Yohan Jacob from Retailbound. Because while the retail landscape may be tough right now, there are some huge opportunities for retailers who are willing to adapt.
Episode 5: The returns evolution, fulfilling the customer experience
It wasn’t all that long ago returns were considered something of a faux pas in retail. Today, hassle-free returns have morphed from a customer perk into a customer expectation. David Sobie, Co-Founder of Happy Returns, joins us to unpack why returns have become so integral to a merchant’s success and how to provide customers options to enhance the customer experience.
Bonus Episode: Post Brexit, part deux. Shipping into the EU
Last week we discussed shipping into the UK, but what about the EU? Is there a difference? Back by popular demand, Shaun King, of KINGS VAT LTD, joins us for a bonus episode to explain. We’ll cover the difference between B2B/B2C sales, VAT implications, cost of compliance, return drawbacks, and how this is affecting markets across the pond.
Episode 4: How the F^*K do you ship into the UK post-Brexit!??!?
Its apparent the Brexit deal doesn't translate into 'business as usual' for brands shipping across the pond. What are your options? What are the differences for B2B vs B2C shipments? Are there any products exempt from customs duties and VAT? Tax expert Shaun King, from Kings VAT LTD, breaks down everything you need to know to successfully ship into the EU and UK.
Episode 3: The trials and tribulations of parcel impact on brands… aka do’s and don’ts — with CJ Confer, President at MT. JAC Consulting
After all the disruption of 2020, what's currently happening in the world of parcel? What goes into the brand's decision to offer free or discounted shipping? How much do service levels, package weight, and package dims play a role? That's what we're here to discuss today with supply chain and logistics expert CJ Confer.
Episode 2: Brand Personalization, What to Keep and How to Scale — with Robert Escobar, Camino Real Group
As your brand grows up, don't lose that connection to your customers. Sure, you might not be able to personally write a “thank you” to include in every order. That’s ok. There are solutions that allow you to scale while maintaining that connection to your customers.
Intro Episode: Sippin' & Shippin'? Who dis?
Welcome to our first episode! Sippin' & Shippin' helps brands, rising entrepreneurs, and future industry leaders by sharing valuable information about the industry and their peers as told by industry insiders and their peers themselves.