DiscoverThe Commerce Marketer Podcast: Talking eCommerce, Email Marketing, Retail, and More
The Commerce Marketer Podcast: Talking eCommerce, Email Marketing, Retail, and More

The Commerce Marketer Podcast: Talking eCommerce, Email Marketing, Retail, and More

Author: Bronto Marketing Platform

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Step into The Commerce Marketer studio as we chat with experts across the retail industry about email marketing, eCommerce trends, strategies and what lies ahead for commerce marketers and retailers. The conversation is full of helpful information you'll certainly find useful in your own endeavors and we’ll have a little fun as well.
68 Episodes
On this episode of “The Commerce Marketer Podcast” I’m joined by Viv Conway and Tash Meys who share their strategies for growing your Instagram followers — and attracting the right ones. The founders of Ace The Gram start by discussing how to use Instagram the “right way” (9:20) and how businesses can decide what purpose it should serve (10:20). Next, they give a case study illustrating high-quality content and overall strategic plan, and then shift gears to discuss images (15:00) and tentpole strategies for growing followers (17:10). Tash and Viv then shed light on what makes a “good” Instagram (IG) post (18:15), how that differs from a good IG Story (20:30), ways to use Stories and how to develop a Highlight strategy (23:30). Next they cover how to develop a complete strategy around them, from how many to use and where to put them in a post for maximum effect (25:00). They answer the age-old question, “How often should I post?” (32:15) and share their method for structuring successful giveaways (36:00). They end by discussing the influencer industry and specific tools and tips for getting things done with limited internal resources, before finally sharing the first things they’d do on IG if they were starting a business today (51:46).  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Ace the Gram: Website: Tasha “Tash” Meys: Vivien “Viv” Conway: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Luke Daniel Lucht, co-founder and research director at Research Farm, to discuss developing retail technologies around the globe and how they may impact the future of retail. Lucht begins by discussing approaches and challenges to unmanned stores overseas and what they could mean for similar stores in the U.S. (3:10) — and how the Amazon Go model fits into the future of these store formats (5:40). Next, he discusses what facial recognition might hold for retailers and consumers (10:00 and China’s new social credit system. He describes how it’s being used to curb and influence both shopping and public behavior and its implications for democratic countries (13:00). Daniel shifts focus to online grocery trends and how UK trends may impact the US online grocery market (23:30). He then dives into the future of autonomous vehicles (29:35), robo-warehousing and the future of grocers using vertical farming to provide fresher produce (34:00). Lucht also talks about how retailers can target consumers based on mood as signaled by wearables and how they interact with smartphones (37:50). Finally, he turns back to the online grocery market and which new grocers we should be watching for (45:00). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe.  For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Research Farm: Website: Dan Lucht: Email: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
CEO of MIVA and author of Dragonproof Ecommerce Rick Wilson joins me on this episode of “The Commerce Marketer Podcast” to share his perspective on the state of ecommerce and the consumer landscape. Wilson also hosts the “Protecting Your Online Business Podcast,” where he recalls stories and lessons learned from more than 20 years in ecommerce. Wilson starts by discussing what he thinks is the “end of the beginning of the ecommerce landscape” and retailers’ problem with free shipping and returns (5:00). Next, Wilson describes how the dot-com bust changed best practices, which new ones are transforming (7:10) and lessons to learn other brands’ mistakes (10:45). He then talks through modern marketing strategies and how to see into your own marketing blind spots (16:15). Wilson shifts gears to discuss effective meeting structures and how Amazon can be a catalyst for positive change (29:00) before predicting what Amazon and ecommerce will look like in the future (33:00). He goes on to theorize about the impact of AR and VR (38:40), the role "headless commerce" will play (42:00), and the most interesting ecommerce development of the past 20 years (44:00).  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: MIVA: Website: Email: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Luke Peters, CEO and founder of NewAir Appliances and host of the Page 1 Podcast, where he shares their blueprint for successfully launching new products. Luke starts by describing his ideal customer (2:15) and why New Air pivoted away from exclusively selling direct-to-consumer (2:50), and then explains how their 50 new product launches a year bring value (8:00) and the benefits of having the same SKUs for both your website and retail partners (12:00). Luke shifts to why customer reviews and YouTube influencers are a vital part of their launch strategy (15:20), discussing the most valuable types of on-site content (18:50) and elements of a successful YouTube video (21:00). Next, Luke dissects paid ad strategies and how opportunities on marketplaces impact a launched product’s ROI (24:10). He then discusses the importance of product reviews and his strategy for collecting early reviews (26:40) before wrapping up with contingencies for launches that don’t go as planned (33:20). He finishes by sharing some launch strategy pitfalls (39:30) and the biggest mistakes he sees other companies make when launching their own products (43:00).  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: New Air: Website: Luke Peters: Email: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Carson Finkle, CEO at Tenth Street Hats, to discuss using augmented reality (AR) and 3D product imaging on websites. Carson starts by describing their target audience and why they tested AR on their website (3:00). He explains what the experience looks like for the end-user and why they went with a web-based approach instead of an app-based one (4:50). Carson then explains why they tested AR on their website (7:30) and what the setup process was like (9:00). Carson then breaks down cost considerations (10:20) and balancing these costs with traditional content creation (11:00). Next, he shares results from products that used the AR functionality (11:40). Carson dives into using style quizzes to deliver a unique welcome series experience and other ways they bring awareness to their AR functionality (14:15). He discusses why they removed discounts for consumers who shared their AR-generated photos on Instagram, how they envision using AR to expand their customer base (18:30) and the most surprising thing learned after implementing AR and 3D imaging tools (21:20). Carson then shifts to the customer experience, describing their buy now, pay later option (22:30) and what he sees as the next step for improving online shopping experiences (24:00) before ending with their most successful digital marketing tactics (33:30). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Tenth Street Hats: Website: Carson Finkle: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
Bob Hitching, CEO of Playable, joins the podcast to discuss how the time to use video in email marketing has finally arrived. Bob starts by explaining why video is now an effective element of email marketing (2:20), then discusses ways to overcome time and resource constraints of video production (4:30) and use pre-existing video content (6:00). Bob then dives into how to use data, such as location and time of day, to make video even more relevant to subscribers (8:30). He then shares video content test results (11:00) and advice on optimizing messages based on those results (12:45), and then how the video experience differs from animated GIFs (15:50). He covers how to handle email clients that don’t support video (17:00), offers examples of how retailers using video in email (18:00), and what to expect when using video (19:40). Finally, Bob offers advice on how to get started using video in your email marketing, from selecting content and tools to overcoming time constraints with AI (23:00). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Playable: Website: Bob Hitching: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
In this episode, Greg Zakowicz, senior commerce marketing analyst at Oracle NetSuite, discusses email marketing strategies for the 2019 holiday season. He begins with some of the key takeaways from last year and how they impact this year’s season (1:45), then covers the most appealing discounts and how to integrate them into your email planning (4:30). Greg then discusses the benefits of running daily deals and category-specific promotions (5:00) and how free shipping factors into these promotions’ success (6:00). Greg explores consumer expectations of free shipping, details how free shipping can generate sales (8:00), and shares ways to promote free shipping with subject lines (13:00) — he “wraps up” the promotional segment with tips on BOPIS (14:00), free gifts and loyalty points (15:00). Next, he breaks down how the Cyber Five has expanded into a ten-day marketing period (17:00) and Cyber Monday strategies (21:30) before sharing five key holiday planning items (28:00) and lifecycle message considerations for the holidays (30:00). He ends with a single email tip to give you an edge on the competition (36:00).  For more holiday resources, be sure to view the resource links below.  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Holiday Resources: Holiday Email Lookbook — 2019 Edition: Email Marketing Resources: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer at HBT Marketing, to discuss how marketers can use behavioral science to nudge their customers and encourage purchase decisions. Nancy starts by covering how “eye magnet” words and the Von Restorff Effect can create more effective email subject lines and headlines (3:40), and then shares which word has been repeatedly associated with top-performing subject lines (7:30). Nancy dives into content by discussing ways to effectively use social proof to influence clicks and conversions (11:00), what makes a “good” email (17:00), what imagery makes a difference (19:00), and how using graphs and charts provides scientific backing (20:00). Next, Nancy details specific landing page techniques and the science behind product returns, and she discusses how the “endowment effect” can make returns a differentiator (33:50). Nancy then explores how behavioral science can affect the physical world (40:00) before outlining the potential pitfalls of using behavioral science in marketing (44:00) — and ends by sharing the best place for retailers to start using it (48:00). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: HBT Marketing: Nancy Harhut: Twitter: LinkedIn: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Harry Cunningham, vice president of retail brand experience at Vera Bradley, to discuss what goes into designing modern-day brick-and-mortar stores that appeal to consumers. Harry explains some of the driving forces behind Vera Bradley’s redesign of their storefronts (5:45), and the steps taken when embarking on designing a new store concept (8:45). Harry explains how the store design revolves around solving shopper challenges (10:30) and how they used data to uncover some shopper opportunities (13:00). Next, Harry discusses how they factor generational cohorts into their store concepts (14:15), how they balance online and physical interaction for in-store shoppers (16:55), and how much the local community impacts the overall store design (18:00). Next, Harry explains the role of technology in the in-store experience, from balancing technology with traditional store principles (24:00) to how they incorporated VR into their stores, and how they view this technology as a future component of in-store retail (25:15). He’ll share how they know when a design update is needed (30:30), his insights into what he thinks the future of brick-and-mortar stores will look like (35:00), and where he finds creative inspiration (37:00). Harry shares examples of how even bad design ideas can turn into good ones (42:00) and provides advice for pulling the most creativity out of a collective group of people (44:00). Harry ends by sharing a personal story of a great in-store customer service experience and how it directly resulted in additional orders (49:00).  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Vera Bradley: Website: Harry Cunningham: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Erin Jordan, vice president and partner at Walker Sands Communications, to discuss the key findings of their sixth “Future of Retail” report. Erin discusses the trends the most notable trends and what the report says about consumer convenience and connection (2:00). She breaks down consumers’ expectations of shipping polices (3:00), their expectation of free shipping (6:30), and the impact supply chain transparency will have on retail (8:00). Erin also covers the in-store experience, BOPIS’s importance (9:30), and the impact convenience has on brand loyalty (14:15). Next, she details the future of brick-and-mortar and how experiential in-store shopping will actually need to be (21:00). Erin then dives into how product categories differ between direct retailer web sales and those on marketplaces and what this says about changing consumer shopping habits (24:00). She also addresses consumer attitudes on online grocery (37:00) before we share our personal online grocery shopping experiences (41:00). She ends by outlining consumer trust in brand-suggested recommendations (47:00) and the impact sustainability has on purchasing decisions (51:00). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Walker Sands Communications: Website: Erin Jordan: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Erin Hoffman, director of ecommerce at Door County Coffee, to discuss the shifting consumer coffee market and how they use email marketing to engage customers and drive revenue. Erin starts by discussing how the shifting in-home coffee demographic impacted their digital marketing strategy (9:00). She outlines how their email marketing team is organized and how it contributes to their overall online marketing revenue (14:30) before diving into their send cadence, message content, and segmentation (17:40). Next, she addresses the challenge of handling unengaged subscribers and then discusses their automated email programs (22:50), focusing on welcome series, cart abandonment messaging, and their repeat purchase program (33:30). She describes the specific challenge of converting a purchaser into a subscription service customer before explaining how they doubled their subscriptions and increased customer AOV with a few changes to their membership benefits (36:50). Finally, she imparts some content marketing insights (41:30) before ending with some fun facts about coffee.  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Door County Coffee Website: Erin Hoffman: Bronto Marketing Platform LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
I’m joined by Ronald Dod, CMO and co-founder of the ecommerce-focused search marketing agency Visiture, to discuss the current state of SEO, its evolution, and its integration with marketing (1:48). Ron continues with what makes an SEO-friendly title, the role of search intent (3:50), and the impact of dwell time on search results (8:40). He covers how retailers can optimize product pages and the media elements that don’t negatively affect the shopping experience (11:20). He’ll also discuss how content marketing fits into the retail environment (13:50) and then explains the elements of effective retailer blog posts (19:15). Ron dives into content clustering (20:35), social media’s impact on SEO (23:50), and Google and Facebook traffic trends (26:40). Finally, Ron ventures into voice search (27:35), the importance of featured snippets (32:40), and two things every retailer can do to immediately improve their SEO (34:40). Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Visiture: Website: Ron Dod: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Dennis Kelly, CEO of the direct mail automation company Postalytics, to discuss how to augment digital marketing channels with direct mail. Dennis explains how direct mail has evolved and why its usage is on the rise (2:45). He’ll discuss consumers’ emotional response to direct mail pieces and how to use small-batch, drip-style campaigns (9:40). He also covers how closely you should target customers and ways it can enhance your digital marketing initiatives (12:40). Dennis shares insights on tracking results, incentives, and timing strategies for your campaigns (21:30). He’ll discuss the expected direct mail campaign lifespans, benchmarks, and what a typical campaign might look like (23:10). Finally, Dennis breaks down the cost, essential design elements, and differences between B2C and B2B direct mail campaigns. Join us for all of this, and more! Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Postalytics: Website: Dennis Kelly: Bronto Marketing Platform: LinkedIn: Twitter: Website:
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Mark Brazil, co-founder of the canvas art company Ikonick, to discuss how he created a multimillion-dollar business in less than two years by combining email, video, social, and influencer marketing. Mark begins by discussing how different social engagement patterns among genders impacted their paid marketing strategy (3:08), going on to describe how storytelling changed their social and email marketing — and their definition of success (8:10). Mark explains storytelling’s impact on email conversions and how they measure the success of those email campaigns (16:40). He details how they approach content and social strategies and why influencers are crucial, and he offers a surprisingly successful marketing tactic for growing your social presence (24:06). Mark then tells the story of his partnership with entrepreneur and author Gary V, and shares a final piece of advice for growing and scaling a business (34:00).  For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Ikonick Website:  Bronto Marketing Platform LinkedIn: Twitter:  Website: Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. 
Jennifer O’Connor of The University of Kansas Bookstore describes the bookstore industry’s evolution (4:30) and how they drive in-store traffic with social media (6:18). She details ways to overcome email segmentation challenges by using other digital marketing channels (13:40) and compete with larger retailers, who can offer larger selections and discounts (17:25). She also shares ways to integrate social media with email marketing campaigns (20:00) and lessons from their first Facebook Live event (22:30). In the final segment, O’Connor shares their six-month email marketing roadmap (24:23) and marketing strategies for the busy season (27:00), closing with the rationale behind their delivery program expansion over BOPIS (28:40). For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: KU Bookstore Website: LinkedIn: Oracle Bronto LinkedIn: Twitter:  Website: Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe.
In this episode, co-founder of the influencer marketing agency Viral Nation Joe Gagliese discusses the ins and outs of the billion-dollar influencer marketing industry. Joe sheds light on influencer marketing misconceptions and explains how a brand should determine whether influencer marketing is a good fit for them (9:10). He explains what the process of working with influencers looks like (11:30) and the challenges of working with both micro and macro-influencers (15:00). And the money — Joe describes the different payment structures you can use and how company size impacts this (19:00). He also breaks down pitfalls to be wary of (23:20), the nuances of working with influencers (28:50), and the importance of analytics (32:25). For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Viral Nation: Website: Instagram: Email: Oracle Bronto LinkedIn: Twitter:  Website: Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe. 
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Cassidy Stockton and Kevin Irish of Bob’s Red Mill to discuss their use of content, email, social media, and influencer marketing to keep engagement high and drive sales, revealing the strategies that keep their product top of mind with in-store shoppers (7:49). And when it comes to email, they explain segmentation strategies (9:40), balancing content and incentives (10:45), and their automated message success (16:20). Cassidy and Kevin also share the importance of their content marketing strategy (21:20) and how they leverage that content in their social marketing (27:20). Finally, they break down how their customer service tam drives content development (30:00), and how they tie UGC into abandoned cart messages (34:50).  For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Bob’s Red Mill Website: LinkedIn (Cassidy): LinkedIn (Kevin): Oracle Bronto LinkedIn: Twitter:  Website:
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Ben Argov, president of International Wine Accessories (IWA), to discuss how they built their email program from the ground up using lifecycle email marketing to drive nearly half of their 2018 email revenue. We cover the strategies behind triggered campaigns and how to avoid the pitfalls of email fatigue with segmentation. He describes the mistakes they made with their lifecycle campaigns and what he learned from them, detailing how metrics inform their post-purchase strategy and how they approach VIP customers. For More: Greg Zakowicz Twitter: LinkedIn: Ben Argov Email: LinkedIn: Website: Oracle Bronto LinkedIn: Twitter:  Website:
Whether you’re a B2C or B2B retailer, having a considered Amazon strategy is critical for your business.  In this episode of the podcast, B2B & B2C ecommerce strategist, advisor and author, Brian Beck discusses how to create an Amazon strategy that helps you successfully compete on — and even against — Amazon. He also details the B2C and B2B nuances, challenges that come with selling on the marketplace, and when avoiding the platform makes the most sense.  You’ll hear about: · Why you should have an Amazon strategy, even if you don’t sell on the marketplace. · How Amazon product searches impact retailers. · Ways to determine your key differentiators and why they’re so important. · How products’ categories impact your strategic approach. · Ways to compete with Amazon when you’re both in the same product category. · How post-purchase email messaging fits into your Amazon strategy. To contact Brian or learn more about his services: Email: Websites: Twitter: LinkedIn:
Retailers need to build emotional connections with their customers, but too many still rely on marketing tactics designed around transactions, not relationships. In today’s competitive retail environment, this style of marketing and lack of consumer engagement will fail to create loyal customers. In this episode, Steve Deckert, co-founder of, will discuss transactional actions within email, social, and loyalty programs, along with ways to turn those actions into emotional ones.  Step into the studio where we’ll discuss: · Foundational elements needed to create emotional connections with consumers. · Why many loyalty programs fail and how to transform them into ones that customers love. · Which incentives can help create positive emotional connections. · Ways to align a brand’s identity with the consumer’s identity. · Keys to finding the right balance between transactional and emotional rewards. To contact Steve, or to learn more about Website:   Twitter: Instagram: Steve:  Twitter: LinkedIn:
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