March 2022 TechCast | Using E-Commerce to Expand Your Online Presence
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The global e-commerce market is expected to total $5.55 trillion in 2022. Between the pandemic, the transition to remote work and increased digitization, e-commerce is expected to continue growing, reaching approximately 24.5% of sales by 2025.
The March 2022 episode of the Arizona Technology Council’s TechCast podcast featured e-commerce experts including Amory Borromeo, director of Technology Operations & Talent at Carvana; John Lott, founder & CEO of e-Commerce Industry Council and chief financial officer of SpearmintLOVE; Honey Olesen, director of operations at atmosol; and Brad Wheeler, senior director of Customer Strategy at Emerge. These leaders joined Karen Nowicki, president and owner of Phoenix Business RadioX, and Bianca Buliga, director of marketing + communications at the Council, in exploring technology’s role in discussing how small- to mid-sized companies can build e-commerce stores to gain a competitive edge and expand their businesses online.
Throughout this hour-long episode, this panel of e-commerce specialists defined e-commerce and detailed the various benefits of adopting e-commerce in today’s increasingly digitized world. For companies who have historically depended on a brick-and-mortar, in-person format of transacting with their customers, exploring the world of e-commerce provides an avenue to make their existing sales process more efficient, while simultaneously granting them access to new customers they wouldn’t have previously been able to reach.
During the course of the conversation, Honey Olesen shared how atmosol has been able to help their clients build and develop e-commerce platforms that have completely transformed their growth trajectories within their respective industries. When first considering online expansion, atmosol helps clients decide whether they want to select an existing e-commerce platform through Shopify or Magento, or whether they’d like to make the initial investment to build out a more customized e-commerce store. While using an existing platform may seem easier in the beginning, Honey warned that these platforms may not be as easy to customize as the client’s company grows and evolves over time.
John Lott is not only the founder and CEO of the e-Commerce Industry Council, which convenes e-commerce companies from around the world – he also serves as CFO of SpearmintLOVE, an e-commerce company that he and his wife co-founded focused on selling clothing for babies. This dual perspective put him in the perfect position to provide advice to growing companies who are currently only operating offline. He advised business leaders to carefully project their customer acquisition cost, build a compelling narrative that differentiates your product or service offerings and create a trustworthy online reputation that passively generates new customer connections on your behalf.
During her time at Carvana, Amory Borromeo has seen the importance of brand loyalty firsthand. Over the past few years, Carvana has surged in popularity and grown exponentially, even snagging coveted commercial air time during this year’s Super Bowl. But selling used cars presents its own challenges with building trust and vetting products before they’re resold. Amory also noted that at Carvana, it’s especially important to consider a customer’s lifetime value – since customers only purchase so many vehicles over the course of their lives, referral marketing and word-of-mouth ends up playing in an important role in their sales cycle, as indicated in their memorable Super Bowl commercial.
A recurring theme that Brad Wheeler emphasized several times was e-commerce’s role in making existing systems and procedures more efficient. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Emerge leveraged the “network effect” to optimize their freight procurement platform by providing procurement companies with access to benchmarked rates and a large network of connections for spot and contract freight. Tackling the supply chain challenges that have surfaced with the increased demand for online goods, Brad doesn’t anticipate that e-commerce is going anywhere – in fact, he predicts that it will continue to grow exponentially in the years to come.
As small- to mid-sized companies deliberate whether e-commerce is the right business strategy for their business, this panel of e-commerce experts all agree: with intentional marketing, an enticing or philanthropic business narrative and a human-centered platform, there is no limit to the potential growth that e-commerce can help your business achieve.
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/techcast to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.
About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.
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