IAN RHODESgrowing ecommerce sales (without trashing prices)
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
All the things that I have done…
22 years learning what motivates people to buy online
In 2004 I was already 7 years into my career in ecommerce. I had an itch to build my own business. So I started blogging. Let’s use the term ‘blogging’ loosely. I hand-coded a platform that allowed me to share my thoughts, ideas and opinions with the world. It was rough and ready. But, it gained traction. I earned subscribers. Emails drove business. Profitable business. I was writing about guitars and building an audience of people that were reading what I was writing! What a feeling.
That business grew. I hand-built an ecommerce platform to sell the guitars I talked about. I then took on a high street store. A 5000sq ft warehouse. A business, a simple business, bootstrapped & built upon my hobby.
A lot of lessons learned. Good times. Bad times. At the point of selling the business we had sold over 10,000 guitars, 100,000+ accessories. Reaching 2,500,000 readers. All with no investment. Just a belief and a topic to write about (and a penchant for seo, email marketing and customer-centred copywriting)
Learning the value of truly customer-centred, data-informed, story-driven marketing
Through my 22 year career online I’ve either worked, owned or consulted with customer-centric, product brands. Understanding the value of repeat business.
In 1996 a startup selling magazine subscriptions online in a publishing industry afraid of the internet.
In 2000 a disruptive business asking customers to Name Their Own Price (which is now the world’s largest travel company) as competitors came to terms with customers wanting to shop online.
In 2004 starting my own ecommerce business selling unknown brands in an exceptionally brand-centric marketplace. Going through the trials and tribulations that you face right now.
Since 2009, having sold my business, I’ve consulted, trained and coached ecommerce entrepreneurs, near and far, large and small, on the process of customer-centred email marketing. Guiding ecommerce brands on their road to true customercentricity. It’s how retail businesses are built for the long-haul. Profitably and sustainably. With people central to the process.
Before we get into the work bit, I was raised in SW London, Hong Kong and spent 7 years in Indianapolis USA before the age of 18…
Let me attempt to condense my 22 years of learning and experience as an Ecommerce marketer into bullet points.
I’ll try to keep this short…
From Subscription Startup to the Biggest Travel Company On The Globe (1996-2002)
1995 – completed a degree in Economics with a dissertation entitled ‘Marketing on the Internet’ (this was 24 years ago….)
1996 – joined one of the UK’s first eCommerce startups as Head of Marketing (I was the marketing team) in London.
1999 – My first speaking event at the UK’s first Affiliate Marketing Conference.
2000 – Work documented in Jakob Nielsen’s Homepage Usability book published.
2000 – Joined Priceline.com (now the world’s biggest travel company) as European Marketing Director.
Saying ‘Screw It’ and Starting My Own Retail Business (2004-2008)
2004 – launched my own bootstrapped retail business focused on selling guitars from makers you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
2005 – The DIY guide to growth. Hand-built an eCommerce platform and wrote daily articles (this was long before the days before WordPress…) on a hard-coded ‘blog’.
2006 – Opened our first bricks and mortar (and wood and steel) shop in Ripley, Surrey and started taking on employees.
2006 – Earned the Fender Europe Top Dealer Award.
2008 – Sold 10,000 guitars and built a website that grew from zero to over 2.5m unique visitors in 4 years.
Selling my business and starting my consulting practice (2008 onwards)
2008 – Founded Ecommerce Growth Company to advise and consult with retailers on building profitable, sustainable ecommerce brands.
2009-2014 – Expanded into a world of working with bigger clients including Pfizer, Channel Advisor, The Works, HSS Hire, Remploy, Gossard, Pretty Polly
2014 – Listed as one of 14 conversion experts you should be following by Crazy Egg
2014 – Listed as one of the world’s Top 25 most influential conversion rate experts by PPC Hero
2015 – Launched the Marketing Homebrew Podcast in collaboration with Content Revolution author Mark Masters
2015 – Published the first in my series of ebooks, Make What You Make Matter
2015 – Contributed to the How 20 Search Experts Beat Rising Costs ebook by Conversion Sciences
2015 – Training provider alongside leading CRO Experts for Conversion Machine
2015 – Speaking at conferences across Europe (inc. first ever trips to Greece and Latvia) to share insights to help marketers be more purposeful in their daily marketing lives.
2015 – Appointed to the advisory board at content marketing agency Contentology
2016 – Recognised on the UsabilityTools.com hall of fame – 32 conversion optimisation experts to follow
2016 – Published my second eBook, Emotive Selling For The Online Retailer
2016 – Currently writing my first full book, Untemplate, ready for publication in Spring 2017
2016 – Interviewed by Design Week asked the question when is it right for designers to write?
2016 – Interview with Savage Marketing talking CRO
2016 – Speaking at events in Berlin, Warsaw and Bucharest during Oct/Nov 2016
2017 – Surpassed 120 shows of the Marketing Homebrew podcast with 40,000 downloads with listeners in 65 countries
2017 – Booked to speak for the 3rd time at the UK’s biggest retail fashion event, MODA
2017 – Hosted ‘5 Steps To Convert More Visitors Into Customers’ webinar with Veeqo
2017 – Currently working on the launch of the Ecommerce Growth Academy & Podcast – launching later 2017
2018 – Contributor to the Holistic Email Marketing report The State of Retail Email Subscribe Forms
2018 – Interviewed by TakeCare.io for their Customer Intelligence Masters series
2018 – First appointed Platinum partner to email platform Klaviyo outside of the USA
2018 – Interviewed by Ecommerce Times in their 5 Ways To Build Community Around Your Brand article
2019 – January – Joined 22 conversion experts in delivering the Elementor Conversion tips for 2019 round-up
2019 – Interviewed by Drapers magazine on the use of short-form video for fashion brands
2019 – Interviewed by CMO.com discussing omnichannel strategy
2019 – February – Keynote speaker at the 3XE Conversion Conference in Dublin, Ireland
2019 – March – Keynote speaker at the InOrbit Conference in Portorož, Slovenia
2019 – April – Returning keynote speaker at the Marketing Week Ecommerce Conference in Athens, Greece
2019 – May – Interviewed by Digital Commerce 360 on the use of customer insight data
2019 – October – talking personalisation with the Ecommerce Times
THAT'S NICE DEARWHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
Delivering Profitable Ecommerce Growth
22 years learning what makes people shop again.
I advise upon and help action the retention strategies that drive long-term ecommerce success. Customer-centred. Data-informed. Story-driven. Clients are based in the UK, USA, Canada and on the international stage (literally).
My clients are in 1 of 3 situations.
- they are highly focused on acquisition. They’ve reached the point where growth begins to stall and are looking for advice that will fuel conversion & retention for continued profitable growth.
- they are leaders in their industry and need strategic advice in order to further their customer-centric business model.
- they are working with aged technologies that require a swift kick into 2020. I’m there to develop the skills and plan the use of technology to drive modern ecommerce.
The role of the ecommerce marketer has changed significantly. It demands insight. It demands creativity. It demands focus. Blending creative copywriting skills, technologies, analytical insight and a defined customer retention process to grow sales more profitably.
I work from my home office in the lovely village of Prestbury Cheshire here in the North West of England. Two kids. One beagle. My clients are scattered across the globe in a variety of industries. I’ve worked with over 280 businesses in a range of sectors. I have the continued privilege of travelling around the globe running workshops and speaking at conferences.