Month: October 2022

Talk Commerce Thien-Lan Weber

Four Ways to Increase your Website ROI with Thien-Lan Weber

Tune in today to learn about the four easy steps you can take BEFORE Black Friday to make your site faster. (You can even tune in after Black Friday). Thien-Lan Weber talks about the four easy steps you can take today to ensure your ROI is maximized on your website ROI.

OneStepCheckout is not a traditional Magento module provider with a lot of extensions. Our checkout module is our core business. We work exclusively with checkout and conversions to always bring you the best possible checkout product. We are all about reducing customer abandonment and increasing customer conversions.

Show notes

  1. Page speed deck by John Hughes:
  2. Forbes Finance Council Article:
  3. Optty (Buy Now Pay Later Aggregator):
  4. Hyva:
  5. Wyomind Shipping Extension:
  6. OneStepCheckout Seamless Registration Feature:


Brent: Welcome to this Spoony holiday edition of Talk Commerce. Today I have Thien-Lan Weber from One Step Checkout and she has done a much better job of her costume and background than I have Thien-Lan. Why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself, tell us what your day to day role is and one of your passions in life.

Thien-Lan: Hello, I’m Thien-Lan Weber. I work for OneStepCheckOut. So I guess most people know me otherwise. One step checkout is the main Magento extension to reduce for Magento one and Magen two. My passion in life, it’s eCommerce and drumming. I also like dress. And appearing on podcasts. 

Brent: Excellent, thank you.

Brent: And so today before we get into our regular content, I’m gonna tell you a joke and then you are going to tell me if that joke should be free or if we could charge for it. Ready? You ready, ? Okay. I found out my girlfriend is really a ghost. I had my suspicions the moment she walked through the door.

Thien-Lan: It’ll be free. 

Brent: Good. All right, Telan. I know today is Halloween, so I dressed up in my doctor who Christmas sweater, which I have my holidays completely mixed. And you are very well appointed in a a scary outfit with a span stuck in your head and you even have a great background. I appreciate that.

Brent: But we, let’s talk about the scary state of the economy and things coming. And then I think, let’s put it into context of what merchants can be doing to make sure that they’re getting everything they can out of their website. . Exactly. 

Thien-Lan: Yeah. So yeah, not very funny. The current state of the economy is pretty gloomy.

Thien-Lan: We actually, I noticed that in New York when I went for McLin to New York, it was not as vibrant as 2018 and 2019 when I went and even the locals like Eric, and. Laura was telling, wa was saying that, A bit more dangerous. Lots of homeless people in the street. And I guess here in Europe we hear all the news about inflation war in Ukraine and yeah.

Thien-Lan: Worldwide inflation is around 8.2%. For the last 12 months in the US it’s yeah, around 8%. In Europe it’s around 10%, but with big discrepancies between countries like France, where I live, which is like 6%, and countries where Anton I imagine to expert lives in Estonia where it’s like 25%.

Thien-Lan: So yeah pretty. 

Brent: Yeah. And so I know that there are ways in which merchants can help. And one step checkout is at the end of the funnel, let’s say at the checkout process. And I, you mentioned that you had done a article with Forbes about some points in which merchants can look or work through the checkout process.

Brent: Why don’t you explain a little bit about what that was? 

Thien-Lan: Yep. We partner up with nata, who is a for finance council member to talk about this context and what eCommerce merchants can do as quick wins to get more sales this holidays. So it’s all about getting. Market share because consumers will have less spending power.

Thien-Lan: So the competition will be really fierce among all the brands. And you need to offer an experience that really appeals from the moment that people like even before people learn on your website up to the end of your online sales funnel. So today, I’m happy to share with you those four. and and they should be a lot, most of them should be implementable before this holiday season.

Thien-Lan: So that’s the good news. 

Brent: All right, so let’s just tell let’s tell us the four points and then let’s go into detail on each one of them. Yep. 

Thien-Lan: So the first point is to have a fast. Sorry. A fast website good performing websites. Consumers who go to your website, if they, it’s loading in more than two seconds, they’re going to leave and go to another website.

Thien-Lan: So performance is key here and throughout the whole browsing experience, you need to make sure that it loads fast enough so that people don’t leave and find items that they want, gift ideas, and put them into. So that would be by using themes like Hova, for example, on two, that makes the whole experience much faster and even helps you score rank higher in the search results so as to capture more traffic.

Thien-Lan: So that’s number one. 

Brent: Number two, Okay, so I, Yep, go ahead. No, go for it. Number two 

Thien-Lan: is around shipping. So with C we saw that by online pickup, in store, or click and collect is very popular. And sales going through those channels are going faster than eCommerce itself. So given that most of most of the time those shipping methods are more cost efficient, it costs nothing for the retailer to just have people come and pick it up.

Thien-Lan: It’s going to be very useful for consumers who can’t afford those extra five, $10 for shipping. So that was number two offer. More flexible shipping methods, including cost effective ones. Third one is offering flexible payment methods. And for the last couple of years, by now, pay later has been very popular as well because they allow consumers to pay, let’s say, in sport installments every fortnight, but without paying any.

Thien-Lan: So that helps when the budget is very strained to break it down into a longer period so you get your paycheck and you don’t pay anything on top of that. So offering payment methods that consumers like need for the holiday seasons is a big factor for to drive. And last but not least, having a good checkout that removes all friction from the checkout experience and allows consumers to place their order without forcing them to create an account or look for two coupon code that you might not have, or filling a lot of fields that will allow you to convert all that traffic.

Thien-Lan: And your efforts along the online sales funnel into an actual order. 

Brent: So three out of the four are at the end of the funnel, which is probably pretty common that once they get through, number one, if it’s fast enough, they’re gonna, they’re gonna wanna buy something. What if you start at the top of the funnel with.

Brent: The Google has changed its its algorithms to now put more weight on the speed of your site. And if, let’s just say so one step checkout supports more than just Magento, right? There, there are other platforms that you’re supporting. 

Thien-Lan: So for Dar, we are looking at supporting Que, but the priority is to support Magento two and Which makes Magento two much faster.

Thien-Lan: And is adding the sexy back into Magento, 

Brent: adding the sexy back in, is that what you said? Yep. That’s good. . Okay. So having that sub two second load time, which in the past first Magento especially, has been unheard of. So some of the tools I guess people could use to help with that would just be Google Lighthouse and Google Page speed insights.

Thien-Lan: Exactly. Another resource that I found very useful and entertaining was a deck of slides by John Hughes from ue it was a hundred slides, but very funny ones about page speed, why, what you can do, and all the tips. We can add the links to the notes of this podcast. But this is a fantastic

Brent: Perfect. Yeah, and I will add the, I will add that to all the show notes. Alright, so let’s move on to shipping. So I think in the US anyways, shipping free shipping is the thing and Amazon is really driving that. Do you recommend that merchants do free shipping? 

Thien-Lan: So that’s a strategic decision based on your cost goods sold, your pricing, your competitors.

Thien-Lan: So I can’t. You have to offer free shipping or you have to include shipping in your item price. I think depending on categories and consumers there might be different strategies that was better for you. But yeah, consumers one of the key reasons for carbon environment is when consumers see extra cost at the end of checkouts, so that often happens.

Thien-Lan: when checkout is on two pages with the first page with the item price, and then the second page with tax shipping all additional costs. So that’s a big driver. Either you state up upfront how much your shipping is going to be, or you put a threshold of. When shipping becomes free, and that works quite well to get consumers to pile up their cart and reach that threshold.

Thien-Lan: That makes sense for you financially. But yeah the most important is to be very up upfront and not have any surprises. When shoppers go to the end of checkout and see the final cost they have to pay. 

Brent: Yeah, and I can say from experience that I have dropped out of the cart many times when I get to the end and suddenly shipping is a quarter of the cost of the entire order.

Brent: And I automatically go to Amazon then because A, I know that the ship, there’s no shipping. And then b, I also know that it’s gonna come in two days. The other, I think the other good strategy in terms of shipping, and I do agree that showing shipping up front is such an important thing to do. If you were to have a threshold of, say if you spend 50 euros or $50 and then you get free shipping, I think that’s something that I, that appeals to me and it also gets me to spend a little bit more money.

Brent: So if you’re at $49, you search like crazy on what does that $2 item I could get to get my free shipping maybe talk 

Thien-Lan: a little bit about, Does that I do the thing I haven’t looked for. The product that is the same as shipping. If shipping is $10, I’d be like, Oh, I get that $10 items. I can have it for free.

Brent: Yeah, absolutely. And if merchants are very clever, they would also do maybe a little scale that says Here’s how close you are to get to free shipping. And if you just add this one more thing. And if they’re very clever, they would add some extremely high high profit items. As incentives to get over that shipping amount.

Brent: So say you’re at $9 and they have something that they charge $9 for, but they pay a dollar for it. Hey, buy this item and you’ll get over your free shipping. There’s so many tactics that merchants could use if they start thinking about the behavior of consumers. And as a merchant too, I think you should be looking at what your competitors are doing and trying to make sure that you’re not missing out on something like that.

Brent: So for example, if your competitor is just offering free shipping, but their every item is a little bit more expensive there’s a reason for it. I think we’ve seen that on Amazon. Sometimes those really cheap things are more expensive cuz there’s free shipping and I you mentioned that earlier.

Brent: About the free shipping part of it. The other one the second one or the third one you mentioned was flexible payments, and you mentioned buy now, pay later. Talk a little bit about that. 

Thien-Lan: Yes I’ve been following the Buy now pay later trend for two, three years now. And it all started in Australia and today there are more probably a dozen brands who offer Buy Now pay.

Thien-Lan: the most popular in the US would be a firm and in Europe might be clown. And the whole objective what I find very interesting is that it’s a win-win for consumers and for merchants. The merchants pay a little bit more with our in terms of fees, but consumers get to pay. To slice their payments over six weeks and sometimes more without pay, paying in any interest.

Thien-Lan: So it’s, great for them especially when they are they don’t have much budget and and it. Showed to drive a lot more conversion. And also a lot of those brands, they have their own app. They have their own consumer database, so they give exposure to their own merchants through their apps.

Thien-Lan: So let’s say on the Klan apps, you will say you will have or buy from ex brands, and then consumers will go directly from the cla up to that. Instead of going through Instagram ads or, Google search. 

Brent: Yeah. And I think the other thing would be to make sure that they’re at least saving the token for the credit card to check out.

Brent: So second time around, you don’t have to enter all that information. Talk a little bit about that friction that happens in shipping and payment in your check. 

Thien-Lan: Yeah so yeah, as I said, the number one reason for car abandonment is high shipping costs. So that’s why it makes sense to offer various options and buy, install to buy online pickup in store.

Thien-Lan: Is a interesting one. And yeah, we’ve partnered with French Magento extension provider called Why Your Mind That does very good quality extensions to allow that and add all these options. So the, this is The more payment and shipping options you offer, the less friction you get because consumers want certain options and if you don’t have them, they will go elsewhere.

Thien-Lan: So for shipping, that’s a great one. And for payments, either, they, one of the reason why they leave a website is also when they don’t trust the website. They have never heard of that band before, that the item is interesting and they don’t want to leave their credit card. So in that case, they would rather, for example, use paper.

Thien-Lan: And so it’s a good one to offer as well. 

Brent: Just going back to the shipping I spoke with somebody earlier who said that they clicked on an Instagram ad and they were they needed something for a holiday. I don’t remember the holiday, but they needed it by a specific date and they said the shipping would be three to five days.

Brent: Their date was two weeks out, so there was plenty of time the two weeks came and went and there that nothing was ever shipped. Talk about the importance of maybe some reviews and having that knowledge that, hey, that item is actually gonna get there on time. Because I think sometimes people also wanna know that I’m gonna buy this and I need this, and if I don’t get it in this amount of time, I’m gonna go somewhere else.

Thien-Lan: Yep. So I guess there are two things here. One is setting expectations. So having the right information, the accurate information about when the item is going to arrive at your place is important. The other day I went to a local merchant and they have their own calculation and algorithm saying, Oh, for shipping it might be three, four.

Thien-Lan: But then they don’t re, it’s not accurate. It doesn’t really talk to the carrier. So it’s not, that trustworthy. So if you can, have the right timing and specify information about. When the order is going to be processed, when is going to be packed, when is it’s going to be shipped, and based on how far the consumer is, how long it’s going to take to be shipped, that would be the best.

Thien-Lan: But yeah, otherwise it is better to, overestimate the shipping time, then underestimate and then disappoint. 

Brent: All right. So let’s get then to the, Oh we’ve talked a lot about frictions. Tell us about how, maybe, how one a checkout can help reduce that friction with the client at checkout.

Thien-Lan: Yep. After shipping cost being the number one reason for car and the number, the second one is forcing consumers to create an account. So how many times have you been to a website where, Click on cards I want to pay. And then you have that page that says, Log in, I’ll create an account. And you can’t do anything.

Thien-Lan: You can’t, pay, you can’t get your item. And 25% of consumers leave at that point. So we, OneStepCheckOut we’ve been addressing that. Thanks to feedback from a lot of our merchants and clients, and what we do is we allow to create an account by simply using all the information that anyone would answer when they fill out their shipping details.

Thien-Lan: So email, first name, last name, address, and the only thing you need to add it is a small tick box where consumers can enter their passwords twice and that creates an account. So we call it seamless account registration, and it replaces that, account creation wall that is making, 25% of people leave.

Brent: Do you find at that stage some people forget that they have an account and they fill out all that information. How do you get around the idea? , they go through that, they forgot that they created an account and then they click and then it comes back and says, You already have an account.

Brent: Please enter your password. And then they’ve forgotten their password and by the time they get around to finding it, they’ve left because they forgot they were even what they were ordering. Yeah, 

Thien-Lan: that happens quite a lot. So yeah. I think we also allow people to check out as. And then have the account reconciliation later after.

Thien-Lan: I have to get back to you on that. But I think that would be the sensible thing to do because you absolutely don’t want people to be stopped at that point when they’re ready. To give you money and to pay for that item. 

Brent: Talk a little bit about the idea of one step checkout. What, like the reason why it’s called One Step?

Brent: I think that’s obvious, but a lot of people don’t think through all the different steps that they have to go at checkout. 

Thien-Lan: So it all started with Magento one, and back then checkout was six steps. So it made a massive difference to have all those steps into just one. Above the fold with one single button that says Order now.

Thien-Lan: So you can fill out all your fields and not click any next button, just one big button order now. 

Brent: So it’s making sure that there’s almost nothing you have to do make sure you complete checkout. How about making sure that users The right address and things like that. I’m assuming, integrates with other plat or other services that help find the right address.

Brent: Yeah, go ahead. 

Thien-Lan: The key advantage of our product is that we integrate with. 90% of the third party extensions that are out there. So address validation, that works really well. Tax calculation shipping estimates, any shipping extension hundreds of payment extensions. So whatever you need, you can integrate it with one step checkout.

Brent: All right. I wanna switch directions just slightly. Okay. Are you seeing the same amount of people on Magento two using your services, or do you feel like it’s declining right now? 

Thien-Lan: So with Magento two, we could see that it’s on the other side of the product maturity curve. The number of install.

Thien-Lan: And the number of orders for Agen two has been slowing down. But as I said, with Hova, it’s been picking back up, so that’s why I’m saying it’s bringing sexy back. And so a lot of, I would say, yeah, big proportion of new orders from west of checkout, from gen two are driven by hiva things. . 

Brent: So you would, you could say that HAFA is changing.

Brent: HOA is ch is saving Magento from the dorans, from the tomb. 

Thien-Lan: Let’s say that . 

Brent: Absolutely. So if you have something that we started off with spooky and scary. What would be the biggest thing you could tell a merchant that they should think about for. website and for their checkout process, 

Thien-Lan: I would say yeah, performance is key.

Thien-Lan: So today people don’t want to wait. Most people would buy their holidays, gifts on mobile, so it has to be mobile friendly. Loading really fast, allowing them to browse and or even, guiding them into what would be the most interesting, the best selling products because people are also looking for inspiration and then removing friction all the way through to check out and let them place their order without asking them for too many questions or asking them to do too many things.

Thien-Lan: So a lot of a lot of that friction is also in the order. Subscribe to our newsletter, get $5 off. Remember this, do this, do that. And you’re like, Go away. Go away. I want my product. And then someone calls you, you do something else, and then you go to another website 

Brent: to shop. Yeah, that’s, that’s a great point.

Brent: I do, I’ve had quite a few guests that say, Love you learn to love the popup, but make sure you don’t have the popup in checkout. Because it I agree. It’s so annoying when you’re typing in. All of a sudden you get the popup and says, that, says, Enter your email address and subscribe to our newsletter when you could have a checkbox in your checkout that says, I’m, I’d like to subscribe your newsletter , because you’re putting your email address anyways.

Brent: Exactly. Yeah, that’s a really great point. Popups popups, especially on mobile. I think the other thing is that merchants still are thinking desktop first, and we’ve talked about performance and we’ve talked about friction in the checkout. Friction in the checkout is even more when you’re on mobile because it’s so much smaller.

Brent: So having that easy to use navigation is so important. Do you have any words of advice for people to. Enter as little as possible for the checkout. For mobile, You mean for consumers? No. For a merchant. Is there anything that they can do to reduce the amount of things like you, You said that having options for shipping, but I think.

Brent: At some point, if you have so many options, that’s too many options to show on your mobile phone. Is it recommended that you have as little options or making sure that they don’t have a lot of opt or even that’s where the free shipping would come in, where they don’t even have to choose shipping because it’s free.

Brent: Anything that, and that helps merchants check out on mobile quicker. 

Thien-Lan: Yeah, that’s that’s an interesting point and I’ve seen it with. A lamp company. So they are the biggest in Europe. They have, uk,, and 13 lamp sites across Europe. And for all their websites they have, they almost removed the shipping method.

Thien-Lan: Section because they have one carrier, one shipping cost, and you don’t have to choose. So that makes the whole checkout form much shorter and it’s quicker. People don’t have to wonder, Oh, what do I want? It just tells you what you’re going to have and that’s it. 

Brent: So you’d say they’re helping us shed new light on the checkout process?

Thien-Lan: Yep. They help. Yep. They help simplify the whole thing and I guess they’ve seen that consumers are happy with that. So why give the choice when you know it’s the best options for you as a merchant and consumers are happy? 

Brent: Excellent. Telan we are running outta time. And as a bonus on the episode I do want to do another free.

Brent: Because it’s Halloween and I have a Halloween joke for you. And then we’re gonna go into our shameless plug. But before we get there, I do have a special Halloween segment joke for you today. So again, this one is free or paid. Are you ready? Ready. Why did the policeman ticket the ghost on Halloween?

Brent: It didn’t have a haunting license.

Thien-Lan: paid with 

subscription . 

Brent: Excellent. Good. All right. Yeah. Tn Lan, Thank you so much. As I close out every episode, I give our guests a chance to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like. What would you like to plug today? 

Thien-Lan: The only thing I didn’t mention was that Natasha Sonoma from the Forbes.

Thien-Lan: Council is the CEO of Optt, O P W T Y, and that’s innovative platform that allows you to acquire and manage all your, by now, pay later brands all in one space. So that’s really cool because depending on your. Not all the favorite brands are the same. And if you operate in lots of different countries, you can acquire them all at once, and then in the panel you can see who is performing better and you can dial up that down based on your storefronts.

Thien-Lan: So that really helps consumers have the preferred payment methods. And in terms of integration, that helps all the hustle. talking to each of the brands, integrating them into your two checkout, and then seeing which one works for you. Yeah, excellent. For one, it’s not a plug for one step checkout, but for Opti, and that is compatible with one Step out as well.

Thien-Lan: So it’s like a Lego blog. You have one to click out, you plug Opti and from Opti you can have access to 60 by no pay later. . 

Brent: Very cool. Thank you so much. And I will put all these in the show notes and I will try to get this episode live as soon as possible so we are not so far away. Ka TA’s Halloween and it won’t go live today, I’m afraid, but we should have done a live stream.

Brent: That would’ve been a good idea. Yeah. Anyways thank you so much for being here today. 10. Who also helps on the Magento Association. I appreciate all your work and she’s now showing us a nice sticker for one step checkout. I would encourage everybody to go there for their Magento two sites, and I would encourage everybody to use hfa.

Brent: Our newest HofA is our newest sponsor for Talk Calm. So you’re excited about 

Thien-Lan: that as well. There you go. I wasn’t even paid to talk about them. , 

Brent: thank you so much. Have a great. . 

Thien-Lan: Thank you. Bye.

What is a CRM and Why do You Need One?

What is a CRM, and Why do You Need One?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a system that helps you manage and grow customer relationships.

Talk-Commerce Leigh Sevin

Bridging the Digital Retail Gap with Leigh Sevin

Remember when shopping, marketing, and brand building were all going digital? Leigh Sevin and Jinesh Shah noticed how little the retail industry had changed its approach to sales. @endearhq

While the rise of online shopping pushed many brands into the next frontier of marketing and customer service, retail salespeople were still confined to the in-store experience. Associates’ limited access to resources and inability to earn credit for online sales highlighted a massive gap in the retail sales model.

We interview Leigh Sevin, the co-founder of Endear. She gives us insight into this ever-changing market and how Endear works to bridge the retail gap.

Endear is the first and only clienteling app certified for Shopify Plus merchants. Its CRM and messaging platform is made especially for retail sales teams and tracks how messages convert into sales in-store and online. Endear empowers retail teams to engage customers over remote channels like email and text. At the same time, the app measures how outreach is performing, including data points like average order value, location of last purchase, and time to convert.

What is a CRM?
What is a CRM?


Brent: Welcome to Talk Commerce. Today I have Leigh seven. She is the co-founder of Endear and Leigh, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us your day to day role and maybe one of your passions in life. 

Leigh: Sure. So as you said, I’m the co-founder of Endear. Endear is a CRM designed specifically for consumer brands.

Leigh: So we help brands consolidate all of their data and then empower their sales people to use that data to develop really high quality. Relationships with their customers, primarily over email, texts, and of course face to face. 

Leigh: In the free time, I do have, I also enjoy exercise and baking. 

Brent: Oh, wow. Baking. Good. Are you watching the new series of the great British bakeoff? 

Leigh: I didn’t even know it launched. Has it got, is it alive? Is it, Can I launch? 

Brent: Yeah, I think there’s, there is two episodes out.

Leigh: This is very big news as I go into fall, so thank you for this. 

Brent: Yes, it’ll, it, it’ll be very addictive. Good. And I apologize for cutting you off there. No, not at all. Good. Alright let’s talk about CRMs and if you wanted to just do a brief overview for people who may not know what a CRM is. 

Leigh: Yeah, absolutely.

Leigh: CRM is customer relationship management. So really what that means is, when I’m speaking to maybe someone a little bit older or not as familiar with technology, I really describe it as a really high powered grex. So that’s one way to think about it. It’s about taking everything you know about a customer and putting it into one consolidated place.

Leigh: What Endear does in terms of taking it a step beyond that is Basically we try to give you the insight that data is revealing in the aggregate. For example, specific to consumer brands, those things might be what does a customer’s lifetime spend? What’s their average order value? How often are they shopping with you?

Leigh: And these are the things that one of our users would probably try to do on their own, just from the raw data that they might have. And we just wanna take that work off their plate and give it to them in real time.

Brent: Users who are familiar with a CRM would ask then, as a retailer, why would I need a CRM?

Leigh: So CRMs are incredibly popular for the B2B world, right? There is no technical or technology sales person that would spend a day not logging into a CRM. And I think what’s changed about retail, especially for the sales people, is that they used to be able to readily depend on organic foot traffic and therefore not need to do a lot of outbound sales.

Leigh: What came their way was enough to reach their goals and really succeed as a salesperson in a store, atmosphere. But I think what’s changed, especially with eCommerce and obviously with the pandemic and just generally with how much is available to consumers these days, you do need to stand out.

Leigh: You do need to take matters into your own hands, and that’s really what CRMs are there help a salesperson do. It’s about understanding who can I be reaching out to proactively in order to generate a sale, generate a relationship, understand what their needs are, share updates with them, and that all comes from being able to combine the actual data that we’ve consolidated for you with scalable outreach and tracking.

Leigh: So understanding. If I do reach out to this person, how are they responding to that outreach? Are they opening my message? Are they clicking on the products I’m recommending? And I think the insights aspect of endear is what really keeps people motivated to know that, Hey, my, my text message actually converted into a sale.

Leigh: Maybe that customer didn’t come into the store to do that, but that shouldn’t matter. What matters is my efforts led to revenue for the company. 

Brent: From a differentiation standpoint do you think Endear makes itself from other platforms that are strictly e-commerce? 

Leigh: I would say, when we think about CRM, Omnichannel versus e-com, most of the time CRM is genuinely lacking on the e-commerce side as well.

Leigh: But for the most part, e-com brands tend to compensate by relying on individual departments stand in for CRM. So for marketing teams, a lot of the time that’s their email marketing platform or their SMS marketing platform for support teams. That might be their live chat, right? It’s everyone that’s ever asked them a question over live chat.

Leigh: Maybe there’s a customer profile, maybe there’s not. And to be honest, for us, CRM is just so much of a low hanging fruit in the sales world, and also the department that is right now least saturated with technology, they have really nothing but the terminal. So we wanted to go where the pain was most heavily felt, and that to us was sales.

Leigh: But I would say CRM in general tends to be more oriented towards B2B salespeople, and that’s really where Endear differentiates itself. We are more about the integrations that a consumer brand would need, the KPIs that a consumer brand would need, and the amount of data storage that a consumer brand would need over what a B2B brand or company would need. 

Brent: When I, as a user come into a retail store and endear is being used there, is there a way that the user would target me or help understand more about me? 

Leigh: It’s a, That’s a checkout. Yeah, I get that question. Did you say after checkout?

Brent: No. During checkout or 

Leigh: before or whatever. So I get, if you already know the person time and the funniest part is that question assumes something that you’ve already decided to walk into a store. And actually for retail stores, the hardest part is getting you to do that. Stores for better or worse, actually have an incredibly high conversion rate.

Leigh: The convert, about 30% of the people that walk. The return rate is also dramatically lower than it is on econ, right? Econ faces at this point, probably near 40% return rate, whereas stores probably having the single digits. So you know the, What we have to think about is where is the challenge? Is the challenge, knowing who a customer is once they walk in.

Leigh: Not really. The store does great. So to us, the real pain point is how do I get you to walk in the first place? And that’s why Endear is so much more about what to do with your downtime, what to do to generate foot traffic or generate converting traffic on your website. And that to us comes from really understanding who your customer is, cultivating that relationship, and then extending that relationship beyond face to remote channels like email and text.

Brent: Do you leverage social media and allow the users to leverage some of that social media as well to promote that drive to get people into the. 

Leigh: I would say that’s something that we’ve considered and have on our roadmap for later down the line. I think there are incredible conversations going on over Instagram right now, where we see Endear coming in most often for social media is we have this really cool feature called stories.

Leigh: And they’re basically, depending on your platform, they’re completely shop. So it basically allows for salespeople to create a custom or completely, special story just for one customer or a group of customers, and send it only to them. And that’s something that they can share via a simple URL that endear then tracks for you.

Leigh: So we do allow some flexibility over how you’re using some of the assets you’re creating within endear across platforms. But really what we’re after is that really high touch, one to one conversations. 

Brent: And you’re looking for customers to repeat at the store and increase that traffic from their existing base, right?

Leigh: Yes. We are only using a, the data that a brand already owns, but we’re making them do more with it. So the, KPIs that we focus on helping a brand improve is how do I extend lifetime value? How do I increase aov, how do I increase loyalty? What most of these brands are dealing with right now is incredibly high customer cost of acquisition.

Leigh: And so the only way to compensate beyond just simply trying to reduce that, which I would say you can do by opening a store in the first place, is by then increasing the lifetime value. And that’s really what Endear is 

Brent: all about. Do you see, so you mentioned lifetime value. Do you think that the stores that leverage an online.

Brent: can mix and matched both to get people online and then offline to purchase things as well. Do you see that as part of the puzzle and gaining traffic for the retailer? 

Leigh: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a very famous stat sort of floating in the ether that opening a store basically increases your eCommerce traffic by about 37.

Leigh: What a lot of people miss is that they’re talking about traffic. So that’s an easy number to gauge. I think what our customers want to know is what about actual conversions? And that is really where your sales people are such a great resource for not just, working, as I said, face to face, but then motivating customers when they go to buy online, to feel more confident about their purchase, to buy more frequently, and also probably decrease the return rate.

Leigh: They really do know what size they are. They know maybe they’ve actually tried it in store and then only got really convinced to buy it after the fact. But those purchases tend to be a lot stickier than the ones of a customer just shopping on their own. And we’ve actually seen that in our own data that customers who shop with the help of a salesperson, even online actually in one case study, had a 50% higher AOV than the customers who were going at it alone.

Brent: Have you seen a difference pre pandemic to post pandemic on challenges that retailers are facing and getting people into the store? Obviously during pandemic it was impossible to get ’em into the store, but you see a switch in how behavior is now, whereas we’re going into full opening . 

Leigh: I think, this sort of ebbs and flows because I think what also happened was Every retailer that was a little resistant to change.

Leigh: Maybe they started brick and mortar, really had to open eCommerce and had to embrace that as a channel during the pandemic. So if anything, eCommerce has gotten way more competitive because anyone who was resistant before now needed to figure it out. And obviously their first move is to do all the most obvious channels.

Leigh: That used to be the reason why e-commerce was so great, you could acquire customers for, not much money compared to the cost of opening a store. And I think those two levers have now completely switched. It’s become actually dramatically more affordable to open a store these days because landlords had to learn 10 year leases are not gonna work, no one’s gonna sign a 10 year lease.

Leigh: And we saw that a little bit with the popup craze. And I think that has found its middle ground of saying, what does a two year lease look like? Is that better for me? How can I make it more appealing for tenants to come into my physical space? So those costs have dramatically dropped while the cost of doing business online has actually skyrocketed because everyone’s using the same tools, everyone’s using the same, acquisition strategies.

Leigh: So it’s really hard to stand out right now online. 

Brent: Do you see Paid and organic traffic coming to a store, be it online or in person. Do you see any way that somebody could jump start coming into the store rather than if you just didn’t wanna do paid ads? Is there an advantage somebody has to do organic?

Leigh: I think endear is that organic opportunity. We always joke that a marketing team at a omnichannel brand has so much work on their plate, and they are primarily worried about traffic to the site, conversion on the site, and it’s just not, if you have 12 stores right? That means that they can’t be focused on making sure every single store is optimized or maximizing their opportunity with traffic.

Leigh: So really what you get is you have this huge database of customers and the people who are. Focus on making sure those customers know about the store is the store team themselves. So giving them the power within Deere to actually do their own local marketing, their own local outreach. They are going to be the most motivated to get those customers in the door.

Leigh: And I think that’s really, that’s free. You have to pay for a sales force, whether you like it or not, if you’re gonna open a store. So you might as well maximize their resources to get that ROI on that physical retail. 

Brent: Yesterday my podcast was about segmentation and and the person that I had on had mentioned Klaviyo. I know that there, there’s a lot of overlaps from CRM to automated marketing. How do you work with other partners to ensure that you’re maximizing? If somebody has attentive or something, how do you work in Totally making sure that. both are being used effectively.

Leigh: That gets to the whole purpose of CRM. We did an analysis at one point, and I think about 75% of our customers use Klaviyo, and I think another like 40% also use Attentive. And so what that tells us is, A) there’s this thing that we call called the Commerce Stack, and just to even be a proper eCommerce brand, you need about seven different apps cuz you need your email marketing and or SMS marketing.

Leigh: You need your loyalty, you need your support, you need your onsite popups and engagement. And then you also actually need the os, the backbone of the whole thing, which is typically Shopify. So With all these different platforms running, they’re all really good at what they do individually.

Leigh: The question. How do you bring them together from a data perspective? And that’s really what a CRM is out to solve. It’s how do you understand, okay, who is my marketing team touching with Klaviyo and who is my sales team reaching out to via Endear?

Leigh: And Endear works to actually consolidate those two things so that you understand, who’s responding more to one channel or another. And across all these channels, what kind of picture can I get of this customer? What kind of marketing does she respond to? What kind of email does she respond to or text?

Leigh: Does she respond to? Has she used her loyalty points? How do we get her to use those loyalty points? So all of it is about actually using these apps in tandem. And then of course, I think right now people are very concerned with, their overall spend on technology. And so the next question has to be,

Leigh: how can I consolidate how many of these apps actually have overlapping functionality? And I think that’s gonna be the really big challenge that comes next For these e eCom brands or for these omnichannel brands, how do I really make sure that I’m being most efficient with the tech stack that I’ve created?

Brent: Do you see a future in SMS verses email or both? Or? I see SMS happening a lot more, but I also see a lot of now, spam and SMS. Do you see SMS moving forward in what where it’s at? Or do you see it plateauing soon and people are gonna ignore messages in the future? 

Leigh: It’s gonna take, it’s not there yet, but it’s gonna take the same toll as email, which is, would I ever not answer an email from a friend just because of how much email marketing I get?

Leigh: No. It doesn’t stop me from finding the ones that are important and of. All of our personal email clients or our phones will help us do some of that filtering automatically. So I think what really it comes down to is what is a brand’s email marketing or SMS marketing strategy. And I think the challenge there is that is also why empowering a sales force of some sort can be truly needle moving.

Leigh: They will break through the numbness that comes with marketing at some point. If I truly know somebody and they’re texting me, I want to respond because they likely, the content of that message is personalized. It’s specific to me, It’s content that I care about.

Leigh: And so it’s just about, everyone will say it, but it really is about personalization. And I think what’s cool about focusing on sales rather than marketing. , it lets you not worry so much about scale. The whole point is it doesn’t have to be all that scalable because you have a huge labor force, you have a huge sales force, so let them just do it properly one to one, and it will convert really high.

Leigh: And if you have 20 to 50 people doing that, you’re gonna see incredible results. And as I said, those people work for you anyway, so why not let them cut through the noise? 

Brent: Do you think that the big brands out there that are running retail stores, The challenge is getting people into the stores again, or what do you see as the biggest challenge facing retail today?

Leigh: I think from a growth perspective, it is probably that, you still need to figure out how to drive traffic to your stores if you’ve made that investment. I think the other challenge is still for a lot of brands, especially the big ones, omnichannel, How do I understand? How my online and offline channels are working together.

Leigh: How do I make them work better together? How do I help them be resources and allies talk to each other? Because a lot of the time when we at least launched Endear, there was incredible sort of antagonism between what was happening e-commerce and what was happening in store, and they were considered almost rivals.

Leigh: And I think that is one of the biggest mistakes that a brand can make. It’s more about how can these two channels support each other. I think there are really great examples. , brands that have done that really well. With online, with in-store pickup for online purchases, making sure you can return, something you bought online in a store because A, that drives traffic and b, that’s just logical.

Leigh: Not doing that is gonna really annoy your customers. And so for me it’s looking at the strategies that actually unify those things. One of my favorite sites actually does this very cool thing where you can actually search their website by what’s available local to you. So you can basically browse the store from their e-commerce site and then just go buy it or go reserve it, which, talk about same day delivery.

Leigh: You don’t even need that. You can just walk over and go get it. 

Brent: Looking at somebody like Best Buy, certainly they’ve now embraced that. It took ’em a a little bit of time to get there. But you can obviously that features a great way to make sure that people see everything, but then go to the right place to get it.

Brent: The future of. I think it was interesting that Amazon is still opening physical stores today, so it’s like online to physical. Do you still see that happening? Do you think there’s gonna be some strictly e eCommerce brands that are going to do little popup stores to see to see how it works?

Leigh: I think there are different, physical presence formats that are right for different kinds of products. And I think what we’ve really seen over the past couple of years is innovation around what does it mean to have a physical presence, right? It used to be a question of do I do wholesale or do I do retail, like dedicated retail?

Leigh: And even that’s a relatively new concept. So what I love is looking at all these different models for how brands can test what it means to. available in a store, whether it’s their own store or, these new sort of neighborhood goods is a great example, right? It’s not necessarily a wholesale deal, it’s more like I’m leasing or renting shelf space rather than an entire, store.

Leigh: And so all these different models allow different kinds of companies to really test what makes the most sense for them. And I think, the same time that Amazon is opening. Warby Parker is still opening tons of stores and actually doubling down on their retail footprint. So I think if anything, it’s a sign that, physical can work for all different kinds of companies and it’s more about understanding and really testing what makes sense for you, and how do you collaborate with other brands so that you are maybe doing a joint effort and you’re not, taking on the entire cost of leads for yourself if you happen to be at a one type of product or one product business that’s not really gonna make sense to just populate an entire store with one product? 

Brent: Yeah. I think if anything, the pandemic reminded us that we do like to go outside every once in a while and visit a store and touch a product and shop around and visit, just get out of the house.

Brent: Do you do you think that a lot of retailers now are moving towards Having something like Endear to help them leverage more of their in store versus versus web traffic to promote specific items. You talked about the one item thing, but is there more of an in, in if you have Overstock or under stock, is there a way, is there more of a push to get a lot of that stuff?

Brent: I know there’s a lot of Target has a ton of extra inventory. So they’re pushing, this inventory online, offline. Is there more of that now coming through on retail? 

Leigh: Yes, and I think inventory, especially if your omni channel is one of the hardest nets to crack, and it can get very cumbersome and it’s very detail oriented, very logistics heavy.

Leigh: And that to me is another reason why stores really do benefit when they have something like Endear because they have those products literally right in front of them. And with Endear, they can know exactly who. By the store and who would be interested in this product. So being able to again, be your own best advocate and move product that may even be sold out online.

Leigh: Being able to tell an entire neighborhood, Hey, that thing that’s sold out online is actually available in store in your size, come by and hopefully be the first to get editor. I can reserve it for you, is an incredibly, a huge value prop to your community, but also a really easy optimization considering all the challenges that brands face with inventory so it’s basically taking advantage again of your human capital to solve a very big logistical challenge. And I think, best sellers are always gonna move, and that’s great, but especially if you have those lingering products, being able to target them also without even broadcasting necessarily a huge promotion via a marketing email, Potentially sending it to only a handful of VIP customers or a handful of customers who have bought something similar in the past and just extending a promotion to them.

Leigh: Also helps, this long history of the vicious cycle of, if I discount then everyone’s gonna wait for the discount that if I don’t discount, it’s never gonna move. So avoiding that major sale and just giving a handful of people maybe part again, like you have a loyalty program for a reason.

Leigh: You know, Show your gratitude to those people and give them first access, or give them last access to some of these lingering products is a very easy way to really make the most of the inventory you do have. 

Brent: I wanna change gears a little bit and talk about entrepreneurship. What motivated you in your young years to start a new CRM?

Brent: It’s a very competitive space. Tell us your journey on Endear and starting that. 

Leigh: Yeah. My co-founder, Jenesh and I really got into this space pretty circuitously, it was not a very linear path towards success, but what we landed on was quickly learning that within the physical space in retail technology was lacking.

Leigh: There was a huge doth in just any sort of innovation whatsoever. And of course what we saw was this boom in econ technology and it made sense, right? It’s already cloud based. It’s already driven by fast movers. People who were excited about the future in retail to a lot of people sounded like this very laggard, slow industry that would never adopt anything new.

Leigh: And I think that was one of the biggest misconceptions because if there’s huge success in econ, obviously retail stores are eventually gonna have to. And so what we saw was this huge white space, especially among the newer, more modern brands who were leaning on physical retail as a new growth channel.

Leigh: And they were so data oriented already, and there were no solutions in the market that sort of looked at what the store was doing as a CRM. I think it. Maybe our exposure as solving this problem for our customers, but also ourselves needing a CRM and having a sales team that we realized they were really one and the same.

Leigh: They were all facing the same problems. And I think it’s our orientation towards data specifically that really sets us apart in the market because we’re just giving our users much more information and ammo to work with. Compared to just letting them, maybe you just have a messaging platform. That messaging platform is only as good as the content that the users are sharing on it.

Leigh: And so I just think that relying only on something that lets you do SMS is never gonna get you the scale or the quality of conversion. That’s something like Endear would. That was the biggest lesson, was getting to talk to users and understanding how much of their business was already driven by cultivating these relationships.

Leigh: Understanding that this behavior already existed. It’s just that no one had really, hypercharged it, No one had really given it the proper attention from a tech perspective that it deserved. 

Brent: When you started what was your biggest challenge at getting up off the ground?

Leigh: I would say our biggest challenge was really accepting. Being willing to focus on who it was that needed our product most. I think for a while, and I think it’s normal to go through this, we would take any customer that would have us and we would, do whatever they asked of us. But slowly we realized that, there needed to be a very concrete market that we were going after and we needed to use the customer experiences we already had to pinpoint.

Leigh: Exactly who that customer should be. And I think in almost every conversation with a new founder, every conversation, every interview I give, I talk so much about product market fit because I think it is the hardest part of starting a company is finding the product that satisfies a market doesn’t, worry about how big or how small it is, maybe later.

Leigh: But just building something that an entire audience loves is incredibly gratifying and motivating. And being willing to settle on one audience was something that is really hard for founders. 

Brent: Do you think that it’s hard to say no to some customers sometime or even say to that customer, you’re really not a good fit and maybe you’re not gonna be successful with us, so why don’t you use X platform?

Brent: We have problem 

Leigh: now. We. Can’t help ourselves from time to time. It’s very tempting when someone wants to use your product and you have to be honest about what it can do for their business or what you’re willing to do to meet them halfway. And I think there’s a saying basically that most startups die of congestion, not starvation.

Leigh: And I think that’s a really good way to think about it, especially at where we are in the seed stage. You have to be able to focus and you have to know why you’re focused. And I think it’s always good to put opportunities on your own radar for investigation and research. But we’re always remembering, your bread and butter customer and why they love you so much because they are the ones that will keep feeding you.

Brent: I’m gonna make a small CRM joke, so I apologize, but when you were looking at how you were gonna design Endear, did you look at SalesForce CRM and think , this 1980s interface is the last thing I’m ever gonna want to do, and we’re gonna make all this great data presentable for people who can actually use it.

Brent: and if anybody’s used Salesforce CRM, they know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Leigh: I have to be completely honest, I’ve never seen the Salesforce CRM. I don’t know what it looks like. All right. But you’re very lucky. I’ve heard that, I’ve heard that from so many people. There’s like a I literally think there’s a quote on our website that is basically we have plenty of users who have tried Salesforce and to even think about putting.

Leigh: A retail worker who’s constantly on her feet on Salesforce to use as if she were at a computer all day is absolutely insane. And so we’re very honest about, the way that we’ve built the product, specifically for someone who works in a retail environment, someone who is able to, they have to be able to look up from their phone no matter what they were doing, and work with a customer and then look back at their phone and know exactly where they are in their workflow and pick it up instantly.

Leigh: It’s not no secret that turnover is also incredibly high in retail. And so what we think about in terms of how we build the product is okay, and there needs to be something that the second you hire a salesperson, they can pick it up in 30 minutes. They do not have six months to train on something like Salesforce because they’ll probably be gone in six months.

Leigh: So how do we build something that, A, they can get up and running in 30 minutes and B actually might get them to stay longer because they love the tech. They love that they can track their own progress. They love they get credit for sales online. So how do we make it a reason for someone to actually stick with your brand because of how great, the motivation is through Endear.

Brent: Do you find it harder to. design, something that’s easy for a millennial to use as compared to somebody who’s retired but now has gone back to work and is suddenly in retail. Do you think there’s a challenge in both in that sort of learning phase? 

Leigh: So one of our first customers, they actually were a beta customer and they were still with us today, like three years later, they got a version of Endear that we would never want anyone to have to be on.

Leigh: The entire sales course were in like the boomer generation, and I trained every single one of them. Maybe sometimes it took an hour and a half. But what I knew was their willingness to work with me and to get trained and then their ability to use the platform was probably the biggest validation that we were doing something worthwhile because every single one of them got on and said, I absolutely hate technology.

Leigh: I don’t know why we have to use this, and yet somehow three years later here, they are still using it and getting even better at it, and they are incredibly productive. So to be honest, millennials are great at tech and it’s great that they use Endear and they, I think they love it. I think what’s more encouraging is that we have users across all generations and they all seem incredible value.

Leigh: And getting up to speed and actually, finding it pretty easy to use at the end of the day. 

Brent: And I can say that I’m old enough to remember when I was working as a waiter that you had to look through a big book to see if this credit card was stolen or not. So it has come a long ways.

Brent: Another good parallel would. Somebody who’s a runner and they log all their miles in a physical book and then they move to a spreadsheet, and now they’ve moved to logging all their miles in Garmin or Strava or something like that. Strava. So that same sort of pathway for the CRM could be seen through how we’re making our lives easier.

Brent: And you don’t have to at checkout or at at the pos or even as somebody walks in there is an opportunity or getting people to walk in, I should say. There’s an opportunity to somewhat know the customer and then to leverage that knowledge to help them understand that there’s something.

Leigh: Totally. I tell every founder, if you ever hear of an industry still relying on Google Sheets, that is the billion dollar idea to go after. It’s always a sign that there’s a problem to be solved. And I know a lot of companies that, they are the Google Sheets alternative. They are, as you’re saying, the Strava to just logging it in a Google sheet or same for us, our users went from little black books to, if they were relatively sophisticated, A, a pretty, color coded Google file and then they found us.

Brent: The the typical customer that you would see or the typical user for Endear, would there be a certain size that would be a right fit? 10 stores, 20 stores? 

Leigh: We, when we started, a lot of our customers were smaller. I think more of a mindset. Certainly from a, traditional icp.

Leigh: What are your qualifiers? What do you look for? We look for brands that have, north of three stores. That’s something that we do take into consideration mostly because it shows a level of bullishness on physical retail and eagerness to. We look at their tech stack. Do they use platforms that we already integrate with that we, so that we can deliver that really 360 degree view of the customer?

Leigh: But I think what we’re really excited about that we’re seeing now is, if you did start with Endear when you were relatively small, there is no interest in moving to Salesforce because it’s just, it doesn’t matter how big you are, that product is still not designed for the retail store enviroment.

Leigh: And so we’ve seen customers that, started in the single digits that are now, double and nearing triple digits store fleets. And they are not giving us any signs that they’re interested in leaving because we’re growing with them and we are watching their needs change and become more sophisticated at the same time that the product becomes more sophisticated.

Leigh: We obviously hope that trend sticks around, but that’s what we’ve seen so far. 

Brent: I’m doing a terrible job of staying on track here, but if we jump back to entrepreneurship have you found it harder scaling your tech stack or your people stack? 

Leigh: That’s a really good question for my co-founder Jinesh and our CTO JP, but I will answer it as best as I can.

Leigh: I would say people stack on some level proves to be more slippery in the sense that I think you know what you’re getting with tech and if you don’t know, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly and you are even aware of the quote unquote like tech debt that you might be taking on at any given moment.

Leigh: And it’s also probably pretty clear to you how to fix it. I think the team growth side is you have all these things that you want to, that you wanna do or that you wanna think about, and finding that balance between hard skills and culture and also, equity and making sure that you’re finding that diversity in the applicant pool that you’re looking at.

Leigh: And then you have to think about we are a distributed team. Do we always wanna be distributed? I think so. What are the drawbacks and what are the advantages of that? And what if there are drawbacks, how do we compensate for those? So I think there are just a lot more unknowns when you’re dealing with humans in general, which is why, tech products are really fun to build.

Leigh: because you can rely on them, but then you realize like there’s a user at the other end of that and you have to think about, how are they going to receive this product? What are they gonna want to see from it? So I’ve just basically bundled your questions still back into endear and the problems that we have on that front.

Leigh: But I would, I hope I answered it at some level. 

Brent: When Leigh wakes up in the morning, what drives her to get up and do something better? Stronger. Bolder as the Endear co-founder. 

Leigh: Anecdotally and broadly, I would say it’s the customers that we work with.

Leigh: So I absolutely adore this space. I love the customers that I work with. I geek out when I see a brand that I recently shopped at or know or just follow on Instagram, and I see them wanting to use in Endear. And I feel the same way when one of those customers just has an amazing experience or one of their sales people has an amazing experience.

Leigh: And knowing that, as I said, it goes back to product market fit, you get incredible motivation knowing that, hey, even if something is broken, even if you know an employee wants to leave, all of that stuff is totally solvable if your customers love your product and it’s totally worth solving if your customers love your product.

Leigh: I wouldn’t feel the same way if customers didn’t. It’s like, why are you even bothering? Like you have a bigger existential problem if your customers are not huge fans of what you do every day. 

Brent: Do you ever buy something from a store that’s using Endear and you wanna say, That’s my product you’re using?

Brent: Yes, all the time. The person that’s selling it , by the way, that’s my product. Yeah. 

Leigh: I’ve done it. I’ve done it a few times. I also have a very. Supportive husband who won’t walk into a store that doesn’t use Endear without trying to pitch them on endear, which I also appreciate, but I have also stopped doing.

Leigh: It’s very cool to walk around a lot of neighborhoods in New York and see the brands that we work with. I’ve walked in and it’s just a weird interaction. You’re like, Oh, that’s cool, thanks. But it’s not quite anything, I think it would be pretty weird.

Leigh: A HubSpot person came up to me and was like, I work no, actually I’d appreciate it. I’d be like, That’s cool. We use HubSpot. So I try to keep my cool when that happened. But I would say the other thing that gets me up in the morning is when I have friends who say, I just got a text from a store using you and I, I saw you in the url, or I could tell it was you guys.

Leigh: And I think that is also incredibly inspiring that, we are. Penetrating all these different circles of people that are receiving her product and most of the time not even knowing it.

Brent: I started in the Magento world, which is like Shopify, but it. It’s better. And it’s, No, I’m just, I’m not gonna talk about that. But I can also relate to that. Nobody actually cared at all that I was using Magento to sell stuff or developing on Magento. Anyways, we’ll move on. We have a few minutes left.

Brent: And I promised a free joke. I was gonna do it in the beginning, but then I forgot. And now we’re, because I’m a d today, I don’t know why. So I’m gonna tell you a joke. And this is a joke that could be free or we could pay for, . All I want you to do is just react and tell me what you think.

Brent: Here we go. 

Brent: Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns the other and says, Dam!, 

Leigh: Okay, 

Brent: I’m, make it, I’m, That’s clearly a free joke. I’m gonna say a free 

Leigh: joke. I was actually ready for it to be. A different punchline from a different joke, and I was like, Maybe this is a different version. So you actually caught, 

Brent: Tell me yours.

Brent: Tell me yours. You know 

Leigh: The one where it’s like there are two muffins baking in an oven, and one muffin says, Damn, it’s hot in here. And the other one says, Oh my god, A talking muffin. So I thought that was gonna be the joke, but with two fish , 

Brent: Yeah. How do fish talk underwater? That’s my question. It’s Aquaman, right? They must use some kind of radar thing.

Leigh: Yes. And there’s that very famous David Foster Wallace speech or short story about what is water? And it’s basically like people’s awareness. If you haven’t, that’s also what’s on my mind now, which is, it’s a much more existential philosophical question.

Leigh: So now I’m just in 10 different places like you, so there you go. 

Brent: All right. I gotta do one more since I clearly bombed the first joke. 

Brent: What is the opposite of a croissant? A happy uncle.

Brent: Okay. Cross an, Yeah. Anyway. I get it. I will stop torching you on the jokes, . I 

Leigh: appreciate them.

Leigh: I get it. I’m with you. 

Brent: If you were to say to a retailer the thing that they should be paying attention to as we go into Black Friday, Cyber Monday. What would be that something they should be really looking at now, going to quarter four and even into quarter one?

Leigh: That’s a great question. I would say, what are you gonna do differently from last year? And ask yourself, what did I do last year? and what have I done every year that, am I seeing any difference in results? And I think the question becomes, if everyone else is just gonna do the same thing anyway, what is the harm in taking a year to try something that I’ve never done before?

Leigh: And at the end of the day, I’m not a retailer. I only have so many creative ideas that I’ve seen from the brands that use us, but I think. A like getting ahead of the most obvious things. Like you’re gonna send a promotional email the week before and then three days before and then the day of your sale.

Leigh: What doesn’t look like that? Just anything. But that is my advice at this point, because you can always do that. But is there something more creative you can do either on top of that or instead of that, because you know everyone’s gonna do that and we do have that. Have test.

Leigh: We do have an entire webinar from a bunch of other brands speaking about this that I would highly recommend. This doesn’t count as my shameless plug. I wanna clarify that. I would recommend people go listen to if they’re looking for inspiration. 

Brent: All right. And we’ll put that in the show notes. So we’ll make sure you get that on the show notes of the podcast.

Brent: So Leigh, as we close out, I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug. What would you like to plug today? 

Leigh: I would like to plug Endear as an app, is that allowed? Can I just plug the company? Absolutely. Okay, great. Yes, one of the great things about Endear sales process is we offer everyone, both we can get a demo on the app and then we also include a free training as part of your trial.

Leigh: So I would encourage everyone to a go check out the website and and book a demo because there are no strings attached. And you’ll even get a free training if you sign up for a 14 day free trial. So that is my shameless plug. 

Brent: Perfect. Leigh Sevin co-founder of Endear. Thank you so much for being here today.

Brent: Thanks so much. Had a 


Leigh: time.

What is a CRM and Why do You Need One?
What is a CRM and Why do You Need One?
Talk-Commerce Stephen Hilliard

Developer Relations at BigCommerce with Stephen Hilliard

If you have an online store, you will most likely have someone helping you customize it. We call those people “Developers,” and they help make merchants’ lives easier but creating solutions that increase your ROI on your website.

Stephen Hilliard is a Developer Advocate for BigCommerce and talks about all the great things that BigCommerce is doing for the community and for developers. He goes over some of the past events along with what they are planning for 2023.

The exciting news is the Twitter Spaces that is happening on Thursdays at 1 pm CST – You can join the space on Twitter starting Oct 20th, 2022.

More on BigCommerce here

The Pros and Cons of a Business Operating System

When it comes to running your business, you need to find the right balance between structure and chaos.

The future of product information management

The Future of Product Information Management: Why It Will Matter More Than Ever in 2023

Product information management, or PIM, is a set of processes and technologies used by merchants and brands to help manage the information related to their products and services.

Talk-Commerce Kristin Naragon

Akeneo Product Cloud is more than just a PIM with Kristin Naragon

We all want to keep our customers happy, so significant investments were made into CRM. Later, merchants found that the employee was being neglected and invested in that. The final piece to the puzzle was the product and the Product Information Management system.

Akeneo has now moved PIM to the next level with Product Cloud.

Kristen Naragon explains how Akeneo Product Cloud works and helps us understand PIM and how it enables you to get and maintain happy customers.

Akeneo also offers a full host of Akeneo Training classes to get a better understanding of how the system works.

What you will learn from this podcast

  1. Kristin Naragon is Global Marketing and Strategy for Akeneo, a mother of two and a Peloton enthusiast.
  2. Akeneo provides a PIM (Product Information Management) solution that helps turn browsers into buyers.
  3. 2023 is projected to be the year of the PIM, as businesses are now realizing the importance of investing in product experience.
  4. Akeneo offers both open-source and SaaS solutions and has been helping customers with product gathering, enriching, and getting to market faster for ten years.
  5. Akeneo is also well-suited to help with social commerce, providing consistency and speed to new channels.
  6. Social media and influencers are essential for creating a consistent brand image.
  7. Transparency is important to younger buyers.
  8. Akeneo PIM can help merchants get products to market quicker by providing checklists and automating manual processes.
  9. Akeneo Product Cloud allows for dynamic data to be combined into one product record, which can be activated in multiple channels.
  10. Experimentation is key to discovering new channels and reaching new audiences.
  11. Akeneo PIM can help businesses pivot quickly in times of crisis.


Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. Today I have Kristin Naragon. Kristin is Global marketing and Strategy for Akeneo. Sorry, Kristin, why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself. Tell us one of your day to day, what your day to day role is, and maybe one of your passions in life.

Kristin: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Brent. I’m really excited to be here. So I try to introduce myself, not by my work. And I try to remove myself from being defined by just the the work that I do. I am Kristen Naragon. I am a mother of two kids who are I think are just the most interesting humans on earth.

Kristin: And I love to travel with my family, my husband and my kids, we like to travel quite a bit. Maybe it’s quite a bit just from an American point of view, but we’ve taken the family to far flung places like Indonesia and Japan and Columbia and all across Europe. So we we have a good time and enjoy exploring new places and learning learning how other people around the world live.

Kristin: So that’s a little bit about me and a passion that I have. A Peloton enthusiast, and I will wake up at ungodly hours in order to fit in a ride or a workout with Peloton. So maybe that’s a plug for somebody else’s business. But I’m a little bit obsessed And in my day job.

Kristin: What I do to make sure I can afford my Peloton is I am the head of global marketing and strategy here at a Akeneo. And I have been with the company for two and a half years. It’ll be three years in February. Gosh, I joined right before the pandemic started, so two hot weeks in the office.

Kristin: And. Got to meet a few people and dispersed. We were. Building and changing a strategy all remotely in a new company was a bit of a trick. But we’ve we’ve done some great things. So that’s a little bit about me and what I’m up to. 

Brent: So for the listeners who don’t understand what a PIM is why don’t you give us the 10,000 foot view of a PIM and then let’s dive into PIMS more as we go.

Kristin: Yeah, so PIM it’s hard to explain if if you’ve got zero knowledge, but if we’re trying to talk to our grandparents and let them know what it is, it’s essentially those it’s a solution that helps turn browsers into buyers. And so if you think about what we do as consumers to go looking for researching products that we are interested in purchasing and read all of that information about the product.

Kristin: Find it in different locations, represented in different ways. The PIM serves that up in mo in the most delightful ways. So where the solution that helps those buyers feel more sure. About the products that bra and retailers are selling. 

Brent: I’ve heard it, I’ve heard it being said that 2023 is going to be the year of the PIM.

Brent: Why do you think that PIMs are trending so much, 

Kristin: Yeah. Oh man. I love this because the way that we see the world is that there are three key assets that any merchant, brand, manufacturer, any commerce business has. The first are customers, it’s pretty important to a business.

Kristin: The second are employee. And the third, of course are products. And so that first wave of investment was around that, the customer and obsession with the customer and the customer experience. And so centralizing the record for customers and then engaging with them in all the ways that a customer, they think wants to be engaged.

Kristin: And so huge industries have been developed around that customer engagement. The second wave has been around that second asset, which is employee. Maybe you might argue it’s going in the wrong order, but it is what it is. And so especially now since Covid, but it started well before this industry surrounding technology and consulting new innovations and supporting that employee experience, that life cycle of an employee from recruiting talent.

Kristin: Onboarding them, engaging them, health meters with employees. All of that is exploding right now. So the customer experience first and still going strong, employee experience wave is here. And if you’re watching it, it’s growing big and tall. That third pillar of a business is the product experience.

Kristin: And woefully neglected still a huge challenge for businesses, and it’s the thing that falls apart. If your customer experience is falling apart, it’s probably due to. A bad product experience. And so they’re waking up to understand, oh my gosh, the missing ingredient and this whole thing that I’ve been investing in is actually investing in that product experience.

Brent: Yeah, and I think one of the fun things or interesting things that I’ve always seen as the pin is that you can then put all of your product into one place and diversified into multiple channels. And as now we’re getting more into omnichannel, pin is even more important. To keep that continuity in product across all channels.

Brent: Yeah, for sure. Maybe talk a little bit about how Akeneo can effectively get over some of those hurdles when you’re talking about continuity of product. Yeah, there’s 

Kristin: so many hurdles that we we help our customers with and, you talk about the destination, so it’s always the last mile.

Kristin: I think that a lot of. A lot of people are interested in it, right? The last mile’s, always the heart smile, but actually in. This wave , what we’re seeing is that it’s actually starting way back before the last mile. You’ve got the whole marathon in front of you before you get there of product, gathering product information from wherever it comes from.

Kristin: So if you’re. A retailer, a distributor, it’s coming from maybe thousands of different brands trying to get that information. But even if you’re a brand manufacturer yourself, oh my goodness, you have agencies that you’re working with. You’ve got the creative people, you have the brand people, you’ve got the order management, you’ve got a lot of sources of information that you need, and to get together in one place that’s hard.

Kristin: Pin helps with that. And then certainly, Accelerating that speed of getting the information. So you gotta to crunch that hard work down into as much automation as possible so you get to market faster that last mile of getting to market faster. You gotta enrich the products, make that easy and fun to do, and then get that into all of those destinations.

Kristin: Now we talk about sales channels, which is absolutely one destination for product experiences to show up for your prospects and your customers. But it’s everywhere else too. So think of the end of your post purchase experience. If you’re calling up a particular brand and you want, you say, Hey, I bought this product on this particular site.

Kristin: I need to know X, Y, Z. You really want the person who’s picking up the phones to know exactly what it is and know more about the product than potentially was served to that person. So pin information actually gets served to support that full life cycle of customer information to things. The the customer support teams 

Brent: as well.

Brent: Yeah, I think so. Can you started back in the early teens, 2013, something like that? Tell us some of the beginnings of that and how that has impacted how PI have has grown and how it fits into the today’s puzzle or all the different pieces you need for a fully rounded e-commerce and store.

Brent: That’s 

Kristin: right. Yeah we we certainly support e-com, but it’s really commerce at its core in all the different destinations. But yeah, back to your question, it’s 10 years. We get to celebrate our 10 year anniversary at at our upcoming user conference in Paris in, in March. And Pretty excited about that.

Kristin: My goodness. Has, have things changed in that last 10 years? Can you have started with the founders who were working on the backend systems? E-commerce solutions like Magento. And they were, hands on keyboard trying to move products from one place into the e-com system and really just saw it loud and clear the problem that managing that product information and getting it into the direct to consumer channel.

Kristin: It was just a total nightmare. And so that’s where they began is trying to solve that problem. And they created an open source solution. And so anybody can go right now on GitHub or wherever you download your open source solutions. and find Akeneo who there, and it’s a powerful solution that’s just available to anybody.

Kristin: And I think that was the part of the vision was they knew this was such a vast problem that they wanted to provide a solution to anybody who needed it. And so we have 80,000 downloads of that solution. Across the world. So clearly it is any customer or any business with a product to sell has this problem and we’re helping them to solve it.

Kristin: And so that was that was the roots of the business. And since we’ve evolved into a full SaaS composable offering we fit into whatever stack a company might. And integrate neatly into whatever ecosystem is in the customer’s base. And so it’s been a quite, a, quite a journey, quite an evolution.

Kristin: And the value that we’re providing and the depth and the breadth, I think we. You hear it with our customers. Gosh, I’ve sold a lot of products before. I’ve been exposed to a lot of different solutions and I’ve talked to a lot of customers in my life. I have never talked to so many happy customers as I have here.

Kristin: It’s creepy, like not creepy, but it’s just, it’s almost unbelievable how delighted these customers are with the Kenya. And so it’s just a, it’s a wonderful, just a wonderful place to, to grow. . 

Brent: Going back to the beginnings and the reasoning around, so open source has been a big part of what helped software grow in the last 10 years.

Brent: Yeah. And the is certainly open source and has a community version that’s free for people to download and use. We do tell us some of the importance of that in how ge, how maybe getting users into PI and exposing them to pi, how does that help Akeneos brand to have that open source? 

Kristin: Yeah. It’s interesting, it was new to me of this open source model before coming to a Kenya, and what I realized is that especially in a market where as we discussed this it’s it’s been around for a while, the category, but.

Kristin: I think since the 10 years that we’ve been able to expose the, with the free open source model to so many different people, I think the education process, it really has accelerated the education process for what Apam is. Because I think it’s still one of those categories that people are learning about, right?

Kristin: Like learning exactly where it fits into their tech stack, Learning exactly how it solve the value that it bring. The problems that it solves. And so that open source nature that I think has really helped to sort of seed buyers with an educational tool. Now what we’ve got done recently, actually this year we released also a SaaS free trial.

Kristin: So it’s totally free, no credit cards, nothing. You just put your name in and you go, you get a 14 day free trial, it’s SaaS if you’re not a developer or some IT person who really understands how to install, an open source product, I am not one of those somebody like me can go in and just start the free trial on their on their computer and be done.

Kristin: So you’re, you can experience the Akeneo. Value over the course of 14 days. And I think that’s also part of, our heritage is getting the word out there, understanding the value that a solution like ours has to offer is really been helping us to expand the growth of the business, but also the solution at.

Brent: So on a tangent Akeneo has always been known for their purple three-headed. I think it’s a dragon, it’s a hydro, a hying. Is there a story behind that? 

Kristin: Yeah. Her pronouns are she and her name is Ziggy. Yeah, she’s evolved as well over time. And she’s taken on some iterations, but she was initially brought into the fold by a very creative person on the team who, took on the adoption of Ziggy and she was the three headed hydro for multi channel.

Kristin: And so at first she was the bad guy. She’s multi-channel, like hard to wrangle. She was evil. But she was tamed by Julia, who is our persona the PI power user. And now they’re best friends. So she and Julia Julia and Ziggy are now friends and Ziggy. Part of the, ah, man, to get your hands on a Ziggy people really like, So you can come to our booth or at any show or come to our user events.

Kristin: You might be able to find some limited addition gigs to adopt and take home with you. Our customers love them, . 

Brent: So one of the things that that is coming up in, in commerce now is social commerce. How does PI fit into social commerce and how can new merchants or merchants that are established and have a PIM or are looking at.

Brent: Utilize that for social commerce. 

Kristin: Yeah. Gosh. And social commerce is such a broad category too, and it keeps evolving by the minute and some platforms are even taking down the actual transactional piece of it. So I guess when I think of social commerce, that’s everything from the influence piece, the browse piece, the.

Kristin: Showcasing piece to the transactional components of it. And so if you think about it with those two buckets, I think PI is absolutely able to and should be serving that consistent. You talked about a consistent product experience no matter where you’re browsing. and it’s no question in my mind that unless you have a centralized product record, you have consistency in how you’re describing and showcasing your products.

Kristin: If you’re not doing that on social channels, you’re totally missing the whole point. And so driving consistency there is absolutely like table stakes critical these days. And I think the other so consistency is one, but also speed to those new. Random channels that seem to pop up as, as often as they do.

Kristin: I think without a pin, without preset. Centralized system, your speed to those new channels, your speed to market to those new channels is just a nightmare. Whereas with a proper pin, you’re able to open up a new channel, select the types of content, because every channel has different content requirements.

Kristin: But just modify the content that already exists and gets it, get it into the channel. So it’s not like recreating an entire process just to open up one social, new social channel. , it’s as simple as, clicking and reconfiguring. So I think it’s speed to those channels, being able to test out if those channels work for you, for whatever objectives you think that they should be achieving is just so much faster with with a setup pin.

Brent: And I think just going back to the traditional model of just doing eCommerce through one store, the reality of what’s coming is now we are gonna have maybe even when they talk about headless, maybe it’s not gonna, you’re not, you’re gonna be, everything’s gonna be done through all these channels.

Brent: And I know that in an earlier interview this year, we talked about even conversational commerce where. It’s done through chats and things like that. Yeah. So I think that retailers and merchants need to know that they need to stay at least somewhat ahead of the game or stay with it so you can continue to sell and see the channels that are out there.

Brent: What are the trends in in that social commerce head first type of thing that that Akeneo is jumping onto. . Yeah. 

Kristin: So if you think about a certain generation of buyer out there, of which I am not one of they are all over social and the influence that social people, influencers on social media channels have and the impact that it can have on your product.

Kristin: And for brand managers out there who want to control their image having the ability to have a central. Like I said before, just single source of truth for your product information and being able to get that into the hands of when possible influencers is absolutely one one thing that is part of, making sure that your brand image stays consistent even if it’s in the hands of somebody that you’re not paying.

Kristin: The second thing is that those younger consumers value transparency. . And so I think being able to provide in those social channels really truly transparent information about the product itself, but also layering in brand values inside of those social moments with your product. So not even discrete from.

Kristin: Side by side and integrated with your product story that is insanely important for buyers of a certain generation, . So transparency is critical and social is if you’re not there you’re just not existent. And those influencers have power. So if you’re not feeding those influencers with the.

Kristin: Information, they’re just going on their own. Those are the trends that we see, which, I think a pin like ours actually supports really nicely. 

Brent: And as your team gets bigger, I think that the importance of having different roles on your team to do different things and I think it applies especially in c let’s language One of the features that I particularly like about Akeneo is the ability to do the, to do checklists of things.

Brent: So you could you can see when your catalog is done in English and maybe your catalog isn’t completed in Spanish, and talk about how how that team aspect and even how that the aspect of having the ability to see when pieces are done and getting things launched quicker and not having to dig through mounds of data to figure out what isn’t and what is.

Brent: How that can help a merchant get things to market quicker. 

Kristin: Yeah. I’m glad you point that out because it’s one of the usability features of the solution that I think, doesn’t, is not like the sexiest thing to go talking about, but it’s once you get the product, you’re like, Oh my gosh, thank God.

Kristin: We recently did a total economic impact study with a few of our customers, and found out that retention was one of the outcomes. Employee retention and satisfaction was one of the outcomes of leveraging Akeneo PIM. And the reasons that were given were exactly what you talk about. So it’s the ability to see.

Kristin: Among a lot of products that you have to enrich. You have to get ready for getting to market, see what status they’re in, in, like you said, which language, but which market, which category, which family of products. So you can triage your day and not just waste time combing through and list lists of products.

Kristin: So it’s just a a quick way to understand where you are in your day to day job. And not be like, dragged down in the quagmire of lots of the Excel spreadsheets on lists of products. The other thing that we discovered was that since those employees were not, Drag down with some menial, matching and v lookup tasks that they were a even more satisfied because they were able to do the higher value work.

Kristin: The work that was actually more interesting of writing colorful descriptions, actually looking for what are the right brand images to put against these products. And so actually taking those extra steps to make their products showcase much more brilliantly on the places that they were going.

Kristin: So employee retention was a really wonderful outcome that we, we discovered with with the, those who are using the PIM. 

Brent: I think you can create and I’m gonna use all the wrong words, but like a workflow where you can have certain things that have to get done before the product’s ready to go.

Brent: Oh yeah. Which ensures that the product’s gonna be as great and beautiful as it should be when it goes live. Whereas your typical, if you are using some back end of any nondescript eCommerce system you’re not gonna have all. There’s not gonna be all those things in place to ensure that product is the way it should be across all areas. And even as a manager, then it makes it difficult if you didn’t have that tool in hand to make sure your product looks super great for your customer to see. 

Kristin: Yeah. No, it’s true. And the time to market is the, is so employee satisfaction and retention is absolutely one of them.

Kristin: But then time to market is the other benefit and the outcome of that because the speed with which you’re able to triage and understand which categories are ready to go. This is high and you, a lot of automation is happening behind the scenes so that you don’t have to do a lot of the manual work that probably you’re doing with spreadsheets and other old fashioned things to get this product information into one place.

Kristin: As an example, one of our customers who’s a seller of, Apple. Apple doesn’t give anybody any information prior to a launch of a new product, Of course. And so even, Staples. And so they would take them, I think, upwards of two weeks to, gather that information from the product launch and get it up onto their channels and into their markets to sell it.

Kristin: My gosh, that’s how much lost revenue over two weeks period. That’s that. That is an impact to the business, and now they turn it around in a matter of hours. Simply due to that process that they’ve nailed down, leveraging the interface of the PIM and all the automations and checkpoints and quality controls that we’ve got.

Brent: One other benefit that you have is that you can have a third party vendor have limited access to start making that product ready. Not, maybe Apple wouldn’t do this, but if you have a vendor who is giving you a product and they’re, they know everything about it and they can, they have access to your system, they could be starting that pre-product input before your team even has to get a hold of it or a lot of that work would already be done to get it live as soon as.

Kristin: Yeah, totally. And so that’s the one solution for retailers and distributors is that onboarding solution to allow third parties to get in there and import their product information alongside other components. But there’s also inside the administrative rights of the core PIM itself, we have a bunch of customers who have seasonal release.

Kristin: And so they have a ton of products that they just have to get out the door in various season, and they find that it’s actually. Really valuable for them and their community actually, where this particular customer is to hire students, like working students as well as retired people to their offices.

Kristin: Give them, these are the three things that you’re working on. And that’s all the access that they have. So they have their list of products that they work on and the various fields and attributes that they’re allowed to enrich, and they find that their time to market. So much faster. Their flexibility with their workforce is pretty darn high, and they love being able to, to hire into the community people who might otherwise not have those types of opportunities.

Kristin: And it’s just this like win, win all around. 

Brent: Talking about new product launches and I know that Akeneo recently unlocked a new product, at the Unlocked Conference. Thank you. Tell us about Akeneo Product Cloud and how that’s gonna change things and enhance things. 

Kristin: Yeah, we’re super, super excited about this.

Kristin: This this for us is the way that the category evolves. One of the things that we clearly. Encountered in working with the customers that we have and, the benefits of having 80,000 installs of the product and open sources, having conversations with people to see what other pieces of information help to the browser, turn into a buyer.

Kristin: And if you step back and you think about all of those components of product experiences that help you and I discover to learn to make the purchase it’s more than what a traditional modern pin can consume or should consume. You go up on any product product page, you’ll see things like customer reviews, you’ll see things like and if it’s a dynamic pricing that’s not going inside of pin because it’s hot changing by the, this millisecond sometimes pricing.

Kristin: There are things that, let’s see what other components that we can think of that live outside. So there’s order information, right? So understanding if there’s availability of that product in a certain store that’s near you. Those are all components that naturally and should live outside of a traditional modern PIM like Akeneo.

Kristin: But that also serve that browsing to buying experience. And so the product cloud is that evolution of a composable offering that allows merchants and commerce leaders to get their products and showcase their product. Anywhere with any product information in one single pre in place. So it broadens the scope of product information to both warm and hot data.

Kristin: So non-static, non, once and done marketing data to that more dynamic data, puts it all in one place and allows those merchants to do analytics on performance. Of those products in all of the destinations to where it goes. So we’re pretty excited about this. It’s an evolution of building out the various components for us in this product cloud vision that we’re painting out there.

Kristin: But I think we’ve got the backbone of it with the pin with our app store, with our connected marketplace to. All the destinations that that we need to get them to, to the product information too. So we’re pretty excited about the product 

Brent: cloud. Is the, so you’re gonna tie in the ERP and any disparate systems that would be connected to the it’s you’re talking about having everything coming into one place and then spitting it out to the multiple channels again.

Kristin: Yeah, exactly. If you think of the PIM is now one component, one composable component of the entire product record. You’ve got a dam, you’ve got order management systems to serve, availability needs in the product record product life cycle systems that allow the searcher or the buyer or the consumer to understand where the inform the product was sourced from potentially since that’s now.

Kristin: A real transparency, like I said, is a real need for BA browsers and buyers to understand where the sourcing material has come from and how it was sourced some of that lives in a system like a plm. And to be able to combine all of those elements into one full product record in the single source.

Kristin: So now the full product record is elevated at a product data platform level and then shipped out and activated into the various channels that it needs to go. That’s what we now mean by a product record being activated into the various destinations where it needs to go. One of the other value propositions that I’m really excited about there is essentially.

Kristin: Now you’ve got the customer record. Oh, sitting in a CDP or a crm. You’ll have the product record completely. Sitting in a PDP product data platform, marrying those two and syncing those two data sources allows for analysis of your business that you’ve never had before. And so up leveling that centralized product record to that centralized customer record is just gonna.

Kristin: Further unlock so much growth for these businesses. 

Brent: That really helps the marketers, the top three things in marketing is measuring. And that will give a lot more insight to how well they’re performing. Absolutely. Kristen, if you had if you had a little juicy nugget that you could give a merchant as we’re going into fourth quarter, Black Friday this busier time.

Brent: What could you give a merchant? What would you what do you think the trend is now in, in this the end of 2022? 

Kristin: Oh, Juicy nugget. I love experimenting. I do that myself for my marketers in my in my team. If we’re not experimenting, then we’re not trying, we’re not failing.

Kristin: We’re not we’re not getting out there and making sure that we’re the best showcasing our offering in the best. . And so I think for merchants out there, it’s the same. It’s if you can’t quickly experiment in a new channel, if it’s a sales channel or marketing channel you’re missing out, you’re missing out on exposure to new audiences, or you’re missing out on, being able to showcase your products in ways.

Kristin: You couldn’t on a direct to consumer channel, potentially with with a, the YouTube influencer channel that’s coming out. So I think it’s it’s pretty imperative that, this season, if you wanna try something new, the quicker you can get there, measure it, understand it, pull it off.

Kristin: It’s, if it’s not working, but expand it if it is. I think that’s the real power in expanding your business. . 

Brent: Yeah. And just to help listeners understand how easy it would be as you have everything in your PIM and you have a new channel that’s now available, all those channels are gonna be connected within api.

Brent: And all you do is connect the two. And even if it’s such a new thing, there’s tons of middleware that can get you in connected if it’s not available. But generally those larger channels or the new channels that are out there, they’re gonna be available to connect to. And just as we wanna sell that particular thing to somebody, that channel wants that connection with you to sell through.

Brent: So I think that’s a great, That’s a great point that you’ve made about how. The time to market is so greatly reduced by having your product all in one place and ready to go. 

Kristin: . Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know what, we know, we noticed this with And I think a lot of learnings came out of covid on so many different dimensions, but when we were trying to support our customers through Covid and the impact that it had on their businesses the ones in our ecosystem they were able to make these pretty significant pivots.

Kristin: We had a company that would sell to airlines. So they sold things like fuel to airlines. They sold things like everything in bulk to support the flight. And Covid hits, What do you do? So their big idea was to pivot to consumers. So they’re selling to, they’re selling to businesses.

Kristin: Clearly. They decided to take their wear. That actually suddenly were pretty useful for people because they had things like hand sanitizer in bulk. And so what they were able to do is do some repackaging but sell to consumers. So they spun up all that product information that they had in the kidney that they were using to sell to businesses, re, just tweak some of the descriptions to make it more consumer friendly.

Kristin: And they push direct to consumer within a matter of months. That’s a business pivot . But they accessed a whole new market through consumers because they have their product information sorted. Wait, that’s experiment, an experimentation at scale, and that’s business survival. And so now coming out of Covid and flights are all back, they have two consumer bases now buying bases now that they’re able to accelerate.

Kristin: The world’s your oyster in that case, right? Just in terms of new markets, new channels that you’re able to experiment with. 

Brent: I do wanna make a D2C, B2B point too, that the PIM is a channel to print as well. Yes. And if you’re a B2B and you have traditional, maybe one channel through some kind of website, but you also have a printed catalog PIM is a great place to put all of your products in, and then you can output to a printed catalog just like you do to any other channel.

Brent: You can think of it as electronic and digital, but that digital turns into pieces of paper at the end, and rather than having somebody comb through, pages and pages of InDesign documents or whatever you’re using you can start it in your PIM and then output to some product that, that actually is the printable version.

Brent: Yeah, 

Kristin: I was in my CEO’s office a few months ago and he proudly has displayed on his. This massive catalog. It’s like this thick and dense . He puts it on my lap and I’m like, Oh that’s, I could do some weight lifting with this, but it’s entirely powered by the kidney and the level of detail and the product information that’s in here.

Kristin: It, this is not a lost business of selling with a product catalog for many industries. And if you have to sort through all of that, all of those dense pages of product catalogs in product information manually, oh my Lord. And if you get something wrong, the expense of getting something wrong in a printed catalog that you’re doing thousands of, this is.

Kristin: Business impact. So yeah, getting the product information right and all of those checks and balances that you’d want for your digital, easy to pull down a misspelling on a, your direct to consumer channels. But if you’re have a misprint a spelling error in a catalog that has already been printed.

Kristin: you’ve got a problem. So all of the checks and balances that go into that are pretty important for those channels as 

Brent: well. Yeah, and I, so Kristen, I think you and I could talk about great solutions for PIM for the next three hours, but unfortunately we are out of time. Yeah. As I put, as I close out on a, each of our podcasts, I give a chance for the guests to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like.

Brent: What would you like to plug? 

Kristin: I, it’s the mission that we’ve got is to make sure that we provide a solution for anybody who needs it. So I’d say go to and just start the free trial. And like I said there’s no, no credit card and nothing’s needed. You just put your your name in there and.

Kristin: There’s a live chat inside the food trial. You can explore the experience all on your own time and all on your own. Or if you need help, we’ve got that too. So I would just say check it out. If you’re curious about what exactly it looks like and under the hood is there for you to open up.

Kristin: So is the shameless plug that I’ll put out. 

Brent: Yeah, and I’ll put all, I’ll put all the links on the show notes. Kristen Naragon, thank you so much. Kristen is the VP of Global Marketing and Strategy for Akeneo. Thank you for being here today. 

Kristin: It was my pleasure. Thanks so much, Brent.

Interested in a beginner’s guide to PIM? Check out this article.

Talk-Commerce matt beecher

Do you know the Six Key Areas of your Business with Matt Beecher

Entrepreneurs are aiming at a hundred different things at once. They’re scrambling to accomplish and grow their objectives, but they’re facing a lot of headwinds. And those headwinds come in the form of things like.

How do we prioritize what matters most?

How do we think about using data to manage our business, not just gut feel?

How do we think about the right people and the right seats and make sure that we have the right processes to get those people working effectively and that they’re an excellent match to our culture?

What is our culture?

How do we think about what our long-range vision is versus what we need to do this week, let alone this quarter?

And how do we think about financials versus strategic objectives?

All those things come together in the EOS model.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Community Manager in Your Developer Community

5 Reasons Why You Need a Community Manager in Your Developer Community

Developer communities are a great way to drive the adoption of your products in the long term. They help you understand user behavior and build more valuable products with positive customer feedback.

Talk-Commerce Heather Barr

SaaS by SaasWest BigCommerce with Heather Barr

BigCommerce is Open SaaS means building a great community around it. Heather and Brent talk about the growing BigCommerce community and how to get involved. @hnbarr_

Heather walks us through how to get involved and introduced to the BigCommerce community. There is a lot of firsts happening at BigCommerce, and the community is strong and growing.

Heather tells us why it is unique in the commerce space and especially in the SaaS space. So many things in the works, and this is the perfect time to get involved. Will there be a BigCommerce event in Austin? SaaS by SaaSWest?

Check out the post on why you need a community manager.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Community Manager in Your Developer Community
5 Reasons Why You Need a Community Manager in Your Developer Community


Brent: Welcome to Talk Commerce. Today I have Heather Barr. Heather is the community developer manager, or the developer, community manager with BigCommerce heather, go ahead, introduce yourself. Do a much better job than I did . Tell us your day to day role and maybe one of your passions in life.

Heather: Yeah, absolutely. So great to be here. Thank you so much, Brent. Like you mentioned, I am the developer community manager at BigCommerce so I basically just do the day to day admin type things with our developer community spaces. The most puppet is our Slack. In addition to that, I build out some programs and host events and things like that.

Heather: And now that we have a really awesome solid developer relations team I work. Very closely with them to do exactly that and just improve the developer experience or try our hardest to do that at the commerce. And one of my greatest passions is it actually is somewhat of a newer passion.

Heather: Maybe in the past, like year or two, I have built out a, like a van, like a camper van out of a old like Amazon truck. And so I really love traveling around in that and just doing some camping or glamping I guess you could call it. But. 

Brent: All right, so now I’m super jealous and maybe after the interview we’ll have to talk about camper vans cuz I had the same idea out of an old, like a sprinter van or something.

Brent: Yeah, I love that concept and it gives you an opportunity to get out on the road and see things. So that’s super cool. Okay, so before we start the really fun interview, we’re gonna do the free joke project. And I did prep you on this, so it’s, I’m gonna just tell you the joke and then the goal is this a free joke or is this one we could charge?

Brent: So I have a very, I have a quick and simple one today. Ready? All right, I’m ready. To the guy who invented zero, thanks for nothing. 

Heather: I like that one. That one is definitely charged worthy. It’s simple. It’s to the point. And it definitely 

Brent: crack a smile. All right. Good. Do you wanna try one more or are we good?

Heather: I like that one, but if you have another, I can handle 

Brent: another. All right. I got an easy one. Okay. What does scholars eat when they’re hungry? Academia nuts. . 

Heather: Okay. ha ha, I really like that one. good. That one I would pay for . 

Brent: Thanks for playing along. Yes. I need a little jingle for that, I oh, definitely. I’ll think about a jingle later on. All right, so let’s dive into the bigCommerce community. I’m excited about the BigCommerce community cuz I was just, I was at the partner summit and it has this sort of open source vibe that some of the other communities have. Tell us how, what you’re doing in the community and how you’re helping the community grow.

Brent: And tell us a little bit about the Slack channel and. Yeah, go for it. 

Heather: So we have a Slack workspace and we are working on getting it to a point where we can just like fully blast it. But everyone listening to the podcast definitely reach out and get involved. I can have a link for bread that he can share, so you can join us there.

Heather: But yeah, that’s our most popping space right now. But we have other things going on in the community as well. The slack is just more of the I guess a real time peer-to-peer resource that we have available for developers and partners who are building solutions on the platform. And so in there we host some series events like AMAs.

Heather: We’re asking anything events with some of our product members. So basically if. People in the community have some interest in meeting with like someone from product or a team from product like mobile or headless or page builder or building widgets or whatever it is. Then basically we get those requests and then we just host like a small sort of intimate meeting in Slack and one of our like dedicated channels where you can just ask product anything about that topic.

Heather: So those are really cool. And we do those we do about two to three or four possibly every year. And we can increase that if we get a little bit more resources or help . But yes, so that’s one of the main things I guess going on in like in the Slack. We also have some other types of events depending on, like what you as a partner or developer are interested in.

Heather: Let’s say you want to I guess market or just promote your service to merchants and just have a space where you can talk openly about it and just have a real conversation about what you’re solving for and what are the, maybe the plans to come and so forth. We have an a series event like that as well.

Heather: We do it two to three times a year as well. And that is in our customer facing community. But to sign up, it’s through our developer community and then through My partnership with our developer relations team, Katie and Steven and Constance, which I know you already met with Katie. We are doing some bigger events, so those are really awesome.

Heather: So we did our first hackathon, which was really great. We planned to do many more and then, Also this past year we actually had our first community lead event too, which I know is huge, like in the space where you’re from. But it’s new here at BigCommerce and I really hope to see like more of these types of events and other types of content just like organically forming.

Heather: But that was with Space 48. So they held a, like a paneled type of, Virtual event where they basically were able to grab some partners from the community and just share tips and all types of stuff and just like things that they’ve learned like while developing on the platform. And it was completely community led and it just blew my mind.

Heather: It was so awesome. And yeah, I mean there’s just a lot of firsts going on right now and our developer community, and I think that is what’s really exciting is because, we’ve been building it for a couple years now, our. . Yeah, so we’ve been building it for a couple years now, and it’s just like we’re finally getting to a point where we’re able to.

Heather: see these types of opportunities and like actually really go forward with these types of opportunities ourselves, like internally. So I would say the big thing about getting involved in our developer community right now is that there’s a lot of firsts. So if you have any ideas or if you just wanna be a part of the beginning, like it definitely has.

Heather: That type of vibe where it’s like we’re, we’re getting that momentum and so we have a lot of stuff in the works and we have we just have a lot that we all wanna do as well. So it’s a really good time to participate. 

Brent: Yeah. And I can say that we worked with Space 48 on that first event in for another community in Austin in 2016 with Shipper HQ and Karen Baker.

Brent: Nice. , that was organized and we ran that until 2019. So it was it’s a great place and I’m gonna propose that we, we do a big the big Dev X or whatever we call it. Yes. Event in, in Austin next year. Maybe we should call it BigCommerce by, we have to think of a name to mimic off of, So by Southwest, right?

Brent: Ooh, okay. Commerce by SAS or something like South SAS by sas. Yes. We’ll have to, oh 

Heather: my gosh. Include you in the party planning committee. SAS by sas. Thinking of. So next year big developer things. And we’re starting to start conversations about those now and seeing who we need to talk to make these things happen.

Brent: Yeah. And there’s a great event space that we’ve always, we’ve done it in twice. It’s called Trinity Hall. It’s on Trinity, and I don’t know. Anyways. It’s in downtown Austin, but yeah. All right. So if I’m a new developer and I want to get involved in the developer community, and I, maybe I wanna build an app, is there a, is there like a place that, So I’ll join the Slack channel, and then is there a way for me to easily get started?

Brent: Walk me through pretending that I’m a developer and I really would like to participate in the BigCommerce c. . 

Heather: Yeah, absolutely. We have a lot of different spaces where developers can try to, reach out or get involved with others. But I would say Slack is definitely the most popular, but it’s not the most visible.

Heather: So that is something that we are working on now as far as like how to get that to be a more visible place and whenever we are able to get it to be a more visible place, that’s the other side to it. So depending on where this app developer, came to us or found us, whether it’s Twitter or our help center forum or stack overflow or whatever it is we would be reaching out.

Heather: So that’s what my team does. We reach out. And then also Katie, she’s really great with our Twitter. . So yeah, we basically would get in contact to find out what you’re trying to do, and then if we feel that, you’re an app developer, so we would obviously send you the link to get involved with our Slack community, and then there you can connect with other developers, other partners that have been building apps forever.

Heather: And so you have those resources but also build that relationship with you and then really provide some resources that help you individually, but that’s like linking the correct docs to you or different. And right now actually our developer relations team is working on a like an app series or they will be starting soon.

Heather: Because that is a gap right now too. It’s partners and developers are just like people that are new to building solutions on the platform, having that hard time getting an app off the ground, I guess you could say. And so that is something that we are actively working on right now. But I would say, the best or like the vibe right now in the community on how we could help is just really getting to know you one on one and providing those resources to you one on one. So it is more of a, Hey, let’s connect, let’s help each other, like that type of vibe. As we continue to grow, we can scale and can provide more resources and pump out more resources ourselves.

Heather: That’s when, you know we can provide those links and you. That content. 

Brent: Yeah. And there, there are regular public facing document doc, there’s a dev doc series that you have that’s public, so I could start there and then also get in contact with you to join the community and get going. How about I know that you mentioned having your.

Brent: First hackathon. , what are the plans around maybe having an in person 

Heather: hackathon? There are plans to having an internal hackathon. Yeah, that was our first one and it was a blast. And it got a lot of people excited. So that was like external people as well as like BigCommerce employees as well.

Heather: Everyone was just so comforted about the hack up on. And with that comes more I guess you could say. So teams, approaching us saying, Ooh, like we wanna, what about our thing? What about our thing? And they also third party at companies as well, saying Ooh. And so there is a lot of interest, which is really good for us because we get to plan out in advance let’s do this hackathon, virtually this one hybrid, this one in person or whatever it is.

Heather: And we can plan all of those out. And maybe we can make all of them hybrid. Maybe we can try different locations. There are a lot of ideas. Basically just a lot of ideas on what we wanna do as far as getting one planned. We’re not sure which one we’re gonna do next. Actually we do have one next, but we can’t talk about it right now.

Heather: And it. , that one maybe virtually. But midyear or like maybe late in year, I think we’re gonna try to do something a lot bigger, and that would definitely be a hybrid or in person. And then potentially doing some like small, like little dev challenges virtually, or even like doing some small popups in person would be really cool.

Brent: Yeah, I think we usually cap hackathons at 80 or a hundred people just because of the amount of people that you could fit in a room and we always hit it after an event. And it was always really fun. How about including people other than developers like project managers and solution architects?

Brent: Do you see a space for them in the community? I definitely 

Heather: do, and we have some of those Those types of roles are people with those roles in our developer community Slack right now. And so basically our developer community, Slack it’s like a umbrella acceptance. I guess you could say if you sit under the technical umbrella at all, if you work with.

Heather: Your developers. If you’re a CTO or a solutions architect or something like that, then you definitely are what we’re trying to have in this space. But for these events, I definitely see a benefit in having them. I think project management especially would be. Excellent to have because that’s what they do in their job and they really help the development lifecycle.

Heather: And so I think there’s a huge benefit of having like one project manager, like per team. I think that would be a really nice way to divide it up and then just really have a lot of success in the hackathons and from the submissions and on a team level. 

Brent: Yeah I, There, there are some other events that happen in other communities that are longer, or maybe they’re a weekend event, maybe a Friday night through Sunday event.

Brent: And then you, where you come together, build your ideas that you want to do. Then you put a team together and then that team goes and tries to get as much done as they can. By Sunday night. , so that comps would include a project manager or some kind of a architect, maybe some, there’s a lot more room for roles there.

Brent: Yeah. And then some people that aren’t so technical wouldn’t feel left out and they can participate in the event and have a lot of fun. 

Heather: Yeah. I think the more diverse the team can be the more successful it can be, honestly. 

Brent: Where do you see the BigCommerce community going in the next year or two?

Heather: In the next year or two, I see us doing so many more events really honestly. I see that being our, I guess our biggest opportunity is doing hackathons, doing smaller like developer challenges and then also just Getting ideas from our community as well. If there’s something that they, like our members really want to push out or just wanna be involved or really want us to push out or, and just see as an opportunity, we are all ears for that.

Heather: Like I said earlier, like we’re just in a time of a lot of firsts and so we are so open to making this the, this community. The best it can be for our members. We really want to hear from our members. We really want to just give them what they want. And I definitely see events being a huge thing for us this upcoming year.

Heather: And that’s a whole different type of just a broad range of types of events that I see coming. 

Brent: Are there any plans around, seeding other sort of community leaders to. build communities in other countries. In other areas. 

Heather: Yeah. So that would be that would be incredible. I think so there’s a lot of like really mature communities and then also just some really engaged like younger communities that are doing this right now.

Heather: And that have been doing it for years. And that’s something that I would personally love to see. Like for the Hackathon, for example, we had people that were, it was a worldwide type of event and it was really cool to see because we only had two weeks to really announce it. But it was like split between many continents, so it was, it would be really nice to just have I guess like focus groups or just user groups or just super, just whatever we wanna call it, but just like based groups in different regions.

Heather: And I think , like Magento or a lot of other types of different communities where they have they host like their own meetups and stuff like that. And even if it’s super casual but then we can be involved like on our side of hey, like we can help organize it or whatever. But then yeah, like y’all totally own it, like y’all are there.

Heather: Let us know how we can help. Notion does this I really love that productivity tool and they. They have a really excellent community, but but yeah, I definitely see that. I’m not sure how realistic that is for like this coming year since we’re like, we’re just now being able to like host all these really cool events.

Heather: But hey, if it happens, like I am all for it and I, yes, I’m like for making it happen to you. So whatever I can do to help with that and if we have a lot of interest and a lot of engaged people in different regions, like I am definitely for helping getting that. , 

Brent: I know in the agency space it BigCommerce is growing so fast that it’s been difficult to sometimes find developers and so you have to train developers.

Brent: Is there a easy way for an agency head to say, get to, to hire somebody that’s been involved in another SAS platform and convert them or help them understand? Getting up and running on BigCommerce yeah. So we 

Heather: have like big dev boot camps. That’s one of our excuse me, that’s one of our products or one of our services for getting started.

Heather: It’s like an onboarding type thing. So if you are a developer or if you have a developer that is like new to building on BigCommerce and you really wanna set ’em up for success Big Deb Bootcamp is a great option. Excuse me. Yeah, so you can get involved with Big Deb Bootcamp. I can actually get the link for you and I.

Heather: Include it so that you can try to like, push that out with your recaps and all that. But basically it covers developing on stencil on different types of getting started with like headless all of our APIs. Goodness. And just basic development, like getting started developing absent themes going over all of our resources basically.

Heather: So it’s a really nice program to get involved with if you’re new or if you’re just like trying to take advantage of what other resources are available to 

Brent: you and do you see developers quickly being onboarded and getting up to speed. On BigCommerce 

Heather: I guess you could say it really depends.

Heather: So with BigCommerce, we have developers that are, like third party developers as far as everyone, is a third party developer, but we have freelancers, we also have like developers that work for our partner agencies, and so it really depends on their relationship. I would say as far as what type of onboarding they get, which is something that we are working on as far as onboarding just developers in a better way in general, no matter you know, who or we know what they’re with.

Heather: I would say our. Are our partners. They have I would say more visibility to the big Deb Bootcamp. So I’d say that is something that kind of sets that like those developers aside because if you are a partner, you have more visibility. You just know about it more. If you’re a freelance developer, you probably have to discover it in a little bit of a different way, which is possible, but it’s not as visible to you.

Heather: So I would say. as far as like resources, like big dev bootcamp, it is a little bit more accessible if you are a partner. But then everything else as far as our documentation and our communities, like those are all very open for any sort of developer. So no matter if you are just doing freelance or you working for an agency or one of our partners, then you have access to the community.

Heather: And with that you have, the community team and then also Dev Rail to just walk you through whatever you would. 

Brent: and I would imagine that the amount of BigCommerce developers is like an iceberg where there’s the ma vast majority that aren’t involved on the Slack channel.

Brent: And it would be great to get ’em all involved. Yes. . Yeah. So maybe a message out to all the agency. Heads to tell their developers that there’s this great place that you should join and absolutely get questions answered, right? I think that’s the main key about the Slack channel is that if you do have questions, there’s so many people in there that are so smart, then that can help you get those questions answered quickly.

Heather: I agree and if you are a partner listening to this podcast or this interview we are going to have our own spot on the partner newsletters, the agency and tech partner newsletters. So that’s new and keep a lookout for us. We’re hoping to keep coming monthly with new content and also always having that CTA where you can share with your development teams to have them join us in the developer community.

Heather: We would love to have all of you. 

Brent: So a, as we finish things out today if you have one like little nugget that you could give a developer who’s starting right now besides joining the Slack channel Yeah. What would you tell them? 

Heather: I would really tell them to take advantage of. Us. That would be me, that would be Katie, that would be Steven, our developer advocates.

Heather: And it’s not only through Slack. We are, you can meet us on Twitter, you can meet us at some events. You can meet us wherever LinkedIn, this podcast. If you are struggling and you’re maybe posting on Stack Overflow or in the help center, reach out to us like dms because we wanna get to know you and we wanna get to know like how we can.

Heather: Not only just you, but also just every other developer that might be going through like a similar experience as you. And we really want to talk and connect and we do. And so if you’re a developer and you’re not super into that, totally understand. I would say something that could help.

Heather: Ah, goodness. Reaching out really does the best, even if it’s like on a GitHub repo or something, just letting someone know. That’s really how we make our changes. Even product. If you comment on GitHub or if you submit an issue or anything like that, or reach out to us in some way, or even tweet at us or whatever it is reaching out does.

Heather: Really help us make it better. So if you can find a way to reach out to us in some way that is what I would 

Brent: recommend. Yeah. And there’s also a BigCommerce Twitter community space now. Yes. As well. So that’s another good place for people to join. And there is more people in that space than another platforms I’ve noticed recently.

Brent: So that’s good. It’s being used. Yes. would add that as a developer and I’m going to admit that I started as a developer a long time ago. It is sometimes hard to ask questions and reach out and you really wanna solve it yourself. But once you’ve once you’ve paired up with, if you find somebody who can really help you, and I know when I got started I found somebody could help me.

Brent: And I think I was on MSN Messenger way back in the day and man did they help me, and there was so much more that I could get through with a little bit of guidance and mentorship. That, I think that the big com, I know that the BigCommerce channels can offer you even better than stack overflow or something like that.

Brent: That gets your question. You ask questions that’ll get answered quickly. So I can’t advocate more for using that and taking advantage of that as a developer. And it’ll really launch your career as a developer and help you accelerate your learning and getting things done. And then I would also say play around in a sandbox environment and make some stuff.

Brent: Yeah, 

Heather: absolutely. I second everything that you say. I agree a hundred percent. I can’t agree more actually. 

Brent: Great. As we close out, Heather, they I give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug. Okay. What would you like to plug today? 

Heather: Goodness. I’ve been prepping for this question. I’m not sure I’m having a hard time threatening a shameless plug.

Heather: I’m not gonna lie, but I will say if you could invest in a. Reusable water bottle. You can take it to the airport, you can take it everywhere. If you could fill it up. I actually went to a place to eat not that long ago and I was like, Hey, can I just fill up my water bottle? And they’re like, Yeah, do it.

Heather: Of course. So definitely get yourself a reusable water bottle or a few. That’s my stainless plug, . 

Brent: Cool. Thank you so much. Heather Barr, the community development developer manager for BigCommerce thank you for being here today. Yes, thank you 

Heather: for having me.