Articles & Podcast Episodes

Talk Commerce - Jordi Vermeer

Scaling Your Brand’s Revenue with a Global Marketplace Strategy: Insights from Jordi Vermeer of Channel Engine

Jordi Vermeer, VP of Revenue for Channel Engine North America, shares strategies for brands to expand globally and optimize sales across marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart & more. Learn key trends in multichannel commerce for 2024 and beyond.

If you’re a brand looking to expand your reach and revenue through online marketplaces, this episode of Talk Commerce is a must-listen. Our guest is Jordi Vermeer, the Vice President of Revenue for Channel Engine North America. With his deep expertise in marketplace strategies, Jordi shares valuable insights on optimizing multichannel sales, key trends shaping the future of ecommerce, and how Channel Engine is empowering brands to succeed in the ever-evolving world of digital commerce. Let’s dive in!

The Power of Marketplace Expansion for Brand Growth

One of the central themes Jordi emphasizes is the immense opportunity marketplaces present for brands aiming to scale:

“What’s good to understand is you have Amazon 1P or the vendor model and you have Amazon seller, the three P model. So what I’ve said so far is mostly the 3PL model where you sell on Amazon or the seller record and you determine everything, how it’s sold, for what price you get the, uh, the order and you fulfill it.”

Jordi highlights that Channel Engine simplifies the process of listing, optimizing, and managing sales across 700+ global marketplaces, enabling brands to tap into new audiences and markets.

As someone who has seen firsthand the revenue impact of strategic marketplace expansion, I can attest to the power of diversifying your sales channels. It reduces your dependence on any single platform and exposes your products to entirely new customer segments.

Navigating the Complexities of Cross-Border Commerce

Expanding into international markets comes with its own set of challenges, from regulatory compliance to fulfillment logistics. Jordi shares how Channel Engine helps brands overcome these hurdles:

“If you want to go to other regions, there are some product compliances and other regulations fulfillment you have to go through. But then also you can make use of the local network of those marketplaces and the local traffic that they have and like that you can expand your brand into also other regions.”

Having a trusted partner like Channel Engine to navigate the intricacies of cross-border commerce can make all the difference in your global success. They have the local market knowledge and technology to streamline the process.

The Rise of Hybrid Selling & Social Commerce

Jordi also touches on two significant trends shaping the ecommerce landscape: hybrid selling and the emergence of social commerce platforms as marketplaces.

“Hybrid selling is then the combination. And this is one of the biggest trends that we’re currently seeing in the market. Actually, in the past two years, it grew to 70% of the brands actually selling hybrid. So both 1P and 3P.”

Brands that adopt a hybrid approach leveraging 1P (selling directly to the marketplace) and 3P (selling on the marketplace platform), can enjoy the best of both worlds – maintaining control while maximizing exposure.

Additionally, the rise of TikTok Shop and Meta’s marketplace ambitions underscores the growing importance of social commerce. As Jordi points out, these platforms are eager to keep transactions within their ecosystems, making it crucial for brands to adapt their strategies accordingly.

The Future of Ecommerce: Jordi’s Predictions for 2024-2025

Looking ahead, Jordi shares his thoughts on what the next couple of years hold for the world of ecommerce:

“Personally, I see that later in 2024, early 2025, the economy will make some positive strides. And I do think that that is going to work in the favor of these online retailers or online platforms or online sales.”

As the global economy recovers, Jordi anticipates a resurgence in online purchasing power. Brands that have laid the groundwork with a strong marketplace presence will be well-positioned to capitalize on this growth.

Reflecting on my own ecommerce journey, I couldn’t agree more with Jordi’s assessment. The brands that continue to innovate, adapt, and diversify their sales channels will be the ones that thrive in the coming years.

Whether you’re an established brand or just starting out, Jordi’s insights provide a roadmap for success in the dynamic world of multichannel commerce. By embracing new marketplaces, optimizing your listings, and staying attuned to key trends, you can unlock new levels of growth and take your brand to new heights.

To dive deeper into the strategies and tools that can elevate your marketplace game, be sure to check out the full episode of Talk Commerce. And if you’re ready to supercharge your multichannel sales, head over to Channel Engine to learn how their platform can help you achieve your goals.

The future of ecommerce is bright – and with the right strategies and partners, your brand can shine even brighter. Happy selling!

Talk Commerce - Ben Johnson

Particle 41’s Ben Johnson on Purposeful Business Planning with OKRs

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of chatting with Ben Johnson, the CEO and founder of Particle 41, a global software development consultancy. Ben shares his expertise on using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) for purposeful business planning, Particle 41’s unique approach to software development, and his thoughts on the role of AI in the future of coding.

The Power of OKRs in Business Planning

Ben emphasizes the importance of being purposeful in business planning, and he sees OKRs as a powerful framework for setting and measuring goals. As he explains:

OKRs are a framework for goal setting. It’s one thing to say, hey, I have this. When I learned about OKRs, I actually put my family through them. I know. I would probably get charged for child abuse in some cultures.

By setting clear objectives and defining key results to measure progress, businesses can adopt a data-driven approach to goal setting and achievement. Ben even applies this framework to his personal life, demonstrating its versatility.

Particle 41’s Unique Approach to Software Development

Particle 41 offers a range of services, including advisory, software development, application modernization, DevOps, and data science. What sets them apart is their focus on building high-functioning tech teams that act as an asset of skill rather than just manpower. As Ben puts it:

What we do is put together really good tech teams. And a lot of folks think of outsourcing software development as the asset of manpower, like, hey, I just need some more bodies. But we really take pride in being the asset of skill.

Particle 41’s core values of visibility, velocity, and vision drive their approach to delivering dependable tech solutions that match their clients’ needs and market demand.

Balancing Custom Development with Existing Tools

When it comes to deciding between custom development and leveraging existing tools, Ben advises a balanced approach. He suggests mapping out the client’s existing IT stack and identifying areas of high need and high value. As he explains:

High need things are well established in the market. I don’t know anybody who’s going to go make their own email server or make their own computer and host it in their garage… And so those are like your high need things. And when we have high need, so I put that at the bottom of the diagram, those things, we just want to partner really well, pick the best to breed, you know, top right corner of the Gartner reference chart.

On the other hand, custom development should be focused on areas that differentiate the brand and deliver the most value to the customer.

The Future of AI in Software Development

As AI continues to advance, Ben believes that developers will still need to have a deep understanding of what they’re doing. While AI can help with tasks like writing and coding, he cautions against becoming intellectually lazy:

AI is not going to prevent software developers from having to do that… you’ll still have to very much know what it is that you’re doing.

As businesses explore AI applications, Ben observes that many end up narrowing their focus and arriving at more literal solutions rather than relying entirely on AI-generated output.

This insightful conversation with Ben Johnson highlights the importance of purposeful planning, adaptable software development approaches, and the evolving role of AI in the industry. To learn more about Ben and Particle 41, visit their website at or connect with Ben on LinkedIn.

Talk Commerce - Cullari & Wardell

The Power of Geofencing: How To Dominate Your Market with Location-Based Marketing

In this episode of Talk Commerce, we explore the world of geofencing with the dynamic duo, Barbara Wardell and Ernesto Caleri, co-founders of Kalari & Wardell. They share their valuable insights on how to use location-based marketing to attract customers, drive foot traffic, and outperform your competition. Get ready to unlock a powerful strategy that can transform your business!

Geofencing: A Powerful Tool for Small Businesses

“We started this company in the middle of COVID to help small businesses recover foot traffic,” says Ernesto. He explains that geofencing is a technology that utilizes the relationship between smartphones and satellites to create virtual fences around locations of interest. “When someone walks into a competitor’s store, we can send them an ad to your store.”

This tactic is particularly relevant for industries like restaurants, laundromats, and even niche businesses like mezcal brands. Ernesto emphasizes that the power of geofencing lies in its ability to track satellite-verified visits. “We do 5,000 satellite-verified visits a month across the US, Canada, and Australia.”

Democratizing Geofencing for Small Businesses

“We asked the question, what will it take to bring this technology to small businesses?” Barbara explains. Their answer was a revolutionary approach to geofencing, making it accessible for even the smallest businesses. They honed their strategy in the laundromat industry with a budget as low as $1,000 a month. “We were able to drive over 1,000 visits to one laundromat owner in the Carolinas with about 30 locations.”

This success story propelled them into new verticals, including private aviation, apparel, and even the alcohol and beverage industry. “We’ve been able to bring it to other verticals as well.”

Beyond Retail: Geofencing for Services and B2B

Ernesto and Barbara emphasize that geofencing goes beyond retail. “We can do B2B, which is retail. We also do services. We also do track website traffic.” They highlight examples like vacation rentals and retreats where geofencing can be used to target people in a broader geographic area. “We can look at neighborhoods in New York City, neighborhoods in Staten Island, neighborhoods in Florida. We can see where people are actually coming from and we can send ads to consumers like that even if they’re not living within driving distance of a location.”

Privacy-Focused Approach: Anonymity and Data Protection

One of the key concerns with location-based marketing is the perceived creep factor. Barbara addresses this concern directly. “Your device becomes anonymized, unlike with Facebook and other platforms.” She emphasizes that Kalari & Wardell prioritize data privacy and use a clean-room approach to anonymize users. “We actually do protect consumer privacy.”

The Future of Commerce: Hybrid Models, Data Accuracy, and Human Connection

As we move forward into 2024, Barbara believes the future of commerce lies in a hybrid model. “I think we’re going to go a little bit back to old school as well as integrate.” This means a balance between online and offline experiences.

Ernesto echoes this sentiment. “The world’s best visual models do not create faces that resonate with people just yet.” He believes that while AI is a powerful tool, it can’t replicate the human element of connection and empathy.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Power of Geofencing

It’s clear that geofencing is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to attract customers, drive traffic, and dominate their markets. Kalari & Wardell offers a compelling solution that puts the power in the hands of the underdog.

The future of commerce is exciting and filled with possibilities. Get ready to embrace the power of geofencing and unleash the potential of your business!

Expensify Launches Unlimited Virtual Cards, Empowering Businesses with Enhanced Spend Management

Expensify has launched unlimited virtual cards, empowering businesses with enhanced spend management capabilities. The new feature offers fixed and monthly spend limits, customizable card names, and seamless integration into the Expensify platform.

Talk Commerce - elena- leonova

Power of Sophisticated Commerce: Insights from Spryker’s SVP of Product with Elena Leonova

In this episode of Talk Commerce, Brent Peterson sat down with Elena Leonova, the Senior Vice President of Product at Spryker, to explore the world of complex ecommerce solutions and the art of effective product management.

“Ultimately, what they want to do is they want to run digital commerce, how they’ve been running their commerce practice in general. And that also means that in most of the cases, the available solutions that fit everybody don’t work for them.”

  • Elena Leonova

Navigating the Complexities of Sophisticated Commerce

Elena shared her insights on how Spryker, a digital commerce platform, caters to the needs of large enterprises with intricate business models and processes. She highlighted examples of Spryker’s customers, including those selling to dealers, powering small grocery shops, and managing supply chain complexities for industrial-grade printers.

“We built our platform to specifically be extensible in all those places to solve for those complexities.”

  • Elena Leonova

The Evolution of Product Management Across Platforms

Brent and Elena discussed how Elena’s product management experience evolved as she transitioned from Magento, an open-source platform, to BigCommerce, a multi-tenant SaaS solution, and now to Spryker. They explored the challenges and opportunities that arose in each environment, from managing an ecosystem of partners to navigating the data-rich world of SaaS platforms.

“The role of the product manager is to make sure that we as software company make the right decisions. Ultimately, we’re building a product or a platform that is going to last for many, many years.”

  • Elena Leonova

Mentoring the Next Generation of Product Managers

Elena’s passion for product management extends beyond her work at Spryker. She shared her insights on the importance of understanding the nuances of platform products and the need to balance customer-centric thinking with commercial viability.

“Besides just kind of what we just talked about, the platform products, a lot of people also don’t realize that product management is not about just building the product that customers love. You build products that you ultimately need to sell to customers.”

  • Elena Leonova

As the podcast drew to a close, Elena invited listeners to connect with her to discuss platform products and explore product management mentorship opportunities.

Brent’s Takeaway: Elena’s deep dive into the complexities of sophisticated commerce and her insights on the evolving role of product management were incredibly valuable. Her commitment to mentoring the next generation of product leaders is truly admirable and showcases her dedication to advancing the industry.

WordPress Tags: ecommerce, product management, platform products, Spryker, Magento, BigCommerce, sophisticated commerce, enterprise commerce, mentorship

Key Takeaways:

  • The complexities of sophisticated commerce and how Spryker addresses them
  • The challenges and opportunities of product management in open-source, SaaS, and platform environments
  • The importance of balancing customer-centric thinking with commercial viability in product management
  • Elena’s commitment to mentoring and sharing her knowledge with aspiring product managers

Don’t miss this insightful conversation packed with valuable lessons for anyone interested in the world of ecommerce, product management, and platform-based solutions. Watch now and unlock the power of sophisticated commerce!

Talk Commerce - Casey Drake Endear SalesChat

Revolutionizing Retail: Endear’s Casey Drake on the Power of SalesChat and Clienteling

In this special partner episode of Talk Commerce, we’re thrilled to have Casey Drake, the VP of Sales at Endear, join us for an insightful discussion on the future of retail CRM and clienteling. Sponsored by Content Basis and Endear, this episode contains valuable tips and strategies to help you supercharge your online sales and build stronger customer relationships.

The Game-Changing Power of SalesChat

One of the key topics Casey dives into is Endear’s revolutionary SalesChat feature, which transforms how brands connect with customers online. As Casey explains:

“SalesChat is a live chat widget on your website. It’s Endear’s what we’re calling our live chat feature is SalesChat. And we put that word sales on it for a reason because it’s meant to be and separate itself from a traditional support chat widget that people might be used to putting on their website.”

By empowering store associates to engage with customers through SalesChat, brands can create personalized shopping experiences that drive conversions and foster long-term loyalty.

Bridging the Gap Between In-Store and Online Sales

Another crucial point Casey raises is the importance of breaking down the walls between retail teams and e-commerce teams. Too often, these teams view each other as competitors rather than allies. However, as Casey points out:

“I think the only way you get that wall broken down is with like, we need to have a conversation about attribution and how store associates can get attribution for online sales. It doesn’t need to be every online sale, but give them a way to do that.”

By providing store associates with the tools and incentives to contribute to online sales, brands can create a more cohesive and effective retail strategy.

Talk Commerce - Casey Drake
Talk Commerce – Casey Drake

The Importance of Hiring and Empowering the Right People

Throughout the episode, Casey emphasizes people’s critical role in the success of any retail strategy. As he wisely states:

“I think so many brands need to like really take their hiring process seriously and then treat the good ones that they do get, treat them well and put them in the positions to succeed. Cause that like none of this works if you don’t have good people.”

Brands that want to deliver exceptional in-store and online customer experiences must invest in talented, trustworthy store associates.

Embracing the Future of Retail

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, brands must adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve. By leveraging cutting-edge tools like Endear’s SalesChat and prioritizing clienteling, brands can unlock new opportunities for growth and success.

So, if you’re ready to take your retail strategy to the next level, be sure to tune in to this value-packed episode of Talk Commerce featuring Casey Drake. Trust me, you won’t want to miss the incredible insights and actionable tips shared throughout this conversation.