Illustration of a home office setup for online business management, showcasing internet speed and utility cost comparisons across US states

Remote Work Revolution: The Best and Worst States for Home-Based Online Businesses

A new study by Digital Directory Express uncovers the best and worst US states for remote work, highlighting the impact on home-based online businesses and e-commerce operations.

Talk Commerce - Udayan Bose

The Future of E-Commerce: Insights from Udayan Bose on AI-Powered Marketing

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of speaking with Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir. With over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, Udayan shared his insights on the rapidly evolving landscape of e-commerce and how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way businesses approach marketing.

Failing Faster and Learning in Digital Marketing

One of the key themes that emerged from our conversation was the importance of adopting a “fail faster” mindset in digital marketing. As Udayan put it:

Just the willingness to dive in and figure things out and suddenly sort of you really have to obviously hustle hard but things slowly come in place and when it comes in place the impact is quite magical.

He emphasized that in an industry as dynamic as e-commerce, being open to experimentation and learning from failures is crucial for staying ahead of the curve.

Navigating Competitive Pressures and Rising Costs

Udayan also shed light on the challenges faced by e-commerce businesses today, particularly the squeeze on contribution margins due to intense competition and rising advertising costs. He noted:

If you certain categories saw a CPC increase of almost about 32%. So the cost per click, the same Google ad, costs a lot more now. So just think of it. You are unable to increase your prices, and the variable cost keeps on increasing. And this is leading to a massive squeeze in the contribution margins.

As someone who has worked with numerous e-commerce clients, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of these pressures on businesses. It’s more important than ever for merchants to optimize their marketing strategies and find ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

The Power of AI and Machine Learning in Marketing

One of the most fascinating parts of our discussion centered around the role of AI and machine learning in transforming digital marketing. Udayan explained the difference between horizontal AI, which focuses on productivity and doing more with less, and vertical AI, which is tailored to solving specific problems using a company’s own data.

Vertical AI, I think of it, is very specific to solving your problem. And the problem that, for example, our tool, Alexa Insight, solves […] is we just wanted to solve a simple problem that the entire e-commerce world or digital marketing was focused on new customer acquisition. We wanted to change it marginally and say that, can we use machine learning to help you do new high value customer acquisition?

This notion of leveraging AI to identify and acquire high-value customers resonated with me. As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, the ability to target and retain the right customers can make all the difference in a business’s success.

Advice for E-Commerce Merchants

As we wrapped up our conversation, I asked Udayan what advice he would give to e-commerce store owners looking to stay ahead in today’s market. His response emphasized the importance of experimentation and staying informed about industry trends:

I would actually sort of have two very specifically. The first one is just creating, carving those experiments of those tests. […] The second one effectively is as simple as that. I mean, you have to reserve 10% of your personal time as the business owner or the CMO to just explore what is going on because in many cases the biggest mistake I have seen a lot of lot of business owners really make they’re just so so much working inside out that they just never get the time to look at us to what season am I in, right?

I couldn’t agree more with this advice. In my experience working with e-commerce businesses, the most successful ones are those that prioritize continuous learning and adaptation.

Watch the full episode on YouTube

Final Thoughts

My conversation with Udayan Bose offered a wealth of insights into the future of e-commerce and the role of AI in shaping digital marketing strategies. As we navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, embracing experimentation, staying attuned to industry shifts, and leveraging the power of AI will be key to thriving in the years ahead.

To dive deeper into these topics and hear more of Udayan’s expertise, be sure to listen to the full Talk Commerce podcast episode. Let’s keep the conversation going – reach out and share your own experiences and insights on the future of e-commerce!

Contact Details:
3 Independence Way, Suite #203,
Princeton, NJ 08540
Call: 609.356.5112

Connect on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/netelixirudayanbose/

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.

Talk Commerce - Ben Riggle

Navigating the E-Commerce Evolution: A Deep Dive with Ben Riggle

As the Talk Commerce podcast host, I’ve had the privilege of engaging with some of the most insightful minds in the e-commerce industry. In a recent episode, I sat down with Ben Riggle, the Managing Director for Channable, to discuss the dynamic world of online marketplaces and the strategies businesses can employ to thrive in this competitive space. In this blog post, I’ll share the key insights and lessons from our conversation, offering a comprehensive guide to expanding your online presence and optimizing your e-commerce strategy.

The Imperative of Diversification in E-Commerce

Ben Riggle opened our discussion with a critical look at the North American market, where Amazon has long been the dominant force. However, he stressed the importance of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying sales channels is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity for survival and growth in the current e-commerce climate. With Channable’s feed management platform, businesses can scale their presence not only in the US but globally, tapping into a multitude of marketplaces that offer unique growth opportunities.

Overcoming Marketplace Challenges

One of the most pressing challenges for sellers is managing product listings and campaigns across various marketplaces. This is particularly true in categories like fashion and jewelry, where the complexity of variants and platform-specific requirements can be overwhelming. Ben emphasized the need for a strategic marketplace match, ensuring that your brand and product category align with the platform’s audience and advertising opportunities.

The Rise of Retail Media and Platform Competition

The concept of retail media is reshaping the e-commerce landscape, with platforms like Amazon, Walmart, and even TikTok Shops vying for sellers’ attention. Ben highlighted the importance of considering factors such as distribution relationships, category competitiveness, and profitability when choosing which channels to prioritize. It’s a delicate balance between seizing advertising opportunities and maintaining a profitable distribution model.

Leveraging Insights and Automation with Channable

Channable is revolutionizing the way businesses approach marketplace selling with its insights tools. These tools help clients monitor and optimize product performance, providing scoring for listings and utilizing AI to automate categorization. This level of analysis and automation empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions about where to list and sell their products, maximizing their online potential.

Streamlining Advertising Campaigns

When it comes to advertising, managing both organic and paid campaigns can be a daunting task. Ben discussed how Channable simplifies this process, offering an end-to-end solution that streamlines campaign management. By reducing the time spent on manual tasks and enhancing control over advertising spend, businesses can more effectively optimize their campaigns for better results.

The Global E-Commerce Opportunity

Our conversation also touched on the push for North American clients to expand internationally, particularly into Canada and Mexico. Ben underscored the potential for businesses to tap into new markets, highlighting the advantages of trade agreements and the need to navigate compliance and paperwork challenges. Cross-border expansion is not just an option; it’s a gateway to the vast potential of the global e-commerce market.

Social Media’s Role in E-Commerce Expansion

Ben Riggle shared his insights on the evolving role of social media in e-commerce. Platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are not only driving traffic but also generating significant revenue for businesses. He also pointed to the potential resurgence of Twitter and the impact of data and AI in shaping the future of online selling. For B2B businesses, social media presents an untapped avenue for distribution and marketing, one that is ripe for exploration.

Supporting Causes Through Collaboration

Lastly, Ben took a moment to highlight a cause close to his heart. He spoke about Knockaround sunglasses and their collaboration with the Trevor Project, an initiative supporting young men grappling with issues related to sexuality. This partnership exemplifies how businesses can leverage their platform for social good, aligning their brand with meaningful causes.


The e-commerce landscape is in a constant state of flux, with new challenges and opportunities emerging at every turn. My conversation with Ben Riggle provided a wealth of insights into how businesses can navigate this complex environment. By diversifying sales channels, optimizing listings, embracing retail media, and considering global expansion, companies can position themselves for success in the ever-evolving world of online marketplaces. Whether you’re a seasoned e-commerce veteran or just starting, the strategies discussed in this episode of Talk Commerce are invaluable for anyone looking to make their mark in the digital marketplace.

Talk Commerce - Raul Galera

E-Commerce Referral Marketing: Insights from a Partnership Manager with Raul Galera

As the co-host of the Talk Commerce podcast, I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Raul Galera, the Partnership Manager at ReferralCandy, to discuss the dynamic world of e-commerce. In a landscape that’s constantly evolving, Raul brought to the table a wealth of knowledge on current trends, challenges, and strategies that are shaping the industry. In this blog post, I’ll share the key insights and lessons from our conversation, offering a deep dive into the world of e-commerce from the perspective of a seasoned expert.

The Role of AI and the Impact of Rising Ad Costs

Raul began by shedding light on his role at ReferralCandy and how the company is navigating the e-commerce space. One of the most intriguing points he mentioned was the increasing use of AI for content generation. As brands strive to stay relevant and engaging, AI tools are becoming a game-changer in producing content at scale.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Raul pointed out the significant impact of rising ad costs on e-commerce brands. With the cost of customer acquisition climbing, brands are feeling the pinch, especially during high-stakes sales periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Shift to Organic SEO and Understanding Consumer Behavior

The conversation then turned to the strategic shift towards organic SEO. As ad costs rise, e-commerce brands are looking to organic search engine optimization to drive traffic without breaking the bank. Raul emphasized the importance of understanding the nuances in consumer behavior, particularly the differences between products that fulfill needs versus those that are more likely to be impulse buys.

Offline Interactions and the Resurgence of Physical Mail

In a digital age, it’s easy to overlook the power of offline interactions. Raul highlighted an interesting trend: the use of physical mail for marketing purposes. This throwback approach can cut through the noise of digital marketing, offering a tangible touchpoint for customers.

Preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Looking ahead to major sales events, Raul anticipates a softer approach to discounts from e-commerce brands. Thanks to better stock management and preparation, brands may not need to rely as heavily on deep discounts to attract customers.

The Importance of a Clear Post-Purchase Plan

A key takeaway from our discussion was the importance of having a clear post-purchase plan. Raul stressed the significance of post-purchase customer journeys and the introduction of new and complementary products after the initial sale. This strategy is crucial for engaging customers and encouraging repeat purchases, which fosters brand loyalty.

The Power of Partnerships in E-Commerce

Raul then delved into the world of partnerships, explaining the two main types: co-selling and influencer marketing. He underscored the value of mutually beneficial relationships, whether between brands or with influencers. Co-marketing with complementary brands and strategic influencer marketing can drive sales and elevate brand awareness.

Leveraging Word-of-Mouth with ReferralCandy

Introducing ReferralCandy, Raul explained how the solution empowers brands to leverage word-of-mouth marketing through a referral program. The automated nature of the program incentivizes customers to refer friends, benefiting all parties involved.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of E-Commerce

As we wrapped up the episode, Raul extended an invitation to brands to consider implementing a referral program to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing. He also offered his contact information for further discussions or inquiries.

The e-commerce industry is a complex and ever-changing beast, but with the insights from Raul Galera, brands can navigate it with greater confidence. From the impact of AI and ad costs to the strategic use of partnerships and referral programs, there are numerous opportunities for brands to thrive. As we continue to explore these topics on Talk Commerce, I invite you to join us on this journey and discover how to leverage these insights for your own e-commerce success.

  • Referral Candy: 00:01:22, 00:29:52
  • Shopify: 00:02:01, 00:22:36
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence): 00:07:00
  • Organic SEO: 00:10:33
  • Clienteling: 00:14:14
  • Amazon Days: 00:18:35
  • Klaviyo: 00:23:43
  • Influencer Candy: 00:28:50
Talk Commerce Joe Earley

Tifosi Optics: Insights from Founder Joe Earley on Building a Successful Sunglasses Brand

In this episode of Talk Commerce, I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe Earley, the President of Tifosi Optics, a leading sports sunglasses brand. Joe shared his journey of building Tifosi Optics from the ground up, navigating the competitive landscape of the sunglasses industry, and adapting to emerging trends in sports and lifestyle eyewear.

The Tifosi Optics Story: Filling a Gap in the Market

Joe and his wife, Elizabeth, started Tifosi Optics 21 years ago after identifying a gap in the market for high-quality, affordable sports sunglasses. As independent sales representatives in the cycling industry, they noticed a demand for sunglasses that offered the features of premium brands at a more reasonable price point.

“We found that there’s a lot of consumers out there that want that quality, but they just want a more reasonable price point. And so that’s what we’ve been able to kind of offer.” – Joe Earley

By focusing on delivering value to the end consumer, Tifosi Optics has grown from a small operation with 24 SKUs to a thriving business with a presence in over 3,500 retailers across the United States.

Staying Competitive in a Crowded Market

The sunglasses industry is highly competitive, with major players like Oakley and Ray-Ban dominating the market. To stay relevant, Tifosi Optics focuses on continuous product innovation and staying on top of trends in the sports and lifestyle categories.

“You definitely have to stay on the product gas. And for us, product is number one.” – Joe Earley

By consistently launching new models, color stories, and performance features, Tifosi Optics has maintained its position as a go-to brand for athletes and enthusiasts seeking high-quality, affordable sunglasses.

Adapting to the Rise of E-Commerce

In recent years, Tifosi Optics has embraced e-commerce as a significant part of its business strategy. While wholesale partnerships with specialty retailers remain crucial, the brand has seen substantial growth in direct-to-consumer sales through its website and Amazon store.

“At the end of the day, we’re servicing the end consumer. Our running specialty stores, our bike specialty stores, people like REI, they’re incredibly important to us. We’re not a, I think a lot of companies look at, they say they either be direct to consumer or I’m going to be wholesale. For us, as Jim Collins would say, we look at it as the beauty of the and, it’s not an or proposition.” – Joe Earley

By maintaining a balanced approach to wholesale and direct-to-consumer sales, Tifosi Optics ensures that its products are accessible to a wide range of customers while supporting its retail partners.

The Importance of Eye Protection in Sports

As an avid cyclist myself, I can attest to the importance of wearing high-quality, protective eyewear during outdoor activities. Joe emphasized the critical role that sunglasses play in shielding the eyes from UV rays, debris, and potential impact.

“You wouldn’t go out there and hang out in the sun for three or four hours without [sunscreen]. You know, you need to protect your eyes. So you do cause the same damage to your eyes, multiple sunburns, it’s gonna make your eyesight degenerate faster than it already is.” – Joe Earley

Tifosi Optics’ commitment to using shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and hard-coating technology ensures that their sunglasses provide the necessary protection for athletes and enthusiasts engaging in various sports and outdoor pursuits.

Looking ahead, Joe identified two significant trends in the sports optics space: the growing popularity of pickleball and the demand for bold, vibrant colors in eyewear.

“Pickleball has been an area where we started to see reviews on our website where people were buying them and they’re like, oh, I’m using these for pickleball, these are great. And we’re like, wait a minute. So then we started setting up campaigns to market to them.” – Joe Earley

As pickleball continues to gain traction, Tifosi Optics has strategically targeted this market, collaborating with influencers and expanding its product offerings to cater to the specific needs of pickleball players.

Additionally, the brand has observed a shift in consumer preferences from classic black frames to more colorful and expressive options.

“It used to be black was the number one seller. Anytime we came out with the sunglass, you’d have four or five colors. And if you had a black version, it was always number one. That’s not it right now. It’s all about fun, bright colors.” – Joe Earley

By staying attuned to these trends and adapting their product lineup accordingly, Tifosi Optics remains at the forefront of the sports optics industry.

As our conversation with Joe Earley demonstrated, building a successful sunglasses brand requires a combination of quality products, market awareness, and adaptability. Tifosi Optics’ commitment to delivering value, protecting athletes’ eyes, and staying ahead of trends has positioned them as a leader in the sports optics space.

To learn more about Tifosi Optics and their range of sunglasses for sports and lifestyle, visit their website at tifosioptics.com. And for more insights from industry leaders like Joe Earley, be sure to tune in to future episodes of Talk Commerce.

Talk Commerce Chase Clymer

Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Setting Up Your Shopify Store with from Chase Clymer

In the world of e-commerce, setting up a Shopify store can be an exciting venture. However, many merchants fall into common traps that hinder their success. In this special episode of Talk Commerce, I sit down with Chase Clymer, the expert climber of all things Shopify, to discuss the most common mistakes merchants make when setting up their online stores and how to avoid them.

Overinvesting in Customizations Too Early

One of the biggest mistakes merchants make is overinvesting in customizations when their store is not ready for it. Chase emphasizes this point, stating:

“If your store is doing under a million, you could even argue under 5 million. You don’t need a custom theme. This is maybe controversial to some shops out there. But I think that over investing in design is more appealing to a brand’s founder, especially one that’s a design-oriented creative. And it doesn’t really add much to your bottom line.”

Instead of focusing on expensive customizations early on, Chase recommends investing in marketing and customer acquisition. Your resources are better spent on driving traffic and sales to your store.

Poor User Experience (UX) Choices

Another common pitfall is making poor UX choices, either due to a lack of expertise or understanding of the customer journey. Chase points out several areas where merchants often stumble:

“Navigation is always, always bad. It’s like the first thing I can see, I’m like, who built this site? I could tell that they didn’t know what they’re doing. The way the navigation is set up for an eCommerce store. Additionally, sorting and filtering is often overlooked. And then it’s 2024 now. And I still have to have conversations about mobile optimization with people.”

To avoid these mistakes, it’s crucial to work with an expert who understands the intricacies of e-commerce UX and can help optimize your store for conversions.

Neglecting Content Strategy

Content is king, and neglecting it can be detrimental to your Shopify store’s success. Chase emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality content:

“When we talk about content, oftentimes when I’m having conversations with merchants about designing new stores, content comes up and I’ll send them examples and they’re like, that looks great. This looks great. That looks great. And I’m like, yeah, you want all these things have in common is they have great content. They have awesome imagery. They have great copy. They have good video.”

Beyond visuals, Chase also stresses the significance of written content, such as telling your brand’s story and having a robust blogging strategy. These elements help build trust with your customers and establish your expertise in your niche.

In conclusion, setting up a successful Shopify store requires careful planning and avoiding common mistakes. By focusing on the right investments, prioritizing UX, and developing a strong content strategy, you can set your store up for long-term success. As Chase Clymer reminds us, it’s essential to work with experts who can guide you through the process and help you optimize your store for conversions.

To dive deeper into this topic and gain more valuable insights, be sure to listen to the full episode of Talk Commerce featuring Chase Clymer. His expertise and practical advice will help you navigate the world of Shopify and take your online store to new heights.

Talk Commerce - Jason Nyhus

[Live from ShopTalk] The Struggle of Mid-Market Merchants in E-Commerce with Jason Nyhus

Defining the Mid-Market Merchant

Jason eloquently described the mid-market merchant as a business that doesn’t quite fit into the standard SMB or enterprise categories. These merchants often have complex use cases and unique needs that aren’t easily met by one-size-fits-all solutions. As someone who has worked with numerous mid-market businesses, I can attest to the importance of finding a platform that offers the flexibility and customization required to address their specific challenges.

One of the most significant issues mid-market merchants face is the dominance of big software companies in the e-commerce space. As Jason pointed out, these companies often prioritize their own profit motives over the needs of individual merchants. The result? A homogenized e-commerce experience that lacks the differentiation and customization many mid-market brands rely on to stand out in a crowded market.

I’ve seen firsthand how frustrating it can be for merchants to feel forced into a box, unable to tailor their online presence to their unique brand identity. This is where open-source platforms like Shopware shine, offering the freedom and flexibility to create truly distinctive e-commerce experiences.

The Importance of Adaptability and Customization

As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, adaptability has become a crucial factor in the success of mid-market merchants. Jason emphasized the significance of choosing a platform that allows for easy customization and integration with emerging technologies like AI.

In my experience, the ability to modify and own your code is a game-changer for mid-market businesses. It allows them to create tailored experiences that align with their brand and business processes, rather than being constrained by the limitations of a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution.

Final Thoughts

My conversation with Jason Nyhus at Shop Talk was an eye-opening exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing mid-market merchants in the e-commerce world. By understanding the unique needs of these businesses and embracing adaptable, customizable solutions, we can help them navigate the complexities of online retail and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

If you’d like to learn more about Jason’s insights and the innovative solutions Shopware offers for mid-market merchants, be sure to check out the full podcast episode. And as always, keep the conversation going by sharing your own experiences and strategies for success in the comments below.

Elevating the Customer Journey: parcelLab Welcomes Noel Hamill as Global Chief Marketing Officer

parcelLab, the premier retail, e-commerce, and post-purchase customer experience platform, has announced the appointment of Noel Hamill as its new Global Chief Marketing Officer. Hamill’s extensive expertise will be instrumental in shaping parcelLab’s global go-to-market strategy and vision, helping to transform the customer journey and fuel the company’s next stage of business growth.

Talk-Commerce Matthias Schreiber

Navigating Challenges and Embracing Collaboration: Insights from Matthias Schreiber

Join the insightful journey with Matthias Schreiber on “Talk Commerce” as we delve into the open source ecosystem, Magento’s evolution, and the collaborative future of e-commerce.