DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E49 – Ecommerce and Customer-Centric Design with Ben Shapira

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On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony talk to digital marketing strategist Ben Shapira about digital marketing, ecommerce strategy, and how to link your target audience to your product.

In the early days, e-commerce was so expensive. But now, almost all companies will benefit from creating an online presence. And it has never been easier. Ben talks about a variety of tools that companies can use to better understand the personalities of their customers and effectively grow their businesses. The more you understand about who your customers really are, the more you can deliver in the way of what they actually want. He provides examples of Target and Costco, and how they combine different marketing tactics to play to the interests of their consumer personas.

Ben also describes attribution methods, which ultimately let business understand the nature of how their customers interact with the brand, as well as how long it took them to become a customer.

Here are the attribution methods described:

  1. 1.    First-click—When did they first interact with us?
  2. 2.    Last-click—When did they become a customer?
  3. Linear attribution—Tracking all points of engagement between

Breaking into this field of digital marketing may seem daunting, but business owners can use free resources to start experimenting with research on their own.

Here are the three main websites for gathering user data:

  1. 1.    Pew Research
  2. 2.    Nielson Data
  3. 3.    Helix Personas

Once you have a handle on what you consumer personas are, it really would be advantageous to bring in an outside professional to help understand what to to next.

The key takeaway from this episode is how to actually grow your digital marketing. Ben says the best way is to:

  1. Educate yourself about consumer personas, who your customer base really is, and other extrinsic data.
  2. Bring in someone from the outside to help you analyze and make sense of that data.
  3. Create an actionable plan to bring your customers what they really want and turn them into brand loyalists.

Topics Covered:

  • The barriers to entry into eCommerce are low today.
  • Traditional marketing approaches don’t really apply in the digital space.
  • Why you need to understand your audience for digital marketing.
  • Understanding market research tools to boost digital profitability.
  • How to serve your customers to become brand loyalists.
  • “Single-source” models attribute multiple streams of disparate data to one individual.
  • Using Google Analytics to boost your understanding of your audience.
  • Turning your conversion rates with the right data.
  • How Costco has engineered the layout of their floors.
  • Less is more: satisfy your customers with less.

Key Quotes

  • “When I started, Microsoft frontpage extensions were all the rage.” (1:20)
  • “Just because you have an internet presence doesn’t mean you’re going to have sales in the long term.” (2:30)
  • “Social media builds a richer story around our customers.” (6:45)
  • “It’s more important to ask questions than anything else.” (4:25)
  • “Every business has at least two personas.” (5:00)
  • “Personas are not monolithic: they are a general best-guess.” (12:30)
  • “We can make inferences based on a single piece of hardware: your phone.” (13:25)
  • “The data that’s being collected has both positive and negative connotations.” (18:10)
  • “Personas are bad for privacy but good for companies and consumers.”
  • “Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you are interacting with it, and they are tracking your engagement.” (21:45)
  • “Investing a little bit upfront in the research side will ultimately return a lot in the long run.” (28:20)
  • “The way Target markets to mom, she will sacrifice brand names for herself so that she can buy brand name stuff for her kids.” (31:00)
  • “It’s really important as a business owner to surround yourself with experts in the field.” (33:30)
  • “More doesn’t always mean money.” (38:30)
  • “Every time we’ve launched something…the changes that we’ve made have been positive.” (40:00)