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Damon Pistulka, Jeffry Graham
Damon Pistulka 00:03
All right, everyone, Welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And with me today, I’ve got the infamous Jeffrey Graham from e commerce, MGMT or e commerce management. How you doing today, Jeff?
Jeffry Graham 00:19
I’m doing it now. All right.
Damon Pistulka 00:21
Awesome. Well, we’re gonna be talking a little bit today about e commerce education that produces results, because one of the things we’ve discovered over the past few years is, there are very few places where people can go to get practical ecommerce information or education. Yeah, and quite honestly, most of us learned in the school of hard knocks, just figuring junk out as you go along.
Jeffry Graham 00:45
I know it has to be.
Damon Pistulka 00:46
And it’s gonna be good for us to talk a little bit more about that and what you learn and the things that that you’ve been able to uncover. And some of the things that we’re seeing that are going to be interesting going forward in their e commerce education. So hope that people if you’re listening on LinkedIn, go ahead and comment or Facebook, just drop some comments in there.
And let us know how you’re doing. Let us know where you’re listening. If you got questions about e commerce education today, that’d be great. Drop them in the comments. We’ll make sure Jeff and Jeff can answer them. And we’ll go from there. So Jeff, kind of give us a little bit of your background. So people get a get a little snapshot of why e commerce education be important to someone like you?
Jeffry Graham 01:31
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, I started in e commerce, probably before Well, really, when things were just set, you know, first ever sold online? Which Yeah, I think we had that debate the other day, which was the first thing and I said it was a sting album. And I think you said it was, would you say it was it was something else? Or maybe it was Kurt, but somebody said, So anyways, it was like in 1994 was like the first online purchase? Yeah, it was a sting album.
And then there, there’s some debate around what was first and because there’s two things that happen at the same time, but yeah, you know, in the, in the late 90s, you had this kind of, you know, internet boom, where we were just learning how to build websites. So I started, I built my first website, on front page, and probably 1998. And how I was still in high school at the time.
And, you know, I didn’t know ecommerce was going to be what it is today, and obviously didn’t know that Amazon or on, potentially, that our ecosystem or world was going to change in this direction, you know, really had no idea, I just thought it was a cool tool at the time, and you can go and get free information. And it just became a special thing, then Google came and evolved over time.
So as it’s evolved, my career has evolved, you know, from traditional sales to more digital sales, and then that’s evolved all the way into specifically e commerce, starting e commerce education institutions, as well as doing a lot of consulting and a lot of hands on within tons of e commerce companies on growth and sustainability and on on capturing, essentially moving to the next level. And one of the biggest problems we’ve had, as professionals in this in this, in this segment is that there’s the talent pool is very small. Yeah, if not sometimes non existent for specific skills. And that’s changing.
With our help, hopefully, with e commerce management and e commerce. edu. We’re hoping to change that talent pool and give that kind of hands on fundamental growth opportunities, more of like a, let’s say trade school or in universities are beginning to pivot towards e commerce as well an offer degrees around that, around that as well. So we’re seeing Yeah, in in a hyper evolution, I would say super fast here. Yeah. And which now ecommerce is is something you can’t, you can’t ignore, you can’t turn your cheek and you can’t go, Hey, you know, we need to we need people with these skills. Because the world’s doing business online. So this is Yeah, this is the change and
Damon Pistulka 04:11
yeah, and you know, I you said something there that that I think is and and I was doing some some research prior to this, that that was really interesting. You there are very few if any, and I didn’t find any straight up e commerce, schools, or e commerce programs where it’s like, Listen, we’re going to show you how to how to do end to end you know, from your website, to selling on Amazon, to selling on your website to selling on, you know, Walmart or whatever the heck it is.
There’s individual, you can find some people that’ll, that’ll sell a course here or there, but there’s not a university or a centralized source of that kind of information. So you’ve got a consistent baseline. program even to go through really look like there’s more piecemeal, you can go learn about Google Analytics here or Google ads or Bing Ads or something like that. But it didn’t really seem to me like there’s a place where you can go find a cohesive body of information and and really get in depth with e commerce.
Jeffry Graham 05:19
Correct? Yeah, you’re you hit the nail on the head. You know, the the biggest migration we’ve seen is digital marketing, shift between like digital marketers then pushing towards e commerce. But digital marketing is like going from rugby to football in the US into going into play. It’s a different sport altogether. And yeah, there’s similarities between the two, but they’re very different.
Marketing is one component of e commerce and we have everything from e commerce, you have to think of everything from supply chain, you have to think of everything for packaging, shipping returns, you have you think of multi channel management, you have to think of operate from an operational standpoint. So there’s like 100, more aspects that have nothing to do with marketing, that have everything to do with e commerce. And that’s one of the big problems we have with our talent pool.
And with e commerce education as a whole is that we don’t have those those those resources available to a lot of us. And then in addition to that, the companies are starving for those resources. Hence, why it’s it’s the hottest market for e commerce professionals that I’ve really ever seen. And, you know, and I can talk a little bit about what jobs are important to, to the market right now. And yeah, where are you going to find them? Right? Well,
Damon Pistulka 06:37
that’s, that’s the thing, I think, let’s let’s talk about that for a little bit. Because that’s, you know, in in experiences in the past, you know, it’s awfully, awfully hard to find somebody with experience in something like b2b. Google AdWords experience in a service business, you know, that’s, that’s actually a sizable business, or even a product based business doing b2c, it’s hard to find people that have that experience level, and, and understand those things.
Jeffry Graham 07:10
Yeah, one of the major challenges that I think we face in e commerce is that evolves so fast. And so curriculums and traditional education, let’s just say that you like, major university, cannot move as quick as the market moves and can’t move as quick as the technology moves. And so you’d have to really redesign your curriculum every half a year.
Yeah, if not faster, sometimes, like, you know, there’s stuff that’s coming out that, you know, from an artificial intelligence standpoint, from, from an integration standpoint, from apps, from plugins, from all these things and components, where, you know, once you’ve learned learn something, it’s you’re already behind. Yeah, saying, and so what what we’re really trying to do with with e commerce management, e commerce, Edu is really keep it on the front end, front end of the curve, every change that happens, we put that into the curriculums in the courses into the programs in the certificates or whatever.
And universities are loving that as well. Because we do partner with universities, and they’re very being much more progressive, let’s just say than they used to me. Yeah, you know, something, let’s just look at it like one aspect, like you say, Google ads. Well, let’s say SEO content writer. So where would you learn Seo? Where would you learn how to write Seo? What institution taught that?
Damon Pistulka 08:33
Yeah, it’s you can take some I mean, that’s
Jeffry Graham 08:36
free dumbfounded. I can’t think of a single institution that actually taught an SEO class. They might now they might offer it within the last 12 months. But 10 years ago, did they teach SEO classes, no private institutions or digital marketing schools or whatever it might have taught some level of SEO? Well, what’s the difference between Seo 10 years ago and SEO today?
It is not even in the same world. Yeah, that’s the problem that we face with education, especially education that’s moving is still at lightspeed. Yeah, it has to move at lightspeed or you fail, as you’ve seen in e commerce companies, if you’re not evolving, you’re dying. And if you don’t make the right changes quickly, and if you’re not testing fast, it’s game over. Yeah. And it’s going to become more competitive as we go. So yeah, harder. And that’s for sure. There are some serious challenges ahead. No doubt. So
Damon Pistulka 09:25
Chris Webb has a good question. I think this is what course the courses do you recommend a boost knowledge around e commerce? And I think that’s a that’s a loaded question because there could be a lot of them. But if Craig, Chris get a little more specific around it, there’s some I know, I know, on. There’s some general class courses you can take to get an overall feel for it. But really, depending on the kind of ecommerce you’re going to go into.
That’s where one of the things that we could even discuss here a moment is. e commerce is not ecommerce. I mean, it’s It’s, it’s really specific to the industry and the type of business and what you’re selling because the, the sale of a, you know, a $500,000 CNC machine or something like that is much much different than the sale of a, you know, a box of pens, or a pair of shoes or some pair of shoes or something like that, that we’re gonna do, you
Jeffry Graham 10:22
know, you know, your b2b commerce, right? Yeah. A buyers, you know, government buying is done online a lot now. Yeah, where it wasn’t before, you know, Amazon, you know, has come in and disrupted, you know, the e commerce world. So yeah, is there’s so many facets to not just e commerce in general, but e commerce has specific segments. And then how do you sell in that segment? How do you package How do you ship? How do you become profitable or stay profitable?
How do you manage your channel, if you do sell through traditional channels, so these are all things that you have to weigh in? And there isn’t an institution that can teach you that? You know, the way we learn is just by doing it over and over and over again, and learning how to not, you know, by messing up a lot altom Utley, and then learning how to do it better.
Yeah, for answer Chris’s question, Chris. I’ve written about set what 74 courses now. So you know, they go A to Z, but they’re really going to be depending on in which which area if you want to just learn the basics, fundamentals, just how it works, all the way down to you, your keyword mastery, where you become master level PhD and keyword and understanding how keywords can play a role within the e commerce ecosystem. So there are a ton of different ways to to cut the turkey, let’s say or whatever the phrase may be.
Damon Pistulka 11:47
Yeah, you know, that’s the one thing I think that when we talk about e commerce education, or there’s two things really is e commerce moves so quickly now that you can’t wait for the traditional textbook to be written, published, go out to the schools, I mean, I don’t care if you’re rewriting it and put it into a PDF, you really can’t go that long. Because you can’t take that long.
Because in the matter of time that it takes you to get that ready, get it electronic even and get it distributed out to students. You’re you’re falling behind, because they’ve already changed twice since then. Yeah. So the the Econ, the e commerce education, I think is got to be a more almost real time kind of solution where you can update it easily with the changes and do things like that, because it you know, an update to the Google ads or a different platform can change the way so change it so quickly, what you need to know.
Jeffry Graham 12:50
Yeah, you gotta be hyper flexible and hyper, hyper, you know, hyper, you know, hyper speed, let’s just say like, you know, yeah, space travel, but like even Google themselves, you know, and worked with Google in the past. David, say that, you know, you you might make an AdWords change, and then what you need to make sure that you’re monitoring that very closely over a day or two, and then you’re making another change. So you’re talking about two, three days of changes.
So there is no like, hey, this book came out on how to be good at AdWords Well, no, it depends on what you’re selling, how you’re selling it, where you’re position it, who your market is, what your demographic is, what’s your, you know, what, you know, there’s so many layers within just add words, and that’s just in one Pay Per Click methods. And that’s not counting any other type of sem search engine marketing you might be doing so you got Facebook ads, and you’ve got Instagram and you’ve got Pinterest and you have eBay and you have all these other components. Where are you going to learn my eBay ad specialist?
Well, okay, well, how do you write anybody at Well, this is very different than Amazon ad and you know, those things are those things are what is hard to teach. And so, in, in education, we have to be able to move as fast as the market moves. And that’s what’s different.
And that’s what’s what’s evolving these institutions, major institutions like Harvard, Cornell Brown, are now rolling out ecommerce products and e commerce classes because they see that there’s a huge skills gap here and and the market is is suffering immensely. I mean, I think I look today there’s over 3000 ecommerce jobs and just within like a two or 300 mile radius of where I live, that’s a lot of just open Yeah, just wide open and I did that for for us Our topic today specific. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 14:43
So Matt, Matthew Perkins here has a good good comment. He said discord, space universities would be ideal. I think he’s right. I mean, and he follows it up. So you’re talking about Yeah, channels for emergency info channels to collaborate, get together course. major updates. I think that’s really what he’s seeing the same things that we are because, yeah, there you go. He says melding university with mastermind. That’s exactly what this is going to take for to get. Yeah, it’s it’s a hybrid because it moves too fast, it moves too damn fast moves too fast. What
Jeffry Graham 15:16
you did yesterday is not it’s not important today, right? used to say to say this in our sales, you’re only as good as your last sale. And in e commerce, a shift can happen in algorithm and it can ruin your online sales. I mean, and guess what, who’s in charge of those things are people that that are in charge of those companies, I Google, Amazon, the big players, they’re really writing the book on once you learn an algorithm, they’re changing it, because they don’t want people to game the system.
Yeah, so you know, their job is to sell ad space, their job is to sell products and ad space. So so you know, being on the forefront of that, you know, when you hear I’ll get you on the first page of Google, you just automatically know it’s a bunch of baloney. And Google decides that, but there are ways to be successful and to give yourself the best chance to be on the first page of Google. And that doesn’t come with a two year old education.
Damon Pistulka 16:14
No, no, that’s, that’s for sure. And it doesn’t come it doesn’t come easily. Either. People think I can do this, and I’m going to go to the, you know, he just don’t do that, especially in competitive keyword phrases. You’re not going to make it.
But the, the, the real thing that that I you know, cuz like I said, I was doing some research on this and trying to find looking at some courses and you’ve got, you got some of these larger, excuse me associations that have, you know, they have some online training and this and that, but man, that doesn’t seem like there’s a place where you can go and get real world examples like, Hey, here’s, here’s how you, you know, make a listing on Amazon. And I might be using a bad example, because Amazon might have their stuff on there.
Jeffry Graham 17:02
Yeah, there’s definitely people that teach that. Yeah, rudimentary stuff. You know, how to make a listing on Amazon. There’s a lot of people that say, Hey, here’s how you make $1,000. On Amazon. It make $10 million on Amazon.
Damon Pistulka 17:15
Yeah, that’s exactly that’s what I’m trying to say. There’s, there’s just not and this Oh, we’re talking about? We’re talking about? You know, it’s not it’s not making $100,000 on Amazon that life.
Jeffry Graham 17:25
Damon Pistulka 17:27
Jeffry Graham 17:28
There you go business and I think you’re right. Yeah. It’s like, you know, what, what’s wild to me in e commerce in and what’s kind of sticking out is is the, the backbone of non digital. Okay, so like, you know, we have digital marketing, right? It’s a fancy phrase people use. I’m a digital marketer, whatever the problem is, is digital marketing is not the backbone e commerce.
So just as an example, some of the hottest jobs in the world is in e commerce is BI. So business intelligence. Yep. He’s our business analyst, depending on whatever you want to call it. You have digital operations manager. Okay, what’s a digital operations manager? And do you know, like, I mean, you know, what an engineer is? Yeah. Digital operations manager. Well, I guess in this in the terms here, it means that digital operations manager is similar to a project manager. Yeah. encompasses all firms digital activities.
Damon Pistulka 18:28
Yeah. I mean, because it’s so because what it’s saying is
Jeffry Graham 18:31
that they have to manage all these these units, right? This Yes. You know, that packaging, the the reorder the retention, the customer experience, all these kinds of things. So I’m assuming it’ll operate digital operations manager is in charge of digital operations. Well, that’s new. Yeah, in the sense of like, that didn’t exist 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago. It was definitely something different. Here’s another one customer satisfaction manager. Okay. Now, customer satisfaction has always existed.
But what’s the difference between e commerce and regular commerce? People hate it to be slow. They don’t accept apologies. They’re there. They wanted it yesterday. So as a customer satisfaction manager around e commerce, you have to be Johnny on the spot. There is no I don’t want to wait to two hours for my email response. I don’t want to wait 10 minutes for my chat response. Now. It’s speed. Right? Well, that’s the difference, right? So so to be in those roles, you have to be moving at lightspeed
and, and the customers
Jeffry Graham 19:41
or the customers are just getting pissed, because nothing makes ecommerce customers happy. Other than over delivering,
Damon Pistulka 19:48
yeah. And you make a good point. With with those positions when you look at that digital operations manager in a traditional business, or even an e commerce business five years ago, You didn’t have to have someone on staff that new SEO that was continuously working on SEO for you and someone that was on staff that was managing your pay per click spending.
And someone that’s probably doing Not only that, but you’re doing one for Google one for Facebook, if you’re a bigger company and or multiples of those, and and it might even be category managers with that. So when you look at that digital operations manager, if I’m running a 2020, or $50 million ecommerce company, you got a lot of people that are just working on stuff that’s happening on platforms on on advertising. And then like you said, the the moving the data and getting the product to the people and making sure they’re happy.
Jeffry Graham 20:50
Yeah, you know, we talk a lot about and you hear this often about and essentially analytics, or Yeah, you know, people that are data mining, right? And with big ecommerce companies, Amazon, wayfarers, whatever the world, they have folks that are data miners, essentially the all they do is crunch data, and they look at trends, and they look at everything from user activity time experience, all the way down to the second. I mean, it’s real time, right? You know, we have things that now with Microsoft clarity, coming out and being Webmaster Tools, where now heat maps is part of their platform.
Well, a lot of people may be on here on this on our conversation here might not even know what a heat map is. Or maybe no user recordings were well, when he maps and user recordings came into play five plus years ago, it was the creepiest thing in the world, because oh, yeah, I can spy on what you’re doing on my website. So I see where your mouse goes, I see where you click, I see what you do. It’s almost like watching behind that, like, you know that detective who’s behind the mirror, the ones watching you, you know, and that’s what heat maps was and and what digital recordings were.
But that’s what’s changed is now now you’re talking about one of the second largest player in ad spend, right for for for less a pay per click is now implemented that into their platform, excuse me in beta. Well, that’s I’ve never seen that before. Usually, if you wanted to heat maps, you got like heat maps or something for hot jar, which is a product. But now it’s in being clarity, which is interesting. So now you have heat maps, you have user recordings. So now we’re getting granular, right? Who taught that? Who? Yeah, who would even teach a course of round? user inner UX?
Right? You talked about that, in a development standpoint, you want to make good user experience UX is user design, right? Well, that can be taught, but but how does it how do you measure what someone’s doing on a website and then make adjustments literally, physically, to that website? Or digitally to that website? Yeah. And that experience? And yeah, that comes down to the day of data, that isn’t something you can go, Hey, if you do this, it’s gonna work, right.
It really depends on the user, it depends on what they’re doing, how they’re interacting with your site. And again, every website is different. Every e commerce company is different. But the technical aspects of what’s available is so fast, that there isn’t an option to to wait till tomorrow to figure out how to make a change to get more conversion.
Yeah, that’s the thing that that we’re running, you know, run into is there’s no institutional education that can keep up. Yeah, you know, their schools like we’re, we’ve developed in courses like we’ve developed where, Hey, you, you know, we’re changing the curriculums on the fly all the time and enhancing them and doing what you know, kind of reboots of them because because the curriculum that’s a year old, it’s already out of date. Yeah. Any commerce especially.
Damon Pistulka 24:01
Yeah, well, I think that the the one of the things that that this has really spurred in the last in the last 12 months with COVID hitting and that the boom in e commerce and people aren’t aren’t experienced it now. They I don’t know where you’ve been, but the you know, the Amazons of the world and anybody that’s selling something that’s that’s relevant in the e commerce space now is busting at the seams because everyone figured out that I don’t have to go without I guess because I can’t go to the store.
I can get my stuff delivered to my house. And oh, by the way, I kind of like that. And and I think that this this thing, even as things are opening up, I’ve said this a bunch of times, I still think a lot of this e commerce habit is going to stick and i think that you know even I look at myself i was i was like i was i was looking I was the stupidest things of vitamins. Looking at vitamins this smart I just got it on Amazon rather than going I mean, my my drugstores to believe what, three miles from my house. I was like now I’m just going to have a sent to me, you know, doing
Yeah, my vitamins.
Damon Pistulka 25:13
Yeah Don’t you doordash vitamins but this is this is an Amazon purchase, you know, but it’s the same thing. It’s like we’ve gotten so used to this now that I think that that’s only going to continue this demand and this demand is not going away for the talent to be able to do this, there’s a there’s a an entire population now that is looking that you know, they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve whatever else and then if they can get retrained in this in some of these fundamental e commerce things, like you know, add words like SEO like sem and anything else that the e commerce companies need so bad and if they’re willing to keep continuing their education,
it’s not something that they have to spend 10s of 1000s of dollars on to get into and that’s that’s the thing and I think that most people don’t realize e commerce is a hell of a good career choice if you are one of these people that wants to get in learn and then get into something and then continue building your career because you look at the the changing in the in the expansion of it over the past you know 10 years and look at the way it’s gonna go again in the next 20 you can make a tremendous career out of this for the rest of their life.
Jeffry Graham 26:36
Yeah, the retraining aspect is is monstrous, right because you have such digital disruption due to COVID and other other factors you know, global globalization technology technology’s taken over and so yeah, you have huge discrepancies between you know what what skills you have and what skills you can create and you know, hey they bought on the internet right most people in the in the weird thing to say this and we’ve never said this is every company’s in e commerce company.
Yeah. Now if you’re not selling anything on the internet, I would find you a rarity in this world Yeah, I’m very you know, if you’re doing business through the internet you’re doing e commerce whatever Yeah, looks like so now we almost go ecommerce companies we should just be saying all companies Yeah, all companies are in e commerce. It’s just a matter of the depth in which they spend their their effort there. Right. If they’re 20% revenue, they’re not the right education, retraining, huge career opportunities. There’s so many really cool facets of e commerce that that it can be really exciting.
You know, it’s not just sitting behind a computer looking at code and you know, all these like, you know, myths and things you know, there’s a lot of like soft skills like like, like creative design and yeah, human emotion and you know, there’s a lot of pieces that are important with with any commerce that drive sales online, trust building, storytelling, video marketing, you know, the list goes on but what we don’t want to forget is that there’s the e commerce front and then there’s the e commerce that’s on the back Yeah, you don’t like to do the computer II kind of things you know, the creative well, supply chain is a monster.
Understanding single partial shipments, streamlining production for e commerce shipments, staging warehouses differently, you know, the lean manufacturing methodology Six Sigma stuff, you know when you think about that that’s gonna evolve towards how ecommerce fulfillment works FBA Amazon FBA we learn a lot about e commerce through Fulfillment by Amazon in the fulfillment spectrum third party logistics now you’re going to be going into drop shipping drop shippers, third party drop shippers. So what’s that okay spec. I got to drop ship x products, you know, how am I storing warehousing? So there’s a lot of other components.
Yeah, there certainly are a mining the whole thing and then you have to talk about the tech stack that’s involved that people avoid, which is what technology so my server stack, my earpiece system, my inventory management system, my CRM, my order order management system, my cart, my website, my ads, my ad spends like a version of my Costco all that stuff, which is just like a boom you know, brain explodes too many things. Yeah. Are you gonna go learn that? Where what Tell me what school is taught that from A to Z and there isn’t one. That’s Yeah, that’s just the problem. And we have to get to a point where, like in engineering school,
Damon Pistulka 29:57
we’re pumping out talented people. Within this field, because right now we have a huge lack of talent and a lack of know how in this field. And I think that that’s, there’s a lot of a lot of BS is out there a lot of you know, well and how much money is wasted because and people are honestly trying to do a good job, right? So I’m in a company and I don’t really know how to do campaigns that I’m doing, I’m running Pay Per Click campaign for a company and you know, we’re spending $100,000 a year on pay per click, I really don’t know what to do and how much is leakage?
How much do they spend an hour, you know, it’s got to be 25 30% just learning on the job spending that money that they don’t that if the education was there, they could spend that same amount of money and get a lot better results.
Jeffry Graham 30:47
Yeah, and you’re, you know, you’re always gonna have, you know, runoff, you’re always gonna have, you know, money that that you waste off testing, because testing is a big part of being successful in e commerce specifically. And if you’re not testing, I, I really don’t know what to tell you. You have to test there’s no, hey, do this. It’s gonna work. That if that worked every time, she’s, you know,
Damon Pistulka 31:11
Jeffry Graham 31:13
Where would we be? We are printing money right now. No, I mean, yeah, you’re right. Totally. It’s it’s one of those things that that we have a dynamic shift and a shift that happens so fast, that now we have to play catch up. And it’s the forward thinking in groups, you know, you know, like I said to you, I think before our call is course I just IPO. Yeah, that’s a big, that’s big. That’s, that’s, you know, that’s like almost like think of a university IP owing to a degree right? And what they’re just a course providers, so they take a bunch of third party courses, like say, I make a course I can sell on there.
Yeah. And, but problem is, is is, is it good? Is it? You know? Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I’m sure some people have taken stuff on there and said that it was they didn’t get a penny worth of money spent. And there’s some people are like, boom, this changed my life. But that’s the thing is, is is institutional education has metrics and things in play. It’s really hard to put that into e commerce plug in new commerce atmosphere, because the spaceship is moving so fast. Yeah. So how are you going to do that? Well, and
Damon Pistulka 32:29
that’s that’s something you know, just the whole format of education. As we talked, you can’t pull out a textbook anymore, even electronic something and read it. Yeah, yeah, you really don’t have that kind of thing. I think that the the commerce education is going to be more somewhat module based video with hands on to really be effective, almost almost, in some cases, like a trade school, but a completely digital trade school because it’s got to move faster than, again, with something with textbooks.
Jeffry Graham 33:05
It’s definitely more in line with vocational learning and trade schools where you’re Yeah. And you’re practicing, and you’re testing you’re trying, because that’s the only way to learn at this speed. Yeah, really can’t learn. You can study a playbook or study football for your whole life doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good player. You have to be on the field, you have to experience it, you have to be in the ring, you have to be in the in the fight, in order to learn how to not get punched in the face. You know, yeah. No matter how much training you have, you still have to get in the ring.
And yeah, take the punches. So that’s the kind of way I look at it is is it’s a hybrid of both. It’s like, hey, teaching and x and Apple implying and then executing. Yeah, and some executing doesn’t work and you fail and boom, it didn’t work. And you You know what, though, you move quick, and you make a change in that second, and you try something different. You don’t wait, you don’t want to see what happens you you have to move on the fly and quick decision making in e commerce is everything and a lot of times that’s a problem for for a lot of folks and understanding that that’s how it how it can be successful or a failure.
Damon Pistulka 34:17
Yeah, that’s good. Well, we got another comment here from Scotty Farrow, he’s talking about the shopping cart for beauty should match how people buy their makeup, which is the story of their face card. That’s That’s true. I mean, that’s one of the good things that you know, it’s he brings up a design a design point, you do need to do that. You need to know what you’re selling. It’s just another thing that that this I think is left out on a lot of lot of education right now is just how you sell online. Yes.
Jeffry Graham 34:51
Everything is so yeah, let’s think think of think of this in terms offline. What if you’re hiring a lawyer for let’s say a speeding ticket? Okay. You go to the lawyers office, and he’s in the back of a shack in a barn. And they’re everywhere. And you walk in the back of the shack, and there’s this desk, and he’s like, hey, speeding ticket and you walk over, like, Oh my God, this guy’s the guy. This is my lawyer. You know, this guy wants to represent me. Well, that’s a user experience. Right? But what if you got a speeding ticket and you walk up and you hit the button, the high rise and you go up to the 12th floor?
You walk in, there’s an Office Admin goes, hello, Mister, you know, Mr. Graham, how can I help you? I’m here from his feet. He misses a meeting with the lawyer. He says, Yeah, big conference rooms. Beautiful. He’s got a tight suit on looks good. The confidence you have with getting off on that ticket? Probably quadruple, just by that experience. The lawyer could be no good. The farm guy in the in the back garage can be 10 times as a lawyer. Yeah, that’s the perception, right? And what what the comment means is perceptions reality. Yeah. So we don’t have the opportunity to experience it. Because we don’t have the time to vet it. So our perception becomes our reality.
So our experience becomes a reality. So making the experience work for your customer is going to create the reality for the customer, which is going to create the purchase for the customer, and then you want to deliver that reality. But those are two very polarizing things. Because, yeah, do I trust the farm, back door lawyer, maybe he’s better. But I’m pre judging him by how he looks. I promise you, everyone’s pre judging you online, by how you look. Yeah, by how your website looks by how it functions by what it does by what you represent. I guarantee you’re getting judged. It’s a fact. It’s a don’t judge. Oh, everybody’s judging you. They’re like, this site sucks. I’m out, click. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 36:56
that’s about you. You’ve brought up a good example that with me for where you were helping us a construction company or a construction related manufacturing company, that they couldn’t get the jobs the size they wanted, until you helped them rethink their web presence. And once they did that, then they could get the job people had confidence in giving them them those jobs.
Jeffry Graham 37:21
Yeah, because you know, they could do it, right. And Richard Branson’s like he used to say, fake it till you make it now honestly believe in that. But I would say that the the, they knew they could do the work. Yeah. So there was no denying the fact that they could do those big jobs. But they were positioned like a small tinkertoy operation. Well, you change their perception digitally, you make them look like a nada, tinkertoy operation. And then people automatically have a trust. So the project managers that those big projects now go, Oh, these guys seem legit. And that’s all it takes.
They know they could deliver, they just didn’t have the right visualization package to be able to put themselves in a position to win. Yeah, again, it’s like, it’s like going on a date with, you know, for ruffled hair and wrinkled clothes. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t have any hair left. But if I did, I’d, I’d make sure it was maybe done up before I went and tried to impress somebody. Yeah. Those are all the things that we have to think about. Because we’re trying to impress our users, even though we can’t see them. Yeah, who they are, what they look like, what nationality what race doesn’t matter. Yeah, really need to gather that impression and make it count.
Damon Pistulka 38:33
Well, you said, so I’m here and I wanted to bring this example up, because I think it it ties in so much with everyone, just the website example because we’re talking about education and, and, you know, wanting to drop a little bit education while we’re doing it, and you laid it out. So well, we are getting judged by our web presence in our and as Kurt Anderson would say, our web pression and how people see us, right?
It is it is 100% so if you’re selling if you’re if you got a business today, and you don’t want to look like a hokey business, well, then your your website probably not probably better look decent. I mean, doesn’t have to be 100 pages doesn’t have anything just got to be clean, got to be professional got to be relevant for your industry. But you’re, you’re right on, I believe is that we are all getting judged so many times. We don’t even know how much we’re getting judged because people are looking at that website and dropping that stuff.
Jeffry Graham 39:34
Yeah. 100% and, you know, you’re right. It’s the web pression or, you know, as we’re saying is, is is so it’s the first experience someone has with you and you don’t get to talk to them. So, you have to make that experience develop certain emotional characteristics. In e commerce especially. One you got to develop curiosity which I always say curiosity is the best human emotion for engagement. If you develop curiosity through your text or through your messaging or through your ads, you’re going to gather a click from the click. Now I go into my curiosity got me here. Now I have to trust where I’m at. Okay? Oh, it’s the sciences go here.
Okay, I’m gonna go, I’m curious. Okay, now I’m here. I really trust this environment, I trust what I see. And once you building that trust, and you’re doing that through digital, which is an easy thing to do, I have to do it through images, text, and sometimes video if people are patient enough to watch it. And then I have to be able to take that trust and literally get it digitally over like, what 1020 seconds 30 seconds to invoke an emotional reaction to purchase said product. Because there are plenty of places you can buy that product. So those are all things that go into user experience, and they go into e commerce that people just aren’t thinking about.
Creating in it, I mean, it’s it’s, you know, websites or, you know, if someone’s website antiquated now to date. It’s an automatic red flag that they don’t care about their user experience. Yeah, I know, it’s hard to buy any website or have any web developer because it’s hard to find a decent web developer. But there’s a lot of really great resources out there. And ways to build websites that can cost you nominal amounts of money, not big money.
Yeah. You know, like I said, we’ve put a lot of that stuff together through e commerce management cooperative, but also e commerce edu and our courses. But yeah, I mean, this is this so true. I it’s sad to say, but we are judged worse than you could be judged on anything through users if they can only speak. Wow, your site sucks. Yeah, yeah. Calm through, that’d be cool. Like, have like a two way thing. Like, you’re the developer sitting there at his desk and user comes is your site’s trash, you know, change this?
What do you get? have that be kind of fun? Well, the feedback, I mean, I make good changes. But yeah, unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury. Although that is a good idea. We should patent that. And yeah, the future. But you know, when it comes down to it, you’re getting judged out the gate. And that’s why you have that what they call, that’s why we measure bounce rate. Yeah, what that is, it’s saying, Hey, I came and I saw and I left with three seconds. Yep. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s the thing. So, you know, when
Damon Pistulka 42:46
we when we start that, so the perception is reality. That’s, that’s good. And then and then the being judged on there. So again, talking about e commerce education. So in the past, where have the the biggest holes you have seen been in the skill gap that we see in people in any commerce business?
Jeffry Graham 43:11
Yeah, so um, I think the big problem is, is you have a lot of digital marketing crossover. And digital marketing skills is not e commerce skills. Digital Marketing solves one component of e commerce. So let’s just say like digital marketing, like hand doctor, it’s not a heart doctor. It’s not a you know, brain doctor there. Yeah. But it or their event trying to practice on a human, I don’t know. But digital marketing has been like the central aspect of e commerce where that’s was is the solution. So we have a huge gap. The gap is is in digital marketing doesn’t cover all the backend requirements or technical stacks that you need to run a successful e commerce business at profit.
Yeah. So everything from supply chain forecasting, data analytics, data mining, you know, marketing is not those things. And in addition to that, you got packaging requirements, you have parcel issues, you have you know, you know, you have costing, you have cost of goods sold, you have the financial aspect, you have seasonal ebbs and flows. And again, those aren’t those aren’t one on one. So you can’t be a marketer and B, B and E commerce person, because e commerce is the whole pizza and digital marketing might just be the pepperoni.
Damon Pistulka 44:37
Yeah, I think that that you make some make some good points. There’s that the you know, when it comes to running that business, there’s the there’s the marketing component that’s that might have some crossover digital marketing, the sales component, which is which is quite a bit different. Depending on the type of marketing you’ve done, or sales you’ve done. I mean, it’s completely different. And then The operations I think in the operations and the finance and stuff, we’ve got some luck, they’re just luck. And I’m saying luck because it is that some traditional business skills in, in operations or finance can carry over into that kind of stuff.
But when it when it when you talk about trying to sell something online, and you look at an e commerce site, and you look at a smaller e commerce person that put up their Shopify site, and they put their listing up, that is a different thing to do, than they probably have ever had to do before, because they probably sold that in person. Prior to that, or, you know, and and it’s completely different. As you said, in the text, and video and everything else, you’d the written word and imagery, you got to use on a, on a listing. It’s just it’s so much different.
And that and that’s where I think that the the, when I look at it, there’s the technical aspect, and you talked about data analytics, we weren’t even thinking about, let’s start at the beginning. Okay, we can say the pay per click and all that we know that that’s a that’s a, that’s a black hole that we got to get better at training people in that because there’s just too many people that go to the Google school and think, I think, yeah, they think they’re good.
But when you come into the, into the stuff that’s happening, and the sales and some of the creative around selling, and then the data analytics stuff that’s coming out, man, I just don’t, it’s gonna be hard to fill the holes, especially with the stuff that’s happening in Facebook changing or Apple and Facebook, their whole privacy battle crap that they’re going through, and it’s going to really kick people in next
is, you know, yeah,
Damon Pistulka 46:41
yeah, no cookies in Google. I mean, this is gonna make, you know, I was talking to Kevin Williams on the show last week about it. And what he does is he he’s actually got a company where they collect all that data, and they analyze it stuff. And it boggles my brain just thinking about what that’s going to take on, you know, for a company that may have done a fair bit of Facebook advertising to sell products. And most of their stuff as well, or Google to most of their data is going to be relatively useless in two years.
Jeffry Graham 47:13
Well, data is is just educated guessing. Yeah. Right. Think of like the stock market. And how many people are looking at data? Yeah, oh, this is gonna go up. Because these have shown that this is traditionally how it works. The market says this, you know, how many how many software systems are around just day trading or that space? Well, we could look at that as the same as, okay, we have the same issue within user experience and our user rates, and measuring PPC and all that stuff is going to come down to educated guesses. It’s coming down to weighing out Alright, well, if I raise my my, my cost per click, is my conversion going to go up?
Or my ROI is going to be you know, what, what are those look like? And again, those are a lot of acronyms that people might not be familiar with. But all that stuff, you know that data mining, is all just to make intelligent decisions, but really intelligent decisions happen on the fly. And they happen from that experience that you’re dealing with. When you’re you’re looking at your customers.
And there’s many factors, you’re looking at your AdWords, you’re looking at your traffic, you’re looking at maybe heat maps, you’re looking at returns, you’re looking at Hot products you’re looking at, you know, so you’re taking all those things, and then you’re molding, the next move. Yeah, that part, from an e commerce standpoint is very difficult to do and takes a whole the whole picture has to be displayed for you to be able to solve that puzzle. I think a lot of times we don’t have the whole picture.
Damon Pistulka 48:48
I think what you’ve been describing too is is is kind of putting some some things together in my mind as there there’s going to be real opportunities for a long time in e commerce if people take the time to get the right education, the right experience, because as you know, we’re in a tough situation now in e commerce just because of the competition and stuff what’s it gonna be like in 10 years, and that is good gonna get only the competition’s only gonna get more intense.
And we are going to be forced to figure out how to deliver more and more customized solutions based on what Damon wants when Damon comes to that website because the people that can do the best job of showing me what I want when I get the website are going to sell the most products.
Jeffry Graham 49:36
Yeah, and you know, with e commerce education, I would caution anyone that if it says I promise I will do this for you. If the word promises in there I would I would probably run the other direction. Yes, Jen ecommerce you can’t promise anything and is naive and is it is a sales tactic and it’s an inside joke. Yeah. So anyone that’s come in and worked with me and from projects and go, you know, none of the leaders in the big companies have ever said, I promise our conversions are going to get to 5%.
Don’t tell me that, because it’s a lie, you can’t promise me that, what you can promise me is that you are going to do everything in your power to make a conversion have an opportunity to get to a 5%. But you can’t say, I promise you will get to 5%. And a lot of that stuff is in courses and what people are putting out there is all just grimy, used car salesman tactic, somebody by their, you know, course. And the problem is is what kind of meat and potatoes does it have behind it? What kind of backbone is there?
And what kind of level experience just because you’ve been a digital marketer for 10 years doesn’t mean you know how to run ecommerce business. Yes, this it’s not the same game. Yeah, it’s a piece. It’s a chin on the field. It’s Yeah, it’s not the whole team. So that’s for sure. And understanding how to put it all together is an important part as, as leaders and owners of companies, they have to understand how to put it all together.
And you know, we talked about e commerce education for CEOs and owners, because they need to know enough to know when they’re hiring bad, right? So we talked about that sometimes, you want to know enough to be dangerous, but you have to know enough to know that that it’s crap. Right? Yeah, to be able to call a spade a spade to be able to call it out. You have to know enough to be dangerous. Maybe you’re not doing the work, but you know, enough to hire someone that can and you know, enough to know.
You know, that way you avoid those mistakes. So you also have to go through the education and it might not seem like it if you’re a CEO, you’re like, I’ll just hire somebody to do that. Well, you don’t know what you’re hiring. An e commerce you can’t have that luxury. Yeah, you Jeff Bezos knows a fair amount about e commerce. Yeah, I think it just hire people. Right? Yeah, he hires people but he has to know enough to hire the right people. Yeah, that that part of education needs to happen even at the highest level C suite and above board level so yeah, that’s how I look at it.
Damon Pistulka 52:19
Yeah, good stuff. Oh, we got a couple of comments here. I want to do that before we wrap up here Scott he talks about directing and storyline storyline towards customer service before purchase not just waiting for the customer by that is that is true. You have to you have to involve those those people as they come into your site in their story, showing them how what you have will make their lives better, and is missed over and over again. And yeah, I got faint that fixture as you say, and Matt verrucous was agreeing with something we said well, thanks, Matthew. We Love it. Love, love the input.
So Jeff, we’ve talked about this for quite a while we’ve we’ve ranted a little bit about what we what we like or don’t like about the e commerce education. So what’s exciting happened in your world with e commerce education, because I mean, you you’ve gone from being you know, a CEO and e commerce company helping ecommerce companies grow doing sales and ecommerce companies to now you you’ve decided to start working on some education. What’s exciting in education now?
Jeffry Graham 53:26
Yeah, you know, the my career has kind of been a wild roller coaster ride. I feel like it’s been like a bull ride. Yeah, I’ve had the fortune enough to be involved in running e commerce companies and growing them, and having a lot of success in it, to where now I feel like I mean, I guess it could sound a little selfish. I wanted to develop originally my my mindset was develop a farm League of education to where I could teach people what I know, in order to essentially have resources because there were so hard to find. And I would do projects and I could not find anyone.
I mean, I knew a lot of really, in a lot of people and huge network, and I couldn’t find people that could do what I needed them to do. I can find pockets and issues and so so that holistic thing is what I’m what I’m gauging towards, and when I think that we need to solve is ecommerce isn’t just a digital marketing and pretty website. It’s everything there all the way to the back of the house. To your supply chain. It’s your higher order, right? Yeah, all the way to tech stack, and so on. So there’s a lot more complex than meets the eye. We just see a website is how it goes. And so I think education is evolved. And we have to evolve with it.
And we need to solve we need to create a solution. And so my big goal right now is to create a solution to this massive problem. Because we have a huge skills gap, we have such a hole in in, in this in this ecosystem right now in the US job market and European job market that that we don’t have retention specialists or you know, yeah, we don’t have you know, we have developers. Sure. Okay. What about community builder? Oh, that’s a skill. Business Analyst. Okay, that’s been around a while. Graphic Design. Digital Ops, financial manager, Director of e commerce directory commerce wasn’t even job.
Damon Pistulka 55:43
Yeah. You’re trying to say you’re,
Jeffry Graham 55:47
you’re trying to bring a to z, right. So not just, and the thing about education is it isn’t about you know, one specific discipline, it’s, we want to cover the entire, you know, gamut. Yeah, I maybe I played football or rode motorcycles. But, you know, to be a good football team, you have to have every position playing at their highest level. Yeah. So you have to be thinking about the receivers and the center and the kicker, and there’s just all those pieces. And so to be a good coach, you have to be able to fine, choose and train and teach and helping and grow.
Each role in e commerce is massive, right? Could be 100 people could be 20. Yeah, like a wayfarer. It’s it’s 300. So, you know, when we look at these things, it’s got to evolve. And I think we’re doing a very good job of evolving with it and being progressive about it. And there’s so many opportunities and any commerce for people. If they just learn it. And I know sometimes learning it, learning anything’s hard. Yeah, but I promise you ain’t going anywhere. Right? It’s not
Damon Pistulka 57:07
Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a good skill. I mean, it’s a good life skill. I think for people if they if they enjoy this kind of stuff, it is something they can go in and there’s a lot of advancement for people and I I hope that we’ve we’ve been able to reach a few people about a beacon today just because of the fact that I think it’s under sold it’s under sold like I like I believe manufacturing is another one I think is under sold the United States and that you know, and and hopefully we’ve we’ve reached a few people and and we’ll get we’ll get some of them interested and maybe they’ll they’ll take up some educational aspirations and get some new skills.
Jeffry Graham 57:46
Yeah, I hope so. And yeah, that’s what you’re in your you’re gonna sell it on the internet. Yeah. ancho planner. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, sell on their net, even though you’re not really supposed to advertise I don’t think
Damon Pistulka 58:00
- So Jeff, how if someone wants to get ahold of you, what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
Jeffry Graham 58:05
Um, they could just go to ecommerce MGMT calm. Okay. Commerce management is our website is obviously a co op. And buy Co Op. So think of like farming Co Op cooperative is a group of people. So we have people with every skill talent level, all working together to provide these solutions versus a Jeff knows everything guy kind of Yeah. So you know, cuz I don’t. And the what we’re trying to do is bring in the best, and have a more full solution, a more robust and more complete solution.
And then we’ve built e commerce edu, which is going to be all education, mostly certificate and courses, but also, us. Universities, institutions are, are adopting our courses. So that’s exciting stuff. And again, we’re talking around e commerce, not digital marketing. So we’re really excited about what scicomm and having a lot of opportunities are presenting themselves because we got to move quickly. And we need to help as many companies as we can before they fall victim of circumstance.
Damon Pistulka 59:18
Yeah, yeah. Well, good stuff. Well, thanks, Jeff, for being here today. And thanks, everyone. for listening. We got Scotty said thanks on the way out. So Scotty, thanks for listening. Everyone else that was watching. Thanks so much on LinkedIn. If you got more questions, reach out to Jeff at LinkedIn or at ecommerce MGMT Comm. And this is Damon with the faces of business we’re out for now. And who do I have on Thursday, I lost it all together. But I will be back here Thursday at three o’clock, and we’ll be talking to someone else about I completely forgot who’s here on Thursday.
Jeffry Graham 59:53
I’m sure it’ll be
Damon Pistulka 59:54
it’ll be good. I’ll have somebody and if it’s not We’ll have fun. So have a great day, everyone.
Jeffry Graham 1:00:01
You guys said
Damon Pistulka 1:00:02
You bet. Bye.