- Chew On This
- Our 5 Biggest Lessons from 2023
Our 5 Biggest Lessons from 2023
Happy New Year! From omnichannel to radical acceptance, here are our 5 biggest lessons from 2023.
Welcome back for some more bites to chew on.
(Almost) HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Or (actually) HAPPY NEW YEAR! depending on when you’re reading this.
We hope you had an excellent end of 2023, and we’re incredibly excited for the year ahead.
There is rarely rest for eCommers, but we do want to take a few moments to reflect on what happened this year.
And more importantly, what we learned.
Here are our 5 lessons from 2023.
First Course: [Ron] The Necessity of Omnichannel
My number one lesson in 2023 was our need to become a truly omnichannel brand. It’s more crucial than ever.
Leading into 2023, we were very platform-reliant, but in launching with Walmart and launching more aggressively with Amazon, we realized that we can’t just look at Facebook spend and how much it brought into our Shopify store (if we’d stuck with that, we’d have been left in the dust).
The approach is key. Consumers expect the same experience across different channels, whether they’re online or offline—it has to be cohesive.
That means integrating across all channels: website, mobile app, social media, physical stores, Amazon. The strategy behind that became incredibly important for us.
Second Course: [Ash] Hard Truths about Hiring/Firing
I’m someone who really likes to give someone a chance after being hired, let them find their groove, give them time to really come into the role.
For us at the moment, though, as a lean team that needs to work quickly and understand the assignment off the bat, it’s harder to be able to give that kind of cushion. We’ve also gotten better at identifying someone’s ability to take on what we need them to do. In short, they get it, or they don’t.
If somebody is new, it might take some time to kind of learn the company and learn what we’re doing, but if it really gets to the point where you just don't see the hope for that, and you personally, as a manager, don't have time to teach... It's an injustice to them as an employee and to you as a manager.
We now invest more in finding somebody who has the talents and the skills that we need.
Third Course: [Ron] Full Acceptance of the Post-iOS 14 World
We can’t keep dwelling on the world as it’s changed post-iOS 14.
It’s had a massive impact on every single one of us in eCommerce. iOS changes as well as the security and privacy era screwed us for all the reasons we’ve talked about a hundred times before. But for our customers, security and privacy are non-negotiable, and it’s us, too: there are increased threats of cyber attacks and data breaches.
Everyone wants to prioritize their security and to feel safe.
The world’s changed, and we need to, too.
We are not getting back those golden days of pre-iOS.
We simply had to stomach that as a brand, we couldn’t simply hope for the best and hope that Apple, Facebook, Google, and others would do… Whatever they decide to do.
We don’t have power to change what they do, but we have the power to change what we do.
Fourth Course: [Ash] Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
When you take your foot off the pedal and get complacent, that’s when you become vulnerable. I found that when our CACs started to drop and our profitability increased, I felt like we were flying in the pre-iOS 14 days again, but we weren’t, and those days are never coming again.
When the better, easier times came, it felt like they would last forever. But then numbers can shift a bit, you start seeing headwinds in the economy, and things get harder again.
You kind of have to act like you’re always in a period of battle, and you have to keep going and pushing through it.
Fifth Course: [Ron] Innovate or Fall Behind
eCommerce is an extremely faced-paced industry.
If you’re not constantly innovating, whether it’s through new products, services, business models, influencers, new ways of marketing—you’ll fall behind and stagnate.
Even more than that, if you’re not constantly testing in new arenas—and being ready to immediately look to innovate within them—you’ll fall behind.
And as soon as you start falling behind, you start facing some level of existential risk. The more you fall behind, the more risk you face.
Innovating must happen in all parts of the business, internally and externally. You must be constantly pushing to understand what can be done differently and better.
Tool of the Week
In Q4 of 2023, we’ve doubled down on our influencer and affiliate program, but going into 2024, we’re going to be tripling down. It really works.
You can acquire customers profitably.
If you’re in a big industry, it scales.
Authentic social proof and endorsements will be one of the biggest differentiators in content next year.
To help us build our affiliate marketing program (now 1000s strong), we’re working with Social Snowball.
Our two main reasons:
The platform gives you virtually everything you need to succeed in affiliate marketing. Just by plugging in Social Snowball, you’ll be seeing success in your program within a week.
The team offers an excellent level of service, helping brands on strategy around building a successful affiliate program.
To get started on making your affiliate/influencer program a fundamental growth lever (and a well-run machine) for your business, talk to Social Snowball today.
We sincerely appreciate every moment you spend with us and reading our work. We’ll see you soon.
All the best,
Ron & Ash