Omni-Channel Beats E-Commerce – Mike Gettis on B2C retail (Part II)
Toronto: During Techweek Toronto Growth Summit 2017, Endy CEO Mike Gettis, shared his views on the short and long-term realities of B2C marketplaces and what future opportunities lie in the space. In Part 2 of this 3 part series, Gettis talks about focusing and owning one channel to compete with major giants.
“It’s about focus and having a sharp point which will penetrate better, rather than trying to use battering ram.”- Mike Gettis, Founder and CEO, Endy.
After explaining why an omni-channel vertical e-commerce model is a winning strategy (read Part I), Mike talked about how small companies can compete with large players like Amazon and Google in acquiring B2C customers.
Gettis advised a “layered cake” approach – start by dominating just one channel and then layer other channels on top, one at a time. In this approach, however, arriving at the correct first channel is the biggest challenge.
“You have to try a bunch of different things at the beginning. Once you find a channel that works well, work on it and do better there. The big companies’ focus is spread across 10 channels, so you can win on the one.”
Gettis explained how Endy followed this strategy to acquire customers. “We started with Facebook and acquired our earliest customers there. As the noise began to grow, we added a new channel – offline marketing. In both channels, our messaging was very clear – what we sell, where we sell and who should consider us.”
Gettis also pointed out that the layered cake approach would become less effective as the company becomes larger. Customer acquisition through individual channels will saturate, and cross-channel strategies need to be employed. “We are at a stage where we are thinking about how we work the two channels in sync for our target demographic.”
Another approach for fighting channel saturation is to consider changing the target demographic. “Over time, our original target group has become more expensive to acquire. That’s because they’ve seen more and more of our ads and we are out there in the space. So we dug deep into who’s buying our product, why are they buying it, what other type of analogous segments we could look at, and responded accordingly.”
Gettis concluded by saying that as the company grows, the strategy to compete with the big players will have to keep changing dynamically. The key would be to keep a close eye on how the channels evolve and how different demographics are responding on each.
In the next part of this series, we’ll share Gettis’s advice to budding entrepreneurs and young start-ups.
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