Omni-Channel Beats E-Commerce – Mike Gettis on B2C retail (Part I)

BY :  Techweek Inc.   |   January 4, 2018, 11:56 am EDT
Mike Gettis
Founder & CEO, Endy

TORONTO: During Techweek Toronto Growth Summit 2017, Endy’s Founder & 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 1 of this 3 part series, Gettis talks about how retail is still an important channel for a few industries, despite the dominance of e-commerce.

“I don’t think just because Sears is going down, retail is dying. Trees don’t touch the sky, but they don’t fall into the pit either.” – Mike Gettis, Founder & CEO, Endy.

Endy is a Canadian e-commerce company selling mattresses directly to consumers. Endy uses its proprietary Endy Foam technology to manufacture its mattresses, which are then shipped to consumers in a hockey bag-sized box. Mike Gettis founded Endy in 2015 in Toronto.

Mike Gettis was a panelist at Techweek Toronto Growth Summit 2017, where he was asked to share his views on the decline of retail sales in the B2C marketplace.

“I don’t think just because Sears is going down, retail is dying. Trees don’t touch the sky, but they don’t fall into the pit either. It’s going to settle back, bolstered by omni-channel sales, which is very important and has been a key element even in the past.”

Gettis went on to say retail is still a very big part of the mattress industry. It is in fact a good channel for gathering live customer feedback. “Opening our showroom in Toronto helped us overcome our own biases in designing the products. With customers coming in, sharing their problems, their inconveniences, we were able to shift to a more customer-centric design approach.”

On the e-commerce front, Gettis said Endy focused on penetrating the market with a vertical e-commerce model, instead of being a marketplace. “Choose one product, become dominant in one product, and then move to analogous categories.”

The key to this vertical model, he said, is knowing your company’s unique proposition. “Canadians have not had a good experience with Amazon and other e-tailers in the mattress space. This is mostly because the mattresses are shipped from outside Canada. We serve our product to Canadians, made in Canada, shipped from Canada. That’s been a big thing for us to leapfrog what our American counterparts are trying to do in the same space.”

Gettis admitted that e-commerce is still going to be the most dominant channel in the coming future in terms of the way people buy things. This is primarily driven by convenience and the range of products available online, compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. However, the way ahead for a few industries is still to go omni-channel to build a customer-centric product.

In the next part of this series, we’ll share Gettis’ opinions on how to survive in the world with large incumbents like Amazon.

To see the full video for Techweek Toronto Growth Summit 2017: B2C Customer Acquisition, go here.

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Mike Gettis is the Founder & CEO of Endy. To learn more about Endy, visit their website

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