E-Commerce with Coffee

E-Commerce with Coffee: Inaugural Episode of E-Commerce Podcast for Brands Gets Hype

Have you heard of the new podcast E-Commerce with Coffee?!

The double punctuation, though illustrative of my own enthusiasm, is actually part of the podcast name. (And from experience, you know that whenever there’s both a question mark and an exclamation point, it’s either an e-mail from your boss or someone is on their third cup of coffee.)

This new podcast hosts guests as absorbing as their favorite brews. The first guest, Eddie Porrello, is the inaugural example.

The episode opens with a discussion of caffeinated beverages, the host and guest dive into e-commerce topics for brands and manufacturers who sell (or are preparing to sell) online.

Remarkably, this isn’t a topic many are talking about. Courses and gurus are in no short supply for those looking to sell others’ products through online retail or try their hand at dropshipping, but brands and manufacturers making the shift from B2B to B2C in e-commerce have been left to figure it out on their own.

This is something Eddie’s seen firsthand. Moving from e-commerce marketing to operational strategy and finally to e-commerce software, this episode tells the story of how he recognized this specific pain point for an underserved corner of the market.

The market, of course, is changing. With the advent of e-commerce marketplaces and websites (not to mention changing consumer preferences), brands today have an easy line directly to the consumers who want to buy their products. The middleman retailer isn’t necessary anymore.

That said, easy access doesn’t mean it’s easy for brands to get their piece of the pie in e-commerce.

Eddie touches on the many to-dos brands face. Fulfillment systems are modified for smaller, direct shipments. Pricing models are revisited. Then, marketing shifts from B2B to B2C, and product catalogs and product data have to be aggregated, cleaned up, and optimized — sometimes with thousands of product SKUs — for each digital channel a brand plans to sell on.

As Eddie talks us through what brands today face, we get the sense that the launch of e-commerce manufacturers is pretty much like running a steeplechase. There’s obstacle after obstacle to leap. E-Commerce with Coffee?! is the podcast that connects those brands with the e-com professionals who speak to each obstacle along with the strategies to jump over and land on two feet.

Get ready to sit back with your favorite brew, because this show is worth your while. Follow along in this inaugural episode to get behind-the-scenes e-com insights from Eddie Porrello, Director of Product Management at an e-commerce software firm.

Meet Eddie Porrello

The first episode of E-Commerce with Coffee?! features Eddie Porrello, Director of Product Management at Amber Engine (the company that also hosts the show). It made sense to start close to home in this case since Amber Engine was built entirely by e-commerce enthusiasts.

Eddie is no exception. He hit the scene back when Twitter was still new (if that doesn’t feel like ages ago, I don’t know what does), then crisscrossed his way from e-com sales algorithms to software production.

With experience in the commodity market along the way, Eddie got deep into the strategies behind e-commerce. He clearly hadn’t satisfied his appetite for projects and study at Stanford University, because he continued to assess e-commerce through the lens of what was possible instead of what was there.

E-com software development was a great place for Eddie, and the shift to Amber Engine came at the perfect time.

“The organization grew, and I decided to move from the selling side [of e-commerce] to the software side. I wanted to help brands and manufacturers achieve these results.”

With that backdrop, Eddie talks during this episode about the changes in e-commerce and what brands should expect next. Give the whole episode a listen to hear about the shifts Eddie thinks are most significant.

Changes in E-commerce

The software company, Amber Engine, sponsors this podcast because of its passion for overall e-commerce. Their curiosity is downright palpable as the host, Nate Svoboda, walks through questions with Eddie on this episode. Amber Engine has its own forte — product information management software or PIM — and is clearly hungry to augment its e-com expertise along with its listeners.

For example, on the very first show, listeners learn that product data includes everything from SKUs to product descriptions and media like photos and videos. It even includes marketing information and assets like warranties and assembly information. Any brand facing the aggregation and “clean-up” of up to thousands of SKUs-worth of that data faces months (or years) of work before launching to e-commerce.

To sell online that wait is simply too long — product data won’t be “optimized” anymore by the time the brand launches. Instead, brands are forced to launch prematurely with strategies riddled with guesswork.

The competition won’t allow those brands much space to breathe. They’ll fizzle out where others learned to dominate.

The opportunity for brands is there, however. The growth of e-commerce has seen double- or triple-digit growth annually since the first book was sold on Amazon in ’95. Then, 2020 happened, and in 12 months we saw 10 years of growth.

Eddie talks about this growth with a concrete example of where the market is underestimating the importance of the shift.

“I think people are underestimating the nature of the changes we went through. For example, groceries saw massive growth in e-commerce by necessity. At this point, we’ve seen 10 years of adoption in the last 12 months. We’ll see numbers dip a bit as things open up, but where we end up after this is said and done will be a significant amount of growth we haven’t even seen yet.”

We learn in this episode that the way consumers shop has changed, too. Those changes will spawn more changes, and if brands want to sell D2C, their task will be to keep up with shifting consumer needs. For starters, Eddie explains, brands can only stand out if they stand up with a big personality.

For example, even optimizing product data is about more than just ensuring the accuracy and completeness of descriptions. The new idea of “essential” vs. “enriched” product data has changed and reflects the new market demands. Did you ever stop to think about how your brand’s “personality” could be made evident in your product photos? It can, and now it’s your job to do exactly that.

Business and Brews

Brands and manufacturers need a tall brew (or similar) every morning to help keep up with the changes in e-commerce. This podcast is a great example of the resources that are finally popping up to help.

Give this episode a listen and see what Eddie Porrello has to say. Then, be sure to subscribe. The insights that brands can gain from this show (and its unforgettably aromatic references) are extraordinary, and the action brands can take away from each episode is well worth the 30 minutes it takes to listen.

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A content contributor at Amber Engine, a software company passionate about eCommerce