Optimized Ecommerce EP 060 – Reaching Ecom Business Success through Storyline & Customer Value
Today on The Optimized Ecommerce Podcast, Deven Davis joins Tanner Larsson to talk about how he and his wife successfully run their jewelry business and how the Ecom Insider program has helped to further leverage their business and be an 8 figure awardee. Join us in today’s episode as Deven shares his journey to
Welcome to Episode 060 of Optimized Ecommerce – Reaching Ecom Business Success through Storyline & Customer Value. I’m your host, Tanner Larsson, CEO of BGS.
BGS means Build Grow Scale! It is a community that we founded where eCommerce entrepreneurs and physical product sellers come to learn how to take their businesses to the next level.
Deven Davis started out as a customer of BGS through our book, The Ecommerce Evolved, Soon, he attended the BGS event and joined our Ecom Insider Program. Devin instantly became a close family member of BGS and went through the entire gamut of the BGS ecosphere.
Having a flair for business and a love for e-commerce, Deven and his wife now run a very successful online jewelry business. In fact, Deven is also one of our BGS 8-Figure awardees.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
Deven shared a little bit about his background and his ecom journey.
During the lowest point of Deven’s life, he started his ecom business by watching Youtube videos on an old laptop. He sold hand sanitizers.
At that time, the ecom was a failure, but he had good wholesale clients. But more importantly, Devin regained his confidence through that business.
In the meantime, his wife Kim worked as a part-time sales assistant at their friend’s jewelry store in Costco. Then just a couple of years later, she was running the company!
They saw an opportunity and decided to leave the hand sanitizer company and convinced their business partners to sell pieces of jewelry online. After weeks of gaining knowledge and skills about ecom, they officially launched their online store.
Then, Deven discussed how they operate their business.
The main focus in Deven’s ecom business is to build a brand through a storyline rather than through a widget. They give people unique stories about Italian jewelry craftsmanship.
This has become their basis for all the things they do in their store. Setting them apart from other brands.
Another element that made their business successful is being intentional about building relationships with their customers. Deven’s team spent their time courting customers so they could maintain an ongoing relationship with them and create circumstances where people come back over and over again.
We also discussed a few other fun topics, including:
- Deven’s ecom store revenue percentage from email.
- How to deliver customer value in any way possible?
- Reasons why you can’t bring your needs to the marketplace.
But you’ll have to watch or listen to the episode to hear about those!
How To Stay Connected With Deven Davis
Want to stay connected with Deven? Please check out their social profiles below.
Also, Deven mentioned the following item/s on the show. You can find that on:
Tanner Larsson 0:07
Hey everybody, Tanner Larsson here and welcome back to the Optimized Ecommerce podcast excited to have you guys here and excited for you to hear this episode because this is one that we’ve been trying to get for a while now. I think we’ve probably rescheduled three, four times now, life just got on the way. But this will be a fun one for you guys. It’s a great one for me. I always love talking to Deven. So our guest today is Deven Davis. Deven started out as a customer of BGS when he found out about our book and then came to our event and joined our programs. But very quickly as Deven, once you join the BGS ecosystem, you basically kind of turn into family over time. But when you have your extended family, and then you have your inner family, you have your close family and your extended family, Deven really quickly becomes one of our close family members. And definitely like a blood brother in that regard. Because we just connect on so many levels. He’s got a great head for business, he loves e-commerce, he and he just kind of espouses the same values that Matt and I do in BGS, we’ve connected really well. But he’s gone from customer book to part of the Ecom Insider family to part of the Amplified partner family. So he kind of has been through the entire gamut of the BGS ecosphere. And he’s also one of our eight-figure awardees, he runs a very successful jewelry business. He’s not the prettiest jewelry model, but his wife is, and that’s why their business is so successful. They do a great job together, but they run a family business, selling jewelry, to the tune of eight figures. So it’s a great business. And Deven’s got some really insightful ways of the way they run their business where they operate. And really excited just to kind of jam with him today and share some of his wisdom with you. So Deven, thanks for being here Bro.
Deven Davis 1:59
Yeah, man. My pleasure. Sorry, I couldn’t be here. Three times we’ve rescheduled the last time I was in Hawaii, celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I wanted to do it. But Kim was insistent that we not so in order to stay married another 20 years and longer. Here we are today.
Tanner Larsson 2:22
Now you still popped into some training we were doing while you were on.
Deven Davis 2:25
I couldn’t help it as we were doing it. Yeah, I got bored on the beach. And it was between snorkeling sessions.
Tanner Larsson 2:36
So before we kind of get into anything more technical, why don’t you kind of give people a little background on you and your ecom journey?
Deven Davis 2:45
Yeah, I don’t know if there’s a prototypical ecom journey. I think everybody kind of has their entry point. And usually, as was the case for me, I think it was a need, I wanted something I was looking for something I didn’t have what I needed or wanted in my life. And I thought, maybe ecom is it for me. So my background was in marketing, I taught sales and marketing and in a direct sales business, had a really large direct sales organization 20,000 sales people across the United States. And that was kind of my jam. I loved it. I did that in my 20s and made a lot of money doing that and really thought that I had life by the tail, I went around and I was speaking in stadiums filled with people and I had cars and houses and boats and things. And ultimately, I thought, okay, I was telling you earlier and repeatedly, I thought I was invincible. I remember 29 years old, I had millions of dollars in the bank. That gives you a lot of confidence. I had millions of dollars deployed, bringing in investment dollars every month. And I really was at a point where I thought I have everything I have a beautiful life. I have four kids, I have a beautiful wife everything is perfect. Nothing could ever go wrong in my life. And life’s funny like that when you start to think that very frequently. God, I think we’ll just say, funny little one. There you are. So two years later, I’m homeless, living in my in-law’s basement at their mercy eating their food, which was a humiliating devastating experience for me. It’s too early to cry right now, Tanner. But for someone who has a lot of pride in their work ethic and their ability to produce and be a provider. That was just an absolute low point in my life. I remember our oldest daughter was young at the time and she’s like, Daddy, what happened to your Range Rover? Coz it’s going away on the repo truck. And why don’t we have a boat anymore? And I like our house. Why do we live here? We’re driving a borrowed minivan, the maroon one with the wood paneling, with tape panels, peeling off. I’m ducking everywhere I go, I’m avoiding my friends. I don’t want anyone to even know that I’m there. And really, after a period of time, I went out for a job interview people are like, you’ve never worked a job. How are you going to have a job? It was just this morally devastating point in my life, but still was like, I gotta I have these kids and Kim to her credit, or not, I don’t know. But I mean, she’s like,
Deven Davis 6:22
hey, you’re good, you’re smart, you’re handsome. I mean, she has visuals. She’s right here. So I’ll say that and dry my tears. But the question was, how do I get started an Ecom? Well, I thought, I have YouTube. I have a computer and an old laptop in the basement. of my in-law’s house, I would watch Youtube videos at night, I’ve learned how to make a website on WooCommerce, WordPress paced, and I thought I can sell crap. I know how to sell things I can do this. And I think I know marketing well enough to figure out how to get out there. So the first business that I had was a hand sanitizer business. The actual ecom part of that was a failure but we had some really good wholesale clients. And that turned the corner I started gaining some confidence again. In the meantime, my wife had gone to work for some friends of ours. Actually, it was right before Christmas, and our friends at the jewelry company that was selling jewelry in Costco needed extra sales people to cover a shift here they had shows all over the country. But they have one here in town in Boise where we live and Kim went to sell some jewelry in the Costco so that we would have enough money to buy our kids some Christmas gifts
Deven Davis 8:13
that’s how we got started in this current business, I kind of built on the side Kim sold at this show and our friends knew that we were broke they were kind but they were like look I know you guys have nothing Kim would you be interested in maybe working for us part-time you’re really sharp they found out that she’s a math major and had a really good brain for organization and is fun to be around and so they were like, why don’t you come organize our inventory, we need help with that. And I watched her do that and hurt my pride because she had never worked before and I was like I’m a crappy provider. But there we were and a couple of years later, she was running the company. And then a couple of years after that, we had an exit with the hand sanitizer company. I convinced my current partner and our friends that they needed a partner and that we should sell jewelry online not just in Costco and that’s really how the ecom business started I was making websites on the side I was teaching myself the basics the skill set to carry what I knew about marketing and sales over into a way that I could put it to use in e-commerce so that’s a long answer to the first question Tanner.
Tanner Larsson 9:39
No that’s good.
Deven Davis 9:40
That’s how I got started. I was broke and I thought maybe this is a solution for me.
Tanner Larsson 9:46
No that was cool, it’s funny cuz I know a lot of that story but it just filled in a lot of gaps and other details that I did not know and that’s crazy when all pieces just kind of fall into place like, I hear that story and I’m blown away by it because it’s literally the peak to the valley to the peak and we’re literally talking about this in a separate context right before this show. So very hit home for me right now. S started the jewelry company trying to bring it online obviously out of the Costco world. And actually, that’s, about the time where you’re already online, but it was about the time you guys were kind of separating from Costco when we started really kind of communicating and working together more. And you guys have done some really interesting things with that brand. You’ve actually built a brand, you’re not just slinging jewelry. And so why don’t you tell people a little bit about how you guys operate like what you guys do different cuz you guys do a lot of stuff.
Deven Davis 10:53
Yeah, it’s really been interesting to experience that transition. Costco was good to us, it was easy to be fat and happy and you have a certain customer walking in there, they have disposable income, they know they’re there to spend money. And that was a really interesting business model that made me a little more confident in my ecom skills than I should have been. I was like, we’re killing me calm, I didn’t realize that there was probably two or $300,000 a year that was just coming as a result of people walking by our displays in Costco and looking us up, so had nothing to do with my skill. They were there, they were buying, and then they were they’re buying online too. So as we transitioned, we’re no longer in that Costco roadshow program. And that’s a long story that’s an episode in itself and in business. But as we made the decision to transition and take control of the brand, as you talked about, we realized pretty quickly that any product can be commoditized. And if you treat your product or your business in general, as a commodity, essentially, you’re treating yourself as a commodity as well. And it’s essentially always the same path, it’s a race to the bottom. If you commoditize, something, it’s a race to the bottom, and you’re competing on price, which is not a fun place to compete. So as we retooled and reconfigured this, we took what we had in Costco, which was a very wide variety, that was our expectation with our relationship with them is that we would bring in these unique collections from all over the world were cool, every single one of them was really cool and unique. And walking around a display table, that’s cool, because people pick up things. But online, you click on my ad, you go to a landing page, and I want you to buy something, without knowing me or having the trust of being in a Costco warehouse. It’s a completely different experience. So you have to create a brand and you have to be very intentional about what people’s experience with you may be. And so as we’ve kind of unpackage that, we’ve gone back to our roots as a company, we manufacture primarily in Italy. And there’s something magical about Italy, people know Italy, they respect the fashion sense of the Italians, they respect the manufacturing process. There are very stringent guidelines and procedures there. And the Italians take a lot of pride in their craftsmanship. So we were like, why are we not telling that story? Why are we not focusing on that? Why are we not taking that story? And really, instead of commoditizing, the Italian jewelry that we have and trying to compete with China, let’s elevate that. And let’s give them an experience that is unique. So that’s the basis of what we’re doing now. We’re focused on building a brand that has much more of a storyline than just a widget.
Tanner Larsson 14:11
And I honestly I believe that’s truly what has set that brand apart and why it works the way that it does and that’s actually where we have to take this episode is talking about that because guys, he’s telling you like we’re building a brand and everybody talks about, oh, my brand or I’m building a brand or whatever, but most people are full of shit because they really don’t even know what to do to build a brand or what a brand really is. But in Deven’s case, and Kim, his actual boss, those two, their customers are rabid. What’s that guy, you have a guy who 75 times he’s purchased.
Deven Davis 14:55
Yeah, we’re up to 83 now I believe. Yeah, I won’t say his name, but he’s there, he’s in Long Island, New York 83 orders, we’re doing something right with him
Tanner Larsson 15:09
Over a period of time. So over a couple of a year period, right?
Deven Davis 15:12
Tanner Larsson 15:13
And that’s like the grandstand awesome one, but they’ve had a lot of customers that have massive repeat purchase rates, and they’re the repeat customer rate is very high. And there’s brand loyalty in there. Like whenever a new collection or product drops, that the existing customers are buying it up. So it’s not a one and done type of business. It’s an actual brand, where the people are relating to that. And it’s not something that just happened, it’s very tactical, it’s very practical, and it’s very much a premeditated process for doing that. But you guys put a lot of effort into it, it’s not just sending an email, or making a promotion. I mean, there’s a lot that goes into that. And so I want Deven to kind of touch on some of these things. But guys, when you think about it, one thing Devin became an expert at, because he felt the need to was email, and we’ll talk a little bit about that. So they do a bunch through email. But when they’re building a brand, anybody who’s building a brand, we were talking about this before the call as well, a lot of back end groundwork, and behind the scenes stuff that most people will only see the tiniest little bit of, but if it’s not done, there’s no momentum built, there’s no brand presence, there’s no rabid following. And all that stuff has to be done without an immediate ROI, you know those front-end focus brands that are just running ads to make sales. That’s only one little drop in the bucket of all the work that has to be done to really create lifetime customer value. And that’s what a brand does. So they’ve done a very, very good job with that. His wife, Kim is the face of the company, when she talks about a product, people are drawn into it. I mean, let’s talk about this guy’s jewelry. It’s jewelry, like, Yes, they’re cool collections. But by itself, it’s a commodity like Devin was saying there’s nothing that incredibly special about it until they wrap their magic around it, which is the way Kim presents it the stories they tell, and all of those elements and how it ties in with the brand. And that’s why people come back 83 times and buy from them. Right?
Deven Davis 17:26
Yeah, as you were talking there, I had an epiphany. You know things that you forget. And then you’re, you’re reminded occasionally, I was reminded that people buy products all the time, but they buy over and over and over again, from someone that they know, like, and trust. And this is just marketing 101. It’s relationships one to one, right, this is true of our family relationships is true of our circle of friends. If I know you, Tanner, if Tanner, you come to me, and you are telling me about something, I know that I’m going to listen, because I know you I like you and I trust you we have a relationship that’s based on experience. And I know that I’ve questions about ecom, or business or life in general, I can come to you and you’re a sound point of data for me that I can use to make decisions. Well, as we’re building a brand and being intentional about that we have to remember that relationships are what we’re really building in a brand. And people want connection. I think for context, we’re coming out of COVID right now, people have been socially isolated, they’ve been physically isolated. They’ve been in a situation where unprecedented we’ve seen things change in the country in the world. And I believe that people are craving connection more right now than they ever have been, at least in my lifetime, where they really want to identify with something and you see it in a political space where people are looking for something to attach themselves to. And to a lesser degree, your brand can certainly be it. You can create a circumstance in a situation where your brand is attracting the right people simply by being present in their space, meeting them where they’re at seeing what they want, see a need meet a need. And then having a conversation. Kim’s excellent at that as the customer facing piece of our business. She’ll do ads right now, you know ads are who knows what ads are right? It depends on what uncle Zach wants at any given point, but right now our best ads are Kim talking to the camera saying, hey, I want to show you this piece. This is me, this is what I do. I’m a mom, I have four kids, this week I’m going on vacation, I want to show you what I would be wearing, or what I will be wearing out at dinner, I want to show you what I’m wearing when I’m traveling, just creating these situations that all of our customers are in, I don’t care what you sell, you have a customer, they’re in a situation. And if you can meet them where they’re at and plant that seed of camaraderie and friendship. There are shared ground there, those ads are doing exceptionally well, just for context. Last month, we spent $100,000 on those ads on Facebook using Kim’s face. And the ROI on that was just unbelievable. I mean, it’s crazy. So I think I’m off subject now Tanner from what the original question was, but as far as brand building goes, I mean, it’s relationships, it’s courting. It’s consummating. It’s afterward, we want that ongoing relationship and to create that circumstance where people come back over and over and over and over again. That’s the base. And there are a lot more details in there. But the base is, it’s a relationship.
Tanner Larsson 21:39
Yep. And that relationship is built through the back end of the business, not the acquisition channel, like in the ad you’re talking about with Kim talking to them, that gets them a hook that gets them interested. But then the actual brand and the loyalty that comes from that is built through your what happens after that sale is made. Right. And that’s where you guys have really, I wouldn’t have known it just a step up your game, but you really have. And you guys are pulling in what 30 plus percent of your revenue from email?
Deven Davis 22:12
Yeah, we are between 30 and 40% depends on the time of year and what kind of promotions we have going. I looked this morning, we’re 36% over the last 30 days. I don’t believe any of that, that’s all a blended attribution model. But it’s ultimately like you said, we plant the seeds of relationship on the front end. With Kim’s videos, we set her up as the voice of the company. We have a top of funnel offer, it’s attractive, but if somebody doesn’t know us and its acquisition, they’re not even sure if they’re going to get the product right? I mean, we have 7000 reviews almost 8000 reviews on our top of funnel product and people are still incredulous. They’re like is this coming from China?
Deven Davis 23:10
You know, the ads have all of these questions and people are conditioned to be jaded a little bit especially if they don’t know you. So it’s incumbent upon us to create and give them a comfort level we have to say all right and hold their hand every step of the way. They click on an ad where Kim’s telling them about this beautiful chain they see the chain they read some reviews there’s credibility built into the site, the site’s well done with the help of Tanner, you, and your team and we’re constantly testing but ultimately we build enough trust somebody comes up they get their wallet out and there’s a transaction and from that point forward branding really begins the experience of value ad which is really been an epiphany for me in brand building and just life in general adding value anywhere possible is to be one of the greatest keys of success in business marketing life whatever. So we try to deliver the value we try to surprise and delight we over-communicate on delivery expectations, we over communicate on how to use the product we go above and beyond in packaging, we go above and beyond in showing people how they can then use the product and yeah, we’re trying to sell them more. But it’s really in the context of you bought this adjustable length chain from us. And now here’s Kim saying this is what I add to my chain. These are the medallions That I put on the chain. This one is my birthstone This one is a letter disc that represents my kids and we have, we have all of these things that really people buy into. And they’re like, That’s so cool. And then we tell the story like, Hey, for us, it makes sense to tell the Italian story. This is designed and manufactured in Italy, here’s the multi-generational family that we work with to do this, this is the process, and you bring people into the story. And that’s the seeds of that long-term relationship. They’re like, wow, this is cool, this is something that I want to be involved in.
Tanner Larsson 25:41
And then along with that, which is powerful, guys, if you’re listening to this, like think about where you’re not doing that in your brand, because chances are you’re not, in EI, our Ecom Insider group, someone just posted, they had just bought a very expensive nootropic from a high-end brand that everybody knows, and they were shocked the fact that there was no customer value provided in the box, it was just a brown box with the product, and they threw it out. And they’re like, I can’t believe there’s no welcome letter or instructions or anything that provides value. And that’s the kind of stuff that Deven is talking about when he’s saying over-communicating and doing all of that. And from there, then you have to stay in constant contact. But in a way that actually provides value like Deven said, but it can’t just be promos like you can promo like crazy. But in between there, you got to do other stuff that builds the value like Deven, they invest a lot of money into content every month. They’ve got blog content that’s updated and added to on a regular basis. They have a team of writers that do that, they have founder emails that go out every week. Is that right?
Deven Davis 26:52
Yeah, at least once a week. I mean, so I mean, in our communication, just like you’re saying, the backbone of this being adding value, right? I think we know if people are trying to extract from us or add value to us. And even if we don’t dial into those exact terms, we feel it. If somebody is trying to extract from us, we feel icky, we don’t like it. And ultimately, as a marketer, if you’re doing that, and you’re only thinking about extracting from your list and from your customers. You got a short lifespan in e-commerce. And in life in general, look, if you’re a taker, and you never think about giving back. Life A sucks. If that’s your approach, it’s just no fun. You have no friends, people avoid you, you’re a pariah. And a lot of us don’t connect that with our businesses. We’re like, well, I need sales. And the truth is no one gives a crap what you need.
Tanner Larsson 28:02
Deven Davis 28:03
No one cares what you need. I had a great mentor in my early business who said you can’t bring your needs to the marketplace. No one gives a crap about your needs have no value, you cannot exchange them for something. So because you need money doesn’t mean that you get money. I mean, despite what anyone in the world tells you right now, just because you have a need doesn’t mean that you get that need met, you have to deliver value. So in that context, we approach every communication, and every customer experience, we do have a founder email. So in the voice of Kim, who they already know from the ads, usually, and they know from our welcome flow and our emails where that relationship building has already taken place. Now they’re saying, okay, so on a Monday, when nobody cares about an email, we’re saying, let’s not try and extract today. Let’s deliver value by educating. Let’s have this blog content go out. And we’ll talk about seven ways that you can use the pieces in your jewelry collection to diversify these looks or seven or seven ways that you can, we do a lot of listicles we do a lot of how to clean your jewelry or how to store your jewelry, a lot of just being a better consumer and understanding the jewelry industry better. On Tuesday, we’ll have Kim drop in and say, Hey, hope you’re having a great week. This is what we’re doing. We’re really excited about this collection that there’s going to be dropping later this week. Hope you enjoyed the blog article yesterday. Here’s how I clean my jewelry. And she throws a little snippet in there to build on that relationship. By the way, we’re making offers and all of these emails. I mean at the bottom of the blog I’m saying hey, don’t feel like reading? Here are our best sellers that are related to whatever we’re talking about. And you’d be surprised, buyers are gonna buy, not everybody’s ready to buy all the time. So we’re kind of creating this hybrid situation where we can entertain, educate, and deliver value and if you deliver value consistently, the marketplace rewards you, you take your value to the marketplace instead of your needs. Well, it may take some time, and it may take some consistency, it certainly takes both of those in most circumstances. But if you’re consistently bringing your value to the marketplace, if you’re consistently looking for new ways to add value, not extract the value comes back to you tenfold. I mean, usually by a Thursday or a Friday, if we’re talking about a particular subject all week in our emails, and our SMS or text communications. By Friday, Saturday, there’s a frenzy, people get paid on Friday, they’re ready to buy. And there’s no magic formula other than my friend Kim has been talking to me about this all week. She likes it. I like her. These guys delivered me a good value on my last purchase. Here’s my money, they make some money. And that’s been a good foundation for us to grow the business.
Tanner Larsson 31:32
And the takeaway there, guys, I mean, there’s some tactical wisdom in there too. But the takeaway is not being a taker, right? It’s actually you’re in business to make money, yes. But the way you make money is by delivering value and value in excess of what your product actually delivers. You know, and that kind of goes to the statement that, we always say that, I’m in the jewelry business, no, you’re not, you’re in the business of marketing, jewelry is just the product that you sell. And what Deven’s talking about is a way of marketing their business. And by doing a good job of that they’ve been rewarded with not only money but reward with the brand. Because you don’t get to just build a brand. It’s a consistent application of process over time and consistent effort of doing all the things Deven’s just talked about when that takes fire and catches momentum and everything else the reward from that is that you wind up with a brand. And when you wind up with a brand, the Money follows or the money could have already been there before. But it just gets bigger, and it is something that will last. And that’s a big deal. I mean, that’s a big thing that differentiates what Deven does, and what most of our amplified partner and Ecom Insiders members do versus your typical dropship. Or even whether it’s dropship, or not just your typical Shopify store or ecom store is they’re all in it for a quick income stream, hit it and quit it and not caring about the longevity of it. Like that’s why most ecom businesses their lifetime value is only slightly higher than their average order value, because they don’t have a business, they don’t have a brand, they have just an income stream that was eventually going to dry up because their customers aren’t sticking around to ever come back, even if they sell them a good product. And I’ve never really said it, but in my head, I have always considered like, if I’m building my LTV correctly, like brands and LTV go hand in hand. I don’t think you can have one without the other. So if you want LTV, lifetime customer value, and you want to have customers that come back 83 times to buy, well, then you need to nurture them. And I mean, because you think about the average buying sequence or customer lifecycle is a matter of months, at most, maybe 30 to 60 days on the average store. Deven is talking of someone 83 times over years. So he’s had to go through that process on this one guy is reset the customer journey over and over and over again by renewing the relationship because customers are either in the act of becoming interested in your company or becoming less interested in your company. It’s like a bell curve. They’re in one of those two phases. So as they hit the top of the bell curve and start fading out, that’s where that brand management and value ad comes into play to kind of reset that customer lifecycle. So they start all over again as a fresh customer. And if you’re doing that right, that’s where you get those customers that stick around for years and buy 83 times.
Deven Davis 34:44
You know, while you were talking there Tanner. You may have another question for me if you do and cut me off, feel free to cut me off at any time. I know I ramble a bit but I was thinking about the consistency you mentioned and I think a lot of people inherently know this. They know it as consumers, they know about their own businesses. And it’s interesting how often we ignore what we know, or we just don’t practice what we preach, right?
Tanner Larsson 35:14
Deven Davis 35:14
I mean, even me right here, I hear the hypocrisy. I’m not perfect in that. But I think, you asked me about my ecom journey earlier, I think one of the greatest things I learned in that basement was to be consistent. I thought, if I’m going to be a professional, and I want a professional outcome, I have to treat this, like a professional would treat it, I think a lot of people give hobby, commitment to their business and expect professional income. And that’s just not reality, you’re building a brand, really, it’s hard to separate yourself from the brand, the brand is not something that’s just out there, and you build it and put it on the shelf. A brand is living, breathing, evolving every single day. And I think the key is, every single day, we talked about that in our house, that’s kind of one of our mantras is every single day. We say it a little differently sometimes, but, every single day, EDD in our family and that’s the approach we take in everything we do because I want my kids to understand what it means to do the work, what it means to really be in the grind, I don’t want them to live in this fantasy world, we live a pretty good life. We live in a very nice place. We enjoy a lot of material blessings right now. But there was a time not so long ago where we didn’t when we were hand to mouth, and I want the kids to understand most people’s circumstances are never that extreme. But sometimes it takes that extreme commitment to really breakthrough, you know, I get a lot of questions from the ecom insider group sometimes about like, hey, what’s your day to day look like? And half the time, I’m like, do you really want to know? Do you want to know when I went to bed last night? Do you want to know when I woke up today? It’s not me sitting on a beach most of the time, there are moments, there are times when I’m doing that. But there is a lot of work in there. And I think if you’re not obsessing over your customer experience, if you’re not constantly going through your own site and saying how would a new customer See this? How would a new customer experience this? How would this email hit me if I didn’t have a relationship with his brand? If you’re not constantly obsessing over that, the chances of you really having a business that is going to be a long-term brand-based business are pretty slim.
Tanner Larsson 38:19
That was good, that was great. That’s what I always love about our conversations because they never go where I actually think they’re gonna go. But they always come out better than they would have if they actually went the direction I anticipated. And because that’s the thing. There’s plenty of tactical training, and plenty of you know, our podcast has tons of that, like our RO’s are constantly sharing crazy stuff there. But what we’re talking about here is kind of more of the intangibles that actually make a brand successful. I mean, guys, what you’re hearing like, this is what it took to build an eight-figure brand. Now, do some people do it differently? Of course, they do. There are different ways of doing it. But what I can tell you, from my experience with working with 1000s of different stores over the years, the consistent story that I hear out of all of these brands that are breaking the seven and the eight-figure even the nine-figure mark is exactly what Deven is talking about its consistency, it’s building a brand it’s obsessing over your customers, and it is nurturing them along the process to maximize their experience, which then, in turn, maximizes your lifetime customer value. And that’s where your money is made like you want to buy the big flashy house and the cars and all that stuff. That’s LTV. Yes, you want to lease a car. That’s AOV, that’s the front end, right? You want it you want to lease your Ferrari for two grand a month cool. Now you could do that with a front-end purchase. You want to own it and all the things that go along with it and live that MTV Cribs lifestyle or whatever version of it you want. That comes after all the stuff that Deven’s just talked about.
Deven Davis 39:58
Yeah, I love that. That’s a great example too I mean, you make a great point Tanner, as the tactical stuff is out there and really, I found my tactical home. I love the Build Grow Scale family. I love the Tanner Larsson, Matthew Stafford approach to business building an e-commerce, I think you guys have figured out in a way that very few have connected the dots of all of the tactical knowledge that’s out there and the how-to you guys have connected in a way that that, for me was meteoric for our rise. You know, I share screenshots sometimes where I say, here’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 2017. And I remember vividly going to bed, I pulled an all nighter on Thanksgiving had this website, everything was perfect. I finally hit the sack at like 5 am just sure that I’d wake up to incredible sales. And I woke up a few hours later. And I was like, I think the website’s broken, the website must be broken. There are just no sales there. The website wasn’t broken, the website was fine. Really, I just didn’t have everything together just yet. And then I flash forward a year, having discovered your book, and then like you said, coming into the Build Grow Scale family, connecting a lot of dots of technical know how that I kind of understood but putting those pieces together in a system and a format that allowed me to go forward. And then the next Black Friday, Cyber Monday, I think the number was over that weekend, or that period of time was like 800,000, something nearly 900,000, and like that’s a lot to happen in a year. But the screenshot doesn’t represent what took place in between those two periods. Right? There’s just a lot of like, we talked about obsessing, getting better asking questions, doing it over, doing it over, doing it over, that email has a terrible open rate, what can I do differently, and not just saying, Oh, it’s not working and throwing my hands up in the air. I think if we surrender to thinking that the world’s just happening to us, we going to have a really hard time as entrepreneurs, we have to be proactive, and we have to just say, I’m going to go do this. I’m going to figure it out and have the grit to go and then figure it out.
Tanner Larsson 42:59
True, I mean, the only guaranteed is if you quit, then it won’t happen. Right? That’s the only guarantee the rest of it is if you stick with it, it has to eventually happen if you keep playing.
Deven Davis 43:10
Tanner Larsson 43:11
Absolutely. And the screenshots are cool. And it’s always cool seeing when you have your 2017 hockey stick grows to the next year. I mean, that’s all cool. But you’re right. It’s the work that happens in between those little ticks on the graph that actually make it happen. And the other testament to what Deven does, guys is, yes, he’s got a business, he’s doing great. It makes a lot of money. But in Ecom Insider. He is one of the most active people there. He’s very successful. Does he have to be the most active in there? No, he chooses to be one of the most active in there. He’s on every one of our training calls unless there’s a conflict, but he’s there even yesterday, we did a jam session where we do critiques for member stores and help them optimize everything. It was actually a really good jam session. There are some great stories on there. Guess what Deven’s right there chiming in taking notes, I guarantee you there are little pads of paper all around his desk right now where he’s taking notes, little tiny pads of paper, he’s a big man, but not big pads of paper. But that’s what he’s doing, he’s always putting in the work. And we always say in our Ecom Insider family that, you get out of it, what you put into it. And Deven is a prime example of that like he leverages what we provide in that program, and he adds value to the program as well. And because of that, he gets to reap the rewards and his store does incredibly well. And it continues to get more and more optimized and more dialed in and new GSD flows that he gets to add in and tweak to his own email campaigns and everything else. So it’s not about EI is what we’re talking about, but it’s about the process that you’re seeing what Deven does like it’s not just in the store. It’s in how he approaches the business and how he learns and it’s the information that he extracts and that he uses it. There’s a lot of people that get all this information. There are people that listen to this podcast and haven’t done a single thing that they’ve learned on it. But they listen to it every single week. That’s not the case for Deven. And that’s not the case. If you want the results that Deven has, that can’t be the case for you, either.
Deven Davis 45:13
Yeah, you know, it’s so interesting. You circle around this, this idea that we don’t know enough, or we’re not equipped enough. All of that is just utter nonsense. No one’s ever ready. So my parents live with us right now. We built a home. My parents live with us. That’s intentional. They’re a little older and their health is not great. And it’s been kind of unique to talk to my dad, this is not ecom related. This is life-related. And I was asking them the other day, dad, when did you ever feel like you were ready or grown-up? Or knew what was going on? When did you feel like you had life figured out? And he’s like, I don’t know, I’m not there yet. If somebody tells you they have life figured out, they don’t you just do your best. And you do your best with what you know. Now, what is interesting about those that I see as an Ecom Insider, it can be any group, it could be anyone. Look, we have Google, I make it a point in my household. My kids have a question. And it’s no stupid question. Yeah, there are. There are tons of stupid questions. Yeah, I just don’t believe that there. There are so many stupid questions. If a question is stupid, and you should be able to find the answer using Google, I’ll come back to this time and time and time again, people we’re inherently lazy. And we just want to be spoon-fed. And this, for example, is spoon-feeding, I can walk you through how to set up a flow. And I can show you how to make seven figures out of your email business. And I can show you how to run ads that are going to attract the right people. And I can show you how to do all of these things. But if you don’t do the work, if you won’t just Google something and figure it out. You’re set up for failure. And chances are you’re going to blame a system or you’re going to blame somebody else. Or you’re going to blame your mom because she never taught you how to read or you’re going to blame your teacher cuz she never showed you how to use Google are you going to blame somebody. But ultimately, all of this boils down to brand building e-commerce, our lives, we have to own it. And we just have to take responsibility for it. Tanner and I were talking before this if things aren’t going the way that I want them to. I own that. You know, we’ve lost millions of dollars. Yep, that’s not somebody else’s fault. It’s my fault. I did that. Now, that doesn’t mean I ran away with it. It doesn’t mean I stole it, it doesn’t mean that I flushed it down the toilet. But ultimately, I made those decisions. There’s something empowering and this is true for e-commerce. That’s true for any business that you’re in. When you turn the corner and take real control over your own outcome and say, I own this. This is me. I’m responsible for my own life. I’m not pissing and moaning about who’s the president. I’m not pissing in a moan about who my neighbor is. I’m not whining about anything else, your head down saying I control this. That’s when we start to win the rest is all out there. The knowledge is right there. BGS is an incredible system. The people that I see thriving in Ecom Insider in the Build Grow Scale ecosystem, are those who haven’t figured out right here. They figured out how to wake up every day, whether they want to or not, and treat their business, like a business, not a hobby. They figured out how to work when they don’t want to work. They figured out how to not make excuses and wait for tomorrow to do something that should be freaking done today. They just do it. They own it. And you can see it in their lives, you can see that their families respect them that you can see that their spouse respects them. If you get to know them, you’ll see that their kids even respect them, which is a rarity in today’s world, because they do what they freaking said they’re going to do. They show up and they do it and they do it in their business and they do it in their lives. And I can feel myself going off right now. But I think, when somebody asked me like, how do you have this success? You freaking decide to do it. Damn it, you just show up and you do it.
Tanner Larsson 49:58
Yep, I agree. I think the only piece that I would add to that, guys, by the way, you just got a little taste of coach Deven, right there. But that’s what we get all the time. And we love it when he goes off on his little tangents. But the other piece of that is, nobody is self-made. A lot of us say I have a poster in my garage, that a custom print that an artist friend of mine made for me that says self-made, and I hang it up there because he made it for me. And it’s very nice. And it was very expensive. But I look at it, and I walked by them like that’s not true every single time I look at it. And it’s in my garage next to my Bronco and all my stuff. And I’m like, I’m not self-made. I have Deven, I have this entire network of people who are around me supporting me helping me. And that’s literally why we have Ecom Insider, Econ Insider was built because I wanted a support group of ecom rockstars around me. And so the selfish need turned into this delivering value type of program that just awesome. But the people in that group, it’s not about the program again, but what I’m trying to explain to you is we believe that a rising tide raises all ships. And that’s true, as long as all the ships are actually reaching out their hands and letting somebody help them right and actually using the group. Deven, I have a friend in Ecom Insider who just posted a really good mental thing about circles of control and stuff like that. I just happened to read it, I needed it that day, it lifted me up. Someone else does another post, I type in there, it lifts them up, we have a call like Deven I just talked about today, it actually made me feel a whole lot better about what we were talking about. And those are the things like knowing how to work when you don’t want to work great. But getting out of your own head realizing that you’re not alone, realizing that somebody else has been where you’ve been realizing that someone else has probably suffered from the same problems or overcome the same things, whether it’s life, business, e-commerce, Shopify, whatever, that’s where that community comes in. And that’s how you actually achieve success is through the power of others helping you if you’re trying to go like a lone wolf and be the solo, I don’t need anybody. You’re gonna have a hell of a time getting there. And you’re gonna hate life.
Deven Davis 52:17
Yeah, Tanner, I was just reminded of an experience. And I’ve already cried on this call. So you guys are gonna think as a regular probably is more than it should be. But there was a time when I had gone to BGS live. I showed up and I know how to show up. And I’ll show up correctly and put on this face. Like
Tanner Larsson 52:41
You did, you showed up with hair.
Deven Davis 52:43
Yeah. I had hair. Yeah. I don’t think anyone there knew. And I got recognized on stage. I got a plaque a seven-figure award. And I’m like, it was incredibly shallow for me. Because no one knew at the time. What I was going through. I stayed another day. You guys had a bonus day that kind of a VIP event and there was some deep dive tactical stuff. And I’m sure that I learned there. I’m sure that I did. What I took away from that was relationships, just like you’re describing. I talked to you I talked to Matt. I got to know you guys a little bit we connected and shortly after that. You know you recognize your people. And I needed that more than you guys could have possibly understood even though I think you have a pretty good idea. You didn’t know. You didn’t know that’s not even the story that I told earlier, you didn’t know we were in the middle of lawsuits and millions of dollars and our Costco relationship just being flushed. And I was like, again, I can’t make my family homeless again. And you find your people, you find your community and I remember you and Matt, and I’m sitting in this very room. I couldn’t afford furniture for it at the time. So just walls. And I’m crying my eyes out. You guys are like, dude, you’re awesome. We believe in you. We need that. We need that. That’s when you’re talking about community, I was like, man, we take that for granted. But those kind words and those positive statements and those things that we can do. That’s a value add. It’s all value, it’s being a person who adds value to other people’s lives, you guys have added value to my life in ways that you aren’t even fully aware of. And hopefully, that’s the law of reciprocity, we think brings out all back to us. That’s how those ships rise. I want to thank you.
Tanner Larsson 55:21
Yeah, no, thank you. I was. Yeah, again, as I said, I love our conversations, because I never know exactly where they’re gonna go. But there’s so much value and meaning of the more important stuff so this was a great episode. I’m super excited that we did this. Guys. If you enjoyed this episode, leave a comment. leave a review below. tell everybody what you think of coach Deven, ask him a question. If you want, we’ll do another episode. Or we can deep dive into more topics or specific things. But you know, again, we do these episodes for you guys, Deven and I can have this chat offline and have just as much fun doing it. I can watch him cry anytime I want. So we’re trying to let you guys get involved in watching him cry. To make sure you don’t miss any of that, make sure you’re subscribed, you can go to BuildGrossScale.com forward slash podcast, you can subscribe to any of your audio podcast platforms there and you can also get the show notes. And if you want to watch us on YouTube, we also do a video show so you can subscribe over there as well. And with that, Deven thank you so much for everything you shared today and just being so open and transparent and I appreciate it brother
Deven Davis 56:25
As always my pleasure likewise Tanner anytime ask the questions, like you said let’s record it and do it again. Love it.
Tanner Larsson 56:32
Absolutely. Alright, gang. We will see you in the next episode, chow.
Deven Davis 56:35
See you later.
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Want us to do an Audit on your e-commerce store and show you how you can make some quick changes that will dramatically increase sales and profits without increasing your traffic?