Shirley Tan joins us this week to share her experience building American Bridal from scratch, growing it to $6.5 million in annual sales, and eventually selling it to enter the world of e-commerce consulting. With over 20 years experience in offline retail and 14 in e-commerce, Shirley recently published a book that offers a step by step guide for aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs called ECOM Hell.
- 01:30 – Three tips for your first factory visit in China
- 04:00 – Shirley’s experience in old school retail and running an online store
- 05:00 – Origins of E-Commerce in 1997
- 08:00 – Parallels of E-Commerce in 1997 and mobile in 2013?
- 10:30 – Moving the business completely online
- 14:00 – Learning SEO back in 2004 and figuring it out
- 18:00 – Tips on organizing your warehouse and inventory
- 22:00 – Common mistakes of beginner e-commerce entrepreneurs
- 25:30 – Preparing and streamlining the business to be sold
- 27:30 – Passion, profitability, and long-term sustainability of a business
- 33:00 – Why you need at least 40% gross margin and products of $75+
- 37:00 – Grabbing customer mindshare vs. having the best product
- 39:00 – Figuring out your messaging and position against the competition
- 47:00 – Sustainability of the drop-shipping business model
- 49:00 – Overview of Shirley’s book ECOM Hell
Mentions in the Episode:
- American Bridal
- Brad Fallon
- Andy Jenkins
- The Innovator’s Dilemma
- TurnTo – Social E-Commerce Q&A
- Gaiam Yoga Gear
Episode Length: 56:56
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