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Number 1 Thing I Learned at ICE Retailer eCommerce Conference


Last week I attended and presented at the 3rd annual ICE Retailer conference in Atlanta, it’s a can’t miss event for me as I always learn great tips and strategies to help grow my eCommerce business. I also enjoy networking with my eCommerce friends where the real secrets come out in the small gatherings.

Also, John Lawson is one of the best hosts doing a tremendous job at attracting hyper-talented speakers with killer content. I was often texting myself notes to take home as light bulbs clicked on and the ideas flooded in.

Side note: One of the big mistakes I see eCommerce sellers make after a conference is they have so many good ideas they don’t know where to start and so they tend to go nowhere. The key is to filter your list once you have a chance to step back from all the excitement, let the alcohol leave your system and review your notes with a fresh mind focused on what will have the biggest impact on your business and the most achievable to do with your current resources and limitations.

Therefore I’ve refined my long list of ideas and ready to share with you the top 3 things I took away from ICE Retailer 2014 that’ll have the biggest impact on my business going forward. I hope they inspire and can help you as well.

#1 – Know what you’re selling

Sure this sounds easy on the surface but we need to dive deeper to better understand this question. Why do people buy from you? Why do they buy from you instead of your competition? What exactly are you selling?

I’m as guilty as the next seller with giving the wrong answer to this question.  That’s right, most of us give the wrong answer! But after ICE Retailer I’m committed to changing my answer to this question forever.

The real answer goes deep. As sellers we’re not only selling a product. We’re selling a service, we’re selling an experience and we’re selling a solution. So let’s answer this correctly next time.

A) Why do people buy from you?

People buy from you because you’re offering a service they’re looking for including the product, the price, delivery and service expectations. You are selling a service they accept or desire.

Service is how you process orders, how you communicate, how you ship the product and answer customer emails.  As an online business, you can’t sell a product without also selling a service.  We’re in the service business folks!

B) Why do they buy from you instead of your competition?

This goes even deeper than service. Most sellers stop at service and then wonder why their competition is beating them.  The reality is, many sellers offer the same products and the same service. These two things don’t differentiate you anymore as they did in the past.

Sellers need to understand what differentiates them from the competition is not service but the buyer’s experience. It’s the seller that offers the best “Buying Experience” that wins the customer!

C) What exactly are you selling?

This is the BIG ONE! Let me give you a real-life example (I like real examples). When people ask me what I sell on eCommerce Money for Nothing, the typical answer would be I sell eCommerce coaching and consulting, I sell eCommerce virtual assistant services and I sell eCommerce training and education. Am I right?

Yes, I’m technically right. But at the same time, I’m missing the real deal here. Ultimately, I’m not selling a product or a service and neither are you. People are not buying my coaching, training products and VA services because they NEED my products and services. People DO buy my coaching, VA services and training products because they NEED what these products and services offer them. They need the SOLUTION! A solution to a problem they are having or a solution to a situation they desire.

Remember there are only 2 things in life that motivate people to take action and that’s the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. Plain and simple. So my solution needs to either advance them towards the pleasure they desire or help them avoid the pain they’re avoiding.

The solution I’m offering eCommerce sellers is the “eCommerce Dream”! The dream of building their own eCommerce business that frees their time, works for them, supports their family or lifestyle and pays the bills. An eCommerce business that is enjoyable and doesn’t feel like a J.O.B. at the end of the day.  It’s the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

One more important fact about your solution: Not only are you selling a solution but your solution MUST DELIVER! Saying your product or service will solve a problem or generate pleasure is one thing. If the customer buys your product or service and it doesn’t deliver as promised it will ultimately be a failure. This comes down to “Managing expectations” and a great topic for another day.


In summary, you need to know WHY customers buy from you and the answer lies in understanding the service, experience and solution that you offer. Know your customer’s needs in this regard and fine-tune your message and solution to be the best that can be and you’ll enjoy the results (more pleasure for you, ha!).

Lessons #2 and #3

I said I’d share the top 3 things I learned at ICE Retailer 2014. Look for future articles about number 2 and 3 as I organize my thoughts onto paper, they’re just as big as this one!


I had a great time presenting on stage in Atlanta. My presentation was so explosive with valuable information I blew a fuse at the hotel and lost power to my slides half way in, HA! The good news is I recorded my same presentation in even more detail (1 hour vs 30 minutes) on the first DVD in my 5 DVD eCommerce Selling Smarter course DISC 1 – THE ECOMMERCE BUSINESS MODEL and so if you’re interested in learning how to build a smart eCommerce business, take a look at my newly released 5 DVD course here.


 PS: Please LIKE & SHARE with your eCommerce friends!