The Jason & Scot Show - E-Commerce And Retail News

Join hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder & Executive Chairman at Channel Advisor, as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
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The Jason & Scot Show - E-Commerce And Retail News



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May 8, 2016

Episode 25 - Retail Apocalypse, NY Store Visits, and Other News


NY Store Visits:

  • Ralph Lauren - Magic Mirror (Oak Labs)
  • Barney’s - Chelsea
  • Macy’s One Below (and Etsy)
  • Samsung 837 \
  • LuluLemon Lab

Retail Apocalypse

Misc News:

Upcoming events:

  • We’ll be both be at shoptalk May 15-18 in Vegas


Episode 25 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, May 5th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

May 2, 2016

Episode 24 is a single topic podcast offer a deep dive into Amazon.

  1. Details about Amazon most retailers don't know
  2. Secrets to Amazon's success
  3. Common Amazon misperceptions
  4. Advice for competing (or at least surviving) in an Amazon world.

Episode 24 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, April 28th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Apr 20, 2016

EP023  - Billy May SVP Digital & E-Commerce at Abercrombie and Fitch

A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 23 is an interview with Billy May, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital, eCommerce, and Corporate Development at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Billy is a 4th generation retailer and a pioneer in retail digital transformation.  Today he is responsible for digital and e-commerce for one of the worlds most recognized brands.  

Our conversation covers a wide range of topics including:

  • Billy's career matriculation, and current responsibilities
  • Some of the key strategic initiatives that A&F is focused on
  • What some of the key challenges and opportunities that brands face today
  • How A&F balances the healthy tension of brand goals and commerce goals
  • A&F Mobile strategy and philosophy
  • How A&F things about omni-channel
  • International Expansion
  • Social strategy and perspective on ROI

Episode 23 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Apr 15, 2016

EP022 - Facebook F8, Channel Advisor Catalyst, Magento Imagine, and Echo Dot review

Facebook F8:

ChannelAdvisor Catalyst:

  • Launched ChannelAdvisor Product Intelligence for Brands which gives brands actionable insights about online assortment, merchandising and pricing across multiple online channels to ensure a consistent customer experience.
  • Expanded Where to Buy product to include new Buy Local functionality for brands allows consumers to find your products on retailer websites and nearby stores.
  • ChannelAdvisor CEO, David Spitz, predicted that "Amazon GMV will surpass Walmart's GMV (w/o grocery) this year."
  • eBay's Hal Lawton announced that eBay is returning to TV advertising which will be based on seasonal marketing campaigns.
  • Googles Vineet Buch announced that "Purchase on Google" (Googles BUY button) is current deployed with 25 merchants, and that is likely to grow throughout the year, and open to all retailers by the end of 2016.
  • Walmart partners with ChannelAdvisor to enhance it's marketplace.


Magento Imagine

General News:

Upcoming events:

  • Alphabet/google earnings - April 21
  • eBay earnings - April 26  
  • Amazon earnings - April 28
  • Shoptalk May 15-18
  • Google I/O - May 18

Episode 22 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, April 14th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Apr 9, 2016

EP021 - Local SEO, Amazon Shareholder Letter and eBay Seller Release

ChannelAdvisor March Same Store Sales Data:
It was another good month for Google with Google Shopping/Product Listing Ads showing strong growth at 41.8%, which seems to have come at the expense of eBay which was flat.

Scot has noticed very aggressive placement of PLAs and a number of experiments with new ad units, such as a new 12 pack PLA.

Amazon News:

eBay announced their first Seller Release of the year – Spring 2016 seller release

Upcoming events:

  • Catalyst (April 11-13) in Las Vegas – Jason will be presenting.
  • Magento Imagine (April 11-13) also in Las Vegas
  • Facebook F8 – April 12/13
  • Shoptalk May 15-18
  • Google I/O – May 18

Episode 21 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Apr 1, 2016

EP020 - Guest Kevin Ertell, SVP Sur La Table


Upcoming Events


Kevin Ertell, SVP Digital Sur La Table

  • Cart Talk - a great example of social proof being employed by Sur La Table, getting feedback immediately after purchase.
  • Sur La Table is working on new store detail pages with Brickworks Software.
  • Sur La Table is about to launch a new visual configurator for Table Top products, using Mix & Match from Fluid.  You can can be one of the first to try the new experience here.

Episode 20 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, March 31st, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Mar 27, 2016

Adobe Summit:

Jason attended the Adobe summit.

  • Adobe announced a Cross Device Attribution “Device Co-op” 
  • From the retail supersession, Sucherita Mulpuru shared the Forrester mobile forecast,$35B in mobile sales, $977B mobile influenced sales.  So for every dollar purchased on a mobile device, another $28 are influenced.
  • Adobe demoed an entirely unrealistic retail use case "REI Shopping Bag" based on technology from Twyst.
  • Razorfish debuted a new set of tools for creating B2B commerce experiences using the Adobe stack, called Razorshop B2B 

Bronto Summit

Scot attended the Bronto conference, and gave a talk on "E-Commerce and the On-Demand Economy"

Other News

Online Grocery - there is some conflicting opinions about the future of online grocery.


Episode 19 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, March 24th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Mar 18, 2016

EP018 - Target "Goldfish", Instacart, and Amazon Peeves

Amazon News:

  • This week is the 10th anniversary of AWS.  Stratechery has a great piece about how Amazon leverages AWS with it's novel strategy for scale 
  • Journalists touring Amazon Fulfillment centers, noticed that Amazon uses video shaming to discourage theft.  You can take your own tour of an Amazon FC by signing up here
  • Dropbox announced that they are (mostly) moving off of AWS and developing their own storage.
  • Walmart has released OneOps, their platform for deploying cloud based infrastructure apps, such as Walmarts own e-commerce platform.  Apps can be agnostically deployed across Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Rackspace, and OpenStack.
  • Amazon has VR guru Avi Bar-Zeev, and filed for a patent on room based headset-less VR.  Amazon also filed for a patent around using selfies for payment.
  • Amazon private label suits have been favorably reviewed by business insider.: 

Jason & Scot discuss our Amazon peeves:

  • Prime now not well integrated website
  • Amazon Echo App Store (Skills) is just a 37 page list of apps.
  • Delivery drivers, pantry GUI, and customer service edge cases could all use improvement.

Non-Amazon news:

Target project "goldfish"

Target is running ads for engineers for a mysterious new project, codenamed "Goldfish".  The job listings specify "You must have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of retail marketplaces, social commerce and influencer networks," which caused Jason & Scot to speculate about what the project might be.

Scot is in Florida this week for the Bronto conference, giving a talk on "E-Commerce and the On-Demand Economy"

Episode 18 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Mar 13, 2016

EP017 - JCP, Gap, CostCo, URBN News, February Same Store Sales, Search & Category Page Usability, and Upcoming Events

JCP does not plan to close stores

Marvin Ellison, JCP CEO:

“What’s more, Penney has noticed that when it closes a store, online sales in the surrounding area also fall because awareness of the J.C. Penney brand falters”

“Ellison last month told investors that shoppers coming in to pick up an online order typically end up spending another 35% on that trip”

Was Ron Johnson right?  Scot thinks he didn't have enough time, but that his experiential strategy was right on.  Jason thinks trying to transition from promotional pricing to everyday low prices too quickly was a big mistake.

Dicks Sporting Goods Earnings

Dicks is finally transitioning from their outsourced e-commerce site to their own site.  They previously outsourced it to GSI (now E-Bay Enterprises) with a very long contract.  Jason mentioned that most GSI clients are finally bringing their web experiences in house.  

There is a funny easter egg in the last GSI sites.  They all have a few "Test SKUs" which are actually for sale on the site, such as the “Norm M TEST PID - DO NOT TOUCH EVER!!!” T-Shirt.  You can do a google search, and see all the sites that have this particular test product.

Costco Earnings

What's keeping Costco CFO Richard Galanti up at night:

"Everybody in the world never wanting to leave their house and only typing stuff to order and get it at the front door”

He went on to say:

"We want to do everything possible to get them in the store and not just come and pick something up," Galanti told analysts, explaining why he didn't expect to roll out in-store pickup anytime soon. About e-commerce is general, he said, "some out there would argue it's about time. But we're getting to it."

Jason and Scot agree that Costco is way behind on omni-channel e-commerce and it's likely to catch up with them.

Urban Outfitters Earnings

Gap Earnings 

Gap same store sales were down 4%, but E-Commerce was only up 1%!?!?! (vs an industry average 15%).  Gap CEO Art Peck ran e-commerce until February of 2015, but now they seem to really be struggling.

February ChannelAdvisor Same Store Sales

Amazon “Style Code Live” is a new daily 30 minute fashion/style show distributed via the web featuring shoppable products.  Is this a threat to QVC/HSN? 

Scot and Jason have a discussion about usability on e-commerce search result pages and category pages.  How many results should you show per page for search and category pages?

Upcoming Events:

Bronto Summit, Miami 3/16 - Scot will be speaking
Adobe Summit, Las Vegas 3/21-3/24 - Jason will be attending
ConversionXL Live, Austin 3/30-4/1 - Jason will be attending
Demandware XChange,Hollywood FL, April 4 - Jason will be attending
Channel Advisor Catalyst Las Vegas, April 11 - Jason will be speaking
ShopTalk, Las Vegas, May 16 - Scot and Jason will both be speaking
IRCE Chicago, June 6 - Scot will be speaking

Episode 17 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Mar 4, 2016

EP016 - Mobile World Congress, Target Earnings, Sports Authority Chapter 11, and Book Recommendations

Mobile World Congress recap:
Mobile Connect -
Echoss -
Viewport fragmentation

Q4 results continue to come in:
Comp sales up 1.9 vs Walmart 0.6%
Signature Categories up 6%
Traffic up 5 consecutive quarters
Q4 E-Com Up 34% vs Walmart 8%
30% of orders fulfilled from stores (40% OOS in FC)
E-commerce up 31% for Full Year (vs 30% last year)
Free Shipping vs. Walmart $50 threshold
Further reading:

Gross Merchandise Volume rose 86% in local currencies, mainly driven by Argentina and Brazil. Marketplace revenues grew 63% and non-Marketplace 79%. Total revenues accelerated to 69%, all in local currencies.
Total payment transactions grew 79% to 25.4 million, while Total payment volume grew close to 100% in local currencies, reaching $1.5 billion. MecardoEnvios (MercardoLibre's payment platform) penetration close to 70% in Brazil, and 50% considering only the countries where the shipping solution is available. 2016 forecast - 23% GMV growth, caused by headwinds in BR - transition to next blurb.

Sports Authority Files chapter 11
Closing 140 stores (1/3 of total)
Expect / trying to come out the other side in better shape
$1b in liabilities $50k in assets


  • Brita filter with self-replenish via Dash
  • Amazon Prime Now reaches 48% of the US population

This week we want to introduce a new segment called Jason and Scot recommends:

Originals is by Adam Grant with a foreword by Sheryl Sandberg

The Amazon Marketplace Seller That Says It Has "the Colombian Cocaine" of Algorithms
By Burt Helm on Slate

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance

Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do
by Denise Lee Yohn

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Feb 24, 2016

EP015 - eBags co-founder Peter Cobb, Google SERPs and Amazon

Peter Cobb, co-founder of eBags and e-commerce pioneer shares his insight and learnings from 17 years of growing a profitable pure-play e-commerce site

Our discussion includes, the founding of ebags,, the future of pure-plays e-commerce sites, brands going direct, private label and the evolution of mobile.

Google has made changes to it's SERPs which will effect many e-commerce sites.

Amazon opened it's 11 fulfillment center in the UK / Amazon increased FBA prices

Amazon raises shipping threshold for non-prime to $49

Amazon private label apparel is already live (Franklin & Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven, Scout + Ro and Society New York)

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Full Transcript:


Welcome to the Jason and Scot Show, your source for the latest news and trends in the ecommerce industry, featuring host Jason Retail Geek Goldberg, SVP of Commerce at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor.



Here is Jason and Scot.


Jason Goldberg:

Welcome to the Jason and Scot Show! This is episode 15, being recorded on February 23rd, 2016. I'm your host, Jason Retail Geek Goldberg, and as always, I'm here with your cohost, Scot Wingo.


Scot Wingo:

Hey Jason, how are you doing?


Jason Goldberg:

I am doing terrific. I am out here in beautiful Palm Desert for the eTail West trade show.


Scot Wingo:

Awesome! I could not make it. We have a lot of folks at Channel Advisor out there. Give me some highlights.


Jason Goldberg:

Yeah. A bunch of interesting speakers. The CEO from Barnes and Noble, CEO from US Auto, there's a great presentation from Lane Bryant. One trend that we've talked about a little bit on this show that kind of rubbed me the wrong way is always the case in these shows. There's a lot of conversation about Amazon as the great enemy and how folks can compete with Amazon. There's guys up on stage suggesting that we all move off of AWS, because that's somehow going to make them less competitive with us.



Frankly, I felt like I heard from multiple CEOs at this show that tried to put Amazon in this pigeonhole of primarily being a dominant price competitor and their only competitive advantage is price. Therefore, their solution to competing with Amazon is to compete on customer experience or customer satisfaction or curation, or all these other things. As I'm hearing those things, I want to throw something at the stage because I feel like that's way oversimplifying how significant a competitor Amazon is. I feel like they're excellent at a lot of categories of business that the CEOs are taking for granted.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah. Yeah, I run into that a lot. A lot of people feel like, sure, Amazon does compete on price, but what about the shipping infrastructure? The other one I don't think people bring up enough is selection. Amazon has over 400 million items available. I would challenge any of those CEOs to kind of think about that, and how do you deal with that level of selection, because if you want it, pretty much Amazon's going to have it.


Jason Goldberg:

Yep. Frankly, I don't think they do exclusively compete on price. I think they're very strategic about price, and they compete on price when it's in their economic interest to do so. They recapture margin when the opportunity presents itself, and I think we have a couple news items this week that sort of highlight that.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah, absolutely. What else is new at eTail?


Jason Goldberg:

One thing I did want to mention, not necessarily eTail news, getting a bunch of buzz this week is that Google has made some pretty fundamental changes to the search results. This will probably not come as a surprise to any of our listeners, but Google is still a very significant source of traffic to most ecommerce sites. Most ecommerce sites are getting in the ... Mid-20% of all their revenue is coming from organic search results in Google.



This week, they announced that they would stop showing ads on the right hand side of the search results. Superficially, you'd read that and go, "Oh, they're decluttering the page, they already didn't have ads on their mobile page. That's not necessarily a bad thing." By the way, we're also going to add a fourth ad on top of the search results for highly commercial terms. Traditionally, they would put up to three ads on top, and then they'd put a few ads beside. Now what they're saying is, they'll have three or four ads on top, they'll have no traditional pay-per-click ads on the side, but they will still have the Google product listing ads, which we've talked about on the show are kind of the fundamental ads unit of ecommerce.



You add all that up, and essentially what they're saying is, "We're adding more ads and we're making them more prominent on the page," and on many popular browser resolutions, four ads on top means you actually won't see an organic result above the fold. This is potentially alarming news for some folks that rely on organic traffic. I'm not sure it's an earth-changing thing in and of itself, but it's definitely something to be aware of.



The one-two punch is that Google also gave us a hint last week that they really don't like cluttering up the search results with too many what we call "rich snippets." Rich snippets are another super important feature to ecommerce sites. That's the visual stars that you might see on a product result that shows you what your rating is or pricing information or inventory information. Some of these extra pieces of information that you can embed in your product detail pages and then Google shows in the search results, when those extra bits of information show up, the click-through rate on that search result is much higher, so ecommerce sites are really careful to take advantage of all those rich snip features. Google has always decided how frequently to show it. It seems like they're turning down the amount of rich snippets they show quite a bit.



Most alarmingly, the review, the number of stars, has disappeared off a very significant number of organic search results in Google. Some people are frankly speculating that it's a mistake or a bug, and that Google didn't intend to be so drastic, because it is so prominent, but at the moment, the organic search results are getting pushed further down the page and the rich snippets are coming off of the page, which means that a lot of ecommerce sites are going to see a meaningful decrease in their organic search traffic.


Scot Wingo:

Just so listeners understand, how much do you think this really kind of is going to impact? Because we've kind of crossed over the 50% mobile. Mobile didn't already have, doesn't do four ads to the right. Is it more just the snippets will be on mobile?


Jason Goldberg:

Yep. The snippets absolutely fit both. The rating snippets are huge. Traditionally, you'd see, like, 70% of all the click-through are going to be on that first organic result, and then it exponentially goes down after each additional result. If the second result has rich snippets and the first result doesn't, the second result can actually get more click-through than the first. That's a significant driver of click-through, and if they're going to permanently turn off those stars, that's going to be a game changer, especially for sites that really rely on organic traffic. The site you immediately think of that this would have a prominent derogatory effect on is someone like an eBay.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah. Yeah, they've been in this kind of battle with eBay for a while, so it would not surprise me.



I know you always love to hear Amazon news, so I have a couple things there to share. If you're Retail Geek, I'm the Amazon Fulfillment Center Geek, and they slipped in a little announcement this week that they're building a smallish, only a million square foot fulfillment center in the UK. It's in Colville and Leicestershire. Along this lines where they're talking about job creations around fulfillment centers, they announced they're going to have 500 jobs over three years there. A fun fact, this is the 11th fulfillment center in the UK, which is about the same number of fulfillment centers that Walmart has in the US. They're very dense in the UK with fulfillment centers.



What's interesting is most of the things they've done in the UK recently have been kind of for deploying into London. Some of its Prime Now type stuff, or same-day delivery. This is a big new footprint for the UK.



Also in fulfillment center news, and this didn't get a lot of press, so I don't know how well this is known out there. The only area I am aware of where Amazon raises prices, everything else Amazon does lowers prices, especially if you do Amazon web services and that kind of thing, is Fulfillment by Amazon. Even in the marketplace, they haven't really changed the prices since the beginning of time, I think. With FBA, what they constantly do is kind of tweak the economics. There's a couple pieces in there. One of them is the per-package fee that they charge for FBA. It's going to have an increase from, I think it's $0.30 to $1.07, and on average, it looks like, from a model I've seen, it'll be about $0.45 an item increase.



That's one of the fees. The other one is called a storage fee. If you have inventory at FBA, it doesn't sell after x days, I think it's 30, then you get kind of the stump where they take the dimension of the volume of what they're storing for you and have a fee. That's going up. It's pennies, it's like $0.02 to $0.04, but that's kind of times the volume that you have. That's another one where they're constantly working the economic model to incent sellers to have the right behavior of focusing on faster-moving items that are in FBA. That's interesting.



As a result of that and some comments that have kind of come out in management meetings, what I've seen a couple Wall Street analysts do is raise their fulfillment center buildout this year from kind of middle single digits like seven to kind of mid-double digits like 15. It's going to be interesting to see how that comes out. We already have ... This UK one, I believe, is the first one that's been announced this year, so it'll be interesting to see what that looks like.



Another thing I'm sure you probably saw is, for those people that aren't on Prime, you can still get the free shipping. It's not two-day shipping, but the free Super Saver five-day shipping. They raised that from $39 to $99, now. Then, the last-


Jason Goldberg:

You mean $49?


Scot Wingo:

Yeah, sorry. $49.



The last piece was, we had talked about this last week, actually. This is kind of how fast Amazon moves, where there was news that Amazon may be considering doing private label in fashion. It turns out they are actually out with it. They have some fashion private label brands out there, and they're kind of a mouthful. Let me see if I can do this without stumbling through it. Franklin and Freeman, Franklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven, Scout + Row, and Society New York. What is that? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Seven different private label brands. Some of these are men's apparel, some women's apparel. Very interesting that there was rumors they were going to do this, and now it's actually out there. You can search, we'll put it in the tidbits on the website. You can actually go search these brands and see what's available there, which I thought was pretty interesting.


Jason Goldberg:

Yeah. I think that was a pretty big revelation to a lot of folks that were following the rumors that they might do it, and then, you know, bam, surprise, there's already a ton of skews on the site a lot. I look across all that Amazon news, and my two big takeaways are number one, raising the shipping threshold is interesting. Amazon shipping costs are a very meaningful portion of their business, they're like 12% of their revenue, and so it certainly looks like they're trying to make a profitability move by recovering a little more shipping fees. The big thing is, this just seems like another very overt effort to push more people to Prime, and I suspect it's going to be effective in doing that.



Raising the rates on the FBA is interesting. To me, that's inevitable, that as Amazon grows its business and has more strain on those fulfillment centers, that shelf space becomes more valuable. They just need to charge more to maximize it. I think if you're a seller, you probably shouldn't expect this to be the last increase that you see there.


Scot Wingo:

Yet when I talk to customers, it's still very, very competitive to any other 3PL. Even when you kind of look at a multi-year model, you have to kind of look at it over two or three years because of the accounting. It ends up being relatively cheap compared to having your own fulfillment center.


Jason Goldberg:

Yep, and you get the huge kiss of being Amazon Prime-eligible.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah, and as they do Prime now and whatever else they're going to do around all these things, you ride along with all that investment, which is ... I don't know how you quantify that, but it's a pretty good value.


Jason Goldberg:

Yeah. I think the one exception I've heard there is if you're in a category that's predominantly oversized or unusual-sized items, that the economics get a little more challenging on FBA because they've really optimized the pricing model for their typical package size.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah, that drayage fee, because it's volumetric, really hits you hard with oversized items. Yeah, absolutely.


Jason Goldberg:

Did Etsy have their earnings call this week?


Scot Wingo:

They did. It was actually today. A couple highlights out of the call ... Etsy went public and had a great public offering, and then has really struggled since then. A lot of it was mobile. They had a huge challenge when mobile kind of accelerated right around their IPO. It was kind of like Facebook had the same problem, but Facebook recovered pretty quickly. It looks like Etsy is seeing the light in the tunnel. They had pretty strong results. They exceeded expectations. Then they actually came out and said, "For the next three years, we're going to have 20-25% growth," so kind of pounding their chest, feeling pretty good about the future. I think a lot of it is around ... I think they feel like they've solved some of their mobile challenges.



A couple of other interesting metrics: 1.6 million sellers. I think that's interesting, because Amazon reports 2 million sellers. Etsy definitely has more seller density than in Amazon, but because it's handmade, you would need that, right, because you can only handmake so many things. I thought that was interesting. 24 million active buyers. The Amazon question did come up on the call, and the CEO said that, "We" ... By this, I mean Amazon has launched a competing category and seems to have Etsy in their crosshairs. The CEO at Etsy said, "We have no reason to believe that any of the competitors are having an impact on us." For the 4th quarter, Etsy had $750 million in GMV, which, when you look at the run rate, that was a Q4, so it's not pretty fair to really do this, it's not going to be their run rate forever, but it's interesting to think that they're at about a $3 billion run rate.



I remember in the early days of Etsy, everyone in ecommerce was kind of like, "God, what a niche. This handmade stuff, maybe that gets to be $50 million." It really kind of shows ... I think what's interesting about Etsy is, some of these things that seem like niches and they're going to be really small, when you look at them on a global basis, they can be pretty big. $3 billion in homemade items, that blows me away, and they're anticipating it growing 20-25% for the next three years. They see a path to $4 billion or $5 billion, which I think's pretty fascinating.


Jason Goldberg:

It's almost like pure play is not really in fact dead.


Scot Wingo:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a good little kind of teaser for what's coming next.


Jason Goldberg:

Well, let's get to the really exciting news. We have a guest today.


Scot Wingo:

That is true. It's episode 15, we're really settled in here at the Jason and Scot Show, so we thought we'd do something you and I had talked about way before episode 1, which was have a special guest. I think it's going to be a new tradition here on the Jason and Scot Show if it goes well, and I'm sure it will. I'm thinking every third show or so, we'll have a special guest to kind of help mix it up.



Today, we're really excited to have as our first guest ... I don't want to put it out there yet, I'm going to build some suspense. This is someone I've known probably for at least 12 if not 14 years. He's one of the founding fathers of ecommerce. If there was a Thomas Jefferson or maybe Alexander Hamilton of ecommerce, that's who we have on the show today. It's kind of a privilege to have someone that has been in the industry for so long but is still right on the cutting edge. He started a company back in '98 that is one of the successful pure plays that's out there.



If you haven't guessed yet, it is Peter Cobb from eBags. Welcome, Peter.


Peter Cobb:

Hey Scot, hey Jason. Thanks for inviting me. You guys are doing a great job.


Scot Wingo:

Thanks. We're super excited to have you here. I tried to keep your intro kind of brief. To start out with, maybe tell us a little bit about how you got into ecommerce. You're at eBags still and you've had an interesting journey there, so maybe a little highlight of that. Let's just start with that, just to orient everyone that hasn't known you for 15 years, on how you got into the industry and what you do on a daily basis.


Peter Cobb:

Yeah. Back in 1998, well, prior to that, there were a couple of us that worked at Samsonite. I led the marketing for Samsonite, and a couple of us execs at Samsonite saw what was going on with people buying books online, music, gardening equipment, toys, etc. We just said somebody is going to own and pioneer the category that we knew so much and love, and that's luggage and handbags and backpacks, business cases, etc. We peeled off from Samsonite in 1998.



Actually, kind of took the idea of my cofounder, John Nordmark. John took the idea to the president of Samsonite and said, "Hey, why don't we buy some domains,, and so forth?" Back then, you could just make up a domain and you could buy it. We owned about 25, actually. The president of Samsonite said, "I get email, I can't imagine anybody buying luggage from an email. Go back to your cubicle." John called me up and said, "Let's do this. I think it's ripe," and both of us were into the internet and watching what was going on. That was in 1998.



We pulled it together. It was our own money for the first six months or so, and then we actually went the traditional route with angels and to friends and family, and raised some money from Silicon Valley and raised $30 million in 1999. That's the last time that we've raised money. We haven't had any down rounds since then. It's been cashflow positive, really, since 2002.


Scot Wingo:

Cool. That's around the time when Amazon did their IPO. They were in '97, if I recall. Was that kind of an impetus for you? Was that kind of the wake-up where you said, "Hey, we need to do something. There's this bookstore going public. This is kind of going to be a thing."


Peter Cobb:

Well, you know, I was just explaining to somebody at eBags today about the early days. There was,,, and Amazon was there. Amazon's really the only one that's alive today. eToys. Really just kind of across the board, we just looked at it. Back then, Amazon was just books. We felt like in our space, right out of the gate ... Our model is somewhat unique from a lot of these guys in that we don't want to own product. Our model is drop ship. We knew at Samsonite, who's the global luggage leader, at Samsonite, 75% of our orders out the door were three pieces or less. Somebody owns a piece of luggage at Aspen Luggage, they sell a garment bag. We were selling them one piece at a time from Samsonite.



We convinced Samsonite and many other brands to ship directly to our customers. Took a little bit of time and some arm-twisting, but here we are today with 70,000 different bags and accessory items from 700 brands. Obviously, from a cashflow model, and that's primary to why we're alive today, is somebody buys on, we get the cash immediately from the credit card, and pay our brands. It could be 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, whatever's negotiated. You get positive flow versus having a warehouse, and you imagine a warehouse with 70,000 individual units, but then you need to go 105, 100,000 deep on each. It would be $100 million of inventory we'd have to keep, and we wouldn't be alive today. That was really one of the key decisions early on. We were one of the first to drop ship, and actually, it isn't that common. You have marketplaces today which accomplish the same thing.


Scot Wingo:

You guys start a company, you raise money, it's all exciting, you're driving into the future, and then the dotcom bubble burst. What was that like? I lived through it, and it was quite painful. I can only imagine what it was like for you guys. What I recall is people are going out of business left and right. and all these other things were just flaming out. You guys not only survived but thrived. What was that like, getting through that nuclear winter?


Peter Cobb:

It was brutal. It was really tough, because one side of you is saying we're homesteading, we need to claim our territory. Back then, portals were so big, and somebody like AOL could commit $1 million for something the size of a postage stamp, but you would own luggage or handbags on AOL and you just had to occupy that space because so many people came through some of those old portals. You did burn through cash.



Not only was it dotbomb, but for us, what really hurt, I think even more than dotbomb or as much, was the 9/11 tragedy. Just didn't have a lot of people traveling after that. We all were cocooning. Of course, they shut down airlines, and people just said, "You know what? I'm just going to stay home for a while." That really hurt our sales. From a positive standpoint, it really highlighted the fact that we need to diversify. We cannot survive by just being a luggage or even travel goods company. That got us into backpacks for school, women's handbags, fashion accessories, and watches is a big category for us now ... Branch out in business cases and business accessories.



In a way, it kind of poked us a little bit to say, "Okay, you're thinking too narrowly here." It's been an amazing 17 years, and in fact, just last week, we announced we passed 25 million bags sold, which is really a nice accomplishment. We're really proud of that, because if that was a chain of stores, it'd be hundreds of stores nationwide that do that kind of business.


Scot Wingo:

For our listeners, can you give us a little idea of the scale of eBags? I don't want you to divulge any confidential information, but maybe your IR rank or whatever you're comfortable letting us know. How big is the scale of eBags at this point?


Peter Cobb:

Yeah. We're 110 people, and as I said, 25 million bags. I mean, something that I'm just as proud of is that we have 3.2 million customer reviews, so it's a big part of the DNA of, of leaving that virtual Post-It note. From the IR, we're in that kind of 100-150 range, kind of depending on the year, but we are a pure play, which is a critical part of this. We don't have stores to get that PR and help offset some of the expenses. We don't get traffic in the door, we don't eat. It's a constant survival for us.



We just had a meeting today with our executive team, and the primary message was, "We need to stay hungry, we need to be paranoid." This thing can change. You mentioned it, Scot, early. There are things that can happen that are out of our control that can pop up. Cash for us, cash is king. We have no debt. We don't plan on raising any more money. We've got to really live within our means. There's a lot of people out there doing some crazy things from a marketing standpoint, or willing to lose tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. That's an area where we're just ... I actually love it, and we bring people on that accept that challenge and relish it. It's pretty competitive right now.



Like you mentioned, I could have said that in any of the past 18 years.


Jason Goldberg:

Peter, I wanted to ask you a question. You mentioned that you're a pure play, and you've been a pure play for more than 15 years. It's interesting, because a lot of the talk today is pretty negative on pure plays. I mean, you've got Scott Gallaway at L2, and he's got a whole campaign around "Rest in Peace, Pure Play," and you've got a bunch of these buzzy new companies like Warby Parker or Bonobos or Nasty Gal or, even I think Blue Nile now is opening some stores. It's a big trend that these pure plays are now shifting to stores. Then, of course, you have a couple of huge pure plays that flamed out. You have the and Gilt just sold for a disappointing valuation.



I think there's this buzz that, "Hey, pure play isn't a long term sustainable model, or maybe it used to be, and its time has come." It always drives me nuts when I hear that, because I feel like you're the best example, but there's a bunch of people in your class that are long time pure plays that have been able to grow based on their own revenues. I'm just curious, what's your take on the whole viability of the pure play model?


Peter Cobb:

Well, obviously with what we do, it depends ... Honestly, it depends on the category, it depends on products, it depends on factors such as ... We're fortunate in that for the most part, people don't need to try it on. It's a piece of luggage, it's a kid's backpack, it's a soccer bag, on and on and on. Our return rate is very low. Really, I think it lays out well for us to be a pure play in that we really feel like we want to be ... I mean, to have 70,000 bags and accessories on our site, and we'll probably pass 100,000 products in the next 120 days, and venture out into even doubling that in the next year or two. We really feel like we want to be a house of brands, as well as something ... For us, it's travel and fashion. If you want a bag or something related to travel and the travel experience, go to eBags.



No store can have the assortment and selection that we have. Picking a brand, one of our better brands is Tumi. It's a premium luggage and business case line. We'll carry 500-plus pieces of Tumi, and a typical store, because a physical space in luggage or business cases, they may carry ten pieces of Tumi, maybe 15, if they're lucky, and we have over 500. That's where we love where we are in the space. It lines up quite well, I think, for long-term viability. There's really no store out there ... I mean, obviously you've got the bookseller in Seattle that does a great job. They've got a broad and vast assortment, but for what we do in our category, there's a lot of brands, actually, that don't want to go down that path, let's just say the marketplace path. We demonstrate to them that we're a specialty store interested in travel and fashion, and that really resonates, especially with brick and mortar having some challenging times right now.



The last thing I'll say is, within our space, retail is still around 10% online, so 90% brick and mortar, and yet, you have stores closing every month in our category. I think it's only going to accelerate. We really love where we're positioned, and I think a lot of categories can say the same thing. To your point, Jason, on a brick and mortar, it just isn't ... You have to really focus on something, and focus on something that you're excellent at. I don't think brick and mortar is an area for us today that we should be venturing into. I think there's so many other opportunities out there within the ecosystem of what we're already working on.


Scot Wingo:

Cool. One follow-up on the pure play thing. Amazon's invested hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, in their fulfillment center, and you guys don't have a fulfillment center. Does it ever feel like doing the drop ship thing, that you don't have control over that customer experience, and that's a negative?


Peter Cobb:

You know, I think it gets down to are you getting products to people in a timely manner. With our, we have 700 brands, as I mentioned, the average product leaves that door in 0.7 days. Within a day, our goods are out the door. We actually spent some time ... One of our board members did a tour of Zappos, and came back ... At the time, it was 17 football fields, 800 employees, and came back and said, "It's unbelievable what they have. We should move to that model." I remember in the board meeting saying, "What would we gain? It already goes out the door in six hours. Okay, so, we would gain maybe two hours, if we're really, really good."



For us, that part of it ... I think that's the primary part of this. The other part of it is, a lot of our products, they actually are shipped from Asia in the boxes that gets delivered to the customer. In a lot of cases, just thinking in a piece of luggage, we just put a label on it, our brands do, and then ship it to the customer. It's in a box that may say Tumi, Samsonite, or Delsey. That experience is ... It probably could be better to your point, Scot, but I think we just have to make some choices and go that route.



Now, that being said, I will say our number one brand on our site is actually our own private label brand at eBags. It's 24% of units and 20% of revenue. It's unbelievable. I mean, we're product guys when we started eBags. That's what we did at Samsonite, and we just love product and we just have really told the team, "Make product that you would want to carry." Actually, right as we started the business, we got into it, so it's not like it's the last couple years. In a lot of ways, it's really built out this competitive mode. That's a big reason why we're as profitable as we are and that we have some kind of staying power within the space.


Scot Wingo:

That's good to hear, because Jason and I both get asked by a lot of what I would call multi-brand retailers, in other words, like a Macy's or something that doesn't really have their own brands, what one of the best strategies they can do. I always go back to private label. Earlier in the show, in the news segment, we talked about some of the stuff Amazon's doing there. It's interesting to hear that that's such a large part of what you guys are doing.



Unsponsored ad here. I love the cubes, the packing cubes you guys do. My wife loves to organize, and she's a huge fan of the eBags packing system there.



One other thing I just wanted to kind of introduce. You introduced me to I had been going to the summit, and really enjoying the summit. When I was earlier in ecommerce, though, I didn't really kind of understand that there's an organization behind the summit that we all go to in the fall. You introduced me to that, and you were one of the early folks there. All three of us are on the board there. We'd love to hear how you got involved with, and how you describe it to folks.


Peter Cobb:

Yeah. It's ... You know, this industry that we're in, online retail and digital retail and so forth, it is made up of some amazing people, of some amazingly bright people. It's also, we're undergoing so many challenges, and it's changing so fast. You were talking about chat commerce and even now with what's going on with Facebook Messenger and Snapchat and so forth. Sometimes you need a network of people that you can reach out to to compare notes and share stories and really pick their brain. We're really good at drop shipping, so I'll field some calls from people interested in getting into drop shipping. Other people maybe have more expertise in social media marketing or some other areas.



The thing about, it's really a trade association made up of a community of people within the digital retail space that gets together several times a year, but also provides thought leadership pieces, whether it's a think tank, white papers, research, several conferences ... Also works on behalf of retail as part of National Retail Federation, NRF, as a team in Washington DC, working on issues important to all of retail, not only digital, with things like trying to promote legislation to limit patent trolls and things like that.



The big part of it is providing a space where you can learn from others but also network, and, as always happens, you end up developing pretty strong friendships as well, which makes it even more enjoyable.


Jason Goldberg:

I'm the new guy amongst the three of us, I think, at, but I would just absolutely echo that one of my favorite parts is the camaraderie and the opportunity to network and share in an adult beverage with folks that face a lot of the same challenges and opportunities every day that we do. Inevitably, when you get together with other ecommerce folks and you start having conversations, the topics pretty quickly turn to the things that are keeping you up at night or the new trends that you're most excited about in terms of upcoming opportunities. I wanted to ask what was kind of front and foremost in your mind right now, in terms of new trends or new challenges in the ecommerce space?


Peter Cobb:

Well, I think a challenge that all of us are facing, and I know we're all getting our arms around it, but it is a challenge, and that's the move towards mobile and smartphones. It's not a surprise. We all use them in our personal life. I think retail, frankly, was caught flatfooted. You have OpenTable and Uber and so many other apps that were built for the smartphone, and I think with retail ... I mean, two years ago, our traffic would have been single digits coming in on smartphones. You knew it was coming, the wave was coming, but there's just so many other things popping that you need to put your resources towards. We're really actually really happy with our mobile experience, but it's kind of one of those ... You just need to continue to invest and spend the resources, and when you think you've got it figured out, something else comes along.



Right now, a great example is, the big obstacle in mobile is payments. Credit card and so forth. Obviously, Paypal is a great provider helping with mobile. It's a big part of our mobile efforts, but there's other wallets popping up, Chase Pay and Masterpass and Visa, etc. I know you guys have talked about that in the past. That's a big challenge, of, okay, who do you partner with, where do you play on a mobile device, how does that all work when you only have so much space and so much real estate?



I think with mobile is, I know in the past, you guys have talked about average conversion rates, and if you just said a PC is 3% or 4%, and tablets 2.5-3%, and mobile is 1%, if not 1.5% ... You know, as your traffic continues to grow towards mobile, and it could be up 50%, 60% year over year, well, that means your weighted average conversion rates are under some pressure. A lot of times, you think about 100 people come into your site and only one or two purchasing. Well, with whether that's Google or Facebook or whatever affiliate partner you have, that's pretty expensive traffic, if you're only getting a 2% conversion. That's a huge challenge that I think a lot of people are facing.



The other part of that that people don't talk about is that usually, you know, on a PC, we'll get 1.5 units per order, and on mobile, it's really kind of one and done. It's about 1.1. You have your average basket size lower, so conversion rate's lower, basket size lower. You really need to just kind of think through how to optimize mobile. I think we're all slowly figuring it out. Our mobile sales ... Actually, our traffic last month up 40%, but our mobile sales are up 70%, so we're going in the right direction, really feel good about it. We always are thinking if we're redesigning parts of the site, it's mobile first, because then PC will all fall behind.



Then, I think another trend that I think is interesting is, you've got brick and mortar as well as brands developing websites, and those are obviously competitors, but I'm going to focus just on the brands. I think an interesting trend is that the brands are realizing, hey, building and maintaining and keeping a website up to speed is not for the faint of heart. It's super-expensive. You need expensive personnel. The whole resource requirements of a brand. I mean, it's one thing for a retailer, they're kind of familiar with the direct marketing model, but for brands that went into it maybe two, three, five, eight years ago, and now are realizing what I was just talking about with mobile and all the resources required, it's really a challenge. Then, they're under pressure for their own brick and mortar stores that many brands bid off. Now they're looking at us and, "Gosh, I got my website, should I update that? Should I send people into my stores? Should I have returns into stores?" I think a lot of retailers as well as brands are really being challenged right now. Those are some key challenges and opportunities I think we all face.


Jason Goldberg:

Yeah. Peter, the brands going direct is really interesting, because frankly, a lot of my clients are those brands that either already went direct, or maybe they're in a category of retail that's kind of a digital laggard, and they're just now talking or thinking about going direct.



It's funny, because my opening line is usually, "Hey, you're always going to be the worst place to buy your product. You're not going to have any of the third party accessories or add-on sales that consumers want. You're going to be the only retailer on the planet that perfectly complies with [MAP 00:43:33]. In general, there's a small subset of users that want to buy direct from you, and it certainly makes sense to capitalize on those users, but that you're not going to materially hurt your wholesale partners' business." I'm just curious, from your perspective, is that how you feel? When Tumi goes live and starts selling bags from their own site, which I think they did a couple years ago, did you look at that as, "Oh, a cute effort from Tumi," and maybe it taught Tumi to be a little more sensitive to some of the content issues that make them a better partner for you, or did you feel like that was a material threat to your business?


Peter Cobb:

Well, we actually ran Tumi's website for them globally, US, UK, Germany, and Japan, between 2002 and 2010. We had a great eight-year run with Tumi, and then they said, you know, as it was growing, they said, "You know what? It's time for us to take it on our own." I think even ... it's been a challenge. It really has been a challenge, like a lot of brands. They have to decide, does the website exhibit the brand essence, or are we in this to have ecommerce and generate revenue? There's that continuum they have to decide, and I think for a long time, Tumi kind of came out of the chute and said, "We need to promote the brand Tumi. This is part of going public," and so forth, but then realized, "Gosh, our sales are not nearly as strong as we thought they could be." Plus, building out a global ecommerce effort, multiple countries, and then you've got changing marketing messages in 15 or ten or 20 different sites, languages, marketing messages, all the same night, it's pretty challenging to do that for somebody like a brand like Tumi.



To your original question, we just think of that as, "Hey. Tumi's going to get into it," or Samsonite, or so forth. Sure enough, I know they're great partners of ours, and we actually talked to them about some of the challenges. I know they're scratching their heads just like some others say. By the way, this was something, especially when you're talking about global websites, it's something that's pretty challenging for them. I think in a lot of cases, they end up, somebody at the top ends up saying, "You know what? We need to go back to making great product and not pretend we're a technology company." Then they call you, Jason.


Jason Goldberg:

We're more than happy to pretend to be a technology company on their behalf!


Peter Cobb:



Scot Wingo:

Cool. We're up against time, but I have two kind of lightning round questions to ask you. One of the things that's fun about ecommerce is there's always some weird thing that you would have never guessed. For example, when we look at our data, we always see these weird correlations between people buying things that you would never think those would go together. Any insights like that, like from your time at eBags, of strange insights that you've found of consumer behavior?


Peter Cobb:

You know, I think ... There's something happening now which is, I think, pretty interesting, in that the power brands are not doing as well as one might think. What I mean by that is, think about anchor store brands, brands you would find in a Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, etc., are really, I think, undergoing some pressure. You've seen it in the designer handbag category with Michael Kors and Coach posting some numbers which were pretty challenging over the last three to five years. What happens, then, is you've got ... The thing that I love about it is, you've got kind of these small brands that, given the light of day, actually do really well. On our site, it could be Osprey backpacks, Fall Raven backpacks. Very cool products that now then we can show to the world of, "Hey, you probably wouldn't know where to find this in Chicago or LA or San Francisco, but you can click a button and have this sent directly to you."


Scot Wingo:

Cool. We call it, on the Jason and Scot Show, we call it "the hoverboard effect," kind of the disimportanting of brands. One last one, and I know this is hard to answer quickly. You don't survive 17 years in business without really investing a lot in the culture of your business. I've been to eBags and seen ... You invest personally a lot of your time as a founder into the culture of the company. If there's listeners out there, and maybe they're an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, any quick tips on how you keep that culture and calcify it and all that kind of thing?


Peter Cobb:

Well, I think it starts with once you lock into a solid business model, then you hire great people, don't skimp on people. It's all about getting people that have a history of success, and then letting them run with, of course, guidelines. I think on our end, we were super transparent, we reveal all P and L, we reveal cash on a monthly basis and say, "Look, we're all in this together." Every employee gets stock ownership in the company, so we're all owners, and we think in terms of, "Treat the customer as you would want to be treated." You know, we just have things, too, I mean, a lot of people do, with dogs in the office and things like that, but just really making it a great place to work and making it fun. We're there for ten, 12 hours a day in a lot of cases, and just having it be ... Have it be a place that is fun. Not so serious, but people that are willing to work hard and have fantastic teamwork. You just have to make it fun for people, otherwise there's a lot of other options out there in the world.


Jason Goldberg:

Very cool, Peter. I know you're based in Denver, Colorado. Is it safe to say you're always on the lookout for great ecommerce talent?


Peter Cobb:

Absolutely. It's really challenging, I think, finding over-the-top talent. I think it's one of the biggest challenges. It is not necessarily somebody that gets straight A's in school. It's why I even talked about a history of success, of doing things that maybe are not right down the fairway all the time. It's okay to be a little bit quirky, because we're doing things that people have never done before in this space. You need people willing to take risks. You can't slap the wrists if they fail. They fail a second, third, fourth time, yeah, absolutely you need to sit people down, but you want people that are willing to get out there and make a calculated risk.


Jason Goldberg:

That makes perfect sense, Peter. Listen, that is all the time we have for today, but I want to remind everyone that our guest today has been Peter Cobb, who is one of the co-founders of eBags. You can follow him on Twitter. I think your Twitter handle is @PeterCobb, C-O-B-B.



With that, I will say until next week, happy shopping and thanks very much to all our listeners.


Scot Wingo:

Thanks Peter. Thanks, everyone.



You've been listening to the Jason and Scot Show. For all the latest news and trends on ecommerce and shopper marketing, subscribe to us in iTunes and please leave a review.


Feb 21, 2016

EP0014 - Walmart E-Com, NYC Retail, Amazon Apparel, and Amazon Flex

Walmart Earnings

Nordstorm Earnings - Rack cannibalizing Mainline stores?

New Neiman Marcus Long Island Flagship

New Barney's NYC Flagship

SnapChat Commerce

Shopify Chat Commerce - Shopify Shopkey

Amazon Apparel / Amazon Diapers - Mama Bear

Amazon Flex - An uber killer?

Microsoft Hololens Ted Demo Ted Demo / / Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Feb 11, 2016

EP013 - SuperBowl, VR, Future of Malls, and why responsive design is a bad idea

Recap of Superbowl Ads. Including ads from Amazon, Paypal, and Dollar Shave Club. Digital Calls to action in ads. And mobile engagement with those ads.

Are stale fashion trends curtailing woman's apparel sales, or is it another example of Amazon eating the world?

Google, Apple, and Alibaba all make new investments in VR.

January Same Store Sales data from Channel Advisor looks encouraging.

Amazon rumors about logistics services continue "Project Dragon Boat". Amazon Prime Now comes to Raleigh, North Carolina and Scot is their first customer.

Michael Kors expresses concern that Mall Traffic is likely to continue declining. Jason shares that the US is way "over-stored" and that the US has 5X the amount of retail space per capita as UK.

We talk about why Responsive Design is a bad idea for e-commerce and mobile apps are a lower priority than the mobile web.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Feb 4, 2016

EP012 - Amazon Retail Stores, Google Earnings, Subscriptions, and Marketplaces.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Jan 29, 2016

Episode 11 covers a recap of numerous Q4 earnings calls including E-Bay, Facebook, Alibaba, Amazon, Starbucks and Microsoft. Also Uber, Macy's, Walmart news.

The Jason & Scot Show. Podcast about e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Jan 21, 2016

EP010 - NRF Big Show Recap, Amazon Updates, and new Google PLA format



What's the future for beacons?


Electronic Shelf Labels and Dynamic Pricing

NRF Whispers - Was this a tough holiday season for Brick & Mortar?

Are shipping rates going up (even though gas prices are at historic lows)?

Amazon assortment is growing dramatically.

Amazon is the top brand in the US (per YouGov study)

Amazon launches it's new replenishment service

Google tests a new PLA format

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Jan 16, 2016

EP009 - recap of CES, a preview of NRF, L2 #RIPPurePlay event, Amazon fulfillment and tax news, and Holiday wrap-up.

/ /

/ / Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.


Jan 7, 2016

EP008 - Chat Commerce, Gen Z, New Retail, and Walmart Payments.

Scots top 5 predictions for 2016:

  1. 2016 will be the year of Chat Commerce
  2. Amazon will make some big moves in logistics
  3. Jet will prove the naysayers wrong, and get acquired
  4. Google will make a bold move this year in e-commerce that surprises everyone
  5. Alibaba’s attempts to bring Singles day to the US will fail

Jason top 5 predictions for 2016:

  1. CPG’s and grocery will make major moves into DTC e-commerce
  2. Re-Orgs. Retailers will get rid of stand alone e-commerce departments and integrate e-commerce into core business functions; brands will do the opposite and establish new e-commerce departments.
  3. Mobile gap will narrow to be at lest half of desktop conversion and some retailers will see 50% of their e-commerce revenue come from mobile devices
  4. A major retailer will get sold in distress (Macy’s/Sears/9 West/J Crew/Bon Ton/Neiman Marcus)
  5. 2016 will be the year of the cloud for E-Com platforms, Cloud products like Shopify and Big Commerce will continue to grow and even get more enterprise clients.  Niche solutions like Cloud Craze (running on will get traction, and SAP, IBM, and Oracle will work hard to solidify their e-commerce cloud offerings.

Things that (sadly) aren't likely to happen in 2016:

  • Buy buttons from social networks won't catch on.  Social commerce will continue to struggle.
  • E-Commerce sites won't get much better at personalization (and most suck now).
  • We won't see many great examples of truely integrating content and commerce
  • Omni-Channel retailers won't close the gap with Amazon
  • No single new Payment technology will gain major traction.

Scot got to visit the Amazon store, and check out how Amazon's merchandising translates to brick and mortar.

Jason is at CES.  There are many more products supporting interoperability this year, such as Ford integrating with Amazon Echo, Toyota supporting IFTTT, Roku and Apple set-top boxes offering universal search integrating multiple content sources.

/ /

/ / Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Dec 24, 2015

Episode 7 covers an update on brick and mortar holiday sales. The top 5 online shopping days. Shipping woes for UPS, Fedex, and Jet. Is e-commerce at a tipping point in-terms of overtaking brick and mortar sales? And a discussion about how large Amazon really is.


oin your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Dec 18, 2015

Episode 6 covers Commerce in Korea, a Holiday Update including the shape of holiday peaks and the risk for holiday shipments, Gilts potential sale and the overall state of Daily Deal Sites, Nordstrom E-commerce investment strategy, Hoverboard fire problems, and a few Amazon and Alibaba tidbits..

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Dec 11, 2015

EP05 - Chat Commerce, Gen Z, New Retail, and Walmart Payments.  Episode 5 covers Chat Commerce including consumer behaviors in Eastern & Western markets, a discussion about Generation Z, new retail concepts including Birch Box store, Target Wonderland Popup, and B8ta store, and the announcement of Walmart's new mobile payments system.

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Dec 3, 2015

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish, and Scot Wingo, Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing. EP004 - Post holiday recap, mobile, top products, Amazon news

Complete show notes are available at

Nov 25, 2015

Episode 3 - The Holiday Edition covers:

Comscore State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy Q3 w/ Holiday Forecast

Channel Advisor Same Store Sales, 3rd week of November results

Adobe Holiday Forecast

Other Holiday Benchmarks

IBM, Google, Deloitte, Forrester, Custora, Demandware, Monetate


NY times article sales the long game is working, as retail turns profitable

Will Amazon becoming a shipping company?


Forrester Analyst Peter Sheldon joins Magento

Walgreens Digital Head Sona Chawla joins Kohls

Dollar Share Club raises a new round raises a new round



Visit for a complete list of links.


Scot Wingo, Founder & Executive Chairman Channel Advisor / @ScotWingo

Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish / @retailgeek

Nov 19, 2015

Episode 2 covers the Merrill Lynch Bank of America Internet/E-commerce 10th Annual Holiday Pricing Survey, a discussion about the future of retail, and how robots are improving the retail experience.



Scot Wingo, Founder & Executive Chairman Channel Advisor / @ScotWingo

Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish / @retailgeek

Nov 13, 2015

Episode 1 covers singles day, the personalization paradox, Channel Advisor same store sales report (SSS), holiday promotions trends, and digital wallet news.



11.11 Day

Forrester digital business forum

Channel Advisor SSS -

Money2020 -

ShopTalk -



Scot Wingo, Founder & Executive Chairman Channel Advisor


Scot's Channel Advisor Blog


Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, SVP Commerce & Content at Razorfish


Jason's Blog




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