Share this article

Make it Big 2020 Spotlight: The Commerce Paradigm Shift and Becoming Your Own Media Company with Ryan Deiss

A shifting ecommerce landscape requires a shift in your company’s mindset. In BigCommerce’s Day 1 of the 2020 Make it Big conference digital marketing veteran, Ryan Deiss, delivered an engaging keynote session, offering a new perspective on increasing customer value and how commerce companies should move forward in today’s media-first industry.

Ryan, CEO and Founder of DigitalMarketer, is not new to the ecommerce landscape. In fact, he made his first online sale back in 1999 with the purchase of an e-book on how to make your own baby food. What started as a hobby back in his freshman year of college soon turned into an entire career. In his time in the ecommerce and digital marketing space, he has sold everything from digital to physical products. To little surprise, his experience taught him what strategies work best across different channels.

Ryan’s Key Takeaways

It’s safe to say the industry has grown immensely since Ryan first stepped foot into the space in 1999. Here’s what he had to say about his outlook on the evolution of the ecommerce landscape and the three biggest changes from his perspective: 

1. The rise of Amazon

“If you go back to when I first started selling online, or even just to five years ago, a lot of people out there were still scared to buy online. I know that a lot of ecommerce sellers don’t like Amazon, but for better or worse, Amazon did teach a lot of people how to buy online. That’s the biggest change that’s happened.”

2. The emergence of social media 

“Next to that, you have the emergence of social — and social channels. When I first got started, really the only way you could reach consumers was through broad market display advertising (e.g. banner ads) or via buying search. There wasn’t really a good opportunity to engage outside of those channels. Think about what Facebook, Instagram in particular, has done. When I think this visual social medium and what it has meant for sellers, that’s also been huge.”

3. Increased competition 

“With both of those things combined, the third biggest change has been competition. Competition today is more fierce than it’s ever been. When I first got started, I was one of the few people doing this. If you showed up, you basically got to win just by being there. That’s not the case anymore. With tools like BigCommerce making it easier to launch a store or with ad platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube making it easier to reach audiences, more people than ever are getting in on the game. Not only is there more noise, but ad prices have skyrocketed. In a lot of ways, it’s great that the market is bigger than ever. But, we also need to acknowledge it’s now harder than ever to acquire customers on the front-end.”

So, what do ecommerce sellers today need to focus on to move their business forward? Customer value optimization. In our conversation, Ryan highlights that in order for companies to successfully acquire and retain customers, they need to focus on becoming a source of value.

“Commerce companies today need to think more like media companies.” – Ryan Deiss

In our Day 1 Make it Big keynote session we dove into how businesses today can do just that, plus:

  • Conversion rate optimization vs. customer value optimization

  • How to improve the customer and user experience

  • How to lower your customer acquisition costs