Today I would like to introduce you to a very good friend of mine, Taylor Townsel. A little background on our history: Taylor and I worked together for almost 2 years at an E-commerce company. I actually managed Taylor while I was with the company and now she's grown tremendously in her professional career and has helped me manage my new website implementation.
In this blog post, I will interview Taylor to give you insight on on her background and allow her to give you some tips on managing an online, customer-oriented business and how she can be contacted for her services.
Taylor! Can you tell everyone a little bit about your background?
Hi! As Brittany mentioned, my current background (and passion) is within eCommerce! Ever since I was little I LOVED to shop and create those small but meaningful bonds with the store associates, whether it be grocery shopping (I know, weird right?) or finding the perfect outfit, and these experiences led me to being an advocate for personalized, genuine shopping interactions for customers. In college, my study concentrations were Business, Merchandising and Sociology; I'm very business-minded, math was my favorite subject, but I also loved people and shopping so wanted to make sure my future career would have some impact on these three interests. Present day, I'm a Product Manager getting to do what I love every day, with each day being different in the best ways. I work with executives and other team members, to build thoughtful products that enhance customer experiences through our eCommerce platform...it sounds silly but it's my dream come true! It's so amazing to see what small to large companies can do with use of global technology, or seeing those small companies become corporations due to their digital footprint - I strive to help businesses and leaders understand their customer's wants and needs by building a platform with product features that are user-friendly and provides a positive experience for every day shopping!
First of all. I remember you showing me how big of a community 20SOMETHING was and how you were making great, positive impacts within the community (like charity events which just melts my heart!) and I thought to myself, you've really established a great bond with these people from all over the U.S., and added your own personal "B" touch. I love that about 20SOMETHING - it's curated by you AND your audience. As we started looking at the site I kept thinking there's so many ways we could connect your social accounts to your eCom website, and really impact the customers even more. You had also mentioned you were offering personal stylist services so definitely thought that should be easy to find and manage on the website, specifically for those shoppers that are indecisive or who are like me and crave fashion feedback from divas like you! Thinking of different, trendy ways to merchandise and showcase the products on site were also flowing ideas. I remember we even came up with some new categories and strategies to merchandise the products right then and there, haha. Also, since you have such a big following and loyal customer base I thought "REVIEWS" and customer account dashboard - your customers are vocal and love your brand and the services you offer, this needs to be seen for those that are new to the site or unaware of the 20SOMETHING community plus also gives your loyal customers a treat every now and then! I could go on and on because we both know the one hour Happy Hour turned into THREE hours and many follow-up meetings and conversations! Really the end goal was to think of ways to help you manage all your social accounts and eCom website in one place, while also enhancing the customer experience and establishing that digital footprint for 20SOMETHING for future growth.
I remember we met for Happy Hour after work one day and you inquired about 20SOMETHING and my site, pointing out some areas that I could improve in from business or user interface perspective. What are some things you noticed right away that you wanted to fix?
When it comes to E-commerce what are some core things you would say every business owner needs to ensure they are doing and doing well?
First things first, always think about the customer: Who is your customer? What does your customer want? Is the customer finding what they need? If they aren't, what is your business solution?
Once you've established your customer base and understand what they're looking for, write it down and create user stories. This will help you gain empathy and think of your business from the consumer's eyes and not just a data spreadsheet. This also provokes thought of ways you could decrease friction in the shopping journey and plan for improvements.
Create a business roadmap for your brand and website - set goals that are realistic, achievable, and ambitious. Rome wasn't built in a day and your business doesn't need to be either; good work and results take time and effort and some times many iterations. If you're taking two steps forward and one step back, you're still moving in the right direction.
As an entrepreneur, managing an eCommerce platform can become extremely overwhelming quickly; having a business plan in place, and positive support system behind you, will help accomplish your goals effectively. Whether if you employ a small to large team or are just a one-man show make sure to regularly discuss creative ideas and business thoughts with motivating, like-minded people. Customer expectations are meant to be exceeded, and collaborating with other humans, even your own customers, and industry professionals will keep you fresh and in the know of what others are achieving to accomplish this goal.
Read up on the retail industry and tech industry at least 30 minutes each day. eCommerce and technology live an ever-changing, fast-paced lifestyle so it's up to you to keep up to speed on what's hot and what's not to offer the best user and brand experiences.
Lastly, remember to have fun with your brand. YOU are what makes the brand stand out to your customers and keeps them coming back time and time again. Be your customer's advocate by listening to them and showing results through business strategy optimization and enhancing overall client satisfaction...like what you've done here with re-vamping 20SOMETHING eCommerce website! :)
What Services do you offer and how can you be contacted?
I'm always in business to offer industry best-practices or advise how to become a recognized, meaningful brand. Below is a list of services I'd be happy to offer:
- Website Re-Platforming Consultation and Business Planning
- Consumer Engagement Analytics*
- Tool Integration and Extension for eCommerce Platform Consulting
- Enhanced UI/UX Design and Strategies
- Merchandising Strategies
- Site Navigation
- Content Optimization
- Basic SEO Strategies
- Channel Management via Social or 3rd Party Seller Platforms
- Digital Marketing Consulting
- Coaching How To: Creating a customer-centric brand and enhanced digital shopping experience
I'm always looking to work on "the next big thing" or with people that are defining that "big thing" for their business. Let's connect if you're looking for consulting, planning or designing your website to offer best-in-class customer experiences!
"Loving what you do doesn't require practice, it requires passion and dedication." - Taylor Townsel