How Eddie Lichstein Took His Passion to a $50 Million Brand in 4 Years
March 1, 2016 55 min read
From taking his passion by the horns, and adapting it into a multi-million dollar business within 4 years, Eddie Lichstein had established a successful and lasting e-commerce brand with high customer retention. His blend of passion and e-commerce allowed him to become a founder of several other successful businesses including Rejoiner.com and THMotorsports.com. Today, Eddie Lichstein joins us to discuss how he transformed his successful business, and the best practices he has learned that earned the trust of consumers for automobile maintenance.
In the Twenty-Third episode of Skubana’s E-commerce Mastery Series where we invite experts of their respected fields to share their best practices for success, our host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz of InspiredInsider.com interviews Eddie Lichstein of Autoplicity.com, THMotorsports.com, and Rejoiner.com
What this interview covers:
- The story of Autoplicity.com, THMotorsports.com, and Rejoiner.com
- The importance of establishing trust icons on your site
- The difference between selling to improve the market, and reselling to leech from it.
- How to optimize your products by hosting unboxing videos
- The importance of establishing yourself as a voice of authority for your brand
Raw Transcript: Eddie Lichstein of Autoplicity.com/THMotorsports.com/Rejoiner.com
- [00:02:41] “So you and I kind of touched upon that. A lot of what I contribute on Quora is guiding people, especially the newbies in the entrepreneurship world or the e-commerce world, is to build something that helps others. So, just kind of coming out and regurgitating the same things, whether you're making a product or re-selling something else, coming out and just making the exact same thing for a buck less, you're not really helping anyone out. You're not really helping the market out. You're just trying to kind of steal them.“
- [00:03:17] “…the old AT&T MCI game where you're gonna just keep cutting down, cutting down, until there's nothing left. And you see that a lot on Amazon. You see that a lot with people who are competing on building a product where they may have the same type of like, I don't know, slicer of some sort, and the next guy's just looking to make it for a dollar less in China. And it doesn't really help the consumer, but people know how to game the system to get reviews and grow the products up. That's one thing that I always advocate. Try to make something new, and then when you build your own brand, it's really easy in e-commerce off the bat to make money. Buy low, sell high. Pretty simple mentality. But what happens after that is more difficult, and if you continuously just do that, let's say you've built your entire business on Amazon, no one really knows who you are. So after 10 years the only thing you can do is shut down. Some people claim that you can sell for a huge multiple, I've seen that. I don't believe in the same. I've been in some shoes of the VC guys and it just is not really appealing.“
- [00:15:24] The best thing to do is actually answer questions for people, rather than just writing up your own blog posts. You see a lot of people today sit and write blog posts, then they have to market them. That's a really big effort. That's basically you creating your own online consulting business. If you can answer people's questions, go on forums. If they're still around... Go to the section that you're really good at and just become the authority there. Be the guy that answers everyone's questions and just continuously do that. You will pick up traction. It is an organic way of succeeding. It is not short, there's no shortcuts to it. You have to be likable. If you're in no way, shape, and form kind of like the personality of a people pleaser, you probably won't like it because you won't really get that gratitude where someone says, "Thank you." You probably won't get thank yous for a long time. But you'll get followers, if you're gonna be on something like a Twitter or a Facebook. If you're on a forum, people will directly respond to you. Forums are no longer as prevalent, they're more of just knowledge bases. But, that's a perfect opportunity for the person who's starting out to be able to actually give that knowledge to the world, and then have it be indexable. Which is really huge, that is your little SEO play. That can come back with that.
- [00:25:06] “Yeah, those trust symbols are usually a really great factor to have someone get, again, that warm and fuzzy feeling inside when it comes to actually wanting to buy. Proper reviews off-site, so there's a myriad of sites that can collect reviews and collect reviews honestly. You really want to do that, whether it be like a ResellerRating or, I think there's PowerReviews. There's a whole bunch of them. That's a big driver for conversion, where I see it from my side. You can go as deep as colors of buttons...”
- [00:26:55] “Two seconds, before they click back and check another price or something like that. So, in today's world, I see conversion as engage the customer as much as you can. So start solving pain points for them. Why is a person going on your page? Do they just need a price? Cool. If they're just looking for a price, display on your pages the prices of some of your other competitors. If you legally can. That way they don't need to bounce out. There is one thing that you can do. If you want to, if you're having a customer come to your page because they're interested in the product itself, get a video up there. Show it in full. A huge write up is great but people run out of gusto. They're not gonna have the time to read 40 paragraphs on exactly what this product does. Give the key points, put on a video. If you have something that is applicable where you have the product in hand, do an opening box video. Show people what it's like. Hold it, twist it around by the camera. Give people an idea. That will inherently give you authority. If you really want to go a step above and beyond, if you're reselling someone else's product, have someone at the manufacturer either film the video if you can do that, or have the manufacturer contribute directly onto the page. Once again, co-branding with more authority. Once you do that, and you put it out there that you have this great service level, the person doesn't really need to leave, and then they're more price elastic. They're happy to pay a little bit more with you because they see that you are a specialist. You have all this knowledge in the product. You'll be able to help them out. And that's what you can do with one page. That's my big part of conversion. When you're going on to the checkout sign, I think on the show you had before, you had Neil Patel on the show. Neil's company does work for Amazon. I'm pretty sure they're in the CRO space for Amazon with them. And if you ever want to see what one one of the best checkouts looks like, look at Amazon. Start studying where you can hit the homepage, where the link deactivates, colors, time, size of pictures...”
Be sure to utilize this real insight from a real marketing expert to help your e-commerce business grow and succeed. Stay tuned – this will be an ongoing weekly series featuring a variety of e-commerce experts looking to provide you with hard-won knowledge free of charge.
Check out our previous E-commerce Mastery Series episode featuring Heath Squier of Julian Bakery as he discussed how his business became one of the top e-commerce sellers for Paleo diet products.
Written By Chad Rubin