Last Updated: 3/18/19
What is Ecommerce Technology All About?
After operating within the Shopify ecosystem for 4+ years through: running an agency, working in-house at an Ecommerce brand, and then working in-house at an Ecommerce tech company, I (Derric) realized that there is a huge disconnect between Ecommerce store owners/teams and the tools they are using, or should be using.
Each stakeholder in the market has a problem:
- Agencies offer advice on the tools that they like to use, which helps lock Ecommerce stores into the agency partner and create streamlined processes for them, not you. This isn’t inherently bad, but it creates friction, which can limit success later on.
- Ecommerce teams are nearly always running around putting out fires and don’t have the time to properly study the tools and resources that they need solutions for. Not to mention it's a full time job to keep up with the increasingly fast changes of technology.
- Ecommerce tech companies don’t like talking about their pricing, their competition, and their limitations. And they tend not to be great at showcasing their own products, ironically.
Ecommerce media companies seem focused on marketing, news, and education moreso than analyzing tools and technologies.
And major platforms like Capterra, G2Crowd, and Siftery focus too broadly on technologies that aren't applicable to the average Ecommerce store owner. And they aren't actually experts in the products featured on their own websites.
Thus, we created EcommerceTech.io: Your trusted source for researching, discovering, and purchasing the right technology tools to grow your store.
Making the Connection
Derric and Shana Haynie on the day they founded Ecommerce Technology.
So, what is this huge disconnect I eluded to?
It comes in 3 flavors:
- Tech companies, especially Ecommerce tech, are typically not great at bringing their "aha moment" to the forefront of their site, their demos, or even their trials. This causes two problems for the Ecommerce store: It takes longer than it should to vet a tool, and because of that, you’re likely to miss new tools and new opportunities.
Solution: By doing 100s of demos ourselves, and sharing our findings, we become the intermediary between the tech and the store and eliminate countless hours of demos, trialing and tinkering.
- The fast changing tech landscape forces you, or your team, to relentlessly vet each tool, and each new tool that enters the market.
Solution: It shouldn’t be your job to stay on top of every change in technology in the Shopify app and Ecommerce tech ecosystem. And now it isn’t!
- You can’t trust a sales rep because they are trying to sell you something. Ever been in a demo where the sales rep bad mouths the competition? A week later the competitions rep is saying the same thing about the other guy… When you work in-house as a sales rep, you tend to shove square pegs (your Ecommerce store) through round holes (their tool), just to close the deal.
Solution: By being a 3rd party, we can give you the real answers that the sales reps don’t like to talk about. Things like: who they keep losing business to and why, when you shouldn't use their product, and how long until you should expect to see ROI.
Our Core Values
This is a company built on integrity, transparency, and value. Having witnessed corruptions of these core values in so many companies, we wanted to make our stance strong from the beginning.
Remaining Unbiased. We must remain unbiased in our analysis and advice of each tech product regardless. This is a challenge because certain tools might give higher commissions, or be better at closing sales. But making more money isn’t our goal. Our goal is providing the right solution for the right Ecommerce store at the right time. And that is the only way we will truly win. While there are clear favorites for many categories, any tool can be a valid option when you're presented with specific needs. For that reason we have:
- No star review system.
- No ranking system.
- No category “winners.”
- Being Transparent. We want you to understand our business model. Understand that we use partner links when sending you to partner sites. And understand that we may make a small commission off your decision. We also want you to have transparency into when and how partners might pay us for additional promotion, such as bringing them to the top of a category, writing a sponsored blog post, or having them sponsor an event we put on. And most importantly, we want to present every tech or agency partner transparently, to reveal their strengths and weaknesses, when you should use them, when you shouldn't, and how they will, or won't, benefit your store.
- Trust. We seek to create lasting relationships with Ecommerce store owners and teams, and with Ecommerce tech partners. We want you to be able to trust us with providing great advice, and even trust us with deeper knowledge about your company status, tech stack, hiring strategy, and internal team dynamics, which can better help us present the right solution to you. We value the privacy of all users and partners and we will protect your data with our lives.
- A Clear Challenge Emerges. We must remain unbiased in our advice while being able to generate revenue. Can a company move a sponsor to the top of a category page and still remain unbiased in their review of that technology? We believe: yes. Following Google’s paid and organic model, we believe that we can provide truthful information while being able to promote ads and have featured partners.
- "Cutting to the Chase." We know you don't have time to read a 5,000 word article or watch four 30 minute demos. We want to give you the maximum amount of information in the shortest amount of time. Everything we do starts with a tldr/tldw (too long, don't read/watch) so that you can get to the point quickly.
- No Fluff. We don't oversell a solution, promise the world, or pretend like we know everything. We tell it how we see it.
- 5 Hour Work Day. We believe that sitting in a chair for a prerequisite amount of time does not help you get more work done. We believe that our team can get more done in 5 hours than most teams can get done in 8. We implement a minimum amount of work hours required by all team members, and the rest of the time spent working is discretionary.
- Everyone is a Leader. We don't hire people to follow orders... We tried that, it's exhausting. Instead we hire people to own a specific component to the business. They lead that initiative, and we all report to each other in weekly scrum meetings. We believe this improves productivity and limits systemic failures.
#3 Show, Not Tell
- Complete Thoughts. Ever have some one reference an old email, without quoting or linking it? They just assigned you the work of searching your inbox. How rude! We value presenting complete information, both in our internal communications, and especially when showcasing products and content on our site. You should never leave a page with more questions than you started with and you should see the data presented within an article.
- No Acronyms. With minor exceptions for the most universal acronyms, we don't assume you know what LTV, SEO, or CRO means. And in some cases, terms like SQL may mean multiple different things - Sales Qualified Lead, Structured Query Language. How confusing! We spell it out for you, literally.
- Showing You "The Door." (Matrix reference) We can't tell you what product is right for your business. Oftentimes, we have a good idea, but we can't know your business like you. For that reason, we may recommend a product, but we're only showing you the door - we're only giving you the information - you're the one that has to make the final determination.
- Going the Distance. We don't simply shove a link in your face and hope you buy a product. We want to take you as far as possible into a product, so that you can make the best decision possible. We want to introduce you to the senior sales rep, make sure you book your demo, attend your demo, got your questions answered, and genuinely got the help you were looking for. We are your fallback customer service team when your vendor fails you. We will go the distance for you.
- Optimize for Happiness. With all business, comes stress. We've openly decided that we will actively remove stress from our work environment. Whether that is a partner, a marketing channel that seems to be causing problems, or a demanding store owner. We don't want our heart to jump when the phone rings.
- Respectfully Playful. We take our work seriously, but not ourselves. Demos are boring... So boring. We aim to change that by adding some creativity, some entertainment value, and some playfulness to our work. In order to execute on that well, we need playfulness to be built into our daily work and lives.
- Unlimited Vacation. Work is supposed to be the means to the end: happiness. We believe our team will be stronger when they are happier, so we allow all full-time employees unlimited vacation time (after 6 months of employment).
- Respecting Others. More than "Karma," we believe that our success is a direct derivative of how much value we provide to the world. Everyone deserves attention, respect, and guidance. We strive to provide as much value as possible to Ecommerce store owners and teams of any size, without any need for a guarantee that the value will be reciprocated. We want to give happiness... in an industry not particularly known for it.