Tom Schwab is the CEO of Goodbye Crutches. An American eCommerce store which educates about, and sells alternatives to the humble crutch (who knew!). Tom is a master of understanding his customer and creating the content that just pulls them to his site. This has taken them from 3,000 paid monthly visitors to 70,000 organic visitors per month, in under 3 years.
Click to Tweet: Listen to the inspiring Tom Schwab tell @eComMasterPlan how he found the right balance for GoodbyeCrutches #podcast
About the business
- eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
- Product Range Scale – niche-middle
- On a Magento platform
- Based in the US
- Key widgets in the website:
Listen to hear how GoodbyeCrutches got started in eCommerce
Most Awesome Thing Right Now
Tom is really happy that although the Goodbye Crutches’ strategy remains the same due to new tools, that are constantly coming on-line, they can continue to develop the way they talk to their customer. Ensuring that they are ahead of the game and know the right place to start the conversation with their customers.
Listen to hear more about how Goodbye Crutches reach their customers.
On the Radar for the Coming Months
Like lots of us Tom is currently preparing for the holidays! In the New Year he will be reworking and updating his work flows – using data to establish what he can learn from customer behaviour:
- Who has been his best customers?
- Why are they his best customers?
- Where can he find more of these customers?
Other eCommerce topics we cover include:
Growth through foreign partnerships
Tom is growing his business outside of the US by forming a number of foreign partnerships. Having established relationships with businesses in Costa Rica and Canada Tom is looking for new partners in order to further expand. He has taken this approach due to:
- The size of the products in his range and the cost of shipping and fulfilment.
- The complexities around international business and franchising agreements
- The fact you can easily create mirrored platforms – using the resources you already have
Post purchase nurturing sequence
Goodbye Crutches uses a nurturing strategy. Once a customer has brought a product from them they are sent not only confirmation of the order but an instructional video telling them how to use the product. This has:
- Increased their net promoter score
- Decreased their number of customer inquiries upon receiving a product
Upon receiving the product customers are sent a series of 4 e-mails including handy hints and tips, ways to help combat depression and finishing with an upsell. Referencing the Gary Vaynerchuk Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, Tom sees it more as serve, serve, serve, ask!
How they use personas to increase eCommerce sales
Using a central blog – GoodbyeCrutches have developed 4 personas/voices which they use to connect with their different target markets:
- Andy – active athlete
- Woody – working Dad
- Mary – motivated mum
- Jerri – on the go grandparent
Another piece of great advice from Tom
Tom believes in forever testing:
- “There are no longer any good or bad ideas – we just test everything!”
- Try free software like optimizely
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Being a guest on podcasts (we didn’t pay him to say this honestly)
- Through appearing on Podcasts Tom has seen conversion rates of between 25%-50%, impressive!
If you’d like to be a guest on the eCommerce MasterPlan podcast you can apply right here
Tool Top Tip
- Zoom.us – A screen capture and recording platform. Tom suggests documenting all your processes and systems so that anyone can easily pick up a job and do it.
Start Up Top Tip
- Define your customers from the beginning – know who you want to serve.
If your business didn’t exist, which eCommerce Business Would you like to be Running?
Something in the world of digitally delivered products, 3D printing, no shipping, no inventory and no cross boarder issues!