Boosting B2B Experience on Shopify with Ian Leslie, Industry West (episode 466)

Ian Leslie is the CMO at US homewares brand Industry West. It all started with Industry West in 2010… now they have a Shopify store and B2B sales reps, with sales of over $20m a year.

Ian Leslie Industry West on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[08:19] Hoping for the best iteration of the site.
[11:52] Encourage the team to understand customers and trade.
[13:55] Direct mail with unique promo codes drives results.
[18:31] Catalogs are costly, but direct mail is more manageable.
[20:50] The Book explores free will and decision-making process.
[23:21] Essential analytics and audience targeting.

Going Back to Industry West

Ian shares that after working for tech companies, he’s happy and excited about being back at Industry West.

It’s a brand he loves, and the challenges of being on this side of the business again are just what he needs at this point.

Shopify Redesign

Industry West moved from Magento to Shopify while Ian was away. The decision to revamp the site was to address existing issues and improve overall customer experience. There are challenges that come with adapting to Shopify, but its value lies in being more plug-and-play.

Ian shares that Industry West’s upcoming website overhaul is like a retheme or new website launch. Historical data and analytics were incorporated into the redesign process. Ian commends digital agency Tomorrow for their exceptional work and thorough customer research.

Taking Care of the B2B Side

Their shift to Shopify also has an impact on Industry West’s B2B profile. For one, there’s a need to improve the visibility of trade accounts on the site. However, improvements to the B2B experience will come in phases.

The initial launch in Q1 will keep the existing B2B processes. Integration of Shopify’s B2B module will follow in a subsequent iteration. Doing enhancements in phases allows the team to address immediate concerns and gradually expand B2B functionalities on the Shopify platform.

Innovative Marketing

Ian shares their current marketing strategies, including their success in direct mail campaigns. The brand has experimented with full catalogs and targeted postcards, achieving a notable ROAS. They also use a pixel on the website to match physical addresses, enabling retargeting via direct mail.

They’ve also employed a branded delivery truck in Manhattan as a mobile billboard. This contributes to brand awareness and aims to engage with potential customers.

Implementing AI

Ian touches on their implementation of AI chatbot named Nibble for customer negotiations. This creates a unique and engaging experience on the part of the customer.

Industry West’s AI implementation paired with its marketing initiatives shows a mix of traditional and digital approaches. They showcase the adaptability and innovation in Industry West’s strategy.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Ian, it’s SMS marketing. He says that offering a slightly larger discount for customers who provide their phone numbers has proven effective.

Tool Top Tip

Carbon Top Tip

  • Industry West’s approach to returns is to encourage customers to keep larger items rather than send them back. Additionally, he mentions their strategy of wrapping someone else’s truck for brand awareness instead of purchasing a new one.

Interview Links

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  • Balancing Wholesale and D2C eCommerce Growth with Maxim Gelmann, Stroodles (episode 464)

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