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5 Ecommerce Tips from theExperts at Retail Fest

I recently spoke at Retail Fest, a boutique festival for people who eat, live, and breathe retail.

It’s always an incredible experience, especially if you’re looking for a place where the connection and community continue long after you board your flight home.

While I was there, I asked 5 speakers and attendees for their #1 insights that I could bring back and share with you.

Here’s what they said.

#1 Billy Gene on replacing yourself with AI

My friend Billy Gene is big on AI for marketing. But AI is so new that a lot of people out there don’t really know what it’s capable of, or how they should be using it in their business.

So I asked Billy Gene to name one thing a business owner can actually do today with AI to help increase their productivity and their profit.

Here’s what he came back with:

“Most business owners fail because it’s just too expensive to run a business payroll, especially when in California. Small businesses, it’s tough to make it.

So, replace yourself.

Go to You can make a duplicate of yourself. Go to ElevenLabs and have it capture your voice. Then you can pay a virtual assistant from $5 an hour to use you to make content and save you a lot of time.

“Just press ‘record’ on your phone, make a massive audio note for 30 minutes, then pass it to that team to turn the note into Instagram clips using your own AI-generated face and voice.

–Billy Gene, CEO of Billy Gene Is Marketing

This idea is a little scary, but it’s also genius.

Video content is a powerful asset for your company, but it’s also time-consuming. Now with the help of AI, though, you can literally outsource your own likeness.

I’ve never personally tried it before, but I can imagine this approach would save the right person many, many hours of time — and it wouldn’t break the bank, either.

If you’re worried that this might be too technologically advanced for you, Billy Gene has some words of wisdom about that, too:

“You don’t gotta be techie. I think that’s the biggest misconception when people hear AI and get intimidated.

Almost every single website that is using AI is as simple to use as Google. They’re all designing off of that. There’s a box, you type in some shit, and you get what you want. That’s it.”

–Billy Gene, CEO of Billy Gene Is Marketing

So there you have it: using AI to help save time and cut costs in your business isn’t hard. Anyone can do it — so consider giving it a shot.

#2 Shoebox Moses on the Power of Proximity

Shoebox Moses is the DJ for entrepreneurs. Every time I go to an event, it seems like he’s there mixing it up, bringing people onstage, dancing, and having fun.

So I asked him why he comes to so many live events, and here’s what he said:

“The value of deep personal connections.

Ezra and I were on the other side of the planet, and now we finally got to connect.

That wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t in real proximity to each other. Proximity is power.

—Shoebox Moses

I’d never heard that phrase before, but I love it: “Proximity is power.”

It’s so true. There’s an immediacy that comes from being right in front of another human being that you just can’t get from email or texting or anything else.

So use that to your advantage when you can, and get in front of the right people who can help move the needle for your business.

#3 Goldie Chan on Doing One Thing

Goldie Chan is a digital strategist, creative, and personal branding expert whose video channel won LinkedIn’s “Top Voice” award with millions of views worldwide.

I caught up with her at Retail Fest (where she was a speaker), and asked her to name one thing that someone who didn’t go to Retail Fest should know to make their business more successful in 2024.

She said:

“It’s so important to focus on one thing.

So, what do I mean by that? Start with one platform. Start by thinking about one piece of content on one platform…

And from there, look, you’ve already started.”

—Goldie Chan, Founder of Warm Robots

It’s so true that if you can just focus on one thing until you get it done, then move on to the next thing — that’s as productive as a person can get.

Remember, you can only do one thing at a time. Anytime you try to multitask, the act of switching from one task to another is called “context switching” — and it’s known to hurt your productivity and increase your stress.

So find the most important thing you should be working on next, and focus on it until it’s done. Then celebrate, and move onto the next thing.

#4 & #5 Jack & Adam Firestone with Timeless Retail Advice

If you want to know where my ecommerce genes came from, look no further than my dad, Jack Firestone, and my brother, Adam Firestone.

We come from a long line of retailers, which means we’ve got this business in our blood.

So what advice does my dad have on the basics of retail?

“Find out what people want and give it to them at a fair price.

Take care of them, make sure they’re happy — and you got a winner.”

–Jack Firestone

Classic advice from an OG retailer.

And what about my brother Adam? What’s he got to say about growing your business as a retailer?

“Raise your prices.”

–Adam Firestone

Short, sweet, and so, so true. I was just giving someone that same advice. Obviously you need to find that pricing sweet spot, but don’t be afraid to raise those prices if you need to!

Higher prices make it that much easier to break even on your costs and grow your profit margin, which means more capital that you’ll have for ads, product development, building out your team, and other activities that can help you build a stronger business.

* * * * *

So there you have it: 5 ecommerce tips from the experts at Retail Fest. Give some of these tips a try in your own business.

Or better yet: go with Goldie Chan’s advice and start with just one tip. Work on it until it’s complete, then move onto the next, and the next, and watch your business grow.

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