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E183: E-commerce Mavericks: From Start-Up To Powerhouse

Jump into the vibrant journey of Shoppable’s creation with Founder Heather Udo. Unveil the strategies behind securing powerhouse clients like the Wall Street Journal, fostering advisory networks, and scaling a unique three-sided marketplace. Dive in for the savvy insights on profit, sales, and team-building that propelled her start-up to thrive against all odds. Here are a few topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Hard to Market Podcast.
  • Wall Street Journal as the first client.
  • Advisory board game-changer.
  • Tech for anything shoppable.
  • Network effect boosts growth.
  • Importance of focusing on profit and sales.
Resources:
Connect with Heather Marie Udo:
Connect with our host, Brian Mattocks:
Quotables:
  • 1:43 – So one, I brought on incredible advisors onto to Shoppable advisory board to help open up doors. So for a little bit of context, Shoppable is a three-sided marketplace. So something that is incredibly difficult to do and a lot of venture capitalists will say, oh, it’s not possible
  • 2:56 – So anyway, so we had to, we had the challenge of having to solve both sides of that marketplace and solved that by building out an incredible advisory board. So one of the advisors we brought on had a very, very extensive background in the publishing space, working with the top publishers in the country and bringing her on board. She was able to open up doors and help me get meetings and credibility with these top-name publishers out of the gate.
  • 1:42 – Brian: How did you get your first customer with Shoppable? Heather: So, great question. My first customer was our launch partner was the Wall Street Journal, and we were very, very fortunate to be able to have them as our launch partner in order to secure that, that partnership or any great launch partner. We did a couple things that really changed the game for us.
  • 2:46 – Heather: But then we also needed publisher customers that could utilize the technology on their sites to sell it to the end consumer. So anyway, we had to, we had the challenge of having to solve both sides of that marketplace and solved that by building out an incredible advisory board. So one of the advisors we brought on had a very, very extensive background in the publishing space, working with the top publishers in the country and bringing her on board. She was able to open up doors and help me get meetings and credibility with these top-name publishers out of the gate. So we actually almost had another launch partner that also wanted to be our launch partner. They ended up not being able to move forward in it as fast as the Wall Street Journal did, but that’s really how we were able to first get our foot, you know, get our foot in the door was through our advisory network. Brian: So you networked your way, into your great first client.
  • 3:51 –  Brian: So you networked your way, into your great first client. How, how are you managing to scale? I mean, are you still using that networking strategy to get to the next level as it were? Heather: Yeah, the networking strategy has worked really well for us on both sides of the marketplace. So we also used the advisory board to, help unlock doors at, within our first retail partners so that we had their products to sell within Shoppable platform.

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