Tanner Larsson is the Founder and CEO of Build Grow Scale (BGS), a revenue optimization agency. He also runs an ecommerce business accelerator that has birthed over 17 eight-figure entrepreneurs over the last 24 months. He has been in the ecommerce scene since 2002, right after eBay launched.
Tanner is also the Founder of Black Label Mastermind, an exclusive ecommerce syndicate for high-performing ecommerce entrepreneurs. He is the author of the Ecommerce Evolved: The Essential Playbook to Build, Grow and Scale a Successful Ecommerce Business. He recently revised the book in 2021.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [2:50] How Tanner Larsson got into the ecommerce business
- [8:55] What is revenue optimization?
- [15:52] Ways to plug gaps in your buyers’ journey and kickstart revenue optimization
- [18:05] How to optimize sales for a new store
- [22:51] The secret to ecommerce success
- [28:02] A peek into the revised Ecommerce Evolved book
- [35:57] What to expect from the next BGS live event
- [41:28] The worst advice in the ecommerce business
- [45:23] Tanner talks about his mentors and what he’s learned from them
- [55:26] Is work-life balance attainable?
In this episode…
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is not enough to take your business from tens of thousands in revenue to the millions you want. Why? Because in CRO, you tweak a few things on your site and get some bump in sales, but you often miss how that change impacts negatively on everything else, which eventually hurts your business.
On the flip side, there’s revenue optimization, a holistic approach to optimizing the entire buyer’s journey where everything works in the same positive direction. That involves digging layers deep into the data to see how to maximize revenue and the money that goes into your pocket. Ready to learn how to do that?
In this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin talks with the Founder and CEO of Build Grow Scale, Tanner Larsson. They discuss revenue optimization, ways to plug gaps in your buyers’ journey and kickstart revenue optimization, how to optimize revenue for a new store, secrets to ecommerce success, and a lot more!
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Joshua Chin on LinkedIn
- Chronos Agency
- Build Grow Scale
- Tanner Larsson on LinkedIn
- Matthew Stafford on LinkedIn
- Ecommerce Evolved: The Essential Playbook To Build, Grow & Scale A Successful Ecommerce Business by Tanner Larsson on Amazon
- Ecommerce Evolved: The Essential Playbook To Build, Grow & Scale A Successful Ecommerce Business by Tanner Larsson on Tanner’s website with bonuses!
- The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board by Keith J. Cunningham
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.
If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!
Our team of passionate email marketing experts has helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.
Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results.
Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce Industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.
Joshua Chin 0:21
Hey guys, Josh Chin here. I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce Industry. And we go behind the scenes of the struggles and successes in growing a brand. This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency if you’re a b2c ecommerce brand that is ready to scale and to double your customer lifetime value through owned marketing Chronos is your company we have helped hundreds of brands scale profits with email, SMS and mobile push marketing, while getting an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts, we’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty to the Oodi, Ally Skin and many more. The next step is to email us at [email protected] or you can go to Chronos.Agency to learn more. And this episode is also brought to you by Build Grow Scale live or BGS. Live the largest life ecommerce conference in North America happening January 10, to 12 2022 live in Dallas, Texas, the biggest the biggest ECOM conference, first of its kind since COVID started so I’m super excited. And today’s guest is none other than Tanner Larsson himself. He is the Founder and CEO at BGS, a revenue optimization agency. He also runs an ecommerce business accelerator that has birthed over 17, eight-figure entrepreneurs over the last 24 months, I believe. And he’s also the Author of the Ecommerce Evolved book, some call it the ecommerce Bible subtitle, the essential playbook to build, grow and scale a successful ecommerce business. Highly recommend reading the book. It is newly revised for 2021 and newly expanded as well. So it’s completely different. go to Amazon or go to Tanner was an EcommerceEvolve.book.com just perfect. Tanner has been almost also has been in the ecommerce scene since 2002. Right after eBay started right after the launch. So Tanner is one of the OGs in the space. And I’ve been hearing all about Build Grow Scale since the day I started my business and even before that, so I’m super excited to have you on my show. Tanner welcome. And tell us a little bit more about your background. Well, as soon as you can. That’s a that’s gonna be a long episode.
Tanner Larsson 2:50
It’s a really long episode. Yeah. So thanks for having me. Excited to be here. When we got to connect before I was super excited. We had a great conversation. So I knew this episode would be a lot of fun. But yeah, like you said, I I’m the CEO and founder of Bill Gross scale. We are an ecommerce optimization company. We did not start out to be an ecommerce optimization company. We’ve owned our own brands, we’ve done our own product, like basically, I’ve done everything from product design, through OEM manufacturing, I’ve owned my own fulfillment warehouse. We’ve done private labeling, we’ve done arbitrage, we’ve done drop shipping, we’ve done all of it. And you know, own our own funnel based brands or own ecommerce Store brands. Basically, I run the gamut. I’ve been an eBay power seller sold on Etsy, like I’ve done I’ve kind of done all of it. And but it was always from the act of doing. I’ve always had the businesses I’ve always built the businesses. And as we were doing that. Everyone’s like, what are you doing? Like, well, this is how I’m doing it. They’re like, Oh, that’s cool. Can you teach me and then so it started turning into whatever I was doing when it was working people were asking me and that kind of evolved into us teaching what we do. And that’s evolved over time. But the real change and the real thing that kind of put BGS when when we went from being like Tanner Larsson to Build Grow Scale was when we discovered what we now call revenue optimization, which is our variation on conversion rate optimization. And that happened, which is actually very germane to the time that we’re in right now, which is ads don’t work right. Then all of a sudden, they don’t work again, what happened things were great. So we were going through a time where we were scaling a kitchen brand that my partner and I owned and we were scaling it was doing great. We went we started out 1015 sales a day rapidly scaled it up to 1000s of sales a day. We would get a shipping container in it unload and it would go back out into the mail stream the same day that was happening every single day. We couldn’t even keep up. We were at a hyperbolic growth crazy fast growth. That’s an entire episode by itself because hyper growth will actually bankrupt you. Which most people hypergrowth is great, but it’s actually very dangerous. But anyway, so we’re going super fast, everything was great. And then something happened. Facebook changed, the algorithm changed. And all of a sudden, she went from 1000s of sales a day to hundreds of sales a day, we kept trying stuff kept doing things. And then all of a sudden, we’re back in 1015 sales a day with the spend, and the inventory in the infrastructure of a business selling 1000s a day. So I was losing $200,000 a month, trying to keep this business afloat while Matt and I were trying to figure things out. And that was when we, we kept throwing new apps on the store, trying new advertising methods, trying all the stuff that everybody does, basically throwing shit at the wall. And then we’ve finally figured out that, hey, maybe there’s something else. That’s the problem. And that was when we turned our attention to the actual store. And then we started looking at data and everything else. And all of a sudden, we realized, hang on, we’re still getting plenty of traffic.
The problem is, is we can’t digest that traffic. So instead of having a starvation problem, which is what we always think we have we starvation, meaning you have a traffic problem, we didn’t have a traffic problem, we had a digestion problem of all of a sudden, or 100 people come to our site, only one is buying. That means we can’t digest the traffic we’re getting. And that was like an open open eye experience our big epiphany, aha. And at the time, nobody was doing data, nobody really looked at this stuff. And we started diving into that. And we became really students of the data. And that’s where our methodology has arisen from, we’d become data geeks, our entire company is nothing but data geeks. And we really dive into the data at a very deep level through Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, you can find all the issues that are preventing your store from digesting the traffic. And if you fix those digestion issues, all of a sudden, traffic’s no longer a problem. And the reason I say all that is because that’s exactly the point we’re in right now in this market. All of a sudden, iOS 14 rolled out iOS 15 Isn’t is in the beginning stages right now. Advertisers cannot function advertisers, there’s a big group of advertisers that just got together at a big event down in California. All of them sitting in the room, I think you were there, right? You’re all in the room. And they’re all saying what do we do? They’re not acting like, Oh, we’re crushing it, we’re doing this, everybody was scared all the advertisers don’t know what the hell to do. Yep. And that’s, that’s not their fault. It’s because Facebook pulled the rug, and they got to figure it out. But that brings up a whole nother time. Now we’ve, we’ve adapted or changed. Now we have to adapt, and a business that doesn’t try to profit from the first sale and doesn’t have an optimized site and an optimized back end, which between the two of us our companies do exactly that, right? They’re not going to succeed in this new post iOS, future, you can’t, it will be impossible to succeed. So anyway, there’s my ramble a little longer than you wanted. I know. But now we can go into whatever questions you have.
Joshua Chin 7:54
No, that’s good. That’s good. I like that. Let me let me unpack that a little bit. Revenue optimization. Tell me a little bit more about that, that that framework they’ve built up over over the years have generated over half a billion. Yeah, sales and kind of quit
Tanner Larsson 8:11
counting. It’s way bigger. But like, that’s a good number. It’s just It’s definitely more anyway.
Joshua Chin 8:16
So Yeah, most definitely way more than half a billion in sales. Just I believe, over the last three years alone, probably yours.
Tanner Larsson 8:24
I mean, we’ve got if you add, if you take it longer it gets it gets stupid. So yeah, it gets insane. But I want what I want to qualify that. So we do have some big companies in there. It’s not all like mom and pop shops, you know, but still, it’s a it’s a massive number.
Joshua Chin 8:37
That’s it, that’s a good thing that they mentioned that as well. So a lot of people might might be listening to this and thinking, Oh, this, this only works for like, small little companies, and not for large scale operations. But that’s not true. You work with businesses of all sizes, and all clients
Tanner Larsson 8:55
and you know what you just mentioned? That’s actually funny. We, we have had a lot of people come to us. And they’d be like, Man, I was following you for two or three years. And I always thought you only worked with the big guys. I thought I was too small to work with you guys. And we’re like, oh, man, that we missed the market or messaging them because we’re definitely not I mean, we actually within the Bill Gross scale ecosystem we have we actually built broke our business up into three sections right below and scale. So we have the build functionality for the beginners and then the startups. We have to grow functionality for the mid level businesses and the people who’ve got sales, but they just haven’t hit that that growth curve yet. And then we are scale, which is our amplified program, which is for businesses that have grown and they’re ready to really scale. So we definitely help all three. But to answer your question, yes, revenue optimization is infinitely important to all three levels. You can’t scale without it. And in today’s market, you really can’t build or grow without it either. Used to be you could build a store throw up some crap, plenty of drop ship courses out there that told you how to throw up a crash If you store run some ads to and you’d make some money, yeah, Days Gone, like undo, unfortunately, that’s gone. And the growth phase, the people in the mid range, I’m saying that people doing 5000 10,000 up to say maybe 100,000 or more a month, you’re kind of in that growth phase, if you’re if you’re under a couple under about, I’d say about 500 to $600,000 a month, you’re not ready to scale. So you’re in that growth phase still. But in that range, you can’t survive in today’s marketplace, either. Because you were profiting, you were making money, you bet you built the overhead up in your company growth to kind of support that phase and that scale that you’re at. And now all of a sudden, your advertising is 10 times more expensive than it was three months ago. Yep. Well, your your your models and your your numbers don’t, they can’t account for that. So revenue optimization is literally the only thing that a business can use to flip that script again, and get it back on
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