This week it’s my great pleasure to post an interview we ran with Marc Joseph, founder and president of Dollardays.com, and Kevin Ryan, their vice president and general merchandise manager.
1. It would be great if you could share some details about your company’s history, goals and values
DollarDays is celebrating its 10th. Anniversary this year. It was started back in 2001 because we felt the Internet leveled the playing field and was going to be the next channel of distribution for wholesale and closeout products to small and medium sized businesses who had survived and were beginning to thrive against the chains in their areas. DollarDays became a public company in 2008 as America’s Suppliers, Inc. We now have over 2 Million registered businesses and average over 1,000 new businesses joining us each day, attracted by our over 140,000 general merchandise products, which are categories of items you would find in a Macy’s, Target or Wal-Mart. Customers find us because of price, assortment, minimum order is just 1 case of a product, convenience and our customer service provided by our 20 inside sales people.
We strive to be the premiere online supplier for the small guys to compete against the big guys. Our second largest customer base are non profit organizations like churches and schools, who buy products from us to support their causes. We just went through hats, gloves, underwear, toothpaste, blankets, etc., and now are supplying them with backpacks, school supplies, kid’s clothing, health and beauty supplies, etc. We reach out to non-profit organizations because with our buying power, it allows them to stretch their dollars and get more bang for their buck.
2. What initially kindled your the interest in ecommerce video? Where you actively seeking out an “ecommerce video” solution per-se, or was this simply part of the ongoing quest to improve the site and bring up conversions?
A little of both. We had been experimenting with video over the past year knowing that it was going to be an important part of SEO plans and goals. We partnered with a video company to produce several funny videos hoping they would “go viral” but as we quickly learned, this is a one in a million chance to happen. So, we decided to pull back until we found the right method and process for producing videos. When we found Treepodia we knew we had found a value proposition that would give us more bang for our buck by producing thousands of product videos that would rank in product searches, rather than hoping for the one BIG viral video to come along.
3. How did you first hear about Treepodia? What were the factors that led to the decision to choose our solution for your implementation?
Our VP Of Merchandising, Kevin Ryan, found Treepodia’s ad in a web design trade magazine and brought it to the management teams attention. We discussed it as a team and decided it was worth pursuing. Again, we saw Treepodia as a value proposition to get us started down the road to video production and success.
4. What’s the impact ecommerce video has had on your operation so far?
We are still early in the game with Treepodia, but so far we have been impressed with the results we have seen. We are extremely pleased with our video viewing rate, conversion rate and product placement in Google search engines. Early on we immediately started to see our product videos appearing on the first pages of Google searches. This just further helps us create the reinforcement in our product listings.
5. What have your ecommerce video experiences taught you? What would you recommend to smaller/less experienced vendors in this respect?
We have learned over the past year that video is an important part of our current and future merchandising and SEO strategy and that once we found the right partner, it was obvious that we the results are promising and successful. The key part is finding a way to create videos in a automated manner that requires little set up on behalf of the retailer. We all have many other projects and goals to accomplish and having a partner to do this on our behalf, allows us to concentrate on the merchandising, selling and customer service part of our business. The small cost of a service like Treepodia, has proven to be a successful partnership.
Marc Joseph – Founder and CEO of Dollardays.com
- With more than 30 years in the retail and wholesale industry, Marc Joseph is the founder of DollarDays International. Joseph’s has helped to build some of America’s most known retail stores including Federated Department Stores, Crown Books, and Bills, a chain of variety stores headquartered in Jackson, Miss. He also helped ignite the dollar store trend as the General Merchandise Manager in Everything’s A Dollar stores chain. Joseph also started another innovative chain for EAD, The $5 & $10 Stores, locating the chain’s stores next to Everything’s A Dollar Stores to ensure traffic and offer price-conscious customers additional retail options. Most recently Joseph started a chain of hair salons in Arizona and built it up to 11 stores before selling them to devote full time to DollarDays.
Mr. Joseph earned his Bachelor of Administration in Marketing with a Finance Minor from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and four children.
Kevin Ryan – Vice President and General Merchandise Manager of Dollardays.com
- Kevin joined DollarDays in 2006 following a 20-year career in store management and merchandising. Ryan’s training was from 1986 to 1992 as a new store coordinator and store manager with TJ Maxx, and then as area manager for the Broadway Stores responsible for purchasing Christmas goods. From 1992 to 2001, Ryan was first, Customer Service Manager for Robinsons May, and then District Manager for GLIFX. Following this solid grounding in store management, from 2002-2006, Mr. Ryan worked sequentially for Hazelwood’s and Dillard’s, concentrating on the purchasing and merchandising functions.