Startup To Scale

150. How Retail E-Commerce Can Help Achieve Your Retail Goals

January 08, 2024 Foodbevy Season 1 Episode 150
150. How Retail E-Commerce Can Help Achieve Your Retail Goals
Startup To Scale
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Startup To Scale
150. How Retail E-Commerce Can Help Achieve Your Retail Goals
Jan 08, 2024 Season 1 Episode 150

As you launch into new retailers, what tools do you have to drive sales and velocity outside of the store? Retail E-commerce is a new marketing category that’s recently grown, which can help you make all your digital marketing shoppable. I talk with Louis Condon at Pear Commerce on exactly how to utilize it to:

  • Driving Trial and Discovery
  • Velocity and increasing sell through
  • Key sales boosts at launch and for category reviews
  • Increasing volume to move inventory

Visit Pear Commerce
Link to Previous Podcast Episode

Startup to Scale is a podcast by Foodbevy, an online community to connect emerging food, beverage, and CPG founders to great resources and partners to grow their business. Visit us at to learn about becoming a member or an industry partner today.

Show Notes Transcript

As you launch into new retailers, what tools do you have to drive sales and velocity outside of the store? Retail E-commerce is a new marketing category that’s recently grown, which can help you make all your digital marketing shoppable. I talk with Louis Condon at Pear Commerce on exactly how to utilize it to:

  • Driving Trial and Discovery
  • Velocity and increasing sell through
  • Key sales boosts at launch and for category reviews
  • Increasing volume to move inventory

Visit Pear Commerce
Link to Previous Podcast Episode

Startup to Scale is a podcast by Foodbevy, an online community to connect emerging food, beverage, and CPG founders to great resources and partners to grow their business. Visit us at to learn about becoming a member or an industry partner today.

How Retail E-Commerce Can Help Achieve Your Retail Goals

Jordan Buckner: [00:00:00] A lot of the founders that I am working with right now are launching in retail stores across the country, which is a awesome milestone, but one of the challenges comes in supporting those retailers when you are first getting your products in the door, because. Few of the customers who shop there might actually know about you.

One of the missed opportunities ways of using the digital e commerce environment to actually drive customers to those stores and pulling from those inventory. And what I want to do today is talk through this kind of new selling channel of retail e commerce that's popped up in the last few years.

It's growth and how it can help you support those retailers built that investment of customer base there and then ultimately drive sales and profitability down the road. So, for this conversation, I invited on Louis Condon, who is with Pear Commerce to talk through kind of what the heck is retail commerce and how it can help your brand.

Louie, welcome. 

Louis Condon: [00:01:00] Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be back. Actually, I think it's the first podcast I've ever come back to and it's been, I don't know, about a year. And I think when I first came on, it was like our first Thoughts into this. I'm excited to give like part two.

The market's grown a ton. We've grown a ton. We've learned a ton. And so I think this will be a lot of fun. 

Jordan Buckner: I'll link to the podcast episode that we did before in the show notes. So everyone can go back and check that as well. But as a recap, what is retail e commerce and just give a little bit of an overview.

Louis Condon: Yeah, retail, e commerce you know, when we talk to brands, usually like those two words don't make sense next to one another, like e commerce, that means direct to consumer or pure play, Amazon, Thrive Market, one of those, you know, online only retailers, like it doesn't mean brick and mortar. It doesn't mean Target or Walmart or, you know, Walmart or Walmart.

Your local grocery store. But we think that that's changing for a lot of really interesting reasons. And it does make sense for those 2 words to stand next together and for brands to think about when does it make sense? [00:02:00] Strategically from your website from your media. To send your shoppers to retail.

com, right? If Omni means be where your shoppers want to buy, like retail is a piece of that and the inventory and performance marketing and digital landscape in retail. com is really catching up. Where brands can start being strategic about it. 

Jordan Buckner: So this means right, like shopping at target. com or and a Walmart's a little interesting, but like a walmart. com is pulling from their stores. Is that what kind of encompasses? And then also being able to just like link to who's carrying your product. 

Louis Condon: Yeah, exactly. there's when we think of retail e commerce or another way to say it's probably just like digital marketing to retail. it's 2 fold.

There's 2 pieces to it. 1, you have to connect to retailer and you're right. It's target. It's Walmart. It's grocery stores. it's club mass and grocery for. Most of the world that we live in, at least, and so that's connecting to building the path to purchase with, as you said, inventory qualifiers in there.

So, like, you don't want to send someone [00:03:00] to an out of stock and, like, actively piss off your customer and spend money to do. So so it's building that path. And then when you have that path, you know, we live in the digital world. So it's trackable. It's clickable. You can get the insights. It's trackable.

You could start integrating with met your ad platforms like meta to build audiences that you can retarget and build lookalikes off of. You could start optimizing campaigns around top middle and bottom of funnel. And so that, what we mean by retail e commerce. It's every path from brand. com to your website, own properties and brand media, free.

Paid everything, all of those paths to retail. com consolidated, and then measuring what goes through, and then running the DTC playbook of quick feedback loops, retargets, you know, does this video work better than this image? Does this retailer work better than this, this product copy creative, so on and so forth, where you could be strategically to increase your share of wallet.

Jordan Buckner: So 1 problem that I am talking to brands that they're, they're experiencing right as they launched in a new retailer, maybe [00:04:00] 200 4000 doors, and they need to drive that trial and awareness at those stores. And, right, let's just say someone launches in target and gets a test there. And you know, they can use like the target circle program, but then they're like, okay, like, this is a big store.

There's, you know, hundreds of thousands of products in that store. How do I drive that customer to the store? How do I let people know, like, what their product is that we exist and they can buy it at target so that we can see our product be successful at that retailer. 

Louis Condon: Yeah, I love this example and maybe I'll even expand it a little bit bigger.

I think it's share of wallet and obviously retailer launching at a new retailer launching a product. That's kind of a similar thinking. But that is share of all for us is awareness and trial, as you said. So how do you get people to know about you there? How do you get people to try you when you're there?

And then for us, it's repeat purchase and sales velocity as well. When you put all of these things together, that's when brands can be really strategic about driving sales at [00:05:00] retail using e commerce tactics. And so, yeah, investing in a new retailer is a perfect example of that. I think you talk a lot and really well about how long it takes to become profitable and build the partnerships ahead of time.

Once you launch, you know, up to a year after I've heard you say. And that's true with digital marketing as well, because you're building the capacity and for the really, you know, I'm like, I'm not even a DTC marketer. So this is really basic for the people that are really good at this. But when you start building those audiences, who's engaging at the top of the funnel?

Who's engaging at the middle of the funnel? Who's engaging at the bottom of the funnel? How do you get people from the top to the middle, from the middle to the bottom? And how do you get new people in? And so that takes time to build that and learn those insights. and just, you know, build the digital assets, which are audiences and that's entirely true for retail e commerce as well.

And so, when you think about every time you want to send someone, or you want to highlight a path to a retailer, so let's [00:06:00] say you're launching at a target. Every time you do that, you should think, how can I make it shoppable because making it shoppable, there's a bunch of tools out there like pear commerce included, but just make it a free, you know, link to the PDP at target.

com and start getting those insights. Who's clicking on it, start building an audience of target shoppers in Klaviyo, and then you can retarget those 2 months down the line when you have. New packaging or another new product launch at Target or your back to school campaign or whatever it might be, you have this asset of people that, you know, buy your product from retail or a specific retailer online.

And that can just be really, really powerful over time. 

Jordan Buckner: So here's what I see too, right? Like, in this example, a lot of times a brand will say, great, let me send out an email to our existing. Followers on their email list to say, Hey, we launched a target shop here. Maybe it goes to their store locator page on their website, but then kind of ends there, right?

Like that's where their communication stops or they start running. Like, let's try to target shoppers on using meta ads. [00:07:00] And there's a link and maybe it does the same thing where like, Hey, we launched in target. And it maybe links back to where store located, but then they have no idea kind of what happens after that.

What are some of the additional tools that Pear kind of brings into this retail e commerce brings in where they can start looking at a little bit more information and then sending direct making that shoppable as you say. 

Louis Condon: Yeah, as we view our product suite, there's kind of 5 main elements, which there's so many subcategories behind where we can get into on site is.

Where we see it most often is a store locator. So make your store locator shoppable. And I think most store locators pairs included will have some element of shop ability. Like, you know, build click on Walmart and go. They are in Chicago. They are or I've seen I was just looking at partake foods. We don't work with them, but they do really, really good stuff to build those paths to purchase.

Gimme Seaweed does, does similar stuff of where can you create this path? So brand. com store locator is the perfect example to me. It's my favorite example. Cause it's [00:08:00] like the highest intent, unsegmented audience you're going to find. Right. So it goes to your site, clicks where to buy clicks when it's shoppable, they click on the product and then they click on the retailer that they want to buy it on, and then they bridge over to that retailers.

And like, if you can capture that data, great audiences, even better. Cause now we can retarget them over and over and we can build lookalikes over and over. We can run a campaign and then that's optimized around adding the car and get better and better results around that. 

Jordan Buckner: Yeah, so that's using, like, would that be like, setting up a, like, a pixel or something that registers, like, when someone clicks on the target link, and you can use that for 


Louis Condon: Exactly. That's what we would recommend to any brand is create a pixel on every ad platform that you might want to work on, even if you're not doing it now and just start building this, these assets. So create, you know, call it your retail e commerce pixel on Meta, Snap, TikTok, Klaviyo, Google. Trade desk, yahoo, you know, anything you can think of and [00:09:00] create an account in build the pixel and then just start building the audiences.

So even if you're not running any campaigns, you can start doing those integrations and yeah, build the audiences of who's clicking and who's engaging. You could get super specific with that too, of just target or just a specific product or just a specific product line or multiple.

And this is where. People are much smarter than me in this world about how to do that. Exactly. So yeah, in terms 

Jordan Buckner: of like, collecting email addresses from people do that, like, is a step to like. Add an email address to get, I don't know, a discount or something where you can then, like, start collecting that information.

Louis Condon: Yeah. And I know there's a bunch of good providers out there for this. I think aisle is 1 that we see a ton and we're doing some partnerships with is, and I think that's kind of the next step after awareness is trial is, you know, well, okay, we know you're interested. We know you're an engager with our brand.

Now let's get you to purchase. And so let's do a coupon. Let's buy one. Let's get an email. You know, when you start working with certain brands, they can start telling you purchase pear [00:10:00] has some insight into purchase as well for online sales. And so you can start building that bottom of funnel audience, which I think is like the new frontier of kind of retail digital marketing is building digital audiences that you own on all your platforms of people who buy your product.

Yeah, I love 

Jordan Buckner: that. I think one of the other things, right, is like a lot of times when brands are launching, maybe they have limited distribution in the retailer or they're not fully distributed at any time. And I kind of love other stocks. And the last thing you want to do is send the customer to a store or to a dot com and then like not have the product in stock delivered to them.

So how do your tools enable them to kind of see like where the product's available? 

Louis Condon: Yeah, that's what Pears technology is specifically built on. And, you know, I don't want to make this an ad, but we're out there scanning 3000 retailers daily in the slowest instance.

And so that's 165, 000 locations in the US and Canada. And so we have the biggest database of retailers that we are scanning inventory at. And then when we scan the inventory, you know, the store locator [00:11:00] or the shoppable PDP, or any of the shoppable media tools you know, we can dynamically display the retail or where inventory is available.

Outside of some of those 2, you know, there's some other tools that can, I think, do that. It's tough to do that inventory piece. And so that's probably folks that are a little bit more mature or investing a lot more in retail, or the ones that are particularly more retail reliant, probably should look for a tool, whether that's pear or something else.

But, you know, I think partake foods is this great example on each of their PDPs. They just linked to target Walmart and instacart and, you know, you might hit an out of stock, but it's actually like, you know, you're not paying for that, which some of the big brands, they'll put millions of dollars to budget every quarter.

And that's when hitting out of stock matters because you start your unit economics really start mattering which is another piece to retail ecom is like the shoppable media. And when does it make sense to invest in paid media to do all of that? But. There's still a lot of free things you can do where inventory might not matter as much.

Jordan Buckner: I love that.[00:12:00] So then let's continue thinking about kind of the shopability as part of your strategy, right? So what are some of the other tools that you've seen brands doing with linking the like digital marketing to some of those share of wallet goals? And then we kind of talk through awareness and trial a little bit on a repeat, like how, where some of the other key areas are like.

Really driving that, like one of my favorites is around category reviews, right? Like for some retailers, they want to look at and see like how your product is performing. If you're not, if you're underperforming, they're going to, you know, kick you off the shelf potentially. And that's happened to me before.

So how can you use these kinds of tools to to boost your sales, maybe to get another round or another year in that retailer? 

Louis Condon: Yeah, and this is where, I mean, it does require investment. So we're kind of moving out of the free range into a paid world, whether that's with pear or, you know, I think aisle is another good example of this of, you know, I'll sample is another 1 where you can work with these [00:13:00] brands to create the rebate and fetch.

And I bought obviously are the big ones. I don't know why I'm missing the gorillas in the room. But you're engaging with the shoppers are sending receipts, getting that purchase confirmation, and then you can start building that purchase audience off of that. And so, you know, we do that with online sales.

A lot of those partners do it with offline sales. Again, we work with aisle, so I'm partial to what they're doing, but some super interesting things of, you know, engaging with folks, building an audience, you know, now we can engage with the store locator. And then target them with an aisle coupon for trial.

And now you get your start getting folks of purchase data and purchase audiences. You can build a look alike to run a sweepstakes or something like that. And then you send those to you know, any other sort of media campaign or your next big push, or you do one of these retailers specific things, right?

We know you buy from us where we have. A target exclusive coming up like shop here, and it's got to come from all of the angles when we say, [00:14:00] make everything shoppable. It's anything that's clickable can be made shoppable. And so, you know, we pear has some landing pages and things like that. I, you could click over to an aisle or or outside of that for another type of experience there.

But, you know, I've learned a lot. I don't come from a media background. I've learned like the definition of media is much broader than I thought. Right. It's not just paid ads. It's free ads. My favorite example is a customer success response, right? So often we see it in the comments of like, where is this?

Where is this? Well. Send a store locator over, which you're already doing, but now attach a UTM to it that says source equals customer success. And then, you know, if it's shoppable, now we know which product people are selecting and which retailers are selecting by which geo. And so now we can see where problems are starting to arise just because we did that UTM to start tracking it over.

And so, you know, that's a free thing that folks can start doing emails, SMS's. Free posts, influencers, [00:15:00] right? If you have an influencer now, you can make it shoppable and start measuring the data and seeing who's working or not It's by utms My understanding is basic marketing to just track different creative or copy resources or mediums or things like that 

Jordan Buckner: Yeah, I think along with all these things, right?

There's a ton of opportunities to continue boosting your success in retailers. And the bottom line, as you referenced earlier, right? Like launching and retailers, especially a larger scale is really expensive. You should think about it as an investment, at least over the first year before you start seeing any profitability.

One of my favorite brands who did retail launch in the last couple of years was Bomani, which has like a coffee infused alcohol brand and they really hit every single, they launched a Whole Foods and in the Northeast, every single store with like in store demos. Multiple times a week and like a couple dozen stores and their goal was to get everyone who shopped at that store to at least know of their product.

Right? Like, when I launched Teasquares and whole [00:16:00] foods, maybe 2 to 5 percent of the people knew we were even like, in that store because there's so many options and people don't shop. You know, every single product and so that was a huge loss of people who like might buy it, but just had no idea we were there and I think that's really hard to scale up and do across, you know, hundreds of locations and I think that's where the retail e commerce kind of work comes because, you know, that same mentality.

How can you target? Everyone or try to identify everyone who shops at your stores that you're located in and at least build that awareness of like, Hey, we're located in this store. This is our product if it's for you. Great. If it's not totally understand, but it'll increase your success of moving velocity and building that profitability in that store versus only leveraging like.

1 percent of the shoppers there. So I love all these tools and being able to fully take advantage of that opportunity. 

Louis Condon: Yeah. I mean, in our world, it's a new frontier, like inventory and knowing what was available on shelf is just so crucial to all of [00:17:00] this. And that wasn't available before the pandemic retailers just didn't know what was on their own shelf.

But in the pandemic, when every grocery experience started. From an e commerce point, they needed to know that and that's why Instacart blew up and Target's DriveUp blew up. And so all of this is new and fresh and like, it's an emerging pillar of e commerce alongside D2C and PurePlay. We learn a ton every day.

So thank you for having me back. I'm , super grateful for the opportunity. And you know, if we do this again in a year, then I'm sure we'll have a whole nother topic to talk about. I love 

Jordan Buckner: it, Louis . Well, I'll link , your information in the show notes. So if anyone's interested in really leveraging some of these digital tools to support your retailers and retail launches definitely check out a Pear Commerce and Louis definitely down to help and talk.

Through, you know, how their tools can really help your brand. Louis, thanks so much for being on again and looking forward to talking to you soon. 

Louis Condon: Thanks for taking care.