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5 Questions with co-founder of eHouse Studio, Aaron Quinn

Aaron reveals 3 easy tips to improve your store, and one must-have for sustainable brands.

After celebrating 19 years of success with eHouse Studio, co-founder and part-time surfer Aaron Quinn joined me to chat about entrepreneurship and why he’s excited about the future of e-commerce. Along the way, Aaron drops quick tips to improve your online store (and includes a few things to watch out for).
eHouse Studio is an eCommerce and Shopify agency that builds and optimizes online stores shoppers love. They have worked with brands such as Dr. Axe, Ancient Nutrition, The Goulet Pen Company, Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, Bobos Oats Bars, Free Fly, DIFF Charitable Eyewear, and Uncommon James. 

1. eHouse Studio recently turned 19. Congratulations! What has been the secret to eHouse Studio’s success and longevity? 

In the simplest form, hard work!
Success for many is not overnight. It's about being willing to be committed on the good days and the challenging ones.
We have always focused on building a team that shares core values and we invest in things like communication training and defining foundational processes. Focus on the services you do extremely well to differentiate, listen to the needs of your team, and stay focused on how you can continue to deliver better value for your clients.

2. What’s the hardest part of an entrepreneur's job today?

Being comfortable with the unknown and the ups and downs of the day. Some weeks are great, some are really difficult. I have learned that it's about showing up on the weeks that are tough that really define who you are.
As the leader, the responsibility always comes back to me. It's hard to be accountable and to hold others accountable but you have to lead by example. 

3. What are 3 things eCommerce business owners can do today to improve their online store? 

First, get to know the needs of your customers. Don’t assume what they need or what interests them. Ask! Use data about your customers as much as possible and don’t be blind to the real reasons they do or don’t shop your online store.
"Focus on LTV for the win."
Second, think about the customer journey and user experience. It’s now a big part of your brand. You can build the best site but if it's not aligned with the way your customers shop, then you ultimately will miss out.
Finally, focus on repeat customers. The top of the funnel is important but, with acquisition costs going up, you have to focus on LTV for the win.

4. What excites you about the future of e-commerce?

The speed at which new technologies are helping D2C brands compete in a whole new way and even giving them a competitive advantage. 
Customers can get things like augmented reality, personalized shopping, and rich subscription experiences from D2C brands, allowing them to broaden the brands they can shop from. 
"A sustainable brand has to have good retention, which leads to better LTV, which allows you to deal with increased acquisition costs."
It's totally normal now to buy your coffee creamer or gym weights online because you align with the brand versus being forced to buy what's at the local store.

5. What is a common marketing pitfall online store owners should avoid?

First, create a site where you can update content, product, and promotions without the need for a developer because this allows the brand to make changes more quickly. We do this by focusing on empowering our clients using the Shopify Plus platform. 
Another common pitfall we see is when brands lack quality content about their product or customer needs. They generally have to drive ongoing communications based on sales and discounts only. And that often leads to a lower LTV and lower margins. This is especially true for those brands that offer subscriptions. 
Lastly, being too focused on one or two marketing channels. The acquisition side alone can be a pitfall. A sustainable brand has to have good retention, which leads to better LTV, which allows you to deal with increased acquisition costs.

Bonus: What’s your must-read, watch, or listen for all online store owners?

I’m a podcast fan myself so I listen to podcasts and video channels like Hit Subscribe, The Exchange, and The Life of a Rebel, to name a few.
Do you think eHouse Studio might be a good fit to work with your brand? Request a free marketing consultation from eHouse Studio.
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