Branden Moskwa | Know Your Numbers

Adam LeanPodcast

Many eCommerce entrepreneurs focus mostly on revenue and profit – and cash flow – to gauge the health of their business. Branden Moskwa says that’s just fine… but only the first step.

You must also use those numbers to guide your decisions to create even more profitability in the future. One of the ways Branden implements changes that will foster success is by throwing out templates and embracing a customized eCommerce site.

Why customize? It’s all about the customer experience, says Branden. Happy customers = more sales.

Not only is customization easier than you think, but it will also have a huge impact on your bottom-line. We get into all the details on that, as well as…

  • The #1 reason customers abandon their cart at checkout – and how to avoid it
  • Detecting surprising ways you could be losing sales 
  • How to know if Shopify or another platform will work for your business
  • A strategy for seamlessly automating marketing, ordering, payment processing, and fulfillment
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Adam Lean: Welcome to P is for Profit, a podcast that breaks down business concepts into simple and clear language.

This season is dedicated to interviewing eCommerce experts that can help you improve your eCommerce business. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of a company that uses technology to grow eCommerce stores. And I asked him, you know what the most important thing a business owner should focus on? And guess what he said, to know your numbers. So why does this matter? Well, in order to have a healthy and growing business must have healthy profits, and healthy cash flows. And they’re both numbers, profits and cash flows are numbers. So you have to know them, you have to know your numbers to know if your business is healthy.

Once you know your numbers, you can then determine what in your business needs to change in order to have a more profitable and healthy cash flowing business. So all in all, in order to have a more profitable business, you need to first know your numbers. And then you’ll be able to know what to do about it in order to have a more profitable and more healthy cash flowing business. Alright, so let’s jump into the interview with Brandon and see how he helps businesses grow their businesses through better web development. Branden, welcome to the show.

Branden Moskwa: Thanks for having me, Adam. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Adam: Yes, I’m really glad you’re here. Because essentially, you help grow eCommerce stores. And you do that through using technology and custom web development and things like that. But essentially, the end of the day you help grow eCommerce stores. So we’ll dive into that a little bit. But to start off, tell us how you got into this business and sort of your background.

Branden: Well, I’ve always been involved in the tech space, in some regard or another, they’ll many, many years ago, probably close to 20. I did some eCommerce type stuff for me, it was a little bit pre eCommerce era. But long time back, let’s just say I was trying to figure out ways that people could take credit cards online and do credit card processing around the days of eBay when it was like a year old. And then over time working in the just in the SAAS space and, and web development space that kept getting drawn and pulling pulled into the eCommerce space.

But for me, it’s always been how do you set yourself apart? And how do you you know, grow? And how do you become? Like, I like to coin the phrase, how do you become custom? How do you become unique? You know, there’s a lot of different terms thrown around these days. But ultimately, to me, it becomes what’s your uniqueness? What’s your, you know, what Unique Selling position or proposition or whatever term you want to use there. But it’s just been something kind of in the works for the last 20 plus years. And I think the company itself instead of its 10 years, Mark just recently here, and it’s just been going really well. And we’ve been, we’ve been featured in a number of different magazines, including in and this is, and we’ve been I’ve been a futurist for IBM, Oracle and, and all those companies wanting to pick my brain on how-to on how the industry is going to shape up and form and morph in the future as well as where it stands right now. It’s just been a really interesting ride over the last few years especially. 

Adam: So how have you made your business? I mean, you essentially do web custom web development. So how is it unique? Really, what is your unique selling proposition compared to all the other designers/developers out there?

What Sets Nadimo Apart?

Branden: That’s good one, actually, cuz you asked me the exact thing that I asked my customers and one of really what has come down to is the actual term, I said, which is customer, a lot of companies out there like the web development companies, or even just the ad agencies, or agencies in general, that can do web development. Or they might specialize in eCommerce. But they don’t necessarily specialize in the intricate details behind the scenes that are related to eCommerce or, or web development, depending on which route you’re looking at going. But it really comes down to that custom customization. throwing those templates out, I guess, is what I like to say. Because, you know, you can build a site around a template, but then you look like everybody else. And I mean, there are all kinds of different numbers out there. And I mean, I could say one number, and it’s going to be contrary to somebody else’s. But I mean, there are over 100,000 eCommerce sites out there that, and I’m talking about, typically the eCommerce pure place, in this case, not even the retail side of things.

And they’re building their sights on templates, a lot of them. And so then you run into the situation where, well, how do you set yourself apart? Right? So we really focused on the custom aspect, and what is it that makes light work best, especially the commerce space. If you think about it, now, when you go to a Walmart store, for example, you go through you find all the stuff, they’re all laid out relatively the same, go in, get what you want. But then you can’t get out quickly, you end up in this big long line, just to check out. And unless you have just a couple items, you can go through the self-checkout, relatively quick. But regardless, it’s a painful process, in my opinion of checking out at a Walmart. And that same principle applies online when you use template is Chieko processes. For example, it just takes a long time.

And so that’s why the abandoned cart rates, which for those who are to where that means somebody’s gone to your site, like tonight, and they put it in their cart, they’re interested in buying it, but then they leave. And the truth of the matter is 98% of people who haven’t go to an eCommerce store will leave it. So in a large part of that problem is related to those abandoned carts. So perfect example of one of the things that we like to and we have special, proprietary code we’ve written is to expedite that Checkout, you know, get it down to a few fields as possible. Have it auto-populate with their address fields and everything that you can do to get them out of the checkout, basically, right. And so when you go back to what you asked me, one of the problems, in my opinion, is this. Everybody, like everyone, has heard of Shopify.

And they’re just really taking the whole industry by storm. And I had a customer asked me two things recently, we were talking about what his options were for platform selection. And for those who aren’t aware, what that means is when you’re setting up an eCommerce store, you need to choose the right platform for basically, like, for those people are aware of WordPress, or again, Shopify or big commerce, or there are multiples of them out there. But he was asking what his options were. And he’s running a very customized store. And so he asked me about Shopify, and we had a good discussion about it because there are the benefits of it. But he then asked me, and I said, it’s not going to work for your needs. And he said that it is coming customer or three, his business partner, ask them will talk to Brandon and find out what’s cool, what’s the thing now? And so what is that? Did he ask me? And I said, Well, honestly, that it’s a thing right now, the thing that’s cool is Shopify, but that’s not where you need to be. Because it’s not the allow him to, to have all these custom integrations. So long story short, what he’s got running right now is auto order fulfilment, like it is, he’s got an integration with this is packing plants, for example, where they, the order goes in processes through his credit card transaction processors, it then fulfil the order from his warehouses, or his order, fulfilment centres and guts that up, everything is automated through the system.

And I mean, it can all be done in different platforms. But when you start to really break it down, it really you need to choose the right one. And so that’s where we set our stuff apart, as we know what those applications are, that are out there. And then we build custom integration and custom points to make your job as an eCommerce person owner, easier. So you can be able to they’re marketing and selling, what it is you do. And then we flip that on, on the other side, which is how do we make that experience for your customers that much easier, so that you’re not spending time having to try and help them, this kind of a double-edged sword is where we’re coming from, makes our job very complex. But, and very, very technical in nature, but also a very, it’s a hybrid between technical and customer service, which is actually the two areas of business that I’ve worked in for my entire life. And sales actually grew up in retail, then I went to tech, and then in tech, it was customer support for the longest time. And so it’s just been kind of all those pieces of my background have grown into this business that we’ve built.

Adam: I liked that you focus on you do the web design, but you focus on the end result, which is getting the client sales, and you will not feel like no one will know I think, you know, it’s refreshing to see a development, web design or development company that focuses on the most important thing, which is sales, not just aesthetics, or what the customer thinks looks good.

Branden: Well, and that’s the thing I run into a lot actually is I go have customers come to me, and then they say, Well, you know, I’ve got a designer, and that’s fine. It’s absolutely great if you’ve got your own desires that want to work on it. But I mean, I’ve actually got a background like I’ve gotten credentials, or credentials, or whatever you want to call them. certificates, etc, in sort of my team in, in persuasive web design, and those types of pieces. And I’ve got a huge background in sales, and so to a lot the people that are put in place for those aspects. And so, you know, we look at, we look at a multitude of things, right, I mean, right down to keywords that people are going to be typing into search engines. But I mean, we’re not an SEO company by any means. But we’ll look at that. So that we can find out and help you because you have to know, you have to get the right traffic to your site.

And that’s not where we necessarily specialize. But once we know what type of traffic’s coming to your site, then we can hone in on. Now, how do you close those sales? Because to me, it’s the most important pieces. Not if you’re getting 100 visitors, 10 visitors, hundred thousand visitors? It’s how are you converting that traffic? Says mean, traffic is expensive. So here’s pan to get this person to your site, one way or the other, either via your time or someone else’s time on your staff to go out and do social media, do whatever, or paid advertisements, whatever you’re doing traffic is expensive. So I want to make sure that we’ve done our part to build you something that you’re going to be able to convert that traffic. And I mean, we’re that says there’s also the aspects of Okay, now, now you’ve converted this traffic, how are you saving money in your back end infrastructure? Right? Then that’s the pieces like integrating it with your accounting software, for example. So that your CFO is known exactly what they’re looking at for numbers. And so they can say, okay, you know, this is, this is important data, and I have access to it, and that sort of thing.

And like, how can you save money on your shipping expenses, like, once your business starts to grow, it needs to be able to have these pieces in place, you may not be able to afford them all right out of the gate. But the whole idea and approach we take to are making sure that you’re able to grow and add these pieces as you go. So let’s get those sales numbers, let’s get that traffic converting so that you’re starting to build cash flow. And then you can add these other aspects that you need to even save more money and make, you know, turn more dollars around. And then also be able to monitor that information and use the data that’s readily available out there. Yeah, very, very important.

Adam: So what would you say separates successful eCommerce websites, the compared to those that are just not successful?

What Separates Successful eCommerce Websites From Unsuccessful Ones?

Branden: Well, the one thing, I’d actually take it back a level, to be honest with you even beyond that website, which I mean, of course, this is an area we specialize in, I’ll answer that in a second. But I think what makes a successful website is the website owner, the mentality that that tenacity is important that and that willingness to adapt, is also very important. So because what makes a successful website isn’t necessarily what you put out as your initial launch. But what you add your willingness to adapt, and change, and more, with your customer, where so that you can speak to your customers that much better. And then as well, as far as I’m concerned, once you’ve got that nailed down, it’s always changing process. But I mean, you can always do things to improve. But where’s that? Once you hit that kind of words, escaping me right now, but the point of, of, okay, you know, small changes might make a difference but are they going to be cost-beneficial to you. But once you hit that point, there’s also the back end infrastructure that you can add on, and they’re on to allow you to scale.

So I think it’s just that the concept of not just abandoning your, you know, okay, we’ve got the slate, we’ve, once we build it, they will come kind of mentality can’t have that need to continue consistently. Be willing to, to modify, adapt, and change and grow. And that’ll also allow you to scale your business properly, so that you can really grow your business because up significant, perfect example, have one client used to think that a lot of the international sales were actually just found, he didn’t really consider tourism, because his credit card processor was, was denying a lot of the transaction. So we looked into it a little bit further with him and said, Well, you know, I don’t want you to use a different credit card processor for those international orders. And we can set it up that way. Just make some quick custom code changes. And then we can also, you know, make sure that it’s actually capturing the sales prior to you sending the product though, right. So we had a couple of minor tweaks there.

And he 12x’d, like what he was getting in one month, in international orders, turned into the what he’s earning one year now what he’s getting in one month, this have all changed, and it was because he was willing, willing to go, Okay, well, maybe there is actually an international interest in my product. And so it was once he shifted his mindset said in allowed himself to think, Okay, well, I’m just a small eCommerce business. I don’t need to think about international. But the second and he allowed himself to do that. He, he grew his international orders by, like, like I said, 12 x them. Because that was amazing when he told me that the results were over. And that’s over a year, like we actually did not, I didn’t look at and go, okay, you know, a couple, couple extra sales that month, or anything like that, we looked at what the sales increases were over the year, so that that number is a very valid number that I’m giving you. So it’s kind of that mentality of thinking, like allowing yourself to think outside the box. And then that leads into, you know, making sure you’re working with the development firm that that thinks and works the same way as you do.

Adam: Where do you see eCommerce going in the future? What’s the future of it?

The Future of eCommerce

Branden: I think you’re going to see a much tighter gap, the gap is going to squeeze a lot in two places. One is retail, I think retail is starting. I mean, it’s been a slow process from being honest, I think, with retail, really deciding to go onboard with eCommerce. And what they’ve done in the past is, eCommerce is one offshoot of their business as opposed to now, really commentary, you may have heard of omnichannel, which is all channels, which is basically selling in your store and fulfilling it all the orders on like, I mean, perfect example is, if you make an order online, can you pick it up in the nearest store. So you can pick it up? Same Day kind of things like that, you’re going to see a big room tightening of that gap where people are going to be able to order online, pick it up in the store, or even go into the store and the store doesn’t have it. So they’re going to be able to put these orders through and have it sent to your home. Which is one thing that I’ve been finding is starting to happen a lot more. But the problem is, is a lot of the big retailers haven’t had the infrastructure whole, like the infrastructure set up to be able to do that. And so that’s starting to change. And there’s becoming much more of a, a merge between the eCommerce and those silos are being broken down. That’s one place I see it in the other places seeing a big switch to direct to consumer, as opposed to being so… instead of selling wholesale to, to retailers, you’re going to see a lot more direct to consumer type of business out there as well.

Adam: Yeah, that’s very interesting. Second, last question. As stepping out from eCommerce, you’re a business owner, what is the most important thing that a business owner should just focus on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?

Branden: You’re probably going to agree with this one a little bit anyway, maybe it won’t. But I think I think you need to know your numbers. I mean, you need to know what like, I mean, where you stand, and actually on a daily basis, if you can. And, because I mean, you as a business owner, you’re not going to always have if you know your cash flow, they’re going to increase and decrease and you’re going to things are going to be ups and downs and ebbs and flows. It’s important that you are aware of your numbers so that you know, when you got to tighten up when you got it when you can expand and if you know these numbers that allows you to grow, grow a lot more intelligent, suppose but your hands I always have a whiteboard, and this a while back a whiteboard of you know what your goals are? Where do you stand on that given day?

And, and those tips, like very simple numbers, but they’re there that I know, where I should be focusing my efforts. Because the other thing depending on how big of a business you are, you need to know where you’re focusing your efforts. And quite frankly, you need to be making sure that you’re focusing your efforts on where you’re making money. And so, and it’s easy to think you’re spending it in the right place, but when you actually look at those numbers or have someone direct you in that way. It’s it could be completely you may be completely thinking the wrong for lack of a better word. Yeah,

Adam: I couldn’t have said everything you just said better myself. So great, great answer. All right, so last question, Where can people find you especially if they’re interested in getting some development? Getting some hot days getting your thoughts on their website? Where can people find you?

Branden: Well, our website is, that’s or they can find me on Twitter I’m on there a lot. And that’s @BMOSKWA. But if you go to our website, that’s where you can find me You can find us. But I see me because I also have our podcast is there that stuff, but also my own personal Twitter, LinkedIn. Links are right up there. And that’s one of the things that really, I try and be very involved with all of my customers. So we’re, you know, we keep our team small, to some extent.

I am typically involved in some form or fashion directly with the customers just because I want to make sure that they’re getting the level of service that they deserve. And because also we’re dealing with business owners themselves, so why should they not get to deal with the business owner himself? right anyway, the D mo calm is the best place to find us. Okay, if you want to hear our show, just do a Google search for eCommerce all-stars.

Adam: Perfect. Yeah, we’ll put them in the show notes will put your website your Twitter and in the podcast link in the show notes. Branden and it was great having you and thank you so much for coming on the show.

Branden: Well, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for letting me talk about myself I always love that.

Adam: Everybody listening will put Brandon’s info in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.