We Just Landed Costco!
There’s something beautiful about being unapologetically yourself. I may never be the most polished. I swear too much. I hate wearing a collared shirt. I watch way too much New York sports and certainly yell at the tv way too frequently.
But I know who I am. I don’t like to drink. Never smoked a day in my life. Love spending all my money on tea, concerts, and sports. Still 30 years later, doing much better than I ever thought I would, I think I could still get by on $100 a day and have a perfect day.
I’ve been doing this e-commerce thing now for over 10 years and it’s been really gratifying to be able to help so many people with my story and lessons.
Today we’re celebrating tho and not looking back. We just landed a nationwide rollout for Costsco Canada next Spring!
Three years of rejection, dozens of meetings, countless hours of paperwork and emails all led to a beautiful phone call the other day from our buyer saying that we got in. We just got the purchase order this morning and damn is it a beautiful sight.
Proud moment outside of the Costco Ottawa HQ
I’m thinking about doing a full article about the ins and outs of getting into stores like these. Would you like that? Pretty cool feeling doing this with just grit, a bunch of hardwork, no daddy & mommy money, or fancy connections. Just three kids with a cool idea for a new sport and getting it sold at the biggest store in the world. Life’s crazy.
Cheers to My Day Ones 🥂
Before we get into this week’s newsletter I want to give a big thank you and shout out to Tapcart for sponsoring this week’s edition of CROSSED Commerce. When I started this newsletter a bit over a year and a half ago (shout out to you if you’ve been reading since then) they were one of the first companies to show their support for me and my audience. Their partnership has meant everything and its been amazing building with A+ type humans who also have an incredible product.
I know we’re all heads down with BFCM but as you start to think about new revenue channels for 2024, building an affordable app with very little upkeep work should 100% be in consideration.
As we rework our product packaging for our mass retail push into the Costco’s & DICKS of the world we’ll be using our app for several different reasons:
1) Get customers who purchase at retail who didn’t necessarily learn about us from a Facebook ad to enter our funnel and to be retargeted with new products, add-ons, and become larger CROSSNET fans
2) Learn the rules, instructions, and find local tournaments
3) Become a top revenue generator with product drops, exclusive sales, and a great way to move through inventory to your most loyal customers
4) A fun place for our marketing team to talk to our customers who actually have put their money where their mouth is, bought our product, and want to continue to learn and grow the sport
I could talk for hours about why working with the Tapcart squad has been a great decision, but I think my guy Nik Sharma does an even better job in this last minute BFCM tip guide.
Biggest Takeaways from Meeting with a $100M CEO Executive Coach 💡
Yesterday, I met with an executive CEO coach for an hour during one of our Founders Club sessions and the takeaways were eye-opening. What started as a slow conversation as I had no idea what the hell to ask a dude who coaches $100M CEO’s when I’m just slinging volleyball nets on the internet turned into a very therapeutic hour of how I’m thinking about the business.
Founders Club weekly session with Ben Cashion
1) Start each week & month with weekly objectives. What are the biggest objectives you 100% have to get through? Write it out. Visualize it. Make sure your team members & founders know this 100% needs to happen by a certain deadline.
2) Get out of your inbox. Set an assigned day or time in the day to look through email. The last few months I feel like I’ve just been playing defense and writing back to email as they come in without actually getting to the shit I need to do.
3) Monthly P&L review with the founding team. This seems so obvious but I can honestly say not once this year have we sat down as a founding team and discussed what happened the previous month. How can we make more wins? How can we save more money? What were the hiccups? What do we need to prepare for next month to have a better month? I left yesterday’s call and immediately scheduled a monthly P&L review meeting with my founding team, no exceptions.
4) If you want to grow you need to be spending more time thinking and strategizing about what are the 2-3 things that can actually move the business forward. Create an entire list of things that you do throughout the week, figure out what ones are crucial for you to be involved with and set a budget to start outsourcing the rest. As a CEO your time should be spent thinking more big picture if you can afford to get out of the weeds, even freeing up an hour a day could make a huge difference!
5) GOAL SETTING NEEDS TO HAPPEN MORE - Do we have a company revenue goal for BFCM? Do we have a founder’s target for distributions? Do we have a target for debt paid off? No more of this willy-nilly “hey we’re shooting for 15% EBITDA”
Get Some Quick Wins 💸
Outside of randomly pulling Costco out of a hat and scoring a $150k ERC credit, here are some quick and easy wins that may work for you:
Anyone else see this app Flip making some serious waves? It’s essentially Tik Tok for shopping and discovering new products and it’s actually kinda cool. I think it will get some traction before the burn through the VC money and its an afterthought in a few months. However, we got CROSSNET on there and already saw 20+ sales with legit zero work in 72 hours. Free money? Sign me up.
Pull up a list of all of your wholesale or B2B customers. If margins & stock permit and you have some 2023 revenue goals you want to hit, send them a BFCM offer that is just for retailers. Even if it’s just a 5-10% discount, they will appreciate it. After doing this for a few years you may find that its just pushing forward orders that you were going to get in a few months anyway at a worse margin, but it could be a great way to re-engage churned business.
Might be tough on timing with Black Friday around the corner but last week we launched our moving sale in Australia & Canada. Essentially it was an opportunity to tell our customers that the brand is growing and in order to better serve our fans, the retailers, and to stock more product we’ve graduated into a larger space. Rather than pay moving trucks thousands of dollars we’re passing the savings on to our loyal customers just in time for the holidays.
Safe to say the sale crushed. Did we actually move tho?…You’ll never know!
Amped Pop Up:
100% unsponsored and just pure love, but holy shit we switched to using Amped as the tool that fires the email & sms popup last month and the opt in rates are CRAZY.
Amped Pop Up Data
Small sample size below with our Australian store that’s starting to pick up traction with summer coming, but we’re seeing 17% opt in rates on the email side. We were using a popup from Klaviyo before and our opt in rate was 4%.
400% improvement in capture rate for a couple hundred bucks a month. No brainer! Go to crossnetgame.com.au to check it out.
After six years I’ve finally popped my cherry. I’ve gone from a keyboard warrior to a founder making his own UGC content. Believe it or not, customers want to hear and see the brand. They love the story behind it and it’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Going to be sharing weekly takes on LinkedIn, so make sure to follow along here. I’m all for the negative feedback! Only way to get better.
Onward & Upward 🚀
We’re launching our biggest sale of the year in just 11 days. We are nowhere close to being done and feeling super overwhelmed. If you’re feeling this way know you are not alone. Remember only two things matter during the holidays: make sure you don’t lose money and have a firm target in place (are we shooting for profit or topline revenue) and then steer the ship that way.
I want to invite a few of you to our Founders Club round table discussion next Tuesday at 3PM. We will be discussing creative ways to get your freight down to your end customer, which includes last mile delivery tricks, packaging options, and things you need to be requesting from your fulfillment partner. The convo will last an hour and you should walk away with a few different ways where you may be able to save a few dollars on each shipment.
Send me an email back and I’ll get you added to the call.
Life’s crazy. Thanks for reading this every week.
…. A kid who used to work as a janitor cleaning toilets at a high school