IAN RHODES

growing ecommerce sales (without trashing prices)

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

All the things that I have done…

Ecommerce Consultancy

A 22 year history of building product brands online


It all started way back in 1997. Way before the days of Google. I made a simple change to copy on the checkout page of our hand-built ecommerce platform. One simple change based on a single hypothesis, “will this help people to complete their order?” It did. You can actually influence the actions of people online! Wahey! The internet was not a static environment! We could have fun with this!

From that moment on, I’ve been hooked on learning how to build a more customer-centred approach to ecommerce. How we can influence the action of our website visitors through the use of words and imagery (technology plays second fiddle). Each step of our customer’s journey. From the homepage to the order dispatch email and beyond.

Learning the value of truly customer-centred, data-informed, story-driven product marketing

Through my 20 year career online I’ve either worked, owned or consulted with customer-centric, product brands.

In 1996 a startup selling online in an industry afraid of the internet.

In 2000 a business asking customers to Name Their Own Price as competitors came to terms with customers wanting to shop online.

In 2004 starting my own ecommerce business selling unknown brands in an exceptionally brand-centric marketplace. Going through the trials and tribulations that you face right now.

Since 2009, having sold my business, I’ve consulted, trained and coached ecommerce entrepreneurs, near and far, large and small, on the process of customer-centred marketing. Guiding ecommerce brands on their road to true customercentricity. It’s how retail businesses are built for the long-haul.


Before we get into the work bit, I was raised in SW London, Hong Kong and spent 7 years in Indianapolis USA before the age of 18…

Let me attempt to condense my 22 years of learning and experience as an Ecommerce marketer into bullet points.

I’ll try to keep this short…

From Startup to the Biggest Travel Company On The Globe (1996-2002)

1995 – completed a degree in Economics with a dissertation entitled ‘Marketing on the Internet’ (this was 24 years ago….)

1996 – joined one of the UK’s first eCommerce startups as Head of Marketing (I was the marketing team) in London.

1999 – My first speaking event at the UK’s first Affiliate Marketing Conference.

2000 – Work documented in Jakob Nielsen’s Homepage Usability book published.

2000 – Joined Priceline.com (now the world’s biggest travel company) as European Marketing Director.

Saying ‘Screw It’ and Starting My Own Retail Business (2004-2008)

2004 – launched my own bootstrapped retail business focused on selling guitars from makers you wouldn’t find anywhere else.

2005 – The DIY guide to growth. Hand-built an eCommerce platform and wrote daily articles (this was long before the days before WordPress…) on a hard-coded ‘blog’.

2006 – Opened our first bricks and mortar (and wood and steel) shop in Ripley, Surrey and started taking on employees.

2006 – Earned the Fender Europe Top Dealer Award.

2008 – Sold 10,000 guitars and built a website that grew from zero to over 2.5m unique visitors in 4 years.

Selling my business and starting my consulting practice (2008 onwards)

2008 – Founded Ecommerce Growth Company to advise and consult with retailers on building profitable, sustainable ecommerce brands.

2009-2014 – Expanded into a world of working with bigger clients including Pfizer, Channel Advisor, The Works, HSS Hire, Remploy, Gossard, Pretty Polly

2014 – Listed as one of 14 conversion experts you should be following by Crazy Egg

2014 – Listed as one of the world’s Top 25 most influential conversion rate experts by PPC Hero

2015 – Launched the Marketing Homebrew Podcast in collaboration with Content Revolution author Mark Masters

2015 – Published the first in my series of ebooks, Make What You Make Matter

2015 – Contributed to the How 20 Search Experts Beat Rising Costs ebook by Conversion Sciences

2015 – Training provider alongside leading CRO Experts for Conversion Machine

2015 – Speaking at conferences across Europe (inc. first ever trips to Greece and Latvia) to share insights to help marketers be more purposeful in their daily marketing lives.

2015 – Appointed to the advisory board at content marketing agency Contentology

2016 – Recognised on the UsabilityTools.com hall of fame – 32 conversion optimisation experts to follow

2016 – Published my second eBook, Emotive Selling For The Online Retailer

2016 – Currently writing my first full book, Untemplate, ready for publication in Spring 2017

2016 – Interviewed by Design Week asked the question when is it right for designers to write?

2016 – Interview with Savage Marketing talking CRO

2016 – Speaking at events in Berlin, Warsaw and Bucharest during Oct/Nov 2016

2017 – Surpassed 120 shows of the Marketing Homebrew podcast with 40,000 downloads with listeners in 65 countries

2017 – Booked to speak for the 3rd time at the UK’s biggest retail fashion event, MODA

2017 – Hosted ‘5 Steps To Convert More Visitors Into Customers’ webinar with Veeqo

2017 – Currently working on the launch of the Ecommerce Growth Academy & Podcast – launching later 2017

2018 – Contributor to the Holistic Email Marketing report The State of Retail Email Subscribe Forms

2018 – Interviewed by TakeCare.io for their Customer Intelligence Masters series

2018 – First appointed Platinum partner to email platform Klaviyo outside of the USA

2018 – Interviewed by Ecommerce Times in their 5 Ways To Build Community Around Your Brand article

2019 – January – Joined 22 conversion experts in delivering the Elementor Conversion tips for 2019 round-up

2019 – Interviewed by Drapers magazine on the use of short-form video for fashion brands

2019 – Interviewed by CMO.com discussing omnichannel strategy

2019 – February – Keynote speaker at the 3XE Conversion Conference in Dublin, Ireland

2019 – March – Keynote speaker at the InOrbit Conference in Portorož, Slovenia

2019 – April – Returning keynote speaker at the Marketing Week Ecommerce Conference in Athens, Greece

2019 – May – Interviewed by Digital Commerce 360 on the use of customer insight data

THAT’S NICE DEAR

WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?

Conversion Optimisation Specialist

22 years learning what makes people click.

I advise upon and help action the conversion and retention strategies that drive ecommerce success. Customer-centred. Data-informed. Process-driven. Clients are based in the UK & Europe and on the international stage (literally).

My clients are in 1 of 3 situations.

  1. they are highly focused on acquisition. They’ve reached the point where growth begins to stall and are looking for advice that will fuel conversion & retention for continued profitable growth.
  2. they are leaders in their industry and need strategic advice in order to further their customer-centric business model through the development of a conversion optimisation process.
  3. they are working with aged technologies that require a swift kick into 2019. I’m there to develop the skills and plan the use of technology to drive modern ecommerce.

The role of the ecommerce marketer has changed significantly. It demands insight. It demands creativity. It demands focus. Blending creative copywriting skills, technologies, analytical insight and a defined customer retention process to grow sales more profitably.

I work from my home office in the lovely village of Prestbury Cheshire here in the North West of England. Two kids. One beagle. My clients are scattered across the globe in a variety of industries. I’ve worked with over 280 businesses in a range of sectors. I have the continued privilege of travelling around the globe running workshops and speaking at conferences.


Want to read nice things people have said about me?

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