Alex Reichmann of iTestCash: 5 Things You Need To Know To Build A Highly Successful eCommerce Website
An Interview With Francois Marchand, Editor of The Ecomm Manager
Some industries do well with a blog. Do you have any special skills or knowledge in your industry? A blog is a could way to showcase this and potentially can help you build up a following and credibility in your field too. Also sharing these posts on social media with relevant hashtags can help get your words out too.
It has been years since eCommerce has changed the face of commerce. The pandemic pushed businesses away from the traditional model even more. The unfortunate reality is that most eCommerce websites will still fail. What are some things to keep in mind to build a highly successful eCommerce website? In this interview series, we are talking to leaders of eCommerce businesses who can share their strategies on creating a very successful eCommerce website. As part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Reichmann.
Alex Reichmann is the CEO of iTestCash, specializing in counterfeit money detection and money counting equipment products for businesses an retailers since 2007
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we begin, can you please introduce yourself? Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
My origins in this industry start with my grandfather who helped start the US company Dri Mark, which was the first American company to patent the counterfeit detector pen. From there we took that concept more than years later (in 2007) when e-commerce started becoming big, to make an online store dedicated to counterfeit detection products and we gone on to provide all kinds of counterfeit detectors and money counters since then.
It has been said that sometimes our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
I think rolling with the punches and the ever changing landscapes of doing online business. We used to use very (now) outdated marketing techniques in the early days of iTestCash like building links that would get you banned from Google now. I had to spend a number of months working hard to get all those removed some years ago. Lesson learned and something I’m glad to have gotten over!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would have to give credit to my family in the case of this business. Without their early foundations in the industry I can’t imagine I would have ever gotten into it. It was also up to me to keep it going up until this point.
Ok, fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. What does your eCommerce company do? What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current eCommerce business? Can you share that story with us?
To be a one stop shop for businesses counterfeit money detections needs! I don’t think there was ever one Aha moment but instead, it feels more like a continuous process of learning and meeting the needs of our customers. Figuring out ways to compete and stay relevant in the days of Amazon and tons of options on the internet.
What was your original vision for your company? How does it help people? What pain point(s) were you trying to solve for your customers?
Ultimately to help businesses not lose money to counterfeiters either through lack of knowledge on the subject or using cheap knock off brands that don’t detect high quality counterfeit bills. Over the years as printing technology had advanced and become cheaper, so has the black market industry of counterfeiting money so we always want to keep up with the trends and make sure our products can detect these bad bills.
We also like to be a place where we can offer personal customer support for all kinds of businesses that you simply don’t get when buying from a non specialized ‘marketplace’ like Amazon.
There are more than 12 million eCommerce businesses out there. What do you think makes your company stand out? What are you most proud of? Can you share a story?
Specializing very specifically in our industry. When customers come to us for products they know what type of products they are looking for. We could have easily turned into a store that just sells scattershot any types of office and retail products but we have remained true to our values and what we offer. For very specialized niche products to help businesses protect their cash. The story like with many businesses is of course ever evolving!
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things you need to know to build a highly successful eCommerce website? Please explain each in detail.
- Have a plan and know what your goals are. Having something you are aiming for with your business can make all the difference in the world.
- Offer something that isn’t offered by the mega websites like Amazon and Walmart. I would ask- What is a reason someone might choose your website over theirs? Maybe you specialize in something very specific or offer a personalized service?
- Another important question I would ask- What kind of marketing techniques could work for you? Does your industry thrive on social media, Adwords or maybe even organic SEO?
- Always get your basics right. This is true for pretty much any industry but your website should be as easy and simple to use as possible. All it takes is one thing not working properly on your site to lose a customer. So it’s always good to review your website and make sure everything is up to speed with the modern e-commerce industry.
- Some industries do well with a blog. Do you have any special skills or knowledge in your industry? A blog is a could way to showcase this and potentially can help you build up a following and credibility in your field too. Also sharing these posts on social media with relevant hashtags can help get your words out too.
If there were one part of the eCommerce website development process you would have spent 50% more time on, what would it be and why?
Reaching out to industry blogs to write articles for them for potential features. The reason is cause I think this is one of the best SEO strategies in the modern era. It’s credible and doesn’t cost you any cash. It’s more merit based and it helps you build up your brand while you do it too.
Can you share a few examples of tools or software that you think can dramatically empower emerging eCommerce brands to be more effective and more successful?
I’d recommend looking into tools like Semrush and Moz SEO tool where you can analyze and look at what your competitors are doing. This can really help to come up with marketing ideas that may work in your industry.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start an eCommerce business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Spending too much money, spreading themselves too thin, not acting on opportunities. Ultimately one has to use their own judgments, but in general try to make sound decisions and analyze if they will help in the long run.
In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
I think a lot of people get duped by magic marketing pills. I think for many businesses it can really come down to a lot of trial and error and figuring out what works overtime. Different types of marketing will work better in different industries so I would also try to pay attention to what is working for your specific niche.
As a simple example- TikTok may work great for a fashion industry where as Facebook might work better for someone selling office products.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
In all honesty to get our climate priorities in order. It is a very complex topic but it would be nice if people from all sides can gather and genuinely discuss sustainable ways to help the future of the planet and humanity.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My blog on iTestCash for topics relating to the money and cash side of things. Thanks for this opportunity!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
About The Interviewer: Francois Marchand is the editor of The Ecomm Manager. Throughout his 20+ years in journalism, communications, and marketing, Francois has created and managed high-value content for Postmedia, Vancouver Film School, and Unbounce. He loves helping business leaders grow their skillsets and knowledge base to stay ahead of the competition. Visit The Ecomm Manager: theecommmanager.com