[EP 15] Modern Merchant Podcast: Special Guest, Drew w/ PCR

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Welcome Drew with PCR to the Modern Merchant Podcast! Whether you’re a legacy company looking to modernize your business for the digital world, or a high-growth brand expanding at a break-neck pace, PCR has the right solution for you.

Tune in to learn more about PCR, hear great customer stories, how agencies have weathered the COVID storm, the ever-evolving state of ecommerce and digital services, and much more!

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Below, you will find a transcript of the episode.

Austin Rose:

Hey everyone. And thanks for jumping on and tuning into The Modern Merchant Podcast. My name is Austin, and I’m your host. I am the Go-To-Market Director here at Flxpoint. In today’s episode, we have a very special guest. This is Drew. He is the CEO and co-founder of PCR. Drew, thanks for jumping on today.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Absolutely, Austin. Thanks for having me.

Austin Rose:

Of course. Of course. We’ve had a couple of conversations. You were… I think we ran into you a couple of times. You’re based here in Jacksonville, correct?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Another beach neighbor. So…

Austin Rose:

Right down the street, but I couldn’t get you in, right? It’s kind of difficult getting people in. But, it’s great to have you, and it’s always great to talk to people in this space. Especially kind of in the same realm of being in Jacksonville. Because Jacksonville is kind of a unique situation, there’s a lot of tech companies, but we’re not quite like Austin of Texas. Or the valley. But, it’s great to see other agencies in the ecommerce realm and we’ve talked and connected a little bit. So, super stoked that you’re on. Why don’t you give the listeners just a quick background of what you’re currently doing with PCR and then a background of the company?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. No, absolutely. So, as you mentioned, I founded PCR 14 years ago when I was 23 and really was just getting into digital marketing. So, read SEO For Dummies. Taught myself web design and was kind of off to the races. And then slowly, as an agency, we really grew from a locally, I’d say run. Working with a lot of small businesses in the market, to more regional, to eventually, national. And I think, over time we’ve been able to work with some really fun brands. Lyft and Major League Baseball and helped the Chargers move from San Diego to LA. And, really for us it was, do we want to be a jack of all trades or a little bit more specialization? And so, we went the specialist route. And now, we’ve just found a great niche in ecommerce working really around commercial rate optimization. So, helping improve the brand’s website, to a lot of retention strategy and communication with SMS and email. With COVID, obviously that’s accelerated a lot of retailers adopting more and more of an online presence. And so, it was really the right time, right moment for us. And now, we’ve primarily focused just on, really helping high growth brands in the ecommerce space. Kind of accelerate that growth through conversion and retention.

Austin Rose:

Got you. So, take us back to 23 year old Drew, right? And, where did PCR just get started? Was this something you’ve always thought about? Maybe coming out of college? Take us back to that time.

Drew Himel:

Yeah, no. I knew I wanted to run my own business. I didn’t know exactly what it was. My dad was a serial entrepreneur. We would be talking about hiring strategies and sales tactics over the dinner table in high school. And then, he kind of nudged me a little bit and was like, I think this digital web thing is going to continue to be an important part. Why don’t you figure out a way to get involved? And so, I legitimately went to a bookstore and got SEO For Dummies version two. And then, I started playing around with coding websites and things like that. And, started cold calling and prospecting in the local market and working out in my living room. At the time, I think being young and entrepreneurial was looked down on in kind of a, I’d say a good old boy market in Jacksonville.

Drew Himel:

And so, I had to pretend to be an Account Executive, not the CEO, and sign up clients; yeah, off my living room couch. And, yeah. We’ll just start, kind of building it from there. And, still, to this day, I have clients that I signed up 14 years ago, which is kind of insane. But, yeah. I was just figuring it out as I went. I didn’t know what to do… I remember a client asking me oh, this will be reflected on our P&L, and I go back home, Google what a P&L is. I was just really trying to learn a lot as I was… It was definitely building the plane as we were taking off. For sure.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. That’s great to hear. And that’s, it’s so cool seeing that. Because we have a lot of entrepreneurs, I feel like, in Jacksonville. And that’s kind of one thing that we stand for with Flxpoint and Inventory Source, our sister company, in the sense of having that entrepreneurial spirit. That’s kind of what drives a lot of us to come into work, because we just take advantage, and take hold of our own job in itself even though we’re not the CEO, per se. But, that’s cool. That’s funny. SEO For Dummies. Do you still have that book?

Drew Himel:

I don’t. I need to track it down or be able to find it. I mean, back in the day-

Austin Rose:

Frame it. Frame it on the wall. That’d be perfect.

Drew Himel:

I mean, back in the day, I could just change out a title tag. And then a week later they’d be ranking for their main keyword. So I was like, oh, this is pretty easy. And then, things obviously change quite a lot over time. So, you have to kind of… With digital, you have to stay on your toes and really be innovating. Otherwise, you’re going to be falling behind pretty quickly.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. No, I agree. So what is… For PCR, because… And this is, I mean, I feel like we could talk about this for a while too, is the concept of an ecommerce digital agency. Or just really a digital agency in general. You’ve got, anywhere from… we’ve got some partners that are agents, that run an agency and they do a lot of web development.

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

Just, a pure team of devs that do any type of development from a store, to an app and things like that. But then you’ve got other ecommerce agencies that help with SEO and rate optimization and conversions. I like how… It seems like you guys do a lot in the SMS world, which is still a huge part of marketing. What is your sweet spot in the realm of all of these digital agencies?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. So for us, it is the… And, my head of UX was at Victoria’s Secret for 10 years. And she always has this analogy that I really like, our job really starts similar to a retail experience. When you come into the store and how you greet that customer, is exactly what we do. It’s just from a digital storefront. And so, how you’re communicating with them, how you’re relating to them from a customer service standpoint, what you’re showing in the aisle, as they’re looking through and looking at different products or apparel or whatever that may be. And enhancing that user experience is our niche. And what we’ve, I think, developed incredibly well. So, we don’t touch social media. We’re not touching your paid ads. We’re not doing design and development. We’re really looking at the entire user experience as it relates to your digital storefront, and figuring out ways that we can optimize that as much as possible; so that we take your traffic, your database, your customers, and drive as much engagement and value as possible. So, the numbers we look at are your lifetime value, your repeat purchase rate. What is the conversion rate from traffic to purchase? All the low hanging fruit kind of metrics that are really going to drive higher and higher profitability for the ecommerce businesses that we’re working with.

Austin Rose:

That makes sense. And that’s a great way of explaining it, too. Because, you go to websites. Any agency, I go to a website and I’m just like, it’s the same stuff that this person did, but I know you guys are a little bit different. So, that makes a lot of sense. Are you guys, do you guys fit in a specific vertical or different types of companies you work with? I think you guys work specifically more so with branded people that sell their own branded products. And then, I think you guys helped out some others that aren’t specifically in ecommerce, right?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. So we have a lot of just, due to the nature of the business being around for as long as we have. There is another component on the B2B side. So we’re a HubSpot Diamond Partner and work really closely with CRM and platform migration. So, we’ll take a client that has 250 sales reps and they’re on Dynamics and they want to get over to HubSpot and get that all optimized and figured out. That’s another kind of sector industry that we serve. And then on the ecommerce side, there’s some core verticals that we’ve had a lot of success with.

Drew Himel:

Food and beverage being one. So, we’re working with coffee brands, energy drinks, and wineries. We have a ton of clients kind of in that space. Fashion apparel, really due to Erin, who was at Victoria’s Secret. And her background in apparel and fashion has been really relevant for a lot of our clients there. And then beauty cosmetics is another one that we do a lot with. And then, the last one is health wellness. So, telemedicine telehealth. Things like that, that we’ve carved out a nice niche. There’s some others that are in entertainment, but those are the four, I’d say, core verticals that we’ve primarily helped with and been able to leverage a lot of our experience to help them grow.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. Do you guys usually are open to any vertical now?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. I just think the clients have a little bit of peace of mind that we’ve done it in their industry. We understand, selling beverages online is drastically different from selling skincare. And so, what is the nuance between user behavior? If you think about it, most beverages happen in retail. You see something on the aisle and you pick it up. If you wanted to purchase something for the first time online, you’re talking $30 and then you pay shipping and you haven’t even tried the product. So where, cosmetics, you can try it a little bit. Try it once, maybe it’s $10, $15, a little bit easier to have that experience. And then, you think about subscriptions and ongoing relationships. And so, we’ve definitely done all kinds of different verticals and industries. But, having those kinds of core competencies in those verticals seems to really be relevant for a lot of the clients that we’re working with.

Austin Rose:

And it’s crazy, too. Because, you see this like… We help out ecommerce, right? Any type of agency, software, whatever it is. We help ecommerce merchants. But then, once you actually start getting into what you are selling online, it’s completely different use cases and workflows all across the board. I mean, we work with a lot of firearm dealers. A lot of people are selling firearms and tactical gear. And, shipping and cost and just, everything you can think of is so much more different to the eco-friendly, perishable good guys that are selling Tom’s soap and all of this other stuff, right? So it’s like going from one to the other. And then, we also service adult products. And it’s just kind of all over the place of different nuanced stuff. What’s really interesting is, we’re getting into automotive and bicycle. Different verticals.

Austin Rose:

And, those are super interesting. Because, you don’t realize the amount of fitness. So something that, like that tiny little thing that you need for your, I don’t know, carburetor on your truck, but you have to know that it’s a 2016 Toyota Tundra SR5. And it’s, knowing that specific and making that… I bet that would be fun for you guys, is that user experience of-

Drew Himel:

Oh, my gosh. Yeah.

Austin Rose:

Going on someone’s website to make it resemble a cars.com or some of these other ones where you have to get all the way down to the specific type of nuanced thing. AutoZone, I guess, would be a good example. And it’s, people don’t realize that once you get into ecommerce. So it’s, depending on what they sell, it could be a completely different user experience across the board.

Drew Himel:

Well, and the challenge really is, everybody has the Amazon experience, right? So it’s, one click checkout, it’s at your door in two days. And so, that’s the standard that the customer is really setting. And for a lot of these brands, luckily, you have the Shopify’s of the world that have invested a lot in the technology, and then all the supporting apps and ecosystem around that. So that, you’re over communicating with the customer on what’s going on. I mean, and COVID, there’s so many different delays and not getting the product on time. And so, what we really work with our clients because we focus a lot of time and energy on the communication side, is how do you get ahead of that? And really understand that, that’s that level of standard that the customer is setting. And how do you meet that as a small business, or kind of a merchant just getting going?

Drew Himel:

And, we recommend a lot of tools to be able to help, around shipping fulfillment, customer service, support tickets, things of that nature. So that, even if you can’t get to the Amazon same day delivery, you can communicate with them so that they know what type of experience. I think we’ve seen brands in the past where they hide behind really lengthy, hidden kinds of terms and conditions. And they just, they don’t communicate, and it’s impossible to get in touch with customer support. Might help you get one transaction, but it’s sure not going to help you with the lifetime value and getting them to repeatedly, kind of purchase a product from you as well. So, I think we really look at that holistic user experience and the level of standard that we have to go against. Unfortunately, is the Amazons that have invested billions probably at this point in their technology and the support and the personalization and all this other stuff. Every brand wants it, every user wants it, but it’s difficult to replicate it. So we try and kind of make recommendations where we can to get ahead of that as much as possible.

Austin Rose:

And I feel like people are getting started too, they don’t realize that, it’s not just about getting that first customer. It’s about getting that first customer back. And that repeat customer is what makes a business, a business. Or you could just be selling Oberlo products off of Shopify, drop shipping from China, and just try and make a quick buck. And, no bashing on you, have at it, but it’s not quite a sustainable business in the legitimate ecommerce business. So, let’s… Staying on that breadth of talking about different customers, right? Different verticals, that people sell different stuff. You just, you mentioned at the beginning of this, that you had some really good brands. I mean, Chargers? Working for the Chargers, how was that? Tell me about a unique story that you guys help out with. That sounds like a unique story compared to, I think I saw Fatheads. You guys help out with Fatheads and a couple of other things-

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Yeah. No, we… So the Chargers, I was in New York at the time, and I got connected, and they were just moving to Los Angeles from San Diego. And, it started off as a small UX project to kind of clean up a little bit of the site. And then, they really didn’t have a lot of sophistication in house, because they were the only game in town. It was them and the Padres in San Diego. And then you move to LA, the second largest market in the country, and you’re competing against 11 other professional teams. I mean, it was a tall order, with no fan base. Yeah, you’ve been around for the longest time. But, for us, it was such a unique experience, because you really were working with a multi-billion dollar startup. Or just, having to start from scratch on building an audience, building a brand, building a customer base.

Drew Himel:

And so, that one little project turned into us having eight full time people dedicated to the account. Me moving to LA and working out of their Costa Mesa office. And, I mean, yeah. You want to talk about experience? That was my whole life for at least 18 months. Me personally, running everything from, their customer retention strategy, their data warehouse, their email marketing and communication. And, I think as challenging as it was, it was really, really successful. We grew their database size to 350,000 fans. We… Millions and millions of dollars in ticket revenue directly attributed to what we were doing from an email standpoint. And, yeah. It was just fun. You’re like… And… What, as a kid, being a sports fan and wanting to… Everyone, I think, dreams of working in sports, but to be able to do that and then see the product on the field and be able to witness that, it was a pretty unique and memorable experience. Something that I definitely won’t ever forget, for sure.

Austin Rose:

That’s really cool. Because, I started here as a sales rep. And then, as our first sales rep, and then moved into a couple of different roles and now I’m working on the marketing team, with our go-to-market. And I’m instantly shifting into this marketing mindset. When I first heard about the Chargers moving to LA and the Rams, and I was just like… Number one, I’ve never seen, you barely see NFL teams move. Just in general. It just all kind of happened recently, right? With the Raiders going to Vegas, and a couple of other ones. But, not only are you going to that saturated market of Los Angeles, which it’s even hard. Unless you’re the Lakers, it’s still hard to get people to games or maybe even the Dodgers. But, the Angels? It’s hard to get people out to Angels games. I’ve heard about, I’ve heard… I mean, LAFC is doing really well. But, the Galaxy, they’re not getting a whole bunch, either. But-

Drew Himel:

Well then, all competing.

Austin Rose:

Yeah.

Drew Himel:

And, all the other things going on in LA with the beaches and the Heights and everything. I mean, it was… And they had no fan base. It was just, it was crazy challenging. And I think even the way that they left San Diego… Because they had bitter fans that were kind of upset about it. So we couldn’t even really draw that much from that market to be able to do it. So, yeah. It was incredibly, incredibly challenging. I don’t know if I’ll ever face something as fun and exhilarating and also stressful as figuring out that digital strategy and working across their team and all their different partners and agencies and stuff like that. We were really running point on a lot of the, all things kind of digital, too. So…

Austin Rose:

That’s cool. That’s cool. Did you guys ever have to do anything with Fanatics as well? Because I know that’s, when I think of ecommerce and I think of the Chargers which is… Everything goes through Fanatics, now. And we’ve got, right? We’ve got the headquarters of Fanatics here in Jacksonville.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Yeah. So we-

Austin Rose:

Do you guys have to deal with that?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Fathead, actually, we did a collaboration with Fanatics, so it always kind of came back. And then, with the Chargers, too. When people would purchase Chargers Fanatics gear, we would want to obviously capture that email and be able to remarket to them. And the NFL does a really good job of providing a lot of collateral and assets too, for their teams. If someone signs up on NFL.com, they do blast if they’re in that LA DMA. And so, we were able to really leverage a lot of these existing Ticketmaster and, kind of relationships like that, that would help us, kind of repurpose, so that we didn’t have to necessarily reinvent the wheel. And, I think, more than anything it’s, I’ve done this now for 14 years. It’s been really fun where, in the very beginning, we just took all the business and it didn’t matter if they were a total… I’m trying to think of a politically correct way. Just, very mean to us.

Drew Himel:

And we just kind of took the money. But now it’s, we’ve really been fortunate where I love our clients. Not only just for the relationships, but the verticals. Who doesn’t love to drink wine? Who doesn’t love to… We have coffee. We have sports drinks. A lot of things that I use in my everyday life that we’re able to, kind of help and leverage. And so, that alignment, I think, feels really good across the team. Kind of culturally too, that… We’re doing some good, and we’re respected for the work and we’re actually adding value to their bottom line as well.

Austin Rose:

That’s awesome. That’s cool to hear. That makes me jealous. I went to college to start Sport Management. I saw all my buddies take Sports Management, and then just kind of get a job to say their life’s in sports.

Drew Himel:

Well, I… So my first job was actually an internship with the Jaguars, the local NFL team.

Austin Rose:

Yeah.

Drew Himel:

Luckily I was an intern, but I was working 90 hour weeks. So I was getting time and a half, and I was making more than my boss’ boss. And I was like, okay, if I want to do this, I’m going to have to really cut my teeth for a decade without really making any money. Because, I think a thousand people applied for that one internship, kind of within the company. And so, luckily it kind of came full circle. They ended up, Jaguars becoming a client for a little while. And then, the Chargers. And then we’ve done stuff with the NBA and Major League Baseball. So, I’m able to scratch some itches in that regard, on the sports. As kind of a kid playing… I played basketball in life, so it was, I want to be able to do some stuff like that.

Austin Rose:

That’s cool. We’ve got a couple of ex-employees from the Jaguars [crosstalk 00:20:54]. And, I’ve known so many people that work with the Jaguars. You brought up the whole moving, right? San Diego, bitter fans, and just… We’ve all seen it with the Jaguars. Go into London, just slow down there and we get all the money. And actually, and this, is a good little segue because, when you helped out with the Chargers, that was what? About a year ago?

Drew Himel:

Oh, no. That was… gosh, four years ago? [crosstalk 00:21:20]

Austin Rose:

Oh, I guess. Yeah. Because they made the decision earlier.

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

I mean, what they’re going through now, I was curious to know how you guys have weathered the COVID storm, and how that’s been. Because it’s, for us, just to kind of set the scene is, is we… It was a double-edged sword for us in the sense of, we integrate with a lot of distributors and those are our partners-

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

And they had to close warehouses. They couldn’t go into the warehouse and fulfill products. They couldn’t do any of that. So we had to shut down some of their feeds for some of our customers, which means some of our customers that are reselling those products had to cancel. But at the same time, we just get this influx of people trying to get online. And, it was great. So it was that double-edged sword of, we’re getting hurt here, but we’re just banking off of, this wave of, unfortunately, a global pandemic.

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

How have things been for you guys? What’s been going on from an agency perspective?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. I mean, I think fortunately, in all of this horrendous, kind of pandemic and things that are going on, people were shopping increasingly less in person and retail. And so, we’ve seen all the stats of the growth in ecommerce and just total rev and sales. We were, I think it was the right place, right time. And so, that grew, we’ve grown about 70% last year to this year, really due to more dollars being spent from an ecommerce standpoint. And so, that’s more brands being started in the Shopify ecosystem. I think Toby, the founder and CEO of Shopify, brought us data of more people applying for businesses and licenses, like LLCs and things like that. By 200+% than they ever have, because you could start a company and set up a Shopify store in a few weeks, really. Or a few days, if you’re smart and savvy and then start selling online.

Drew Himel:

And so, all of that is really helped along with, we help some large retailers figure out, how do we even think about DTC? We’re all wholesale and everything else. So we work with a lot of clients there. So, that’s been really good. And then, lately, it’s been coupled with Apple and iOS updates and how that affects Facebook and [crosstalk 00:23:44]. I think, for whatever reason, conversion rate is one of the metrics that’s looked at kind of last. I think there’s so much data in Google Analytics and their head kind of spins. It’s much easier to look at Facebook Creative and manipulate that to be able to change it. And so, we’ve had a ton of new business kinds of business coming in there, as well. And so, yeah. We’ve been really fortunate.

Drew Himel:

I think the only thing we’re honestly struggling with right now is finding talented people where… The majority of our team is based in Jacksonville. During the pandemic, we went fully remote and sublet our office downtown. So it does broaden the talent pool that we can hire from. But, yeah. Right now, demand is just far outstripping supply. There’s just not a lot of people. So we’re having to, kind of cold outreach and things like that, that we’ve never had to do, kind of previously. Good problem to have, but a problem nevertheless.

Austin Rose:

I mean, yeah. Hiring is a hard problem half the time, too. Especially if it’s bigger… Well, I guess in this use case, it’s almost like when you’re trying to hire somebody that’s, just maybe a sports rep, right? Or someone, a sales rep. Just a little bit more of… Need a grinder. That’s a little bit harder, because people are making more money staying unemployed. And… But then, at the same time, it’s… For us, we’re growing exponentially. So we’re looking at certain recs that we’re looking out into. And we are doing a lot of outbound stuff now, too, which we’ve never had to do.

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

Which is crazy. Usually, you would say, hey, we work at the beach. Don’t you want to work at the beach? So, sometimes we’ll get them, sometimes we won’t. But no, that’s good to know.

Austin Rose:

And then, really one of the last questions, and this kind of just goes off of what we talked about already with COVID. This trend of going online, right? Everybody seems to be wanting to go online, whether it’s, ecommerce. Just having a presence online. I mean, I know if I’m going anywhere new, restaurant, store, Topgolf, whatever, right? I almost always instantly go to their website to just see what they’re about or what’s going there. And, for you guys that’s, I mean, that’s a hundred percent happening right now, right? Are you guys getting businesses too that have never had an online presence? You’re starting from scratch.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Yeah. We just signed a retailer that was… they sell baby clothes. They do 10 figures a year retail, and they haven’t ever done online at all. Haven’t touched it, haven’t done anything with it. They do have some Amazon business and other things like that. And so, we are seeing in some of the beverage clients, there might be 10,000 retail locations. In Whole Foods and distributed, kind of all over. But, they’re doing six figures in total sales online. So, we are seeing a lot of brands that are like, okay, we know we need to figure out DTC. We’re still not sure exactly how. How do we dip a toe in the water, knowing that this is just going to become more and more prominent? So, we kind of act as a guide or, help them from a strategy of, here’s how you set up Shopify.

Drew Himel:

Here’s how you set up Klaviyo or your email tool. Here’s the tech stack. And then, even though we don’t touch performance or social, we have partners that we can recommend that can help kind of guide them through to drive the audience, and take advantage. Because, they’re still, they’re like, yeah, we’ve been in business for 10 years and we have 300,000 emails from customers. And we’re like, yeah, that’s great. We can leverage that online, pretty cost-effectively. And so, that’s been a growing market, kind of for us. We have high growth. Okay. We figured out product/market fit. Now we need to figure out our conversion and our retention. That’s a big sector. And then these other ones like, okay, we’re a huge retailer or wholesaler. How do we even start to think about selling online, and what would that entail and look like, too?

Austin Rose:

So, what’s good advice that you would give someone that needs to start an online presence? At least to start. It sounds like… And at least for me, my thought is, just ask. Just ask people. I feel like not a lot of people do that. They get worried about asking for advice. We get people all the time that are like, hey, we’re looking to do X, Y, Z. Can you help us out? And half of us are like, I don’t even know what you’re talking about, but I’ll go check it out and try to help you out. And, I feel like a lot of us are getting into that very consultant type of realm. And I feel like that’s number one. Would you say that’s a good approach to next steps for anybody that wants an online presence?

Drew Himel:

I do. I mean, and there’s just so much content available now. It’s pretty insane. And there’s a lot of relevant newsletters that I kind of follow. There’s DTC. It’s called just DTC Newsletter. There’s Leanluxe. It’s 2PM. Nik Sharma. Plug myself in, I have a weekly newsletter that I do just for ecommerce insights and tools that we’re using, that we’ve had success with for brands that we think are doing well in the space. That is just on our site, ConsultPCR.com and you can sign up. And so, there is a lot. And then, I do think, I’ve been really impressed with just how transparent and open the community has been of helping each other. Whether they’re even direct competitors or, giving some time available just to ask and, consult a little bit, to your point.

Drew Himel:

It really is open. And I think, the more business being done online is just going to be a net positive for people that are in the space. And so, you do get a little bit of that comradery and sharing of information that we find to be really helpful. I personally love still taking calls and helping, even if they might not be a client today. There’s just something that, down the line, that I do think we need. We’ll talk, cross paths and be able to kind of help each other out.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. That’s a… It’s an interesting point, because when it comes to business and competition, everybody was like, we’re enemies with this person, right? Or we’re enemies with this person. And, being in software for as long as I’ve been. There’s really not that, it’s not that vibe. It’s not that, there’s… Because for us, for instance, with Flxpoint, we really don’t have a direct competitor, but there are a few that are definitely overlapped.

Drew Himel:

Yeah.

Austin Rose:

And at the same time, we still open up conversations of possibly integrating them as a partner. There’s people that… We integrate with ChannelAdvisor, but people have left ChannelAdvisor for us at the same time. It’s weird… I call them frenemies. But it’s kind of nice from a… It’s a good breath of fresh air with software, where we’re not the type of companies to say, don’t use them, use us. Or, we’re competitors with them. We’re never going to talk to you about that kind of thing. And now it’s just, we just help each other out, right? We integrate with competitors all of the time, and it’s because it helps that specific customer out, that all honestly, both of us just want to keep happy.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. And I mean, we are tangential to software. But to me, open API integration is just the way to do it. We’ve worked in a lot of legacy systems that just don’t play nice with anything. And the whole point is that, for you to move off of them would be so time and energy and capital intensive that they don’t want to do it. And I just, I don’t abide by that as kind of a business philosophy. And so, we’re really, really open and I’ve been so happy with how much people are sharing. We’re trying to do more of that, like, hey, here’s experiments that we’ve run, here’s tests that we’ve had a lot of success with that you can run on your own site.

Drew Himel:

Here’s little things that you can do to fix, that can drive, kind of conversion. And I think, doing more of that is, it’s just really a net positive all around. So, I think there’s no shortage of information, whether in the form of podcasts like this, or in the form of articles or blogs. Or, email, newsletters and things of that nature that you can get educated on pretty quickly. And then, I think there’s a lot of people willing to devote some time and energy to, also kind of help navigate some of the more specific questions that you might be facing with your business, as well.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. I like that. I’d echo that net positive. Just, taking the extra step to help someone out. Just consult. Help them out with something specific. Even though we don’t get paid to do that, it’s always going to come back in a good way. So, that’s great. So, we’re wrapping up on time here. Before we jump off, I always like to ask this, or ask our guests to do this. Give us a quick little plug of PCR. Why would someone want to use you guys?

Drew Himel:

Yeah. I think, look. 14 years of experience in digital is like a lifetime in some other industries. I, again, I remember convincing people to build a website and not advertise on the yellow pages. And so, that’s how long we’ve been at it. And so, a lot of experience. And then I think too, it’s that specialization, I think, a lot of the agencies these days can be a little bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. We know conversion, we know retention in a very specific space.

Drew Himel:

And so, we have a playbook that we’ve applied across, at this point, a hundred plus brands over the decade plus we’ve been in business. And so, we’re not guessing, we’re not posturing. And I’m like, if this is going to work, we can look at it. And, I love what I do because it’s all numbers driven. We can point at this and say, okay, improve your conversion rate by half a percent. You spend no more money on Facebook and drive seven figures in additional revenue by just doing these basic things. So… And I think a lot of the brands that we’ve worked with in the case studies kind of speak for themselves. And, still have that client that signed 14 years ago, still working with us. So I must be, hopefully doing something right.

Austin Rose:

14 years in the ecommerce and digital side is definitely a lifetime, right? What was back in the day? What was that? Magento maybe, was the only one that you could use [crosstalk 00:34:05].

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Infusionsoft. Drupal.

Austin Rose:

Drupal.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. Just [inaudible 00:34:14], which was a really closed system that… I mean, I would make one edit and the whole site would crash and I’m like, oh my God, what do I do? [crosstalk 00:34:20] So, a lot of lessons learned, but, we’ve definitely seen a lot. But, it’s fun. No day’s the same, really. And tell that with employees, too. If you want clock in, clock out, same thing? Not going to happen. Our business looks drastically different, even a year ago from what we’re doing today. So, it keeps it fun, for sure.

Austin Rose:

Yeah. Yeah. I would agree with that as well. Well, Drew, I appreciate the time, man. Thanks for jumping on. Hopefully we’ll grab a beer later or something like that. It’s great to talk to people, other people in Jacksonville. So, I really appreciate you jumping on and giving a lot of content and context. A lot of good information, from an agency perspective. ecommerce. Optimizing your online presence and things like that. So, thanks for jumping on, Drew.

Drew Himel:

Yeah. No. Absolutely, Austin. I really appreciate it. It was a lot of fun.

Austin Rose:

Perfect. [crosstalk 00:35:14] Definitely. Definitely. I was going to say maybe we’ll, I don’t know if you’re a surfer. We’ll paddle out here, with a hurricane right off the coast. I’ve already gone out. Well, perfect, Drew. Thanks for jumping on. Everybody that’s listening, thanks for tuning in. Obviously check us out on YouTube. We’ll be on Spotify, Stitcher and iTunes as well, or Apple Podcasts or whatever you call it and give us a listen there. Appreciate everybody tuning in and tuning in for the next episode. Drew, appreciate you, again.

Drew Himel:

Thanks, Austin.