Creating a Customer Focused E-commerce Experience | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

Creating a Customer Focused E-commerce Experience | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Creating a Customer-Focused E-Commerce Experience

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

Online shopping is bigger than ever. So, it’s more important than ever to make sure your digital store experience works for you and the customer. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to remove obstacles for your customers and create an online shopping experience that helps you stand out from competitors.

This training will focus on:

  • How to anticipate customers’ needs in the e-commerce world
  • Practical ways you can improve customers’ experiences with your website
  • Creating consistency in your e-commerce shop to build consumer trust

Lori Behle is a systems strategist for creative businesses. She uses systems and strategy to help overwhelmed business owners get (and stay!) organized so that they can increase their impact, do what they love, and build customer-focused businesses that are setup to scale well.

This training is brought to you in part by the Center for Rural Affairs. Its mission is to “Establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.”

Doing Business On Amazon | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Monthly Webinar Series

Doing Business On Amazon | GROW Nebraska’s FREE Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

 Doing Business on Amazon

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

What is it like for a business to be on Amazon? How much does it cost? How much can you grow? What does it take to be successful?

You’ll find out in this webinar!

Almost every consumer product business should be on Amazon. Amazon can handle shipping in a way that allows a business to scale without extra time from the owner. It takes time to be successful, but the best time to start is now.

This training is presented by Wesley Gizel. Wesley is the co-owner of Hometown Industries of Lincoln, NE. He has been working with Amazon for four years, and along with his partner has built their business on managing Amazon accounts. They currently manage the accounts of more than 30 businesses. Wesley also has a background in economics and accounting. 

This training is brought to you in part by the Center for Rural Affairs. Its mission is to “Establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.”

GROW Nebraska Partners With Lincoln Company to Boost Amazon Sales

GROW Nebraska Partners With Lincoln Company to Boost Amazon Sales

Show Your Love For Local – December

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Amazon may seem like a “big business” that competes with small shop local programs.

But, selling on Amazon can reap huge rewards for small businesses, and GROW’s new partnership with Lincoln’s Hometown Industries is helping businesses succeed on the massive marketplace.

Cammie Kroll, GROW’s IT and Development Coordinator, said Hometown Industries has already helped GROW boost sales of GROW products on Amazon.

“We had dabbled into it before, but their knowledge and research helps us to run ads that always help make sales,” Kroll said.

As an example, Hometown Industries helped GROW double sales of Dorothy Lynch’s four-pack of 16-ounce bottles every week after they started running Amazon ads.

“It got to the point we were having a hard time keeping cases in stock to ship them all,” Kroll said. “And, those sales have maintained.”

When GROW products are shipped to customers through Amazon, GROW takes the opportunity to insert marketing materials for other GROW products and offers other buying options besides Amazon. The goal is to create repeat customers for GROW members.

“We want to help customers love our members’ products as much as we love the products,” Kroll said.

Hometown Industries

Hometown Industries owners Wesley Gizel and Jan Gierlach are experts at helping businesses increase sales on Amazon. They started their business three years ago part-time, and it quickly grew into a full-time business. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, their business spiked as more customers shopped online and entrepreneurs pivoted to reach those shoppers.

Hometown Industries recently opened a storefront location at 5505 O Street in Lincoln, hired two employees and is looking to add more staff.

Hometown Industries joined GROW Nebraska and started partnering with GROW in the summer of 2020 to boost its member sales on Amazon.

“Amazon is a great way to bring cash into Nebraska,” Gizel said. “If you are selling items, you might as well be on there.”

Small local businesses can continue to serve local clients while also reaching out to a broader customer base by selling on Amazon.

“Amazon is a wonderful way for these local businesses to reach customers all over the United States,” Gizel said. “GROW Nebraska and Hometown Industries are helping these companies build up sales.”

Kroll said Amazon is becoming like a search engine. If products don’t appear on the first page of the search results, sales aren’t as strong as they could be.

“Hometown Industries is helping us get those products visible and widen the marketing so we can help our businesses gain customers they might not otherwise get,” Kroll said.

Gizel said that selling on Amazon may also help a business get its product into large retail chains, which often won’t accept products that don’t have proven sales records.

“Amazon is a wonderful way to break that cycle and prove that you have a product that customers like,” Gizel said.

Gizel has a background in economics, which helps in analyzing Amazon data and trends. Jan is a software developer. They perform tasks such as keyword research and product comparisons and have an understanding of which strategies are most successful to increase sales on Amazon.

Hometown recently helped a pet-toy manufacturer increase sales from $200 a day on Amazon to a minimum of $1,000 a day and sometimes close to $2,000 a day.

“There were no simple tricks involved,” Gizel said. “It took a lot of effort.”

They work with business owners across the United States who sell products ranging from pet toys to auto parts and specialty foods.

GROW Members Benefit

Kroll said all GROW Nebraska members who sell products on Amazon are benefitting from this new partnership with Hometown Industries.

“We view this as an added benefit of your membership,” she said. “We are helping market on Amazon for you. As a GROW member, you get paid Google ads and if you have a product that’s eligible to be on Amazon, you will have paid ads on Amazon.”

Kroll said some members have their own paid Amazon ads, and GROW will not compete with those.

GROW started with a small product line to “get their feet wet” with Hometown Industries, and now GROW has been adding more items to ensure that every eligible member will have Amazon ads.

“We are trying to be all-inclusive,” Kroll said. “It will take a little time to get to everyone, but we are getting close to that point.”

To sell on Amazon, products must have a UPC. GROW can also advise members on the UPC process if needed.

Kroll said GROW has referred individual members who want further help with Amazon to Hometown Industries. GROW staff would be glad to set up a meeting for any member who wants more information about boosting Amazon sales.

“It’s kind of a win-win for everybody since Hometown Industries is a Nebraska business that is starting to grow as well,” Kroll said.

GROW Nebraska® Foundation is a statewide non-profit training and marketing organization. Serving over 400 Nebraska small businesses, the organization provides marketing opportunities, education, and training to launch and connect Nebraska businesses to the global marketplace. GROW Nebraska’s educational programs receive federal and state funding, along with generous support from foundations and individual donors.