Getting your products offered for sale by the largest retailers ⎜ HomeRoots ⎜ EP 162
Ryan Cramer: What's up everyone. Welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm your host, Ryan Cramer. And this is Crossover Commerce presented by PingPong Payments. The leading global payments provider, helping sellers keep more of their hard earned money. Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Crossover Commerce. This is episode 162 of my corner of the internet, otherwise known as Crossover Commerce. I'm a host Ryan Cramer, as the introduction mentioned, and this is where I bring the best and brightest in the Amazon and e- commerce industry. You made it. You're here. Thanks for watching us live on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. We don't leave out any social media around here. As long as you can go live, we're going to be there. So, if you're watching us, thank you for tuning in or watching us. This is an interactive show. So, if you have questions or comments or want to tell us where you're listening from, go ahead and put that in the comment section. 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That being said, again, everyone, this is Friday. We're in October 1st. You know what that means. If that is a entrepreneur and that gut feeling has started to twist and shout basically for a lack of better term, that means it is Q4. What does that mean? Well, that means it's one of the busiest times of the year. And that means lots of heartburn, lots of excitement, lots of growth happening, all of the different things that you can expect as an entrepreneur. Hopefully if you set up your business right, this is what lots of people actually build up for and look forward to. This is when lots of money is spent, obviously for many different reasons, but this year it's kind of a little bit different. We have lots of different growth opportunity. This time year, there was prime day was happening around this time. We had a lot of different unknowns with pandemic and we weren't expecting the logistical nightmares and backups and struggles that you are seeing even to date. So, that being said, how are people growing and are expected to grow? Well, there's opportunities and very cool different ways to get your product out there. And one of those is actually with one of our partners at PingPong and that's with HomeRoots. HomeRoots is actually a marketplace to help get your products in front of different kinds of retail outlets. And of course, I'm not going to not going to spoil the line, if you will, of what they do, but people like that and opportunities like that. Lots of people just think I'm going to build a brand on Amazon and that's it. And I'm going to be successful and exit my opportunity there. Well, I think personally, if you're going to speak candidly, there's other ways, and there should be better ways to build a brand. And that is actually with partnering with solutions and marketplaces just like HomeRoots. So, that being said, we titled this episode specifically, getting your products offered for sale by the largest retailers. You're talking, trying to get into retail locations. There's easier ways of individually going out to all these people and managing each individual dashboard. There's one place that can actually help you get your foot in the door, especially in the home area, if you will, of the categories. So, that being said, I want to bring on, our guest today is going to be the CEO and founder of HomeRoots. His name is Gil Bar- Lev, and he is our special guest today. So, help me have a warm welcome to our guest Gil from HomeRoots. Gil, welcome to your Crossover Commerce.
Gil Bar-Lev: Hey, Ryan, how are you doing? Good to meet you.
Ryan Cramer: Doing well, sir. Yeah. Thank you. You're joining us from New Jersey. Is that correct?
Gil Bar-Lev: Yes. I'm joining us from New Jersey. This is where we're headquartered. We've been here for the past couple years just been moving around, but yeah, that's where we are and that's nationwide.
Ryan Cramer: You're nationwide. Well, that's good. Yeah. I was going to say, you guys are, you're growing quite rapidly. And like you said, moving around. So, your background, I didn't even get a chance, because it's such a fascinating background. You come from various, actually big retail stores of the likes of Toys R Us, I believe there was other major players that you played with, but I say play with, Toys R Us, play. I'm full of lots of jokes today on Friday, I'm trying to make puns and I'm trying to keep it light on a Friday. But actually you were operating in major working on a major financial product with Toys R Us back in the day. So, for people who are old enough like myself and remember Toys R Us, that was a go to place as a kid for parents before Black Friday, for any sort of holiday shopping, you knew what was up in it was where the places the people were going to, to buy toys, games, video games, anything like that. So, give more of that background. What's kind of lead you to where you are today?
Gil Bar-Lev: Sure. So, that was a good intro, Ryan, but by the way.
Ryan Cramer: I appreciate it.
Gil Bar-Lev: I like how you said it. So, no, basically I've been in that background. I'm a software engineer. So, I was really more into tech and everything else in the past, I will say, make a long story short. In the past 20 years have always been in an intersection between the tech, retail and e- commerce. I got exposed to the retail slash e- commerce world when I first joined Toys R Us. I actually joined not necessarily for that reason. It was more or for a financial project, but slowly as I got exposed and I noticed that they're actually teaming up with Amazon at that time to get inaudible sold online. They did not have the capabilities of doing it themselves. It was not the main priority at that time. And that's what drawn me. And I got pushed into this voluntarily obviously, but I got pushed into this world. And I saw how... and that's what really was very exciting to me. At that time we're talking about past the dot- com burst where stating selling online was more like, I don't know, it wasn't the best words to describe your business. It wasn't that fun. There was a lot of suspicions, not too many businesses, even retailers believed in that, that much, that was not the main priority.
Ryan Cramer: It was the backup, if you will.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah. It was the backup. Yeah.
Ryan Cramer: It was not a priority. Yeah, I would agree with that.
Gil Bar-Lev: It was not. So, I've seen like over, as I said, I've been in this industry in this space for the past 20 years, a little bit more. Well before the Amazon rush. And I saw the evolution of e- commerce over the years and I've been part of the Amazon rush myself. I've went there, I sold on the marketplace. I've gotten that experience. I've dealt with Amazon personnel, account managers, as well as other marketplace. I've seen it all. I've seen the evolution. I'm still seeing it every day. We're all seeing it, but something is not happening the same or in the same pace on the B2B side, on the wholesale side. It's just, you don't see the same evolution. And what led me to start HomeRoots or to get into it was, I really saw a fragmented marketplace that on one hand, if you were the buyer, you had challenges in finding and maintaining relationships with your vendors. On the other hand if you look at that from the vendor side, there wasn't really a digital platform like what we all know, like Amazon, the marketplace then came recent years came Walmart, the marketplace, the eBay. There wasn't really digital platform that vendors can really go to, sellers can go to, and can really broadcast their product and say, listen, this is what I want to sell in wholesale. Now put aside Alibaba. That's more overseas, but you want to get into the US space. You want get into the north American market. How do you go? How do you go about it? So, I'm not here to blame the vendors, just the market itself was not ready for that type of engagement. And to be frank, retailers did not, still do not, make it easier for their vendors doing business with them. And that's what you see a lot of drawings into the marketplace. So, what draw me for eventually, and HomeRoots into the furniture, homely decor space was the complexity of the logistics. It's not easy moving those furniture items from in trucks, from coast to coast.
Ryan Cramer: Anywhere.
Gil Bar-Lev: Anywhere. It's not easy. Even if you want to deliver some locally. Trust me it's not that... We see that as even in consumers. It's not simple. And if you are looking for a warehouse to store it, majority of the cases, you're going to say, you're going to hear back. No, we don't deal with furniture. So, it makes it so difficult. And because it was difficult. And because I noticed that there's no platform for sellers to really broadcast their products. That what pushed me to going to the lines then and make a change crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: Well, I was going to say, well, you pointed out so many fascinating topics. I wanted to kind of reemphasize. Furniture and home decor. I've been in that sector. So, I understand the pain points, if you will, people completely shy away from the fact of anything bulky or hard or just abnormal because of boxing sizes and just the enormous cost it takes to get it from point A or point B. It could be from warehouse to end consumer. If it's not that, it takes up entire floor spaces, just one piece of furniture can take up an entire space. That's typical. It's not easy to merchandise. You can't just have it on hand. You have to make sure it's coming from a warehouse. So, you have to have a lot of space. So, I see all the difficult natures of the problems you're working with. In that regards too, it's also very high ticket items. People need them constantly, that's why there's all these different retail stores. You are kind of supplementing this area of what people don't want to have to shop in, in this local, or they want to get different kinds. They want the e- commerce experience, but they don't want the... retailers want the e- commerce experience and the ease of spread. And I can get my name out there, but they don't want the nature of I have to sell directly or put it in a warehouse and the fees that come associated with it. So, you're kind of that new age solution, if you will, to make sure that they're offered in all these places.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yes. Yeah. Basically. So, that leads me to what HomeRoots does. And if you want to sum it up, I mean, HomeRoots is a B2B sales channel that enables manufacturers and sellers around the globe basically get their products into the North American retailers. So, North American retail market. So, there's, you mentioned, you touched upon that about the e- commerce and the easiness of the e- commerce. So, I could tell you there's many sellers by default, and again, there's not like there's too many choices available either, but by default, they go to sell their products on the marketplace. Like you said the beginning of your intro about Amazon and now it's more recent years, it's Walmart and there's got to be an alternative or maybe additional way of getting your products out there. But I'm not here to say that there's, skip or don't do your Amazon or Walmart business. If you put HomeRoots aside, if HomeRoots did not exist, there aren't really too many options out there. Those are the only options that are given to you, that you can actually sell B2C. That you can actually get your products out there to the consumer. And I'll give it to Amazon and Walmart. They're pretty much making it easier than other options that were there, again, before HomeRoots to get your product sold out there. So, that's an actual reaction. That's an actual, some type of a place to go if you want to sell online.
Ryan Cramer: So, yeah, well, I was going to say, so maybe walk me through the Gil. For the person who is out there and say, I hear that it's an option or it's a solution. So, for everyone who's listening to this in the listener who says, all right, who does this apply to? Who's your market? Who's the ideal customer that this is going to benefit and change the world as they sell their products?
Gil Bar-Lev: Okay. So, our ideal customer, or I will say more of a seller, is a seller that has obviously is within our space. Has to have products that are in the home furnishing decor or around the house type of products. Okay. So, they have to sell it. Like, if right now they're selling electronics or they're selling, I don't know, beauty care products. We're not crosstalk-
Ryan Cramer: Inside the home. Anything inside the home, basically. Yeah. We're talking kitchen. We're talking bedroom. We're talking all these places, bathroom, everything.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah. So, if you're in this space and you're manufacturing your products and you're looking to get your product sold into the retail space, and you're looking for additional sales channels, other than just Amazon and Walmart, you're actually looking to play with the big guys without all of the complexities of playing with big guys, HomeRoots is your place. So, if you need to have your inventory in the US, we have to have that. You can have your own distribution center that you can fulfill from, or you can use one of ours, but you have to have, we obviously recommend that you use ours for many benefits, and we can touch upon that shortly. But I will say that you have to have your merchandise in the US, ready to ship. You got to have, if you're doing it on your own, you got to be able to ship the items within a day or two, if you want to get the most exposure. If it takes you two, if you have a warehouse that takes them two weeks or three weeks to get the items out the door or their inconsistency with their shipping, stop, I don't recommend coming. It's not going to do good. Not just for us, I think in general, I don't think it's a good practice. But that's it, that's all you have to do. You have to be in our space. You have to have your goods in the US and you have to be engaged. You have to want it. And if those are the three parameters that you are meeting, then you're welcome.
Ryan Cramer: So, to clarify, so we're in a specific category. So, that actually hits a lot of different people, I think if you're a seller. So, if you're out there and you're in that home or that home decor or that home functionality products area, again in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, lots of different products being sold. Again, it could be big items like furniture, but we're talking, it could be something for your home office, like decoration or a picture or anything like that. So, we hit who that ideal person would be. So, where are the spaces you're fitting into? Is it that space where I don't individually have to work individually with retailer X, Y, Z, or different kinds of online marketplaces? What's kind of that space that you fill? And why are you doing that?
Gil Bar-Lev: Perfect. So, I'll give you the background, how it is, again, the world without HomeRoots and the world with HomeRoots, just as a background to our listeners, just to have better understanding. Because the retail space is very much different than selling on marketplaces. It's a different world, and it's a different mindset altogether, but let's say the world before HomeRoots or without HomeRoots is a world where you need to virtually, digitally, physically, whatever it is, knock on retailers' doors and try to get them to submit proposals of products and following up again and again, and again, trying to get them to want to list their products for sale on their crosstalk-
Ryan Cramer: You're selling yourself to them basically.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yes, yes, basically. So, the world out there, you have to convince them to buy. You have to maintain the relationship. It's very expensive. It's very slow. And it's going in silos. It's peer to peer. Every account you need to manage individually. And trust me, by all means for the ones of you, whoever try to do it before, it's not easy. It's not easy at all. It's very expensive. At times you can even lose your shirt if you're not really, really into it. Now the world with HomeRoots is a world where you don't have to worry about all those things. You're just working with HomeRoots. HomeRoots is per se you're customer on the books. You list your products on HomeRoots platform and that's homeroots. co. You list your products there for sale. And from there HomeRoots make sure that, as much as possible, given the requirements of different retailers and their specialties and their needs, but basically we're pushing those products to our business customers and retailers and small businesses. And we're working with you and for you to make sure that those products are actually going to get offered for sale by those retailers. You don't have to worry about all the administrative pieces of work, of managing the relationship with them. You don't have to worry about significant issue that how are you going to get paid? When are you going to get paid? What about my net terms? What about my payment terms with retailers, how I'm going to list? Do I need to learn new portals? Every retailer has their own portal. Like you have the seller central for Amazon. Imagine every retailer has their own system and they're not that intuitive at all. So, you don't have to worry about all these things with us. You just work with our system, with our portal. We'll give you a seller portal that you can get access to, and you manage everything from there. Really like an experience. You'll have a similar experience as a seller to you selling one marketplaces. With the same easiness you can get your products sold by as many as retailers as we can as possible, as well as small businesses. It's not just retail that we offer the products for sale. We sell products to property management groups and we sell it to stagers, home stagers, interior designers, and any small business. So, it's not just retail, but we're going to get all the products out there for you. And it's the easiest inaudible. That's basically what we're offering. We're offering like a hub.
Ryan Cramer: Right. I was going to say, to summarize. I think the best way to do is you've built out this network of connections that if I sold widget or like I have the set of coasters. Leather coasters, big product, or not a big product, but I don't want to just sell them on Amazon, I can have them available in multiple packs. I would go to HomeRoots and I say, hey, listen, I want to have this listed for, I probably have the same interface and correct me if I'm wrong. I say, this is what it is. This is how much I want to sell it for. This is what comes with it. I list out my product listing, the title, everything like that. And you push it basically to your network of both online and retail experts. Yeah, offline too, as well. And people can have that experience and buy directly through you guys of your products. So, you're brokering this, this network essentially of products to, I'm assuming, you said hundreds, if not, are we talking thousands of different options?
Gil Bar-Lev: Tens of thousands.
Ryan Cramer: Tens of thousands. Okay.
Gil Bar-Lev: Different retailers with almost every, almost, I don't want to say everyone. There's always room for more, but almost every household retail name that you can think of.
Ryan Cramer: Who are the popular ones. Give me a name or give me a couple names for the listener out there.
Gil Bar-Lev: So, couple good names. We sell to Home Depot, we sell to Lowe's, we sell to Pier 1. We're doing business with companies such as Ashley's Furniture. And we have many, many more that we're selling to. Even Amazon, it's one of our customers that we're selling to them as the vendor on the record, not as a third party seller, but even...
Ryan Cramer: So, would that be, so you would have the one for the basic of the customer, you're selling directly as a wholesaler to Amazon potentially as a one piece seller and they would resell.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah. We're selectively choosing different products. We're not pushing everything to them in particular. We're more targeting the world outside of Amazon. But if we have a specific seller that will say, okay, listen, I want my products to be sold by Amazon. I want to give it a shot. I want to try if it works, instead of just trying to be a third party seller, we can work with them to make it happen.
Ryan Cramer: Very cool.
Gil Bar-Lev: Just an option.
Ryan Cramer: Those are inaudible. And what does that look like? So, is that when I have, I'm assuming as the person I'm working with you, I have the option to say, I want to work with these select individuals. I want to start with this core group, or maybe it's like a tiered, I want to work with these individuals first and see how it goes and then kind of scale, or is this kind of an all or nothing solution? Is it, it's just listed and that's it?
Gil Bar-Lev: No, they just list the products on our platform. And from there we take it, we're taking it from there. We're going to push it to, again, assuming that they don't have certain restrictions. We do have some sellers who are going to come and say, listen, you know what? I really don't want my products sold on specific retailer or because of whatever reason that they come up with. It's very rare. We don't have those instances, but if somebody really requests that, we will honor that. Not a problem. Basically they just need to list the products for us. And we will then push those products out there to the market. So, anybody who can potentially sell the products to the consumer will sell the products to the consumer. And some retailers move faster than others. So, there's just from setting the expectations in difference than the marketplaces in our platform. Product will go live, but it's going to go live with some of the retailers faster than some other retailers. So, you'll see, as a seller, your experience will see that the sales velocity increases over time, just because we're getting more and more exposure with more and more retailers that are actually offering that to the consumer. So, the span of increase in revenues is a little bit longer, but it's steady. It's more stable. And then once we really get velocity of sales with specific retailers, now the sales may potentially go offline as well. And then in the offline world, in the brick and mortar world, the volumes that we're talking about are something that I believe that majority of the sellers that, or our listeners here in the podcast have never experienced something even close to it. Never remotely close to it, financially. So, it's totally a different ball game, a different experience, but you have to come with a new mindset. crosstalk.
Ryan Cramer: I was going to say with a possibility, and you're talking about, you said thousands of potential portals that people can find your products that instantaneously opens up. What I've always said is if you're building a brand, you want it to be available in all these different locals. You want your product to not just be listed on Amazon, albeit that's where a lot of people go to research to make that final purchase, because that makes sense for a lot of people, but in the industry where if you're an entrepreneur and you want to start selling a little bit higher end items or goods that are bulkier doesn't make sense to put it in FBA warehouse, maybe have it in your own warehouse, have your own ecosystem that you want to drop ship for anything like that. This is that solution. And I think is really cool and innovative and fascinating, especially in North America, as you continuously grow at that ecosystem. So, what about this? So, when I put those coasters on and working with HomeRoots, that gets listed on their website, or is just offered for sale directly to that retailer? How does that look on the other side of things? Once you get that product, what does it look like on the other end?
Gil Bar-Lev: Sure. So, the experience from the buying side and the demand side, I will say that the first step is to really bring it live on HomeRoots. Because on homeroots. co, we have a large amount of what we classify as the small to medium sized retailers. Those that don't necessarily have their own portal or their own management system. So, they really come to our portal and our, I mean, our website to place their orders. And that's the first exposure. The first exposure is, as I said, to all the small businesses, the property management, design groups, everybody else that they'll come to our us as business owners to place orders for the product. Now, the second piece of it is really taking the products and getting pushed to the retailers' backend system. So, those retailers can start first with offering those same products for sale online on their e- commerce sites. They usually tend to start off with that. And then based on the exposure of the products and the velocity of the sales and the length of sale of the products that's been out there, then there is also opportunity to get those products into the stores. So, this is like the life cycle. But essentially the way that, looking again from the consumer, okay, how do I get my product? How do I get to find those products? All you need to do is you just, you either Google it, or you go to any marketplace, or you go to any website of any retailer that you can potentially think of, you're looking for those products. You will find them to be the HomeRoots product. You will find them there. You'll add to your cart, you'll check out. You'll place the order with the retailer of your choice. Once you place the order, the retailer will then submit it over to us. And then we will pass it on to the seller for fulfillment. If, again, if they have the order and they have the items in our warehouse, we will take care of the fulfillment, very similar to FBA, by the way. It's a very similar experience. They don't have to worry about the fulfillment. We will take care of it. If they want to do it, if they want to handle it from their own warehouse, not a problem. We'll pass on the purchase order information onto them and they can fulfill from their distribution center. And we'll then, once it catch up, we'll sync back with the retailer and let the consumer know that, hey, this is on the way to you.
Ryan Cramer: You're acting as almost a, the purchase order. You're placing a purchase order with my coaster company, if you will, or my furniture company. And if they have inventory that fulfillment requirement that you had said earlier in the episode of you have to deliver it, or you have to have it shipped at least in one or two business days. Obviously that the that's a huge requirement in the world of a consumer, obviously. But you said you have your own warehousing network, if you will. How many warehouses are we talking about? What's the space like? Are we all over the United States or is it just a few select locations?
Gil Bar-Lev: So, that's a program that we started, we'll say earlier this year. So, it's still evolving. I will say. So, right now, we really have two locations.
Ryan Cramer: That's one way, that's one word for it.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah. One on the west coast, in LA area. And other one is on the east coast, in New Jersey. And soon we're looking to open up a few more distribution centers. The goal is really to be able to offer our sellers or let's say even our customers even, to be more direct, to offer our customers the ability to get the products that their consumers or their stores want delivered within a day or two nationwide. And that's something that is pretty unique, I will say, and give a competitive advantage to our sellers versus the other competitors out there. Other wholesalers that are out there that are not leveraging HomeRoots fulfillment network. Where you can imagine, we're talking about trucks. Let's say you're bringing your products from overseas, and you lend them there somewhere in outside of LA area from the port or any warehouse, whether that's on the Jersey side or say Elizabeth Port, but wherever you lend them. Now to get them to the customer. If most of the customers for those are of the products or on the other side of the US, you're not going to be that competitive. Or sorry, you will be on the ballpark with everybody else. On the same level that it takes them like 10 days to get the products delivered with the trucks coast to coast. But with HomeRoots you can really make a difference where you can get your products delivered within a day or two. And that gives a huge competitive advantage to your customers, to exposure and the willingness of customers to actually wanting to buy those products versus others. And that's something that HomeRoots offers to our sellers. So, I do recommend, even though it's not mandatory, I do recommend sellers to use our network. We're building heavily our fulfillment network, and this is our goal. We want that competitive advantage. And we don't need to look far to find very good examples of what's the marketplace are doing as far as you see the Amazon Prime, you see the Walmart Plus. You see what the two day, next day delivery does to the consumer. They just, now this is what they expect. That became their norm. So, if you're not offering that, you're behind, you're back in the 90s of last century. The world of e- commerce have evolved. And HomeRoots takes you there. HomeRoots takes you into this world where you, by yourself, most likely you won't be able to go. It's going to be very, very difficult for you to get there.
Ryan Cramer: Well, I like that. If you're growing your network, you got to look at Indiana in general, just Indianapolis, because of all the network and highways, we have so many different warehousing, and that's where a lot of people do fulfillment. The middle of the United States is super key in that regard. So, I'm going to plug my home city right there for you to take a look at, because I know they're growing the warehousing system like crazy.
Gil Bar-Lev: They are.
Ryan Cramer: And so many people are. So, go to the sourcing logistics conversation. I love having this conversation, because I love it and I hate it, because I hate it for the pains that it's giving people. And I actually sent out this photo to my company. I'm in a couple of mastermind groups with people and they actually had shared the boats in logistics you had referred to, just trucking in general. The conversations last night were kind of fast and furious. It was, there's such a shortage of truckers. There's such a shortage of workers, just getting products off a boat and to my fulfillment center is a nightmare. Not just to get it here and to get it unloaded, but to actually get to fulfillment center. And then to have that product delivered to where it's needed for this end is there's a complete, it's a scary shortage of what that looks like. So, twofold. And again, I sent the images of the boats in both China's port, which is in the hundreds, which is crazy. And it looks like a Christmas tree that led up and then the ones on the West Coast. So, I guess my question for you Gil, with logistics kind of having the issues that it currently has in this, honestly, no end in sight. I know container prices for some people are starting to go down, but there's other issues like power outages, there's other sorts of things that are happening in different countries. What's kind of happening with HomeRoots in that regards in the fulfillment side or just logistics side with big, bulky inventory shortages going on right there? Is that a opportunity for you or is that a really big headache that every night you're, that's kind of your nightmare that you're having to deal with?
Gil Bar-Lev: Well, we're definitely not a 100% immune from what's happening in the market. We're seeing and we're facing a similar situation because of what our sellers are facing. There's shortages of containers and steam boats. There is constant increase in transportation costs, not just ocean transportation costs, but even domestic ones. Like you said, there are shortage of drivers. There are shortage of warehouse employees, and that impacts going back to how fast do you need to get your goods out. That goes back to if you have an instability in your fulfillment employees, in your distribution centers, then it does impact your ability to perform as the seller in the market. And so, because there's such a shortage in truckers and such a shortage with warehouse employees with warehouse space and all of that. If you put yourself in eyes of a warehouse owner. If you run the business of logistics, you run the business, you are going to prioritize your big guys first. You're going to make sure that your big guys, whoever gives you the millions of millions of dollars annually worth of business are not getting screwed up, because you need them, as a business owner. Now I'm wearing the hat of a warehouse manager. So, think about it now. Now, if you keep that in context, and now you're going back to the seller, who's looking to get their products into the US sold and trying to find some type of a warehouse. You are not going to be their biggest customer right now. You're not going to be in their top list, because you're just getting started. Or even if you're around for a year, still, it takes time to ramp it up. You're not going to be their biggest customer on your first year of doing business with them, unless that warehouse is the first year that they are in business, but you're not. So, therefore you're going to suffer from, hard to say it, but it's sad to say it, but you're going to suffer from the consequences of their shortages. Also, same thing goes with the truckers. Truckers will tend to go to places where they have the most amount of business with. They will not prioritize some rural areas that they have one small pickup to do. It's just not economically viable for them. So, if you choose to do things on your own and you're just getting started, you're off to a very bumpy ride, I will say. And that's really what lead us. And we recognized that. We saw that, that's the side effects of the pandemic, but we saw that our sellers are facing those challenges, getting the products out there. Even with FedEx and UPS, sometimes they didn't want to come and pick up. And sellers came to us, sorry the goods are already in the warehouse, I have the tracking number. Everything is ready to go, but nobody comes to pick up. And I don't blame them. It's not their fault. They're doing their best that they can, but they need help. We recognize that they need help. And that's what really rooted. Or from that we stamp the fulfillment centers, our own fulfillment centers, to offer that. We have the power. We have the volumes, we are meaningful partner to the retailers, to the logistics partners, to the warehouses, to the retail chains. We are a significant and meaningful strategic partner to them that we are not facing the same issues that many of our seller faced with their logistics partners. So, again, it takes me back to why I'm kind of advocating to use our services, because you don't really want, as a seller, to worry about that. You want the easiness. If you think about the Amazon, when you ship your goods to Amazon fulfillment center in general, I'm not talking necessarily about our space, because our space, I could tell that FBA is not the most optimized distribution centers, and way to get their products fulfilled out there. But in other space, in other verticals, you're sending it to an Amazon fulfillment center, because you don't want a headache of was there a pickup, was not a pickup. Do I need to drive off to the next UPS store or FedEx store or the post office, wait in line, try to get the products out there, because I need to meet my performance metrics and everything. You don't want that, you want the simplicity. You love products. You want to get some sales. You want the easiness, you want to do it from anywhere on the globe, where you are. You can do it from some island. It doesn't matter. Get your products over to us, let us handle the fulfillment, let us take care of it. The easiness of selling as if you're selling on marketplaces, the easiness of it just gets significantly more sales through us. That's the difference. That's the difference. So, to make a short answer to your questions, if you're not using a fulfillment network, then yes, we're facing it. We're feeling it, because it can be the best that's what you offer us. But if you're using ours, then it's a no brainer. If you're using our fulfillment network.
Ryan Cramer: Well, that's also good to know too, because obviously if you're doing it on your own terms, so you're operating, if you're working with a fulfillment center like yourself, you are going to be that end user that you can essentially rely on. So, are you facilitating on behalf of those home depots or those other retailers, like you are the direct drop off at those locations? Or what is that relationship like in terms of that fulfillment?
Gil Bar-Lev: Sure. So, when one of the retailers places an order with us, we will ship it from our fulfillment center to wherever they want us to ship it to. Sometimes it goes to their stores. Sometimes it goes directly to the consumer. It's really operating, at least at first, it operates very similar to e- commerce. It's the onesies and twosies types of orders that getting sent out. Over time the onesies and twosies becomes more than that, but that's how it gets started. And we fulfill that. We facilitate all of it, even with delivery to the consumers. We're facilitating that. And we're making sure that the products arrive in good condition, less of damages that this industry is so known for.
Ryan Cramer: All good news to seller. All good news to the ears of the seller.
Gil Bar-Lev: Well, I have a couple more things because as we're kind of coming to the top of the podcast, a couple more things, pricing has always been the, if I can regulate price and Amazon's going to check it if I'm selling on Amazon, they need to know that competitor pricing, it's going to be one of the lowest offered if not the lowest offered, or at least across the board. How do I manage my pricing and know that it's not going to be fluctuating? Do I have control over that? Do you have control over that? I'm a seller. Who's responsible for the pricing structure, the listings, the imagery, all that kind of stuff? Who's ultimately responsible for that? So, as far as the responsibility of getting the products listed on our platform is the seller's responsibility. Similar to selling on Amazon. It's really their responsibility. Now we do help them out. We have an account managers and seller support teams that really going to work close with the sellers to help them onboard the product. The onboarding products itself. It's a little bit more intense than maybe getting your products offered by Amazon. We do require additional data points, just because we need to cater to the larger audience. So, we do require a little bit more data points, but once you've got it in, from that point on, we're taking it from there. So, you're giving us the pricing which you want to get paid for. You don't need to worry about, we're not taking any commissions. This is not our business model. We're not taking commission off from you. So, you're giving us the price that you want to get paid for. And then we're sampling the market. We're looking in the internet of things to see, okay, what are the appropriate price points that those retailers should really sell it over to the consumers. And we're giving them this information so they can then extend that price to the consumer at any given time. Now we sample the market constantly. So, we're actually doing the repricing for you as a seller. So, you don't have to worry about that yourself. You don't have to worry about crosstalk-
Ryan Cramer: You're only affecting your, or whatever the price is at the end of the day. The seller at the end of the day, they tell you what net margin you want and that's it. Per unit sold, that's what they should expect in that regard.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah. And I just want to add that again, because I kind of mentioned that before and I want to emphasize that, because it's a different mindset. It's a different mindset of selling on the marketplace and it starts off with the fact that, hey, there's not going to be any commission necessarily. It's going to be taking out of you, because that's not our business model. But with that said, pricing has to be sharp. In opposed to, we've seen when we first just started and we got some few Amazon sellers or Walmart sellers coming to us with their pricing said, okay, listen, Amazon is taking 15% commission out of my paycheck. I'm just going to deduct by 15%. And here you go, here's the price. Ain't going to work. You are now selling to retailers. Retailers need their markups. They need their margins. They need that in order to promote the product, in order to advertise it. Just think about it from, and I explained that to one of the sellers in a different conversation. But if you want to promote your products on Amazon or on Walmart, you're paying advertising. You go through the giveaways. That costs money. You pay for fulfillment, you pay for, you're getting deducted commissions. All these things adds up, But it's on you to do all of those things. And everything gets down to your bottom line. Sometimes the pay per click can eat up your entire margin, put you in a red line, into a loss. In our case, you don't have to worry about those things. We're the one who's doing it. We're the one who's advertising. We're the one who's working with the retailers to advertise it, to do the promotions, the sales out there, there's no commission. So, you have to make sure that those retailers, with all their buying power, have the ability to promote your products and not others. So, you got to make sure that your pricing is sharp, much sharper than what you're selling on the Amazon or Walmart or the world minus the commission. And with that said, you have to understand that your benefits of it is that the exposure of how many eyeballs can potentially look at your products versus you selling on marketplaces? Like for example, just to demonstrate just some of differences out there for our listeners, but in our vertical, furniture, home decor, if you take all the marketplaces combined, all of them, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Etsy, you name it, just come up with some names, which it doesn't matter. All of them combined don't have more than 10% of the market share. All of them combined, all of them. Now think that HomeRoots, you can get to an audience significantly larger than 10%.
Ryan Cramer: You're alluding to the fact that you can now expose yourself to 90% of businesses done still to this day is in retail. And that is a significant to a lot of people who are great with math, that's a significant opportunity, not just to sell online on those platforms, but to sell directly to those people who are in turn, I'm assuming they're going to be reselling those products or selling them on your website and then their making profit. You make a profit. You ultimately become the wholesaler to those retailers too. So, a couple different things, I think, that are also opportunistic in that regards. Can you brand yourself in that regards to these retailers or is there very tough stringent stipulations of you can't put your brand name in it or you can't... Are there any negatives that would hinder building a brand as an entrepreneur in this regards? Or is it kind of opportunistic where you can put your brand name and say this is Ryan's coasters plus or something like that? They're, again, keeping it brand simple of what you're selling on Amazon, keeping it across the board of what your company name. Is it being sold by you, technically, on these websites or is it being sold by HomeRoots in that regards?
Gil Bar-Lev: So, it does get sold by HomeRoots as the brand, as of now, today. And we are working on a program in which you will be able to develop your own brand within the HomeRoots space, but we will require that, that will be a brand that is not out there on Amazon or Walmart, on the world. We don't want the sales channel conflicts. We don't want that thing. We don't want consumers going to Amazon or the Walmart marketplaces of the world, finding the same brand that now they're finding it now on the Home Depot or Lowe's or this, because it just cause some tension, unnecessary tension, between the retailers and the marketplaces. And again, you don't want, as a seller, you don't want that tension, because in the bigger pie, in the overall pie, Amazon and the Walmart are very, very small percentage of the market. You're going to sacrifice the majority of the market for a very small portion. So, my recommendation to the seller, don't do it. Separate the brands, within time, once we enable that, but separate the brands. Separate even the products assortment, come up with things that are brand new, let us promote it to majority of the pie, And get you where you really need to be from your potential. And it's not that the beauty, but it's not also that. Nowadays it's not that intense and competitive such as Amazon, that you constantly need to nickel and dime with your competitors of on every small thing. Here you can really make your money and without the nickling and diming, without subscribing to 10 different services and systems to be able to sell one service to do your advertising and another one to do your fulfillment, another one to do your finding what products are selling, what's not. In other words that does your product listing. You don't have to worry about those things. Just relax, sit back, just get your products uploaded to us. Let us take it from there. We know what we're doing. We have the network, we have the facilities, we have the capabilities. Let us be your virtual sales and marketing machine that will take care of it. And one more thing to end, even beyond the sales and marketing machine. We're also handling a lot of the back office, I think. We're the first one to go after, to respond to customer inquiries. You don't have to worry about that. We're the ones who's going to make sure that you're going to get paid on time. Whatever you ask to get paid for the products. There's no delays. There's no charge backs then. It's very straightforward. So, what we're asking from our sellers is really two steps. Or two, three major things. I say one first, obviously register, go to homeroots. co register, look to register as a seller. So, it's at the bottom of the homepage. You scroll down, become a supplier. You go there, you register, you start your application. Then you list your products. You let us take care of it. And then you need to take care of two things. One, make sure that you fulfill on time if you are getting orders from us. And second, make sure you always have inventory, just watch out for those things. We're going to help you up with projections and predictions and everything else. But you got to make sure at the end of the day, that you're keeping items with inventory, you don't want like seller, like in like other marketplaces or on Google, you don't want to start having sales velocity, and then you lose it, because of lack of inventory. So, we're going to help you out with that. We're definitely going to help you out, but those things you need to do, and then just keep on increasing more and more products. Let us do the rest.
Ryan Cramer: Amazing. Well, that opportunity. I mean, again, it's how do you distribute to that big piece of the pie, if you will, of, although it might not be the easiest or it might be easy for you or now it's consolidated down to be easy for you. It's a different way to you as an entrepreneur to make money off of the products you're selling. Again, comes with different pros and cons. I think we both agreed, but a lot more pros I'm hearing than cons in that regard. So, Gil, I guess finally wrapping up in these last couple minutes, going into Q4. Today's October 1st, what's your expectation for e- commerce in general, maybe across the board? Are you more worried that it's going to be a down year from last year? Or do you think it's going to plateau or do you think it's growth? What's kind of maybe your two to three takeaways or expectations? If you had to maybe forecast a little bit in the next 90 days or for the remainder of 2021, what's kind of your things that you're keeping an eye on in that e- commerce sellers or just the podcast listener today should also take an eye or keep an eye on.
Gil Bar-Lev: Yeah, so e- commerce is here to grow. Here To stay and grow so that will continue to grow for the rest of Q4 for the rest of the year and into next year. And the next year's to come. It's just that's, I think we're all in agreement that, that's where the market is headed. There's no doubt about that. So, it's going to continue to grow. But for you as a seller, to make sure that you're growing and you're benefiting from that way of growth and said, you got to make sure you have inventory, solid inventory all the time. Now it's crazy out there, hard to book ocean freights and containers and release from. It's difficult, but you got to plan. You got to plan ahead, take more lead time, whatever you initially project it's going to take you three months to get from China hour elsewhere into the US. Now take another buffer, add another month. You don't want to lose sales, because of lack of inventory. You want to have inventory all the time and you want it to move out fast. Okay. So, it can be very, I will say, sunny season, despite entering the winter, it'd be very sunny season for sellers out there assuming that they have inventory, assuming that they fulfill on time and there's no issues there. I see a great potential in this vertical. I can tell you that. The furniture and home decor is among the top 10 fastest growing categories in the market. Actually two subcategories in this section are among the top 10 fastest growing categories in the North American market. I think even on a global scale, if I'm not mistaken, but I can be double checked. So, the potential is there. And I really believe that there's room for growth for all of our sellers, as well as our retailers. It's our customers, we're taking care of them as well, even though we're putting less focus on them during this discussion, but we take care of both sides.
Ryan Cramer: Well, I was going to say, I'm assuming there's plans for international growth and helping international sellers as well in this marketplace, but then, gosh, we need another hour for that conversation as well. But I think that's in your plan, if I'm not mistaken, of when we had that last conversation, having all sorts of opportunities for sellers internationally too, to make them get in front of, like you said, that 90%, that pie, if you will, of places where there's so much commerce still happening. And that's why we call this Crossover Commerce. It's the show that touches on all aspects of building and growing a brand. But then also, how do I diversify and grow that? So, let me say, I know we're already up on time, an hour flies by. I always promise that it's going to be a quick hour. So, for the listeners, you're still with us and the people are listening at the end of the show. What are the best ways to get in contact with you, the team, get signed up or learn more information? Is it still just go to homeroots. co? What are those ways to connect with you or the team?
Gil Bar-Lev: Sure. So, I believe my LinkedIn and the company's LinkedIn information is here and in this podcast, but regardless you can just go to homeroots. co. You can email either to accounts @ homeroots.co or onboarding @ homeroots. co. But really the fastest way to get started is really, again, visiting homeroots.co scrolling down to the bottom, see apply to be a supplier and start the process from there. It's pretty straightforward form to fill out, but in case somebody has any questions, they can always either ping us on the chat. Because we have a chat that are available on the site or send us an email, call us. Again, the contact information is also listed on our homepage and just take the process from there. And then after registration is complete and we're reviewing your... our team will review your account. Somebody will reach out to you. An account manager will reach out to you. An onboarding manager will reach out to you and guide you through the process. Again, it's a little bit more an elaborative process than just selling on other marketplaces. We do require a little bit more data points, but for that, we have a team that's going to help you out to get started and just see to get open to a totally different world, much larger.
Ryan Cramer: Love that. I love that promise. That's fantastic. And of course from hearing you and the inaudible talking with you and other sorts of conversations, I think there's lots of opportunity here. I know that I'm a big proponent of lots of direct to consumer marketplaces. Again, there's other ones out there in the home decor category. I think it's not a surprise that you call them Wayfair, Zulily, everyone across the board, but this is an opportunity to kind of have those missing links and connect them all. I love it when solutions can come together, be innovative and really offer a solution that you can get your products, not just in your, again, that's where the evolution of e- commerce really came from is now I, instead of selling to my hometown, now, instead of selling to my city, now I can actually sell across the country, across the world and have my products get in front of people that wouldn't necessarily get to see that or experience it or enjoy it. So, that's why it's super cool to see technologies and companies like yours grow and kind of match those, find those gaps and connect those dots if you will. And everyone's happier because of it. So, thank you so much Gil for hopping on today. I know you're a busy person and spending just an hour of your time today, educating our audience. I know lots of people are saying hi, we have lots of eyeballs and ears on this podcast. So, again, thank you so much for just lending some of your expertise and time and sharing what HomeRoots is doing for now and in the future. So, happy Q4, I'm going to say. crosstalk. I'm going to do, I have a little confetti burst for certain individual things like it's a celebration, but just for the visual audience out there, we're going to celebrate it, because it's an exciting and busy and scary time right now. So, best of luck to you and the team, and we're looking forward to partnering with you and your organization as well here at PingPong.
Gil Bar-Lev: Best of luck to all of us and the listeners. And it's been a pleasure being here, Ryan, I really enjoy it. It's really fun.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. Well, have a good rest of your day and enjoy that we weekend. And we'll just kind of cap off the rest of this episode. Again, Gil, now a friend of the podcast here at Crossover Commerce. Thank you so much.
Gil Bar-Lev: Thank you. Thank you, Ryan.
Ryan Cramer: Awesome. Again, everyone else. Thank you again for tuning into episode 162 of Crossover Commerce. Again, fantastic episode. I think you saw me nodding a lot. I think there's a lot of really great takeaways specifically that when I'm listening to this, I think you, as a growing brand, you want your products to get in front of as many people as possible. Again, those opportunities, you can only do so many things at a time. Time is one of those valuable assets that you don't get a lot of. And it's across the board. Everyone has so much of it. So, working with an opportunity or a marketplace or a service like this is going to get that product. If you're in, again, that category specifically in the home section, this is going to get you in front of so many more eyeballs that you can specifically say, hey, we're going to be a bit more competitive. We can see that growth potential. And again, we know that logistics and supply chain are struggling right now, but there's other opportunities out there. If you are one of those fortunate companies that have it figured out, have a team that's backing you up. This is one of those other areas that you can see that growth and really plan for not just now, but again, for 2022. I can think a lot of people are starting to look forward and making sure that they're set for Q4, but what does that you next year look like? And so if you have other questions, again, you can reach out to Gil and his team again, homeroots. co. That's, homeroots. co. Spell it how it sounds. And it's also going to be in the comments section and we flashed it up there on the screen for the visual audience. And it's going to be in the comment section as well for the podcast audience. I'm Ryan Cramer. Again, this is Friday. Happy Friday, everyone. Happy October 1st. Happy beginning of Q4. This is Crossover Commerce is my corner of the internet, where I bring the best and brightest in the Amazon e- commerce space. And there's more content coming your way. So, if you haven't experienced the show before, make sure you subscribe to our channels and to be notified of future live episodes. And then when new audio versions come out, and again, you can check all those past ones at usa. pingpongx. com/ podcast. Again, I'm Ryan Cramer and this is my corner of the internet. This is Crossover Commerce. This is episode 162 of Crossover Commerce. We'll catch you guys next time on another episode, take care.
Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Gil Bar-Lev of HomeRoots one-on-one about how to get your products offered for sale by the largest retailers.
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