How to Understand and Scale Your Brand’s International Revenue Potential ⎜ Mamenta ⎜ EP 213
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. I'm your host Ryan Cramer and this is my corner of the internet, where I bring the best in brightest in the Amazon and e- commerce space. What does that mean for you guys if you're listening for the first time? Well, that's a great question. This is help to educate people in the space, whether it be an entrepreneur who's entered Amazon or e- commerce for the first time recently, or they're just looking to apply different knowledge to their business and grow it in that capacity. We talk everything from marketing and advertising to listings, to product ideation, all the way to international growth and expansion, which is what we're going to be talking about today. Well, before we get started, let me take a quick breath. This episode is presented by PingPong Payments. That's right. Episode 213 on Crossover Commerce as always presented by PingPong Payments, helping international sellers keep more of their hard earned money. What does that mean for you? Whether if you're sending funds internationally, remittances, to your supplier, whether it be in China, which again, Happy Chinese New Year to everyone yesterday. And or if you're sending and paying for services, whether it be with a VA or any sort of international expense, pay them in localized currency and you can do that easily with PingPong Payments. It saves on fees, it saves on time and people and entities get their money quicker. Receiving it also very easy to do as well, if you're on different Amazon marketplaces or different marketplaces in general, as your brain grows, let PingPong grow with you as a growth partner. Go ahead to usa. pingpongx. com/ podcast for more information, and to catch all of our past episodes of Crossover Commerce. It's easy to sign up for free. And then also it's free to catch all these episodes all past 212 before today, and just catch past episodes to apply to your business and to see who's been on the show before. But for people who are new to the show, this is a live podcast. So if you're watching on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter, thank you for spending some time a little bit of your day, for some parts of the country, it's blizzard season, other parts, it might be raining like it is right now turning over to snow. Or if you're around the world watching or listening to this, we appreciate you tuning in no matter what time of the day. But if you have questions for myself or our guests, feel free to submit this in the comment section below, we'll throw them up on the screen that you're watching on and we'll answer the questions as best we can. If you don't catch the live stream, no problem whatsoever. You can listen on your favorite podcast destinations, or you can just reach out and just tag our guests. We'll make sure you get your answers question and learn how you can get in touch with them. That being said, let's jump into today's episode. We talked a little bit about international sourcing logistics in the gateway to year, but let's talk about just a brand in general, moving internationally with that revenue opportunity, looks like we kind of alluded to yesterday if you were listening more of the gateway to different workplaces, specifically Europe yesterday, but let's just talk brands as an international play here. It might be on Amazon, but a lot of people are talking about what's that next step? What's that look like in terms of where my brand and products might go next? And that is through obviously the topic of international expansion, excuse me. So we are going to call today's episode how to understand and scale your brand's international revenue potential? And that is going to be talked about with our friends over at Mamenta that we have Dave Vander Jagt. He is the Senior Director of Global Growth over at Mamenta, which is a software platform, a SaaS platform, let's call it what it is, helping people scale their brands internationally. And without further ado, I've gotten a tutorial, I've gotten to walk through it from Dave and I thought there was so interesting to kind of get his insights on the matter. So without further ado, want to go ahead and bring Dave Vander Jagt of Mamenta over on, and welcome him to Crossover Commerce. Dave, thanks so much for...
Dave VanderJagt: Absolutely, happy to be here Ryan. Thanks for having me.
Ryan Cramer: I don't have a translator like you were talking about earlier this week in Portuguese or in Spanish, but hey, one- on- one, it might be a little bit easier in this regard, so we're glad to have you on. So a little inside joke there for people. Dave had to do what, three webinars you were talking about the other day, all consecutively in the same one in different languages being translated. Is that correct?
Dave VanderJagt: Translated real time. Yeah. And so while I'm talking, I can hear the translator. It was an interesting experience, but hopefully helpful to some guys.
Ryan Cramer: Holy smut. I can imagine. I'm trying to think of a podcast being translated simultaneously right now, which again might be useful for our audiences and friends out there. I know we have listeners in Ireland, which obviously is not translation to English much, if at all. And we have people in India, we have all over the world listeners, but that's really cool that you guys actually put thought and focus into that. Does that mean, obviously that focus is on international for you guys? I guess going into that and segue into who is Mamenta and who you are. Is that a big focus for you guys?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, absolutely. In the context of that, those particular webinars, they were actually some groups that were primary Latin America based, so they were interested in launching US marketplaces. So most of these are brands that started within Latin, grew within their locality, what their country may potentially even have a marketplace presence within their home country. But they're looking to get into the US, obviously with the US, China, some other players making up a large chunk of at least marketplace opportunity for brands there's interest in. Obviously we talk with a lot of brands and some of our, I would say most of our client base are actually US based brands that are looking to expand outside of North America. But there's actually also a growing interest internationally of brands that are looking to enter the US or the North American market as well. So from our Mamenta standpoint, we help with both. So Mamenta is what we call a custom global marketplace integration SaaS platform. And so what that really means is that Mamenta helps brands scale with integrations into over 260 marketplaces with over 75 pre connected warehouses. So I think like three PL warehouse type partners across 70 countries. So we work with brands that generally fall into two buckets. One would be mid- market brands that have aspirations to be global, but don't yet have any global infrastructure. And then we also work with large multinational brands that have grown through acquisitions and already have a global presence that consists of all these, what we call global disparate technology infrastructures. So they've got things going on all over the world, but nothing that kind of tightens it all up, pulls it all together, and allows you to see and manage what's happening from a global marketplace perspective. But from our lane, really the end goal is the same for both types of companies. We're going to help establish an official store and a branded experience within that marketplace. And then our software becomes the connective tissue for managing their catalog, inventory, pricing, order, shipping and messaging data at scale.
Ryan Cramer: Well, you spoke, I mean, you're talking about something that can tap into a lot of people. Just talk about one marketplace. Let's just be honest and that's Amazon, but to scale, first of all, you said 270 marketplaces?
Dave VanderJagt: Over 260. Yep, at this point.
Ryan Cramer: Okay. So call it 260. That is ginormous in terms of the amount of marketplaces. What is a quantifiable marketplace? What is the definition? I want to make sure we're on the same place. What is the definition of marketplace? Is it a certain capacity level of which transactions are happening or which a third party can come in? What is that definition to you?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, it's a good question. There's probably several definitions there. At a high level, a definition would be any marketplace that offers an API or some type of integration connection, which helps you again, not only report what's happening for your products or your brand on that marketplace, but also allows you that opportunity to manage your product listings, your catalog, orders, inventory levels, pricing, customer service, messaging. So that takes on different forms, especially if you start to get into the 2P versus kind of 1P type options out there, there are many platforms like the one obviously most well known is Amazon's platform, your vendor central, your seller central, right? Your 1P or your 3P. When you get into other marketplaces, those lines get a little bit more blurred, even within the US, if you look at a Wayfair or maybe an overstock in terms of how they, it's sort of leans more of like a 1P model, but there are nuances of it that also kind of would fall under 3P if you will, for Amazon. So it differs a little bit everywhere. So I would say broadly speaking, the definition would be, is there an integration point that allows you some level of control over what's happening with your products or your brand in that marketplace, and then also what type of reporting are you looking to see, and how can you aggregate all that reporting and roll it all up into a single view?
Ryan Cramer: Holy smut. I mean, well, and that makes sense. There's a lot of opportunity in that regards as well. Maybe like the basic functionality of why Mamenta needed to exist. What was that core? Was there a gap in that market where there was nothing connecting to as many as, maybe it was connecting to 100 marketplaces or not worry about the smaller ones. I can imagine at certain juncture, if I'm a listener like, oh 260, that's a lot, but are all those worth my time to even consider? Is that kind of the gap of which Mamenta's filling right now?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, I think so. The reality is, while in North America, we know the large marketplaces and obviously there's category specific marketplaces out there as well, if you get into maybe like a house or, a home depot.com even kind of increasingly opening up as more of a marketplace. But there are also other marketplaces that may be the largest within their respective country. So look at a Flipkart in Amazon, look at a Rakuten in Japan. And so while we recognize Amazon as kind of being the juggernaut and maybe Walmart being sort of a fast follower from a marketplace size and opportunity standpoint here in the US, that doesn't necessarily apply country to country. And so Mamenta was sort of born out of that need of, well, how do you not only start to look at expansion options, revenue potential, where our branch should go next, how do you take control of that customer experience and that branded experience across those marketplaces, especially if you have some level of global distribution where product is getting diverted to resellers that are then listing that product within a marketplace within a country? How do you start to take back control of that brand image, that brand equity that you have out there with your products, but then also, I would say, just the scalability or the difficulty thereof of being able to manage all marketplaces, like, how would you do that, right? Say you have 50 marketplaces you're man, are you going into each of them individually and uploading content, fixing content, changing pricing, uploading new products, changing your advertising campaign. You know what I mean? Some of that is still limited in terms of what you can do through Mamenta specifically on the more the promotional advertising front. But when it comes to just managing catalog, managing content, managing copy, managing pricing, being able to look at inventory levels and positions within marketplaces, it's at that point, leveraging a software solution, like a Mamenta can be very helpful from an efficiency standpoint, because the size and effort that it would take to manage all of these individually can be a pretty immense undertaking. Assuming that these marketplaces do offer sufficient opportunity to the brand.
Ryan Cramer: Right. And I guess everyone's question is always going to be, when is the right time, AKA, when do I know that I'm ready for more than just one, right? Of when is manageable? I think as an individual, as you scale, your time gets dedicated into different resources, different functionalities. Even yesterday, we were just kind of just chatting through obviously different marketplaces in Europe. But if you look at a whole perspective, there's the opportunity of, oh, Europe is 700 million people. I think we were talking about clear much bigger than the United States, but each individual entity, almost like a state by state, if you're in the United States, those are completely different. So if I'm in an Amazon and or if I'm working on not just on Amazon, but like a CD Discount, which is in France, or even talking international, like Mercado Libre, or in Latinx or Latin America and Rakuten, which again, all these different ones, Coupang in South Korea, all these ones that are super popular in their own local, but I don't know where to start. I think I have a good product where I'm fitting into each of those marketplaces efficiently and effectively and not just let's try, okay, that's not working, let's try another one. And then I go through a list of 260 and then I'm going bananas. You know what I mean? Like where do I start? What's a good, I guess I'm looking for, what's a good way to get that next step and take it to an efficient and effective way?
Dave VanderJagt: Of course. Well, there's definitely a few different ways to look at this. I mean, one would be where does your product exists already? Right. So you can do that with some basic searches, go out to that individual marketplace, search your brand name, search your product, maybe search for some competitors and just understand what's happening in that marketplace already. Are your competitors there? Are they putting effort into it? Are there substitutes or sort of complimentary products to yours that are already being sold there? Can you get a sense for maybe how successful they are or how much effort's been put into those product listings, how deep they go potentially there's, and we could talk a little bit about this more as well, but there are some tools out there. Some of the things that I'm sure this audience is very well versed in things like helium 10 jungle scout, et cetera, many others out there that'll help give you estimates for certain marketplaces, specifically, Amazon and Walmart, and probably others as well, but...
Ryan Cramer: The big ones. Yeah.
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, exactly. There's kind of... There's different ways of sort of evaluating them. A lot of times what we see our brains doing is, and again, this varies a little bit, depending on the size of the company, how long they've been around, what their distribution looks like. Do they have a global presence, regardless of e- commerce, but maybe brick and mortar distribution. What are those countries that have some level of established brick and mortar sales already that may be worth considering, especially if you can get insight to those retail partners or maybe that distribution or wholesale partner within that country. Just knowing what you're exporting to that country can be obviously indicative of what the demand is and the interest in your brand, but there are some other, like more tactical things you can do as well. So looking at maybe Google analytics, Google trends, looking at your social media following, right. Then starting to segment by country where those followers are, right. All of these can be like little indicators or triggers for saying, there's some level of demand here, right? And it's probably worth exploring. So going out to that marketplace, doing those searches, understanding what's happening, where you can't potentially estimate revenue potential or sales unit sell through, there are other things that you can look at, like, how many reviews exist out there again, how built out are the product listings? Where are they falling in terms of non- branded search specifically for your products? Are they up at the top of the page? Does it appear that some reseller of some type is getting some traction with selling those products? So again, hopefully that's helpful lots of different ways to look at this, but it starts kind of with the research sort of auditing, your brand, your product within these marketplaces and starting to kind of measure up an opportunity for you.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Well, I mean that, I think for a lot of that, it feels like, and this is like a more of a feel thing of a lot of people are taking a really hard look at it. I think it was queued up in 2019 going to 2020, I think, because of timing of what was happening in the world, a lot of people were looking to take that next step, maybe got delayed for one reason or another. Obviously do, maybe the global pandemic, maybe now they encountered a lot of in 2021, the supply chain issues. But now it feels like if you've kind of gone all through that, and you're still having kicking, you're still doing growth and you're looking at all right, what's now the next opportunity. Maybe they're opening up that playbook, if you will, what has changed in those last couple years? I'm curious from a perspective, because I know you've not been with Mamenta that long, but as a company standpoint, you've been in the space quite a while. What is that change into where we are now that opportunity? What does exist right now? Because back then it existed, but where is that? Maybe it evolved and shifted into now days.
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, I think so. So our recommendation obviously is, timing is always right at least to be examining and keeping an eye on what opportunities exist outside of your home locality. But in the past couple years with COVID, with supply chain disruptions, like you've said sort of general market instability, inflation, just different things happening, right? Our recommendation, what we see from our client base is that a lot of groups are looking this as a play on more distribution channels, kind of helping to kind of with risk mitigation and alleviating some of those other sort of macro economic headwinds. The other thing is, if you're not being proactive about global marketplaces, chances are somebody else is. And I alluded to this earlier a little bit with some of the reseller risk who's taking your product, diverting it from other distribution channels. The reality is that in a vacuum, in a market of like white space where there's no product that exists, but there is a market of demand, a consumer demand for that particular product, people are going to find something to sell, right? Whether it's your product, whether it's a competitor product, and if it's your product, then you as the brand have all the liability, all the risk position in terms of your brand equity, your brand image, how your products are being perceived based on how they're represented by that reseller, whether they're authorized or unauthorized within that marketplace, or potentially, even counterfeit is obviously a big risk. And we hear a lot about counterfeit and bad actors in the news specifically here with Amazon, it just seems to come up most often, but of course that applies anywhere in other marketplaces as well. So our stance is always going to be like, why not, be proactive about it, right? Whether there's nothing happening with your brand in that particular marketplace or there's something already happening regardless, it's better to be proactive about it. So sizing up the opportunity, understanding from a cost structure, how do we get products in, how do we deploy inventory? How do I really measure my landed cost to get product into this particular marketplace? What can I sell it at? What is the market kind of dictate in terms of pricing and everything? All of those things are obviously important to consider, but generally speaking, once you've achieved some level of traction maturity and that obviously is going to vary brand to brand, but once you've kind of hit that level within your own home country and your own, let's call it your own home marketplaces. After that, it's start... It's time to start looking like don't ignore international, don't ignore global. If you spent the time and invested the time to stand up your brand, right within your own home locality and assume that especially as the world gets smaller and smaller and smaller from an e- commerce perspective, don't assume that just because I've ignored a different country, that there's not a subset of maybe expats that live in that country that know or appreciate, or are a buyer, a shopper loyal to your brand. And so thinking about those marketplaces and how quickly you can move into them and how you can get some of, even maybe your core products set up there. And just to understand what that opportunity looks like, what sell through looks like, what that audience looks like and how they purchase your products. I mean, all of those are things that can only offer upside in the long term.
Ryan Cramer: Do people get overwhelmed by the amount of opportunity? I think out there is that like a... Is that a fear of brands or sellers when they come to you guys and say, listen, I don't even know where like, it's that shock of even when selling on their first product, people can get a paralysis by analysis of, yeah, there's this opportunity or maybe this will be, there's no product in this market. So maybe my sales will even skyrocket, but is that in nature and fear of which you guys have to overcome and help people just start? Is that a problem that you guys have to encounter a lot?
Dave VanderJagt: Of course. I mean, that's the most common question that we get is, I know, I know global's important. I know marketplaces are where the bulk of e- commerce is being done on a global level. Where do I start? Right. Like where do I first look and how do I measure that? And there's so many things that go into it obviously, but one thing just to kind of call out in terms of how you may consider with all of the marketplaces out there, right? Where do you get started? Where do you have inventory today? Getting inventory into a country is probably one of the single, most largest initial hurdles. And what options do you have to deploy inventory in that country? So if playing that forward a little bit, if you have an inventory position, whether it's a brand own warehouse, whether it's maybe a retailer, a wholesaler, some type of distribution partner, oftentimes that's going to help you get beyond the kind of start from scratch in that country. Some countries have regulations around setting up business entities or legal entities to even be able to sell there. And that can be quite a process in and of itself. But if you have a partner, like I said earlier, distributor wholesale or retailer, something of that nature that's already purchasing products from you. So you have an inventory position there, perhaps, working with that partner to help fulfill inventory for the marketplace that you are looking at launching, considering launching, or you've determined to launch it is a great place to start. So one of the first things we often look at, or we ask about when we're talking with new brands, is where do you have inventory positions, whether they're owned by you or not throughout the world. And let's start to put a, let's start with those countries, because chances are, there's a reason you have an inventory position, there's some type of demand, there's some type of an audience or sort of targetting addressable market for your products there, let's start there. And then let's like, start to look at what marketplaces exist in that country. Maybe how those marketplaces are positioned, some of them are obviously focused on general merchandise, kind of the Amazons of the world, but some of them are a little bit more narrowly focused on certain product categories. But if you have product that exists, and getting products listed and then sold into the end consumer through that marketplace is often a very advantageous place to be. So if you don't know where to go, and you do have some type of global footprint, let's call it, that's oftentimes your best bet from a speed to launch in that marketplace perspective, if you have nothing. So basically let's say I'm a brand I've been selling, through my website, maybe I've got a little, a bit of brick and mortar, whatever that means to you potentially I'm on Amazon, maybe one or two other marketplaces in your home country or in the US. Where do you look outside of that? I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but looking at social media followers, looking at where you're getting traffic to your website, doing some research in terms of competitor or similar products out there, understanding if you can be cost competitive within that marketplace. Those are all great places to start. I mean, certainly from our side, we can provide a list depending on the category of your product of marketplaces, where we see the most traction for those types of products. And we see kind of countries and marketplaces that have a propensity to buy products like yours at a fair price point. But yeah, it's often white space and it can often be a little bit paralyzing in terms of, well, where do we go? Well, there's so much opportunity theoretically, out there, where do I start? How do I start to evaluate it? It's a big question.
Ryan Cramer: Oh, absolutely. Well, there is kind of my lead into why I asked that question is because yesterday again, fantastic reports of, you said earlier, Marketplace Pulse comes up with such great and amazing information. Obviously data. I always tell people follow data in terms of what that looks like. What I wanted to share for the screen there is, that's why I didn't want to do it right in the midst of talking and freak out everyone. This graph very simplistic in nature, but what they kind of... What they alluded to was again, giving credit to Marketplace Pulse for putting this on, the Amazon top 10 US e- commerce retailers, again, looking at marketplaces in general, Amazon third party marketplaces came in a total of 25% of market share of all e- commerce in 20... As of right now of when they took that data set, obviously Amazon retail goes into there, but those other marketplaces, like you mentioned a little bit earlier, Wayfair, you talked about Target Home Depot, so and so forth. Is this surprising? Is this not surprising in terms of the US market? And then my kind of other question for you, Dave, is what's the one we all need to kind of keep our eye on in the US marketplace. Is it Wayfair? Is it Walmart, like everyone wants to talk about what are those indications from you and your team of, Hey, this is one that you really want to grow in a marketplace. This is the opportunity, whether it be US or internationally?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah. It's good questions. I don't, when I look at this, it doesn't really surprise me that much. Obviously when you... With apple being specific, direct-
Ryan Cramer: Those darn app stores.
Dave VanderJagt: Not so. Yeah, exactly. And then there's obviously niches, right? The home Depot is never going to sell or at least I don't think they're going to sell iPad.
Ryan Cramer: They're not going to sell clothing.
Dave VanderJagt: They're not going to sell clothing. They're not going to sell protein bars, at least not lot of that kind of thing.
Ryan Cramer: But here's the thing too. I will take a quick side note onto that. You say never, this is the kind of the surprising thing too, even is also, or the planes were for a Lowe's to invite or have, I don't want to say it's PetSmart or some sort of, I think it was pet of foods and have some sort of stand in their marketplaces in some of their retail stores as well. So this cross collaboration of retail versus retail, but we're also talking not necessarily e- com, but we're talking cross retail collaboration. Does that make sense? So you say maybe it's never, I'm going to see Kohl's selling a lawnmower or something like that, or like a, I'm trying to think of a home Depot selling clothing. Probably not, but there's a little bit of a collaboration approach in there opportunity. So that's a sign note I want to bring to.
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, from a couple different lanes, that's exciting in terms of the opportunity to sort of cross promote products, that's-
Ryan Cramer: Get your fertilizer into your dog food all in one place.
Dave VanderJagt: Right. Exactly. And as these, let's call them, just these sites offer more opportunities for promotion of products. What type of opportunities does that offer a brand, especially like you mentioned, where home depots selling clothing beyond just kind of construction and if you will type work clothing, if you will. So it'll be interesting. I would say the answering your second question, the one that I hear the most general interest about and sort of murmurings and seems to come up the most often in conversations, I think people are beyond, they've sort of accepted that for the most part, you should be on Walmart, right? Like, we've been talking about Walmart for years now and how quickly, or if, or when they're going to catch up with Amazon and what that looks like. The one that comes up though, is Target, and Target plus that one seems to come up so often in conversations. And obviously they're even, a little bit further behind Walmart in terms of maturity of setting up Target as a marketplace. But I think that Target has that obviously from a brick and mortar sort of set up nationwide probably beyond North America, potentially there's some brand equity with Targe as a brand itself and the types of products that it carries.
Ryan Cramer: Even outside the US.
Dave VanderJagt: That's a good question. I'm not a hundred percent sure exactly what their footprint is outside the US, but definitely in the US for sure. And that's the one that most people are kind of trying to crack into is Target. And from our lane, even, we have some conversations, some contacts within Target they're obviously being very selective in terms of the types of brands that they're allowing to set up and sell. If you already have brick and mortar distribution through Target, it's a lot easier if you're a new brand coming to Target and you're exclusively looking at target. com. The barriers to entry can be a little bit higher, but that would be the one, I guess I would say in terms of just, it comes up most often and is yet still pretty small, but I think that'll be changing in the next handful of years.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. We talked with the team over a pack for you a little bit, just in the nature of what that looks like. And if you're not familiar in just kind of Jack everyone's memory, they were actually acquired by a helium 10 recently they collaborated in that approach, but more of the marketplace advertising aspect. So third party advertising a little bit easier to get into, but more of the selling aspect of trying to figure out like you were mentioning, hasn't been opened up by Target. And that's what I took away from that. I think it was anywhere from 300 to 500 sellers that were actively allowed to sell in the marketplace for Target specifically, but there is this notion I even all, I'm going to credit Marketplace Pulse again, because they really compact data down into actionable bites as insights that it's been trying to go on for three years. And so what I guess, kind of to lean into this, Dave, what's leading you into the notion that they're going to open it up even more than just maybe 500 people or 500 sellers. I would say to more of a marketplace or a bus nature of which Walmart's certainly definitely trying to lean into Amazon is the cream women crop. What are those indications to say, Hey, seller, maybe this is an opportunity and you should put this under roadmap for 2022, 20 23?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah. Well, again, if you already have a target buyer or if you have some type of relationship with Target already, I think that's sort of its own kind of different animal, probably a little bit easier in terms of getting products also--
Ryan Cramer: More of a one P approach.
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, exactly. And I think you already have something there, if you're just looking at Target exclusively from an e- commerce or an e- commerce first perspective, a lot of brands we speak with are like, Hey, we're growing very quickly. We'd love to get on, I don't know, say walmart. com or Walmart marketplace, but also long term. Our plans are, we'd love to get in touch with somebody at Walmart because we'd also like to get products on shelves.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. Retail SKUs.
Dave VanderJagt: Exactly.
Ryan Cramer: Is that a also like at the forefront for everyone that you talked to with you guys are talking was such an amazing spread of brands, like, was it Conde Nast and kind of those amazing, I'm not looking at, I'm not trying to cheat. It's just off the top of my head here. So I'm not looking at a website or anyone who's listening to this, but then the brands are amazing, like JBL which have brand equity. And if you go back to, why should they be looking at e- commerce again, retail in the terms of retail landscape of a hundred percent of the pie, e- commerce only equates to 15% of sales across all retail channels. So it is important to have a presence in shelving on shelves where commerce's majority is still happening. So how does that, is that relationship, you guys also kind of manage of both retail to e- commerce, but e- commerce to retail. Is that something of a big focus as well?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, I think so. I would say it's current state still it's a little bit more reactive, like for example, buyers at these, at like a Walmart, at a Target, right? They're really leveraging, especially for new high growth up and coming brands. They're leveraging e- commerce or basically sales through their marketplace as a way to, as a proof of concept for whether this brand potentially could be successful on the shelves as well. So to the extent that the brand can work well with whomever, their point of contact is for these marketplaces or just support and really build out their presence, support that with promotional, with advertising dollars, right. And really get traction. I think it's long term it's going to be, that sort of proof of concept model to whether it makes sense to also launch brick and mortar shelves is going to continue to trend heavier in that direction. And the brands that are ready to support and invest into even just the marketplace side of things are probably the ones that are going to sort of emerge at the top of the list of brands that these large retailers are looking to bring into brick and mortar as well. So I think that's going to continue to be the case. In terms of Target specifically, I think that this is my opinion more than anything, but I think, Target even Walmart to some extent has... They've looked at some of the, yeah, I guess let's call them pitfalls or sort of shortcomings of maybe the Amazon three P model of just kind of laying it all out there, especially in the early days of three P of kind of figuring it out, like let's just get as many sellers as we can, we'll send buyers out to these shows. We'll get tons of brands into the platform in different ways, whether it's one P, three P and then we'll figure it out as we go along. I think what you're seeing is a little bit more conservative of like, Hey, let's not have some of the issues, right. We know what the issues are because you can turn on the news and you can see kind of what comes front and center for most market place related news. Let's make sure we're not making some of those mistakes. So more of like a necessarily thoughtful, but more of a, like a methodical kind of growth approach to their marketplace offering and therefore the number of sellers and the types of sellers and the categories of products and everything that they're willing to open up as they go along. So I think that it's just a different approach, right. Instead of casting the net wide and just letting for the most part, anybody come in and sell, like you can with a, with an eBay or with an Amazon, it's a little bit more of like, let's be choosy, let's pick the brands and let's be a little bit more methodical in terms of that growth path for the numbers and the types of sellers in our platform.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. All right. Makes complete business sense to me. I think there's an approach, which again, you don't throw everything into every basket. I think this is another conversation that people continuously let's call fact and fiction or call it myth busting or whatever we want to call it of if I'm a seller and they look at, oh, I want to sell in Japan. Japan's a great marketplace, probably a third own Amazon has Rakuten has billion plus people that are actively having e- commerce multiple shopping, cross border, you name it, it checks off every top five box there. But the notion that, which if they have a catalog of like, you are probably working with brands who have like 5, 000 SKUs, 30, 000 SKUs, a hundred thousand SKUs, something along those nature which are a big brand. And they're going to look at it and say, I do, I cannot replicate such quantity, input it into a different marketplace. That is unsustainable. And I can't just double the nature of my investment into product inventory, anything like that. What I always tell people is like, listen, you percentage you half step it. If you will, that's a famous phrase. I like to use half step it into it, of call it 10% of your volume of what you're doing into. And again, that math is depending on each brand of, it doesn't have to be tit for tat. Japan doesn't have to equate what you're doing in the United States or in Canada or anything like that. But what it can do is it can lift 3%. It can lift 5%. It can lift all these percentages. And as you stack marketplaces and countries on top of each other, holy cow, the math works out so that you just, you equate what you're doing internationally, what you are potentially in the United States or not. So is that another conversation that you like to have with, in terms of like category selection and inventory planning and all that kind of forecasting if you will of, you don't have to double it, you just have to be choosy about it?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, even if you look at amazon.com for, let's say a brand that's achieve some level of maturity selling through amazon. com in my experience, looking at hundreds of brands over the years, typically 10% or even less of the total SKUs count makes up 90% or greater of the overall sales. Oftentimes hopefully you're also in an advantageous inventory position on those bestselling products as well. And obviously that, we start to talk a little bit about logistics, supply chain, disruption, right. Containers.
Ryan Cramer: That's a different episode.
Dave VanderJagt: That thing. Right. Exactly right. Like, so you can't simply just make that decision. Like, Hey, this is my best seller here. So therefore it will be my best seller over there. Right. There's other factors to consider as well, but just simply calling it out from what products are most likely to get traction the fastest in a marketplace. Right. Look at those top selling products, that's really going to be your bread and butter, right? You're going to start with those products, or maybe even a subset of those top selling products where you have, again, plenty of inventory you have, maybe in certain instances, you have to like weights and measurements and different things, different country to country. If you get into food, obviously you get into regulatory.
Ryan Cramer: Yeah. We talked about yesterday, New Zealand or into Germany market, a New Zealand branded honey, which again is a... It is technically produced by an insect, German. I think we're talking about Germany, German laws have different, have regulations if it's produced by animal versus insect or anything of the sort. And all of a sudden it has to be like stored differently. It has to be packaged differently. It has to be sealed and then boxed and sealed again or something along those lines where you don't think about it in the United States. You're like, yeah. I mean, seal it. And it ships or those different regulations. Yeah. That can certainly become tricky. You're right.
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah. Absolutely. A good friend of mine worked at a company and that makes dairy free protein bars. And one of the ingredients in their protein bars is monk fruit and monk fruit is not a permitted food ingredient.
Ryan Cramer: Ask me what is monk fruit have no idea.
Dave VanderJagt: I don't either. It's something that goes into this particular protein bar brand, or at least-
Ryan Cramer: You think that the monks grow in their backyard, in their monastery something like that. Right.
Dave VanderJagt: I was just seeing something like Costco, literally yesterday, it was like a monk fruit, like it was right on the package, like monk fruit. So I learn more, but anyway-
Ryan Cramer: Question for the audience, if you know what a monk fruit is, and if you can send it to us without Googling it, you win the word for the day.
Dave VanderJagt: Absolutely.
Ryan Cramer: It's narrow way.
Dave VanderJagt: Here does it come from? I'm curious, actually need to find out. Anyway so monk fruit's not permitted in food by the EU. And so to get that, to change, somebody's going to make a, have to make a large investment to get that particular ingredient permitted in food. And so for them, the EU of sort of becomes a market that they, it's either make a huge investment or maybe wait for another large CPG food company to make that investment, and then kind of cocktail on that. So Germany may be a huge opportunity for their market based on the type of customer that's looking for dairy free protein bars, however, there's some hurdles to get there. Right. So then kind of, where do you start to look when you have those kind of headwinds and that's the questions a lot of people are asking, but going back to where I started, generally speaking the best sellers, right? That's the catalog. There's a reason those products are the best sellers. Let's make sure that when you're listing or making those products available in a global, or let's say a marketplace outside of your home region, that weights, dimensions, kind of, from a regulatory standpoint and from a how people evaluate the product standpoint that you're in line with that particular region and any products you have that maybe are somewhat ambiguous around that, right. They just kind of apply, like you can draw them in anywhere. And for the most part, maybe with some tiny packaging changes or something like that, they're easy to deploy in those marketplaces. I mean, that's going to be your best place to start testing a product. Right. And hopefully those are also your best sellers.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely. What's a surprising mistake that you see a lot of brands make to you, maybe as an individual or as a company, it's more of like a case study and you see a lot more people start to turn that way, whether it be their fault, or just, maybe it's a silly thing that it might be listed in a marketplace in their terms. And a lot of people are making mistakes. What's that thing that's kind of shocked you with working with Mamenta or in your past history in that regards?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah. We see, I'd say like broadly speaking, the largest one we see is deploying inventory. We're putting effort into launching a marketplace where there, that hasn't really been properly vetted. The demand hasn't been properly assessed, the cost of doing business, or just landed cost of getting product in to that country from a taxes fees, distribution perspective, what you're able to actually sell the product for at the end of the day. And whether it's margin positive, right? Like we see some groups just launching product and then trying to kind of figure everything else out later. And with this many marketplaces are out there and as much opportunity that exists for most brands globally, it's a big mistake. And I'd say most brands should not be making that mistake, probably can't afford to make that type of mistake. So finding the right people, finding the right partners, vetting the product, making sure you understand duties, taxes, business legal cost structures, right. Everything that it's going to take to get product into country, into that ware, into that marketplace and available for sale, it's important. I mean, we sometimes, in our lane kind of bring please buy some of those things and not intentionally, not because they're not important, but because of kind of where we focus in terms of helping our clients, but you really need to make sure you're spending due diligence on that front. And what Mamenta often does in terms of how we work with brands is we actually have a very large vetted operating partner network that helps with each aspect of both auditing and understanding the opportunity and frankly helping to develop a go to market plan. I mean, this is pretty large undertaking and it's hard for even one group, unless that's all you focus on is just taking brands international to really wrap their heads around. So what we do is for brands that are especially brands that are looking to band globally, right? They don't have anything happening in these global marketplaces yet is we'll expose them to our operating partners that can help with each step of that process for making sure that they launch, right. And they launch with a high probability of success.
Ryan Cramer: Right. I'm typing out. I was something in the comment section to point people to Mamenta. So you caught me in one typing, well, so for stuff like that, with international growth and just kind of that notion is that something that through the software and understanding, Hey, I'm going to be able to know, like the fees and the calculations almost like a profit loss statement of this Mamenta landing cost. If I know A, B, C I can get to X, Y, Z in each marketplace, is that something that kind of helps self calculate or the team can help me evaluate all those notions? Because again, each country, each marketplace, we talked about it has different fees, has different landed costs. Where do you store the inventory? Is that what Mamenta can help with in that regards?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, it's a good question. So actually, I would say today, the answer is no. Today our software is a little bit less focused on vetting opportunity and a little bit more focused on once vetting is completed. How do we make sure that again, we have control and management of catalog, inventory, pricing, shipping, messaging data, inventory data, and we're able to not only control, but also report on those metrics. Getting to that point is something that we help our clients do it. Like I said earlier, we help with a combination of what we know in house. And having done this, from a sort of a team perspective several decades, but within Mamenta's lifetime about the last six years. And we go through this process where we're looking again, what's the inventory position, right? What do we have that's happening in that country? Are there listings there? Like, what price are they selling products at? What would be our land costs, including all fees, taxes, et cetera, to get products in country. What inventory deployment options are out there and available. So, kind of going through that process is still somewhat manual today. We also use some of those same tools we talked about earlier for marketplace intelligence, in terms of getting demand, estimates, revenue unit sell through, review, quantity, quality, like all of those types of things, competitor overview. So that's frankly, if there's somebody listening, that's looking to build a business model. That's a good one. That'd be, we may be a customer in the end.
Ryan Cramer: There you go. Well, I mean, we come up with so many good ideas on this show. I wish someone would just take them and run and give us a little bit of that percentage of what is it, the royalty fees or whatnot. But I mean, that's fascinating because again, you have to start thinking globally. I think that's where e- commerce really gets exciting for businesses and entrepreneurs is that next step or even brains in general of it could be a well known fortune 500 company in every single grocery store or retail store. And yet somehow they might be missing the component of e- commerce, the fastest growing notion of, I want my goods in the other side of the world has that effectively, how do I effectively get that in the household quicker, more effectively in collaboration in that regards. And again, it's funny to see people could work backwards, or like in Amazon doing Amazon style recently, where you can literally, they announced that you can shop. If you're in Glendale, California, you can go here soon. And you're listening to this. You can go to this store, look at one dress shop via in their dressing room on their panel and their smart devices. And you can, it'll be delivered to that dressing room, whether it be that warehouse or the footprint's not terribly big, it's like the size of a TJ Maxx, if you will. And it's there in the dressing room, just waiting for you that third party, that could be a large brand and the notion of just which the different directions. And then as you retail to online, online to retail, and then you throw that internationally, then all bets are off. And it's kind of a crazy notion in that regards. Dave in the last, like couple minutes I have with you here, what's 2022 look like for a Mamenta, what's like that we have these three goals or two goals? What are we trying to like achieve here, kicking off here in 2022 and really making our footprint known?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, absolutely. So there's several priorities right? At the end of the day, we're a technology company. So we continue to look at different ways of how can we standardize. And frankly, just build more integration, connections. I mean, oftentimes Mamenta sits between a brand's marketplace presence and then whatever warehouse management system or ERP system or both, that they're using to manage inventory, whether it's their own, or it's a, maybe a distributor or a wholesaler in that country. Right. And kind of becoming that unified, like I said earlier, connective tissue between those. So from a technology standpoint, we continue to look at new marketplaces. Oftentimes that's dictated by our existing client base and which marketplaces they're interested in getting into next. And that's kind of how we prioritize which marketplaces we're adding to our network. But obviously when we have brands that are interested in potentially working with Mamenta, they have a, maybe a one off here and there of different types of marketplaces they're seeking as well. We prioritize those things. And from a people standpoint, our team's continuing to grow. We're a venture backed group. So that's been very supportive, from our investors, from our board and continuing to grow the team. And then from a process standpoint, we continue to bring in people that can help us standardize some of these things. So as we start to look globally and as you mentioned earlier, just that process of how do you figure out and how do you actually execute getting into a marketplace where we have sort of concentrations of clients within a country? Let's say I'll use Japan as an example. We've had a lot of groups recently that have just had a lot of focus on Japan as part of their global growth strategy.
Ryan Cramer: Absolutely.
Dave VanderJagt: So, us going deeper into Japan, knowing more, I guess, being able to sort of articulate, understand and go deeper in terms of the process to launch Yahoo shopping in Japan, Amazon Rakuten, PayPay mall, all these different places, there's enough... A lot of like intellectual sort of knowledge that you just, you gain within the teams and you can build process around as you really understand everything at a very finite detail within each of these marketplaces within each of these regions. So for us, our strategy is going to be to continue to sort of go where the interest is. And we have a couple of those regional pockets throughout the world where obviously, Europe is obviously huge right now. If you start talking about just growth opportunities outside the US, typically Europe is, if not the first it's maybe the second on the list, but we're going to continue to just build those detailed integrations and really help our clients move through that process much faster to launch their products within each of these marketplaces.
Ryan Cramer: That's amazing. Well, yeah, I've been so impressed and obviously the company's growing fast. I come from software. I understand like this is more in, like, I think it's more in depth. I would call it, this is an in depth look at how to elevate your opportunities. Like you said, medium to more enterprise level brand, which a lot of people are trying to do. Figure out that next step, there's so much opportunity in the world. I continuously say, yes, the US is, he spent a lot of money here. Let's be frank. And I joke about that, but it's true. We have a lot of spending power, but as you start to categorize, like you said, these pockets of the world call it GVS, you call it APAC, you call it Europe. You look at, just in general manager or like a Latinx, you were talking about such amazing, crazy opportunity, all different in how you have to build the playbook in order to execute it. Just because the infrastructure, the language marketing, the localization, everything we talked about today and on previous shows it all has to work together. And that's kind of the amazing thing as technologies like you guys are piecing all together. It's not one size fits all, but it's as close as you can probably get it. So after I buttered you up right there, Dave. If people want to connect with you, if they want to learn more, obviously it's such a robust and cool ecosystem that you guys have built out there. How do people get in touch with you or learn more about Mamenta what's that best way?
Dave VanderJagt: Yeah, absolutely. So reach out on LinkedIn, my emails fine too. My emails is dave. vanderjagt. com. So first name, last name @ mamenta. com. Through our social platforms. We're happy to engage, however, and whenever works, we love talking about this stuff. We kind of live and breathe it every day. We enjoy whether it's a fit for you or whether you're just looking to understand a little bit more about when to think about global marketplaces or how to evaluate them, or how it would fit into your sort of larger go to market strategy. We love to riff on this stuff all the time. So get in touch with us. If there's anything we can do to add value, provide some perspective, talk about maybe somehow of a, how our clients have been successful, launching marketplaces that you're interested in or anything that touches just global marketplace expansion. Let us know. We're happy to talk. And if we don't know the answer, we're happy to point you in the direction of somebody that can, like I said, we've built a pretty large operating partner ecosystem over the six going on seven years that Mamenta has been. And so we'll get you in the right hands either way.
Ryan Cramer: That's amazing. Well, yeah, you guys surprisingly been around a, I would call that a decently long time, but that ecosystem we built on really taking off here. So thanks again for just sharing some of the insights and whatnot. And I always tell people, and once they get it through convo with me, and now I'll become a friend of the show. So more than happy to have you on again, riff on opportunities internationally, through here in the marketplaces or just any kind of notions that you guys are uncovering and what you would like to educate our market. You're more than welcome to come back on. So thank you so much for just some of the time that you got to spend here in my corner of the internet.
Dave VanderJagt: Awesome. Thanks so much, Ryan. Appreciate it.
Ryan Cramer: No problem. Thank you, Dave. And again, thank you everyone else for coming on Crossover Commerce episode 213, we're making our sweet way through the week here it's Wednesday, February 2nd. So we have one more episode coming this week. Really cool opportunity. I'm I'm going to have a, not just a one on one, which I'm typically known for, but we're going to be talking with the co- founder and head of marketing over at Suma brands here, located here in the United States. Another aggregator brand acquire. If you will, we're going to be talking with him about how their approach a branding, marketing, and omnichannel approach functions in terms of when they take over a brand, put the blood, sweat, tears into an opportunity. We're going to fast forward that into what it takes to replicate that and how to help it grow on their end. So I'm really excited to have a big one on two who discussion with him this Friday. So if you haven't done so already, make sure you follow us on social media, on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, or you can follow myself to search Ryan Cramer search for PingPong Payments. Any of those way to be notified of feature episodes, won't we go live and when audio episodes come out as well, thank you, Dave Vander Jagt of Mamenta for coming out today, sharing some insights and wisdom from Mamenta and him in his experience in the past. But until next time, until then we'll catch you guys next time on another set of Crossover Commerce take care everyone. Everyone.
Ryan Cramer of Crossover Commerce talks with Dave VanderJagt of Mamenta one on one, discussing how to understand and scale your brand’s international revenue potential.
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