Aligning Goals And KPIs: Maximizing The Benefits Of Strategic Partnerships In Social Commerce With Ashley Scorpio

TLEP 74 | Strategic Partnerships

 

Special guest Ashley Scorpio is a seasoned digital strategist with a proven track record of driving significant growth for agencies, startups, and brands. With over a decade of experience in traditional and digital marketing, she is a performance marketing expert with a technical specialty in social media advertising, focusing on new customer acquisition. We brought her to eStreamly’s Social commerce community to share her knowledge and deep experience.  Throughout her career, she has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spending that helped launch and scale household digitally native eCommerce brands and publicly traded SaaS companies. This episode begins with an overview of Nicolas’ and Ashley’s experience and key takeaways from ShopTalk Vegas 2023. Then, Ashley discusses the importance of partnerships and collaborations in the eCommerce industry. She emphasizes that partnerships are about adding value, not extracting value, and aligning brand values is crucial for success. Ashley provides examples of successful partnerships and strategies for identifying potential partners, including taking stock of past and present partnerships and looking for untapped opportunities. She also discusses measuring the success of a partnership campaign and the challenges facing eCommerce businesses when establishing partnerships. Ashley shares strategies for promoting a live stream on social media and highlights the role of partnerships in business development and customer acquisition. She concludes by emphasizing the potential for untapped opportunities in collaborations beyond influencer marketing and the importance of nurturing relationships and raising each other in the community.

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What is Live Shopping?  Live shopping gives consumers the opportunity to purchase as they watch video streams. With social commerce, retailers can broadcast live video streams and engage with consumers in real time. eStreamly’s video commerce solution enables brands to host live shopping events across multiple channels. From shoppable live shows on social media to hosting video commerce events. Live shopping is the future of retail. Live streaming shopping apps, shoppable videos, these are the tools successful retail brands will need. eStreamly’s white label solution gives brands shoppable videos. As live streaming shopping gains momentum eStreamly is empowering retailers to leverage these Live streaming shopping apps and shoppable videos to drive higher conversion rates. Connect with today’s mobile first consumers. 

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We are joined by Ashley Scorpio, who is a seasoned digital strategist with a proven track record of driving significant growth for agencies, startups, and brands alike. With over a decade of experience in traditional and digital marketing, she is a performance marketing expert with a technical specialty in social media advertising and a focus on new customer acquisition.

Over the course of her career, she has managed millions of dollars in digital AdSpends and helped launch and scale household digitally native eCommerce brands and publicly traded SaaS companies. Nicolas and Ashley already have a developed relationship together, collaborating and partnering on things. There’s so much to explore in this episode. Before we get into that, Nicolas has some updates on what’s going on over at eStreamly.

Thanks, Whitney. Thank you, Ashley, for being here. I’m so excited to have you on. A quick update on eStreamly, we did a quick release of the new version of the Shopify app which is going much more in breadth than the first version we had. We’re pretty excited about that. We have a lot in the pipeline when it comes to video commerce integrations. We’re working on a great number of integration from Commerce Cloud to Magento to Commerce tool and so many others.

We’re excited about what live commerce has to offer and how is it growing. I don’t know what you feel about that, Ashley, but first of all, we were in Shoptalk a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, there was a lot of learning. Maybe we start with that. It’s been there. We landed back from Shoptalk. You are living in Vegas so you didn’t land too far. I’d love to hear your feedback. What are the main three things that you come out of Shoptalk? What’s the main highlight for you?

Thank you both so much for having me on. I consider Shoptalk to be the Olympics of eCommerce. There are a lot of different shows out there. I’ve had the pleasure of attending most of them, at least pre-pandemic since a lot of them have rebooted back to in-person. I find Shoptalk a homecoming of sorts. That might sound a little odd because I am now a Las Vegas local, so it’s not that far for me to go. I find that it’s an absolutely fantastic show to connect with not only existing clients or brands that you might be working with or supporting but also partners. I love to see and catch up with people across the ecosystem, particularly at Shoptalk. That is one of the main shows that people show out for.

I also love to see, to your point and even with your own announcement, all of the new product updates and announcements. I find that a lot of our partners, especially on the technology side, will time some of their announcements accordingly. They either announce at the show, in the lead-up to the show, or during a panel or keynote that they’re presenting at the show, or even if they’re demoing or showing the new product on the show floor at their own booth or anything like that. I always find it extremely interesting to see what the latest and greatest is from our technology partners at the show. Of course, getting to see and catch up with everyone across the ecosystem.

Finally, Shoptalk did a couple of things well in 2023 from a logistical perspective. Beyond Nelly and performances and things like that, the concept of the pitches and startup pitches that they did was fun and a great tie-in into the different stages of companies and businesses that are part of the ecosystem. Beyond the startup pitches, I felt that there was a lot of positive feedback from our partners about speed dating with brands, which was an efficient way to get to know and get exposure to a lot of brands in a very short period of time.

TLEP 74 | Strategic Partnerships
Strategic Partnerships: Speed dating with brands was efficient to know and get exposure to many brands.

 

The partnership side definitely resonated with me. One day, I received an email that says, “You should join this WhatsApp group.” The next thing I know, I’m part of a 400 WhatsApp group organized by Ben Parr, which lead Octane. It’s an awesome group where people are exchanging, partnering, sharing what they do, and everything. I’ve been doing a lot of trade shows and it’s the first time I’m part of a group like that that’s spontaneously got together, had a party, and all that. It’s an ecosystem. I agree. It’s been a fantastic place to be and hang out. The other big takeaway that I got was on the eComm side.

On the live shopping side of video commerce, I was blown away by the response to video commerce. This is the topic that people are talking about. There’s this two-way. It’s the hype that people have been having from an investor perspective and a number of company perspectives. A lot of people have been talking about this. It’s been a topic, and then we know that Meta has made this announcement dropping out. There was some rumor that TikTok was dropping out while they were not dropping out. They were just doubling down. It created this fog on this whole ecosystem and people are starting to ask questions, “Is it for the US market? Is it going up?”

The media are talking quite a bit about this negative aspect, but from a brand perspective and engagement perspective having talked to a lot of people, I feel that it’s never been more pre-eminent than it is now where people are curious looking at it and how do we do it. They are wanting to know more explanation about how we implement it. There are a lot of questions about what’s the analytics and how do I make it happen. That felt exciting to me.

Another takeaway that I love from Shoptalk was, in the last session, there was this session with Sam Wick. It was a talk about the creator economy. There was him, someone from Overstock, and this person from Business Insider that was organizing the conversation. What interested me in this conversation is that not only does the creator economy keep growing. It’s now over 300 million people that are part of the creator economy system. When you think about this at the scale of the US, it’s almost like one US at the global level is at our creator economy, and 40% of those creators aspire to be entrepreneurs or have their own means of revenue. You think about ads revenue and sponsorship are drying down because YouTube changes with promoting more the chart versus the regular videos. TikTok is a little bit harder to monetize.

People are thinking more about creating their own brand and ecosystem on their own land. This company is investing in creators, trying to replicate the Mr. Biz model and identify creators that have a strong followership. The person was saying 500,000 followers is where they started looking at it and looking at creators that want to have an impact on the future of their business and what they’re doing. What was interesting in that conversation was the fact that the number one difficulty that he was facing when he was approaching this motivation from the creator was commitment. As a creator, the longest engagement you probably had was a year if you do a movie or something.

When you’re launching a business, we know the average success of a business is 7 to 8 years, so you’re talking about a 7 to 8 years commitment. Finding those creators that can understand are fully committed to making it happen and have a rich ability to understand their audience very well who wants to take it to the next level. If you are one of those people, this is a fantastic opportunity. If you have an audience and you are in this space, there is hard capital and VCs investing in you. The future of the creator economy is they become a media company

As a media company, you have this opportunity to move from media to a product company and start selling. It’s interesting and it echoes what some are saying. Probably in the next 10 to 15 years, in the top five companies, there will be a couple of creators into that. I’m excited about the conversation at Shoptalk. I definitely love the topic. Let’s stop talking about Shoptalk. One of the things that I wanted to engage with you is around marketing partnership. It’s an interesting topic, partnership in the context of eComm and what the strategies are around that.

We’ve talked quite a bit on this show about live shopping, working with influencers, and working different things from creation all the way down to the different ways of marketing, but we didn’t approach partnership. I think it’s one of the areas of your expertise. I wanted to ask you, when you come to partnership, how do you go about identifying a potential partner for your eCommerce business? I’d love to hear from you about that.

A partnership is all about adding value and bringing value to the table for your partner. Certainly, some people approach it from a polar opposite aspect of extracting value. That is the dead wrong way to go about partnerships. If that’s your mindset, you probably shouldn’t be in partnerships at all. If you are a brand or a merchant and you’re thinking about building out a marketing partnership or relationship with one of these creators as you mentioned, the number one thing is to ensure that there is an alignment in your brand values. If sustainability is a big part of what your brand stands for, you want to ensure that any creator that you engage with or an influencer that you work with to promote your brand and products is on board with that as well.

Perhaps, if they have some extremely wasteful content that they’ve put out in the past, that would not be a good look for your brand. I’ve been on the agency side of the ecosystem for many years now. If you’re talking about partnerships between an agency and you’re thinking about how we can support our technology partners on the agency side, there are a couple of different things, whether it is co-producing a podcast or doing a blog swap. It’s all about getting your partners front and center of your existing client base. Inversely on the tech side, getting your agency partners in front of your customers.

It should always be mutually beneficial. At the end of the day, it should be a win-win-win because there are three parties in the partnership. It’s not just the agency partner and the technology partner but there are also the clients and customers. At the end of the day, any of these recommendations, referrals, or the partners you’re promoting to your clients or customers should genuinely be great fits for them, their use case, and their needs. They should be best-in-breed or best-in-class solutions, whether it’s a technology platform or solution or service providers on the agency side as well. I’m with Levitate Foundry. We are the largest female-founded that leads Shopify Plus preferred agency partner in all of North America.

We pride ourselves on diversity. Similarly, when we’re talking about these partnerships and alignment in values, we love working with other partners that also promote diversity, and put that front and center. Even right now with this particular show, I had the pleasure of hearing that you have a plethora of female guests, which is amazing and laudable because that is often not the case in podcasting, unfortunately. It’s always finding that alignment between your organization, your brand, and your partner. The two of you, hopefully, can create magic together in order to levitate the results that any of your mutual clients or customers might see.

Levitate Foundry is the largest female-founded LED Shopify Plus preferred agency partner in North America. We pride ourselves on diversity. Click To Tweet

I appreciate the way that you’ve articulated it and there are a couple of things I want to touch upon and follow up on. The first one is the diversity element of it, which we’ve dabbled in on the show. We did a whole episode dedicated to women in tech, for example. We’ve talked about diversity a few times, but probably not enough. I would love to hear more about that because some brands don’t know how to increase diversity in their partnerships and maybe even on the influencer side of it.

How do they create diversity in the people that they work with? I’d love to hear more about how somebody can start approaching that, and how they could even do an audit of their past partnerships and recognize the gaps there and the opportunities. How do they start to seek them out in a way that doesn’t feel too contrived but something that is truly in alignment like you’re saying?

I couldn’t agree more with you. Knowledge is power. One of the first things is to even take stock. Where are you currently? What is the makeup of your team? What is the makeup of the content you’re putting out? What types of people or organizations are you promoting or working with and co-marketing with? It’s also interesting to think about and see when I look across even the partner ecosystem, how many of the partner managers are diverse candidates or from different backgrounds? How many are cookie cutters of each other? There are a lot of different partners that have done a lot within the ecosystem to also bring this to the forefront. Yotpo is a great example. They launched an entire community called Amazing Women in eCommerce. They put programming together around that and awards.

I have had the absolute pleasure of being an honoree of Amazing Women in eCommerce in the past. Our founder and CEO at Levitate Foundry is an AWIE honoree in 2023, which is exciting. Similarly, we were chatting about Shoptalk before getting into this. They made a point of celebrating some of these women in eCommerce and the industry. This is extremely important because it’s not just window dressing. If we talk about commerce and eCommerce in retail, at least more than half of the audience of the end-customer of a lot of these brands and merchants is female or perhaps non-binary. The demographics out there that you’re often looking to reach, particularly on digital marketing channels, are female.

A lot of women influence buying decisions within their households, particularly because there is still oftentimes somewhat of an inequitable distribution of labor on the domestic front. Women are often responsible for CPG purchases for the entire household and things like that. Even if you drill down into other demographics like Millennial mothers specifically, the purchasing power is astronomical compared to some other similar groups. A lot of people don’t realize this. Ultimately, it’s not just that it’s great, it’s a good thing to do, and to be diverse and inclusive but it’s good business. It’s a good business practice if you want to sell more, be successful, and grow your eCommerce brand.

TLEP 74 | Strategic Partnerships
Strategic Partnerships: Being diverse and inclusive is good business practice if you want to sell more, be successful, and grow your e-commerce brand.

 

We talk about the partnership from a marketing standpoint. In this case, we were talking B2B. I don’t know if you saw that but at Shoptalk, I saw this company. What they were doing is they were pairing brands together to do an email list swap. I thought it was pretty clever. If you do a beauty product and you may have an email list of 2,000 folks and then there’s another company that does shoes and another one that does glasses, they put five companies together that are around the theme. It may be summer or something that has a special theme that will accelerate. Each of them has to contribute whatever the email list is.

Generally, it is around 2,000 or more. They make sure that they pair and everyone brings equally, but then everyone provides the discount. Now that email is sent to the whole group. Let’s say you have 2,000 emails and now you are getting in front of 2,000 by 5 so it’s 10,000 people and you have a discount. Now you can tap on the audience of the guy or the lady that is bringing the glasses. This is a smart strategy. In this case, it’s software, so they try to facilitate that. There are countless eCom founders that have friends that are tapping into the same demographic and product, and they can benefit.

Thinking it through that like, “Why don’t we join the effort and do a campaign where we swap emails.” It’s interesting because all of a sudden, you are swapping emails. Because you are sending new emails to your base with those things, your client has opt-in for you. It’s the way to get the coupon for that brand. That’s what the software is doing. You opt-in to get into the email of everyone.

You can think creatively about that. It’s interesting because now you are expanding your reach and getting in front of more audiences at a relatively minor cost. We know that email is 30% of the whole eCom. I thought it was a pretty interesting way of partnership. I wonder if you have any examples of successful partnership campaigns you have run or heard about. How did you measure that success? I love to hear about that.

I absolutely love that example because you hit on so many different things even with that one example. One is that you’re aligning ICP across partners to ensure that the partnership makes sense and that you have enough alignment in your existing audience demographics and who you’re trying to reach so that it is a logical and good fit. That is one of the ways in which you would evaluate a partnership, to begin with. Two, it is that win-win-win. To your point, there is each of the brands that are participating and there’s the coupon that their end-customer or prospective customer is getting and hopefully appreciating. There’s a win-win-win in there for everyone.

In addition to that, you mentioned email and lifecycle channels being at least 30% of commerce revenue for most eCommerce brands. We’ve seen even double that, especially in the past two years since the iOS 14 changes. Ever since then, with the absolutely astronomical spike in cost per action from your traditional digital marketing performance paid media channels, your owned and earned channels have become more important than ever. Something like that is more apropos. There are some new email subscribers on one of the other participating brands that this other brand A hasn’t had contact with brand B’s existing customer base even though there’s a good overlap within their target demographics.

With the astronomical spike in cost per action from your traditional digital marketing performance channels, your owned and earned channels have become more important than ever. Click To Tweet

That example is absolutely fantastic and that’s the exact type of initiative brands of businesses should try and pursue. I have done a lot of co-marketing with partners over the course of my career in partnerships. I oversee revenue at Levitate Foundry. Prior to this role, I was the SVP of partnerships at Hawk Media, Before that, I was the head of partnerships at Wpromote. Over the course of my career, I’ve done anywhere between 20 and 30 co-marketing initiatives with partners each month. Also, sheer volume.

I do think blog swaps are a great one, especially for link juice and from an SEO perspective. I do newsletter swaps or even features within a newsletter. I love this concept of offering a coupon as well. Even from a B2B perspective, when you’re working with an agency and a tech partner, sometimes there will be a free audit or consultation or a discount on your first month or three months of services on the agency side for any brand that wants to engage with the offer that they found in a partner’s newsletter. Those work particularly well.

There were a lot of virtual events whether it was a traditional webinar or more of a virtual activation during the pandemic. That was a little new. After people were cooped up for the better part of two years, there is a huge demand. We saw this at Shoptalk in order to get out into the world again and get in person and network. That’s another great one. If you can co-host events together offline, ideally, it get us all out from behind and in front of these screens. That works well too, particularly if there is a content component of anything you’re doing together and if there’s value you can bring to your audience in the sense of learning.

You’re listing out all of these opportunities to partner and one we haven’t touched upon. I know you’re very savvy with your background in social media. I’m curious how important you think social media is to promoting livestream from two angles. One is your own social media if you have a product or service that you’re selling on live. Two is influencer marketing where you’re partnering with somebody in the social media space. It’s bringing their own audience to what you’re doing on live video. What are your perspectives on that? We could probably spend a whole episode, but what are the quick takeaways?

I started my digital marketing career in organic social before moving into paid social and what have you. I do think organic social is more important than ever because that is what I would bucket in with those owned and earned channels. I do agree with you, Nicolas, especially when we see how sometimes algorithm changes can deprioritize content from certain creators. We saw this with Meta in the past few years, and it can basically wipe out their business model overnight. I do think it is important to diversify and not put all your eggs in one social basket for many reasons.

We’ve even seen conversations in the US about whether or not the United States will ban Tiktok. If you’ve built up an absolutely massive viral following on TikTok but you haven’t gotten any of those subscribers to follow you perhaps over to Instagram Stories, Reels, YouTube, or even Twitch depending on what you produce content on, that’s a huge miss as well. It’s important to be active on more than one platform. Maybe even diversify your content slightly by platform because the people who use one platform might vary slightly differently in their interests as well, obviously, within the anticipated content buckets that you would usually put out in produce in the world.

It’s extremely important. If you are promoting a livestream specifically, there are a couple of different ways to do that on social media. One of the things is to build up hype and FOMO ahead of time. It’s important to tease out that this is going to occur. I don’t think you should go live one day with a shoppable livestream. A lot of creators do that when they’re debriefing or spilling some tea. If you have some serious business to do, you need to take it seriously just like you would in any other event.

You should probably have an event page. You should promote your events page. You should have content leading up to teasing out what is going to be interesting. Something else is when it comes to building hype and FOMO. That works particularly well. Do you know how we were talking even at Shoptalk about product announcements from the technology side? Similarly, on the brand side, if you are going to do a product drop on your livestream or an exclusive product drop that cannot be found or purchased anywhere else, that’s a great way to build up interest and excitement and drive attendance to your shoppable livestream.

Building up that FOMO on your own channels, teasing it out definitely weeks and days ahead of time and day of, sending notifications, getting people to opt-in to push them to come over and join live, whether it’s a push notification, a text message, email, etc. You’re going to leverage those own and earn channels like your lifecycle channels to make the stream successful.

Leverage those owned and earned channels like your lifecycle channels to make the stream successful. Click To Tweet

To your point, you might have influencers or creators that are joining the stream live. They might be emceeing the stream or in person. If you’re an apparel brand, they might be modeling or wearing some of the apparel. There are a bunch of different ways to include creators and influencers in this type of content. You also might not have them as part of the livestream, but they might be promoting it leading up to it. They might even be showing specific products and things in the lead-up to it, and building up that hype and that FOMO.

Those are a couple of different ways. The reason you might want to do that is that a particular creator or influencer might have a large audience that falls nicely within your ideal customer profile that perhaps is untapped for you. Perhaps they have a larger reach and following than you currently do in that specific area or region. You’re strategically partnering with them to hopefully capture more of that audience.

I love you say that. I remember sitting in a conversation with a marketer and a client. There were three of us and we were talking about how we activate a campaign for going live. The marketer says, “We should be using the Launch.” It’s a book from Jeff Walker and it has a whole framework for how to launch a product. They’re using that same framework to create and add that to your livestream. I since read that book to make sure that I was in alignment. It’s a fantastic book and framework. That led us to implement an SMS subscription on our pre-event.

You can easily have a drop on pre-event registration, and then you’ll send automatic SMS as soon as you go live. I love this idea of hyping up the beginning of your stream. It’s important and once you have done that, if you want to get the most out of the return, come back and do it consistently, reusing your content. We’ve talked about this quite significantly during the show.

I love all those topics and questions. From the partnership side, what do you think is the biggest challenge for an eCommerce business when you come to establish a successful partnership? You’ve talked about the alignment of the audience. If someone says, “How do I establish partnerships?” We’ve done a couple of tips here, but what is the thing that they should be thinking about to keep that in mind as well?

One of the most important things to consider before scaling partnerships is resourcing. Partnerships are very much about people, individuals, and organizations. Building, maintaining, and nurturing a relationship can be quite time intensive. Ideally, depending on what your overarching marketing and business strategy is, you might have a dedicated person that manages partnerships, strategic partnerships, or brand partnerships within your organization. At a certain point of the scale, you might even have a whole team or department that does this.

Initially, with startups, we see a lot of founders and CEOs on the brand side or the tech side. They wear many different hats. A lot of that includes their strategic partnerships, at least initially. I’m sure you know yourself that being a founder and a CEO can be quite hectic. There are a lot of other things you need to also focus on to keep the lights on in a startup environment and ensure you have enough runway to have a successful business. You mentioned earlier in this conversation, probably for at least 6 or 8 years.

TLEP 74 | Strategic Partnerships
Strategic Partnerships: You need to focus on keeping the lights on in a startup environment and ensure you have enough runway to have a successful business.

 

Partnerships can be a key component of business development, growth, and customer acquisition. It is labor intensive. That is extremely important to have an approach or a strategy before you dig in and try and do partnerships at scale. Similarly, you should have some set guardrails and KPIs around how you measure the success of partnerships. That way, you can allocate the time and resources that you do have appropriately.

It’ll vary based on the initiatives. One way of measuring a successful partnership might be the number of referrals you make to each other. If it’s a co-branded marketing partnership, for example, the newsletter you create with the coupon. It’s how many net new email subscribers or purchasers or net new customers did you obtain from that specific promotion. You should always think about the KPIs being appropriate for the action taken.

Similarly, if you realize that you have different goals than the KPIs that a campaign could reasonably drive, maybe it’s the wrong type of campaign or initiative. Those are things to think about when you are aligning your partnerships and marketing strategies. Partnerships and marketing don’t have to be separate whatsoever. There’s the whole discipline of partner marketing. Oftentimes, the most successful marketing campaigns do have a partner component, whether that’s a creator, an influencer, a peer, or another organization.

The possibilities are endless. Those are all things to keep in mind. Partnerships can be a lot of work and very time intensive on the con side since that’s what you asked about. They can also be a lot of fun and very rewarding and fulfilling. Ultimately, they can drive significant bottom-line results that more than justify the investment in time and effort.

What a beautiful summary of the benefits of partnerships. I’m impressed with your eloquence and how you put together these big concepts into concise takeaways so that people can think it through, digest it, and then eventually apply it. It’s been a wonderful conversation and so much value here. You are exemplifying what a strong partnership looks like. As I mentioned at the beginning, you and Nicolas are working on some things together, testing things out, and leaning into each other’s knowledge. I can’t wait to see how that all evolves. Nicolas, is there anything you wanted to add before we wrap it up?

It’s been an interesting conversation. In some way, I wanted to have this conversation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel that on the eCommerce side, the partnership is something that people are doing already at the B2B level. From an eCommerce perspective, there is so much opportunity. People are always thinking of partnerships with influencer marketing, but there is more than that. There is what you can do with your peers, what you can do with your community, and what you can do with the environment you’re in. I’ll end on that.

There is this group that I have been acquainted with called Conscious Collective. It’s a group of 40 women that are doing a wide variety of beauty products. They’re complementary to each other. What they’re doing in their partnership is they decided to open a store on the WMarketplace, which is the marketplace for women. More importantly, they open a pop-up store that they rotate in the US.

Someone is taking the lead to find and get the store together, and then those 40 brands all chopped in to have their product in the store. They have the store open for two months, then they will go to another city. If you think about it, this is another example of a partnership. It’s sharing costs altogether to achieve an outcome, which is making your brand bigger than if you would’ve been by yourself. It’s interesting because thinking it through the lens of partnership on the eCommerce side, there are a lot of opportunities. They are on top. It’s a matter of trying to find the right people and getting together to make it happen.

TLEP 74 | Strategic Partnerships
Strategic Partnerships: Find the right people and get together to make it happen.

 

I couldn’t agree more. As you said, a lot of us on the B2B side of this eCommerce ecosystem, the agency side, and the tech side have thought about this a lot. Brands have untapped potential with these partnerships. Oftentimes, on the brand side, they think about collabs in this sense of partnerships. That might be a product collaboration. That’s a great way to bake in an influencer or content creator if you can collaborate on a collection together. That’s a lot of fun and that’ll often drive those bottom-line results for that particular product line or collection. Hopefully, that’ll transfer into repeat purchasers in the future across your entire suite of products that you are selling as a merchant. I agree with you. There are many other ways to do this.

That was a very beautiful example of the Conscious Beauty Collective. There are a lot of examples of this and we need to look for community in business. A lot of people think business is extremely cutthroat and competitive in the private sector. While it certainly can be, there’s a lot more to be said for raising each other up, especially founders and earlier-stage brands who are more likely, more hands-on, and more opt to do these sorts of initiatives. It’s definitely something people should think about.

Outside of my work day-to-day with Levitate Foundry, I have the pleasure of teaching sales and strategic partnerships to the various cohorts put together by Our Village United, which is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. They have an accelerated program called ELEVATE, specifically to support Black business owners and Black entrepreneurs. Because I teach them strategic partnerships and we talk about baking it into their business plan for their brands from the get-go, we talk about these collaborations and how they can cross-promote each other.

The Village, thankfully, has an in-person space like a farmer’s market where people can come and show their products and promote their brands as well. There is something to be said for that collaboration piece and supporting your ecosystem. Whether you are in eCommerce, specifically in beauty, or you’re part of a local community, that is something that we can bring into the work that we do within commerce.

The collaboration piece and supporting your ecosystem is something that we can bring into the work that we do within, within Commerce. Click To Tweet

Beautifully said, Ashley. Thank you for being a shining example of that for us and giving so much value to our audience. We will be back with another episode. As Ashley mentioned, we have a plethora of incredible women coming up on the show. We also have almost 75 episodes in the bank. If you haven’t gone back and tuned in to the previous episodes, we encourage that. Subscribe to the show to get notifications. If you want to join our private community, we have incredible women and experts in that space that are there to support you in real-time to demonstrate what collaboration can look like and rising each other up as we’ve talked about here. Thanks again, Ashley and Nicolas, for a wonderful conversation. To the audience, we’ll see you again next episode. Bye for now.

 

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