There’s never a dull moment in eCommerce.
Being part of this current wave of commerce, seeing brands spin out of thin air, and technologies emerge and evolve at a breakneck pace has been exhilarating (or exhausting, depending on where you land).
Either way, entrepreneurs often find themselves charting unfamiliar territories.
And Ovadia Labaton, co-founder of The Perfect Jean, knows this all too well.
About 15 years ago, as he transitioned from Wall Street to the world of online retail, there was no playbook to follow for DTC businesses. In fact, few niche online retailers even existed.
“Technology has enabled a lot since then. It's less about how hard it is to build and run an site. It's \more of a ‘Can you make good creative on Facebook and TikTok?’ and ‘Can you run your business in an intelligent and efficient way?’”
Today, Ovadia has a strong perspective on how to run an eComm business in an intelligent way. And The Perfect Jean, which was founded in 2019, is just a singular example of their relentless focus on building cash-flow-positive companies.
We sat down with Ovadia to chat about his experiences, how he leverages SourceMedium for his own business, and some lessons he’d like to impart to other entrepreneurs.
Build a great product and make the brand personable
Ovadia is only interested in building brands that are different from what everyone else is doing. In his own words, he’s all about “zagging” while others are “zigging."
To become a successful eCommerce business, your business must have two things:
1. A compelling product, and
2. A unique voice
“The product has to come first, always,” says Ovadia. “It is much easier to build an eCommerce brand than it is to find a great product that people want.” The Perfect Jean believes its developing a desirable and differentiated product.
It sells affordable apparel, mainly pants and t-shirts, made with never-before-seen premium materials, like its signature stretchy jean fabric.
On the brand side, the best thing to do is to show up authentically. And this is something Ovadia feels they’ve accomplished with the playful and brash personality behind The Perfect Jean brand. (You’ll notice cursing and flippant jokes sprinkled unapologetically throughout its website, emails, and packaging).
Ovadia suggests mastering platforms like Facebook to get your product and voice known amongst customers.
Instead of hyper-segmentation and AI-driven personalization, on the retention side, he advocates for an attentive (communicate frequently), yet casual approach to messaging.
“You must do better than saying, ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Use this discount.’ Have fun with it. Be yourself.”
While personalization is a big buzzword in eCommerce, Ovadia challenges this trend. “I don’t care about personalization in the least. It's almost irrelevant to us. Being authentically personal trumps dry personalization all day. I want email readers to see the human author behind the email.”
He encourages eCommerce companies to maintain a human versus brand voice when writing emails and to avoid overcomplicated segmentation.