Ok everyone, go to artoftea.com, take a look around and ask yourself what make this site successful? Great photography? Possibly. Seamless user experience? Maybe. Engaging content and video's to help customers buy more tea? Quite possibly.
However, there is something deeper going on that contributes to the real success of this eCommerce business - and it's not related to what 99% of other blog posts are about either.
To find out more, I caught up with Steve Schwartz, CEO and Founder of ArtofTea.com, to better understand how he grew his eCommerce business from the inside out and why his approach will help pave the way for long term success.
Growing Your eCommerce Business From The Inside Out
1.27 min - The importance of developing core values
6.22 min - Allowing your core values to become a key driver for decision making
8.50 min - How to use customer engagement tools to better understand your customers
10.55 min - How ArtofTea used that data to create engaging content
16.52 min - Adopting a subscription model to sell more tea
22.08 min - Neil Yong meets the ArtofTea
Why Every eCommerce Business Should Have Core Values
Steve: I think most entrepreneurs have anywhere between 5 to 15 ideas a day, of what they could start, what they could do. So much of it is just latching on to one idea, and really wanting to drive that forward. I know lots of people that want to start something, and they want to create a restaurant, a technology, an app, whatever it may be. What most people don't realize is, two, three, five, ten years down the line, what's their mentality going to be? How passionate are they going to be about it?
So what was really important for me from the beginning, and also still true today, it's just our why. One of the things I did is I created a list of 21 reasons why it's really important for me to do what I do, and I think everyone has different reasons. And then out of those 21, just find one that's really, really important to you. And then your ethos, in terms of who you hire, the type of customers that you attract, the reason why you're doing what you're doing from a business perspective, having really strong core values, and then being able to link your goals and your objectives, with your core values.
One of the things that we do at Art of Tea, at the beginning of the year, every year, is we review our core values. We literally go line by line, and we review them, every word. In fact we've changed one of our core values from, strife for excellence and commitment, to be excellent, be committed, be enthusiastic. That was back in 2012. Once we have our core values, and everyone can really stand behind them, then we start going over our goals, our financial objectives for the year.
Daniel: Right. That's interesting.
Steve: And it has worked. We have an employee of the month program called, Golden Unicorn, and we reward based on core values as well. It's just an important part of our ethos.