MP chatted with Luke Lintz, founder and CEO of HighKey Enterprises LLC, a Puerto Rico-based company that helps brands and influencers become high-key famous through digital and social media marketing, about building successful eCommerce brands. Through HighKey Clout’s celebrity giveaways, Lintz triggers social growth for some of the most influential figures on social media. 

Where do most eCommerce entrepreneurs go wrong from the beginning, and why?

The eCommerce space has changed a lot over the last five years. While eCommerce is a broad term that refers to any product or service-based digital business, I will speak to it from a product standpoint. 

One of the critical mistakes eCommerce entrepreneurs make is over-purchasing products from the beginning, not having their brand messaging and story intact, and not knowing if the product will sell. 

Testing the product in the marketplace is instrumental for those entering the eCommerce space initially. 

Another thing is realizing that there's a shallow barrier to entry into the space. People think it's easy because you can very easily create a website on Shopify and start a company; therefore, there is a low barrier to entry. 

But it's deceiving because there's tremendous competition. 

And you have established brands that have been in this space for 10-plus years and have that competitive advantage over you. 

And the biggest thing is that you have brands like Amazon and Walmart, and all they do is compete on price for products. 

And so you're constantly in a commodity market trying to beat price points. 

You will have a competitive advantage if you establish a unique brand with a solid product that stands out in the marketplace. 

CEO of HighKey Enterprises LLC Luke Lintz / Photo courtesy of Luke Lintz

What are three mistakes entrepreneurs make when choosing a platform for their eCommerce business, and how can these mistakes be avoided?

First, critical mistakes would be a lack of education and experience in the space. 

We live in a world where information is unlimited. And knowledge is free for the most part, which comes with its pros and cons, with the pro being that it's free and easily accessible. 

You no longer have to go to the library to look up information in a book and could just search it on Google. 

The con is you don't know the correct information to look at sometimes. 

When you are starting, the big thing is finding people in the industry you want to start in and on YouTube and ensuring they have a proven track record. For example, I watch a lot of content like Alex Hormozi, for sale stuff, and you can search him up on Google and see that he sold his business for millions, to the tune of even $80 million. 

I'm trying to get to that level, finding people with a proven track record and ensuring that the education and knowledge they provide lead you on the right path. 

Finally, the third mistake is if you have this free information, you get misinformation, then your trajectory could be on a completely different path. 

That is why it is so essential to get information from reputable sources. 

Some eCommerce businesses require many integrations. What are some of the oversights entrepreneurs commonly make when considering integrations for their eCommerce business, and how can these mistakes be avoided?

Businesses in the eCommerce space do indeed require many integrations. Critical oversights start with a shallow barrier to entry in the eCommerce world. So people will go to a Shopify store and expect traffic and revenue just to come to their business after they built a Shopify store when there's so much competition out there, and then the amount of money you have to spend to get that traffic in. 

Different marketing tactics you have to test based on your industry are unbelievable. And just realizing that people will go to Amazon, like FBA, which is Fulfillment by Amazon for eCommerce products, again, thinking that it's straightforward because all you have to do is send your inventory to them. And then Amazon takes care of it all. 

But without understanding the complete logistics of the entire supply chain, where you have to pay for product costs, then you have to pay for Amazon shipping costs, and then you have to pay Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon fee. And then you're relying on Amazon solely to market your stuff, which, again, pushes you into the commodity market where you can't create a brand. 

You can't sell your branded products from scratch on Amazon. It's tough. And then people come  to the rude awakening of making very, very slim margins on their product-based business. 

For example, there are critical integrators for a Shopify plugin. And it allows it again. It has a very low barrier to entry because you can create a Shopify store, then add the overload plugin, and then it will allow you to immediately extract products from wholesaler's websites directly onto your Shopify store, which makes it extremely easy. 

But then again, the oversight is that you're using an integration that's very, very easy. But then you're not. You're not selling your products. You're selling like it's the dropshipping realm where you're selling other people's products for a slightly higher markup. 

And the oversight there is that you're not truly building a brand. It’s making a quick dollar instead of having that long-term vision, you might make more money in the short term. If you can find something that works, the product sells well. 

One of the biggest challenges eCommerce businesses face is developing a website that is easy to navigate. What steps should be taken to ensure one’s eCommerce website is easy to navigate, and why?

A mentor of mine told me simple scales. 

And it applies to many of aspects of the business. 

But, in terms of creating a website, I can see applications where I've built websites and websites for clients. And then we've also made websites for ourselves with tons of customizations, costly build-outs on a custom back end with WordPress. 

And the best websites that I've found are just the most simple websites out there. 

Using either a template format or template format on a platform like Shopify is an ideal thing that you can do, especially when starting. You want to have the lowest friction in terms of starting up with that side of things and getting the ball rolling as soon as possible. 

How should eCommerce businesses consider speed and performance part of their customer experience, and why?

A straightforward website template increases your website speed because it is customizable. 

For example, website speed is a huge thing, especially when you're conducting direct advertising. That's converting over to your website. 

Littledata surveyed 5,585 sites in August 2022 and found the average bounce rate from desktop Google Search was 41.1%. 

That is because it doesn't load fast enough. It pays to look at your analytics, specifically your website constantly. 

Again, the simpler your website is with as few customizations as possible, the more likely your website speed will improve. 

CEO of HighKey Enterprises LLC Luke Lintz / Photo courtesy of Luke Lintz

How important is the utilization of programmatic and automatic ads designed to retarget customers across platforms, and why?

Extremely important. 

Regarding retargeting, for Facebook ads, there's the Facebook Pixel with Google ads, and there is Google Pixel. 

It's a line of code that you put into your website so that every user that goes onto your website tracks their cookies. And so, basically, it gives feedback back to the social media platform about your interests and spending habits. 

This allows you to push a mass amount of traffic to your website, and you can retarget those users as much as you want. You want every person who visited your website in the past 30 days to see your ad twice daily in their feed. 

Then you can customize your ad. That is what is called the frequency of the ad duration. 

Any single person who's a direct advertiser knows that retargeting is the most profitable you can conduct besides email marketing, but that's a form of retargeting as well. 

And so with Facebook ads, you need to set up retargeting campaigns before setting up any direct advertising campaigns that are not tested. 

Usually, you'll get like a minimum of three times the return on your ad spend just from retargeting campaigns because it's, again, how often people are seeing your brand. And you see companies like Coca-Cola, for example, spending so much money on TV ads for the sole purpose of always keeping their name in your head. The average consumer needs to see something seven times before they purchase. 

How should eCommerce businesses implement email marketing into their strategy, and why?

Email is still very underutilized for how popular it is and it's the primary source of communication for most people. 

I think many eCommerce brands either underutilize their email or over-utilize it. It's a balancing act where if you look under utilization role, then then you're just missing out on a completely free opportunity, to have another touch point with those potential customers, where if you over-utilize, you're over-utilized in the way of what I call right hooks, which is a GaryVee methodology. 

With email marketing, you must be careful that everything you offer is of value. 

So it shows the brand cares about you. And I see it so much. 

For example, as a public relations firm, we don’t want to spam people. So we send emails on what it's like to get verified, how you get verified on social media, and how you grow your social media following. 

Then we let our email list respond to say they are interested in learning about our services. 

That is how email marketing adds value.

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