Today we have selected Ian Kaneshiro to take his interview. He is the Head of Customer Success and Sales at Seller Snap.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
The team and I are doing well. We do what we can to stay safe and continually push our business goals forward. At Seller Snap, we service eCommerce businesses, specifically those who sell on Amazon. The pandemic has changed our perspective on many of our business operations. It has brought a lot of opportunities as Amazon continues to dominate eCommerce and provide a space for third-party Amazon Sellers to grow.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
I joined Seller Snap in 2018 as an Account Manager, where I was employee number five. Coming from a background in Advertising Technology doing sales and business development, I made a horizontal move into a new industry where the learning curve was steep. At that time, I wanted to join an early-stage startup to make a big impact on a growing company. About a year later, I took responsibility for the Sales and Customer Success activities, and the rest is history.
How does your company innovate?
Eric Ries described innovation as “bottoms-up, decentralized, and unpredictable,” making sense since many software providers spend hundreds of hours on features they hope will fill the customer’s need. Since the inception of Seller Snap, we have relied heavily on customer referrals for growth and customer feedback for innovation.
Understanding the voice of the customer has allowed us to focus on features that positively impact the eCommerce businesses that rely on Seller Snap. The challenge is that not all innovation can come from customer suggestions and requests.
As an organization, we have to cut through the noise, understand what customers want, and not always rely on what they say they want (another Eric Ries teaching). Much of the innovation and inspiration comes from understanding the ultra-dynamic world of eCommerce, as well as keeping an eye on our competition.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Throughout the pandemic, you constantly find news articles and stories about companies struggling to keep the lights on, which unfortunately was the case for some customers. However, since Seller Snap caters to Amazon sellers, the company grew through the pandemic. Internally, we experienced some expected growing pains, especially during the transition to fully remote and, after that, returning to the office.
In addition, with travel being restricted and many in-person events being canceled, we inevitably pivoted to alternate marketing activities, including webinars with other industry leaders, and through the launch of our Podcast – Not Another Ecomm Podcast.
Did you have to make difficult choices and the lessons learned?
Looking back, I cannot think of any specific difficult decisions. I am sure there were some, but nothing too traumatic comes to mind. Although, from my personal experience, once the vaccine started to roll out and in-person events opened up, choices were made about what events to attend, in what capacity, and how we were to mitigate risks while still trying to advance the business.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
As a team, we rely heavily on online collaboration tools, including those built into Google Suite, including Docs, Sheets, and Meets. In addition, an increased and more structured daily meeting and one-on-one check-ins gave us additional touchpoints throughout the day to talk about professional and personal challenges.
The biggest game-changer was our use of Loom, a screen recording tool, which allowed us to communicate internally in an efficient way effectively. Even today, Loom serves an integral role in communicating internally and externally with customers.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Our competition varies depending on the specific business objectives of third-party Amazon sellers. There are quite a few companies in the space that offer repricing as their sole/core product. In addition, many multichannel systems, inventory management systems, and ERP systems also offer repricing services or similar pricing technology.
Our goal is to focus on being the leading repricing technology available as we move forward. We continuously develop releaseal repricing capabilities such as our B2B AI Business Repricer By Seller Snap, private label offering, and repricing for used items.
Your final thoughts
It’s not a stretch to say that eCommerce and Amazon, in particular, are due to have their biggest year to date. Although we will likely continue to feel the effects of the pandemic over the next few years, I am optimistic that this industry will continue to grow at an astonishing rate. As we settle into the new norm of online collaboration, hybrid, and remote work, I predict we will see success from the companies that embrace the change.
• Spokesperson: Ian Kaneshiro
• Company: Seller Snap
• Website: https://www.sellersnap.io/