Growing an e-commerce marketplace through offline marketing – Podcast Season 2 – Ep.7

Two Ecomm Experts Podcast – Season 2 – Episode 7

Topic: “Growing an e-commerce marketplace through offline marketing”

Special guest: Fiona Hepher

In the seventh episode of the second season of the Two Ecomm Experts podcast, we are welcoming Fiona Hepher, the CEO of Sansorium, which is a Canadian marketplace for non-alcoholic bevarages.

Who is Fiona Hepher?

We introduce Fiona Hepher, a Co-Founder and CEO of Sansorium, a North American marketplace and agency dedicated to award-winning alcohol-free wine, spirits, and aperitifs sourced globally. Over the past decade, her professional journey has been a testament to her unwavering dedication to fostering a positive and lasting impact on everyone’s well-being. Her career spans diverse landscapes, from orchestrating empathy-driven community experiences in Dubai to the expansion of Saje Natural Wellness’ educational marketing program across North America to reshaping societal perspectives on health and wellness at One & Body. Today, Fiona challenges norms entrenched in a multi-billion dollar industry, charting a new course where alcohol isn’t the center of every occasion.

Creating a marketplace and Navigating Import

Fiona Hepher shares the challenges and lessons while building a marketplace focused on non-alcoholic beverages. The initial strategy involved offering a wide variety of products including beer, cider, wine, spirits, and ready-to-drink options to establish a true marketplace. However, they encountered difficulties such as products freezing during shipment in winter due to lack of alcohol, and shorter expiry dates for non-alcoholic beverages. Despite these challenges, the marketplace demonstrated the possibility of variety and choice in the non-alcoholic sector, leading to a starting point for customer exploration. The speaker emphasizes the importance of specializing in what one knows best, citing personal preference for wine and cocktails over beer. Consequently, they shifted focus and investment towards wine and spirits, while maintaining a curated selection of local beer brands. The marketplace’s refined focus is reflected in its elegant design and presentation as primarily a wine website. Additionally, the discussion touches on the low margins and repeat purchase nature of the wine industry, acknowledging the financial considerations of running a marketplace with perishable products.

Other topics discussed in the episode:

  • Specifics of Importing
  • Marketing Strategy and Building Community
  • Building an ecommerce brand without Facebook Ads
  • Building a brand and an offline community
  • The Importance of Consistency and Branding
  • A new take on entrepreneurship mindset

Few words about our podcast

The host of the Two Ecomm Experts podcast is Viktor Stoilov – an advertising strategist, Founder & CEO of Markademics, and co-founder of a 7-figure e-commerce store.

The podcast’s goal is to create value through conversations with top-notch e-commerce specialists from all over the world. Listen to them unpack the latest trends in the e-commerce world together with hot topics such as marketing, advertising, supply, and logistics. The podcast helps e-commerce brand owners take their business to the next level with this library of valuable conversations.

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