Dragonproof Podcast Episode 3 – Jeff Pandolfo
Dragonproof Podcast Episode 3 – Jeff Pandolfo

Welcome to another edition of the Dragonproof ecommerce podcast i am Richard Otey and I’m here with Rick Wilson hello
everybody and Jeff Pandolfo hello great to meet
you and we’re excited to have Jeff as our guest today Jeff’s in from Visa and
we’ll probably get a little bit more into some of their other companies
beneath them authorize.net and cyber cybersource but we’re excited to have
you on and I know Rick’s been excited to have you on so let’s get this started
yeah in fact you know a Jeff Jeff’s one of the rare people who has a tenure as
long as mine in e-commerce you know he was at Amazon for eight years and then
he’s been with Visa for eight years specifically within authorized.net and
cybersource if you heard Jeff call it cybes that’s what he means terrible
habit but but Jeff Jeff I’ve known Jeff now for 11 or 12 years via my teunre
Miva and and I thought he would be a really great guest to bring on here
because he also and he has a bigger bird’s-eye view than I do I mean I don’t
know how many merchants do you guys service at authorized done that roughly
you know it’s it’s clocking in in the in the high four hundreds
yeah and thousands by the way yeah combined the cybersource and a net
portfolios you’re upwards of half a million
yeah and that’s an immense perspective on the market right I mean to be able to
see what’s working and not working and where the trends are so that’s one of
the reasons we’ve invited Jeff here plus he’s an all-around great guy and
conversationalist that yeah so I mean you have a very interesting perspective
because not only at visa but you have insight into the dragon – yeah it’s
funny it was totally unintentional right I didn’t know Rick was actually writing
the book and what it would be about and you know it wouldn’t happen to be on a
defensive you know positioning or just more of how do you mean how do you
incent or think about what he calls the dragon and how do you bring that into
your everyday life as a merchant it was you know it was serendipitous right that
you know my tenure at Amazon during a very you know growth oriented time there
the growth of web services the growth of web stores the growth of check out by
Amazon the growth of of other assets of their merchants related is very relevant
because during that time Amazon was to make increased strides rights to
improve the merchants on and off Amazon experience and I lived through a lot of
that either directly because I worked on the projects or products or indirectly
because I might have been supporting them or tangentially aligned to them so
it was very serendipitous that you know he writes about an environment that I
did spend a lot of time and so what is your view in this world I mean is you
know how do you how do you see the world for independent sellers who are not
Amazon anyone who’s not Amazon you know it’s uh it’s funny because the
conversation that often happens between me and technologists or small business
leaders or mid market CEOs or even Enterprise CEOs is amazingly getting
it’s getting more consistent over time I think during the time the earliest days
of of Amazon the earliest days of authorize.net cybersource PayPal
Braintree this other one yes like there was an amazing fragmentation of services
and costs and functionality available to the SMB merchants and where my narrative
has often changed today where I think I’ve got very common conversations with
leaders and influencers of all different sized companies is you can do more today
for a price that’s unheard of and get a lot done without a lot of work it’s kind
of general speaking but in other words the growth of platforms like Miva where
you’ve taken a bunch of disparate business operations and driven them into
a fairly monolithic environment for one price you can do an awful lot of that
environment and the things that I often see enterprises struggle with are now
almost table stakes for SMBs so I think that’s how the conversation
has changed there’s a the competition has driven more functionality at a lower
price point and an allowed merchants to even net new merchants to actually
conduct business using tools that rival their enterprise counterparts five seven
ten years ago I absolutely the same thing I mean in fact I find without
naming any specific sites because some of them are big fans of as a customer
but if you’ve got a big big brand who’s been around for say a long time a stayed
brand that put all their money into it 15 years ago oftentimes the shopping
experience is worse than what you see on an SMB
who’s got a nimble new sight today so yeah we see the same thing and I see the
same thing yeah and I think the other what I it’s a little more difficult to
answer is what’s the potential future hold like there’s a tremendous amount of
competition for the SMB today and arguably you see enterprise class
platforms now scratching their head how do I attract growth by going down to the
mid market and you see SMB centric platforms now is trying to flex their
muscles and saying how do I go up to mid market eventually Enterprise great
dynamics in the industry we love seeing it so on the payment side we participate
in in all aspects of that so it’s good for us but I just love to see the
competition and the growth and the other thing is the the number of let’s say
ecommerce platforms in the industry are on the market today hasn’t radically
changed over the past 10 or 15 years no it hasn’t in fact one thing that’s
really interesting I was at a conference last month and if you count when we
repurchased Miva 07′ Miva Shopify Magento and bigcommerce all emerged
between 06′ and 08′ I mean we all just it was that was the those four
platforms came out and you count you know NetSuite is kind of buying an
emergence at that point was similar to and so there has not been a lot of new
entrants since then I think part of that is the regulatory environment around
running an e-commerce platform has gotten tougher not not do any specific
regulations aimed at ecommerce but there’s data protection rules those are
getting increasingly tougher you have PCI and just web security in general has gotten
incredibly challenging where you know when we started Miva and the dot-com
boom era it was throw some scripts together and get a check up on an SSL
was oh what’s that kind of thing right and and nowadays you know it’s this it’s
like the century’s on full alert at all times and so yeah I’ve noticed that too
that the platform business has gotten incredibly stable yeah have you seen
anything since I’m I’m assuming you guys have insights and data and analytics
that a lot of people don’t get access to do you see any common theme in growth or
something that people are doing or do you really take a look at that you know
we do and you know we tend to put a certain lens on the data depending on
what we’re operating from yes visa has a
broad view of merchant data and acquired data an issuer data but that’s not
necessarily actionable down in let’s say the cybersource and authorize.net
world that we operate in and Rick operates in on a daily basis so we tend
to have a different lens on that data and we tend to look for we have
different hunches and we tend to look for different patterns in that activity
but we also have the ability that I think the broader VC ecosystem doesn’t
necessarily have access to is we’ve got close partnerships with the platform
providers right and whether it’s a b2b platform where there’s an e-commerce
platform whether it’s a niche product actually coordinating our data with
theirs tends to generate the best results and then gives you better
insights so that type of generalization of sure we can say we know how long it
takes when someone signs up for payments the very first time and conducts the
first transaction and we can assume there’s activity happening between those
two points for SMBs that come in from the web that
create accounts and then go alive hypothetically let’s say that was 60
days between average of sign up to first transaction so if we know that came from
the Miva platform or insert product name here we can work with the ops teams
on those environments and say ok we saw this merchant come in what were they
doing over 60 days and I think Rick and the operations team and the ease and
Miva will tell you well you know payments is one step of 20 they’ve got
to do to launch a store and most of their time is going to be doing things
like loading the catalogue making sure they’ve refined the nav and the checkout
experience you know whatever they need to do for back-end business operations
so that’s where it’s very important where we have to work with our
corresponding technology platform providers to come up with real
reasonable data because we look at just the transaction data alone it tells us
some things but the biggest value is going to be in partnership according to
that data with with the partners mm-hmm so let me switch gears just a little bit
as a consumer and you know all-around person who likes looking at technology
like I do what what what things do you get drawn
to by off Amazon mm-hmm you know it’s a it’s
amazing how it’s changed when I when I used to work there like I was doing the
renovation and was renovating the kitchen in my house and then renovated
the bathroom so surprisingly about a number of building materials basically
faucets and handles and things like that off of Amazon I remember there was an
SVP at the time who actually renovated soul house and he had a goal of buying
everything except the construction services off of Amazon and some things
he couldn’t get but everything from the appliances to small appliance you know
major appliances small appliances and everything between he did so so when I
was there it was okay what do I need for me how that’s changed in the past you
know four five six years is I’m now at the stage I’m also old enough that I
pretty much got everything I need and right if it’s something I want it
probably can’t afford it anyway so what I typically find is what I’m searching
and browsing and buying on Amazon is that known products known brands for gifts
I do a lot of and if I do something for myself
again it’s well researched product is it it’s a known experience as well what I
also find is that my consumption of digital assets or digital products has
increased tremendously and that’s probably the biggest indicator of which
changed my Amazon buying experience even though I’ve been out of that environment
for so long is that I’m now consuming more digital content than I did before
and I would assume a fair amount of that’s not on Amazon digital content that
correct yeah yeah video music yeah I’m still old-school I’m the type that will
still buy a used CD and rip it because I can have a higher audio quality than the
stream diversion but it still doesn’t preclude me from you know one of my Bose
radios or one of my echo devices to queue up a radio station or or some some
music I’ve added to my library or pull up Amazon Prime video on the TV and
watch an episode of Bosch that’s pretty common nowadays well at least you buy
the CD I do know it’s funny it’s anything I’ve also noticed as well is an
Amazon and and this actually ties well into e-commerce
in general but the global barriers for shipping and fulfillment have come way
down it’s not that it’s not expensive but just the other day I bought well the
other week I bought a t-shirt off of Amazon and the t-shirts imprinted with a
logo of a of a synthesizer company from the early 80s called sequential circuits
and it’s a t-shirt you’ve never find and it’s a modern t-shirt by all by all
means but that item was actually fulfilled out of the UK and it was part
of my prime shipping it showed up I think five days after I purchased it so
to me that was very impressive that’s those types of boundaries for sellers to
be anywhere and buyers to be anywhere I think those barriers are changing in
fact that’s probably one of the biggest opportunities in the next five eight
years is truly globalization of sales does become easier mm-hmm
yeah you know I’ve noticed that too and I’ve noticed from the sellers
perspective both well obviously on Amazon if you’re using Amazon
Fulfillment you piggyback on that but almost everywhere I shop from online
that today fulfills in a manner very similar to Prime great most things show
up in two three days at most right I don’t worry about it anymore
you know Prime is a defensive moat for Amazon the separated from everyone else
has has really been declanated in a good way that’s where competitions
really helped help customers the end users out greatly because we get our
products and we trust it but I think you know one of the things we can talk about
is one of the great opportunities for small to midsize businesses today is the
general Amazon Prime model even though that is subscription just looking at it
at a base level it is quasi instantaneous fulfillment I mean getting
that product on the truck in short time and ideally it’s getting to you within a
couple of days but now with the rise of really good logistic services the web
services around those logistic services merchants are really getting darn close
to having similar offerings through different platforms for their customers
so I think even though Amazon pioneered that mechanism or that model of prime
shipping via subscription and to three-day fulfillments getting
fine print and what that two day actually is but now there’s enough
available like I said the democratization of a lot of these
back-end services is at the point where through a ship o or a ship Bob or a ship
station or pro logis and anyone in between you can now through your
e-commerce platform in a partnership with them get access to warehousing and
fulfillment and actually get close to you know two-day delivery times for your
customers and so that’s unprecedented I think it’s a great asset in the market
today they really wasn’t there four or five
years ago yeah no not at all but that is a new development that’s changed you’re
speaking of big things I mean you mentioned that’s one of the next big
things what else do you see is coming as the next big thing in e-commerce kind of
being democratized or broadly yeah so I think so I think there’s a couple of
things the back-office elements are still a big problem right it in anyone’s
given revenue stream whether they’re enterprise or SMB and an inordinate amount of
funds or percentage of the revenue is plugging together duct-taping or or
trying to make back-end things work from printing the shipping label to putting
the box on dealing with the charge back making sure they’re they’re buyers
aren’t over buying an overloading part of the warehouse optimizing the look the
location of objects in a warehouse those have nothing to do with the e-commerce
website do they yet they can consume 40% or 50% of someone’s revenue in order to
to address I need an ERP system I need process I need real estate space in the
warehouse things like that that we often don’t think about so the merchants got
to deal with a lot more but like I said the assets and tools to make those
happen are getting better so I think on one hand the back office services get
cheaper and more ubiquitous that improve the merchants overall performance you’re
now seeing great growth in tax as a service services right look at the
growth of you know avalara for example like it’s everywhere now like the
ability to that now have someone be your virtual accountant collect tax through
the e-commerce platform and then remit it on a per state or per country basis
you don’t have to like yeah I’ll pay a couple points to do that and I think
that gets better right we talked about logistics and fulfillments though
they’re gonna be those continue to grow and become more attractive for merchants
and once they kind of understand them like I said those are assets that were
normally kind of figured out by the enterprises although they were totally
unscalable outside that enterprise the fact is now that they’re more
democratized through a platform like an Miva I still think there’s a lot of
legwork are a lot of runway left they’re kind of looking upstream though some of
the newer technologies that I think will start making an impact is again a little
bit more on the front end or perhaps the decoupling right of the front end the
the visuals of the website and the back end ERP and transaction systems right
sometimes the terminology is headless Commerce
today who knows how that will change but I think that’s one of the growing
technical assets we’re gonna see a lot more of where there’s a decoupling of
the front end from the back end giving the people that run the front end
Liberty to do and change what they want without breaking and disrupting the ERP
system or the customer service system and vice versa those are still in their
infancy by the way I think they were driven by Enterprise need to have
modular systems where they could do certain functions and pull modules
together to do what they need but I think we’ll see much more growth an
opportunity there especially in the e-commerce space are you seen when you
refer to like the headless Commerce I know this isn’t exactly the same but
have you seen a trend in more money coming from marketplaces or more money
coming from the actually e-commerce cuz I noticed you said you go to Amazon to
look for a specific brand yeah I don’t ever do discovery on I only go for a
brand but then there’s other sites that I only want to go to their site for the
to experience the brand experience so it’s have you noticed anything change in
payments or is there any trends that you see that are consistent or inconsistent
in marketplaces versus like direct to merchants you know when it comes to
marketplaces I’m jaded right I spent a lot of my career like working on the
world’s largest marketplace and the way you manage payments and customer service
and operations in a marketplace is radically different
than a customer coming to your website to check out the kind of intermediary
role of handling the transaction providing some type of coverage or
indemnity then providing all the other assets the merchant needs like how do I
print a shipping label and how do I know who bought something and what to ship –
that’s not minor that’s pretty complex and I think you
haven’t really seen the growth of marketplaces as a service in general
there are a few of them out there they haven’t made a lot of traction I think
probably see some some movement I think miracle was a little more recent ones
that crosses my field of view for example but marketplaces as services
where people can build new marketplaces on hasn’t been a lot of activity just
yet yeah that’s been that’s been one of those things has been kind of bantered
about for 20 years but it hasn’t taken off and going back to the headless
Commerce or we’re kind of decoupling process you know and I would soon this
is part of what you saw at Amazon you know I believe when you got to Amazon
they were still the whole system was pretty monolithic and and the AWS
evolution really which arguably the thing about being dragon proof is that
you know we’re not I don’t propose being anti Amazon I propose understanding how
to live in a world where Amazon’s of the dominant player and some day if it’s not
Amazon there’s gonna be a new dominant player so just how to live in a world of
dominant players but Amazon has used AWS to decouple itself and I think we could
view that as an evolutionary step to how the rest of us will do it if we haven’t
already thoughts on that no I think that’s absolutely right and going back
to Amazon one of the big driving forces that became the thesis for AWS is if
we’ve already built all these customized services internally
can we productize them because if we’re doing them and we treat everything as a
small little independent service with its own kind of internal service
contract that’s got a handful of api’s and a handful of responses can I turn
that into a product and yet that became the foundation for AWS whether it’s
compute cloud storage cloud the queue and those are the early ones and even
the early payment system was a straight was an interesting decoupling of of the
Amazon ecosystem as well again those don’t necessarily in today’s day and age
is we see it from again the cybersource
and a net lens they don’t make their way into directly into the merchants those
are consumed by the Rick Wilson’s that are leading you know today’s and
tomorrow’s e-commerce platforms like they’re the ones that are best to take
advantage of it so when we talk about what do we see as some of the growth
opportunities or what are the cool technologies they’re gonna make
themselves known their tech there’s tech that the merchants going to consume that
they’ll relate to and grok and understand and i think those are going
to be predominantly aimed at improving the efficiency of their business and
again as we said earlier growing cross-border will be some great
opportunity but then we have to look at it from Rick’s lens or Miva’s lens like
and those assets that allowed that the assets that amazon created to decouple
write pieces of the business are now within Rick’s field of view right he can
actually be you know consuming those services or other web services sure and
bring me Miva to that level so if we look at it from your lens I think there’s a
new round of opportunity right to build a like the next-gen scalable Miva
environment oh absolutely and I would say you know one thing that has has not
been touched that much in the SMB side or even mid market side of e-commerce
shed is where machine learning is going but the fact of the matter is we have
access to a machine learning compute clouds both amazon azure you
know google and i don’t have to have a team of PhD scientists figuring how to
write a custom chip right so I don’t need a custom silicon to participate in
that world and that is one of the ways you see these market play the the market
dynamics democratizing these tools for everyone you know and it’s interesting
you know and you see this a lot sometimes will bring up companies to me
have you looked at this one yet I looked at that one yet and I would see in the
last 12 months it almost always starts with will they have a machine learning
what kind of changes evolutions in the payment space have you seen whether it’s
AI machine learning or not that’s been beneficial to the merchants anything on
fraud anything on that kind of stuff yeah and I think that’s a good point I
think fraud is the low-hanging fruit to apply those new tech and I think the
text stolen it’s very nascent stage because machine learning is always
backed up by human counterpart because there’s always these things that the
machine can’t learn from just yet they fall out to a human queue and the human
does a couple of tasks and patterns are looked for and then they’re reintegrated
into the environment but so they have a very strong
human dependency so they’re not true AI systems yet it really isn’t only a
matter of time but fraud is a low-hanging bit of fruit they’re for
merchants to take advantage of and again the more advanced merchants will be
investing it into in their own whether they use like a SIFF science environment
or something like that if they’re being or signifyd now signifiyd actually
signifiyd is in a pretty incredible job and of taking you know some really good
machine learning and AI and making it super super digestible I mean all you
have to know as a merchant that for a couple of points on a given transaction
or a pool of transactions I’m essentially covering rights it’s a like
indemnity policy on this transaction so if that box ends up going to a vacant
lot in Sheboygan Wisconsin you know it’s it’s not going to be any or charge back
occurs right it’s not going to be skin off the merchants back and that system
the signifiyd system is working off a massive pool of data to make its
predictions and calculations if this transaction is going to be good or not
and so I think that’s that becoming available to the merchants is as simple
as click here sign up for signifiyd to pay a couple of points and you could
probably realize you know a few thousand dollars a free cash flow because we can
bring your fraud levels from X down to Y or a chargeback levels from X down to Y
and those things are fantastic and again the merchant doesn’t this really need to
know it’s machine learning or AI behind it but they’re becoming readily
available yes the it’s the concept of being kind of automagical just
absolutely yeah switching topics on you a little bit you know one thing I’ve
been impressed with watching authorize.net specifically you know I’ve
worked with authorize.net and cybersource for 20 years each but but closer
with authorize.net just because more of our customers use them and one thing
that’s impressed me about visa’s stewardship I guess I’d say for
authorize.net is that it still feels like the same company that it was before
they bought them how how do you think how do you think that if you’re allowed
to answer that question how do you think they follow that I can it’s funny
because it’s you look at it from the outside you don’t always see it it’s not
that obvious but I think number one you’ve got people that have been with
authorize.net some from the inception of a authorize.net they’re that passion
about what they’ve done number two they were always this like a philosophical
family-run company right and that has been endemic in the type of people they
hired they want people that work well together that have a sense of community
and camaraderie and have as well as having a passion for customers and
payments like the payments biz isn’t very big in the end of the day every
conference you go to you recognize all the same faces but I think those have
contributed to that kind of very communal nature of a net where everyone
knows everyone they work together and they have this really really strong
passion for the customer the merchant as well as the developer a net would never
have gotten where it’s gotten today had they not been focused on creating
developer services basically opening up the APIs and making payments doable so
that is really I think obvious once you spend time and with the a net teams more
than a lot of other things there’s not a lot of churn in that environment people
come they love it and they stay so that is actually filtered right into the
product and and the other thing is the most important piece of it is the
merchants see that as well yeah I mean the reason I even what made me think of
that question is you talked about a signifiyd simplified a machine learning
tool to a point where the merchant doesn’t have to understand what’s
happening and that what I keyed in on there is I feel like authorize.net
does that for its merchants right and me but does that far merchants too you know
we don’t we’re not really explaining how the technology works to our merchants
right it’s our job to make sure it works and it’s our job to provide the
translation layer to an entrepreneur or a business owner I mean the human
translation they’re right they they don’t care about API limits right you
know I see this in platforms all the time whether it’s e-commerce ERPs you know and there’s logical reasons why you have an API limiter
right because it’s obvious otherwise everything comes crashing but merchants
don’t really have a lot of empathy for that because it’s it’s they don’t
understand it right and so it’s it’s the job of the platforms whether it’s
authorize.net or Miva or a signifiyd to really make the
information accessible to the merchants in a way that they can understand it
mm-hmm and and also I think we it’s easy to
overlook this the human touch yeah right and it may not mean much to a lot of
folks but you know an authorized on that customer has unlimited phone support
anything let’s table stakes well today’s day and
age it’s not I mean so many of these other environments that have reached
scale with very few people can’t really you like spool up a customer service let
alone a follow-the-sun customer service team where after a couple of rings
there’s a human on the phone and when you talk to the CS team or the CS org
they get questions all over the board and their professional and positive and
that builds goodwill over time and that’s not a minor element of the
business there’s a lot of time and expense to do that and do it well and
authorize.net wins awards year over year for its customer service so what
might not be that obvious to folks treating the customer aka the merchants
well throughout the entire lifespan of the merchants is hyper important and I
think if we look at the average tenure of a merchant on the authorize.net
payment platform it’s not minor like they’re not coming in in January and
then exiting the following January they’re on for a year over a year over a
year and I think this is the big cycle and the value that that kind of the the
older elements of a net are still very relevant in today’s modern payments
world yeah you know in that that kind of springs to mind you earlier talking
about a lot of the optimizations you see coming in the marketplace are almost
back-office operations and how do you see that tying in to nurturing customer
relationships right because I mean you know we all know from a marketing
standpoint you know the old adage is about X times more expensive to get a
new customer but you know I don’t know that merchants always connect customer
experience with back-office operations what are you what are your thoughts on
that you know that’s probably you know I think – one of the earlier questions
about what could merchants do or what should they be thinking about to take
advantage of in the future that’s often overlooked sometimes for new merchants
things like that or overlooked is defining the customer journey and if
they I would argue that every SMB and and if every Enterprise goes through
that exercise is right the narrative of your customers experience as if you were
the customer don’t sit there and say hey I went and talked to a bunch of
customers that gave me a bunch of to do items and those become my requirements I
don’t think I mean that’s working against the past that’s rearview mirror
stuff but you should be that tuned in and again whether you’re small biz or an
enterprise for mid-market writing that narrative as if you are the
customer and working off of that to find what you want as the UI experience or
what needs to happen if you believe that once I click and these events happen
what are the things I have to do in the back office to make those happen I think
that’s probably the biggest gap I see with a lot of businesses is that they
inherently think they are automatically creative and optimized if they use a
monolithic e-commerce platform and they haven’t really given any thought to
designing or thinking about the full intent customer experience from the
purchase to the order inquiry to customer support to return and that’s I
think there’s a lot of back-office elements that have to happen there to
say look if this is what I want here the things I have to turn on or enable or or
buy to make that to make that work yeah I mean you know it’s it’s the rise of
YouTube and the unboxing video right and how much how much effort now goes into
literally taking a packet of product out of a box but that’s not an accident
because that’s part of that customer journey you know and yeah you know and
I’m a big Apple fan as anyone who’s followed me knows but I can also
acknowledge Apple’s missteps so I had one of those the original 15-inch
MacBook Pros with the touch bar and that is that that virtual escape key made me
nuts and so when they finally released the new 16 inch one it had been a few
years so I was like I’m gonna pass this one down to another employee and I’m
getting I’m getting a real Escape key and it’s so funny how that little thing
of that Escape key has reignited my passion for this particular machine
because now I’m no longer ten times a day being like I just deleted an email
right and and so I think you’re right so on that note you know what are things
any specific things you’ve seen customers who are trying to stay
relevant or merchants who are trying to stay relevant in the age of the Amazon
dragon where where they’re failing on the low-hanging fruit where they’re
struggling with it shouldn’t be that hard for them I think I think number one
not taking advantage of a broader range of services provided to them by their
e-commerce form again keeping the lens of SMB like
yours a tremendous amount you can do with a single platform without having to
worry about plugging in three or four or five external services this is enough to
get started with and grow with so I think number one is under-investing
customer service and under investing in in nav the idea of search browse to
checkout and not being critical about that like taking whatever the platform
offers you and assume that that’s the best which might mean under load it’s
slow it might mean 12 clicks to get something in the cart again don’t assume
just because you’re using an off-the-shelf
service or piece of software that it’s designed with you in mind so I think
those are areas where merchants small merchants or new merchants should be
critical and I think I think existing merchants should always be testing
themselves as well like they should have impartial set of eyes and perspectives
come in and critique the four main or three main assets of their experience
the purchase experience the customer service experience and the return
experience and then calibrates their strategies against that and then say
look if these three things are at the top that our pain points what do I have
at my fingertips that I’m not activating I think other other than that is you get
a hold of your account manager if you’re gonna invest in any commerce platform
and you’re gonna spend some time building your business or operating your
business out of it then use the assets that that platform has available if
you’ve got an Account Manager use that Account Manager to the fullest like
they’re gonna know how to help you get the best out of a platform hey Rick I’m
having a problem I really seem to be struggling with order management
what am I doing wrong Jeff here’s a couple of videos and then
so-and-so is gonna take you through how to optimize your your ship routine for
twice a day like those things I don’t think a lot of merchants are necessarily
taking advantage of they’re trying to solve it themselves it’s kind of like
managing your own investment portfolio yeah sometimes you can do it but other
times the assets are best if you leverage those services you could have a
surprising amount of gains and efficiency yeah absolutely and I think
that that begets the the opposite side of that question and maybe even a
specific merchant if you have one that comes to mind what’s something that’s
just delighted that you’ve bumped into even if it’s a
tiny merchant no one’s heard of anything you’ve seen this it’s just that you’re
like wow that was a really cool great experience but you don’t like it in our
world especially of authorize.net and to say that cybersource is more
serious and I’m not meaning that but I mean that because authorize.net is an
SMB oriented environment we definitely see some very unique things happening
I don’t recall the names but there’s a company that sells air conditioned dog
houses for example I don’t think we ever see this in the cybersource world and
he probably does them build to order but you know we find things like that so I
see like people even what might seem like crazy ideas are building businesses
around them so that always you know we love that and internally with an
authorized net when we get together as a large group we often try to you know
come up with or present and off the wall or a bet you never thought this could be
sold and authorize.net is processing the payments so that usually is you know
it’s it’s good for laughs but the same time it it’s there’s reverence there I
mean everyone’s like wow I mean if it wasn’t because of us and what we did
that you know item couldn’t be sold so there are types of items being sold that
make us laugh all the time and make a smile and feel proud and it’s also very
serious stuff like some of the things that just like boggle our mind have to
do with throughput like some of the ticketing and event management platforms
that use authorized.net for example you know especially during when tickets go
on sale for an event whether it’s Coachella
whether it’s Burning Man the race conditions in those cases are it’s crazy
and and and the throughput they can pump through a system dwarfs the e-commerce
world but that’s route what happens in a very narrow window and we watch you know
just little blips yeah in terms of how we see that load and that’s also very I
mean we feel that you’re proud about that it’s like our systems don’t break a
sweat you know when those very spurious activities happen so again the world
doesn’t necessarily know that but we look on that very proudly that you know
we’ve engineered some really really scalable payment processing systems and
that impresses us as well and again at the end of the day what makes it
rewarding is that we spent a lot of time building and promoting a
facing API for payments and arguably I hate to say it but we don’t need to know
who you are right and so sometimes we’ll see jumps and activity or unique things
happening in terms of an order value or the location of orders or the number of
orders in a given window of time and it’s like what is that we look into it
reach reach out and we get we get rewarded by what what that might be yeah
and you find out that Burning Man just tried to sell 500,000 tickets for 60,000
people yeah that reminds me very much of Miva you know I mean that’s I think
that’s culturally why we’ve always felt a kinship with the authorize.net is you
know and I think that goes to the point of what’s in the book which is you know
I think technology as much as Amazon is this big thing but I’m also a big
customer of Amazon’s and I like Amazon there are so many things you can buy and
imagine and build businesses around today that simply weren’t possible 20
years ago yeah Ritchie any other thoughts you want to go into before we
wrap for the day no you know I just want to reiterate and it and say that it’s
refreshing to have such a big company big brand that almost most people don’t
really know hey that was a great experience with Visa right but yet it’s
refreshing to hear from you that that’s what you’re thinking about through the
whole process and just one question I would have is in this experience is
there something that came out organically that you might have been
thinking about that you say you know I really wanted to say this one last thing
all right you don’t have to but I just know when you have a you know there’s
things we want to cover there’s things that are going on in the brain and so in
this experience kind of hearing out got to be a brand you got to think of your
customers experiences or anything that we didn’t yeah you know you know one
thing that comes to mind is you know not to be afraid of taking advantage of new
technologies and I will speak from the lens or the perspective of payments like
this like as steadfast is that a look we invest a lot of time and effort in
building out the next generation services right that really offer
potential new opportunities for handling things
like marketplaces so you know we need to have broader discussions with the the
platform environments around direct payments like what if you could push
payments to a credit or debit card in a marketplace scenario or in a gig economy
like those aren’t going to be done by merchants themselves those are gonna be
executed by platforms right and I think that’s exciting stuff the ability to say
look I’ve got an environment whether it’s for an affiliate system whether
it’s for human workers to do tasks whether it’s for drivers or whatever but
now I have assets via my payment provider to push payments to them and
guess what it’s all being illuminated by the platform provider so I think that’s
I would encourage people to think more aggressively and look at the services
that are now coming out or coming online from the payment providers and think
about how you can take advantage of those in a way that you couldn’t before
things like digital wallets I really you know encourage people to like embrace
that world of Apple pay and Google pay and and and the pay the pays in general
in the mobile device it’s an excellent way to bridge the gap right between the
online experience and the future in-store experience and that’s my last
you know idea or plug so to speak is the world of integrated commerce right
enterprises have often struggled with that if they’ve got an online site and
they’ve got multiple stores again this is a enterprise class problem but now if
I look at it from an SMB or mid-market lens things have gotten a lot easier
they’re not perfect yourself to tie things together but I think they’re
great opportunities to like like break down that barrier I won’t you know we
think about when we search and browse and buy online it is radically different
than when we search browse and buy in-store in-store reaching for our
wallets and pulling out our credit cards what if we could seamlessly make that
experience the same between the online world and the in-store world right what
if I could check out on a Miva powered store as I go to checkout maybe I check
out with Apple pay on the web or I use my phone what if that was the same or
Google pay or what if that was the same as I walked into the store and what if
that was the same if it was the same merchants
and so things like that I think businesses have better access to today
to kind of break down that barrier and be a little more cutting edge and I’d
encourage folks to take a look at and think a little more creatively don’t
always think it’s got to be a checkout routine where you enter a credit card
into a box think beyond that and the tools are pretty much you’re gonna find
at your fingertips awesome well thanks for coming on the show
we love having you any other particular things or pretty much I guess the only I
would say is what I heard Jeff just say was you know your customers are if
you’re a merchant your customers are evolving so you got to keep evolving too
right because customers I know what I expect now for my checkout experience
it’s different than it was no not just check out the whole thing and so I think
just right on I think when when a business assumes they know what their
customers want and they stop questioning it is when they run into stops yeah so
all right so it’s time to get back to work hope you enjoyed this experience
here on the Dragonproof ecommerce podcast and until next time stay Dragonproof

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