Off-Amazon Sales Channel News & Other Happenings in 2021

Episode 68

In today’s episode, we are going to talk about the top 5 articles in the eCommerce industry in the first quarter of 2021. We have talked about Amazon and where it will go upon the departure of Jeff Bezos. We’ve also shared our insights about Walmart, Target, and Shopify and their respective business models that contribute to their recent growth. David and I ended this episode on a high note with our thoughts about the almost $800-billion sales of US eCommerce in 2020.  

Listen to this episode and get updated on the recent happenings in our industry! 

[00:01 – 03:24] Opening Segment

  • We introduce our topic for today
    • Why we’ll discuss these news articles

[03:25 – 13:26] Alternative Business Models 

  • Listen to our exchange on Target’s invite-only membership
  • Walmart is on a tear and we tell you why 
    • Should Amazon be worried? 

[13:27 – 23:52] What to Learn from Shopify’s Growth 

  • Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
    • Promo code: FTM400
  • Watch out for Shopify 
    • How is it different from Walmart? 

[23:53- 33:48] Amazon’s Future Direction 

  • Hear our insights about Jeff Bezos leaving Amazon
  • Two more Jeffs are leaving Amazon
    • Find out who they are
    • What this means for Amazon

[33:49 – 37:52] Closing Segment 

  • Here’s another reason you should go into eCommerce 
  • Final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“Once you create a habit, it’s really hard to break.” – Ken Wilson

“…as you build a good team around you, you become less and less important.” – David Schomer

Resources Mentioned:


Do you want to fire the man yourself? Send us a voice message and let’s see how we can help you! 




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David 0:00
Real quick before we get into the show, I wanted to share a new service called Getida that Ken and I have been using that has made us over $10,000 in Amazon reimbursements. The service requires no monthly subscription, and getida collects a small percentage of the money they recover for you. It takes less than five minutes to set up and works on all Amazon marketplaces. Go to GETIDA, and enter promo code FTM 400. That’s FTM for firing the man 400 to get your first $400 in reimbursements commission free, how much money does Amazon owe you?

Ken 0:42
Once you create a habit, it’s really hard to break. And if that habit is online shopping, well, you’re going to continue to do that. Right? Unless you train yourself to break that habit which I don’t think many people are going to do. Why would you train yourself to do something that’s not as efficient or that you don’t like, right? I think as e commerce becomes better, the user experience is better you can get what you want quicker, faster, better, you know, it’s not going to change. Right. So we might see a little bit of level off, you know, post Covid, I think probably a little level off. But that growth is going to continue for years to come.

David 1:15
I find it hard to believe that one person really is steering the ship all that much. You know, it takes teams it takes a ton of talented people. And you know, certainly someone that can rally the troops and build that team. That’s a very valuable skill. But I do not see Amazon crashing and burning with Bezos leaving.

Ken 1:34
Leave target on the backburner. free up your mental space on something else. But if you do get the ticket to the dance, take it.

Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more then join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your hosts, serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 2:05
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode Ken and I discuss the top five articles in the e commerce news for q1 2021. What’s going on, Ken?

Ken 2:16
David, what’s up? Happy to be in the podcast studio today taping another show. You know, and talking about the top news and e commerce in q1. It’s 2021. That’s kind of crazy.

David 2:28
It is and you know, at the time that we’re recording this 2020s in the rearview mirror, and what a crazy year that was. And I think a lot of trends, as we’ll discuss today, a lot of the trends that were set in 2020 are going to carry on to 2021. So, let’s jump right into it.

Ken 2:47
Last week, you and I were on a phone call with a vendor, not gonna mention who it was. And they were explaining a few things and they had mentioned this marketplace. They had mentioned, you know, hey, we have some, you know, clients that are crushing it on target. And we were on a zoom call. So because I could see your face. And I’m sure you can see mine and as entrepreneurs, I don’t know about you, I want to hear your answer. My wheels were spinning as soon as he said that, like, oh, I’ve never checked out target I want to go, this shiny object. What did you, when you heard that people were crushing on target? What do you do?

David 3:21
Absolutely. Yeah, it immediately piqued my interest. And I’ll tell you the reason why is, as a consumer, I’m not sure if I’ve ever went into target and not left with something. They have, you know, I think as an organization, they do a really good job of curating high quality products. And, you know, always seems to be like kind of a step up from Walmart, but have reasonable prices. And you know, the thing that stands out to me is target is you know, and I’ll compare them to like an eBay. eBay has been around for a while, right. It’s a legacy ecommerce company. But you know, we’re starting to see new players in this market. And that’s exciting to me. I think eBay has probably peaked. But you know, the sky’s the limit with these new markets, you know, target, Walmart that we’ve discussed on previous episodes, so let’s dive into the article. What were some things that stood out to you?

Ken 4:10
Yeah, absolutely. So the title of it, you know, targets marketplace is tiny. And should be on the backburner unless you get an invite. Because target I found out targets marketplace is invite only. And so that really jumped out at me. And that is, you know, it’s very exclusive. So that was interesting. And then I found out that they have only 300 sellers. And so that would really make sense on if you were one of those 300 sellers, you’re crushing it.

David 4:42
Absolutely. You know, there are two things that stand out to me about this business model that differs from Amazon. One is from the consumer standpoint, you know on Amazon anybody can start an account and you know, put up a nice photo and start selling. And I think as a consumer, we’ve all bought junk on Amazon, you know, it showed up, it hasn’t, you know, met our expectations. And that’s because there’s really no vetting process. If you can start an account on Amazon, you can start selling on Amazon. And so I think people go into their amazon shopping with a little bit of skepticism. And I think consumers that are used to target having really nice products are going to continue to get this, as they join, they’re calling it target plus, this marketplace because of this vetting process. You know, the other thing that stands out to me, and I’m gonna nerd out a little bit on economics is on Amazon, the free markets are truly in play where the supply of sellers is unlimited. And here, you’ve got a fixed supply. And if you want to, if I’m gonna really nerd out that would like invert your supply curve, make it very steep. So if you can become one of these vetted sellers, you know, assuming like a fixed demand, there’s going to be a lot more upside for you. And so, you know, I like this from a seller standpoint, in that probably not going to be as many concerns about like, Chinese, you know, black hats coming in hijacking your listings. And so, you know, the other thing is, if you can get a ticket to the dance, you know, being a target plus seller, you know that that is a golden ticket to the dance.

Ken 6:24
Yeah, absolutely. And one thing I would add to that is one of the stats that jumped out at me was,it said they had on target’s website in 2020, they had over 200 million monthly visitors, and it was up 50% in 2020. So it’s a pretty sweet ticket to the dance if you get it, right. Like you mentioned, there was no, you know, you don’t have Chinese blackhat sellers to compete with, you really have only 299 other sellers. And from what I’m reading here, target is basically inviting select brands that they know will be non competitive to other brands, but also offer an augment to their catalog, like better products, like what are their customers searching for, and they’re going out and grabbing the best brand in the market for that and they’re adding them to their marketplace. And so I think it’s a really high level strategy on keeping the user experience really good. And branding, you know, and also, you know, they don’t have this massive marketplace of bullshit they have to monitor and clean up, right. It’s just a really nice user experience.

David 7:30
Absolutely. And the last thing that I’ll mention about like targets customer avatar, is you’ve heard of like AA Alcoholics Anonymous, right? There are groups like this for people that are shopaholics like that is a legit disorder, habit, whatever you want to call it, but there are people that really have an issue with shopping to where it is detrimental to their family. And I would bet if you went to one of these shopaholics anonymous meetings, and there was 20 people sitting in a circle, there would be somebody, I would say probably more than one that would say, Hi, I’m Pam, I’m a shopaholic, and she would tell a story about going to target. I mean, it has kind of like a cult like following. I mean, people that like Target, really like Target. And, you know, when you look at 272 sellers, and then you have 200 million visits a month, I think that speaks to target, you know, people that love target that were stuck at home during the pandemic that were like, Listen, if I can’t get my fix going to target I’m getting on

Ken 8:36
Yeah, definitely agree that there’s a specific, you know, shopper that target goes after and that attracts them. One last thing I want to mention is, you know, the article that we’re referencing here is basically says, you know, target is augmenting their selection as a strategy, to transform target into a better user experience and not to try to compete with Amazon or just turn into this massive marketplace. And so, I really liked that strategic approach of just slightly augmenting them to improve that experience. So to kind of wrap this one up, like David mentioned, you know, in the title of the article, you know, this one, leave target on the backburner, free up your mental space on something else. But if you do get the ticket to the dance, take it.

David 9:23
Alright, our next article is titled Walmart online sales are on an absolute tear. The first line of this article reads Walmart incs online sales grew 79% for its fiscal year 2021, which ended on January 29. The article goes on to make several notes about how Walmart online is just crushing it and really growing. What stood out to you Ken about this particular article?

Ken 9:50
Yeah, you know, I like to see this. It’s, I think you mentioned that before on on another podcast, like poking the beast. And, you know, we’re starting to see Walmart’s gears turning and moving in this direction. A couple things that jumped out at me. And to the listeners, you know, David and I are doing, we’re taking some products into Walmart right now we’re doing a case study on it. So we’re going to share that in an upcoming episode for the Walmart plus marketplace. So I’m excited to report on, you know, that experience, it says, you know, online sales, their marketplace grew 69% in q4, that’s a tremendous amount in q4 69%. And, you know, what I really like is that Walmart is, they’re going pretty aggressive. And they’re also using all of their assets. You know, Walmart has a ton of stores of fiscal, you know, brick and mortar stores. And one of the stats here says Walmart now offers pickup of online orders at roughly 3750 stores, and same day delivery at 3000 of their stores. Now, that’s something Amazon cannot do, right. So, you know, I really liked that. And, you know, if you have to order something, you know, hey, I need to get something but you know, but you want to go to the store or buy something else, maybe you know, search for it, or let’s say you have to go grocery shopping and you want to get a TV or whatever. I mean, you can get almost anything at Walmart, right? Let’s say you don’t want to research the TV at the store, you want to research it, and then find out which one you want, throw in a cart. And then when you’re getting your groceries, you can go pick up the TV, right? I mean, it saves time by doing that, and on your own time. So there’s a lot of scenarios where, you know, you can do that same thing with groceries, you could put all your stuff in a basket at home. And then you want to go there and physically look at a TV or whatever. Right? So I like that they’re leveraging all their stores and all of their different assets. What are some things that jumped out at you, David?

David 11:43
Yeah, absolutely. So one of the lines reads, other researchers found that almost 20% of Walmart plus members migrated from amazon prime. And that really stands out to me, just in that, you know, Amazon has been this 800 pound gorilla for the longest time. And you’re starting to see new entrants into the market. And you know, you and I had a discussion A while back on expanding and diversifying sales channels. And we looked at a lot of different opportunities. And when we were discussing Walmart, one thing that we decided on is, one, they’re making heavy investment into their e commerce presence. And if you look at Walmart, they’re a fortune 10 company. I mean, they’re gigantic. And so say they allocate a couple percent of revenue, we’re talking about several billion dollars, right. And you compare that to like a website, like wayfair, and I’m not knocking on wayfair. But they don’t have, you know, a trillion dollar market cap, or several you know, hundreds of billions of dollars in market cap. And so, Walmart is huge. And so when they invest, just by their sheer mass, they’re able to invest in higher, you know, 100x, or 1,000x, what a company like wayfair could do. And so, you know, I am very excited to share with our audience how our Walmart venture goes, You know, I would say we’re like just dipping our toe in the waters, right, we’ve got our accounts registered, we’ve got relationships hooked up with a three PL, we’re on a waiting list for Walmart fulfillment, and so don’t yet have a lot to report here on how that’s going. But, you know, if I was Amazon, and I was seeing companies like Target and Walmart coming to this marketplace and kind of mimicking the prime model, that would make me nervous. And so you know, if you could take amazon prime and isolate it, and turn it into a stock, I would not buy amazon prime stock right now, I’d buy Amazon, but just, you know, that Prime model, you’re just seeing more and more people flood into the market. And so I’m excited to see what this looks like. And you know, if you want to hear from someone who has four years experience selling on Walmart, check out our episode with Miro Posavec. He’s been on Amazon for four years, and is a wealth of information and really has a lot more to say about Walmart and the seller’s experience than we do at this point in time. So we will link to that in our show notes.

Ken 14:08
Yeah, something else that jumps out at me and you know, that 20% swing from Amazon Prime customer to Walmart plus subscriber. That’s pretty huge. And, you know, one of the other notes that jumped out at me is, you know, during one of the investor calls for Walmart plus they asked, McMillan, you know, like, what is the subscriber count? They tried to kind of pin him down on it, and he wouldn’t really answer but basically said that Walmart is focusing on the customer experience and delivering the best experience possible. They also noted that they’re estimating that Walmart launched with 9 million members, and Prime has an estimated 142 million so Walmart has a lot of ground to make up, but you know, they’re doing it cautiously, but also, you know, they’re focusing on customer experience. Which I think is really important. One of the other stats that kind of goes along with that is, you know, they’re gonna invest $14 billion in 2021, on supply chain, automation, fulfillment services. That’s up from 10 billion on the year prior. So, you know, it’s a 40% increase. So is it enough? I don’t know. But it’s more than last year. So they’re moving in that direction, you know, Walmart’s a very mature company, like you mentioned they’re a fortune 10. So they’re not going to make these wild wild moves, they’re going to ease into something, right. And so it’s nice to see that, you know, 40% increase in investment and that and so they know that, hey, this is moving the needle, both put some more money in there, and let’s move the needle more. So I like the movement, and I like that they’re investing in automation and fulfillment centers, and really focusing on the customer experience.

David 15:52
I would say the last thing, you know, that I think Walmart has a huge advantage on is their logistics, you know, they wrote the book on just in time inventory. And, you know, have been developing that method for a long, long time. And, you know, I have said on the podcast, that I believe that Amazon has the best logistics in the world. But I’ll tell you what, if Amazon logistics and Walmart logistics were to get into, you know, a brawl, I’m not sure who would come out on top. And so, you know, don’t sleep on Walmart. That’s what I’ll say about this. And you know, it is nice, we made the move into Walmart a couple months ago, boy is it nice to see an article like this kind of confirming that, hey, the decision that we made, is being backed up by data. It’s being backed up by investment from Walmart, we’re seeing customers migrate over. All things are pointing to we made a good decision.

Ken 16:46
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I like to see competition. You know, it’s good for sellers, it’s good for market. So I like to see Walmart, taking on Amazon and, being a challenger, a legitimate challenger there. And the last thing I’ll say is, you know, once we’re, I’m excited to share our experience when we’re a few months deeper, and we have a you know, we’ll share the first three months, six months process of going into Walmart, what it was like for us and hopefully, you know, add some value.

David 17:15
Sorry to interrupt the episode, you may have heard Ken and I talking recently about a new tool that we’re using for Amazon refunds. Now I have used other refund tools like this. However, I can tell you in the first seven days, they scrubbed it, the back end of my Amazon account going back 18 months, and found $5,000 of refunds. And the nice thing about this is, it’s my money, Amazon made a mistake, and they are just auditing my account. The other thing I really like about this tool is there is no monthly fee, they only charge a commission if they are successful in getting you your money. Go to GETIDA and enter promo code FTM for firing the man FTM 400 this is an awesome tool. I can’t say enough good things about it. Now back to the episode. Alright, so the next article that we’re going to cover was from marketplace pulse and it is titled Shopify is 40% as big as Amazon. And the first line goes into detail on this, you know, two years ago, they were 25% the size of Amazon, as we can see Shopify is growing. Ken, what were some of your key takeaways from this article?

Ken 18:26
Yeah, absolutely. You know, just seeing some of the progression of Shopify, the numbers, and one of them that stood out to me, and this might not be surprising to some, but, uh, Shopify overtook eBay, and recently in 2020, and I was like, that’s, I mean, eBay is kind of sliding. But still, that’s a, you know, eBay is up there in terms of longevity for a marketplace, right. Some of the stats here let’s see, because, you know, the article is comparing Shopify to Amazon. So we’ll look at a couple of stats here. And actually, to go back, Shopify overtook eBay in the second quarter of 2020. So almost a year ago. So some of the stats here Shopify gmv. David, what is the gmv?

David 19:10
Gross market value?

Ken 19:11
Ok, so here are some of the stats, Shopify gmv, which is gross market value is 25%, as big as Amazon in 2018, reached 30% in 2019, and 40%, in 2020. So it’s steadily gaining on Amazon, you know, so that’s huge.

David 19:29
Absolutely. You know, one thing that I think differentiates Shopify from say, like a Walmart plus or a target plus is they’re not a direct competitor of Amazon. Right. And for those of you that are unfamiliar with Shopify, I would describe it as a turnkey website designer, that is just set up for online commerce, would you agree with that description? Yeah, absolutely. And I can say, so my brand is on Shopify currently and Ken I know you’re partial to WordPress, but I can tell you from a not customer, but a user’s experience is it’s easy. I mean, if you can drag and drop files, you can set up a Shopify store, it’s relatively cheap. So, you know, I think the other thing is it allows you to have a direct to consumer model. And so you know, if I sell a product on Amazon, and I sell that same product for the same price on Shopify, typically, it is about 40% more profitable. And I’m thinking of one particular product that I sell, it’s about 40%, more profitable to sell on Shopify. And the reason for that is, there’s no referral fee, you will have some unless you’re self fulfilling, you’re gonna have a pick and pack or, you know, some sort of fulfillment fee, but, you know, that 15% referral fee, someone’s got to pay that. And so, you know, if I’m a consumer, you know, and I’m looking at prices, you know, take a $20 product, a portion of that is how much the product actually cost to make. A portion of that is the fulfillment, right? You get free shipping, but guess what, it’s not free, you’re paying for it just with a higher price. And they’re not taking a line item out and showing you shipping, you’re paying that referral fee, and you’re paying the FBA pick and pack fee. And so I actually am able to price my items lower on Shopify, and be just as profitable if not more profitable than on Amazon, just because there’s not all those fees associated with it, you know, it’s 30 bucks a month, and for the subscription that I have, and it’s easy to use. So it is not shocking to me that Shopify is growing. And I think you’re seeing a lot of sellers try to migrate once they’re established on Amazon, they’re trying to migrate and get people off onto their own sales channel that they own.

Ken 21:43
Yeah, totally agree. I’m a huge fan of Shopify. I actually they IPO recently, and I added some of their stock to my passive investment portfolio. So I am a huge fan. I think they’re just now starting to get a ton of traction, and there’s a lot of room left to grow. And like you mentioned, you know, Shopify is a platform for, you know, small business owners to sell their products. Right. And, you know, although you don’t own you know, that Shopify store, Shopify can still shut you down. You know, recently I heard the news, they shut some, you know, some Donald Trump stores and some other stuff down. So there’s still a little bit of risk there. But at the end of the day, you can collect emails, you can you know, you have way more freedom and control of your store than if you were selling through a channel like Walmart or Amazon, right. So, it also, like you mentioned, it’s a drag and drop editor, which empowers nearly any small business owner to go in, create a store really quickly, and be able to reach your you know, your customers quick. So yeah, I’m a huge fan of Shopify. One other thing that jumped out at me is, you know, this is common, but you know, it says here, Amazon is working on reportedly working on a Shopify competitor under the codename Project Santos. So I don’t know what that means. And I don’t know why it’s Project Santos. But I mean, it’s interesting that they’re, you know, they’re trying to compete with with Shopify. What do you think about that, David?

David 23:08
Yeah, absolutely. It’s hard for me to think of Amazon getting into, you know, they’d almost be kind of competing with themselves, right? You saw them sort of make this move, where you could get brand registered. And then you kind of have like, your own website within amazon for, you know, what’s that called?

Ken 23:28
Your storefront?

David 23:29
Yeah, your storefront. And so they kind of have that. But, you know, you can’t get away from those referral fees. They follow you everywhere, if you’re selling on Amazon platform. And so it’s, that’ll be interesting to see what project Santos looks like. So anyway, you know, the last thing that I’ll mention about this is shopify was started in 2006. I mean, it’s a 15 year old company, which really is pretty, it’s relatively new to the market. Right. And so, you know, I’m expecting great things out of Shopify in the next 15 years, as long as they continue to invest in, you know, the consumer experience, and, you know, making it easier and easier for people that are not tech savvy to sell online.

Ken 24:11
Yeah, one last point and this is to wrap up the article here. It kind of builds on what you said, you know, five years ago, Shopify was 10 times smaller than eBay. And then in 2020, it overtook eBay. And if Amazon’s marketplace grows 25%, while Shopify grows 50% for the next five years, Shopify will over take Amazon. So, leave it on that note there. Alright, the next article we’re going to cover, it’s probably one of the bigger ones that we’re covering today. Jeff Bezos is stepping down. Amazon is changing direction, and what other management changes are happening. David, what are your thoughts?

David 24:49
You know, I am a fan of Jeff Bezos. He has done tremendous things and he’s an icon in the industry. However, I don’t think this is going to negatively Impact Amazon, as much as, say Elon Musk were to leave Tesla. Right, he is the face of Tesla. And I’ll tell you what it seems like just listening and reading some of his books. He’s getting in there in terms of like the engineering. And Jeff Bezos to me seems more like the figurehead right of Amazon. Whereas like an Elon Musk is, he’s definitely the figurehead. He’s kind of a brand in and of itself. But I don’t know, there’s just some, like trust that I have with Tesla. I’ll give you an example. If Elon musk were to come out with a pair of shoes, I’d buy them, because I know they’re the best, right? And so, anyway, this is, definitely will have an impact on Amazon. But you know, when a company gets that big, I find it hard to believe that one person really is steering the ship all that much. You know, it takes teams, it takes a ton of talented people. And you know, certainly someone that can rally the troops and build that team. That’s a very valuable skill. But I do not see Amazon crashing and burning with Bezos leaving. What do you think?

Ken 26:03
Yeah, no I agree. And to that point, you know, I think Jeff Bezos is, if you’ve ever read his books, or studied anything about him is you know, it’s like automation and creating, you know, a process and then handing that off, and then refining it and handing it off. And so it’s repeatable, right? You need visionaries. Right? And so he’s obviously a visionary and a workaholic. And I think that, you know, over the last 20 years, or however long you know, he’s built a great team around him, you have to to build an organization like Amazon. No, I mean, kudos to him. I think it’s, you know, he’s got a lot of other stuff that, you know, that he wants to focus on the day one Fund, the Bezos Earth fund, Blue Origin, he wants to get after and mix it up with Elon, The Washington Post. So those are some of the other projects that he’s kind of, you know, basically said he wants to spend his time on versus Amazon. And, I don’t blame him, you know, I’m sure Amazon has been a grind. And, you know, for a long time, probably, you know, he also, I know, Amazon is getting a lot of pressure from, you know, not only the US government but other governments around the world, or, you know, like, it’s like, okay, you know, me personally, I think Amazon’s gonna be put in check in the next 12 to 24 months, and you’re gonna start seeing the growth slow quite a bit and a lot of pressure put on them. And who knows, I mean, but I’m happy for him that, you know, hey, it’s like a championship fighter going out on a KO. You know, it’s like that dude rocks, like, that guy makes more money, you know, the time it takes him to take a crap he’s made more money than most people make in their life. And, you know, like, he didn’t, it wasn’t given to him, he created that he earned it. He built all the, you know, systems and processes. And, and I mean, I for one am happy to see him go, you know, his motto. I’m a seller on that marketplace. And his motto is, your margin is my opportunity. Well, you know, so all right. No love lost there. See ya, enjoy those other projects. And but yeah, kudos to him.

David 28:15
And, you know, based on the last three articles that we’ve covered with Shopify increasing market share, with target increasing market share with Walmart, increasing market share, this is a good time to get out, in my opinion, you know, he is Floyd Mayweather. He’s 49 and 0, and, you know, every time Floyd accepts another fight, it’s like, don’t mess up your perfect record, retire, and you’ll be the greatest of all time. But Floyd continues to fight into his 40s. And he always seems to win. But, you know, I do feel like in terms of timing and exit, what a good time to go out on top.

Ken 28:50
Yeah, absolutely, you know, starting a bookstore in 1994, and build it to what it is now. I mean, that’s pretty incredible, to be able to see that opportunity, and then just grind it out. One other thing. So a couple more things, you know, Andy Jassy. I’ve not researched him as much, he’s gonna replace Jeff Bezos and, he comes from the AWS cloud side, apparently, he’s kind of grown that division, which is that division is, from my research is the most profitable in the company. Right. And one of the other articles I read about him was that he’s kind of a ballbuster in terms of, you know, like, if another executive wanted to bring a proposal to him or something like they said, you need to, like refine that proposal three or four times and make sure it’s like spot on or you’re going to get chewed up. And so, you know, if that’s any indication of who’s coming in to the chair at the end of the table, you know, that’s probably the direction they’re going to be going. The last bit I would like to add is like what you mentioned earlier, is, you know, with the leader stepping down, kind of, you don’t see any changes happening. Something else that I also was researching and it’s kind of funn, two other Jeff’s on the executive leadership team are also leaving. And so I’m like that’s a dust up, right? Like, you have Jeff Blackburn, who’s been at Amazon 22 years, he created a lot of different, and headed a lot of different divisions in Amazon. He announced his exit like it was pretty immediate. And I think just in the last few days, depending on when this airs, but he also said he’s not retiring. He’s moving on. So he will announce something very soon. I’m interested to see where he’s going, and what project he’s taken on. The other Jeff that’s leaving, or that he’s already announced it Jeff Wilkie, who’s the CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business, he’s retiring as well. So three Jeff’s are leaving Amazon. So it’ll be interesting to kind of see what that does. And the impact of that. What are your thoughts, David?

David 30:55
Yeah, I think that, you know, as I mentioned a little bit before, when you see these exits, it’s, you know, kind of a bummer to see whatever, but I truly don’t think that, you know, Amazon has the reputation, they have a ton of consumers, they have a proven business model. And I don’t want to sell on Amazon any more or less, with the three Jeff’s exiting, I also don’t really care as a consumer, you know what I mean? And so, as long as these new executives that are coming in to replace them can, you know, fill their shoes and continue to push this company forward? I see Amazon, you know, for the next 50 years being, you know, a tremendously successful company, a fortune 10 company. And so it’ll be interesting. But, you know, when Steve Jobs, I’ll give this example, when Steve Jobs stepped down from Apple, I can just only speak to the consumer side, things didn’t seem to change that much. Right, you know, the iPhones continued to get better and better, you know, customer experience, kind of remained constant. And so I think when you have a figurehead of a company, you know, I think their importance as an individual person, is probably the most important in the early stages. But as you build a good team around you, you become less and less important.

Ken 32:09
Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And, you know, at this stage, you know, all three jeffs at that point, right? They’re visionaries, they’re a conductor in an orchestra. They’re just kind of pulling strings and they’re balling. They’re not grinding, they’re balling right. And so one other thing that kind of comes to mind is like a golden parachute. You hear that a lot? Like, I would say, at this level, this is like a diamond parachute.

David 32:35
Oh yeah, I mean, one of the Jeff’s was there, you know, for 22 years, Amazon started started in 94. I mean, his stock options, he’s a billionaire. Yeah. And so not a bad exit, not a bad run, good company to start working for and stick with and, you know, probably the, you know, when his stock options got to a million dollars, boy, would that have been tempting to leave right and cash in, or then they probably got to 10 million, and then 50 million and, good for him for sticking it out this long. You know, I would imagine that he believed in the long term vision of the company, and it’s why he stuck around. So you know, tip of the hat to all three Jeff’s, I wish them the very best in their next endeavors. And, you know, I would imagine Bezos, in particular, with the amount of capital that he has, even post-divorce, he should be able to do a lot of great things with that, you know, humanitarian, and, you know, I look at like, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the number of people that they have helped, like Bill Gates, or not, the number of people that they’ve been able to impact and just do good things, is great, it’s great for humanity. And you take a guy like Bezos, who has some of these humanitarian interests, I think it’s a net positive for the world.

Ken 33:44
I absolutely agree. And I couldn’t agree more. Like, I would definitely congratulate all three of the Jeff’s, you know, like, they all crushed it, put a lot of work in and, you know, as an entrepreneur, you know, it’s a lot of work that goes into that, you know, these guys take a lot of crap and at the end of the day, yeah, congratulations to them. And I agree with you like, that amount of resources can impact a lot of people. And, you know, like, I can see, like, McKenzie, his ex wife is really doubling down on humanitarian and, you know, giving away her wealth, and I hope that Jeff Bezos does the same and can create a positive impact in the world. So we’ll leave it with that. Okay, so the last article we’re going to cover we’re going to end on a high note us ecommerce sales near 800 billion in 2020. Wow, David.

David 34:41
You know, I have been saying in you know, I fired the man and I am all in on e commerce. And so seeing an article like this really reinforces the fact that I feel like I made a good decision. And I would say to our listeners, if you’re thinking about getting into e commerce, boy is there a huge opportunity here. You know, it’s been well documented of me and you saying, if e commerce as a concept was a stock, I would buy it, or we would buy it. And so it’s great to see that this growth, and I’ll tell you what I truly feel like it’s a better shopping experience, it’s just better. And once people go over to e commerce, you know, and start ordering things, they generally don’t go back to brick and mortar. And so, you know, the one thing that stood out in this article to me was that it only represents 16.1%, of retail. And that is, you know, if you think of a pie graph, that’s, it’s a decent sized slice of pie, but it’s still a slice, it’s, you know, it’s not the entire pie or even half of the pie. And so, I see, you know, ecommerce continuing to grow, continuing to expand, and continuing to take over brick and mortar retail, or kind of like a merge of the two. And so, you know, when I read this article it made me really happy. What about you?

Ken 35:58
Yeah, same here, and to your point, that 16% piece of the pie, and so that’s, you know, for the listeners, that’s like market penetration, right. So if you have a piece of pie, and the entire pie is all the money spent, well, 16% of it was spent in e commerce, meaning online, the rest of it was brick and mortar and other channels, so there’s a lot of room for growth, right 84% of room for growth. So that’s a massive amount of growth available. And some of the numbers behind that, you know, ecommerce grew in the US 32% in 2020. And that’s up from 600 billion the year before, which was 14% of total retail, and in 2019 11.3%, of total retail. So you’re seeing staggering numbers of growth, you know, and the average is 15%, year over year growth for 2020. So, I mean, that’s significant growth. And like you said, like, I think as people, once you create a habit, it’s really hard to break. And if that habit is online shopping, well, you’re going to continue to do that. Right? Unless you train yourself to break that habit, which I don’t think many people are going to do. Why would you train yourself to do something that’s not as efficient or that you don’t like, right? I think as e commerce becomes better, the user experience is better. You can get what you want quicker, faster, better, it’s not going to change. Right. So we might see a little bit of level off, you know, post COVID I think probably a little level off, but that growth is going to continue for years to come.

David 37:32
All right. Well, thanks, everyone for tuning in to the firing the man podcast and we will see you next week. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to, and check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer

Ken 38:17
and Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 38:34
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