Cross Sell Acquisition and the Future of Ecommerce

i'm thrilled to announce that members of Fomo have acquired Cross Sell, one of the most popular Shopify apps for building experiences like this:

cross selling example

we got to know Steve Jones, original founder/developer behind the platform, several months ago when we raised a fund to buy ecommerce marketing tools.

this is our 2nd acquisition, the first being Built With Shopify - a live case study resource - in September 2017 (read more).

a few reasons Cross Sell stood out:

  • over 700 five star reviews
  • amazing customer support from Stu, Steve's brother and side-kick
  • when users finish onboarding, they stick around
  • incredibly stable product
  • personalized shopping is the future of ecommerce

let's chat about that last one.

why Amazon is in trouble

in April 2016 i attended the inaugural Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas.

this is an enterprise event, tailored to help the world's largest online retailers connect with vendors who can help them grow.

after watching 2 dozen lightning talks, what struck me was the repetition of "Amazon, Amazon Amazon" by every executive.

in every slide show, every panel, and at both of my lunch tables, it was impossible to have a conversation about commerce online without mentioning The Elephant.

yet, in the past few years since Fomo has been around, we've witnessed a massive exodus from aggregation platforms like Amazon to white-label hosted or DIY tools like Shopify and WooCommerce.

stop selling on amazon


because retailers can.

you've probably heard someone say, "it's easier than ever to start a business."

but this unfolds into a series of more specific, sequential statements.

consider the years 2000 - 2017:

  1. it's easier than ever to buy a franchise
  2. it's easier than ever to prototype a product idea
  3. it's easier than ever to hire a developer overseas
  4. it's easier than ever to build an eBay store
  5. it's easier than ever to price match on Amazon
  6. it's easier than ever to cut out the middle-man

as more folks become entrepreneurs, testing the proverbial waters with off-shore teams, lean methodology, drop-shipping business models, and then finding success, they begin to wonder:

how else can i grow?

so they figure out a couple things:

  • relying on Amazon and eBay, who compete with me directly, is not sustainable
  • i don't own my customers, {{ platform }} does

and then they make the switch.

(side bar, Fomo is attending and presenting at Shoptalk 2018 to help more on-platform retailers reach this same conclusion)

why does personalization matter?

from the consumer's perspective, Amazon and other aggregation platforms will always and forever have a discovery problem.

Ben Evans explains:

"Google is very good at giving you what you're looking for, but no good at all at telling you what you want to find, let alone things you didn't know you wanted. Like Amazon, it's essentially a passive product (which is why Now is so interesting). It relies on waiting for you to find out what you want somewhere else, in some other way, and then it gives it to you."

as powerful as Artifical Intelligence and Machine Learning are, most consumers want more than "data driven" insights.

they want the opinion of other humans.

yelp ipo

combine this longing with the entrepreneur's dilemma outlined above, and you've got a recipe for standalone platforms that deliver comprehensive, immersive shopping experiences.

enter Cross Sell

let's be honest: there are a lot of solutions for encouraging cross and up-sell behaviors on an ecommerce store.

some folks build their own, others use Cross Sell, a special group of people prefer popups... (sigh).

yet, most implementations fail.

the "code" works, the buttons do what's expected, but consumer advocacy falls short.

if i'm buying a microphone, i don't want another mic recommendation.

instead, suggest throat tea, a microphone stand, XLR cables, a spit guard, or some new headphones.

humans are great at curating collections like this, which is exactly what Cross Sell empowers entrepreneurs to do on their Shopify store.

instead of automated defaults, Cross Sell puts the shop admin in the driver's seat, because you know your customers better than anyone.

FBA folks: think Amazon will let you decide when it recommends your products vs another vendor?

good luck.

what's next

over the last 2 months we've been working with Steve and Stu to assume all responsibilities -- support, development, marketing -- to ensure the high quality of service remains in-tact for more than 3,100 paying customers.

so while we're still in the early days of Cross Sell, here's a glimpse of v2.0.

screenshot of the current Cross Sell dashboard:

what rolls out ~next month.

our approach:

  • enhance usability
  • improve metrics reporting
  • build next gen features

we look forward to serving thousands more ecommerce businesses with the addition of Cross Sell to the Fomo family.

to try Cross Sell free on your store today, go here.