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Interview with Syama Meagher, host of Ignite Startup School 105: Optimizing E-Commerce

Syama Meagher will be teaching Ignite Startup School 105: Optimizing E-Commerce on June 10, 2014 from 12-1 p.m. PST.

1. You are the founder of Scaling Retail, a fashion retail and brand consulting firm. How did you get to that point in your career?

I founded the business back in 2009, and it happened while I was working at Barneys in their Ecommerce division. I had a meeting with the supplying office, and I met with a lot of designers and brands who needed help and guidance to successfully grow their business and make them better. I knew that I had those skills, and that I could fill a niche.

2. How has your work experience prepared you to teach the E-commerce Optimization class at Ignite Startup School?

I was the director of merchandising for an online Startup, called AHAlife, so that provided me with great hands-on experience. I also ran the Ecommerce division for Ann Taylor, where I worked with small businesses and a few dozen brands that needed optimization in E-commerce assistance. Based on those experiences, I know what does and what doesn’t work.

3. Why do you think online business owners should learn about E-commerce Optimization?

I think the biggest thing is that they don’t know about it at all…a lot of people just go ahead and start just by putting a website together, but many of them actually don’t even think about how to do it in a way that reels in the customer. The biggest challenge is they start building out something and then they actually don’t do it in the best way possible. What they end up doing is making a lot of costly changes later down the road as opposed to starting off the right way.

4. How do you see the relationship between technological innovation and new businesses evolving in the future?

I think what’s interesting is that when it comes to shopping, there’s a big push for optimizing mobile that I don’t think anyone’s really figured out yet. At the same time, I think that there isn’t a known way how to push that. Obviously, Ecommerce isn’t going away anytime soon. I think what people are trying to figure out right now is that there’s a balance between how to bring it to multiple platforms – direct and digital – at the same time. How do you do E-commerce and made to order is what we’ll have to figure out as technology changes.

5. What advice would you give to entrepreneurs struggling to get there businesses off the ground?

I would say that entrepreneurs need to focus on what makes their brand unique and what makes their mission profitable. Before they start to think about marketing, PR, all of those things – they need to make sure they have a solid revenue stream and plan on how they’re going to actually make money. We will explore how to do that in the course on June 10.

Syama Meagher will be teaching “Ignite Startup School 105: E-Commerce Optimization” on June 10, 2014 from 12-1 p.m. PST. Register here to claim your spot!


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