Robin Devon Calandri was gracious enough to join us for an hour to break down why uDroppy is a great platform for entrepreneurs aspiring or accomplished. Nearly every need is covered by the passionate team from sourcing to fulfillment. All that's left is to market. In addition to being an ecom manager, Robin is also the face and voice of the company. Bringing her energy and passion to both the public, whether that's at conventions or on her own interview series, as well as the backend.
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[00:00:00] Robin Calandri: [00:00:00] You really need a get all the money on the table, which means that you have to get the customer to buy from you again, again and again. And the way you do it is to be recognizable. You have to have your brand and you have to give them an amazing experience. So this is why market validation means they like it.
[00:00:23] They're buying it as soon as you get that. Boom you start scaling
[00:00:29] Joseph: [00:00:29] you're listening to Ecomonics a Debutify
[00:00:34] You are a resource for one of the key insights into the world of eCommerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research.
[00:00:48] Your time is valuable. So let's
[00:01:00] [00:01:00] Robin Devon Calandri was gracious enough to join us for an hour to break down why UDroppy is a great platform for entrepreneurs aspiring or accomplished. Nearly every need is covered by the passionate team from sourcing to fulfillment. All that's left is to market. In addition to being an ecom manager, Robin is also the face and voice of the company.
[00:01:20] Bringing her energy and passion to both the public, whether that's at conventions or on her own interview series, as well as the backend. Robin. It's good to have you here.
[00:01:32] Robin Calandri: [00:01:32] Hi Joseph. Thank you for inviting me. I'm super excited.
[00:01:37] Joseph: [00:01:37] Me too. The this'll be my first go at interviewing an interviewer. And so not only am I hoping to learn what you have to say about your company, but I'm also curious to see how you respond to being an interviewee which you've also been, you've been on the other side too.
[00:01:50] Anyways, this is getting way too meta. I haven't even gotten to the first question yet. I want to get right to brass tax. So we'll start broad. What is uDroppy and why should I [00:02:00] have signed up for it yesterday?
[00:02:02] Robin Calandri: [00:02:02] Oh, I like, I like how you, how you made out this question. Um, uDroppy is, uh, the solution if you intend to do e-commerce drop shipping or e-commerce.
[00:02:17] Today or yesterday, of course. Um, it's an all in one solution that allows you to just focus on what you do best, which is marketing, especially now, um, after the big development of eCommerce, uh, and all the competitiveness, you really need a time out for your business. Uh, and. You need to take your mind off operations.
[00:02:46] So the idea here is that you have a whole ecosystem of, uh, of services ecosystem in the sense that there is really something integrated for any need you might have. [00:03:00] So you just have to work with one tab open and, um, and you just stay there. So uDroppy gives you, of course, the platform the technology to manage your Shopify store and you really manage it from a to z.
[00:03:17] So the products you have all the suppliers you can ask for because uDroppy , is based on a marketplace model. So you have a several suppliers you can choose from, uh, with their products. Um, we service products, so if there is anything special you need, uh, we can get that for you. We take care of course, uh, of a delivery.
[00:03:45] In several formulas, we give you of course, the technology for the fast fullfillment. So having an order per day or a hundred or a thousand, it really doesn't make any difference. They give you the whole invoicing system tracking [00:04:00] system. And all the features that you need to scale your business because, uh, as you know, you start drop shipping, but who starts to drop shipping, doesn't end the drop ship and they end up having a real eCommerce.
[00:04:16] So you start, I don't know, ordering bulk, um, private labeling because you want to create your own brand. Uh, maybe you need it to sell in places where you have to provide cash and delivery services. And this is what we can give you. And overall, you are assisted by a personal consultant that knows everything about your business and that.
[00:04:43] Has this one, one relationship with you, and that helps you to scale your business. So as you can see, the point is once you have an idea and you know how to market your product, or at least you have a, you have a scheme and you have a project, you come to [00:05:00] uDroppy and we help you with the
[00:05:03] Joseph: [00:05:03] Now there is, um, there's one thing you mentioned in there that actually was a question that I had, uh, later down the line, but it's, it's almost perfect to bring it up.
[00:05:12] now, because you already mentioned it about how the continuation of dropshipping, how it might not be worth doing it. And I've got a quote here, um, from a businessdacasa.com, which I did have to translate into English, but when you have a minimum of market validation, you have to scale. And when you step up and manage to sell a hundred products a day, it makes no sense to continue to drop shipping.
[00:05:33] So for listeners who might be thinking drop shipping is the end point, which by the way includes myself. Um, what can you tell us about the point where dropshipping needs to end. And then what's taking over, which you did mention private labeling, but I want to hear more about that.
[00:05:45] Robin Calandri: [00:05:45] Of course. So, okay. Um, based on my experience, I have to say dropshipping equals testing, and it's not good for anything more than testing, [00:06:00] which doesn't mean that I am taken away any points from the dropshipping dignity, but dropshipping is a tool.
[00:06:07] And as a tool, you have to know how to use it. So drop shipping is perfect for the market validation. Why? Because you don't have the products. You just need to know what's the reaction of the public. You need to understand what is the right public for that kind of product, but drop shipping is, um, even though, so it's really a really simple solution, really comfortable to work in dropshipping,
[00:06:36] it's also very unstable. So at a certain point you need to step up from that. Uh, plus once you know that you're selling those five, 10 products per day, it really doesn't make sense, uh, to buy into single products. It makes sense buying a hundred, 200, 500, which means that you're going to pay less per [00:07:00] unit because you're buying in bulk and just manage the shipping.
[00:07:04] Uh, we have a specific feature at uDroppy, which is called a virtual warehousing, which means that even if you buy in bulk, you don't need your own fulfillment system, your own warehouse to import or anything. We do that for you. We keep the products at our warehouse, um, and we manage shipping from there.
[00:07:23] Yeah. So shipping is much faster. You can start thinking about customizing your products because you're ordering in bulk. So you can start, you know, Putting your own logos, um, doing your own packaging, but it's, uh, it's really, uh, it's gradual. Dropshipping is the first step. Of course, then at a certain point, and you can really, you know, start, uh, importing and, you know, scaling up a storm.
[00:07:54] But the thing is that having an eco manager, like that's one of the [00:08:00] advantages of having an eco manager because. Since they're working side by side with you, they tell you when it's the exact moment and they help you to understand also in numbers, why it's worth it. They tell you when it's the exact moment you know to start scaling your business and yes.
[00:08:16] Start, start working in bulk, start private labeling, and just kind of started let go of the drop shipping and model and go more to a whole ecommerce.
[00:08:29] Joseph: [00:08:29] You know, I'm not even sure I'm going to get to a question two, because as you're describing this to me, it's just like, there's so many things clicking in my head.
[00:08:35] One of them is that market validation hasn't quite clicked. And listeners, you know, we're as, as I, as I mentioned to you before we're recording. Well, a lot of us are we're, we're getting into it. I know that's where I am. So market validation, as I'm understanding it, as you're describing it to me is we know that this is going to sell and the most simplest way that I can say it.
[00:08:57] Robin Calandri: [00:08:57] Yes exactly. You're testing your [00:09:00] product. You're putting it out there. You're testing different copies and different creatives, and you try to see the reaction. You tried to see how many clicks you get. Uh, um, you tried to build up an audience that you want to re target. You study their behaviors on your landing pages on your Shopify stores.
[00:09:21] So you tried to see, um, the success, this product can have, and of course at a certain point, you're going to start selling, but you will want to make that experience the best experience possible for your client, which means that you will have to start creating a brand. You know, when you start to create the brand the client can remember you, knows who you are and might purchase again from you, the next time. Selling right now in 2020.
[00:09:56] Is, uh, all about the CLTV. So [00:10:00] the customer value lifetime, uh, sorry, customer lifetime value. It's midnight. Hey, come on. You really need to get all the money on the table, which means that you have to get that customer to buy from you again, again and again. And the way you do it is to be recognizable. You have to have your brand and you have to give them an amazing experience.
[00:10:25] So this is why market validation means they like it. They're buying it. As soon as you get that, boom, you start scaling.
[00:10:38] Joseph: [00:10:38] And that's where the brand side of it comes in, because the way I'm thinking about this, as you can imagine, I've been doing a lot of research and I'm putting together solo scripts, and it's hard not to be tempted, to want to take my own crack at making a store.
[00:10:51] And I've also tried different online business ventures throughout my life. So the thing that crosses my mind is first [00:11:00] I'm. If I want to, even if I'm drop shipping something I would want to have my brand all sorted out and ready to go. But this was also mentioned in the, the last interview that I had with Steve Tan, who said, yes, it was too much effort.
[00:11:14] It was too, too much to have the whole brand fully figured out, not knowing whether or not the product was going to actually work. So instead they white labeled it where they just had a very simple, very clean presentation, made sure the product worked and then they put a full brand together.
[00:11:29] Robin Calandri: [00:11:29] Yes, exactly.
[00:11:30] And that is if that is not only how you do it, but that is the mistake that a lot of newbies make. They want everything perfect. And I understand psychologically. Also because just thinking about the investment that you're making, because even though dropshipping is, you know, it's not, um, a burden economically, uh, compared it to other models you still are investing money, [00:12:00] but that's not how you do it.
[00:12:02] Testing means a massive imperfect action. So you put together something decent, then something nice, but once you start getting some external confirmations that is when you start perfecting everything. Also, because it's all about data. So you will [?] know, the outcome, whatever happens is going to guide you through the way you will perfect your brand.
[00:12:32] So it really has no sense to put every, to make everything perfect in the beginning, you have to always interpret what comes to you and then. Give your audience, what they're asking
[00:12:45] Joseph: [00:12:45] You know, I have a very good feeling that one thing I'm going to do is after we do this interview, I'm going to.
[00:12:54] Listen to this again, because you're, you're giving you me more questions that I, that I'm, that I'm quickly enough [00:13:00] able to write them down. So I'm definitely looking forward into getting into, into a lot of the granular stuff with you on this, uh, down the line. Uh, but I do want to get back to some of the introductory stuff, because I want people to also, uh, get to know.
[00:13:13] You a little bit more and the, and the company a little bit more in a broad perspective. Um, so the next one that I want to know is your role at Udroppy. Uh, it says that you're a brand relations and ecom manager, but there's more to it than that. So, uh, tell us about what you do.
[00:13:28] Robin Calandri: [00:13:28] Yes, well, um, that is a good summary.
[00:13:31] Brand relations and ecom. I always have a part where I keep myself working on the field because that's the best way to, um, you know, be updated and be stimulated. And I love working with clients, but yes. Um, I also work with relations from brand for relations of the brand, sorry, uh, [?]. I like as you [00:14:00] know, um, to always get value from people and share value.
[00:14:06] So as you know, we have, uh, all our series, uh, um, I do reviews. I really try to absorb and give out as much as I can because I'm working with our customers just so I know what they want and they try to get everything they want from the other side, uh, you know, they're the major players of this industry.
[00:14:34] Joseph: [00:14:34] And I think that goes a long way because people, as much as people would want to take that initiative and say, Oh, I'll just do it. I'll just do it all myself. Well, a lot of the information that I've learned from Ricky that I've learned from the other people that I've interviewed. And that I've read online is this is all coming from people who have spent a long time on this, who have learned that first wave of lessons to be able to impart [00:15:00] onto other people.
[00:15:01] So having somebody on the other side to turn to and to talk to it, doesn't just make it easier. But it also somewhat more inspiring. It also creates more motivation to say, you know, these people, they got my back and they're incentivized to do it too, because it's, it's your business operation. So you still want to generate revenue from it.
[00:15:17] Robin Calandri: [00:15:17] Yeah, exactly. I mean, the fact is that everybody a hundred percent, or let's say 99% of people that kind of let's say made it in this industry, they have all different backgrounds, so everyone can relate. Um, and they all have their personal stories, but they all have one thing in common. They never gave up and they learned, and.
[00:15:45] Very humble. They made them a lot of mistakes. Um, so it is very, very important. Uh, there is a side in this industry that is kind of like the [00:16:00] Lambo mentality, um, and that made this industry very, very popular because there is a lot of lifestyle involved and you can see this from a discrete amount of gurus that made it part of their, you know, their own personal brand, social, how they live.
[00:16:19] And there is this kind of let's call it misconception that dropshipping is, uh, something that will allow you to, you know, live in your penthouse or go shopping in your helicopter.
[00:16:39] That's so. People have to , very often have to, you have to bring them down to earth and say, no, this is a, you need a longterm mentality. This is a real business, a dropshipping is not an ATM. It's not [?] today. You start it tomorrow [00:17:00] you're crying billions. That's not how it works. Um, And it happens.
[00:17:05] I mean, people then they start, they approach, they spend their money results don't come immediately, especially because they don't understand that that results are also not selling because you are collecting data. And that is the treasure. And that is when you can start really working and they just give up.
[00:17:26] They just give up. It's like, you're, you're digging for a treasure and you just give up at one meter. So my, my goal is really to give them a clear vision to exploit all my, authority as a person that is working behind the scenes. So I know I see it. I see the people who scale. I see the people who don't scale.
[00:17:52] Um, And I tried to, you know, transmit this kind of mentality.
[00:17:58] Joseph: [00:17:58] Well, you know, I come [00:18:00] from a, um, from, from an arts perspective, like I, I've tried to get into, uh, doing a comedy, uh, earlier on. And I usually wait until I make my guests laugh until I point that out. So that was, uh, that was good of me. And there's a, there's a, it helps to have a good carrot in front of you.
[00:18:18] Cause I think. For a lot of people who remade it through it was difficult, but they can see the end goal, which is I can make quite a lot of money I can. And it wasn't like, like you said, helicopter shopping, which is going to go on my bucket list. But for a lot of people, it was, they were in a good place.
[00:18:35] They needed to pay off their debts. They needed to help their, their parents. They knew they had maybe just had to sell their home. You know, a lot of the people who came into this and who did well, were people who who really who needed it and were, and were driven, uh, because the, the options, uh, around them, they could have the same amount.
[00:18:54] They can put the same amount of money and energy and and and sweat and blood and tears into something that would [00:19:00] pay a fraction as much. And the reason why I bring up my own experience in comedy is that. The carrot there was pretty genuine. Like there are HBO specials, people can do clubs, but everybody knew that only one performer out of 10,000 is going to be like a guy who can sell out a theater who can sell out a stadium.
[00:19:21] So for a lot of people, the passion really was the motivator. And there was an, there was an understanding there. And I guess that understanding is a little bit harder to convey in an, in an industry, which there's a lot of money to be involved, but the, the premise that I've established this show on is that doing this as about being a problem solver and the more you scale the solution to the problems, the more you're rewarded for it as you should, because that's economics.
[00:19:47] Robin Calandri: [00:19:47] Exactly. And the point is that it's not one out of 10,000. You can really make a lot of money. And I have seen customers making a lot of money. It's [00:20:00] just a matter of having a method and having the right expectations and working really hard. So it's really just a matter of approach. [?]
[00:20:12] Joseph: [00:20:12] So let's, let's get to this next one.
[00:20:14] From what I saw, uh, you were involved in the company early on. I saw a picture of your company as, and you were in the beta phase. So. How did you get involved into the project?
[00:20:26] Robin Calandri: [00:20:26] Yeah, actually I w I was the first, the person that they hired,
[00:20:34] um, number zero, I don't know. Um, well, yeah, it's, uh, it's kind of a funny story because, um, It was like a bet with myself. I didn't know in the beginning if it would have been a clever thing to do or, or a good experience. I was just very attracted because you have to know, I studied, uh, uh, legal informatics and [00:21:00] digital forensics in, um, in university.
[00:21:04] I got my bachelor's degree in that. And, um, I specialized, on something that is the opposite of the whole philosophy and the whole method behind affiliate marketing which is privacy. Um, so that was one of my things and it was really good in that. And I mean, all my biggest accomplishments and university, and after we're in this specific, uh, field of privacy, uh, of the consumers, of course.
[00:21:38] Um, so it was always a, I mean, I knew very well, uh, the environment, but from that side, So when I started working with uDroppy, I used to always say in the beginning it was like working for the enemy, thinking that I was, you know, working with people who [00:22:00] exploit personal data, but it was really interesting, you know, going on the other side, I was really.
[00:22:05] Hungry for that kind of, uh, to, to learn what they do at the other side. And I also wanted to, you know, bring my contribution for, you know, what I knew and what I knew about, um, customers. And then the whole thing evolved. And here I am.
[00:22:25] Joseph: [00:22:25] Well, I mean, I, like I said, I come from the arts and so when I started working for people that make money, that w that's the artist in turn, that's the artist for working with the enemy.
[00:22:36] Robin Calandri: [00:22:36] You understand
[00:22:37] Joseph: [00:22:37] you got a paycheck?!
[00:22:44] Salary ?!
[00:22:46] Robin Calandri: [00:22:46] Money?
[00:22:50] So yeah, you
[00:22:53]Joseph: [00:22:53] yeah, but it's a, it's, it's a good mindset to have. So, um, not that this is about me. This is about you, but I, [00:23:00] the big change in my perspective was after I lost a sales job, that I was, I was good at it, but there was disagreements with management. Um, and so I said, you know what? I forget.
[00:23:12] I'm just going to make up my own job from scratch, which is how I got into podcasting, which is what led me to here. And when I started freelancing and I started having to kind of run the operation myself, that's when my mind started to change a lot. I started to understand things from a different perspective because before that I didn't understand profit margins.
[00:23:28] I didn't understand, buying things at cost, selling them at markup. I just, I just didn't didn't get it. So, you know, one takeaway for people listening is that if there's an opposite side to something, it would help to hear what they have to say, because you never know what you'll, what you'll learn from it.
[00:23:44] You don't have to switch sides, but you'll probably learn something.
[00:23:47] Robin Calandri: [00:23:47] It will make you complete after all. And, uh, I mean, you had a good push because you have the necessity and yeah, I can kind of relate to that because, uh, what, [00:24:00] you know, what pushed me to, you know, step into something that was the complete opposite of.
[00:24:04] everything I had done so far was the fact that I was kind of stepping back into, um, the, into working. I had, um, I just had my daughter and she was like two and a half. And, uh, I hadn't been working since she was born. So I was like, okay, okay, let's do this. And I just did it like this. But that was, that was a big motivation.
[00:24:34] Let's say it also, you know, gave me the strength because being opposite, you also have to, you know, work a lot on your head. You literally have to break your brain in order to understand certain things. So that really, really, um, was motivating for me.
[00:24:50] Joseph: [00:24:50] Congratulations on being a mother, what did you name your child?
[00:24:57] Uh, I, I would have been, [00:25:00] I don't know why I w under no circumstances was I expecting, like a Western name, like Stacy. I was certain it was going to be a beautiful Italian name. So, uh, good on that.
[00:25:11] We invent, we invented the name actually I am, [?] is not, it's not nothing. We kind of invented it.
[00:25:20] Oh, you invented it.
[00:25:21] Okay. It did, it did sound Italian
[00:25:22] Robin Calandri: [00:25:22] because I pronounce, yeah, the pronunciation perhaps is Italian. So [?] can sound Italian I guess
[00:25:31] Joseph: [00:25:31] A beautiful name regardless.
[00:25:33] Robin Calandri: [00:25:33] Thank you!
[00:25:34] Joseph: [00:25:34] You're welcome. Uh, so you are also an interviewer yourself. You do grand venture heroes, which I understand is like sometimes it's no, no, it's the video series of grand venture heroes, but there's also another version of it that's text-based um, what I appreciate is your characterization of the guests as heroes.
[00:25:53] So where did the idea come from? What's the goal and most importantly is what makes them heroes.
[00:26:00] [00:26:00] Robin Calandri: [00:26:00] Well, so as I said, the goal here is to talk with, uh, yes, big players from the industry that started a, um, from a situation that could belong to anyone of us, but then they really hit the roof and hit the sky and hit the universe.
[00:26:19] So that's the reason why they're heroes because. I'm sorry for the motocycle it looks like, I live in the middle of the street, but I actually don't, I'm in the middle of Milan and people drive like crazy, especially now that nobody's going outside because of COVID and locked down anyway. So sorry for that. So the point is that everybody who starts doing ecommerce, uh, um, starts on grand venture.
[00:26:53] And it's made of ups and downs and all kinds of, um, rough or [00:27:00] less rough turns. So the point is that if you get to the end of it or you get at a good point, you actually are a hero because you will have to be, it means that you have faced a lot of difficulties. I mean, you mentioned Ricky earlier, he is a hero as well.
[00:27:20] And he is one of my heroes. Uh, um, and he is one of these people. He, he, he started and he didn't succeed immediately and he just hit the nail and went on and went on and went on until he found his winning product but in the meantime, uh, it was, I mean, I mean, it was a very stressful moment for him and he. It, it, it, it, it, it was really, you know, psychologically and also physically, emotionally very heavy.
[00:27:51] So, um, this is the point. And as I said, these people are always willing [00:28:00] to share. That's what I like. They share everything. They don't keep anything for themselves. They just share value to avoid other people from, you know, when mistakes, the mistakes they've done and. So that, that is the reason why they are heroes, because I mean, they actually are heroes because they also help people.
[00:28:22] Joseph: [00:28:22] Exactly. And as a, as, as is the show's mantra is that they, they solve problems and they contribute to the net good.
[00:28:27] Robin Calandri: [00:28:27] yeah exactly
[00:28:29] Joseph: [00:28:29] yeah. And I think that that really is a sign of, of someone who is heroic who, who gives, and it isn't even really thinking about what they get back because one knows that instinctively giving is a way of getting something in return by just improving the, the, the, I want to get the exact word for it.
[00:28:48] Dammit. I had this great word that was just on the tip of my tongue and I lost it. Just the, just improving the, the, the general world around us. Because if you improve the world around us, that improvement comes back to you. So it's, [00:29:00] it's all cyclical.
[00:29:01] Robin Calandri: [00:29:01] Definitely. It's going to come back. Of course,
[00:29:05] Joseph: [00:29:05] it's killing me.
[00:29:05] I had it's like mesh, this is, this is a really good word in there. Anyways. So next question, you have a, um, I, I'm going a little, um, left field with this one. Um, but we also have some stuff that would want to know about, uh, about you as well. Uh you have a knack for being on camera have you always had a performative side to you?
[00:29:27] Robin Calandri: [00:29:27] Actually, yes, I did. I did. I don't know. Um, since I was very small and, you know, in school, uh, I've always, yes, I've been kind of, I don't know. I like to be in the center of attention at the same time. I fear it, but when I do it, it comes up well, so I like it. I like acting. I like photography. I like modeling.
[00:29:56] I like presenting like I like hosting. [00:30:00] Um, it's just something, I mean, I, I. It's simple for me to connect, uh, I guess, uh, with, uh, w with the viewer, with the audience. So I guess this is the reason why I am working at, uDroppy in this position. It's, I mean, it's not too difficult for me to, you know, um, share a vision and spread out the message.
[00:30:27] Joseph: [00:30:27] Right. And I don't, I don't know if like early on once you were started working with the company, if that was, um, part of the plan, or if this was something that you brought to them or they said, Hey, you know, you might be a, you might be a good interviewer. Like how did the, um, the presentation side of it to enter into the, uDroppy picture?
[00:30:46] Robin Calandri: [00:30:46] Well, no, actually I've right after the first interview, they told me that that was something that they would have exploited because I was kind of all over the place. [00:31:00] And they're like, okay girl, you have something. So, um, the company's a startup, um, we're just starting. So right now we're gonna all work in the technical part, you know, the ecoms and beta testing, the platform and everything.
[00:31:17] but of course when the brand is going to start growing, if there is somebody that can speak that, that person is you. So, and that's exactly what happened. I started doing little things and then more and more and more, and now it's like this. Now I, I work a lot talking
[00:31:40] Joseph: [00:31:40] yeah. I mean, I can, what I can say from just from Debutify is that I definitely didn't pitch this idea to them. They, they put the pitch out and they, uh, and they brought me onto the project. Cause these, these people, they are doing their research. They know what to, what are all the different channels and all the different avenues, [00:32:00] um, preparing for YouTube, preparing for social media, preparing for podcasting.
[00:32:04] It's it's fascinating seeing how other, um, uh, sides of it. The performance side of it is something that the business side of it is keeping in mind because. There's a great need for presentation. There's a great need to communicate ideas and not just to communicate them, but to communicate them in the way that people resonate with.
[00:32:21] And they enjoy.
[00:32:23] Robin Calandri: [00:32:23] Exactly. Exactly. Well, they made a perfect choice. As I told you earlier, when we started this call, I was like blown away just from your voice
[00:32:34] Joseph: [00:32:34] aww thank you
[00:32:35] Robin Calandri: [00:32:35] only have to say hi and I was already woah, so, and you're really good at it. So, yeah,
[00:32:42] Joseph: [00:32:42] thank you.
[00:32:43] I appreciate that. And I've never been to Italy, but I wonder if I would just walk around and everyone is just complimenting each other.
[00:32:50] Ah, your guy is so beautiful. Oh, your shoes. It's a beautiful, is that, is that
[00:32:58] Robin Calandri: [00:32:58] depends if you're in [00:33:00] traffic? No, but, um, no, no, no. It's, uh, I really think it and I like your approach and, uh, your idea, your goal was to represent who is approaching industry and that you're genuinely doing it. Uh, I feel like I am talking to somebody that is working with uDroppy and that, you know, has these legitimate questions.
[00:33:29] So that's why I'm saying that that's the goal and you're smashing it.
[00:33:34] Joseph: [00:33:34] Oh, thank you. Um, our cameras, aren't rolling for these, uh, by the way, which is just as well because, um, I'm not completely beat red, but it was a, it was a transitional period. Um, so we, I, I wanted to ask you, um, a little bit about you're, this, this is going to be like an experience question from your perspective.
[00:33:53] Um, because I am I born and raised in Canada and my, my running joke is that Canada is basically the United States wearing a [00:34:00] helmet. So, and I don't know very much about European culture, not having any experience. I don't know much about Italian culture from. The experience side of it. Um, but to tie this into an eCommerce podcast is over time.
[00:34:17] How would you characterize Italy's relationship with the changing innovations that say Silicon Valley would adopt right away? Because you know liked Toronto New York city. Although they're going through a little hard time right now, but these metropolitan cities are at the cutting edge of whatever the cutting edge is, but I'm wondering how, um, how things were in, in Italy.
[00:34:38] Robin Calandri: [00:34:38] So what you mean? Uh, how, how is he commerce in Italy right now?
[00:34:43] Joseph: [00:34:43] Well, yeah, we, we should say specifically about e-commerce, but if it's better off, you're answering that in general. Um, cause it might paint a better picture. Like how Italy took to the internet, how Italy took to. Smartwatches, uh, along those lines.
[00:34:58] Robin Calandri: [00:34:58] Okay. Well, [00:35:00] I mean, globalization, um, of course includes Italy includes, uh, includes Europe. Um, overall, uh, people here are less wild, uh, when it comes to buying online compared to, to, uh, the Americans, for example, but this is just because. E-commerce uh, and I mean the buy in culture and also the payment method, like all the, um, credit card system, uh, is really, really brings the American public to buy a lot.
[00:35:39] So it's a little different in Europe, which doesn't mean that they buy less. It means that it just works in a different way. So in general, and especially in Italy, we're. By the way drop shipping is a thing. It really is a thing. People [00:36:00] see things on the internet are exposed, but you have to understand how to, you know, send the message and how to trigger, trigger them into buying.
[00:36:17] Um, so. When, uh, let's say, when you start advertising a product, you generally do it in English. When you start translating it, you also have to understand a little bit of the culture trying to understand, because what works in Germany might not work in Italy. You know, there's a very big fragmentation. But once you do that, you start, I mean, once you understand that part, you start selling like crazy.
[00:36:50] Another thing, you have to understand that when it comes to Europe, especially when it comes to Italy, but also Spain, Portugal, [00:37:00] Greece. So like the Southern part of that, and especially the Eastern part of Europe is that if you want to sell online, you have to allow people to pay after delivery. So you have to have cash only
[00:37:16] for example, if you don't, you're losing a lot of money. So like a system like uDroppy is good because we know these things, we know how it works. That's why you have an ecommanager, because if your project is to sale, let's say in, I will say Portugal, for example, just because like Portugal and Hungary, um, are two countries where right now, eCommerce is really going crazy.
[00:37:45] If you don't, if you start selling because you know that the numbers are good and you don't know about cash on delivery. You're going to have a really hard time selling and you will never know why. And the reason is that you really have to know these places. The same thing for Italy, [00:38:00] there is a very low credit card penetration here.
[00:38:03] So you're leaving on the table, 13, 20% of your revenue. If you don't integrate, uh, uh, cash on delivery when we're talking about Eastern Europe, you're leaving them a lot more money on the table or certain country, like in Romania, you can't even start selling if you don't have cash on delivery. So the point is that Europe is, yeah, there is a fragmentation, but it's also less saturated.
[00:38:31] So it maybe takes more time, but once you know how to approach the market, boom yeah it's a party.
[00:38:41] Joseph: [00:38:41] Hmm,
[00:38:42] you know, from my, um, just from earlier today while I was on Facebook for a little while I'm scrolling and there's plenty of products and now I look past the veil and now I understand. Yeah. And you know what what's going on, but it doesn't stop me from being a customer.
[00:38:57] So. There, I just bought [00:39:00] this sleeveless sweater with a hood and a mask and they said, yeah, you can wear this to the gym it breathes easy and I'm like, yeah. Yeah. That's totally why I got it. I don't just like red hoods cause I like to cosplay or anything. But the point, the reason why I'm bringing this up is because the pay process was so swift.
[00:39:21] Um, my, my credit card details are already saved into into the web browser. So I just had to enter J and it says, Oh, you're okay. You're you're Joseph. And this is your address. This is your postal code. These are your likes and dislikes. And so I click it and the whole thing just fills out automatically.
[00:39:39] Now. I've been burned a couple of times, uh, one product that I mentioned in other interviews and on my, a solo episode as well is a product that was called hands-free bracket, which was this thing that was both. You can put like a tablet into it and then you can move it around freely. Well, not only did I never get it.
[00:39:56] But the website just went down. The reason why that [00:40:00] doesn't scare me is because I've, I know the credit card companies, they're so large and they have such infrastructure that they have my back and they did. They just, they said, okay, well, we'll just send you back the money and then we'll do an investigation.
[00:40:11] And I said, can you tell me what are the results of the investigation? Like, are you going to, are you going to go to the hands-free bracket, HQ and arrest people? I, but. So there, there, there can be like a, like an overdoing it to the point where people are now. We've kind of like lost our ability to control our impulses and we're just, and we're just purchasing things.
[00:40:32] So it does sound like there is a lot of progress made, but maybe it's a little bit more of a cautious progress, uh, where there's just like more steps involved. Cash on delivery is just. It's a smart move. It's yeah, maybe if you don't mind, I'd like to see the product first before I pay. If you don't mind, if that's, if I'm not asking too much.
[00:40:51] Robin Calandri: [00:40:51] Yeah, well it's um, that is something that belongs to Portugal in particular, like the [00:41:00] philosophy of seeing the product. The reason why cash on delivery is very popular is because, uh, there is no credit card culture as in the US, uh, here at all. I mean, credit, people just pay cash. And, uh, not everybody has, you know, an account and, you know, that they connect to the car, the, and that's already too much for a lot of people.
[00:41:30] Um, and also people are used to it especially the older ones, uh, You know, they were used to buying from TV. So it's kind of like the same thing. I just give you the money. If they have to start working with cards, it's already too much for them. And there is not this kind of culture. In fact, now during the lockdown, uh, um, there has been a.
[00:41:58] Let's say a [00:42:00] change because a lot of people were forced, even though it's not a very appreciated in general in Portugal instead, it's, it's different. It's not just a matter of, uh, I don't know how it works this will give me the product and I'll give you the money. There is a law in Portugal that says that when you receive the product, you can open up the product
[00:42:25] check it out and only then you decide if you want it and pay. So doing cash on delivery in Portugal is a very delicate matter. Because you really have to, you know, know what you're selling and do a proper job. So if, if you wanted to work one shot, which is something that I really don't like, uh, but there are merchants that do it Portugal is not the place.
[00:42:56] Joseph: [00:42:56] You know, they're there. This is the first time an [00:43:00] observation has popped into my head. Cause I, we were taught in high school that one of the main reasons why, uh, the great depression of the 1920s took hold, it wasn't the deciding factor, but credit cards was one of the key things. And the reason why is because actually no the depression was the 1930s, the twenties was.
[00:43:20] The the, the decade of excess, what happened was people got credit cards for the first time and they felt freedom. And I think because the culture was highly based off of, um, of, of working mothers were working at homes, caring for the, uh, Tending to the house. Uh, the fathers had to go to work in the factories or wherever they were doing a lot of labor.
[00:43:43] And so there was a lot of sense of confinement, even though they weren't in prison. So when people were given these, these credit cards, essentially, they thought, and I can get whatever I want and I can pay for it later. And they got that sense of freedom back.
[00:43:57] Robin Calandri: [00:43:57] Yeah. And this is something that believe [00:44:00] me, people in Europe don't understand.
[00:44:03] I feel like, how is it possible that there are people that are okay and have the mentality of a spending money that they don't have. Here it's very different. You spend the money you have, and when it's done, it's done. It's not a matter of, unless you're buying a house, then of course you will have your loans, but then that's it.
[00:44:25] So it's very, very different. You see, you have to know these things when. When you're selling also, because knowing this, so you can interpret the data and you can know, who has which problems, uh, who is more prone to buying on impulse, uh, who must be, retargeted a higher amount of, you know, why you don't discourage yourself.
[00:44:53] Uh, so you understand the process. It's not simple. You really have to, you know, Make [00:45:00] your own homework. This is why I'm saying that the Lamborghini culture for drop shipping, isn't working because who thinks that really you just go and make a lot of money and your runaway with the money means that they're not considering that you all also, you know, have to make your homework.
[00:45:16] Joseph: [00:45:16] Well, I hope maybe at one point, um, just in keeping with our theme of, uh, both sides, you know, at one point we can end up having an interview with someone who's had that experience just, just to find out what actually happened. Cause I, I do think it's happened where some people, they just lucked out and they managed to make a bunch of money.
[00:45:32] Um, but I don't think it's as common as, uh, it's made to, to as people are alleged to believe.
[00:45:38] Robin Calandri: [00:45:38] Well, actually
[00:45:39] it, it was, let's say something that would happen often in the beginning.
[00:45:46] Joseph: [00:45:46] I see
[00:45:47] Robin Calandri: [00:45:47] you would just go Facebook ads wouldn't cost anything. Um, and you would make a lot of money in no time. And I also have to say that this has happened [00:46:00] during the lockdown again, because.
[00:46:02] Facebook ads was really cheap. Uh, everybody was buying from the internet. So also at uDroppy we've seen that in general newbies that have no idea of what they were doing. They would be able to perform really well, really well, I mean I also personally seen stores that weren't that appealing. I have to say,
[00:46:31] and they were selling like
[00:46:33] crazy and it was like, how the hell is it possible?
[00:46:36] But yes. So we kind of went back because there was an age and era where this was possible. After that, no, because once you know that there is money, I mean, competition arises and services like uDroppy make it really simple to enter, you know, to access this world. So at a certain point you have to have a valuable offer, a good [00:47:00] proposition.
[00:47:00] You really have to have quality and know how to market it. But yes, during the lockdown, I've, I've seen several cases that brought me back a good five years.
[00:47:16] Joseph: [00:47:16] Well, well, if anybody listening, um, uh, relates to this experience, feel free to reach out to either of us do both shows.
[00:47:24] Robin Calandri: [00:47:24] Definitely, definitely have to though.
[00:47:28] Joseph: [00:47:28] Pardon me?
[00:47:29]Robin Calandri: [00:47:29] Always white hat. So always legit
[00:47:33] Joseph: [00:47:33] okay. Okay. I got, I hear that. All right, here we go. Next one. Uh, this is going to be another, a gear shift. Uh, so your company, along with yourself, uh, you're present at a lot of conferences and talks, and I'd love to ask about the conferencing circuit, which is why I will, but this year has not been a good year for.
[00:47:53] Doing things in person to put it mildly. So let's, let's rewind to 2019. Um, what [00:48:00] is, what events do you get to be a part of throughout the year?
[00:48:03] Robin Calandri: [00:48:03] Well, um, of course, uh, affiliate world, uh, conferences, uh, which is, uh, these are the conferences, uh, from the [?] Money group. So they are like the pioneers of affiliate marketing.
[00:48:21] They are the one that made it a thing that practically built up all the culture on affiliate marketing and on eCommerce from there and dropshipping et cetera. So they have two conferences a year, one in summer in Barcelona, which is affiliate world Europe. And then they have one in December, which is affiliate world Asia.
[00:48:46] And yes, we go to both because, uh, that is the event. That's where you meet everybody. That's where everybody does the name and I'm not [00:49:00] talking just about me, like to droppy, but. Everybody who has started. I mean like the single person that wants to invest, just go to these events. And the, what I like about these events is that, uh, the day before they started, there is a she commerce, which is a day totally dedicated to, um, girls in eCommerce, of course.
[00:49:27] And it's an event super full of value that focuses on aspects that, um, are very close to women working in this industry. And it's. It's amazing. So they, the guys from affiliate world conferences, they did a great job and I totally recommend every, anyone to go there to go to, um, go to the show, go to the booths and go to all the speeches to every single thing that they organized, of course the parties [00:50:00] are amazing.
[00:50:01] Joseph: [00:50:01] Of course.
[00:50:03] Yeah. I might've seen some pictures of some hotel rooms.
[00:50:07] Robin Calandri: [00:50:07] Mama, they were wild, but the point is that the value you come home with, uh, is, uh, you, you can't quantify it. It's, uh, it, you go there and you get those information that actually change your life, change your way of working. And then you just have to go back again and again and again, because it's really an investment.
[00:50:37] At our conference that I really love and that we go to is the well, we go to the European summit Pass, um, which is, uh, they do it in Prague and in Lisbon. So always in, uh, in Europe, but this is more for the, um, [00:51:00] adult niche, let's say, uh, and, uh, gay men. So it's, uh, it's more specific, but. In terms of personal brand and there is a lot of e-commerce and services.
[00:51:15] There is a lot of, you know, e-commerce going on there. So that's the reason why, why we go. Uh, and then, uh, there is the affiliate summit affiliate summit. This is for the USA. They have one in, uh, Vegas. So we always go there, which is another huge one. Beautiful well done. And they did one Vegas and one in New York.
[00:51:46] The, I preferred the one in Vegas and that is the place to go. To cover the rest of the world for us. Like once we go there, w we we've, we've done it all. And [00:52:00] of course we do, uh, go to the ones in Italy. So we have a affiliate expo here that is, uh, is growing. And it's a very specific, uh, for the Italian market.
[00:52:17] Well, yeah, it's a lot of conferences. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but, uh, by the, yes, these are the main ones.
[00:52:25] Joseph: [00:52:25] That's incredible. I mean, it's, it's, it sounds like, uh, it sounds like a heck of a good time from a learning perspective as well as a unwinding perspective.
[00:52:36] Robin Calandri: [00:52:36] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, uh, when you're there, you just wish.
[00:52:42] You could like duplicate yourself and just go everywhere to all the classes. And the fact is that, and this is what I love from this industry. That all the superstars, the rock stars, they're all super, super, super [00:53:00] friendly. You can really go up to them and you just go up to an Ezra Firestone, you go up to an [?].
[00:53:09] So you go up to, I don't know, whoever to a [?], um, and to Tim Bird, to whoever in LA. Dude, you're amazing. Now let's talk about some things and they're super friendly and they give you their insight and they give you a lot of super valuable information and you have stars in your eyes and you go home and change your business so that those are the places to be seriously.
[00:53:39] Joseph: [00:53:39] I believe it. Alright. So, uh, I'm not as much as I would love to hear you describe more about the hotels. Uh, and I suppose, you know, the information side of it too. Uh, I'm gonna switch gears on us again. So this was a, I picked up a couple things from Instagram. I'm finding Instagram is a really good place to, uh, learn more about, uh, about my, my guests, [00:54:00] just because it's chunks of information and sometimes there's videos and images.
[00:54:03] So one of the things that I picked up from your Instagram is that you talk about how Shopify went from being a store of its own. And then over time, it turned into an eCommerce platform that we know today. Uh, have you experienced any of your users coming in thinking they're going to be one thing and then it transformed into something else?
[00:54:22] Robin Calandri: [00:54:22] Well, yes, in the sense that once they see that once they have the method and they see the things work, they just started going crazy. So the sky is the limit. Once you understand, you know, how to do things. So maybe they come in with specific revenue goals and then they're like, Oh no, you know what, I'm going to hit the million and I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that.
[00:54:51] So maybe yes, it's, uh, it's more from, from that point of view rather than a change in the system, [00:55:00] but it's like, once you have the method, Then you just continue testing products or build in more brands and see what can work out.
[00:55:10] Joseph: [00:55:10] Fair enough. So, uh, following up to that one, did a, uDroppy undergo any changes of its own or have did the way that the company was envisioned to be pretty much.
[00:55:24] You guys stuck to that track and now you are where you're
[00:55:27] Robin Calandri: [00:55:27] Oh, no, no, no, no uDroppy is, uh, like is meant to evolve continuously. That's the point because we adapt to what, uh, the eCommerce industry will become. It's always a matter like our clients have to always be one step ahead of competition.
[00:55:48] So we have to understand what the industry will become and adapt to that. So today I am presenting, uh uDroppy as a marketplace, but the [00:56:00] marketplace model, wasn't something we embraced since they won. It's a very recent change. Because we have seen that, that right now when in terms of BNB services.
[00:56:12] This is what a drop shipper would want, even if he doesn't know. But we know that in terms of, um, choice in terms of having something, you know, quick and neat to exploit in terms of price, transparency, this is exactly what they need. And this is just a, an example because also our features, the features that we have.
[00:56:40] and the way we work, it continuously change changes. We have a lot of meetings where we sit down and try to understand what is the best. And what I love about this company is that there, nobody is afraid of saying, [00:57:00] okay, let's erase everything and redo it from scratch. They don't care because if it, this is a company built from drop shippers, you know, for drop shippers, by directors, for drop shippers, and you can totally see it because it's always a matter of giving, you know, The best to the clients.
[00:57:17] to our client. So yes, to say that uDroppy has changed a lot during your time and we'll change, we'll change and we'll, we will integrate more features. We're gonna eliminate the, the obsolete ones. Uh, but it's, uh, it's really part of the game.
[00:57:37] Joseph: [00:57:37] And you guys are, uh, you have, uh, a commendable level of ambition.
[00:57:42] And I say that because another one of the images I picked up from your instagram, so there's six panels, uh, from left to right. It's Apple in a garage, Google in a garage, Amazon in a garage Harley Davidson in a shack, Facebook and I, what I think is a barn house, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. And then you [00:58:00] guys, and you're starting playing, which was a conference room.
[00:58:02] Um, so what are uDroppy's big picture goals?
[00:58:06] Robin Calandri: [00:58:06] Well, uDroppy is really aiming to become the the company that will bring democracy to the eCommerce world. Like that's the problem that uDroppy is solving and that will solve even more right now, because right now the scenario has this kind of, you know, dichotomy where we find a marketplaces on a side, And on the other side, we find a single shops.
[00:58:43] Now for that side, we've seen that Shopify has really, you know, taken over everything because they were the first ones to give a, a very simple, front-end a solution. So everybody who [00:59:00] wants, you know, to build their own business and not to depend on marketplace, uh, they just, for Shopify and scale with Shopify, but the point is once you have the front end, you need a backend and you need a good one.
[00:59:14] Because, okay you have the store, but who's going to give it a product. Uh, and is this person reliable? What if you have problems and who's going to take care of the fulfillment and what about the invoicing and what about private labeling et cetera, et cetera. So the democracy is that really, if you have your Shopify, it doesn't mean that you're going to succeed because your business isn't fixed when it comes to the rest.
[00:59:41] uDroppy wants to fill in that gap. This is why we always try to understand and give the solutions in order for who has a Shopify store to say, okay, I have it. And now I have the same weapons of my competitors on marketplace. And now I can sell my stuff [01:00:00] with the difference that they are on a marketplace.
[01:00:03] So they will never be able to scale their business more than X, or at least the right now, I don't know if you've seen a Jeff Bezos [?]. Um, so they have their own problems, but who builds their personal brand doesn't have they have, they really have their own business so they can scale it as much as they want.
[01:00:26] They can really establish your own brand and we give the proper support for this.
[01:00:31] Joseph: [01:00:31] Excellent. So I'm going to, I've got one more question for you, and this is going to be an engagement question. So for people who are motivated and they want to get started with uDroppy, let's just say hypothetically, that all they've got so far is their domain and a Shopify account.
[01:00:47] They're going to come to uDroppy and they want to get started. What are they going to expect? And what would you recommend they have ready to bring to the table?
[01:00:57] Robin Calandri: [01:00:57] Well, they have to have an idea [01:01:00] of what they want to do. So they have their domain, they have their Shopify and they should have of course, yeah, a little bit of marketing experience because you have to know how to push your product.
[01:01:14] You'll have to have a good mentality. I mean like a longterm mentality. I will never stress enough at this point. And then, okay, that's it. When you start working with uDroppy you work with an ecom manager, as I said, so it's, it's really your personal consultant. So when you start sharing these ideas with you, the ecom manager, first of all, of course they is, is really, uh, is a senior specialist.
[01:01:39] So they, they tell you exactly how you can like the method, how you can bring this to life. And they said the next steps with you in order for you to achieve your goals, especially now, for example, that it's two four. So you really, you know, [01:02:00] want to be prepared for black Friday, cyber Monday, Halloween, Christmas, et cetera.
[01:02:05] Um, and, and you just start working and, and that's pretty much it. You go on the platform, you have the products, uh, you push the products to your store. You don't find a product. You ask for it. We find it for you. You push it through your store and then you just start marekting. It's. Uh, it's really, let's say just that simple.
[01:02:26] Joseph: [01:02:26] That's
[01:02:26] incredible. And I, no promises yet, but I've got a couple of ideas of my own that, uh, over time I'm trying to decide what's the best strategy for each one. So don't be surprised if I reach out to you guys at some point in the future.
[01:02:40] Robin Calandri: [01:02:40] Yeah. You really should especially because, I mean, you could also, you know, share your experience, uh, after that thing, especially, you know how it is a work in, uh, with an ecom manager.
[01:02:51] Because it really, really makes a difference. Um, among all our features, uh, the ecom manager. I see that is a, I mean, we [01:03:00] have several plans and you really, when you compare the results of the people that work with any of them manager, they're incredible, you really do in three months, what you would usually do in a whole year or a little less.
[01:03:14] So definitely.
[01:03:18] Joseph: [01:03:18] Well, the, well, the beauty of it is, is that, um, there was like, there's no conflict of interest here because Debutify has a very distinct edge and it doesn't get in the way of what you guys are doing. And you guys, aren't getting in the way, what Debutify is doing. It's a cohesive picture where these different businesses and services are working together to solve our problems so that we can solve problems for others.
[01:03:39] Robin Calandri: [01:03:39] Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, I've always said we kind of complete each other because, uh, I mean, we love Debutify and. And it's not a mystery because we openly talk about the Debutify because it really helps our clients and it helps us. That's it it's uh, so if it works and it [01:04:00] allows them to make money, it allows us to work better.
[01:04:03] And it really is like this. So I've spent a lot of time out on Debutify and in the beginning it was because I needed to understand and, you know, I did a review and et cetera, but then it was because I was having fun. It was, it was amazing. So yeah, definitely no interest conflict or anything, but it's like genuinely two companies that were built up from people that come from this industry.
[01:04:37] And that said, you know, what, if I had to do that, I would do it like this. And they just did, so that's perfect.
[01:04:45] Joseph: [01:04:45] Excellent. Um, just cause, uh, I'm, uh, I, I owe a great deal of gratitude and debt to, uh, Ricky for bringing me onto this project. I'm going to run it past them first just to make sure he's good with it.
[01:04:57] I don't see why he wouldn't, but that's the kind of guy I am. So, [01:05:00] Hey, Ricky, if you listen to this episode, let me know if it's okay. If not, I'll message you on Slack. Okay. Robin, it's been, it's been an absolute treasure. Uh, I, I hope we get to, uh, to bring you back because as I said, there's a lot of stuff here that we didn't get to explore that, uh, once I gain more experience and I can get into the more granular territory I would look forward to, uh, continuing on the conversation with you.
[01:05:24] Robin Calandri: [01:05:24] Sure, sure. This was really fun. So definitely let's do it again whenever.
[01:05:34] Joseph: [01:05:34] Terrific. Alright. Thank you again,
[01:05:36] Robin Calandri: [01:05:36] Thank you take care
[01:05:38] Joseph: [01:05:38] You might've found this show on any number of platforms, Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google play Stitcher or right here Debutify. Whatever the case, if you enjoy this content and want to help us thrive, please take a few moments to leave a review on Apple podcast or wherever you think is best.
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