SD Office Hours Episode 70: 2021 Outlook

On this week’s show Host Tony Ciarelli is joined by SD experts Brian Serow (Director of Business Development), Brian LAnge (Director of Business Development) and Holmes Koo (Strategic Engagement Manager) to look back at 2020 and forward to 2021.

They discuss:
  • A look back at 2020
    • Kroger $12B in online sales this year – how much has grocery changed this year?
    • Discuss the pandemic’s effect on ecommerce


  • What do we mean when we talk about performance?
    • Site Speed: what matters most to a merchant? How does a content site differ from a merchant site?
    • Scalability: late in the blog you talk about throwing around the word performance, I think the same goes for scalability. What does scalability mean in this context?

SD Office Hours Episode 69: Singles Day

On this week’s episode of SD Office Hours host Tony Ciarelli takes a day off and hands over the reigns to SD’s Director of Business Development Brian Serow. Brian is joined by SD’s Chief Commerce Officer Phillip Jackson and Director of Business Development Brian Lange.


This episode they discuss:

  • Singles Day
    • The results of Singles Day
    • Does this signal a manufactured holiday future for ecommerce worldwide? 
  • Which brands to look at during the holiday period 
  • Brands that are doing holiday promotions right 
  • Out-of-stock and high demand, should we expect to see that end anytime soon?
  • Brands using out-of-stock as a form of promotion  

SD Office Hours Episode 68: Shipocolypse or Shipagedon?


On this week’s episode of SD Office Hours, Tony is joined by SD’s Front End Programmer Alex Lyon, and Director’s of Business Development Brian Serow and Brian Lange.

This episode they discuss: 

  • Why Would a Consumer Buy From You This Holiday Season?
  • Why do you think holiday projections are overly optimistic? 
  • How merchants can help their customers with a first-time purchase? 
  • What will most of the country be doing during the late fall/winter and how merchants can market to those people?
  • What’s the most important takeaway? 

SD Office Hours Episode 67: SD has been Acquired!


On this week’s episode of SD Office Hours, Tony is joined by SD’s Director’s of Business Development Brian Serow and Brian Lange. This episode they discuss Something Digital’s recent acquisition by Rightpoint!

  • What does that mean for SD? 
  • How does this change SD? 
  • What does SD bring to the table for Rightpoint? 

They also touch upon:

    • 10/10 and Prime Day 
    • Were they a big deal? 
    • What do the numbers tell us? 
  • NYTimes article on Curbside pickup
    • A theory: no one want to go to a store until they are no longer available?
    • Is curbside pickup table stakes for a brick and mortar business during the pandemic? 
    • Why are people still going to big box stores when those stores deliver online? 
    • Especially when they are going there just for curbside pickup? 
  • Brian Lange asks: is the retailpocolypse real? 

SD Office Hours Episode 66: Brands We Admire

On this week’s episode of SD Office Hours, Tony is joined by SD’s Chief Commerce Officer Phillip Jackson, and Director’s of Business Development Brian Serow and Brian Lange.

This episode they discuss:

  • Good use of Design or Bad use of Design? Segment!
  • What brands they admire right now? 
  • It’s October – has holiday started?
  • What should and should not be sold online?

SD Office Hours Episode 65: The Constantly Changing State of Commerce

This episode host Tony Ciarelli is joined by guests Brian Serow and Brian Lange as the three discuss:

  • Due to the pandemic, people have been moving out of major cities
    • Does that mean we’ll be seeing new eCommerce businesses emerging and new eCommerce “Types”?
    • How are merchants keeping track of this and how should they be keeping track?
    • How does this effect customer relationships?
  • Are there too many purchase options?
  • Is this making it more difficult for consumers?
  • What products have you learned cannot be purchased online effectively?
  • Is there anything you wish you had seen during the pandemic that you haven’t seen as a consumer?

SD Office Hours Episode 64: User Journey

In this episode Tony & SD expert guests discuss success tips for the upcoming 2020 holiday season and home & bedding user journeys!

  • Covid 19 and holiday 2020 tips for success 
    • Lindsay, what are the main concerns going into holiday 2020? 
    • Why will this year be the highest grossing holiday season ever? 
    • Why is BFCM coming earlier than normal this year?
    • Will it be similar to last year when it felt like BFCM lasted a month?  
    • How is Prime Day effecting holiday this year? 
    • As a Digital Marketing expert, what are you recommending merchants do to prepare for holiday? 
    • With Digital Marketing set, how do we get customers to convert?
  • Home and Bedding User Journeys 
    • Brian, Lindsay and Tony describe their paths from research -> purchase -> delivery, etc on a recent home and bedding purchase 

SD Office Hours Episode 63: Home & Bedding!


In this episode of Office Hours Tony & guests discuss Home & Bedding ecommerce!

  • Good use of design or bad use of design? 
      • What do you like about this site? 
      • What don’t you like about this site? 
      • Would you purchase from this merchant? Why or why not? 
  • Home and Bedding
    • eBook 
      • What is the new formal and what factors brought it about? 
      • What makes the home and bedding sector different than your typical fashion and apparel eCommerce store? 
  1. Make it easy to talk to a human 
    • What are some of the successful tools we’ve seen for merchants at different ecomm maturity levels? 
  2.  Category expansion
    • Where is the line between having one great product or a bunch of very good products? ie: in-n-out versus del taco 
  3.  Develop non-digital customer acquisition strategies 
    • Which brand would you say is doing this the best? 
    • Which mediums are brands using to expand their non digital marketing? 
  4.  Launch additional brands
    • What are some of the advantages of launching a sub brand? Are there any disadvantages? 
  5.  Develop relationships with other retailers and wholesalers 
    • What makes a retailer and/or wholesaler the right partner for a brand? What questions should a brand be asking itself before it enters into said partnership? 
  6.  Go Global 
    • What does a brand need to make a move into another market?

SD Office Hours Episode 62: Brian Serow AMA


In this episode of Office Hours Tony talk ecommerce with and gets to know SD Director of Business Development Brian Serow!

  • Where are you from? 
  • Where did you go to school? 
    • What was your major? 
  • Did you always know you would end up in business development? 
  • How did you end up in eCommerce? 
  • What is your favorite thing about eCommerce? 
  • What is your least favorite thing about eCommerce? 
  • What do you wish your prospects knew that they often do not? 
  • What is your favorite question to ask a prospect? 
  • Ecommerce is constantly changing, how do you keep up? 
  • If you weren’t in eComm, what job would you have? 
  • What makes you different than other sellers? 
  • If you were selecting an agency or an ecomm platform, what are the questions you would ask? 
    • What are some red flags to look out for? 

SD Office Hours Episode 61: Good Use of Design or Bad Use of Design?



In this episode of Office Hours Tony discusses design & ecommerce with SD experts!

What does design best practice mean?

  • How has this design become “standard” or best practice?
  • How has it changed?
  • What’s missing from best practice?


What is “the new formal”?

  • What industries are benefitting from the new formal?
  • Are there any that may be a surprise?
  • How does an industry outside of the new formal start marketing itself as such?


PWJ talks PWA:

  • Why would a merchant invest in PWA?
  • What are the wrong reasons to invest in headless/PWA?
  • Is there any data on real life benefits?
  • Is it industry specific?