Hey, thanks for tuning in to another Partner Interview at EcomBalance. At EcomBalance, we’re all about creating win-win partnerships where we are able to grow with other companies in the eCommerce space.
In this exclusive interview, we interview Carlos Alvarez from Wizards of Ecom, a group that is driven by a Sellers Helping Sellers mentality.
Carlos Alvarez, a successful Amazon retailer, created Wizards of Ecom to empower online sellers with the techniques he learned over nearly 15 years as an Amazon Seller and Digital Marketer. He is also the founder of Wizards of Ecom, the largest Amazon Meetup group in the world, a frequent keynote speaker at events and conferences, Meetup’s first City Organizer (Miami), Fiverr Community Manager (Miami), lead E-commerce mentor for the SBA, and host of the Wizards of Ecom podcast.
We hope that you enjoy the interview and that it brings value to you as an eCommerce business owner.
Connor: Hey Carlos, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. As a company, one of our goals is to highlight our partners so that our clients can benefit where it makes most sense. To get started, can you give us a high-level introduction to Wizards of Ecom and a little bit about how the community got started?
Carlos: The Wizards of Ecom began in 2017 as a monthly Amazon Seller Meetup group in Miami, Florida who affectionately referred to themselves as Wizards of Amazon. The group is driven by a Sellers Helping Sellers mentality. In the heart of Covid we opened a W.O.E. physical location and rebranded to Wizards of Ecom.
Connor: Thanks for sharing that! Can you dive a bit more into the products and services that you offer to accelerate Amazon success? Our audience is always looking for reputable companies that they can lean on for specific parts of their eCommerce businesses.
Carlos: The Wizards of Ecom provides 16 free Meetup events per month, 8 of which are in-person. Some of our in-person events are also live streamed. In addition, we host a monthly high level paid workshop. All events and workshops are recorded and accessible via a paid membership to the Video Vault.
Connor: Jumping off of that…when you’re thinking about your ideal customer, who is that? Where are they selling online? Where are they located in the world? How much sales do they typically have in a year? If there’s any other qualities, please include them as well. We’re all about making introductions where it benefits both parties.
Carlos: People who have made a decision to start or scale their business together as a community. People who realize it is much easier to grow as a community and surrounded by like minded Sellers Helping Sellers.
Connor: For our audience to truly understand what makes you stand out from other ecommerce communities in the space, can you share a story of how Wizards of Ecom truly helped one of its customers?
Carlos: A member who joined early in her e-commerce/Amazon Seller journey and attended nearly all of the events went on to successfully start a Private Label brand in a competitive category. In addition she went on to become an ecommerce podcast co-host, part of the leadership team of the Wizards of Ecom, and started her own agency helping other Amazon brands achieve success and profits on Amazon.
Connor: As you and your company think about the next year ahead, what does it look like? Are there any specific initiatives that you’re working on as a team to better your product or service for your customers?
Carlos: Oh wow, the future is really exciting. We have opened and established Wizards of Ecom chapters in Tampa, San Diego, and Los Angeles. We are scaling the quality of the in-person workshops and the content overall to stay current with the rapidly changing world of Amazon/Ecom.
Connor: How about this…everyone loves a company’s growth story. We all naturally go through ups and downs as a company. What was one of the biggest challenges that the company faced in its growing stages?
Carlos: We have two that stand out the most to me now. One was Covid. We went from a community which differentiated, found identity, and strength in being a local in-person Meetup group. Covid changed all of this, we had to, from one wek to the next, go 100% online to Zoom and keep our identities alive. The second was deciding to have our own physical location with the overhead that it brings. We used to meet after hours in one of the Salsa dance studios that I own, but during Covid I had to downsize this business to a much smaller location and chose to takeover the larger location for the Wizards of Ecom. This is still a tough battle we face with strategically partnering with sponsors who are a good fit and find this sort of commuity to be a win win for them.
Connor: Thanks! Let’s talk some eCommerce! Where do you see the industry heading in the next 1-2 years? Any big changes that you’re predicting for the industry? How can eCommerce companies prepare for it?
Carlos: I see DTC, as it is now, becoming increasingly difficult to be run profitably the way they are now. Ecommerce brands will need to develop a content first approach to succeed, attract/retain customers and acquire customers profitably. Three big changes I predict that will have a major impact on the world of ecommerce is voice search, live stream shopping, and Youtube shopping.
Connor: Changing gears a little bit…When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, what do you think the biggest pain points for eCommerce business owners are? Feel free to speak from personal experience as well.
Carlos: I think the biggest disconnect is on one hand you have financially savvy bookkeeping and accounting firms with text book correct answers and then you have ecommerce, in the trenches, sellers dealing with realities, who most of the time are bootstrapping things and not so financially savvy. These two realities will rarely result in a pleasant experience for either side.
Connor: Okay, here’s an open mic opportunity. If there’s one thing that you’d want the EcomBalance community to hear from you, what would it be?
Carlos: I would love for you to join the Wizards of Ecom community. If you have a #SellersHelpingSellers mentality, are open to learn and to share, I have zro doubts you will be excited to have joined.
Connor: As we close this out, I just have one more question. Where is the best place to find and follow you and the company online? Also, if you have one, is there any special offer that you’ll be offering to the community today?
Carlos: Download the Wizards of Ecom app, and/or join our very active, FREE, Amazon Seller Telegram community at www.wizardsofecom.com/chat . I would also like to offer a free month to our VIdeo Vault so you can see what our events are all about.