In our latest Content Champion interview, we were lucky enough to catch up with Gonzalo Gil, the CEO of market leading eCommerce software 3dcart.
Introduce Yourself & Your Business
My name is Gonzalo Gil, and I am the CEO of 3dcart, a leading eCommerce platform.
Our platform specializes in everything you need to run an online business, including shopping cart software, an online store builder, marketing and SEO features, product and order management, and much more.
Today, 3dcart boasts over 22,000 merchants, and we’re looking forward to supporting even more business owners in the future.
What's Your Backstory & How Did You Become Involved With 3dcart?
As a Florida Atlantic University graduate who studied computer science and eCommerce, I got my start programming custom code solutions for merchants’ shopping cart software.
I began by editing and modifying existing code from open source software, and then moved to building small desktop apps for merchants, including a POS application and billing software.
After I’d built many custom shopping carts for my clients, I realized that most of them were asking for the same things; so, I built the first version of 3dcart in 1999.
By 2001, I had developed 3dcart v1.0 to be an affordable and highly customizable shopping cart solution. I began 3dcart with the philosophy of creating a platform centred around what I consider to be the three dimensions of eCommerce: store owners, search engines and shoppers.
Why Do You Use Content/Digital Marketing As Your Main Marketing Method?
Content marketing is not only a good way to create valuable multimedia that improves user experience for potential and existing customers, but it’s also one of the most important tools for SEO.
Properly optimized content is great for ranking in the search engines because it can be used to target keywords, include backlinks to boost authority, and make both algorithms and users happy by simply being a quality piece of content.
We think that content is one of the most under utilized forms of digital marketing, especially since it’s so powerful and versatile.
Describe Your Content Marketing Resources & Team?
3dcart’s team comprises of 100 members, all contributing to keep the company running on all cylinders.
Our content marketing team consists of SEO analytics experts, copywriters, designers, marketing managers, project team leaders – and more – to get the job done.
How Do You Use Content/Digital Marketing To Attract & Retain Customers?
We use a variety of content marketing and digital marketing strategies at 3dcart, all of which vary depending on what our specific business goal is.
We frequently utilize email marketing by sending out a weekly newsletter and an email every time we publish a daily blog post.
We also take advantage of several different holidays to create sales throughout the year, bringing in customers with great limited-time deals.
Blogging is one of the major ways that we create content, publishing blogs from both in-house writers and guest eCommerce professional authors.
Frequently, 3dcart will partner up with trusted eCommerce companies in order to build a new integration that makes business smoother for our merchants; of course, we’ll use that partnership opportunity to create content as well.
Social media marketing is also an important tool in our toolset, using both paid and organic posts to increase visibility and engage with customers.
And, obviously, SEO is one of the tools we utilize the most, dedicating several strategies to building our rank on SERPs.
How Is Your Business Doing Today & What Does The Future Hold?
At 22,000 merchants (and growing), our business is doing very well, and we’re excited to keep growing in the future.
Our content marketing efforts are paying off, with over 34,000 email subscribers, an average of 8,000 monthly blog post views, over 120,000 monthly sessions, and a 3-minute average session length.
Taking a look at our socials, we’ve reached over 14.8k followers on Twitter, 11k likes on Facebook, and 1,600 followers on LinkedIn.
At the moment, we’re currently focusing efforts on building our Instagram account, and we’ve reached almost 700 followers thus far.
We are always looking at building editions of our product to target different audiences.
For example, we just launched an edition of the software that is specific for drop shippers, with integration to the major drop shippers, and a very low startup cost (Under $10!), so that anyone can start their online store.
On the product side, we focus on new functionality to help our online store owners sell more, for example, on the next release scheduled for next month, we are adding a feature to show delivery estimates based on the customer's location.
This is something that our beta users have tested and has shown to increase their sales.
Since the eCommerce landscape is constantly changing, we work overtime to keep up and be the best on the market.
In the future, I see 3dcart positioned as the premier eCommerce software solution for entrepreneurs who are seeking a real advantage over competition.
What Have You Learned Running 3dcart?
During my time as the founder and CEO of a leading eCommerce solution, I’ve learned a few lessons that have helped me to guide my business towards success.
Mainly, I’ve learned to start small and only grow as fast as you need to. Try not to compare yourself to other companies; you’re on your own path and trying to grow past your limits can result in failure.
I’ve seen a lot of companies start up, grow massively, and eventually fail because they ran out of money.
The most helpful habits that I utilize daily are perseverance, drive, and a positive attitude.
The eCommerce industry is highly competitive and evolves every day, so it’s important to stay motivated and on top of everything that changes.
I keep 3dcart competitive in the market by staying aware of current industry trends and new innovations, and working to implement them seamlessly into our platform.
What Content/Digital Marketing Tools Do You Use For Your Business?
The tool we use the most for our content marketing efforts is HubSpot. We find their features to be extremely helpful for managing our blog, landing pages, and even social media accounts.
Using HubSpot, we publish our daily blog posts with custom calls to action that link to landing pages optimized for conversion.
We cross-promote our blogs, promotions, partnerships, and more across all of our social media channels using HubSpot’s social features, creating and scheduling posts that bring in the most engagement.
HubSpot also provides our marketing team with a variety of useful analytics tools, giving them the data they need to see what’s working and what isn’t with our digital marketing strategies.
This data is vital for constantly improving what we do to make the most out of our content marketing efforts.
What Have Been Your Most Influential Content Marketing/Digital Marketing Books, Podcasts Or Other Resources?
My favorite tool that I use in running my business would have to be Todoist to manage my tasks & projects.
Do You Have Any Advice For Other Entrepreneurs Who Are Just Starting Out?
For entrepreneurs just starting out in eCommerce, I’d advise them not to “live above their means,” so to speak.
What I mean by that is, don’t go over your marketing budget to chase something that another company is doing, because you’ll end up running out of funds fast.
Paid social ads are great assets, but organic social posts are also an effective way to build social media presence for free.
Be aware of all of your options, and invest in quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing.
Some other major advice that I’d offer to other entrepreneurs: don’t ignore mobile commerce.
Your business should direct their resources and attention toward implementing mobile commerce into your strategies if you want to stay competitive in the market.
All of your content should be compatible with any device; if a customer tries to access your site or blog post on a smartphone, and elements are being cut off and represented poorly, they probably won’t come back.
Where Can We Learn More About 3dcart?
You can also check out our blog at blog.3dcart.com for useful information and news from the world of eCommerce.