There are many ways a business is born. It may be because you had a “genius” idea or because you simply saw a cool business working well elsewhere and decided to bring it to your local market. I myself have lived both realities. But there is a way to create businesses that, they say, is the one that creates the best solutions. It is when we create a business to solve a pain that we ourselves have.
I’ve always been involved with e-commerce. My final college project in 1997 was related to e-commerce. I had my first e-commerce store in 1998. And I created the successful T-shirt store in 2005, which has been around for more than 11 years.
The story of how LeadGrid was born is directly linked to the need for one of my online stores. At a certain point in the store’s history, it became clear that it was necessary to start investing more in online media for acquiring new customers.
It was a great time. The organic reach of a Facebook page was 15%, the online advertising tools and services were simple. But that changed over time. Every day more and more advertisers started to buy online media and made the tools, usually based on auction, increasingly expensive. In addition, the demands of the market have made tools increasingly complex and difficult to understand. They became more powerful, no doubt, but much more difficult to use.
That is, customer acquisition solutions via paid media were (and still are) getting more complex and expensive.
So I wondered if there would be a way to create a platform where online stores could collaborate to make it easier and cheaper for acquiring customers.
The biggest motivation has always been to create an alternative channel for customer acquisition. A cheaper and simpler alternative, something that was plug and play.
We had the idea of using the order’s “Thank You” page to allow stores to recommend other stores using discount coupons. The “Thank You” page was the perfect place because it was an exit page for consumers, little used by the store and, more importantly, only consumers actually had access to that page.
We added a system of credits to this and the Discount Coupons Exchange Network was created, a business process we have patented in the USA.
The idea of what would be LeadGrid was born.
Recent technological innovation has changed the way business operates and how they relate to each other. New technologies allow businesses to build partnership relationships much more easily than a few years ago, either because of the possibilities of system integration or because of the possibilities of joint communication actions. The nature of competition has in many cases changed. From one aspect you can see another company as a competitor and at the same time, in another aspect, see that same company as a partner. The point is that you can see other businesses as threats or as opportunities. We prefer the second.
We believe that collaboration at scale is a great way to create value for the participants. We have managed to put that in LeadGrid where each store helps each other to win new customers. It’s precisely this collaboration that allows the solution to provide a cheaper lead acquisition channel than other solutions on the market.
Bullets, vitamins, and anesthetics
An already classic concept of the business world is the idea that there are three types of business solutions: candy, vitamins, and anesthetics (painkillers).
The “candy” solutions are those that bring pleasure. They are delicious, but they are totally expendable. Some even think they are harmful in the long run. An example is the mobile games.
The “vitamins” solutions are those desirable, nice to have, but not necessary. Vitamins are important, but they are not urgent.
“Anesthetic” solutions are solutions that solve a client’s pain. In general, it is a necessary solution to solve a problem, either to increase revenue or to reduce costs or any other important motivation.
Online merchants need to constantly grow their email bases to keep their business growing, at the risk of stagnating their revenue if they do not take care of it. This is a necessary concern. And LeadGrid came to market to address this pain, bringing a collaborative, inexpensive, and easy-to-use solution to generate leads for online stores.