Welcome to the e-commerce marketing podcast today's guest is Scott Wingo Scott is the CEO and co-founder of the on-demand mobile car wash app spiffy. He's a four-time Serial entrepreneur and Industry thought leader in the econ. First and on-demand economy Realms Scott has appeared on CNBC the Today's Show and contributed his expertise to the Wall Street, Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and Bloomberg and if everyone can give a great welcome here to Scott Wingo Scott.
We appreciate you joining the e-commerce marketing podcast today. I was everything it's doing great. Thanks for having me Arlen. I'm excited to be on the podcast. Yeah, no problem. Thanks again. Well. You know. I'm go ahead and just kind of get right into it. For those of for those guests that aren't familiar with terminology.
Why don't you break it down for us and just let us know what is actually before I kind of get into that why don't you give me a little bit more of a background on what exactly you do tell me a little bit about your app. Yeah. Yes, so what we do at spiffy is on demand Car Wash and detailing so this is it rose out of series of experiments.
We did. I'm a big fan of uber which is kind of on demand transportation and had invested in some car washes. Shortly, and then thought you know what if we married this two things together, and so we just put an app out in 2014 that in a series of like five or six Taps lets you schedule a to have someone come wash your car, and what we discovered is people really like that in the big surprise for us is people like to have their car wash while their work.
Okay. You know a big portion of us are kind of what I would call office dwellers, so we spend a fair. You know good 40 hours plus a week at our office, and what better way to multitask. Into have kind of something checked off your weekend to-do list then have it done while your work so that that's the bulk of what we do is by 60%, but we still do to go to people's houses mostly on weekends, okay, and we do do some fleet washing goes.
Well. We found there's a lot of folks that have three or four vehicles. They want cleaned on a regular schedule so we do that too. Okay, that sounds great. Yeah, that's a awesome service. I wish you guys were down here my area in Orlando. I was just looking at my my wheel wells of my car, and they're like.
Very dirty I don't know if I've wanted regarding past few months. I've been so so busy, but yeah, that would be a great service to really have an Icee the the power of that because like you said these days. I know a lot of people would like to get that done while they're at work because you know the car is just sitting in the lot, and so you know thinking just check one thing off their to-do list for the weekend that that frees them up.
You know with the with something else that they can do ya know that this is an eCommerce podcast, and I have a pretty deep e-commerce background my previous company was called challenge visor and a chamba ezer. We help folks sell on eBay and Amazon and across internet, so so I know a fair amount about e-commerce and a lot of people eyes.
Ask you know. Why what you know? Why would you go from e-commerce to this and actually think this is the direction e-commerce is going to go, so you know we all worry about the Amazon offical of things out there. You know Amazon just announces any. In like they're looking at the pharmacy space and Pharmacy stocks drop 20% so everyone everyone imagine listening work time keeps an eye on what Amazon is doing and what what I think is interesting is if you can take your product offering and wrap it in a service, then I think that gives you a fair amount of defense against an Amazon kind of doing that because you know their model is so product kind of pure product driven.
They have a couple of service things, but they don't actually provide those themselves they use third parties so actually think. Got a probably the takeaway for your listeners is how can you take something and wrap it in a service comic Best Buy is done with Geek Squad Squad is good example. You know to to future-proof what you're doing right right then ately the awesome, and I think that's definitely the direction like you said that he Converses is really going these days and so as far as like Amazon.
I think most e-commerce businesses these days if they don't have their eye on Amazon and kind of seeing what they're doing then you know. They're the kind of living in a dream world because Amazon is you know unfortunately there are there are kind of a behemoth in the space and their their their force to be reckoned with and I think they're really going anywhere, so it's definitely something you have to keep an eye on so again, so as far as enlightening our our listeners.
I wanted to ask you what really needs for those are the for those of you that are listening that aren't familiar with terminology. What actually is the on-demand economy? How would you define that yeah? Are seen since I've been in this industry. There's there's a wide spectrum of how people Define it some people are kind of what I would call On Demand pierced, and they kind of say if it's not something that can be instantly delivered like an Uber kind of a thing you like within minutes.
It's not part of that economy. I prefer to take a broader approach, and I kind of I even put like Amazon Prime now, so so anything that tends to be a based that the consumer can request something and or schedule it you know for their convenience. I have a pretty. Broad definition so the big companies people have heard of or the out there's obviously the transportation guys like goober and lift.
I also put post mates insta cart. Even the food delivery companies like GrubHub and even the meal kit companies that kind of put in there because you're kind of on demand getting these meals you know the ingredients for meals delivered to you, so so I think it's got a pretty broad definition, and you know in our world.
It's interesting way. We we try to be very customer oriented, and so we give customers the ability to do kind of the on demand. Want something today or to schedule and you know what customers kind of tell us with their voting with their wallet is about 60% like things to be scheduled, and I think we're all so busy that there's kind of an element to scheduling that that's been lost and some of this mindset.
That's out there, and then other 40% are more kind of like you know on demand so what happens is. We'll go to these office Parks will set up and start washing cars and people look out the window like yeah, you know I could use a car wash today so with that tends to be the bulk of our On Demand is kind of.
People see what we're doing at an office part garching gosh. It's interesting you think that definition. Would you consider the services where you mentioned the grocery delivery service, and that's that's big in my area here in Orlando, Florida, but there's also some Services where you can do at Walmart actually just started this recently.
I guess probably been several months now. They have a pickup service where you can order an I actually use it you order your groceries online you put everything in a cart. You check out you pay for them and they. Put a hold in the charge until you pick up the items and so everything is is ordered and then all you do is using their app you specific you specify a particular time period of when you're going to pick up the items and so let's say I order for a pickup tomorrow.
That's a 10 a.m.. I let them know through the app that I'm on my way, and then they're notified when I get there because I go to a designated spot, and it he's come out and bring my groceries with that be considered on demand as well, or is that yeah, you know I. I take a pretty broad definition I would put that in there you know and I think the other elements of on-demand are that it's a switch of who controls the transaction, so it really is kind of switching it from what's best for me the merchant to what's best for the customer.
I think that's kind of how I I ultimately think about on-demand right and you know that that's what's so, so it's really interesting the there's this data out since the recession that talks about the top caught the bifurcation and you see this in the retail e-commerce World especially. So because the recession people kind of had two reactions about half the US population said that was scary I want to save every dime going forward, and those are the value-oriented consumers, and then there's another section.
That said you know what that made me realize that time with my family is important or doing that the events I want to do, so I'm going to actually kind of favor more convenience your squarely in that camp because you're using the buy online pick up grocery kind of feature right you know right your your trading off a little bit of extra.
You know money for time and their studies actually now that show that that's actually more rewarding than buying things so actually saving time is more rewarding than going in buying a pair of jeans or something. Yeah, but any definitely. I mean that camp as well. Yeah to me. Just roaming around the mall or searching stuff, or just wandering the aisles of a grocery story is not.
It's not rewarding it all it's more of a drag. Yeah, yeah, and when you look at the same store sales of retailers it really kind of paints this story so the companies that are doing well. All are into buckets there. Well. I guess three there the e-commerce companies like Amazon's growing 30 percent right then you have dollar stores dollar stores are growing 10% in this isn't a retail environment.
That's like three or four percent, and then you have wholesale clubs, so dollar stores and also clubs are very much value-oriented Amazon is very convenient oriented if you don't offer one of those two things you're stuck in this no-man's land today, and a good example. That's like a Macy's or you know if you Millennials tend to be hyper convenience oriented, so if you targeted Millennials and.
Yeah, they're kind of like that they're not coming to the mall and and you know those guys are practically in bankruptcy as you know so yeah, so I think it's a you know I would encourage listeners to think about that metaphor of how can they be if your retailer or brand how can you appeal to one of those two audiences, and that's really where the US market at least is going right now.
Yeah there for sure for sure. That's that's what I think listeners out there that happen e-commerce business if definitely got to be mindful of and you know figure out because I. That's where everything is going as far as you know the millennial generation. That's those are the types of options that they're comfortable with that on demand on Mobility so overall with on-demand the on-demand economy.
How do you see it really you know overall changing e-commerce? I mean. Do you think because of course we talked a little bit about Amazon and some of the other things? How do you see a changing e-commerce and do you think there's going to be any drastic changes with some of the big guys and what?
How's the space going to be you know maybe five years from now 10 years from now. Yeah, I think there's there's two ways that impacts the eCommerce landscape the first is delivery, so you know consumers. You know one of the things that basis kind of famously says is when you know started Amazon as I?
I don't think in 10 years consumers essay. I want my stuff slower, so so Amazon's kind of you made a 10-20 year bet on on faster delivery and so I think that's an easy one today for e-commerce folks to leverage so you have over Rush post mates. There's variety of these shipped deliv. There's about 10 companies that are pretty interesting a lot of them are integrated with the platforms like a Shopify this can offer a segment of your customers.
You know same day delivery, and I think that's that's a huge win in the economist world and something you could even. You know if you roll up your sleeves you can get you know some major cities done by by holiday this year, so that's kind of a short-term way to think about it and then long-term. I do think you know if you can take your product and wrap it in some kind of a service that has an on-demand element.
I know you probably saw Ikea Acquired taskrabbit, and that's one where Ikea is saying the most inconvenient part about our product is the the assembly so knowing that I been up many times past midnight. You know wrestling with allen wrench and if then you look you put it one panel. Back what you have to go disassemble the thing you know halfway, so if you if you have a product that has to be assembled has some kind of customization.
You know there's there's a lot of products that fall into this even like has to be installed in some way if you can wrap that in a service. It's it's hugely beneficial because it really helps your brand with a consumer right, but then it also d commoditized as what you're doing you're no longer selling a widget.
You're selling a widget wrapped in a delicious service coating that you know I think helps with that. You know not only does it D commoditized it, but it helps in this world where there's private label and Amazon and prices that race to the bottom that service mate really differentiate you so perfectly yes, so that that's what we've discovered at spiffy is people really love the service component of what?
If gotcha gotcha yeah, I see then I was just trying to think about you know e-commerce businesses in general you know here at Omni star OSI Affiliates offers are as our software and here we have a referral solution that allows any business to create a affiliate referral program, and we get a lot of customers, and I was looking at was thinking about the different niches of businesses that are using our software and one Niche that we're constantly seeing more and more companies use our software is in the is in the hairs.
Airspace the actual hair extension space we've got a lot of customers, and I was just wondering okay. How how could undermanned to service apply to them, and I just thought about it that one thing that a business like that could do because you know they sell hair extensions women order it they get delivered, but of course those extensions have to be you know.
I guess I guess you wouldn't say installed, but I guess you say they'd have to be they would have to be you know put in by a beautician and so one particular idea could be let's say one of. These types of businesses that sell hair extensions they could team up with salons or beauticians and have an on-demand component attached to the site where after you purchase you can maybe have access to a schedule in your area where you know when your items delivered you can have that particular beautician you can book an appointment.
Maybe there's a petition is that that do you know that that comes to your house that type of thing that that could I'd say be a great on-demand opportunity for that. Secular space so I see how you kind of do have to think out of the box, but that's what people are looking for these days, and I think that's you know something that can be useful yeah, that that it sounds out of the box, but there's actually an several metros.
There are on demand Beauty companies that will come to you so Glam Squad is a really big one in New York City right, so you could definitely see a tie up there that would make a lot of sense, and then if there's not a mobile one available. You know there are starting to be more chains especially with these blowout.
I'm not an expert on this, but you know I do know that there's these blowout change that that do more. Just just hair drying in washing and not cutting and I bet you know partnering with one of them to to have you know an extension kind of installation or whatever we want to call it. You know if you were consumer, and you're looking at option A.
Just buy it and I have to do it or not be by it and you know you help me get it installed and more and more consumers are leaning towards. Be versus a I call it the do it for me D ifm versus the do-it-yourself yeah. Exactly do it for me yet an hour space the online product space it's known for were there.
We see a lot of other companies that offer services that are called done for you will do it for you, so it's like yeah people these days are becoming more and more accustomed to you know on demand and having things done for them. You know the bottom line is like you said earlier. I think these days people are putting more emphasis on their time and then prioritize.
Their time a lot more than they did in the past and that's very important for most people and that's all these Services really can benefit now. You know of course we talked a lot about you know a little bit about your business actually and of course how your your mobile car washing app is of course an on demand app, and you know you're entrenched into the space, and you know everything seems like it's it's great because we see all of these online on-demand businesses and apps, and you can pretty much have.
Eunice about everything done on demand these days, but we see the trends are really going that route, but overall from your experience. I mean do you see any downsides to the on-demand economy at all well one of the things we decided early on is when we discovered this Office Park phenomenon we have to work with these businesses called property managers that control the access to the property right and you know they don't want just kind of some random contractors to come on.
So one of the things we ended up doing is you know we actually employee our technicians and own and operate our own vehicles. I think I think this kind of the gig 1099 thing works for some things, but in a situation. Where especially in more of a B2B kind of situation you're going to be looking at more of a employed kind of a model so that that's one of the think of that is on demand 2.0.
Is kind of actually saying look we need if we spiffy want to provide the best service possible. We're going to need to. Or what chemicals get used the environmental friendliness of this whole thing we want to be able to schedule it so a lot of people call that a full stack kind of a solution, so so that's one way that this is going and even see it with some of the driving ride cheering you know Uber has had a lot of controversy around the CEO and whatnot but even the drivers.
You know they they can only background check so much because in control so much because they're effectively 1099 contractors, so I think you're going to see more Hybrid models and more pure kind of. Or you type models because that's a better customer experience right right yet. Definitely definitely makes sense and the only thing that I see as far as just like it for me kind of looking at the outside in I'm not you know that exposed to you know on-demand economy, but you know the only thing that I see is I mean I guess this is a good be a downside on the consumer side not necessarily the business side, but with all of these conveniences in the on-demand apps and.
These out there, it's it's setting a different expectation for customers. Where customers are just expecting to be able to get all of these things on demand and you know if they're dealing with a business, maybe a new business that doesn't offer some type of on-demand Services. They're going to be a little turned off or they may shy away from that so I think you know it's a slight downside, but it gets it.
Just speaks to the fact that businesses these days have to really kind of keep there. Finger on the pulse of where this whole on-demand economy is going and really figure out how they can navigate properly, and how they can be a part of it, or just kind of get left behind the name. I kind of call that one is this kind of you know the desire for zero friction in your life, and let's take you for example, so you've done the Walmart buy online pick up in-store grocery thing that and you know you used to before that you probably go grocery shopping for 30 minutes and not think twice about it and wait in line 15 now the next time you do that.
It'll. Like 10 times more painful. Yeah, it definitely is yeah, so I've had that experience. Yeah, yeah to your point to the listeners this you know it's kinda same thing once Amazon got everyone Addicted 2 2day free shipping, then all these flash sales sites that had like you know six weeks shipping and stuff.
That's that's one of the reasons. They haven't done it kind of hit a ceiling is they their model you saved money, but people weren't really well willing to wait you know weeks to get their product so everyone. You know it's only going to get worse or better for the consumer, so yeah, I think I think you know you can either kind of bemoan it, or you can lean into it and say what can I do to get in front of this and get my products to Consumer faster provide a service and then for the service companies that are out there.
You know this these days of kind of the cable company. You know eight-hour you know well. We're have a window between nine and five, and they show up at like 530 right after you take it out from work. You know those days are over that the consumers are not going to put up with that once a competitor comes.
Long and says go do whatever you want to and will show you you know where our truck is and then you can plan to be home when you see it heading over, then that's going to be a huge game changer, and I think that's where not only the service con Amigos, but the service plus product economy goes yeah for sure for sure.
Yeah, I definitely see how you know, that's that's one aspect where the service like you said service economy. You know they haven't fully adapted systems to kind of do what you just said as far as you know people having alternate ways other than. Around wings but during a four-hour time slot for cable guy they you know there.
I'm sure they're they're working on it because you know believe it or not they they do know that people are are accustomed to the on demand and you know if they don't get it. There's they're going to look at other options, so that's that's definitely way things are going, so well. Yeah one final question for you Scott.
We always ask every guest in the podcast is you know what is one thing that an e-commerce business can do right now to help their business grow get traffic gets. Sales doesn't necessarily have to be related to on that demand economy, but what do you think a growing e-commerce business can do right now?
Yeah, so kind of in that framework? I talked about you know I would spend a fair amount of time soul-searching and and talkin to customers and figure out how can you reduce friction and make your customers life more convenient? That's one bucket, but if you want to if you want to go after that convenience oriented consumer if you want to go after the value or any consumer.
It's really kind of a price play and looking at you know that that consumer. Is pretty Savvy they're looking at bundle pricing and your per unit and Wholesale Club kind of stuff, so you know, maybe that's another angle you could take is sell eight packs and 12 packs and things of that to help get the part price per unit down for that consumer, but still kind of protect your margin in some way.
Yes, so my final advice to folks is to think about that framework. I talked about the value or any consumer and convenience oriented decide where you as a company want to be you can't really be both and then. Want to be convenient start thinking about how can you get products faster? How can you provide a service it would with a partner probably or yourself, and if it's value-oriented, then think about you know how can you do packaging and things like that to provide more value to the consumer right right?
Yeah, that definitely makes sense and you know the main thing is is that its customers and looking looking at what their needs are and you know just making sure you pay attention to the the trends that you see because believe it or not. Usually in a business your customers are going to really tell you Oren dictate the direction that you should go, so you know.
There's a variety of ways you can get feedback from you know feedback forms to just having your support people talk to them and ask those questions to to figure out. You know. What are some things that are going to going to be best for them, and what are some things that they're interested in you know of course you can't do everything.
You've course you have no way you can. Please everyone definitely one thing. I want to definitely state, but you will see common. Trends and common questions and requests from from customers that can help sway your business into the end of the best Direction. Yeah, okay, well great. Well. It was definitely a pleasure speaking with you Scott.
Thanks again for joining us here on the e-commerce marketing podcast. It was a true pleasure and we appreciate you enlightening us on the on demand economy sure thanks for having me today, and if folks want to find me online. I'm on Twitter as just Scott Wingo with this which is sco T just. T w i n g o like bingo with a W, and then I'm on LinkedIn so again.
Just Scott with 1T wingo and look forward to hearing from folks, OK sounds great. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the e-commerce marketing podcast to access the eCommerce videos and other resources to help your business grow please visit get OSI com forward slash videos subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for e-commerce marketing podcast and please leave a rating and a review.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.
Podcast Guest Info
Co-Founder / CEO, Spiffy