eBay has partnered with the Getting to Global Initiative, a public-private partnership aimed at empowering US small businesses to grow their businesses through exporting. In October, Josh Halpern of Getting to Global interviewed John McPheters, co-founder & CEO of Stadium Goods, about his company, the international demand for his products, and how he uses eBay to reach global customers. Here are excerpts from the interview:
Josh: How did you start your company?
John: My co-founder Jed Stiller and I started Stadium Goods when we saw a major opportunity in the streetwear market. With a rise in the number of customers shopping for exclusive footwear and lifestyle apparel, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to buy and sell these sought-after products while experiencing best-in-class customer service.
Josh: When did you first decide to expand beyond the US? (Was it part of the original strategic plan?)
John: Expanding the reach of Stadium Goods beyond the United States was always part of our plans. I have worked extensively overseas and have witnessed firsthand the growing demand for the products we offer in international markets. From the beginning, we understood that an important part of the success of the business would involve making it as seamless as possible for international consumers to shop with us.
Josh: How did you decide which markets to go into and what did your priority list look like? Which markets are you in currently? What do your sales channels look like for each of these markets?
John: When we initially began exploring new international markets, we tried to identify the regions where our products were most in demand. What we quickly discovered is that Stadium Goods’ curated selection of footwear and apparel is sought after the world over. As a result, customers can now shop with Stadium Goods, either directly or through one of our partners, almost everywhere on the map.
Josh: How have you leveraged eBay to reach overseas consumers? Do you use the Global Shipping program? How can one effectively use eBay for overseas sales?
John: We have worked extensively with eBay both domestically and internationally and they have been a wonderful partner. The fact that consumers know that they can rely on Stadium Goods to deliver 100% authentic merchandise in a simple and efficient way has had a tremendously positive impact in all of our international opportunities.
Josh: Does your value proposition change from market to market? (fast delivery, pricing, inventory scope/range, etc.) In what ways in which markets?
John: Our value proposition and our brand values remain consistent no matter what market we’re in. We aim to deliver the best customer service coupled with a curated selection of the most sought-after styles for our shoppers. Data also informs everything that we do at Stadium Goods. When we look at how our extensive selection of sneakers and streetwear is suited to different markets, our product team is able to identify which items perform best on different platforms. But it goes beyond simply crunching numbers. There needs to be a human touch to make sure that the merchandise resonates with the demographic of that market. That is why we make sure to hand-select certain products so that our offering feels personalized and curated.
Josh: If you could have done something differently early on in terms of your global expansion strategy, what would it have been?
John: Stadium Goods has grown to become a truly global business. It certainly hasn’t been easy every step along the way, but we have learned a great deal from every challenge that we have faced and emerged stronger for it. I don’t think we would be in the place we are today if we hadn’t had to face some of the obstacles that we did, so I don’t have any regrets.
The full interview is available here.