A few months ago I heard that development was underway for an exciting new eCommerce system called Digibilly.
With no software to install and works in a similar way to Clickbank and DigiResults, it hopes to make selling online easier.
Intrigued, I had to find out more… so I tracked down the brains behind the system, BIG Mike, to get the lowdown.
Mick Meaney: Thank you for taking time away from the Digibilly launch. How are things going behind the scenes?
BIG Mike: Terrific – Digibilly is evolving into an incredible eCommerce Platform. We’re definitely pushing the envelop on features and functionality that are already being viewed as game changers by our current Merchants.
We’ve migrated our Incansoft eCommerce work over to Digibilly and have been using it exclusively for a couple of months now.
Mick Meaney: So let’s talk about your background for second. What was your first online business and what inspired you to start?
BIG Mike: Back in 2000, I was 39 years-old, at the peak of my professional career and bored to tears. I didn’t need to work and my wife was pressing me to start a family. We eventually “Retired” to Greece in early 2001, to spend our time together raising that family.
We both realized that we needed something challenging to do and for her it was easy – we opened a private EFL school, as her passion was teaching. I decided to turn to the Internet as I knew it would afford me the opportunity to stay busy while keeping my time my own.
I did some freelancing initially, consulting and started a software company, (which I later sold). I also got heavily involved into Adsense, way back at the beginning :)
Mick Meaney: What lessons did you learn when starting out and which obstacles did you have to overcome to make it a success?
BIG Mike: I think in many respects I was fortunate because I brought with me years of professional business and technical experience. Making the transition to business online was not especially difficult. My biggest hurdle, in the early years, was simply finding reliable, talented people to outsource to online.
Mick Meaney: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting an online business?
BIG Mike: My first bit of advice for those just starting out or struggling in business is to stop chasing after the quick scores and focus on sustainable, long-term strategies to grow into the success you want.
No one succeeds overnight, no matter how wildly popular their ideas are. Google took nearly 8 years to dominate the search engine market, FaceBook took 4 years for Social Media and believe it or not, Apple took nearly 30 years to become the powerhouse they are today.
Back in the day, I had over a thousand domains and I cleaned up with Adsense. Because of major shift in SEO, these days I’ve got fewer than 40 and I’m slowly eliminating all but a handful of them.
Why? Because the future of business online (in terms of SEO) is going to be wrapped up into single, authority sites that will centralize all of your business activities. Most people online are far better off investing in the long-term development of a single, highly branded website where they will focus all their energies.
We started doing this about five years ago and it’s paid off in spades for us. Instead of trying to manage umpteen sites, focus on managing one (or two or three at most, if absolutely necessary), branding it and building a following.
Organic traffic will follow without the need to spend all your time developing backlinks, writing articles or any of the other silly crap people do these days. Use that one site to develop a variety of revenue streams to avoid putting all of your eggs into one basket.
Plan where it’s going instead of just reacting – spend more time learning how to operate that site as a real business. if you can, try to develop a small group of partners to help you – in the long run, your life will be a lot easier.
Focus on taking advantage of automating as much of your business as possible – and use 3rd-party services online (those that are stable, growing and offer API’s) that will complement what you do instead of re-inventing the wheel.
User Experience – those two words are what the web are all about today and will be in the future. Your visitors need good reasons to bookmark your site and come back again and again – so find ways to give them those reasons.
If you’re just starting out, the best advice I can give you is to put away your wallet and stop trying to buy your way into success. It just doesn’t work that way…use your time now to study, ask questions and find answers online to learn what you need to succeed.
If you’re buying up all sorts of blind, “Make Money Online” types of products, you’re only going to set yourself up for failure.
Instead, make up a bullet list of what you need to learn, based on topics you encounter here. Use that “Education Plan” to grow your knowledge and to develop your business plan. Don’t be afraid to invest a few months or more in your education – then you’ll be able to make intelligent, informed decisions on what to buy.
Don’t give up, especially if something doesn’t work out for you. Success takes time and effort – learn to embrace your failures and take them for what they are…a learning experience. Every business has its ups and downs – don’t let the bad days get under your skin.
One last thing that’s served me well is to test everything for yourself. Don’t simply take the word of others – listen to them, but then take what they say and test it for yourself rather than blindly following what could be very bad advice. .
Mick Meaney: In your opinion, what is the critical factor for success in online business?
BIG Mike: The most important thing to keep in mind is that both business and the Internet are not static – they’re very dynamic, continually changing and you’ve got to learn to adapt with them. As someone in business online, you’re going to spend the rest of your life learning and adapting to change, so prepare yourself for it.
Mick Meaney: Digibilly is a very slick site, it’s rare to see a with this level of usability. What technology are you using?
BIG Mike: We’re using a blend of the most recent technologies as well as making extensive use of the “Cloud”, in terms of third-party services for supporting much of the functionality and security.
Mick Meaney: It’s an incredibly easy to use platform, what lead to the development of the system?
Initially, we needed, or rather wanted a newer platform for our main site at Incansoft. We gotten so many requests for copies of that system that we realized we could design it as a Web Application to support multiple users.
Mick Meaney: How does Digibilly differ from existing eCommerce systems?
One of the most important differences is that Digibilly doesn’t store any user log in credentials – this is all handled by PayPal’s Account Authentication Services for us. That means that your passwords and any confidential financial data can NEVER be stolen from us by hackers.
I think we’re also one of the few platforms that supports multiple zip file uploads per product. We’ve incorporated things like drag and drop technology to make it as easy as can be for our customer to get their digital products to their customers as smoothly as possible.
The built-in Merchant Help desk simplifies communication between Merchants and their Customers. It also takes away the need for a Merchant to set up a separate system and maintain it.
Overall user experience, which you’ve seen firsthand is another critical element. Digibilly makes it easy to learn and navigate, with features broken down into manageable sections that aren’t confusing or intimidating. We’ve put a lot of effort into making it intuitive and easy for everyone to use.
Whether it’s adding a new product, creating a sales page, launching any one of seven built-in sales campaigns, getting your buyers onto your list at Aweber, GetResponse, ImnicaMail or MailChimp, it’s a breeze to use.
Mick Meaney: It appears that Digibilly is a complete all-in-one marketplace for customers, vendors and affiliates. What does it provide for each of these groups?
BIG Mike: For Customers, it provides a one stop shop for finding products, buying them and obtaining post sale support through the built-in Merchant Help Desk.
For Affiliates, it’s a no-brainer system to find products to promote, get paid instantly for every sale they refer as well as providing them with important metrics to fine-tune their promotions.
For Merchants, it’s clearly the only system they need to handle their back office work…from making sales to fulfilling orders to supporting customers, it’s all there in one centralized place.
Mick Meaney: And what are your plans for the system, how do you envisage its future development?
BIG Mike: We’re presently getting reading to deploy recurring payments (Subscriptions) with split payments and an optional shopping cart that’s second to none!
We’ll continue to adapt it and take advantage of any emergent technologies that will benefit our users as well as listening carefully to suggestions for improving Digibilly.
Mick Meaney: Finally, what has your marketing strategy been?
BIG Mike: I’ve always focused on looking at the bigger picture over the long-term. For me, Lifetime Customer Value is far more important than simply trying to sell a new customer as much as possible during that first sale.
At Incansoft, for example, excellent support, communication and a willingness to have a quality, long-term relationship with our customers has lead to an amazing amount of repeat business over the years.
At Digibilly, we’re continuing with that philosophy :)
Mick Meaney: Thank you for sharing your insights with the RINF readers and best of luck with this outstanding new eCommerce system.
BIG Mike: Thank you Mick and I hope your readers obtain some real benefit from the interview!
For those interested in opening a free account at Digibilly, go to https://www.digibilly.com – there is no charge to join or add products. At present, our fee is 3% of each sale with a 50 cent minimum.