How to Build an e-Commerce Brand with Limited Resources

In this episode…

Are you worried about getting capital for your e-commerce brand? Do you wonder if it’s possible to successfully scale your business when you just have a few members on your team? Mark Samuel believes that you can build an e-commerce brand with 5 key employees as long you know your 'why'.

In this episode of the Relationship Commerce Podcast, Dean Dutro interviews Mark Samuel, the Founder and CEO of IWON Organics, about his strategies for building and scaling an e-commerce business. Mark explains how you can get capital for your brand, how you can empower your team in order to drive your company’s growth, and how you can translate the retail shopping experience to e-commerce.

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Mark SamuelMark Samuel is the Founder and CEO of IWON Organics, a health and wellness company that makes bold, flavor-infused snacks made from plant-based proteins like peas, beans, and brown rice. IWON, which stands for “I'm Winning on Nutrition”, is focused on healthy snacking and successful, long-term eating habits based on the principles of balanced nutritional profiles which are made up of healthy proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. IWON's snacks can be found in over 5,000 stores nationwide, including Kroger's, Sprouts, Whole Foods in the SoPac and NorCal regions, Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, Safeway, and Brookshire’s. Their products can also be found and purchased online through their website, on Amazon, and on Thrive Market.

Mark recently launched his new e-book, Small Wins Big Victories and is also the host of Let's Eat and 2WIN on YouTube. He is a father of 2 kids and a health and fitness enthusiast.

How to Get Capital for Your e-Commerce Brand

When starting your e-commerce brand, it is advisable to get started selling on Amazon and then as your business grows and you get noticed, you can choose whether or not to leave the platform. You stand a bigger chance of scaling quickly compared to just selling through your website. Selling on different channels will give your customers the option of buying through Amazon, the store on your website, or through retail. This also increases the opportunity to make more sales.

Some of the cheapest ways to get capital to start your e-commerce brand include your own savings and getting financing from friends and family. You don't need to have a lot of money to start a business because you can start with the little you have and grow from that.

In addition, there are many good capital firms that provide financing to Amazon and other e-commerce sellers. A good example of such a company is AccrueMe, which provides non-interest-bearing capital to Amazon sellers.

How to Get Capital for Your e-Commerce Brand

When starting your e-commerce brand, it’s a good idea to get started by selling and introducing your product on Amazon. Then once your business grows and you have developed traction within your target market, you can decide whether to continue offering on the platform or not.  One thing to consider in your decision is how sales on online marketplaces such as Amazon can impact your overall sales. Chances are, you stand a bigger chance of scaling quickly when your products are more widely available versus when you’re just selling them on your website. This increases visibility and allows your customers to choose the channel that’s most convenient for them. 

And as you’re working to get capital for your e-Commerce brand, some of the best ways to get that capital is through the use of your savings and getting financing support from friends and family. Contrary to what others might think, you don't need to have a lot of money to start an e-Commerce business—you can start with what you have on hand and grow from that.

There are also many capital firms that provide financing to Amazon and other e-commerce sellers. A good example of such a company is AccrueMe which provides non-interest-bearing capital to Amazon sellers.

How to Build an e-Commerce Brand with Few Employees

Whether you’re just getting started with building your e-Commerce brand or you have been at it for some time and have limited manpower, it is possible to grow your business.Some of the best and most profitable e-Commerce brands have been built by companies that had few employees—but these individuals knew what the company’s goals were and they worked hard towards them.

Mark Samuel has been working with a team of 5 people from the time he started his e-commerce brand, IWON Organics. The team has managed to successfully grow the brand to where it is today. Every team member knows their 'why' and does what they are supposed to do because they know the value that they bring to the brand.

Mark believes that every  e-Commerce business should have 5 core team members in order to grow a successful brand. These include the main cheerleader who could be the founder, an operations person, a marketing person, a sales person, and a finance person.

How to Translate the Retail Experience to e-Commerce

One of the challenges you may face as you build your  e-Commerce brand is creating a great customer experience similar to what the customer would have otherwise experienced had he walked into a retail store. In physical stores, customers get to walk down the aisle and talk to a person to guide them on what they want to purchase.

Translating that retail experience into your e-Commerce business can be a challenge. Although you may not be able to duplicate the feeling your customer would have had in a physical store, you can duplicate the messaging through your website and by using imagery that will resonate with them.

Another way to create great customer experience is by sending your customer a gift to provide a unique touch that differentiates you from your competitors. If the delivery point is within your area, you may want to hand-deliver some of the products in order to meet, greet, and create connections with them.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium-sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit

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