What Is
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Episode 01:
What Is Gateway to Ecommerce?

Why do some ecommerce businesses succeed, while others struggle?

Often, it comes down to having more information—information on how to get more people visiting your site, how to win (and keep!) more customers, and perhaps most importantly, how to know what works…and what doesn’t.

And the best place to get this information? From the people who’ve been there.
That’s why we’re excited to launch our new podcast, Gateway to Ecommerce.

G2E-Thumbnail-Episode 01-1

Podcast Episode Recap

In our very first episode, we give you a sneak preview of what you can expect from our podcast. But first, let’s introduce you to our roster of experts:



Who are your hosts?

  • Rafael Lourenço

    Rafael Lourenço

    is ClearSale’s Executive Vice President. A 12-year veteran at ClearSale, Rafael dives deep into the data science behind fraud prevention and ecommerce success. Having grown ClearSale from 25 to 700+ employees (including more than 500 highly trained fraud analysts), Rafael is almost terrifyingly good at seeing the small details that make up the big picture. We’re looking forward to Rafael sharing not just the data around ecommerce, but the meaning and what you need to do about it.

  • David Fletcher

    David Fletcher

    is ClearSale’s Senior Vice President. Formerly a consultant (until we pestered him enough to join us), David’s expertise in both sales and marketing—and why the two can’t be separated—brings guru-level wisdom and insight when it comes to why people buy … and how you can channel that knowledge to grow your business.

  • Sarah Elizabeth

    Sarah Elizabeth

    is Senior Senior Director, Growth Strategy (Former Senior Marketing Director) at ClearSale. Sarah’s an expert in planning, marketing, go-to-market strategies, and sales, and she knows exactly how to drive traffic into—and down—the sales funnel.

  • Denise Purtzer

    Denise Purtzer

    is ClearSale's (former) Vice President of Partnerships and Alliances, and lives for connecting the right people to make things happen. Denise has 20 years of experience in ecommerce and knows the ecommerce landscape from every angle, for every size business, in every market.

What is clearsale?

Perhaps this is the first time you’re learning about ClearSale. We’re delighted to meet you! Here’s some background:

For every 100 orders an average store declines, up to 65 of those orders were legitimate.
And 33% of those shoppers who were declined? They won’t come back—ever.

We knew there had to be a better way. So, at Clearsale, we look for reasons to approve your orders. Our mission is to stop fraud without affecting the customer experience. To make that happen, we combine cutting-edge statistical technology with the world’s largest team of specialized fraud analysts for a balanced, comprehensive, real-world approach. We were the first company to offer chargeback guarantees and are the largest company focused on global card-not-present fraud prevention.


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What to Expect from Gateway to Ecommerce

When we think about ecommerce, it’s an endless world with innumerable angles. Here are some of the points our experts brought up:

This is going to be a masterclass: Whether it’s from our own hosts or from the special guests we have on the podcast, the breadth and depth of the experience and expertise in this podcast will cover every possible angle when it comes to ecommerce.

Every ecommerce business has different needs: We work with startup companies and small/medium businesses (SMBs) that are just starting out and thinking about how to get their cart set up and how to work with different ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Magento or BigCommerce. We also work with ecommerce businesses as they grow into enterprise companies operating on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, or a proprietary commerce platform.

Multiple viewpoints = better understanding: All our hosts and guests will be adding their experience and their point of view on topics. These multiple points of view are critical to truly understanding a topic. You’ll get different perspectives from different companies and different points of view from the market.

It’s about more than fraud: We could talk about ecommerce fraud forever. But there’s so much more to e commerce than fraud. The goal of this podcast is to really educate merchants, whether they’re experienced ecommerce merchants or brick and mortar stores that are venturing online but don’t know where to start. We’re going to bring in experts from our partner ecosystem who will share everything they know.

We have SO much in store for you: We have some exciting episodes slated, whether we're talking about different verticals, exploring different locales--we work in 160 countries around the world--or analyzing upcoming trends and delivering insights on the huge shifts taking place in ecommerce today

episode Transcript

Whitney  00:00

You're listening to Gateway to Ecommerce, a podcast by ClearSale. In this series, global ecommerce leaders discuss challenges, best practices, new tech and secrets to success.
Are you enterprise level or a budding solopreneur? Welcome! 

This podcast combines lively interviews, roundtable discussions, and expert insights to help you build a tech savvy and trusted ecommerce business in a digital economy, no matter where you are in your ecommerce journey. And now your hosts: Denise, Sarah, Rafael and David.

Denise  00:34

Hi there. Thanks for joining Gateway to Ecommerce. My name is Denise and welcome to our first episode. We're super excited to have you here today because we're going to be talking about what's going on this first season. We're also going to introduce the voices behind the podcast.
First of all, we have Rafael Lourenco. Rafael has been with us for 12 years and it's so interesting to me because when I started just about a year and a half ago, I learned so much from you right away because you're not only a data scientist, but you're also very much driven on the cultural side to bring us all together. And that's a really important aspect of ClearSale for our success - is the culture.
But Rafael's got a data scientist background and he brings everything to the table. He also started when our company was about 25 people and brought it to more than 700 people. One of the things that I've learned most quickly from Rafael is the fact that fraud is definitely taken from a scientific perspective and can be thought of that way. But it also has a people element. And I think that that's what's amazing about you, Rafael.

Rafael  01:38

Well, thanks for the kind words Denise, and it's been such a journey. I've been 12 years in the company. I've seen the company growing from 22 employees to 2200 employees as we have right now. And indeed, I learned things about fraud and things about corporate culture. Those were some of the highlights to me.
And I think throughout the episodes in this first season, you guys will also be able to feel a little bit about who we are as a company, and how we see the content sharing as an important part of who we are.  And I think it has to do with what Denise just shared about the human element, I think. I mean, we love to share knowledge. We love to have people with us and discuss relevant stuff. And throughout this journey at ClearSale I had the chance and the pleasure to meet David Fletcher, who is our senior VP of sales, and he's one of the hosts for season two. Say hi, David.

David  02:35

Hi, everybody. 

Rafael  02:37

So David has been with us for a long time. And it's interesting because he had the chance of seeing ClearSale, who created this podcast, from different points of view, where he was there as a consultant, and then he joined the team and nowadays is part of the sales team, he is in the market. He's talking to people, he's talking to big brands, to partners, investors, everybody. So I think he brings a very different perspective over what ClearSale is. So I will go ahead and ask him how he sees ClearSale and how he likes to describe who we are.
But before that, I want to just add the fact that David has been an entrepreneur himself. So he aligns himself with ClearSale’s corporate culture and as a dad of five sons, I'm sure he knows well how to handle multiple stuff at the same time. And that's what he's currently doing at ClearSale. So welcome again, David. 

David  03:37

Hey, thank you, Rafael. And you couldn't have said it any better. That is so true. Having five sons, not just five kids, but five sons certainly prepares me for a lot of the things that I have to deal with on a regular basis in running a sales team and as an entrepreneur running a business.
So you know, let me let me talk a little bit about ClearSale because I do have an interesting perspective and It's interesting in that I came up with my perspective on ClearSale so differently than most people would. I was actually a consultant as Rafael had mentioned, I worked for my own business as a consultant to ClearSale and did that for a year and eight months.
And in doing that, obviously, I was on the outside looking in and came up with my own assumptions, came up with my own feelings about certain things. And as that relationship was progressing, and the opportunity to come on as a full time employee presented itself multiple times, you know, it was something that I realized, you know what, there are some things about this company—about ClearSale, that's very appealing.
And that says a lot about ClearSale. And it says a lot about Rafael and the company culture and the things that are in existence at ClearSale today, because as an entrepreneur that I've had my own business since 2000. I had not had an employer since the year 2000, and I hate to date myself like that, but that is the reality of it. You know, to give that up and to actually go work for a company says a lot about that company.
And I now have been with ClearSale a year, it's been as a full-time employee. And I'm thankful for every minute that I get because I love what we're doing. I love the direction we're headed in. I really love the people that I work with. And so, you know, let's talk a little bit about ClearSale and who ClearSale is.
And really, you know, I think what's important when you start thinking about ClearSale, because we talk about how it’s an end-to-end fraud prevention solution.  And people are always like, “Well, what does that mean?”
Well, it means exactly that. It's an outsourced solution, where we take it from the very beginning until the very end, and that very end could be a merchant who has shipped the product successfully and everything is good, or it could be the dreaded chargeback. And we have to deal with that chargeback and we are reimbursing our merchants for their chargeback.
And so, you know, I think what's really important to understand about ClearSale is yes, we have the data scientists, yes, we have great technology, all of that is in place. But really what matters is that we focus so much on approving more orders, as opposed to declining, more orders. That's the thing that most merchants really grab onto when we have our conversations or when we make our presentations. 
And so when you start thinking about ClearSale as a global company, we can help any merchant in the world, we can work anywhere in the world. We know that our algorithms change for different regions of the world. We've had success in doing that, you know, I think that there's so much there that we get to offer to our merchants that it's really, really attractive not only to them, but to me personally.
So having said that, I want to tell you a little bit about what I would call probably my partner in crime. Sarah is our Senior Director of Marketing here at ClearSale. Sarah, say hello for a minute.

Sarah  07:02

Hello, guys. 

David  07:03

So to tell you a little bit about Sarah, Sarah is actually the very first person I met at ClearSale. And she had reached out to me. And I'm not even gonna tell you how that conversation went.
She, I mean, she asked me questions that I had to think twice before I answered, and to this day, she still remembers some of those answers. So thank goodness, I did think twice before I gave her those answers.
But getting into Sarah, you know, Sarah has been with the company since 2012, was originally in Brazil, came to the US when Brazil decided to start the enterprise here in the US, and she was a part of that original group that came to the States to get that started.
And the great thing about Sarah is, she's not just a marketer, and I can say this because I owned a marketing agency.  I hired many, many marketers. Sarah's that marketer that understands sales. And I'd like to put myself in that same category of Sarah where, yes, we can sell. Yes, we can do the marketing. But at the end of the day, it's all about growing the business and taking care of our customers. And that is definitely Sarah's expertise and background.
I love the fact that she spent five years with Procter and Gamble, which is a very well known brand, in a sales type role. And one of the things that she worked really hard to do over the last year or so was to complete her Master's and she was able to get her Master's degree in Business from the Kellogg School of Marketing at Northwestern University. And that is very impressive, Sarah, because I know how hard you worked and how much time you spent working towards that degree.
So Sarah, now that we're getting this podcast going, that we've been talking about for quite some time, now that we actually have it  going, you know, what are some of the things that our listeners can expect to hear from us as we get through this podcast?

Sarah 08:47

First of all, thank you for the kind words David. And I think what is going to be cool here for the audience. And, this also, the reason why we named this podcast Gateway to Ecommerce is that there are many things you can share with the audience, as Rafael was saying.
We are very content-oriented. We like to share knowledge with our prospects, with our clients. We think that it's important for everybody to be on the same page. And when we think about ecommerce, it's like an endless world, you can talk about many different angles. You can talk about logistics to ecommerce. You can talk about marketing to ecommerce. And then it's going to be different for small merchants, it’s going to be very different than a large merchant. And then you have all the basic aspects: you have to run a store platform, fraud protection, and all of this stuff.
So it's exciting to see that we are going to be able to share some of the knowledge that we have with the market. And in some of the areas where we don't necessarily own the knowledge we are going to have guests that are going to invite for this podcast, that it's also exciting too.  I'm excited to see how this is going to unfold and how the audience is going to react to all this content that we have.
Part of the reason that we have all this content and I like to circle back to Denise that you hear in the beginning. It's because we have a team that is working on engaging with the market. So Denise is the one that owns a partnership team. She is a connector by nature. You ask Denise to talk to someone and she’s really natural, she likes to connect with people that might benefit from each other.
So she's the one bringing lots of this knowledge to the company as she hears from the market, together with David that hears from the clients. And not only that, but Denise has 20 years of experience in ecommerce with payments and ecommerce in general. So all around the globe.
I think that this completes a team that is going to host this podcast and you can see there is a very diverse team and we have lots of experience to share. And I think you guys are going to be excited.
As the episodes go, we are not going to be talking about fraud only. This podcast is directed to anyone that is involved with ecommerce and different types of merchants. Depending on the episode, of course, we might focus a little bit more on SMBs or a little bit more on enterprise. But I think it's going to be an exciting project.

Denise  11:15

I think that's so true. Sarah. When, when I first started thinking about this podcast and thinking about all the different things that we could do, my mind just started racing. And even going back to when we started thinking about the names for this.
And some of you might be surprised that we didn't have fraud in the name of the podcast. And that was definitely by design. Because if you think about it, fraud touches just about every aspect of the ecommerce process.
And so Gateway to Ecommerce podcast made it seem a lot more inclusive about all the different aspects of ecommerce, which is precisely what we're going to delve into whether it's with this team for the season, or even expanding out to other experts, which I'm super excited about bringing in some of our partners for season two, so looking ahead to that.
But I feel like I've got the best job in the world and the fact that all I do is put people together and magical things happen. And that, to me, is so exciting.
And one of the aspects is the fact that we work with, you know, startup companies, small medium businesses, or SMBs, that are just starting out and thinking about how to get their cart set up and how to work with different ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Magento or BigCommerce. Or you know, as they grow into enterprise companies, we work with them as well. And they have different problems and different things that they need to tackle whether it's on Salesforce commerce, cloud, Oracle commerce cloud or they've got a proprietary system that they're working on.
And what I love about working with ClearSale, the fact that we work with small, medium business to enterprise and everything in between, and so we're constantly challenged with questions and different things to tackle on a day to day basis, which makes it different and exciting for us every single day. And these are all things that we can share with you. So that's something that I'm super excited about.
So thinking back to that, David, when we started to name the podcast, what were some of the things that went through your mind as far as things we could talk about? And what are you most excited about?

David  13:14

Well, when it comes to naming the podcast, there were a whole bunch that we were kicking around. And of course, being the jokester and prankster that I am sometimes, some of those I probably can't share on this podcast at this moment. But we came up with some really funny ideas.
And I think it was really cool where we landed, you know, because when you think about the fact that we landed on a Gateway to Ecommerce … that nails it. Like that is exactly what we want to share with the audience. Because yes, we could get on here and we could talk about fraud, and we could talk about fraud forever. But there's so much more to ecommerce than fraud.
And I think this gives us an opportunity for this podcast to really educate merchants, whether they're experienced merchants or maybe brick and mortar stores that are thinking like “Holy cow, the world is changing. I've got to go online, where do I go and learn, right?”
And I will tell you as someone that has really only been in our industry for three years, right since the day I met Sarah was really when my fraud and my ecommerce experience really started to kick off. I spent a lot of time reading, I spent a lot of time researching, and there are a few podcasts that I listened to.
And this is exactly what I thought about when we started kicking around the idea of a podcast is, “What a great place for people to come and learn and be able to better understand what it will take to become a merchant.”
And knowing that we're going to share information from some of the partners that people, that you have brought into our partner ecosystem and some of those other details. That's only going to help our audience and I think from that perspective, there's a lot more to this podcast than just talking about fraud. We'll talk about so much more than fraud.

Denise  15:04

And Sarah, I think you built an amazing base with all the different resources that we have on our site, there's a resources section on ClearSale. That just blew my mind when I started working here, because the other thing that I found is if we don't have an article about it, you and the team will create it.
So I feel like the podcast is just really a natural extension of that. And it gives us a little bit more creative flow and ability to put our personalities into it as well.
So given that, how do you see the podcast fitting in with your big vision?

Sarah  15:38

You're right, when you say there is an extension, I think there are some topics that are better, we can explain better if we're talking and also if you're interacting with other people. It’s hard to say, write an article and get the perspective of three different persons. So I think the podcast helps with that.
And also I think that it helps for the audience. Not always are you willing to read something, you're not always able to read something. Sometimes we were driving, or we used to drive before Coronavirus. Sometimes you are in your house and your eyes are tired, but you want to listen to something about an industry that is not heavy, that it's easy, easy flow, that you can also learn from the people that work with the company that you're interacting with.
So if you're already talking to ClearSale, and you want to learn a little bit more about who we are —behind every company, there are people right? So companies are not only an entity, but it's a group of people. So I think I think the podcast helps to bring this diverse perspective and also personality.

Denise  16:40

And Rafael, I know that you're often a guest on podcasts and now we are having our own podcast so what goes through your mind and what types of things you have to consider when it's the ClearSale podcast?

Rafael  16:54

Yeah, funny that you asked that, Denise because the audience didn’t know this, but we are recording episode one after recording all of the other episodes. It's been a long journey already.
And the first recordings, I was so used to being the guest that I was okay, like, just throw me questions. While as the host, obviously we have to make questions as well and we have to interfere and tease whoever is talking to us into an exchange of knowledge.
So it's funny that you asked. I feel that the podcast can and will be the representation of the way we see the knowledge flow, right? So we see that people in different positions at the company can add their experience and their point of view on the same topics. So multiple points of view also are important to understand the topic, other than just talking to the specialist. So that's one of the things.
And the other thing that I am excited about is bringing in different perspectives from different companies and different points of view from the market, so that's season two down the road. But that's also something that is, that is interesting to me. And I'm sure you will be thrilled by it, Denise. As Sarah said, you are the connector between people that are interested in the same topic.

Denise  18:16

I'm looking forward to that. And I know coming up, we've got some really exciting episodes slated, whether we're talking about different verticals in the industry, whether we're talking about different locales. ClearSale works in 160 countries around the world. So it's really fun to slice and dice and look at different information behind those different countries. And also just some different trends that are going on coming up.
You know, we've got a huge shift and a huge change in ecommerce right now. And we're going to capture some of those thoughts coming forward as well.
So I think this is a really amazing team. I'm excited to be a part of it. And I think we all bring different aspects to the table.
So with that, we're going to kick off our season. We would love to have you subscribe to our podcasts and write a review. You can also follow us on @ClearSaleUS. And if you know of anybody interesting that you would love to nominate and have on our podcast, please let us know. You can always write to us.
With that we're going to go ahead and kick off our first season. We're proud to provide a showcase of collective voices in the ecommerce world to provide you with the best tips, strategies and trends to use in your business. Join us for the next episode where Rafael and I will be talking about electronics. And until then, we’ll talk to you later. Thanks for joining us. 

Whitney 19:34

For more ecommerce insights, visit us on our website at clear.sale!