Jason Nadaf has proven himself to be a leader in the e-commerce industry after working for ten years building enterprise software and spending 25 years in retail. Through his experiences, he believes that modern internet technologies could be used to solve a variety of problems, from business to leisure.
By founding SureDone, Jason Nadaf has built a major player in the e-commerce industry. Jason has built SureDone “to be the most powerful ecommerce solution and web publisher on earth,” hosted and running on Rackspace Cloud and AWS, using their DNS and Server APIs for scaling and management.
The crazy thing is that Jason Nadaf built SureDone entirely from scratch. From design to deployment, Jason did it all. He has made the platform and API out of nothing, and made it ready for scale immediately.
Right now, Jason Nadaf devotes his attention to implementing machine learning for their next product launch intended for the ecommerce industry. As an ecommerce platform, SureDone has helped brands and retailers do business with clients using APIs to do online transactions, as well as manage orders and products.
Jason Nadaf has also integrated SureDone with major channels and platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Google Express, Shopify, and Big Commerce. SureDone also uses its own cutting-edge storefront.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Jason Nadaf: Hey there! My mother owns a small jewelry that has been in business for over 40 years and about ten years ago I researched all the eCommerce platforms available to help her find one to use — and they were all very poor or inaccessible. I then met an eBay seller who needed a website and decided to build what I envisioned as a better way to grow an eCommerce business.
Jerome Knyszewski: What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Jason Nadaf: I had built a prototype eCommerce platform that created SEO optimized storefronts and eBay listings. Once launched, it scaled the first customer’s sales from hundreds of thousands per year to over a million within the first few months. That showed me that the opportunity had legs.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Jason Nadaf: After pulling myself out of homelessness by building the prototype for SureDone, I traveled across the country from Las Vegas to NYC with everything I owned packed in a SUV. All I had to my name was $5K and the beta software I had built. I was hustling — doing consulting gigs and closing sales for website clients built on SureDone to prove the platform while also working on a “business plan.” I was motivated by lack of doubt. Giving up was not an option.
Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Jason Nadaf: We are profitable and recently relaunched as a free eCommerce platform for the next generation of online entrepreneurs and growing sellers. We have partnerships with the largest tech platforms on earth and we are poised to scale by helping eCommerce businesses.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Jason Nadaf: Starting out, I thought a business had to have already grown to a substantial size before securing enterprise partnerships. I waited until we were a proven success before seeking them out, including a tech partnership with Alibaba to white label our software. After doing some research, I learned one of our competitors had white labeled their software to a large bank when they had just started — before they were a proven success. The takeaway is that it is never too early to secure partnerships with large enterprises. Oftentimes enterprises are looking for a problem to be solved without red tape.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running an eCommerce brand tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Jason Nadaf: Owning the supply chain. Once you have a product or line that sells in high volume it becomes an instant battle to ensure you can provide that product in consistent fashion to maintain a flywheel of sales growth. For example, we know of a seller recently that went #1 in a high volume category and sales started to explode. If they ran out of product, they would lose their ranking. This means they had to ensure their supply chain all the way down to manufacturing was operating perfectly so that they could predict how many units they could hold at warehouses. They focused on ensuring they had containers of product shipped to intermediary warehouses so they could quickly replenish Amazon FBA and Walmart’s competitive warehousing without any listing downtime. This seller is on their way to breaking records on marketplaces.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a few examples of tools or software that you think can dramatically empower emerging eCommerce brands to be more effective and more successful?
Jason Nadaf: Software that can help a seller automate processes and unify data sources is very valuable. For example, with SureDone you can manage all of your products, inventory and orders across all sales channels in one place. For eCommerce businesses that are relying on some unique data source (IE FTP, API, Email, etc) for some aspect of the supply chain, it can be stitched into SureDone to ensure no manual overhead from source to sale.
Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies an eCommerce business should use to increase conversion rates?
Jason Nadaf: Offer high quality product pages focused on high quality assets with optimized loading time and very clear call to actions. Also ensure the shopping cart is mobile optimized with very clear navigation to shipping and returns information.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that an eCommerce business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
Jason Nadaf: Start with exceptional fulfillment metrics and ensuring quality support for product sold and ship tracking information.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jason Nadaf: I’m on Twitter and Instagram @jasonspalace
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!