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The History of eCommerce with Rob Snell of GunDogSupply.com - EP 004

April 09, 2024
3 Min Read

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Meeting Rob Snell of Gun Dog Supply

In this episode of the eCommerce Masters Podcast, host Ethan Giffin sits down with a pioneering figure in the world of eCommerce, Rob Snell, co-owner of Gun Dog Supply. With nearly three decades of experience, Rob, alongside his brother Steve, has transformed a passion for outdoor sporting into a thriving online business. Their journey has built a community that leverages the power of the internet to connect with like-minded individuals worldwide.

Rob shares insightful strategies that have contributed to the success of Gun Dog Supply, emphasizing the importance of customer service, product knowledge, and creating value beyond transactions. His pivotal moment came from the transition to online sales in 1998, marking a significant turning point for the business. The discussion also dives into Rob's contribution to the eCommerce industry through his book, "Starting a Yahoo Store for Dummies," which has equipped a generation of entrepreneurs with the tools to succeed online.

The conversation between Ethan and Rob is filled with personal anecdotes that highlight the evolution of eCommerce and the lessons learned along the way. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the dynamics of building an online business, the challenges and triumphs encountered, and the evergreen advice from a seasoned expert.

Quotes From The Show

"My parents started, it was a micro-business side hustle, is what we call it today. I mean, it wasn't really anything. And then the writing was on the wall with his job, and he's like, man, I gotta go full time." 
- Rob Snell, 06:47

"I built her a website. And so I went and got like NetObjects Fusion and I took all the photos of dogs and stuff that we had and made like a little five-page brochureware site." 
- Rob Snell, 11:41

"It's not my dream working at Gundog Supply. 21-year-old Rob Snell is crying right now. You're going back in time and you're telling him, it's like, hey, not only are you gonna be working at Gundog Supply, you're gonna be running it." 
- Rob Snell, 21:34

"You need to maximize the opportunities that come to you. As a shrew living in the time of the dinosaurs, you don't get a ton of opportunities. And when you do, you need to be all in." 
- Rob Snell, 31:34

"We're at that, at some point, if it shrinks much more, it's not viable, it doesn't have enough resources to support it. We'll have to move, and I'll have to figure out a way to do Steve's picks on BigCommerce or Shopify." 
- Rob Snell, 40:22

"Every single client I went to would have one or two things that they did way better than us, and I would just kind of cherry-pick all those little bitty things and kind of stick it onto my stack of stuff that we do."
- Rob Snell, 56:39


00:00 - Chapter 1: Origins of Gun Dog Supply
3:32 - Chapter 2: Authentic Content Creation
05:32 - Chapter 3: The Dynamics of a Family Business
11:07 - Chapter 4: Stepping Into the Online World
33:38 - Chapter 5: Evolution of eCommerce Strategy
51:40 - Chapter 6: Growth and Physical Expansion
57:09 - Chapter 7: Looking Toward the Future


eBook: Klaviyo vs Mailchimp: Best Email Marketing Platform for eCommerce - https://www.groovecommerce.com/klaviyo-vs-mailchimp/
Yahoo Store (Now known as Aabaco Small Business from Yahoo!) - https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com
Turbify - https://www.turbify.com/
NetObjects Fusion - http://netobjects.com
MailChimp - https://mailchimp.com
Klaviyo - https://www.klaviyo.com
Shopify - https://www.shopify.com
BigCommerce - https://www.bigcommerce.com
StoneEdge - http://www.stoneedge.com
SpyFu - https://www.spyfu.com
PubCon - https://www.pubcon.com

About our Guest, Rob Snell

Rob Snell is a pioneering entrepreneur and author with a deep-rooted passion for eCommerce and digital marketing. As the co-founder of Gun Dog Supply, a leading online retailer for hunting dog supplies, Rob has transformed a family-run business into an eCommerce success story. 

With nearly three decades of experience, he has honed his expertise in online retail, leveraging platforms like Yahoo Stores to drive growth and innovation. Rob's contributions to the industry are encapsulated in his influential book, "Starting a Yahoo Store for Dummies," which has guided countless entrepreneurs through the intricacies of online selling. His insights and experiences continue to inspire and educate those looking to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of online retail.

About Our Host, Ethan Giffin

Ethan Giffin is the founder and CEO of Baltimore-based Groove Commerce, a premier eCommerce agency that helps mid-market brands design, build and grow their eCommerce sites.

Ethan is an industry expert in eCommerce, e-marketing, and the dynamic technologies behind them. For years, Ethan has lived and breathed conversion rates, search engine visibility, and web analytics.

When Ethan isn’t obsessing over SEO, conversion rates and eCommerce architecture at Groove Commerce, he can be found speaking as an industry authority, both nationally and internationally. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, traveling, DJing, and the pursuit of rare pocket squares.

Connect With Ethan on LinkedIn

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