Expand Globally on Amazon with Al Lopez of e-Comas

Episode Summary

In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA – Al Lopez - Director of Business Development - E-Comas - talks about How to Expand Globally on Amazon, and shares his personal journey into eCommerce. 

About Al Lopez of e-Comas - Grow Your Brand globally on Amazon, faster! e-Comas has a mission: to make selling on Amazon simple. e-Comas (formerly The Great Wall) was founded in 2013 by eCommerce expert Jérôme de Guigné, with the simple idea of helping brands sell products online. We quickly realized just how many companies were struggling with Amazon, facing issues including communication, strategizing, and business in general. That’s when “Amazon Made Simple” was born, which later became “eCommerce Made Simple” - e-Comas.

Find out more about GETIDA and maximize your Amazon Seller Refunds.

 

Find the Full Transcript Below

Yoni Mazor 0:06  

Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of Primetalk. Today I'm excited to have a special guest. Today I'm having Al Lopez. Al is the Director of Business Development at e-Comas. E-Comas is a global e-commerce marketplace agency based out of Luxembourg Europe, which is I assume a beautiful, gorgeous, wealthy place. So Al Welcome to the show. 

 

Yoni Mazor 00:28

Thanks, YoniI see. Nice to be here with you. It is it is wealthy. I seem to get more of that. Well, you know what I mean?

 

Yoni Mazor 0:37  

Yeah, China Rob from the dust of the wealthy. But I think Amazon might even listen to Luxembourg in Europe because it's almost like the tax haven. 

 

Yoni Mazor  0:50  

It's almost like the state of Delaware here in the states where you know, a lot of corporations base their just to get that tax benefits. But I guess that's a different story for a different time. Today's episode is really going to be the episode of Al Lopez, you know, the story of Al Lopez, you're going to share with us, where are you? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I do I enter the professional world station, but station until we get to where we are now. So without further ado, let's jump right into it.

 

Al Lopez 1:18

Great. I just told you you don't fall asleep on me. And I'm happy to go into as many details as you need.

 

Yoni Mazor 

I'm excited. We just met just for you know, full disclosure. The first time we kind of met. And this is for me a pleasure cruise when I get to meet new people, learn about them learn new things. And it's really it's my pleasure to have you. 

 

Al Lopez 1:39

Thank you, Yoni. Likewise, I actually love the platform, though. I've watched a couple of your episodes and honestly, you've done a really good job. I think it's really, really special what you're doing with the platform GETIDA and the software itself is great, as well giving more insights into really key figures in the industry. It's really cool. 

 

Yoni Mazor 1:55

Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Let's get started Al. Go ahead and take us in.

 

Al Lopez  1:59  

Yeah, so my full name is Eduardo. It feels we can speak Spanish. You only I think you can speak some Spanish, right? Yes, I do. Yes. Okay.

 

Yoni Mazor 2:08  

Let’s twist the Spanish just for a second.

 

Yoni Mazor 2:35  

So I take us in English now. Sorry about that. 

 

Al Lopez 2:39

Yeah. So I was born in Lima, Peru. I’m a child of immigrants. I actually grew up almost my entire life. childhood I should say. In Washington DC. So just outside of DC, all that. 

 

Yoni Mazor 2:55

So you're born in Lima. Mira, Florida is a very nice neighborhood and the capital of Peru, which I was mentioning Tennis Fans that I have visited and been there and had a great time. But what age were you when you left Peru? And what was the circumstances for you guys leaving? 

 

Al Lopez 3:32

Yeah, so I was six years old. I was born in 92. So I’m not 30 years. So we run my late 20s. I still have some life fe to enjoy. Just kidding. It's a joke for everyone. But 30.

 

Yoni Mazor 3:20  

Yeah. I’m 36 and I'm having a blast. 

 

Al Lopez 

You look young. That’s the important thing? Yeah, that's important. Now, I don't know if you know much about the geopolitics of early the 80s in Peru. But you know the far left insurgency in blue, that it really took a toll on a lot of is, especially the economy Peru. And so there's a lot of repercussions for individuals working for, let's say Western companies, and my dad was one of those. 

 

Yoni Mazor 3:47

So which company did he work for there was there for something?

 

Al Lopez 3:49

My dad worked for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or otherwise known Mormons? Wow. So, yeah, a lot of dramatic novellas that occurred in the 80s and early 90s. But I was pretty clear for him that he’s one of six kids, and for a better life for him. He wanted to apply for resigning to get to the US. I'm really grateful for the sacrifices he made. So typical, obviously a while to processes his visa. And so we got to DC around 98. 

 

Yoni Mazor 4:18

So you’re born in 1992 and in 1998 that's where you guys emigrated and then transferred to Washington, DC area. 

 

Al Lopez 4:23

Yeah, exactly the extra so just as a New Jersey we flew into, I remember it's totally crazy because one of my first memories is actually seeing the New York skyline to we're flying into JFK International. It's kind of dramatic.

 

Yoni Mazor  4:36  

Right, because that's kind of the new modern way of, you know, the American dream. It used to be in the old old days through the boat through statue liberty, to kind of see that from far away. But between all the breathtaking skyline of New York, it can be overwhelming for somebody coming from almost any country unless you're really from Hong Kong or something in a city that has a breathtaking skyline. 

 

Al Lopez 4:56

Yeah. And even then New York is like such the epicenter of the US, you know what I mean?

 

Yoni Mazor 5:00  

So I still strongly believe it's not only kind of the capital of US business, but also the capital of the world economy and the world business and, you know, Wall Street financial markets, the UN United Nations, a lot of things going on.

 

Al Lopez  5:13  

I totally agree. And yeah, and it was great. I mean, we've been 90x, my dad coming here before and more or less to prepare for the family sign, easy to immigrate with six kids. So he had come in 97. So after a year of not seeing my dad, we finally met in New York, and then took a little road trip down to DC. And so I grew up just outside of the urban area of DC. It's a city called Silver Spring, and I don't know if you're familiar with it.

 

Yoni Mazor  5:39  

It’s in Maryland. No. Yep, exactly. Yeah. Had Alex Sklar. He was born there. He's from payability. I interviewed him yesterday. But when he was two years old, everybody shifted back to New York.

 

Al Lopez  5:51  

So yeah, it's a serious thing is it? And I really enjoyed my childhood. It's very, it's a very diverse area and a lot of people in a very small geographical location. Yes, I grew up we moved when I was in middle school to Rockville, just north of silver spring. And that's really why I went through high school. And then when I was in my college years, I studied at Utah, and Utah State University just on the border in Idaho. 

 

Yoni Mazor 6:19

Hold on. So let me ask about Utah because I believe I believe that might be a Mormon connection there. Because you guys seem to be Yeah, Mormons. Right. And yeah, that history of your illustrious father working, you know, on the church, a Mormon church in Peru, and you want to tell was that one commented on the fact that was, you know, it's kind of a Mormon community there.

 

Al Lopez 6:39

Yeah, precisely. I had some siblings that were studying at BYU. And so everybody had some family out there. So I went to Utah State, which is the border of Idaho, just up north. It's really cold. If anyone likes skiing, you should go there. I was waiting to get up close, which you know, which is like, it never gets colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Right. Logan? It's like the average is like negative 10 degrees. But it's a really good school. My siblings were at BYU though. 

 

Yoni Mazor 7:11

Which one do you What's that? What's an acronym for that? 

 

Al Lopez 7:16

Brigham Young University

 

Yoni Mazor 7:19

Brigham Young, is a famous Mormon figure, right? 

 

Al Lopez 7:21

Yeah, it's a private Mormon school. It's pretty renowned. It's like where the Mitt Romney’s went, the Huntsman’s, so prominent Mormons go there. So they were there that's I had a connection out there. So I'm no longer practicing Mormon, but I grew up Mormon love the community. I moved out there is a really good time. And as you know, Salt Lake is more or less like the mini Silicon Valley. They call it silicon slopes. Economy out there a lot of unicorn companies out there. I think it's the second-fastest-growing economy after Houston in the US and so shout out to Salt Lake and it's a really cool city. 

 

Yoni Mazor 7:57

I’ve heard great things never got a chance yet I'm really looking forward to hopefully after the pandemic, I never skied also, so I gotta check two things at the city but also the skiing.

 

Al Lopez  8:09  

Yeah, skiing isn’t my thing. I wish. I always tease people like there's two things to do in Utah and it's like be Mormon or ski and I suck at both

 

Yoni Mazor 8:17

Do you surf at all because I know, Lima does have a surfing scene over there there's a beach town, especially in the summer.

 

Al Lopez 8:22

I think Surfing is really fun I suck at it, unfortunately. But yeah I I do a little bit of like just as a for fun nothing good for the soul Yeah, I think the longest weight break the road isn't like close to Peru.

 

Yoni Mazor

Yeah, there's a whole scene of of surfing improved a whole culture there as far as I know and seen a few shows. So take us to the year where I guess you are two things. What do you major in college and when do you graduate in which year?

 

Al Lopez 8:54

So I studied in college to actually work in the State Department's I studied international foreign diplomacy is the best way to describe it really. So part of that program before I finished school, I served a Mormon mission. And so that's really where I grew up passion for international relations. 

 

Yoni Mazor 9:12

And so what's the Mormon mission talks about that a little bit just to you know, to broaden our horizons what is that?

 

Al Lopez 9:16

Yeah, so a Mormon mission is really like a let's say like a two-year path of I don't want to say acceptance but it's really like the commonly, like the main service mission all Mormons should do if they want to advance like the nurtured position

 

Yoni Mazor 9:35

But acceptance who is supposed to accept what when you say acceptance?

 

Al Lopez 9:38  

Yeah, like within the body of the membership like every person who is a Mormon looks at a mission like the two-year ban, because it's two years right where you're giving up your entire life. There's no communication to your family, you find your own way. 

 

Yoni Mazor 9:54

Okay, take us back. This is different than I thought I thought we just get here's a mission soldier two years ago. Go assassinate somebody or go build something or whatever the mission is, like soldiers in the army. But this is a whole different thing. So Mormons, have a track where it's a two-year track or when they call it a mission. Right? And you're not, you can't communicate with your family. What is that about? 

 

Al Lopez 10:18

Exactly. In fact, I think today, the guidelines have changed. I served my mission almost 10 years ago. But back then you can only talk to your family twice a year, Mother’s Day and Christmas. So basically, the LDS church or the Mormon Church, they assign if you decide to go on a mission you apply, and then they assign you a location precisely write a country or city that you're going to serve in for two years. And those two years are dedicated to what they call preaching the gospel. So basically just trying to evangelize individuals to convert to Mormonism. And so I did mine in Denver, Colorado, my brother did his in Chicago and a sister did hers in Spokane.

 

Yoni Mazor 10:59

What's the years you did yours in Denver, the three years you did there, or actually yours? 

 

Al Lopez 11:04

2011, and 2013. And so I served the Spanish-speaking mission, which is like, the Mormons are famous for like those. Usually, it's two white guys in suits and you have the name tag. That's a service mission I'm referring to so famous because they, so a missionary will get assigned a location and the language for two years. And so they're all over the world, a certain mind Spanish speaking in Denver. So a lot of my projects were…

 

Yoni Mazor 11:34

So essentially you’re serving the Latino community in Denver, Colorado. So how did it go?

 

Al Lopez 11:41

It was really fun. I had a really good time. It taught me a lot about brain in principle, a person being disciplined. I really think that like, between the gap of like, high school and finishing your college degree, you really should have at least a year of dedication to something bigger than yourself. Right? 

 

Yoni Mazor 11:58

I totally agree with that. Yeah, something that is really not focused essential, as on you, it’s, centralized on a mission, a purpose that is larger, wider, impactful, and deeper and. I find that a little bit a little bit similar to what, you know, from my background in Israel, when you turn 18. Instead of going to college, everybody goes to the idea. Yeah, the idea of Israeli Defense Forces, or whether it be men or women in a woman who has served two years and, and the men do they serve three years and serve service serving, bigger, higher purpose, and it builds a lot of character, obviously, we have, the region also has its geopolitics, I guess, just like they had back in the day, and there are real wars and combat involved, but I strongly support that ability, you know, builds character to people in a way where they become less selfish, more, you know, humble, and they know, they do not really have a mission, you know, accomplish missions or projects. I think there are larger, longer more complex, they require collaboration. So you had your own taste a sample of that kind of configuration. 

 

Al Lopez 13:07

Yeah, I really agree. When I was in Tel Aviv, as I a couple of years ago, it was an amazing trip and going through Jerusalem and into Palestine as well. And I agree, and just having a time period, because if I'm not mistaken, I'm not a medical expert. But I don't think you're your brain full of develops until you're 25 years old, or something like that. 26, I think for males, and like 24 for females. And so I think you really need to have a time period where you really learn how to do things for others, and really have a perspective as to just basically not be selfish, let's say. So obviously, I'm no longer practicing Mormon, but it was really a really good experience. Because as a Mormon missionary, we're spending two years where every single day, I'm not kidding, there's no holiday, there's no vacation every single day, you're waking up with the mindset of how am I going to serve others? Yeah, it was a really good experience in it. And some of my closest friends today come from that experience. 

 

Yoni Mazor  14:08  

So you did that between 2011 and 2013? Colorado, the Latino community.

 

Al Lopez 14:14

I came back and immediately after, in the midst, I think it was my third year, my undergrad. I took, I did an internship in Spain.

 

Yoni Mazor 14:23  

Wow, what's it called the city? 

 

Al Lopez 14: 14:26

So the city is Rioja. So I think it's it's an element related to red, but not really. 

 

Yoni Mazor 14:37

How do you spell that? 

 

Al Lopez14:43  

So it's basically the Napa Valley of Spain. 

 

Yoni Mazor 14:48

Nice. And what was the context? I was aware I was a part of your school, studying learning. 

 

Al Lopez 14:52

Exactly. Yeah. Because that goes Sam's studying foreign diplomacy and so yes, New Year, abroad, and so I did mine in Spain. It was a really, really good time. I looked with the Spanish family out there. And that's where I met my now wife, Swiss German.

 

Yoni Mazor  15:09  

What was she doing there? 

 

Al Lopez 15:14  

She was studying Spanish and finalizing Sorry, excuse me, her master's degree in Spain. So we met there were friends for a long time, you would never expect a like Latino in America to hook up with like a, you know, a German, like very organized, very pragmatic woman. Very structured. Yeah, yeah, I feel very lucky. But it's very met. And so that's more or less my routine grew up where I'm at today, with Annabel's her name, I went back to Utah to finish my undergrad. And again, shout out to Logan, Utah, but I should say, because it was a really good experience at Utah State. And when I finished my degree, I took the decision to go out to Germany, because my wife and now at that time wasn't my wife, but she accepted a job in Switzerland. 

 

Yoni Mazor 16:02

So hold on, when you're in Spain, essentially love came knocking at your door and swept you into the world of Europe. Right. So you finished a degree in the States. And then you were compelled to go to Europe and, you know, develop, you know, the relationship with your now wife. Isabella said, Yeah. And okay, so why did you move to a study to move to Germany? 

 

Al Lopez16:26

In 2016. So it's been almost five years and moved out here.

 

Yoni Mazor 16:32

Guys. So hold on what were the school years you did, how long were you in school?

 

Al Lopez  16:35  

I started in 2010. Right, and then a two-year pass. And it finished in 2016. So right after my undergrad.

 

Yoni Mazor 16:42

Wow, so this is about six years of you know, coming because you do this with the structure of the Mormon faith. So you saw the track, instead of having three, four years of college, it's more like six years, because in between you do the mission. And then we were also in this international, you know, diplomacy route. So you did another year in Spain, and then another actual three years where you got to actually, you know, learn all these subjects and get your degree and all the credits and get your degree. So Wow, that's pretty, pretty intensive six years 2010, 2016. Alright so 2016 you pack up your belongings, you move to Germany?

 

Al Lopez 17:19  

Yeah, so we are exactly what we did today in Sydney. Lorrach

 

Yoni Mazor 17:25

And how do you spell that?

 

AL Lopez  17:26  

Loorrach.

 

Al Lopez  17:33  

It's a small city, about 10 minutes outside of Basel, Switzerland. And so basil is just on the border of France and Germany and Switzerland and about an hour west of Zurich. Zurich, I should say. 

 

Yoni Mazor 17:52

Got it, so this is the Basel Zurich area of Switzerland. So you guys, like a satellite nevertheless, on the German side of things?

 

Al Lopez 18:00

Exactly. Yeah. And so I work this thing because we'll get to e-commerce eventually. But e-commerce is in Luxembourg. And I work especially with zoom. Now, you know, we can work from anywhere but just a couple of hours drive away from work. But it is a really nice city. If you guys ever get a chance to have to come out you can swim on the Rhine River. There's loads of activities to do. It's called Basil's more or less like the art capital of sorts. And there's a lot of really fun museums, a lot of really big companies out here Novartis Roche, with their headquarters here so it's a really fun city because there's a lot of expats a lot of different languages. It's a nice…

 

Yoni Mazor 18:39

Cosmopolitical politics, it's I love Switzerland. I love the fresh air, the landscape you know, it's

full disclosure, I mentioned to this earlier my sister-in-law, she lives in Geneva. I was really really impressed by him when I went to visit Switzerland, and I think it's a great place to do business to live in just good vibes alone. 

 

Al Lopez 19:00

Yeah, yeah. We have a lot of family members out in Switzerland from Annabel but we're in the German side. 

 

Yoni Mazor 19:07

But technically Annabel is a, she's a German or she's a Swiss?

 

Al Lopez 19:12

Yep, so a German with Swiss roots I guess is the best way to put it because here if you ever if anyone wants to get carried away in some Wikipedia reading you just look up the people and that's what’s basically the capital of the people...

 

Yoni Mazor 19:28

So it means Germany right the German people?

 

Al Lopez 19:31

When you speak Spanish so like Germany in Spanish is Edmonia right? And in France is Almond...

 

Yoni Mazor 19:38  

But in Hebrew it's actually we say, for example, also interacting in Russian they say that so that's also a lot of people said German or Germany. What’s that about?

Al Lopez 19:46

So yeah, Germany like that about your friends like Germany used to be a lot of different kingdoms and different empires. And at one point that unified including you know, the other region.

 

Yoni Mazor 19:57

This happened more, do you know during or after the Prussian empire right? That’s when they had clans and wars and kingdoms or whatever and then kind of after the Prussian Empire, they kind of configured himself as a German and then we have other darker moments, but that's beside the point.

 

Al Lopez 20:15

Yeah, of course. Yeah. But I think 1871 is when Germany decided to unify actually brought in. So I live in Baton Gutenberg, right? And the region even though we're right next to Basel, that's where a lot of the influence of this city is out of. It's kind of special because a lot of the influences from Switzerland even though we're in Germany, right that capital my state is actually in Stuttgart. Uh, yeah, Mercedes Porsche. I'm not sure if Mercedes but I know Porsche for a fact probably Mercedes, too. Different companies like Philips and whatnot. So the barrier, like the economic hub is in Germany.

 

Yoni Mazor 20:58

Right, hear also good things about Germany from my parents. I haven't visited there but they said also very impressive. Okay, so now lets you know, you land in Germany, and what do you do? I mean, okay, love brought you there. But professionally, what do you do? What what are your about?

 

AL Lopez 21:09

College. Yeah, one of my good friends while I was in school, I was working and one of my good friends from that network. He was launching a business, an Amazon agency out of there. And they wanted, they saw a huge opportunity in providing services right to European consumers. Because Amazon USA is a really strong e-commerce platform. A lot of consumers are familiar with it. Where Europe at that time. There was still a lot of room to grow. And so they basically knew me and their network and they asked if I was interested in weeding out their European development side. And so since I was moving out there anyway accepted. And that's really where I started my work experience really started there and helping businesses.

 

Yoni Mazor 21:54

So you're telling me that e-commerce the e-commerce community came knocking on your door at you know, in Switzerland slash Germany out of all places coming actually from the Utah area? I know that there's a really strong presence of large established Amazon sellers. Didn't happen there but it happened more on the European side. 

 

Al Lopez 21:12

Yeah, a company today is known as Buy Box experts. I don't know if you've interviewed anyone from them yet?

 

Yoni Mazor  22:23  

Not yet, but we’re, we’re James Thomspon is a legend in the field. Oh, so you worked for Buy Box Experts? That's what happened. 

 

Al Lopez 22:25

So they got bought out by Buy Box Experts. At the time, it was No Zani. Oh, you worked for them as well. That is a Yeah, he's a good good friend. Shout out he's a really good guy.

 

Yoni Mazor 22:38

Okay, so hold on, hold on. Let me get this right. So you, you land and in Germany. And then you connect with your friend. And who's your friend, which is an American agency, but they want to develop the, I guess, the European marketplace on the Amazon site. They were friends from school, from the region?

 

Al Lopez 22:58

Exactly, you know, from school and the network that I had in Utah. So as you know, like the Mormon community, a lot of people know each other. It's very, very tight-knit. 

 

Yoni Mazor 23:06

Yeah. And in a good way. Okay, wow. Okay, that puts things into perspective. So you are a very successful, you know, Amazon e-commerce agency that eventually got bought out by Buy Box Experts, which is probably one of the largest, if not the largest Amazon agent. Yeah, I think America for sure. They're the big there. They play, they play on the highest level of performance. So they do great things. So okay, you start working with them. 2016. Well, what did you do for them? And how would you say they're in that position? 

 

Al Lopez 23:36

The European development like I think I brought I ended up bringing 20 customers from 21 different countries here in Europe and Israel like I have a very close connection with a lot of people in Israel. 

 

Yoni Mazor 23:49

You brought, you work for companies in Israel, any one of them worth mentioning that you can drop a name?

 

Al Lopez  23:59  

I do alot of projects and collaborations. Mark Silverstein, who was the founder of Green Contino. Very close partner. I really enjoyed working with him. l’ve done some collaboration with other projects from Israel directly, such as Noah Gold. She's very talented in what she does. Yeah, a lot of different businesses out of Israel have worked with in the past. Like, who am I allowed to say without this... gotcha, gotcha? Yeah, no worries. I don't want to take you there. No worries. your comfort zone. Yeah. But no. So that was really fun, because, at that stage, it was very much in the startup phase.

 

Al Lopez  24:34  

But it really allowed me to see the opportunity of how big that e-commerce community was specific. Of course, Amazon itself is a massive community for brands to grow in. But more importantly, being in Europe one comes to understand like, okay, Amazon is a key player, and it's probably the largest right, especially in Germany and France and Spain, and other countries, but there's also a lot of other e-commerce platforms and so Amazon being that really that right robust e-commerce beast, inevitably trying to help brands grow. And Amazon, let's leads you to understand that there's not just one platform need to be good at. There's a lot of different e-commerce platforms. 

 

Yoni Mazor 25:14

And so just to simplify, so your mission is obviously there's a mission to recruit into the e-commerce faith. Right? All these brands, yeah. saying hey, there's, you know, there's, there's the truth is in the e-commerce, you know, in the e-commerce space is opportunity is that your brain is to grow, also. So you're pitching Amazon, you're pitching other platforms. But when you're pitching, but you're mostly pitching on platforms that are European related or worldwide.

 

Al Lopez  25:37  

So at the time, it was strictly Amazon at the time.

 

Yoni Mazor 25:41

Amazon, US Amazon, Europe, or any Amazon? 

 

Al Lopez 25:44

Yeah. Well, yeah it ended up being a lot of European businesses wanting to launch in the USA, right? Amazon access, yeah, makes total sense. So that was really the first couple of years and working that I was really there at the root of their international expansion. And of course, today, they're quite strong in the US, of course, they more or less leads to e-commerce as to why I stayed here because of my decision to stay in Europe, geographically, rather than going back to Salt Lake City. 

 

Yoni Mazor 26:16

Got it. So so let's touch on that. So 2016? Until what year would you stay there, what was the next station for you?

 

Al Lopez 26:21

2019, there were a lot of changes with really significant transitions into BuyBox, which was really good for the business. They wanted to bring things in house there. In those experiences that have a lot of different conversations with agencies, of course, we're partnering within Europe and me being here on the ground. I ended up meeting Jerome the CEO of e-comas today, He's a founder of e-comas. And so before I made a decision to move back to Salt Lake, and basically I had two options. I moved to Salt Lake continue to work with that team. They were really talented guys I really enjoyed working with or, you know, enjoy the life that we had here. I'm not complaining about living in Basel. It's not a bad life. 

 

Yoni Mazor 27:07

Yeah, you're doing guys, both houses are phenomenal, in my opinion. What's your pleasure cake or ice cream.

 

Al Lopez  27:15  

But it's more or less the route of where e-commerce because when I first met, it was a very, very small agency, in the context of you guys meeting or connecting. So we had already known each other from the network, right when I was leading those teams in Europe. I had in my network, I reached out to him to see if he was interested in growing because I had a lot of experience in the industry, so we actually met in Geneva. And that's really the route of where e-commerce today is. We had met, we have a three-person operation at the time today, we're just under 50 employees globally.

 

Yoni Mazor 27:47

50 or 15? 50. Wow. So you have a global team of 50 plus members.

 

Al Lopez 27:57

Of course, COVID has a lot to do with that, of course, with the digitalization or the excellence, for sure, your explanation of a lot of different transformations. 

 

Yoni Mazor 28:05

Wow, you guys grew more than 10 times from our you know, a team of three to over 50 it's almost 20 times. That's pretty impressive. 

 

Al Lopez 28:15

It's a tumultuous time for a lot of people in the world so we are super grateful for the business growth. But nevertheless, our focus in e-comasreally is exactly that as a Luxembourgish company. Of course, a lot of our clients are European, but we work with global clients to help them ultimately just maximize their digital shelf performance. Whether it be in Europe or we speak you know all the European languages. We understand the VAT the logistics challenges of Europe as you can imagine right now.

 

Yoni Mazor  28:44  

Now Brexit been giving another curveball into the mix. 

 

Al Lopez  28:50  

The British left us. Isn't it sad? Yeah, they dumped us.

 

Yoni Mazor  28:53  

That’s funny because you’re in America and Europe saying the British dumped us and you bought it. You know, as you know, 250 years ago us Americans were fighting for the dependence from the British just leave you to know, just leave and let us have our independence.

 

AL Lopez 29:06  

I always do just like basically, if America never got their independence, we would just be Canada. Do you know what I mean?

 

Yoni Mazor  29:13  

Under Her Royal Highness, I mean, they pay tribute or taxes or something to the queen? I know Canada there's a new it's a Commonwealth or something. Yeah. Okay, so 2019 you meet Jerome in Geneva, you guys click and you and you're also very compelled to stay in the European scene because you know, you're there with your love. But at some point, you guys got engaged got married? Well,  just on that point. What was the for your new wife? What was the trajectory there? 

 

Al Lopez 29:41

Yeah. We got engaged a few years back and actually, we're supposed to get we're supposed to have our official wedding last year and then COVID. So we're legally married Of course. And we never had our wedding celebration left to be determined. 

 

Yoni Mazor 29:55

Right. Got it. Got it. Okay, good. Let something to look forward to. So but the point of junction, June of 2019, you guys are already married or thinking about getting married. 

 

Al Lopez 30:04

Yeah, we just gotten married officially. 

 

Yoni Mazor 30:07

Okay, so obviously it's hard to pack up and go back to the States. And just for context reason, what is she doing? What is she up to? 

 

AL Lopez 30:14

Yeah, so Annabelle works, actually another growing industry and telemedicine, right. So basically online medicine. She works for a Swiss company that is exclusively at the moment, they're only serving Swiss consumers, but they're expanding into other marketplaces, and so on. 

 

Yoni Mazor 30:31

So she's involved in her professional career role in developing her own tracks and offloading all that avoiding that was a major decision. Yeah, that is it, that you guys have said as a team, right as a family to, you know, your opportunity and the format of e-commerce and she's still on our professional track with telemedicine. 

 

Al Lopez 30:47

She's a grinder very lucky to have her. I pretend to be smart. She's actually smart. And so she, you know, she, she's a great asset for her company.

 

Al Lopez  30:59  

But their companies, obviously, with COVID, as well, a lot of things that digitalized. 

 

Yoni Mazor 31:04

And so hold on, she went into that industry before COVID hit or because COVID hit?

Al Lopez 31:07

Yeah, exactly. She had already. Remember I told you we had moved back and she's got a job in Switzerland that was in 2017. I want to say.

 

Yoni Mazor 31:15

So she was in telemedicine before the COVID and now it's exploding. Wow, so she was the right place at the right time.

 

Al Lopez  31:21  

So naturally, it's been a lot of competition rise in her industry just like ours, right. It's highly competitive. 

 

Yoni Mazor 31:25

Ya sure. It’s highly competitive/ Nevertheless, it's growing because there's, you know, it's a, there's a necessity for this. It's really important to have these kinds of solutions to people to get telemedicine is just humongous. I think it's a great thing for humanity. Also, you can have the best doctors the best, you know, minds, testing you um, a fraction of the cost and a global everywhere in the world. I think it's great. It's gonna bring deliver good news for all of us.

Okay, so 2010, you met with Jerome? You said I'm in? And what do you start doing for e-comas? 

 

Al Lopez 31:59

It's a little bit of everything. And like this, we're such a small company and like the company was established in 2013. So it sounds like it had nothing underground. But it was a very small, basically Amazon boutique agency for European companies, some Japanese companies, some North American companies. And I said, Look, I've had this experience working where we saw, you know, an exponential amount of growth in two years. I mean, you're talking more than 10X, right. And we can emulate some of that Europe, I feel like we can grow together. So we committed to a structure, we're a strategy, I should say, that was the end of 2019, second quarter or second half of 2019. And, yeah, basically following the wave and the trend of e-commerce, we've been really grateful, and really lucky, right. But from that moment, without going into a super long story, like its short pieces, it's we've seen significant growth in so we offer two core services, right? One is consulting, which is very black and white. Usually, it's related with enterprise-sized clients, right? Big Big clients, who own multinational companies, where we provide strategies as to how they can navigate Amazon themselves with their e-commerce teams. And the second being account management, where we're actually basically like their employees acting on behalf of them operating their Amazon accounts, or their other e-commerce accounts that they're working on. And we do A-Z, and so those two core services, and we've expanded some new services this year, but has led to some pretty significant growth. And so I always tell people, the reason why a lot of groups end up working with us, since we're out of Luxemburg, a lot of our company today is former Amazonians themselves. That's right next to the European headquarters, right. So we're not just looking to create silly, let's say, theoretical strategies, we want to make sure we can make create…

 

Yoni Mazor 34:02

Strategies that will those that are grounded with experience with

 

Yoni Mazor 34:04  

Pragmatic. Proven performance, and probably data-driven.

 

Al Lopez  34:08  

So we have our data analysts in the company we have our actual consultants who have worked with businesses in bringing about you know, significant increases in their overall turnover or in the efficiency in their, in their performance and their account management. It's really anyone, uh, you know, more than better than me, Amazon is complicated can be a pain but really, it's not any magic, right? It requires just time and consistency. So account management is designed for companies who may not necessarily have the time to focus on Amazon because it does require a significant amount of time.

 

Yoni Mazor 34:44

Yeah, you have to be married to this, you have to be married to passionate about it and I always kind of say this you have to expect nothing and appreciate everything and especially on the data side. You know what you're gonna get, you to experiment. You expect nothing all the sudden you get something, you start to appreciate something, what does this mean? What does that mean? And you build that sauce, the formulas that are sustainable for you to keep, you know,, maintaining or growing your sales on the channel, and of course, your profitability. There's so much that takes into it that it's really a professional game. And this is where you guys try to, I guess, to hold on to, to go deep, deep, deep into the weeds, the route to make it sustainable for your clients. So it's a large, strategic, obviously, it's, it's operating on the highest levels on the most important platform, which is Amazon, but nevertheless still spread out to other platforms and identifying other opportunities, and the e-commerce space beyond the Amazon level. 

 

Al Lopez 35:36

Yeah, precisely. And, and we're really lucky, obviously, as you know, in the market, there are at least hundreds of really good agencies, some that we're really good friends with can do a really good job. And so we feel really lucky to work with our clients. Because at the end of the day, like what translates to a successful e-commerce company? It's like having a good product. Like, is it a product people like? And so we feel really lucky to have the clients that we have in partners that we have, and when for us to basically be the engine to operate it effectively for them. 

 

Yoni Mazor 36:11

Got it. On your end though, sorry to cut you off. Did you, kind of service also the same purpose back with Jerome and at the Mormon church where you tried to make him, you know, evangelize these brands to say, hey, come into the e-commerce space, and we can help you grow into that space. Is Is that something you also took focus on? 

 

Al Lopez 36:30

So my role has been from the very beginning with Jerome a little bit of everything primarily dedicated to client acquisition, right. And, again, I'm not, let's say...

 

Al Lopez  36:43  

I detest people who try to convince people to do things that maybe they don't need. I detest it. As you know, in Utah, another big sector of the economy is a lot of MLM

s, and multi-level marketing. So I detest this sort of notion of people selling a lifestyle, not necessarily practical solutions for their business or their life. So for me, it's really just been focusing on brands who can clearly grow X amount with filling in certain gaps, either by optimizing their operations or optimizing their content to convert more consumer eyes are up optimizing their operations on the back end. So they're more of a cost-effective way of working with economies of scale with effectiveness. Yeah, So my role with the e-commerce Business Development Director, of course, is client acquisition. But I have a lot more passion and seeing through success for my clients. You know, Peruvians while you know, Latino, you've been a bit of Lotus, like we're very most people. And so when the passion, the passion, yeah, so when I tell people, I'm going to do something, I want to keep my word, and I want to do it. And so of course, we're not perfect, we filled plenty of times and no doubt. But we do everything we can to keep our word. And so and Tim, of course, he through success with our clients. And so, though I'm dedicated to client acquisition, I'm very involved with our account managers, our consultants, our data team, to see through success at its highest levels with our clients, especially as we expand into new services and new sectors this year in 2021. 

 

Yoni Mazor 38:15

Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, so I guess I'm on the high level for equal mass. You guys try to more appeal to European companies to start selling online in Europe in the US or, or there's also a side where you're trying to compel United States companies or American companies into selling online and in the Amazon US  or Amazon Europe?

 

Al Lopez 38:35

Yeah, so naturally, because we are in Luxembourg. It's funny because I like I'm the guy with an American accent speaking for Luxembourger’s companies.

 

Yoni Mazor  38:43  

Love, love this cosmopolitan approach.

 

Al Lopez 38:48  

Yeah, no, but naturally, we have a lot of European clients looking to grow in Europe, oftentimes in the US. And we come across, like outside non-European companies looking to grow in Europe or other global marketplaces. But this year, specifically, we've seen a huge need, especially with Brexit, right? The UK is such a significant part of the European economy, a lot of non-European economies that want to grow in Europe, they wanted to find a strategy and how to come into Europe. And so that's a gap or looking to fill this year, specifically. Right. The rest is pretty simplistic. We'll help you grow in Europe if you already have logistics in place. Other variables in place that are necessary, we know how to localize content for you, but for a lot of non your non-European businesses, if they're interested in growing in Europe today. It's like you don't have to go through distributors anymore. It's 2021.

 

Yoni Mazor  39:43  

Right, go direct.

 

Al Lopez 39:44

Time to make a strategy direct to consumers will help you out. We will act like we're almost your employee, and helping you define a strategy that will help you maximize your growth in Europe. And of course, we'll help you consider things like VAT or logistics, the account management side and making sure we have the proper expansion to the right countries. If that makes sense.

 

Yoni Mazor 40:04

Yeah, it makes total sense. That's the way it should be. It should be done. Alright, beautiful. So, thank you so much, you know, for sharing with us the story that for us.

 

Yoni Mazor  40:17  

Shout out, let me try to catch it and package it all together. It's kind of your recap, right? So born 92 to 98 you guys moved to the States, right? And then around 2011 10, you, you know, you start school and the youth area, you go on a six-year track between, you know, Utah, Denver, Spain, where you get your degree, you get a mission, also you come to meet your future wife, and then 2016. You know, you decided to settle in Germany on the outskirts of Basel in Switzerland. And then, you know, your friends from the community, the Mormon community, then came knocking on your door with, you know, pretty much presenting your future career, which is the world of e-commerce. Right? If sweepy when he worked for Disney for about three years, and from 2016 to 2019. You grow exponentially, you know, with you know, growing brand sales, everything that's around it. I teach a lot It tastes a lot of success. Eventually, you got bought out by Buy Box Experts, a giant and a legend and its own merit. But you know, from your, you know, communications and connection with Jerome the founder of e-commas and your family needs to stay in the European European scene, he decided to, you know, tag along with him enter e-comas. And then you guys grew it from you know, about three people to more than 50 today, a tremendous growth almost 20 you know, 20 times 20x? Did I get it right?

 

Al Lopez 41:49

Yeah, pretty much yeah, just under 50 cities. Just for fact-checking. I can't remember what I had for breakfast. Im impressed.

 

Yoni Mazor  41:52  

Yeah, that's my mission that I see everybody. This is the whole keyword for this. This whole episode is a mission. This is my mission to listen, to package it correctly, and make sure that the essence is captured is there. So I really appreciate you know, the opportunity to learn and get to know you this way. All right. So now I want to touch on the last part of the episode, where you know, the first thing will be you know if somebody wants to connect with you learn more about you, where can they find you? The last thing will be is what is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there. 

 

Al Lopez 42:22 

So to find us is really simple, really easy. People can go to e-comas.com. Check us out, there’s really nice, very Scandinavians are very minimalistic information. And it's English and I think also on the other languages, right? I think we have four languages now. So the CEOs, French have friends have British, of course, French and British speak Spanish, our CFO is Swiss. So she, of course, comes from a French and German background. So other European languages, the main ones should be covered there.

 

Al Lopez  43:00  

Visit us there. And you can also email me directly if you wish. And if you have any inquiries into how to grow in Europe, at a.lopez@e-comas.com. So those are the two easiest way to get in contact with us. And as far as your last question, you remind me, please.

 

Yoni Mazor 43:20

What is your message of hope and inspiration for entrepreneurs listening out there?

 

Al Lopez  43:26  

You know, I come from a father who gave up quite literally every comfort in his life as a civil engineer working for a very good Western company. But he always told me to make goals in your life. You don't know if those goals will come to fruition, but what you can control is your commitments. So if you're a startup, if you're an entrepreneur, you have goals to grow XML to the fact people in Y manner. You don't necessarily know if you'll be able to actually bring to pass those different goals, but we most definitely can control is your commitments to get to those goals. So keep your commitments 100%, you can control that. And that's my only message is keep your commitments.

 

Yoni Mazor 44:08

Got it. Right. So have a mission. Make this mission, your commitment, and keep at it keep the focus, keep the push, and you're probably gonna achieve great things. Beautiful. I love that. So thank you so much. I hope everybody enjoyed this episode. Thank you for listening. Stay safe and healthy out there. Until next time, everybody. Take care

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