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Aalap Shah is a Chicago-born entrepreneur and Founder of 1o8, a performance marketing digital agency focused on driving sales for CPG companies nationwide on e-com and Amazon platforms. They’ve worked with companies like Gildan, Sweet Leaf Tea, Tio, So Crazy, and more.

Aalap has been recognized as a leader in Chicago’s minority-owned digital marketing world and is known by multiple entities for his entrepreneurial and charitable endeavors. Crain’s Chicago Business recognized him as one of Chicago’s young emerging philanthropists, while the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship named him the National Volunteer of the Year.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Why Aalap Shah never wanted to become an entrepreneur
  • How Aalap learned to build his first toy business and why he exited
  • Aalap shares how he drove traffic to his toy business
  • How did Aalap become an agency owner?
  • What Aalap is doing with toy companies and how he’s helping them use TikTok
  • Strategies for connecting influencers with brands
  • Tips to boost customer retention and engagement
  • What’s going on with DTC revenues declining?
  • Taking customers from online to offline

In this episode…

One of the greatest concerns for online retailers is retaining customers and keeping them engaged. It is especially critical now because customer acquisition cost has become astronomically high as brands scramble to lift online sales. Currently, only 20% of site visitors account for 50% to 70% of retail sales.

Trying to get new customers is great, but what if you tried to get that returning customer up 30% or 40%? How does your business change? How do you get your existing customers to buy more? That’s where the retention loyalty model comes in: this model helps you generate increased profitability more quickly rather than spending insane amounts on new customer acquisitions. Want to find out how?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz featuring the Founder of 1o8 Agency, Aalap Shah. They discuss Aalap’s journey to becoming an agency owner, how retail brands can thrive online, the retention loyalty model, and how to increase the profitability of your business.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I’m going to formally introduce Aalap Shah a second of 1o8.Agency. Aalap before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes that are cool and because of your business, there’s been some really cool consumer brands I’ve had on the podcast, I had the founder of RX Bars on Quest Nutrition on Big League Chew on kettle chips on so there’s been some cool ones. So check those out. And many, many more on and this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we help you run your podcasts are an easy button for you to run your podcast. You know, all of you know me a little bit by now the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. I found no better way to do that over the past decade to profile of people in companies I admire and you know, have him on the podcast. So if you’ve thought about it, you should if you have questions go to or email support at All right. And Aalap Shah is a Chicago born entrepreneur, Founder of 1o8, which is a performance marketing digital agency focused on driving sales for CPG companies nationwide, and E COMM And Amazon platforms. I’m the channel you need to check them out. And they’ve worked with companies like Gildan, Sweet Leaf Tea vet Nique labs, just to name a few. And he has been recognized as a leader in Chicago’s minority owned digital marketing worlds. He’s been recognized by multiple entities for his entrepreneurial and also charitable endeavors. And I dug a little bit of stuff up on you all up, which is in 2013 Crain’s Chicago Business actually recognized you as one of Chicago’s young emerging philanthropists, and also the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship as National Volunteer of the Year. Aalap thanks for joining me.

Aalap Shah 2:21

Thanks so much for having me, Jeremy.

Jeremy Weisz 2:23

You know, we’re gonna dig deep into, you know, retention engagement, you know, which I know you’re thinking a lot about. So if you are a CPG company, or you know, a CPG company, you should listen to this episode. But I want to start off with the journey a little bit. And key pivotal moment where your dad got punched in the face.

Aalap Shah 2:44

Yeah, this is a pretty pretty. This is one of those moments that you stamped forever in your memory. You know, I feel like I was about six or seven. My parents owned a convenience store in Brighton Park. I also remember the scene and, you know, this is like, maybe two 3pm in the afternoon. I my parents not only own the store itself, the storefront, but they own the building. I had a few apartments, and my dad was rent, rent day. And so my dad went up the stairs to collect rents, and one of his tenants came out swinging. And I saw my dad punch coal in the face. Here I am seven freaked out. thinking oh my gosh, like do I ever want to be an entrepreneur? Because this is tough. It’s a tough scene,

Jeremy Weisz 3:27

literally is getting punched. punched in the face metaphorically, but your dad literally got punched.