Anyone interested in opening a retail website for adult DVDs probably got stopped in their tracks after vetting the numerous details and start-up challenges. Not anymore. Once Adult Drop Shop debuted late in 2012, wouldbe DVD retailers’ prayers were answered.
Described as the most versatile and robust web platform loaded with more than 100,000 DVDs and novelties, Horne’s brainchild develops, hosts, handles inventory management, and even drop ships. The webmaster is in complete control and simply chooses which products to display and how they are priced.
We wanted every Adult Drop Shop to simply act as an independent business. We’d develop the tools and provide the infrastructure; the business owner could then take the ball and run with it. This is unlike any other one-stop solution available today. —Jamie Horne
XBIZ talks with the program’s director, Jamie Horne, to find out what’s behind this progressive approach to e-commerce.
How did you conceive of the Adult Drop Shop program? Was it a solo or team effort?
The Adult Drop Shop program was really born out of necessity. As director of Adult Drop Shipper, our well-established drop shipping service, I was frequently approached by retailers looking to develop an e-commerce website using our data feeds. Normally, these retailers were forced to find their own developers to make this happen, often requiring major investments of time and money. The result, in many cases, was a website project that dragged on and on, draining the business owner’s wallet and patience. This was, obviously, a pretty discouraging experience for everyone involved.
Based on the demand for a better solution and our overwhelming desire to see our customers succeed, my team and I began laying out the plans for the Adult Drop Shop program.
Once the service was green-lit, what went into the development?
Research — lots of research! We are not new to this space, and therefore recognize that retailers have many options to get online. We even offer our own affiliate program, Effex Media, which has been a popular choice for more than 10 years. For many businesses, an affiliate or club option is the right answer. However, it quickly became obvious that many of our drop ship customers needed a more comprehensive solution. This realization led to a wish list of features we wanted the Adult Drop Shop program to offer — most of which fall under the category of “control.”
From day one, we committed ourselves to putting retailers in control of their website, their customers, their pricing. Essentially, we wanted every Adult Drop Shop to simply act as an independent business. We’d develop the tools and provide the infrastructure; the business owner could then take the ball and run with it. This is unlike any other one-stop solution available today.
Once the plan was set in stone, everyone went to work. Our development team began building an advanced, feature-rich platform that is built around our existing data feeds and inventory controls. Our drop ship team began preparing for a rapid expansion and increase in order volume. Our sales team was educated on the program and given the go-ahead to introduce the service to retailers who have been waiting for this type of solution.
The result is a total package — an incomparable e-commerce platform, the industry’s largest instock inventory of adult videos and novelties, and a vast, expert staff ready to support everything from technical questions to product inquiries.
What is your business background and how does it help you run ADS?
My business experience is pretty varied, but has always been centered on one common characteristic: customer service. For many years, I operated a tech business that provided live and on-demand streaming media services for large corporate customers including fortune 500 companies. I sold that business to a public company in 2000. Every bit of my career experience now goes into the operation of ADS and our programs. Though I’m a developer, I do have first-hand experience with the development process. I’m not back in the warehouse filling orders — but I’ve spent many hours in that role. Without these experiences, I would not be able to properly manage this business and work with its dedicated staff.
When and how did you enter adult?
About 12 years ago, I hooked up with a longtime friend and neighbor whose father had been a huge player in the adult theatre business back in the day. We partnered up and bought the rights to some of the best-known classic movies ever released. They are still available today. This involvement served as my introduction to the industry and the many insiders I now am proud to call friends. I’ve worked all the shows, dealt with every step of the supply chain, and really developed a deep understanding of the heart and soul of the adult industry.
Did you have a mentor? If so, who?
Absolutely. My business partner’s father, Arthur Morowitz, was truly an inspirational figure for a long time — and still is. He has always been willing to share his experience running theaters across the country, owning the first-ever video store chain, and then becoming one of the biggest distributors of mainstream content. This education was instrumental in my success. I learned a lot from him, as did many of my industry friends. Without people like this none of us would be doing what we do today in this industry. He really paved the way for many.
When did the business launch? How long did it take?
Adult Drop Shop has been in development for about one year. We officially launched in September, 2012.
Are there other major players or partners who contribute to Adult Drop Shop?
Our service is really best viewed as a “team of teams,” each being lead by an expert in their respective disciplines. Our development partner is lead by an incredibly talented programmer and e-commerce business operator. Our customer service and sales team consists of adult industry product specialists. Our drop ship and warehouse staff is dedicated solely to direct-to-consumer service, ensuring a seamless experience from order to delivery. I honestly consider every one of these people a “major player.”
What are their backgrounds?
Our managers and partners have both mainstream and adult backgrounds. Every decision maker has many years of combined experience in retail, wholesale, e-commerce and technical services. Like me, each of them calls on their respective experiences, bringing a world of hands-on know how to the table.
What are your day-to-day duties?
It depends on the day! Like all of our business-owner customers, I wear many hats. Sometimes I’m working with our partners developing new sites; sometimes I’m reviewing accounting and analytics. This definitely keeps me grounded and in touch with what our customers really need.
What is the link between Adult Drop Shop and ECN/IVD?
Although ADS is an independent operation; IVD and ECN are at the heart of our inventory and warehouse management. They supply every video and novelty in our catalog, and provide the data feeds that serve every Adult Drop Shop.
Describe your personal business philosophy regarding the adult industry?
There are a lot of unique characteristics to the adult industry, but at the end of the day, business is business. My philosophy is therefore the same for adult as it is for mainstream industries. I base my decisions on how I’d like to be treated as a business owner, as a business partner or as a consumer. If our service satisfies what I feel is right or fair, then I’ve done my job correctly.