An innovator, a revolutionary thinker and an excellent ideator, JR Ridinger and his wife, Loren Ridinger, both business icons with a visionary approach, have built their company, Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM, with innovative products and a unique business model that allows entrepreneurs the means to earn a supplemental income.
Inside the Curious and Genius Mind of JR Ridinger
In the early 1990s and before the personal computer revolution, JR Ridinger felt everything was operating on outdated notions. Like so many people of that era, he had grown disillusioned with different aspects of the business world, mass media and mass marketing. At the time, mass media branding and marketing initiatives would cost millions of dollars to execute, all while ignoring the emerging digital world. Too many business decision-makers failed to foresee the internet – but JR Ridinger saw its power.
Back then, he was one of those people who came home every night to discuss the business world and how things were. He was unimpressed with the inadequacies of different business models, which led him to focus on developing new concepts to help people navigate the pitfalls they encountered. He realized consumers were getting manipulated by outdated marketing models and systems designed to benefit retailers over consumers. He set out to create a business that empowered consumers while also providing people with a pathway to entrepreneurial success – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Building an Empire
In 1992, JR Ridinger started Market America with his wife, Loren, the Co-Founder and Senior Executive Vice President of Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM. She is also the Founder of the award-winning cosmetics line, Motives. Since then, what started as a small home-based business flourished and evolved into a global powerhouse, with operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
The SHOP.COM Difference
SHOP.COM is an award-winning global e-commerce and digital marketing company that empowers entrepreneurs across the globe. These entrepreneurs, called UnFranchise Owners, follow its proven system to develop a supplemental income based on retailing products and everyday consumer spending. SHOP.COM, the primary global shopping site powered by Market America Worldwide, boasts millions of savvy shoppers and has generated more than $50 million in Cashback for consumers. SHOP.COM provides access to millions of products, including Market America’s exclusive brands and thousands of top retail brands. The company’s product categories include health and nutrition, weight management, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, personal care, pet care, household cleaning products, jewelry, baby/children’s products and many more.
Living the Dream
JR Ridinger is a man of his own choices and interests. From the start of his professional journey, he wanted something different out of life and was prepared to go out on a limb for it. He has always had the utmost appreciation for time and views it as the most precious commodity we all have. He never wanted to waste time in a cubicle for 45 years at a 9-to-5 dead-end job.
“I realized early on that the grind was really in place to enrich the company you worked for rather than yourself,” said Ridinger. “For most companies, people are just numbers, mere data to be managed and manipulated. I wanted no part of that and sought to develop a business opportunity of my own that turned the industry upside down. By the late ’80s/early ’90s, I had grown disillusioned with the state of mass marketing and spent a great deal of time and effort analyzing and identifying problems and solutions, which ultimately led to the creation of Market America Worldwide and the UnFranchise Business.”
SHOP.COM is a global e-commerce site designed to create a means for any individual to leverage their collective buying power and build a supplemental income through entrepreneurship. It has developed a revolutionary referral tracking system with capabilities that have evolved as the computing age progressed. It has been able to create a unique and accessible entrepreneurial opportunity.
“As we grew, we knew we needed a more prominent online presence – and with SHOP.COM, we became a leader in online shopping and an opportunity amplifier for entrepreneurs worldwide,” said Ridinger.
An Out-of-the-Box Service Offering
As a global e-commerce company, SHOP.COM has millions of diverse customers across the globe. So, its core customer is essentially the average online consumer. The strength of both Market America Worldwide and SHOP.COM combined lies in their unique combination of people power, in-demand products and pioneering technology. The company is high tech and high touch – meaning that every shopper has access to a personalized Shop Consultant who can answer their questions and help connect them with the right products.
“In the modern age, the human element sometimes gets lost in the mix, but we’ve never lost sight of the fact that behind every transaction, there are people and relationships,” said Ridinger. “For us, it’s all about building connections and bridging the gaps between technology, people, and products. In fact, one of our company mottos is “Built on Product. Powered by People.”
The Perfect Amalgamation of Effort and Luck
As JR Ridinger grew disillusioned with the modern marketing paradigm and identified different areas for revolutionary improvement, his business ideas turned into reality when he met his wife, Loren. After meeting her, everything just started to click. His thoughts and ideas soon evolved into viable business solutions.
“Meeting Loren was either synchronicity or divine providence. Not only is she an utterly brilliant and extremely successful entrepreneur in her own right, but also she helped refine my ideas and focus my pursuits in a direction that yielded tremendous returns,” said Ridinger. “Instead of just listening to me brainstorm how to improve on traditional business models, she spurred me to action and helped channel my energy, which led us both to build our award-winning, global e-commerce and digital marketing company to what it is today.”
Recalling the First Challenge
JR Ridinger recalls his first challenge was finding the right corporate team who believed in Market America’s vision and plan.
“At the beginning of every journey, belief is the only product,” said Ridinger. “Finding the right people who see the potential of an idea or concept is the key to building a forward-thinking, adaptable business. Building a company requires a nuanced approach that helps one find the right balance between streamlined efficiency and expansion in a way that doesn’t leave one spread too thinly or overextended or exposed to shifting consumer demand. The rate of expansion must work cohesively with the support structure in place – and any inefficiencies of this nature often lead to dissatisfied customers and overworked staff.”
For the organization, it was a matter of building the team, then building its headquarters. JR Ridinger considers this approach not only beneficial but what worked best for their company and helped them build their foundation for success, both physically and metaphorically.
“We built our company with the future in mind, and this approach has allowed us to grow exponentially, which reinforces our stability and staying power as a company as well as our inherent appeal to entrepreneurs,” said Ridinger.
JR Ridinger’s Advice to his Younger Self
“The first piece of advice that comes to mind is never losing faith,” said Ridinger. “When first setting out to create a business, many factors are still up in the air. It can be a hectic and chaotic experience as challenges are a big part of the entrepreneurial journey. So, one should learn from the challenges and mistakes. This will help them become a capable entrepreneur who can make the right decisions to weather the storms that will surely come their way.”
JR Ridinger’s second piece of advice for any budding leader is never to forget where they have come from.
“That’s an easy thing to do – especially after one has tasted success,” said Ridinger.
“One should remain true to themself and the reasons behind their entrepreneurial endeavors. Remember, it’s all about authenticity, no matter who you are or what business you are in.”
His final piece of advice –“surround yourself with people who help push you to become better. If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room,” said Ridinger. “This advice extends from the boardroom to personal life. Always seek to surround yourself with people who broaden your perspective while pushing you to become better. I was very blessed in this regard and attribute much of our success to this simple piece of advice.”
Inspiration for Entrepreneurs
JR Ridinger advises entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and the power of entrepreneurship – because it’s the great societal equalizer.
“It’s a realm of effort and insight and an arena of accomplishment that helps unlock the greatness within,” said Ridinger. “Use your naysayers as motivators and your setbacks as learning opportunities, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Consider following Loren Ridinger on her social media channels or through her blog, Loren’s World, for valuable insight, inspiration and guidance from her three decades of experience.
“Building a business is a personal journey whose winding path is often mysterious and unknown to you until it unfolds, but believe in yourself and your mission, and you’ll always find True North,” said Ridinger.
A Day in the Life of JR Ridinger
“As serial entrepreneurs, Loren and I operate a little differently than your average 9-to-5 couple,” said Ridinger. We stay up late because we have so many ideas, hopes and dreams we want to accomplish, and we get up early to make them happen. After some early email checking, I always try to begin the day with yoga, which is as much for my mindset as it is for my physical well-being. After yoga, I spend much of my day meeting with our corporate team or responding to emails.
For the past two years, many of our meetings have turned into Zoom calls or Teams meetings – but even if we’re not physically together, I think our daily interactions are extremely important from a productivity standpoint and a team-building standpoint. I always have a handful of projects I’m working on or presentations and events to prepare for – so I’m typically busy with things of that nature.
I also try to read and learn as much as possible (often through audiobooks and podcasts) because I understand the importance of capitalizing on emerging trends or augmenting your approach to business to navigate the ever-changing challenges efficiently and effectively before you. Aside from that, any free time I have is spent with my family and our three amazing grandchildren, who have me wrapped around their fingers. As important as business is to me, nothing is more important than family.”
JR Ridinger’s List of Influential Reads
As the Founder, Chairman and CEO of a massive international company, JR Ridinger reads hundreds of reports and memos daily, plus around 300 emails. He prefers to listen to audiobooks to save time, but something about the written word still gives it perspective and context. He doesn’t read as many books now because life is in a digital world, and one can access information in many different ways.
He has been a regular reader his whole life and has a few favorites he always goes back to, mainly because they played a critical role in his development and thinking process.
“It’s difficult to narrow down a list of influential books for me,” said Ridinger. “No matter what I include, I know I’ll leave out an important and influential work – but regardless, I think the following list is a good starting point”:
- The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale
- Success through Super Conscious Power, by Roy Eugene Davis
- The Science of Success, by Wallace D. Wattles
Adding a Human Element: The Most Valuable Contribution
Aside from the fact that SHOP.COM has always been a cutting-edge e-commerce site, JR Ridinger feels that even with all the advanced technology it has developed and implemented, the most important contribution to e-commerce has been its approach of connecting today’s consumers with real people, who can help them discover the right products for them.
This personal touch is truly rare in the digital age, but he thinks having Shop Consultants is one thing that sets SHOP.COM apart while helping it maintain the personal connections that have always been so important in business. It all boils down to personal interactions, and it has never forgotten that as a company. The company’s motto says it best – “Built on Product. Powered by People.”
Winning Prestigious Awards
Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM ranks 19th in Newsweek magazine’s 2021 Best Online Shops, No. 52 in Digital Commerce 360s (formerly Internet Retailer) 2021 Top 1,000 Online Marketplaces, No. 79 in Digital Commerce 360s 2021 Top 500 & Top 1,000 Online Retailers and No. 11 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Primary Merchandise Category Top 500. The company is also a two-time winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics and was ranked No. 15 in The Business North Carolina Top 125 Private Companies for 2021.
It has been blessed as a company to receive numerous awards and accolades from prestigious publications and groups around the globe. However, JR Ridinger is proudest of the relationship the organization has established with the Better Business Bureau.
“We’ve always believed in their mission because it mirrors our approach to business,” said Ridinger. “We’ve recently become national partners with the BBB, which is without question one of the greatest honors in our company’s history. It’s our way of demonstrating our continued commitment to an accountable, transparent and fair online shopping experience for both UnFranchise Owners and consumers”.
Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM has been in business for three decades. During that time, the company has utilized its knowledge and experience to refine not only its products but also its approach to the way it does business. Times change and trends change but the brand has always been committed to doing the right thing and putting people first, and as a result, it has been named one of the Top 50 Workplaces by The Silicon Review.
A Poem to Cherish Forever
JR Ridinger’s favorite quote is a poem titled I Know Something Good About You. He loves it because it speaks about seeing the good in others. It was also his father’s favorite poem. Hence, it’s extremely sentimental for him. He knows it had a huge impact on his father and helped serve as his mantra when interacting with others.
He tries to follow in his footsteps in this regard. In today’s world, where everything is so polarized, he thinks it’s important to try and see the best in people, and that’s his favorite aspect of this beautiful little poem by Louis C. Shimon.
I Know Something Good About You
Wouldn’t this old world be better If the folks we meet would say- “I know something good about you!”
And treat us just that way?
Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy If each handclasp, fond and true, Carried with it this assurance- “I know something good about you!”
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If the good that’s in us all Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me!
Wouldn’t it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, too? You know something good about me,
I know something good about you?
It’s Time to Experience Greatness
JR Ridinger sees the continued cultivation of entrepreneurial opportunities on a global scale as Market America Worldwide | SHOP.COM continues to grow into one of the most important entrepreneurial business models the world has ever known. He feels strongly about their business and its capacity to change the world. While that may seem like an astronomically lofty aspiration, he truly believes that one must set their goals insanely high, almost to the point of unattainability.
“If it hits the mark, one will have the potential to change the world by positively impacting one person at a time,” said Ridinger.
Simply put, JR Ridinger and his company’s future successes are imminent, with the best for the company and its UnFranchise Owners yet to come.