Ecommerce Unboxed

#8: Growing Your Shopify Store Part 1 with Jason Stokes

July 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 8
Ecommerce Unboxed
#8: Growing Your Shopify Store Part 1 with Jason Stokes
Chapters
Ecommerce Unboxed
#8: Growing Your Shopify Store Part 1 with Jason Stokes
Jul 09, 2019 Season 1 Episode 8
Florent Hacq
Jason Stokes, CEO of Eastside Co takes us through a Shopify Masterclass
Show Notes Transcript

About this episode:

With more than 800,000 merchants using its services, and a 50% year over year jump in sales to $320.5 million in Q1 2019, Shopify is one of the few companies redefining the ecommerce landscape by making it easy for businesses to get started selling their products and services online.

In this episode I sit down with Jason Stokes who is the CEO of Eastside Co, one of UK’s top Shopify agencies boasting clients from the likes of Nike and Unilever. Jason basically takes me through a Shopify Masterclass, covering every topic a Shopify business should know about from driving traffic from a content strategy and SEO best, to optimising conversion and repeat purchase.

Connect with Jason:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-paul-stokes
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasonstokes__
Website: https://eastsideco.com

Were mentioned in the episode:

Ren Skincare: https://www.renskincare.com
Regal Gentleman: https://regalgentleman.com
Moz: https://moz.com
SEM rush: https://www.semrush.com
Hotjar: https://www.hotjar.com
Yotpo: https://www.yotpo.com
Huel:https://huel.com

Acknowledgements

Editing by Gonçalo Abrantes
Music “Vera Cruz” by Relly and produced by Snakehips
Artwork by Audrey Hacq

Speaker 1:
0:06
[inaudible].
Speaker 2:
0:06
Hello and welcome. This is an other episode of E-commerce unbox the podcast for entrepreneurs and startups. We sell online. I'm your host flock and my goal with this podcast is to give you the playbook to building a successful ecommerce brand by talking to people who have donated and are doing everything
Speaker 3:
0:27
okay
Speaker 2:
0:27
and this week we are addressing a crucial subject in ecommerce, which is Shopify and I'm sure you've heard about the name if you're not using Shopify yourself. Shopify is the biggest ecommerce solution out there and to talk about this subject with me is Jason Stokes, the CEO and Co founder of east side code one of Uks top Shopify agency, if not the best agents in the country. I mean just look at some of the clients they work with, Nike, Unilever, Lazy Oath and so many other great brands. We had a lot to talk about and we decided to cut this conversation into two episodes. This week is the first episode, which is basically a Shopify master class where we talk about everything a brand should know to be successful in Shopify from why choosing Shopify in the first place. To how to drive traffic on the Shopify website, improving conversion rate and all the tools out there to improve your performances with Shopify. So I hope you enjoyed this part, one of the conversation with Jason and I'll see you on the other side.
Speaker 4:
1:45
So today we're going to talk about our little things, um, mainly Shopify, but ecommerce in general. And, um, again, really, really happy and excited to have you onboard and, and, and get your insights on older things. Before we really jump in the conversation, could you start by telling the listeners a little bit more about yourself and how you got to start a cycle? Okay, well, sure. Yeah, sure. So, um,
Speaker 5:
2:09
as short mentioned, I'm kind of the CEO of uh, uh, kind of a company called e psycho and we are, um, a digital agency specializing in ecommerce, uh, and predominantly kind of a platform called Shopify. So we work kind of from a throw three 60 point of view, helping com support clients migrating onto Shopify as a platform, but also helping them strategically grow, uh, their audience grow their sales, um, either by driving traffic, driving conversions, uh, as well as kind of video production photography, uh, and another borough of other kind of supporting services kind of ultimately we enjoy working with econ brands kind of helping take their business to the next level.
Speaker 4:
2:49
Cool. So you're basically bringing under one roof pretty much anything that a company needs to sell and and, and as an ecommerce solution,
Speaker 5:
3:00
right? Yeah, pretty much. We, we enjoy kind of not doing brands and some of kind of our best kind of case studies are the projects that we're most proud of are the ones that have come to us with a product or an idea. And we've collaboratively kind of helped wrap our services solution, our team around their idea and been given the freedom to be at a run with that kind of creatively coming up with strategies to drive traffic or to kind of generate awareness or kind of to make the company stand out from the crowd. And you know, ecommerce is getting very competitive. There's a lot of people selling very similar kind of similar products. So having that kind of point of difference, understanding who you are as a brand, what your values are and really kind of helps kind of cut through some of the noise that's out there.
Speaker 4:
3:42
Yes. And I would love to talk about some of those, those case studies with you a little bit further down the line. Can you quickly tell us about how you got into ecommerce and just a little bit more about your background?
Speaker 5:
3:53
Yeah, sure. So I started my first company at 20, um, completely randomly different field by biotechnology, but kind of ended up in digital based on a number of reasons. But it's something I've always had kind of a lot of passion for. I'm quite techie. Um, and yeah, kind of fell in love with building websites years and years ago and driving traffic and ultimately problem-solving. And it's that kind of problem solving bit that kind of really kind of spurs me on. I'm kind of taking, you know, it's a challenge. I enjoy kind of, you know, working with different brands or different products to find kind of different opportunities. So for ECOMMERCE, I started selling in cartridges online. That was one of my first, kind of my first own businesses that I started called cartridge link. Um, very interesting business from an econ point of view to be involved in.
Speaker 5:
4:41
Um, you'll have to lose money on the first sale. Um, but you go for the longterm lifetime value of the customer. Uh, and there's also kind of different merchandising tactics that you need to be aware of or it's doing kind of making sales like that as well as going a segmentation and understanding who the customer is, understanding buying life cycles. You know, it's, there's a lot that went into it that was a kind of, you know, big learning curve, but a good learning curve to go through. Um, learn some very expensive lessons on the way it's pretty valuable ones. Yeah.
Speaker 4:
5:08
And were you selling through a Shopify store or,
Speaker 5:
5:11
we were selling through Magento at the time, actually. We built a website on Magento and Shopify and kind of five, six years ago hadn't matured to the point that it is now to deal with kind of large enterprise level kind of, you know, yeah. Kind of. There are a lot of intricacies that from a fit point of view made Magenta more of a viable option. Now you'd be able to completely do it on Shopify, but back then Magento was a kind of, yeah. Yeah. And we
Speaker 4:
5:40
were talking about this, I'm off record before, before the episode, but I think it's a nice segue to, um, into talking about Shopify a little bit more and we might go back to some of the things that you've, you've done in your background, but you, you guys are inside east psycho. You guys are Shopify agency. You work exclusively on Shopify as an ecommerce solution. Can you tell the listeners about why it's such a good option?
Speaker 5:
6:07
Um, and, and uh, yeah, a little bit more about sure. So we used to do kind of, we used to be kind of platform agnostic. We used to work across we ecommerce, wordpress and Magento, uh, as well as kind of Shopify and years ago we used to put smaller sites on Shopify and use Magento is more kind of an enterprise level solution. Uh, but four years ago we decided to transition into a Shopify only agency and a number of decisions around that. Um, kind of mainly around security, stability, hosting, patching, kind of we found the most Magenta is very versatile. You can pull it apart, put it back together. There are also a number of headaches that you would adopt by running a site where you had to host it yourself and you're responsible for the security and the stability. You know, clients would rather spend money trying to generate traffic or generate sales or improve their business from an aesthetics or functionality or marketing perspective.
Speaker 5:
7:05
It's not a very kind of, it's not very easy turning around to a client and asking them to spend a lot of money on just keeping the website live. We enjoy kind of, I guess helping clients grow their business. And we decided as a company who we wanted to be and that was, you know, the agency that we're helping people grow their company and taking part in the fun activity or the, you know, the positive ROI generating activity rather than the kind of headache that is kind of servers and sis ops and Dev ops and everything else that kind of goes with that. You know, some agencies out there that phenomenally greater, that kind of, that's not what kind of us as an agency I felt that we kind of really could be. So Shopify for us gave us an opportunity to pass the responsibility for all of that to a kind of turnkey software as a service solution.
Speaker 5:
7:56
Um, and ultimately we kind of seem to have back to the right horse in a little bit of a way based on their kind of product development. You know, they've been very aggressive on rolling out and championing kind of technologies, new features, um, as soon as they're available. Things like apple pay, things like, hey are at the core of it. You know, the reason ultimately why Shopify is because it's a user friendly solution that is from an enterprise level point of view kind of app the point where it's now competing with a lot of the kind of other technologies out there at a reasonable cost with peace of mind that Shopify will take care of the headache, that kind of of hosting and security and stability that, you know, you used to have to kind of take responsibility for. So yeah.
Speaker 4:
8:46
Um, I'm very biased to, with Shopify as well, and I think it's because most of the brands and clients that I work with or speak to always say good things about Shopify if I'm honest. And sometime they have nightmare stories about other platforms, which I'm not gonna talk about now. But, um, and I think it's definitely a trend. I think Shopify has been, has been doing very well for the past few years in and is growing as a solution for different types of companies. Really. Do you have any numbers illustrating the growth of the platform? Do you have any,
Speaker 5:
9:16
so yeah, we, when we started, Shopify had about 40,000 kind of stores worldwide. I think about a hundred Shopify experts were partners worldwide of which we are one of them. And you know, there's back kind of circa 2012, 2013 and since then there's no 820,000 stores on Shopify. Okay. Um, and thousands and thousands of partners. I've just come back from Toronto, from United and it's kind of their annual conference where they can get all their partners together and it's so encouraging, kind of seeing the growth of its ecosystem and how positive the kind of the other partners, agencies kind of would be our competitors. Effective labor, you know, how positive they are about the ecosystem themselves. And you know, Shopify as a, you know, as a platform and as a, you know, as a business, it's, you know, it's phenomenon. It's, it looks after its kind of agency ecosystem. It looks after its take ecosystem. It supports its merchants, you know, it really does care
Speaker 4:
10:11
and it's one of the benefits as well. Right. Having so many partners, developers are always add ons and different apps and so on that you can add to the ecosystem.
Speaker 5:
10:21
Yeah. I think from an innovation point of view, you know the innovation doesn't stop just with Shopify. You have these kind of uh, you know we built apps as well or kind of Shopify plugins. You've got a whole suite of kind of Shopify developers that kind of innovate based on restrictions with the kind of solution or like to look at ways to extend based on feature requests, kind of core Shopify is called product, which has worked phenomenally well. Um, huge amounts of type partners are that adding a lot of value and helping bring down barriers. You know, there's a lot of traditional technologies out there, the enterprise level kind of clients systems, Amazon kind of use to do personalization or kind of to understand the customer and segment the entire kind of personalize the entire experience from banners through to Menus. And there's technologies out there that now make this completely possible in Shopify on a plug and play cost effective way. So yeah. You know, it's,
Speaker 4:
11:15
yeah, I, and I love this about Shopify, making it accessible to, you know, smaller brands intrepreneurs in this, this is also what I'm trying to do with my podcast in a way which is make e-commerce more accessible. So many people can build projects and, and, and, you know, create cool stuff from it. How do you explain that huge companies like Nike or Unilever, which are your, you know, some of your clients, um, start using the platform and find something that they might not find somewhere else.
Speaker 5:
11:46
Okay. So I mean, we've worked with a number of terrible and clients that are now kind of, I guess using Shopify as a kind of go to platform for certain size projects. And it either tends to be kind of spin off kind of sites that they need to get live kind of quickly, if that makes sense. So like the agility of Shopify, the kind of time to market, you know, rather than using something like hybrids where oracle kind of, you know, huge solution where their kind of main business sits on which would take, you know, six months, a year and a half million quid to kind of spin up a micro site. We can spin up a micro site within a few months for, can have some tailwind brands that reflects the brand. You know, their brand director is very happy with the look, the appearance and everything else or that because it's easy to kind of achieve frontend results on Shopify without having to reinvent the wheel.
Speaker 5:
12:36
And as a platform it plugs into a lot of existing solutions, a lot of existing backend infrastructures. Um, but Unilever kind of, you know, we've worked with Unilever on a number of projects and um, you know, all really enjoyable skin skincare is probably kind of one of the ones that we're most proud of. And that was a migration, you know, that's the entire kind of business. And there was a migration from Magento to Shopify plus. Um, and really fun brand to work with that has a product that you know, has some really good kind of values and um, yeah, really good kind of thought behind it. Um, and as far as going to go to platforms like it's based on Shopify eyes kind of willingness to innovate and evolve its product to try and cater for more of an enterprise level kind of client. Now.
Speaker 4:
13:21
Nice. Uh, I definitely, uh, uh, invite all the listeners to go check out the red skin care website, which you mentioned, which is amazing and we can, we can talk about it a little bit. Um, later on in maybe in one of the case studies, as I said before we started recording, I, I'd like this episode to be as practical as possible for people who are selling through Shopify are starting a website through Shopify. And, um, you know, all the brands out there, we're trying to figure out how to, how to do inappropriate way. And I guess my first question really with regards to this, and I think that's the first question that most brands try to figure out when they start selling is how to drive people through their website. How, what advice would you give to say a fairly new brand was trying to achieve justice, get shoppers into their store is a really interesting question. And it's one that we get emailed about
Speaker 5:
14:15
can 10 times a week if not more. Um, I have a Shopify sites. I've been open for a month. I have not made any sales or you know, how do I get my first customer? There is an opportunity for us to kind of look at a website and say, right, okay, well, you know, here's some things that you can tweak. And it tends to be on a case by case basis. But as far as kind of starting points, go understanding product and understanding your competitors, understanding your value, understanding what your unique selling point is. You know, you really need to know where your customers are before you can actually start putting a strategy together and without getting kind of really, really technical. I, you need to kind of have a strategy. You need to understand the little bit as to you know, what your ideal customers, you know, rather than kind of doing huge at the persona and stuff you need to, you know, ultimately is your customer going to be on social media?
Speaker 5:
15:05
Are you going to drive traffic from paid social? Are you going to drive traffic from PPC? Google adwords, Google adwords tends to be very intent-based. It's a good way, tends to be a good way to sanity check and kind of the sites can of capabilities from a conversion point of view. Also a good way to test keywords. So if you wanted to know which keywords are going to convert at a higher rate to then focus your SEO effort, testing PPC and rework your content. So you're focusing on the converting keywords rather than keywords which may be driving traffic. But conversion, there's a lot of different, I think touch points that go into kind of driving traffic that you know, there's so many different tactics out there like content marketing is a huge one as well. Like we've worked with kind of a customer for many, many years.
Speaker 5:
15:55
And um, I think we built his first website about five, six years ago. Really lovely kind of team of can a couple of two guys, um, young entrepreneurs who are ridiculously passionate in a hair care brand and regal gentleman, it's called, um, and they bow a kind of a content hub. So they've gone out and done content marketing and PR, got a huge amount of kind of valuable blog content together about male grooming. And I've now got huge amounts of hundreds of thousands of visits a month for their kind of content hub, which they can now start merchandising into their products. So their angle is different. It's long term, it's taken a long time, they've invested a lot in the content side of it and now they're ready to effectively start merchandising their product into the awareness that they've generated from an organic traffic pointed here. Other brands, you know, you have a product that's not searchable. Um, there's a number of clients that we have that are generating kind of that building out their own kind of vertical as it were. You know, these products didn't exist. So there's no search volume around kind of a product that never existed.
Speaker 4:
16:55
They needed it. What they're looking for it. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
16:57
Hmm. So in other words, a lot of this is social media awareness and social media Wentz is great for driving awareness, but it tends to be top of the funnel stuff. Yes. So then you need a strategy that says, right, okay, you know, here's an awareness campaign. Here's an acquisition campaign is a retargeting campaign. Making sure that from a website point of view, yes, you're driving traffic quickly. Your website is converting that you don't have effectively a leaky bucket.
Speaker 4:
17:22
There were so many things in there. So I'm going to, I'm going to take a step back. You said so many interesting things and I think the first one, and it might sound obvious, but it's not enough to build an ecommerce store and then to wait. And I think the second thing which you say, which is really interesting is the fact that there is no one solution for everyone. You need to start from your product, your value, your values as a brand. What you do and then figure out the best way to approach people, and I think this is such a key element, right? Figure out who your customers are, where they sort of hang out in digital life or in real life as well, and then find a way to reach them and yes.
Speaker 5:
18:04
Yeah. Ultimately I think, you know, this is understanding, you know, he was a brand and it comes down to, you know, we're a lot of customers will come, these will come to us plot, right? Okay, I've got a product but you know, this is what I want to sell. But they don't actually understand what type of business they are. And in every business should be a data business to a point, you know, you need to kind of really understand who you are as a brand, but also can attest that rationale. The best way to test this tends to be, like I said, either on engagement, you know, are you posting things on social media that people are actually engaging with? You can do this with actually setting a website up. You could test a lot of things in social media without having to go to the point of having products that on the shelf.
Speaker 5:
18:43
Um, but also doing research. Like if you've got competitors out there, you know, make sure you're diligently looking at what your competitors are doing that's working, you know, don't create something that's a carbon copy of them. You know, you need to kind of cut through the noise. Um, you know, are you competing on price? Are you competing on service? Are you competing on product? You're where, where is your kind of, you know, where was your competitive factor? But again, it does from a traffic point of view, different traffic will behave differently and the best traffic that you could probably drive is from Google. From a conversion point of view. If you wanted to test your kind of idea just from a conversion, drove some intent-based traffic from PPC, hopefully it will drive some sales. You'll get some positive feedback and you'll be able to kind of sit happy in the rationale that, you know, your product is selling, you, customers are happy, you've tested the system end to end.
Speaker 5:
19:35
And you've got some data to be able to then make the next decisions on. So for us it's all about that data side of it. Before we kind of really even start making any sweeping statements or kind of looking at any business, we like to understand what the numbers say, what they're doing at the moment, and ultimately what the competitors are doing. There's so many tools out there at the moment that I enable you to just do kind of proper due diligence on kind of similar or like for like companies, you know, where are they getting their traffic, where are they getting them in battlings from? Are they doing content marketing? You know, what, what is ultimately driving the success of other people's businesses. And
Speaker 4:
20:14
so you, you probably know my next question, what are those tools because um, yeah, I want to know and I'm telling you these things want to know as well.
Speaker 5:
20:22
I mean, Moz is always a really good starting point just from an SEO point of view and a site audit point of view. It'll give you some kind of idea of your SEO value. Um, also h refs, SCM rush is a pretty powerful tool. The audit everything into an so kind of cap hygiene, health speed, um, know the things that kind of tends to be quite important from a a ranking factor. Ultimately a lot of this kind of under is underpinned by SEO, but you can plug your competitors into these tools and see what your competitors are winning on and where they're kind of content gap opportunities or kind of opportunities for you to be able to kind of gain links, seed content with other kind of, you know, other places. If you sell kind of baby care products, there may be an opportunity for you to get some links from mum's net or you know, these types of things.
Speaker 5:
21:18
You know, it's easy to achieve when you can kind of really delve under other company's websites and even onto your own life. You've been trading for awhile and you've never kind of really looked into this stuff. It's fascinating that go and have a look and see kind of, you know, see how you're seeing your sites kind of performing 100% a hundred percent. Whether that's again, early stage validation or if you've been trading for a while, those the, those tools are super important. In term of SEO. What are the basic things that people need to have set up to say be optimized or at least have the basis of what it takes to be successful in SEO is based like Google's algorithms based on number of principals. I mean it's kind of a lot more complex than this, but it's relevant as an authority and behavior.
Speaker 5:
22:03
Um, so relevance keywords, making sure that your content is structured, labeled kind of correctly. So if you sell dog food but your website doesn't mention dog food apart from on the product page, you know, your home page is probably not going to come up. The doctor, and again, it sounds very basic, but you'd be surprised to see how many people sort of forget about this. Obviously dog food will probably be in there, but you also need a longer tail key longer term keywords which are related to this and make sure that it's heavily featured in your, in your copy. Yeah, I think it is, right? It's structuring that content correctly. So yes, you may have dog food, but it might not be your haitch one or it might not be correctly. Um, given priority in your metro title, the meta-description night might not be enticing enough for people to want to click through.
Speaker 5:
22:51
So she clicks a point of view. There are a number of things that kind of go into structuring the relevance correctly. And again, there's a number of tools out there that will kind of help guide you on to kind of page by page basis what the best hierarchy is. And most of got some great, you know, SEO beginners kind of guides that, you know, they're quite kind of Chunky, but they kind of teach you SEO one oh one. Um, you know, and as far as relevance goes, relevance is the thing that you can really affect yourselves. That you can kind of go out there and bake into the site that doesn't take kind of huge amounts of kind of expertise. You know, there's huge amounts of kind of time. This is something that, you know, if you could write copy, you would be able to kind of go out and do this.
Speaker 5:
23:34
We tend to start with keyword research. So this is where we would use a number of tools to be able to find keyword opportunities. Any that around the core product or for instance, opportunities to drive awareness for kind of content hub. So again, like if you're selling dog food, you might write some how to guides on other dog related topics, don't behavior kind of dog walking other dog products, you know there's a lot of other content opportunities that would be able to introduce people to the brand, kind of top of the funnel level, but gives you an opportunity to then data capture and exit remarket consistently throughout social media if they've visited one of your blogs regarding the product. So this gives you an opportunity from a touch point point of view to introduce to the brand and without just kind of boxing yourself into the actual, one kind of key phrase would be open up product.
Speaker 5:
24:25
Does that make sense? So we talked about relevance in keywords. The second one was, yeah, authority. So, so quickly by this authority tends to be kind of other websites giving you a vote of confidence by way of links. And years ago this was a tactic that a lot of people manipulated to the point of Google continually rolling out new algorithm updates to try and combat kind of manipulative behavior in kind of little building. And you know, at the moment organic is always best. So if you can manage to work collaboratively in partnerships with other people to add value to the readership from a blog point of view and they give you a link back because you've provided them with something with value when they fill that. Yeah, okay. You know, Jay's from it's dog food or whatever has given me a link or has given me a really nice valuable kind of white paper piece of content.
Speaker 5:
25:18
You know, I'm going to say thank you and you know, just link back to where kind of, you know, where I'm from. Um, you know, that's [inaudible] link. Um, spammy links are where you kind of pay other people to just seed content on blog posts that aren't, or other sites that aren't relevant. The main thing with kind of link building is relevance really. You know, if I'm a building site or if I'm selling dog food and I'm linking from a building site, there's no relevance. Um, you know, it's kind of like for like content and Google kind of understands this as well. But also like I said, going back to tools, there's a lot of tools out there, h refs, majestic SEO, really great for researching backlink opportunities and researching competitors to understand how they've, um, how they're kind of the makeup of their backlinks kind of looks like.
Speaker 5:
26:05
And then being able to strategically work out where there are opportunities for you to kind of seed content yourself. Um, you know, this is the authority side of it is the difference between ranking on page three to page one a lot of the time for kind of some heavyweight kinda keywords, some, some primary kind of keywords. You're going to need that authority and it's not an overnight thing. You know, this is a longterm investment. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Um, but if you start this early on, you will be thanking yourself that you did this in two years time when a year's time when you're starting to get really nice organic traffic without having to kind of consistently pay to generate, can have, you know, to generate this traffic. There's a PR opportunity here as well depending on how good you are, but there's a number of kind of agencies we've worked with in the past to be able to strategically try and get kind of content in front of different news desks that kind of is quirky but that has an angle to it that's relevant to your kind of, but yes, you know, big websites like garden or any kind of type of news site where there's a lot of content in that seen as a kind of trusted seed by a trustmark kind of most has something called trust flow and citation flow.
Speaker 5:
27:15
Um, yeah, there's other kind of ranking kind of factors, but you know, page rank kind of yet you want to go for something that's kind of high value or it's very hard to get kind of content on their like quality is better than quantity. And you mentioned a third point I forgot behave behavior, behavior. So this is something that is kind of I guess more recent when it comes to actual kind of ranking factors. Um, I mean nobody knows the importance of it, but we know that it does play a part. So this would be things like speed. You know, if your site speed is terrible, customers will bounce. They will not spend time on page or they won't spend time on pages. It takes ages to load. But more often than not, they'll bounce. So your exit will be higher. And if people are coming from organic search terms and aren't getting a good experience, they leave.
Speaker 5:
28:02
And Google sees the fact that they haven't had a good experience from a search term as a reason not to give you kind of a prominent ranking. If somebody site performs better from a usability. And the user is browsing around, their experience is nicer. Google rewards you for behavioral based metrics. So actually having a site that's structured correctly, that's kind of quick, it's easy to use the simple things. And again now Google split its algorithm up between desktop and mobile. This is even more important from a mobile perspective that you actually kind of address the pinch points that a lot of customers can have still have on mobile. Making sure that your site works kind of fluidly. Making sure that, you know, dependent on kind of what your connections like it works kind of end to end. Um, yeah it's, it is super important. Um, and this is where it kind of comes down to building for the user first rather than building for search engines. You know, think about the user and you will be rewarded. So
Speaker 4:
28:58
maybe don't add too many features too early because you don't want to slow the website and you want to make sure that whatever you are adding as a feature is actually useful to the user. So, I don't know if that's a good advice, but really start on sort of the basic things they really well and then build from this. Would you agree though?
Speaker 5:
29:16
Yeah, I think that's definitely, you know, a good approach to take kind of an iterative approach to say, right, okay, what, what is my business as a clinical or what does my website need in order to be functional? But also the kind of looks and feels nice without kind of trying to bake everything in. Like we get customers that, you know, that come to us where they've gone a little bit kind of plugging crazy and they've got, they've added, you know, 50 plugins on Shopify because of all these kind of countdown or call out banners or popups and thinking, right, okay, I actually just shoved product in front of customers. Your yeah, you're kind of over killing everything. Um, you know, sometimes less is more.
Speaker 4:
29:54
So that's, that's a nice segue I think to my other question regarding conversion. So once you've got to the first challenge of bringing people into your work, your webstore really the key challenge for brand is to convert those visitors into buyers. What are some of the things that you do with your clients to optimize their conversion rate and what are your advices on this
Speaker 5:
30:21
conversion rate? Kind of is, it's something that we see as an always kind of iterative, ongoing kind of technique and a lot of the marketing kind of clients kind of use our marketing services. Um, conversion rate is part of their kind of retainer with their package as an ongoing kind of measured metric. Um, it underpins everything. You know, if you can take some of these conversion rate from one to 2%, you double them business effectively. And we understand the importance of this from a migration point of view. So we tend to take a lot of other companies from other platforms onto Shopify plus, and this is the biggest kind of benchmarking, kind of I guess, indicator that we try and keep an eye on. You know, if we move a site from kind of another platform to Shopify plus social proof, I, you know, that's the metric that we keep on our making sure that conversion rate doesn't drop.
Speaker 5:
31:10
Making sure that there's an uplift, hopefully that we've addressed pinch points. There are a number of tools out there that you can use to monitor and measure conversion rate. You can also use qualitative and quantitative kind of, so you can plug in things like hotjar, um, where you can actually watch screen recordings. You can see heat map data, you can look at the usability of the site. So from a conversion rate point of view, I mean there's kind of some key pillars that are really important. Site speed as I mentioned, is kind of a big one. Making sure that your site works across device, across browser. Um, that's all this can can be a little bit under, under looked, um, but also can showcase in the product appropriately. Things like simple things like phone numbers, you know, making a site feel transparent and feel real.
Speaker 5:
31:55
I, again, there's a lot of customers that come to us that are like, right, okay. You know, why, why isn't anybody buying from my site? And it's as simple as you don't let them dress, you don't have a phone number, there's no returns information. It takes you ages to find the shipping information. You have to go all the way through the cart and your website feels American because you haven't added things that still says at the cabinet the basket. You need to kind of think about what the user is going to see the sites rather than just throwing the product on the site thinking yes it looks hard, respectable, but there's no kind of transparency to who you are as a brand.
Speaker 4:
32:30
There is a trust factor and social proof around the fact that other people use your website and use your products and like it. So I imagine reviews will be also a big factor and potentially featuring some of your social media things in on the website. So having like an Instagram timeline is now quite popular on website.
Speaker 5:
32:51
Yes. Yeah, like social proof that the kind of the review side of it is huge growing massively like user generated content as well. So Yacht TPO do this incredibly well. Um, and you know, use your poll on most of the kind of builds that we've done for this Unilever and um, kind of number of other large customers, um, where it's really important to get product reviews and to give the opportunity for those product reviews to be used in actual kind of social media kind of targeting if that makes etc. Like from a user generated content point of view as well to pull the kind of use generated content in like you said, into those product pages so that you can see real world Instagram examples of people receiving the product and raving about it online from an engagement point of view at so much kind of credibility. You know, this makes this kind of relationship 3d rather than just to kind of flat here's a product, you can see what the brand's about. You can see what kind of existing customers feel about the brand, what the sentiment is about the product.
Speaker 4:
33:50
So how, sorry, how would you do this? Um, especially again, quite early stage. Some brains my struggle to get reviews on their website. So when the customer come onto the website doesn't look like anything is happening. How do you initially build those reviews or how do you integrate whatever's happening on your social media, which might be super active onto your website?
Speaker 5:
34:12
I think there is a bit of a chicken and an egg situation when you kind of first started to get going and you know, you'd like, right, okay, where do I start? Do I start in social media? Like social media is a great place to get some engagement, send out some free product, you know, test the market. You know, if you really want to kind of go out there and see what people think, good or bad, and you know, bad reviews as well, embrace them. You know, don't, you don't want every review. I mean, you could have every review to be five stars. You could have an exceptional product and exceptional service, but you haven't read with something. You can learn from it. But more often than not, people will trust the fact that you have the odd bad view. It's how we respond and how you address that.
Speaker 5:
34:51
That kind of really helps build that confidence and trust. You know, if somebody has given you a bad review but you've responded and you've addressed the problem and it you've demonstrated the fact that you care product out, you've given them a special offer, you've made them feel special for something that's not kind of happened as it should, that's that there's an opportunity there for you to go the extra mile and that's that. That's the difference between a good brand and a great brand is a great brand will go that extra mile. Kind of make sure the customer feel special and they understand that you are a brand that cares about the relationship and that's the important thing, the relationship with the customer rather than just trying to sell product in a short term. It's thinking longterm and building a brand.
Speaker 4:
35:32
I have a drink. A question for you. What do you think about filtering out bad reviews on your website? You, you cannot unsold it. But I'd love to have maybe a little bit more insights on this because it is visible with trustpilot or other technologies which integrate quite well with Shopify. It is possible to filter out reviews.
Speaker 5:
35:51
I mean I, we get reviews as well. So as an agency or as kind of like a, an app developer on Shopify, we get people reviewing our apps and some of them are really unfair and some of them it's customer because customers don't understand or can't install the app and you know, it's a bad review on our part then. But it's how you respond, like I said, and how you deal with it. I think it depends on the circumstances. Like if you don't want to highlight kind of every single review but wanting to highlight the overall score, you know, as long as the overall score is kind of reasonable, um, you know, it should be seen as a trustmark. But if every other review you've got is terrible, you probably should look at addressing what people are complaining of amps. And, and I think this comes down to going over, you know, running a business that understands who it's trying to be or water, what it's trying to kind of, what problem we're trying to solve. Like there's a lot of companies out there that are doing drop shipping and you know, ultimately what you can do with drop shipping is build a very, you know, business very quickly, but you're building it off the back of somebody else's product range, which you've got no QA over and somebody else's delivery in shipping, which you've got no control over. So ultimately all you're doing is trying to push traffic to sell product marketing model. Um, which is great in the short term but not very sustainable. Yeah. Mm.
Speaker 4:
37:08
That's really interesting actually. And I get so many questions about drop shipping. Um, I hope I will do a full episode on drop shipping and FBA. So, so we mentioned a little bit earlier, one of your clients ran skincare and um, I ran on their website, um, sort of case study about some conversion optimization that you've done with them. Can you sort of take us through some of the things you did a, again, I really encourage everyone to check the website cause this is so beautiful and works, but can you take us through this? So
Speaker 5:
37:36
yeah, that's fine. Um, so ran as a kind of good case study. This was a migration piece from Magenta. And so like when you replatform anything, we see it as an opportunity to identify kind of pinch points in the old design, in the old kind of process for the checkout and you know, the kind of the path to purchase as it were, you know, kind of ultimately conversion rate. You know, you just want to take the customer through the checkout as simple as possible, as easy as possible. Um, you know, without them having to think too much about what they're doing, you where, where to click, what to do, what to enter, where to enter it. Um, Shopify already makes this process can of really, really simple with things like apple pay, um, and the kind of really nice standardized checkout. But for us the conversion rate optimization on men was mostly around the mobile kind of side of things.
Speaker 5:
38:27
You know, making sure the mobile experience was modern standard was kind of you know, best in class. All that kind of represented kind of good sitespeed that represented a good kind of layout and that enabled you to be at a browser and such products easily. And when you'll put it range kind of is a little bit larger and you know, you sell a lot of different types of skincare products. Getting the customer to the product as quickly as possible is really important. Um, you know, making sure that you, the customer doesn't have to really try and look too hard for what they look for. And also then offering different products based around that intelligently that they may kind of also like, so you understand that product lines, you say, well, okay, if you've added this, you're probably going to like these giving them samples at the checkout as well. So simple kind of merchandising tactics can really help kind of push them on. That's not necessarily a kind of conversionary piece, but more a kind of average ATV EOV kind of piece where you're helping increase that basket size just by kind of merchandising at the right time and the right place.
Speaker 4:
39:28
So just to make sure everyone follows the LTV, lifetime value and a AOV average order value. Great. So another question, and I think I'm just sort of following it in the order of some of the challenges that brands have, but so you know, you have your website, you have visitors and you convert them into buyers. How do you make sure that it keeps coming back and repeat purchase? Can you talk about some of the great features that Shopify has to help with this?
Speaker 5:
39:57
Yeah, so I think there's a really interesting, um, kind of business model that's, that's kind of growing and that tends to be around kind of subscriptions or subscription boxes, kind of a subscription based model where kind of everybody's like, right, okay, can we sell this on subscription?
Speaker 4:
40:13
Everybody? Everyone is trying to do subscription now because I think it works well with investors as well, right? Yes. Yeah,
Speaker 5:
40:18
it's prescriptive. You can kind of forecast kind of revenue based on yes, we've signed x amount of people up. It's an acquisition kind of tactic. Once you understand what your LTV lifetime value of a customer could be, then it's a simple formula to say, okay, you know, we understand what our cost per acquisition is. We can plug x amount of money in and as up, as long as our profit from LTV is higher than our cost per acquisition, then we all onto a winner. So we just funnel more money in at the front end and we'll grow a business that's, you know, the split x amount at the end. And there's huge brands that are doing this effect really, really effectively. Heel, um, is one of them fuels development team also based here?
Speaker 4:
40:58
Yeah, I saw a, I saw their logo earlier in the building. I was like, oh, that's crazy. So they also have an office in London or they just, okay.
Speaker 5:
41:05
Yes. [inaudible] development team are based here. Um, we know them all very well, that QX members and staff. Um, but yeah, we, uh, they're on Shopify as well, so they're a good kind of Shopify case study, a, you know, a good kind of success story based on kind of you in a UK based company. It's done subscriptions really, really effectively, um, and got to kind of tens and tens of millions of turnover by doing this. Um, you know, from a, a repeat purchase point of view, you know, ultimately the thing that's going to hold you back or the thing that's going to kind of demonstrate success from a repeat purchase is quality of product and quality of service. You know, you need to get those two things right regardless, you know, regardless of any marketing tactic you try and roll out, regardless of any kind of clever kind of segmentation that you try and do to kind of upsell across.
Speaker 5:
41:53
So if the first purchase that the customer has had, it doesn't live up to what their expectations were, the likelihood of them coming back is pretty much there. No matter how much you financially kind of incentivize them with loyalty programs or anything else like that. So I think for me the starting point would be make sure you've got your review set up. Make sure listening to the customer's feedback, make sure you're offering a good product with a good service transparently. Make sure that you're getting that kind of voting. If you can excel, if you can go the extra mile, if you can delight at that first point, you know the first purchase, probably one of the most important ones for a moment of delight at the first purchase. People will remember, people will remember this,
Speaker 2:
42:44
right? That's it. We've wrapped up part one. Remember that next week will be part two with Jason talking about some of the biggest trends in ecommerce at the moment. So a lot of interesting stuff in this as well. You can follow us on Instagram at ecommerce inboxed or on linkedin and please feel free to get in touch. Give us some feedback. Let us know what you think about the show. Will you want to hear on the show and what topics you want to hear about. In the meantime, make sure that you do what makes your heart happy. Let's see, you guys.
Speaker 3:
43:19
Okay?