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Ep. 18 - Fastest Growing eCommerce Stores of 2019: ModernMedia.io’s Customer Acquisition Study with Anthony Blatner

Anthony Blatner, founder, and Advertising Director at ModernMedia.io, started delivering newspapers when he was 11 – and has been hooked on advertising ever since. He’s learned a lot since then and, now, he helps other entrepreneurs leverage Facebook ads, create eCommerce sales funnels, and build successful lead generation campaigns.

Today, Anthony shares the findings and insights that he learned from his latest eCommerce industry study. We cover a lot of the most important findings in this episode, but every eCommerce store owner – as well as every brick and mortar store owner – should read it.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • [3:30] How long was ModernMedia.io working on the study & what was studied?
  • [4:15] The most surprising trailing indicator for success identified in the study
  • [9:15] Trends in customer acquisition
  • [11:15] If you’re starting a store today, do you need to start with an advertising budget?
  • [14:00] Testing your bundles and offers
  • [16:35] The two first things that new eCommerce store owners need to do
  • [26:15] Using Facebook Video Vs. Images
  • [28:20] What you should NOT do when you open an eCommerce store
  • [31:15] The opportunity that still exists in the eCommerce space

Resources:

Are you a maker, crafter, or small manufacturer on Shopify? Get easier production scheduling & inventory management with Katana. You can try it free for 14 days. By using the promo code “HONEST” you'll get 30% off your first 3 months of paid subscription! Sign up at Katana’s website here: www.katanamrp.com.

If you’re enjoying the show, we’d love it if you left Honest eCommerce a review on Apple Podcasts. It makes a huge impact on the success of the podcast, and we love reading every one of your reviews!

Transcript:

 

Anthony Blatner

A lot of people that I talked to who say, "Oh, I tried Facebook ads. (It) didn't work for me." And when we dig into that, they're like, "Oh, I just posted a couple of posts, but I didn't make any sales." And that's why.

 

Annette Grant

Welcome to Honest eCommerce where we are dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners.

 

Chase Clymer

I'm your host, Chase Clymer.

 

Annette Grant

And I'm your host, Annette Grant.

 

Chase Clymer

And we believe running an online business does not have to be complicated or a guessing game.

 

Annette Grant

If you're struggling to scale your sales, Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us, visit electriceye.io/connect to learn more.

 

Chase Clymer

And let's get on with the show.

 

Annette Grant

On today's episode of Honest eCommerce, we welcome Anthony Platner. The founder and advertising director at Modern Media. He will be sharing his findings and insights from his eCommerce industry study.

 

Chase Clymer

Welcome back to yet another episode of Honest eCommerce. I am joined by Annette Grant who's been wolfing down all of our snacks this afternoon.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

And today we're welcoming to the show, Anthony Blatner here from Modern Media. Anthony is the co-founder and the advertising director. Welcome to the show, Anthony.

 

Anthony Blatner

Hey guys! I have a beer.

 

Annette Grant

Do you have any snacks, Anthony? I've devoured all...

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs) I just had some snacks. I'm sure... I might grab another one.

 

Annette Grant

You can Amazon Prime Pantry me anything you like. Just FYI. (laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah. Exactly. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

I'll give you the address later. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Cool. Cool. So Anthony has a... You know what, I want to start right at the end here. So Anthony, tell me about newspapers.

 

Anthony Blatner

Newspapers. Uh, yeah. So I started delivering newspapers when I was 11 years old. My mom insisted I get out of the house and do something. And I think that's what started my fascination with advertising.

 

And that's... Long, long path since then, but now I'm leading an advertising agency, coming full circle from delivering newspapers to now doing it online.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. That's fantastic. Cool. So, you guys just did something super cool. You did a nice industry study. Give us a little background about that and then I'm going to ask you a million questions.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah, so we work with a lot of different eCommerce stores. And at the end of last year, a lot of people ask questions like, "Oh, what's the best practice in this area? And there's a lot of things that we've learned just from doing the campaigns over the years and just from doing eCommerce and helping clients run stores.

 

But a lot of times we'll do industry research or reference and see what other players are doing. So what we did was we took the Inc 5000 List of eCommerce stores and we analyzed a whole bunch of different data points to see, "Hey, what are the fastest-growing stores (are) doing and what's working well for them?"

 

And we broke down a lot of data points, turned it into some nice and pretty charts and then also did our best to correlate whichever data points we could with growth. To identify which factors led to the most or the fastest growth in these stores and then which factors maybe didn't correlate as much to growth. So that we could both learn that for our clients and our work and be able to share that with others.

 

Chase Clymer

That sounds like a lot of work. How long were you guys working on that?

 

Anthony Blatner

That took a couple of months. We ran over the holidays too. So we slowed down a little bit then but, yeah. We went and we used Moz, SEMrush, Spyfu, and a bunch of other tools to analyze all those data points, but going through hundreds of stores did take a little while to do all of that. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

What's the weirdest data point that you guys were looking at for a KPI?

 

Anthony Blatner

Weirdest data point? Huh. (I) Wasn't expecting that question. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. I was going to say, "Leave it to Chase to ask that question." (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Just one (data point) that people wouldn't expect to be an indicator.

 

Annette Grant

There we go.

 

Chase Clymer

There are always trailing and leading indicators for success. So what's one (data point) that you guys were checking out that you think most people wouldn't think about?

 

Annette Grant

Or yeah. (What's one data point that people would be) surprised by?

 

Anthony Blatner

II think we were most shocked to see that SEO --and we will try to correlate organic growth and content-- Looking at domain authority and inbound links, we try to correlate that to growth.

 

I think we are more shocked to see that higher domain authority and higher inbound links actually have a negative correlation with growth. So sites that had a higher domain authority were actually the slower-growing sites on the Inc 5000.

 

Chase Clymer

I think getting a high domain authority is a lot of work. And it's a time thing. And I don't see... I could see it being further along in their careers and in their businesses. You're not going to grow with the domain authority 10 points in a year. Maybe you can. I don't know. I'm not an SEO expert.

 

But I could see it, where you could have an explosion in sales from paid ads to grow your business that way. But SEO is a way longer play. So you're not going to see that pay off immediately.

 

Anthony Blatner

Exactly, that's where we broke it down too, is that a lot of times building your domain authority, like you said, takes a lot of time. Building those links takes time. Number one, you need to create a website, post the content, and then people need to find out about you and then they need to link back to you.

 

So whether that's you promoting it, and it may be direct email or just a PR wire picking you up and linking back to you or whatever those sources are, it takes time to build those links and build that domain authority.

 

So that's where we broke down is that's a longer-term process. It takes time for Google to catch on and crawl those links and build up your authority as well. So that was our hunch there around that.

 

Chase Clymer

Cool. Alright, so I'm going to get back on track here. And I'm not going to throw any more curveballs at you

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

For at least the next 10 minutes.

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Alright, so what are some of the trends that you saw in this eCommerce technology?

 

Anthony Blatner

So with technology, we saw that... We broke down a few different areas, we looked at what platform was the most popular, the highest represented. And we saw that Shopify was by far the leading platform for eCommerce in terms of representation. Shopify counted for 43% of the 85,000 eCommerce stores. Number 2 is Magento and number 3 was BigCommerce. And then we saw WooCommerce after that: 6.5%. So we looked at the representation on the Inc 5000. And then also growth by platform, we saw that also number one was Shopify and then number two is Magento there.

 

Annette Grant

I don't know if you know this or Chase does. How long has Magento been around compared to Shopify? Does anyone know the answer to that?

 

Anthony Blatner

Um, that's a good question. Magento has been more of the big enterprise tool that I think has been around longer on the enterprise level. Whereas Shopify, I'd say, it's probably a little newer.

 

Annette Grant

Right. Can you even... If you were starting a store today, could you even go on Magento? Or does it have to be enterprise-level?

 

Chase Clymer

They've got an open-source version now. But I would tell anyone thinking about Magento that's starting a store to really understand why they would need Magento. If you're starting, you probably don't.

 

Annette Grant

Okay. Just wondering.

 

Chase Clymer

There are reasons why Magento exists, but 99% of the stores aren't going to experience that reason.

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah, exactly. For somebody starting today, I would recommend starting with Shopify.

 

Annette Grant

Okay.

 

Anthony Blatner

If they were a... Maybe if they had a really big local business or if it was like a chain of stores that was brick and mortar that was looking to go online, that had already had a chain of stores and are already doing a good chunk of sales, then maybe I'd consider looking at Magento to start but for the average business or entrepreneur, I'd say start with Shopify.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. Another thing I see is when people have like... Wholesale is a huge part of their business and people need to buy crazy wholesale orders. It's not just like 500 of this product. It's like 500 of these SKUs. And when that gets crazy, Magento definitely handles that a lot better. But yeah.

 

Annette Grant

Okay. Sorry, that was a little off. I'm just interested. I didn't know how much longer Magento has been around than Shopify. For market share.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah. We saw that based on revenue numbers, Magento did account for an impressive chunk of the highest revenue earners on the Inc 5000. But they were still number two to Shopify in terms of representation and growth.

 

Chase Clymer

Here's something though. They've been around long enough to get their shit together.

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

There's quite a lot of stuff in the forums and in their community that people have been trying to get addressed. And it hasn't happened. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Adobe bought it.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah. I've heard it, right. But I'm not sure about that.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. I'm sure there's going to be changes happening.

 

Yeah.

 

Cool. So pivoting away from technology. Obviously, technology is just a tool. You can apply any marketing tactic, any systems in your business to find success in eCommerce. The technology doesn't matter. Just because I'm over here yelling about Shopify all day long, there are... You can make it happen with anything. I just like Shopify a lot. But that's just a tool. Let's talk about marketing and what are the trends that you were seeing with customer acquisition?

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah, so we broke down the organic side versus the paid side. And like I mentioned earlier, we noticed that organic and SEO actually had a negative correlation to growth. We were surprised to see that. It does take time to build up SEO and that's the reasoning behind that but looking at the Inc 5000 List of the fastest-growing stores, we saw that over 80% of them were investing in advertising.

 

And then when you look at the top 25% of the fastest-growing stores, 97% of them advertise. I think that was like one or two stores in the top quarter are not advertising. So that was a pretty strong metric and trend to see. We saw that stores that did advertise grew 3.6 times faster than stores that didn't on that whole list. And we dug even further into Google, Facebook, Instagram advertising. How many ads are they running? What is common? Are some just pushing a few ads? Or they just a whole bunch of different things?

 

We saw that the median number of ads was between 10 to 25. And that it was most common to be over 25 ads. Whereas when you're looking at some of these stores, they just have 10s or hundreds of ads that are running. They're out there testing a whole bunch of different messaging and creative and audiences. And we did see that on the stores that are growing the fastest. (They) are running a whole bunch of different ads and a whole of other things.

 

Annette Grant

Interesting. So if you're starting a store today then, do you have to start with the advertising budget right out of the gate?

 

Anthony Blatner

So I guess it depends where exactly you're starting. Some of the things that are really valuable about paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram is you can get that immediate market feedback. You have a Catalog and you have a number of products in that Catalog. You can very quickly see, "Hey, what were the most popular items in that Catalog based on what ads are people clicking (or) on what products they clicking on the most." You'll see what's the most popular item on your Catalog.

 

So if you're launching a store, maybe you find that some subset of your Catalog is the most popular and then you decide to focus more on that area. You might be able to test your pricing very fast in the beginning, you could launch a few different campaigns here from ads, testing a few different pricing levels and see what gives you the highest ROI.

 

So there's a number of things when we help a new store start that they're going to start testing. A lot of times it's, "Let's test out the audience. Who we want to target." A lot of (times) the store has an idea of what their target demographic is. But then we'll help them try to get as nitty-gritty into that as possible and identify specific demographics and specific interests. And then show them the data.

 

What, who, which audience is engaging the most, which is buying the most, which has the highest ROI for them and also learning about their products. So we call it "Honing the Product-Market Fit" and then honing your messaging and just zeroing in on your best audience and the best products.

 

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Annette Grant

Okay, I'm going to rewind a little bit there just so I understand. So you're proposing to test a product at potentially like three different price points, is that correct?

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah, that's something that we generally help people with. If they're testing different bundles or different offers, maybe to "buy one, get one" offer maybe it's "buy three for a certain price". Testing which offers are the most appealing to people.

 

Annette Grant

Okay. So really the price point stays the same on the site, but it's the offers that you're going to put out there (that) will shift the price point a little bit. So front-facing it looks like it's the same?

 

Anthony Blatner

Right.

 

Annette Grant

Okay, got it. I might have to try that.

 

Chase Clymer

Cool. I want to play devil's advocate here though. When people are starting their store. I like how you mentioned it. It's like honing that product-market fit. I feel that's the hardest hurdle for any small business to achieve. And looking to put the pressure on an advertising agency or creative agency or anything like that --that it's their job to find your product-market fit-- that's not going to work for you. I almost feel like you have to understand that the investment you're making in paid advertising at that stage of the game, when you're a new business is... The return you get might just be data.

 

Anthony Blatner

True. Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

You might be operating at a loss for that while. But if you want to get that data fast, and you don't want to work on getting that product-market fit sorted out organically, then you can fail fast with money.

 

Anthony Blatner

Right. I definitely agree with that. And heed that warning to any entrepreneur out there. (It) is going to know how much you're ready to invest and how many how much resources you can allocate to this. So whether you're starting as an individual entrepreneur or if you're starting as a small to medium-sized business...

 

If it's just you as an entrepreneur, you're probably gonna start a little bit slower and I wouldn't recommend jumping into advertising that quick. But if you're a business and you have the resources to invest, you could save yourself a lot of time by doing that. So I definitely agree that marketing and advertising are never going to save a bad product.

 

If it's just something that people aren't interested in, that people are going to buy, no amount of testing is gonna give you that product. But if you have a good product then we can make that offer, that message. We could find good find your best offer and message to an advertiser

 

Chase Clymer

Cool. I think this is a great pivot into our next question. So from this study and just your history as an advertising expert, let's say I'm starting a new store today, what would you say I need to keep in mind?

 

Anthony Blatner

So the biggest things... When people come to us, I recommend getting analytics on your site as fast as possible. Getting the Facebook Pixel on your site as fast as possible if you're getting traffic there, so that we can start tracking who's coming to the site, who are looking at which products. Facebook Analytics is getting even better these days. They're always rolling out new features that are pretty interesting, that are showing you demographics. Now traffic on your website, Google Analytics will do a little bit of that.

 

But I think Facebook's going to be able to do the best job of that in the long term. And we can see who's going from social media to your website, whether they... Who's actually looking at products, who are checking out, who's buying. So getting analytics on your site, so you can start seeing what's happening.

 

We find a lot of people coming to us and they don't even have the Pixel on the site. And then you got kind of start from beginning there, by building that data. And the power of the Pixel is it also just plugs into Facebook's larger platform.

 

So some people call it "seasoning your Pixel". As the Pixel tracks visitors to your site and looks at who's viewing content and who's adding to cart, you can then leverage those audiences and we target them and create lookalikes based on who's doing that.

 

So Facebook gets to create a pretty good picture of your best customer. And then Facebook can do that across the platform and everyone who's engaging across all these different websites to kind of help you hone your audience there.

 

Annette Grant

Yes, Chase and I are going to just reiterate what you just said. We see it all the time stores not having their Facebook Pixel installed.

 

Chase Clymer

It's free!

 

Annette Grant

So if you're listening to this and you do not have it installed, you need to do that immediately. Actually, stop listening and install your Facebook Pixel. If you can't figure it out, get on Upwork (or) somewhere and there are YouTube videos. Listen, I can install Facebook Pixel so that means you can, too. So...

 

Chase Clymer

If Annette can do it, anyone can do it.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) Yeah, no. Seriously, I watched the YouTube videos. I made sure that was done. But we are... There are stores still out there that are not utilizing that. So take Anthony's advice. Please install the Facebook Pixel immediately. Especially in Shopify, it's super easy to do.

 

Chase Clymer

I came across the business that was spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on Facebook advertising and they weren't using a Pixel.

 

Annette Grant

Mm-hmm.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

Which is surprising to me. When you said... Oh, by the way, I just have to give you an insight into how my brain works. When you said... When you're talking about seasoning the pixel, I imagined Salt Bae like dropping data on Facebook Pixel. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

We were just doing lots of hand gestures, Salt Bae hand gestures when you said "seasoning the Pixel."

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

So again, we're nerds over here.

 

Chase Clymer

We're professionals.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) No, that was great. So just to reiterate, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Facebook analytics, if you're a store starting out today,

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. And Shopify makes it so simple. You don't even have to install the whole code or do anything weird. You just copy the string of numbers and you paste it in the backend. It couldn't be any simpler.

 

Anthony Blatner

Right. Yeah, they make it super easy. So hit pause now and go do that and then come back and listen to the rest of this podcast.

 

Annette Grant

I'm going to be the Shopify store owner here and put this question to you and Chase both. "Okay, cool. I've got the Pixel installed. I'm checking it out. But how do I dip my toe into the wild world of Facebook advertising? It's really intimidating. I know for myself."

 

What is your advice for someone just starting out wanting to put some dollars behind Facebook and really starting to use that Facebook Pixel? What do you suggest and recommend for them just starting out (and) maybe they don't have a huge budget?

 

Anthony Blatner

So I'd say be careful because... I'd say another big mistake that I usually see people making is when they try to dip their toe, they're probably just going to hit the "Boost Post" button and just boost a post on their page.

 

And when you do that, the default settings on the frontend of your Facebook page are just set to optimize for post engagements --which I joke that everyone has that random aunt or cousin that just likes everybody's posts on Facebook ins their News Feed-- that's (where) your Facebook's going to optimize towards because it's optimizing for post engagement.

 

So it's going to boost the post to people who are similar to people who like your page, and to people who are likely to engage, which means any like. But that does not mean (its) clicking through, that does not mean adding to cart, that does not mean making a purchase. So when you're just dipping your toe on it, I'd say be careful because you probably... Post engagements probably aren't going to get you anything nice.

 

There's a lot of people that I talked to, who say, "Oh, I tried Facebook ads, (It) didn't work for me." And when we dig into that, they're like, "Oh, I just boosted a couple of posts, but I didn't make any sales." And that's why. It's because when you just boost a post, it's going to optimize your posts engagements.

 

Whereas when we set up our advertising campaigns, you do it through Facebook Business Manager, you can set up conversion campaigns, and you can optimize for these specific events. So as we were talking about the Facebook Pixel earlier, that tracks these events when people come to your website and they view a product. When they add it to cart and when they purchase, you can optimize for those events so when you do it through Facebook Business Manager, you can set up campaigns in the proper way.

 

If you're just getting started, I'd probably recommend just starting with a small conversion campaign. Or maybe you do use that to test out what are your best audiences or which are your best products, maybe with just a traffic campaign just to get some people to your website.

 

But I guess just keep in mind as you allocate that budget, what that's going to get you can choose conversions for purchases, or you can choose traffic, but post engagements are not going to get you much.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, I think that if you're just getting started and you're up for a challenge, if you're a DIYer, once you sync your Catalog to your Facebook Business Manager and Shopify and then... You can do this with WooCommerce and all the other platforms, but it's a little bit harder in my opinion.

 

Long story short, if you can get the view content information coming back and you can set up a complete bottom-of-the-funnel retargeting campaign where it is showing your product that someone has added to their cart to them on their feed, that is going to return as long as you have traffic.

 

And those actions are actually happening on your website. But taking a step back, if you're not doing a $1,000 a month in sales, don't focus on Facebook. You have other problems.

 

Anthony Blatner

Right.

 

Annette Grant

That's a good tip. And I will say, I feel like from a store owner’s perspective, I don't know what it is but whenever I talk to people about Facebook advertising, if they're just starting out, there's something about the "Boost Post." I feel like people do that (because) they feel like it's the path of least resistance.

 

Chase Clymer

It's simple!

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, and I think it's just like, "Oh yeah! I'm boosting posts." So I think that's again, something to jus... I want to get out there and message more of that, "Boosting posts is not advertising." (laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Alright. How can I say this without getting in trouble?

 

Annette Grant

Just say it.

 

Chase Clymer

I had an advisor...

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

When I was learning Facebook from someone and... Anyway, so they literally told me straight up that that Boost Post button is for stupid people...

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

And they said it is stealing money from them and that's what's lining Zuck's pockets.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. I think it's that path... It's the easiest thing. People think it's really getting them the traction that they need and it isn't. So, no. I think it's... We've gotta get that out there and let people know that that is not advertising it's just boosting the post.

 

Chase Clymer

I boost posts sometimes with a reason behind it. But it's not just to boost the post. There's a method to my madness. It's never just that button there's a more audience choice and insight behind it.

 

Anthony Blatner

There are times when you want to get some social proof on a post or if you have a post that's already doing well organically that you just want to get out to a broader audience, I'd say those are the times when we use “Boost ost” the most.

 

For example, if we see a page post that's going viral on its own. We've had a few different (posts) like memes or videos that we post, that our pages have posted, that has gotten a lot of engagement just organically, and then we'll boost it to get even more.

 

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Annette Grant

One more Facebook question for you. What are your thoughts on brands using Facebook Video versus like the Catalog? Are you do you use video a lot?

 

Anthony Blatner

We do use video a lot. So, video is great for building that familiarity. We see a lot of times images are better for actual conversions. But for that middle-of-the-funnel (customers), video is great for building that relationship and building up familiarity. So if you're a new store or if you're just like a small independent store, maybe a brand name that not many people know about, the first time they engage with you... But you know, they're going to see your brand name and it's not going to mean anything to them.

 

Annette Grant

Mm-hmm.

 

Anthony Blatner

But maybe they see your product and click through your website and they're like, "Huh. Interesting..." but they don't buy. That'd be a great person to retarget with some videos to show them maybe, your product in action or show some people wearing it around lifestyle videos and just build the familiarity.

 

Because if it's somebody that is at least a little bit interested in (your products), they might sit and watch the video for two seconds. And then they may know more about your products or your brand. And then this is also good for helping to make the sale. The more familiar they are with your product, the more likely they're going to buy later on.

 

Annette Grant

Great. Do you find that video advertising is more expensive or less expensive?

 

Anthony Blatner

Typically less expensive. Facebook has been cheaper for getting video views. So video views are a cheaper objective to advertise on Facebook. So getting those views are cheaper but it's not always cheaper to get purchases with video views. So it just depends on your objective there for middle-of-the-funnel, it's cheaper to use videos to get in front of your audience. But it's not always cheaper to get purchases with videos if that makes sense.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, that's it. Thank you for that. So, now that we've told the new store owner to put in their Facebook Pixel and not boost a post, let's give them some other knowledge. What else should they not be doing when they're opening their store? I think sometimes that's even more helpful.

 

Anthony Blatner

What else should they not be doing I think a lot of times when we take on a store, we'll do an audit of the website and finding broken links or a lot. Sometimes we'll see even on the Shopify website, they might have a slider on the homepage that they put up day one with some products, but then they've changed their products and then those links are broken. So making sure that your customer journey is smooth.

 

And when you're pushing traffic to your website, knowing where you're sending that. Whether it's like an individual product page, or a catalog page or your homepage, making it so that it just makes sense to somebody who hasn't seen your store before and might not be familiar with it. We might not always want to send them right to a product page, because maybe they need to see the more high-level of your store. Understand your story.

Maybe you would send (them) to a homepage at that point. But when somebody has been your website before --maybe they've seen the video-- at that point, --then bottom-of-the-funnel-- that you do take them right to the product page. Because then they're already familiar with that first couple of stops, and then they're more likely to buy.

 

Whereas if you send them back to the homepage again, then that doesn't get them any closer to the purchase path.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. So...

 

Anthony Blatner

A couple of things there. But you know, making sure that your site flow and layout is good, and that you're sending people to the right page.

 

Annette Grant

No. I think that's important. II know when you're building the site and you're just working on it, you get blinders on to things. So you got to have some fresh eyes, look at it from time to time and make sure everything is still working and making sense from the user experience.

 

Anthony Blatner

Right. Send it to a couple of friends, advisors, teammates, and have them click around and find stuff.

 

Annette Grant

I've always found asking your mom... (laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

...to buy something and see if she can do it, is helpful. I'm being serious. Like if your mom can't find something on your site, then I mean just depending... But I find sometimes... Get somebody that really maybe don’t online shop often, have them come to your site, say "I want you to find this product."And watch them fumble around. It's aggravating. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

They can borrow my uncle.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. Uncle Chip. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Chip has no idea.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. (laughs) Actually, that's a plug. Go to unclechip.com. We'll make him a user testing...

 

Chase Clymer

Oh my gosh. I would be like, "Chip, you're making money" and he'd still get mad.

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) Actually, we should start that. "Your Mom's User Testing." (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Oh, we're just coming up with lots of ideas today. Anyway...

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. As you can tell, we've recorded too many podcasts today.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

Coming up with new business ideas. I like it.

 

Annette Grant

No. I do too, actually.

 

Chase Clymer

Alright, so is there anything that we missed from the growth study or just any insights that you kind of took away that you'd want to share with our audiences? Maybe with like, thoughts on the future and where stuff are going?

 

Anthony Blatner

Some of the last two things are how much... Number one how much opportunity that we still see in the eCommerce space. And a lot of people get gun shy thinking about Amazon. And they're like, "Oh, we hear a lot of people are just trying to get into Amazon business."

 

But we find, in part of our study, we did research into just economics and notice that eCommerce is still just a tiny percentage of the total retail sales in the US. And we've barely scratched the surface there.

 

So I think there's still a ton of opportunity in eCommerce. It's growing very fast and you don't have to be on Amazon. Amazon's gonna cut into your margins. And that's still... Starting your own Shopify store, your own independent store, there's a ton of opportunity there.

 

Annette Grant

Mm-hmm.

 

Anthony Blatner

And then the other thing that I was going to mention is... What is the second thing... I'm lagging... So that was my point.

 

Annette Grant

Honestly, I think that's a drop the mic moment that inspired me.

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

No, seriously. I think that's what you said. People think that Amazon's taking over the world. There are not enough pieces of the pie left for them. But I love that you said that the opportunity is the number one thing. That's super inspiring.

 

Especially, if you really had a product, you could get up at Shopify tonight which is amazing and cool. So I think that's exciting. For our listeners, if they're thinking about getting in the market, that just pushed me over the edge for more products.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, that opportunity is why I like being... So I like being an agency owner because everyone... I'm friends with a lot of other agency owners and we're having this journey together and there is no competition between us. We are sharing industry secrets, we are helping each other and it's so much fun because we know there's an opportunity out there for everyone. And we just want everyone to be successful.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, we want everybody to sell something online. That's our goal.

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

Cool. So, Anthony thank you so much for your time today. But can you tell our listeners where can they find you? And where can they find this report and some more tools that they can utilize from your firm?

 

Anthony Blatner

Yeah, absolutely. So you can find this report at modernmedia.io/ecommerce-growth-study. It's all there. It's also on Medium if you search there so that all the charts all the graphs and data points are there. And then if you want to get in touch with me, my email is anthony@modernmedia.io.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. And I'll make sure that we have all of that in the show notes. And I can't thank you enough for joining us today. It was a lot to think about.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah, I'm excited. I'm going to go start boosting posts. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs)

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Eating snacks and boosting posts.

 

Anthony Blatner

(laughs)

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. By night time. That's what's up. All right, thank you so much, Anthony. We appreciate it.

 

Chase Clymer

We can't thank our guests enough for coming on the show and sharing the truth. Links and more will be available in the show notes. If you found any actionable advice in this podcast that you'd like to apply to your business, please reach out at electriceye.io/connect.

 

Annette Grant

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