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Ep. 20 - What is Customer Journey Retargeting (CJR)? with Reza Khadjavi

Why do some ads delight us, yet others frustrate us to no end?

As an experienced entrepreneur and current CEO of Shoelace, the world-class retargeting solution for Direct-to-Consumer businesses, Reza Khadjavi wants all marketers to consider that question.

Truly standing apart in an era where consumer expectations are higher than ever means brands need to come to terms with dropping the annoying habit of bombarding their audiences with repetitive messaging. The tolerance digitally native generations have for advertisers is quickly disappearing, and resonating in the digital era will require more from marketers than ever before. In order to stay competitive, brands will need to market to audiences on their terms.

Reza believes that the days of annoying ads are numbered. Instead the path forward for successful brands is to start leveraging each and every single touch point as an opportunity to build meaningful connections and foster long-term relationships with digitally adept audiences – and he believes you can do this through Customer Journey Retargeting (CJR).

You can get a better idea of what CJR is and whether or not you are doing it within your organization by downloading Reza’s FREE CJR Deck: https://learn.shoelace.com/cjr-deck!

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • [3:50] The evolution of customer targeting & retargeting
  • [8:20] How Reza created this idea & technology
  • [15:10] Trying to change the way people think about targeting & bringing more marketers into this conversation
  • [17:00] Is CJR right for you?
  • [24:30] The first thing you can do to start using CJR in your store
  • [28:30] Will CJR solve your business problems?

Resources:

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Transcript:

Reza Khadjavi

There is a world (where) retargeting is highly profitable for brands and helps their businesses grow but it's also an experience that is like delightful and interesting and engaging and memorable from the consumer perspective.

 

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

On today's episode of Honest eCommerce, we welcome Reza, the CEO of Shoelace, as he breaks down Customer Journey Retargeting.

 

All right, everybody, welcome. Back to yet another episode of honest eCommerce. My name is Chase. I'm sitting here next to Annette Grant in Columbus, Ohio and today we are welcoming Reza from Shoelace, an expert in Customer Journey Retargeting. Welcome to the show, Reza. What is CJR, as you like to put it?

 

Reza Khadjavi

Thanks. Yeah. Glad to be here to talk about that. So we first started thinking about Customer Journey Retargeting as a solution to what we've identified as a pretty big problem. This is the problem of retargeting having gotten incredibly annoying from the consumer standpoint. So if you talk to any consumer, --and all of us are consumers ourselves in some respect-- you ask them what they think about retargeting ads.

 

What you'll probably hear is people will say, "Oh, those annoying repetitive ads that follow me around everywhere? I hate them." Or "They're super annoying." That's kind of the state of retargeting and it also happens to provide good ROI for merchants and advertisers. And so we find this weird situation where "Do we exist in a world where the only way to get a high return on ad spend is to annoy your customers?" Like, "Is that just a trade-off that we as marketers have to live with?"

And we've been thinking about this for a while. And our view is that the answer is no, it doesn't have to be that way. There is a world (where) retargeting is highly profitable for brands and helps their businesses grow but it's also an experience that is delightful and interesting and engaging and memorable from the consumer perspective. And so there's a lot of reasons why we think that retargeting should be a better experience.

 

And ultimately, the way we try to phrase customer journey retargeting, is just part of this conversation of, "How could retargeting be better?" And at a high level, the way we think about it is that: Part of what is annoying about retargeting is if it's not “funnel-aware”. If it doesn't understand where somebody is in their buying journey.

 

So if somebody has bought a product and then for six months, continues to see a retargeting ad of that product that they bought, it's the advertiser not being aware of what stage of the buying journey the customer's in. So part of what we think about Customer Journey Retargeting is to be relevant to where the customer is, based on where they are in the buying journey.

 

Whether they've just expressed interest and only spent a few seconds on the brand's Instagram page or coming back for their fifth purchase this year, --The loyal repeat customer-- Customer Journey Retargeting should take that state of the customer, where they are in their journey, and reflect that in the ad experiences they receive.

 

There's a bunch of more that goes into it. And we have this pretty long, 54-slide deck to answer that question of what CJR is. But at a high-level, that's sort of how we think about it. So that these experiences, instead of being annoying and repetitive for consumers, end up being relevant and memorable and personalized, that's a high level of how we like to think about it.

 

Annette Grant

I have a question. I'm very familiar with retargeting and also the customer journey, but I'm going to be honest here. I did not know about customer journey retargeting until I was prepping for this episode. So can you talk to our listeners and myself, and educate us a little bit about the evolution of retargeting and what the root of it was and how we got to Customer Journey Retargeting and your brand in general.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah, so I think retargeting --probably as a technology or marketing strategy-- has probably been around for, I don't know, I want to say 7 or 8 years, something like that.

 

And it started off with this ability to be able to, let's say, drop a cookie on consumer's browsing experience and then later be able to show them... That was pretty revolutionary in the sense that you can now pick up that intense signal and say, "Here's somebody who has been to the website and obviously is super interested in our content." We can get in front of them again instead of it... Without even having an email address.

 

I think that has been just like a dream for marketers for as long as retargeting tactics have existed. But I think the problem has become... Marketers have not really innovated with retargeting since its inception. For the most part, still, what we continue to do is show buyers the same ad over and over again. And I think part of it has to do with... As marketers, we become so accustomed to looking at dashboards, looking at Facebook Ads Manager looking at numbers and digits on a screen, that we forget what the end experience that consumers like.

 

So for the most part --In a part of a brand's overall marketing strategy-- they're doing email, they're doing SEO, they're doing prospecting and all these things going on. And generally, the way we try to determine whether something is working well or not is to look at the KPIs and the numbers. And for the longest time, I think, retargeting slipped through the radar here by showing good numbers on the analytics dashboards. Therefore marketers go, "Okay. Well, I must be doing all right."

 

Meanwhile, the ad has a frequency of 40 so the customer is seeing the same thing like a million times. Some of them have converted, sure, but everybody else has just gotten a terrible experience. And I think that... As we've started to think about it, there's a lot of reasons why we've been really keen on focusing on this problem. I'll just mention it very quickly and I'm happy to dive into whichever area you prefer.

 

But ultimately, we think that it's not a good experience from a customer's perspective. There's something much more important than that kind of warm and fuzzy argument. The thing that we've seen happen, --I'm sure you both can agree to this-- is in the last 3 to 4 years, it's just become very expensive to make the math work on paid marketing for eCommerce.

 

There was a time period where you just run a bunch of Facebook ads and then you make profitable results just on those first transactions. And it was all wonderful and everybody was making a ton of money. And as it gets more and more competitive and as the CPMs go up, it starts to become harder and harder to make all the math work on that first transaction.

 

So what you start to see is that the eCommerce brands that are emerging as having a competitive differentiator to be able to survive these are the ones that are building businesses around like loyalty and repeat purchase and having customers come back and buy from their brand over and over again.

 

And that's where the math will work from a lifetime value perspective. So as we start to see this kind of conversation shift a little bit, --at least for the forward-thinking brands-- that repeat purchase matters.

 

Long-term brand equity matters. And these things don't just matter because they feel nice, but they matter because that's how... It's the only way the mouth is going to work. And we start to think about, "Okay, if that's the direction that marketing strategies are evolving into 2019 and beyond for brand marketers, then how should retargeting evolve to this?"

Our view is to say that, "We can't move in that direction, --what we're trying to build... Brand affinity, emotional and memorable connections with our customers so that they come back and buy from us over and over again and tell all the friends-- if the retargeting experiences are just repetitive and annoying."

 

So somehow our retargeting strategy needs to fit into that overall paradigm of brand building and repeat purchase. Our view is that Customer Journey Retargeting is how --we think that-- retargeting levels up to fit into that broader strategy.

 

Chase Clymer

Man, we started this episode and just dove right into the good stuff and I'm super excited.

 

Reza Khadjavi

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Alright, so let's take it back a bit. I introduced you and probably... You're the CEO. I'm talking to the bigwig at Shoelace. So, Shoelace is a great company. They have an awesome app in the App Store for Shopify and it helps you build out this Customer Journey Retargeting, within your company, within your Shopify store.

 

So let’s go back to the beginning. What is your history? Before Shoelace, were you in the Facebook advertising world doing this yourself? What led you to create this idea and then the technology behind it?

 

Reza Khadjavi

Sure. Yeah. So the short history of what I've been up to pre-Shoelaces. I've just been somewhere in between a founder, a marketer and a programmer for most of my life. Just working on stuff that intersects between those three things. And so I had an on-demand laundry business back in the day. And a big part of that business was just (thinking), "How do we do marketing for this dry cleaning business to be able to get customers to order their dry cleaning through us?" That was my first stab at, let's say, eCommerce. Not necessarily like product based eCommerce, but service-oriented eCommerce.

 

And I ended up writing all the software for that business and doing all the marketing. And I learned a lot about how to market a business online. I just kind of fell in love with that challenge. I worked on a bunch of different stuff in between, but that was the main company I worked on for a while. I realized that I hadn't really ever had a job, so I thought that'd be a good thing to do.

 

And then I went and joined the startup that was growing really fast in Toronto, just to get an experience of what it would be like to work at a venture-funded startup that is growing quite fast to experience the sort of thing that you don't necessarily experience when bootstrapping ideas on your own, which turned out to be a really awesome experience for me.

 

And I met my two co-founders, David and Alex --who are both colleagues of mine-- at that company and we started working very closely together and just felt pretty good friendship then realized that at some point, we wanted to start our own company together. We didn't really know what we wanted to build, but just the three of us made a really good foundation for our starting team.

 

Alex is our hardcore engineer and he's a way better programmer than I was. I haven't written code in a really long time so I probably suck at it now. And then David comes from a bit of a corporate background. He's our financial guy and thinks a lot about those sorts of things.

 

And the three of us made a really good interesting team that we felt that the three of us can go out and think of different ideas and problems and we had the right skill sets to kind of build it in-house ourselves and then sell it in terms of an idea and market it to people. So we just felt really qualified to work on stuff together as a founding team. So we decided to take the plunge and quit our jobs.

 

Actually, May, it's coming up to four years when we quit our jobs without an idea. It's a little bit reckless. But we believed in each other as a team enough to realize that if we just spend like 10 to 11 to 12 hours a day working on stuff, surely we'll find interesting problems to solve in the world. And so anyway, long story short, one of the first ideas that we were dabbling with was this idea to help business owners cross-promote each other with other businesses who they share a similar audience with, but didn't compete with.

 

So for example, you might have a brand that sells women's dresses and a brand that sells purses. Can these two brands co-market with each other and help each other drive sales and traffic? And so we wanted to solve that problem and help these businesses grow and do this interesting way to do digital marketing in a way that hadn't necessarily been done before from a co-marketing perspective.

 

And one of our ideas was, "What if we help these two brands kind of cross-promote each other's Pixels?" So we do a cross-retargeting thing where if somebody buys a product from business A, they'll start to see a retargeting ad for business B and vice versa as a way to help each other grow. And so we started talking to customers about this idea.

 

And what we heard was, "Oh, that sounds really cool. I'd love to try that when you have a partner for me and when your platform is ready. But in the meantime, you guys seem pretty smart and I've just been struggling with my own retargeting. Could you just help me set up a few campaigns?"

 

And by the time the, let's say, the sixth person asked the same thing, that was our aha moment of like, "Okay, maybe there's an opportunity here. Forget about this advanced cross retargeting thing we want to do. It sounds like merchants and brands are kind of struggling with basic retargeting on their own."

 

And so that kind of got us thinking about, "Are there other parts of this that we can automate and make retargeting easier and easier for brands?" That was our first foray into what we started, what we ended up doing with Shoelace. And then as time went on, we just started obsessing about retargeting as a specific problem probably more than anybody else has for the last few years.

 

At the intersection of like, "What is social retargeting? What should it be like for direct to consumer eCommerce brands?" (It) has just been our obsession for the last 4 years. And through that, we've developed these theories around Customer Journey Retargeting and how the approach should be and then using that as a framework to say, "Okay, what kind of products and services can be developed that help brands implement... In our view, what is the right approach to retargeting?" So that's our history in a nutshell.

 

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Chase Clymer

Awesome. So now with Customer Journey Retargeting, did you guys coin that phrase? Can you trademark it?

 

Reza Khadjavi

To be honest, I think we're the first ones to start, saying it. In a way, we actually don't care if it ends up getting attributed to us or not. We're more interested in like, "Can we get the ecosystem thinking about retargeting in this way?" And whether it's the term CJR that sticks or something else, (it's) not too important to us.

But from a vanity perspective, yeah. I think we are probably the first to say Customer Journey Retargeting in that order. But I think what we care about more is... We're just trying to... We see this as an inevitability that's happening anyway. And we're just trying to accelerate it. This approach to retargeting away from just run a dynamic product ad and plaster people with the same messaging.

 

There's just no way that that's the future. And we're trying to accelerate to get to the future of what we think it should be like. But (we are) also very welcoming the broader ecosystem to contribute towards this and say like, "No, here's why we think you're wrong. And maybe it should be done this way." And I think the more crowdsourced it becomes, the better. We care more about like, "Can we evolve retargeting to be more than just the same repetitive product over and over again?"

 

Selfishly, that works for us because we're trying to build products and solutions that matter more in a post-DPA world. Shoelace starts to matter a lot more when the way to do retargeting as a de facto industry-wide is this more journey approach to retargeting as opposed to just showing the same messaging over and over again. And so however it gets there whether the catchphrase is associated to us or not, it doesn't really matter. But yeah, I think we probably were the first to start calling it that.

 

Chase Clymer

Well, I think that's cool. And I'm gonna give you props for it and everyone else out there can hopefully tag along and say that's cool. I was gonna say something a little more raunchy, but I decided against it.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Reza Khadjavi

Sure. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

I have a question. Do you have different philosophies when you're working on the ads for a company when it comes to dynamic ads versus the video ads? Because Customer Journey Retargeting makes a lot of sense to me if I can see how long they're watching one of my videos or something like that, but I'm not sure how that translates into just the product ads itself. Are those two different philosophies?

 

Reza Khadjavi

So one thing I'd say is that we are making a bet on this being relevant for brands that are building a brand. So if the playbook is dropshipping products --not necessarily any issues against dropshipping. It's like a supply chain method-- but this idea of selling products that aren't really interesting or valuable.

 

They're just commodity products that are effectively just waiting for Amazon to gobble them up, it doesn't necessarily fit their... If you're not trying to tell a brand narrative if you're not trying to tell a story, if you're not trying to bring customers into your community, into your ecosystem, it may not be the right fit.

 

Our view is that if brands are not thinking about the world that way, they might be in trouble in terms of sustainability and survival. As the world gets more and more expensive to find brand new, first time customers, it might be difficult to sustain a business model that doesn't have brand-affinity/brand equity built into the framework. I just wanted to put that out there first.

 

But in terms of thinking about the benefits of different types of ad creatives, the way we sort of think about it is like, when somebody visits a website and leaves, over the days and weeks to follow, what they consume should feel like a story.

 

They should go through this journey approach where they're learning about the brand or learning about the unique selling proposition or they're learning about what the community of that brand looks like. And so in a way, part of the point of Customer Journey Retargeting, --I heard a marketer talk about this which I found really interesting-- was that once upon a time, marketers used to have the attention span of consumers for 4 minute blocks at a time where we just had more attention span from our consumers.

 

But today, when consumers... We have their attention for 10-15 second intervals at a time, then it almost becomes a strategy for a brand to say, "Okay, what kinds of things do we want to communicate to a potential customer over, let's say, a four-minute time period that once they consume all of that say, 'Okay, I love this brand. I love their products. I love what they stand for and what they're all about.'"

 

Given that we don't have all four minutes of their attention span in one shot, can we break that up into little nuggets of messaging that last kind of 10-15 seconds at a time, whether that's through video, whether it's through kind of a still image or a carousel or whatever else.

 

We try to tell a story with our ad experiences so that when somebody leaves your site, depending on where they are in their buying journey, over the next days and weeks, they'll see a series of ad experiences that have them become fully educated about what your brand is and what you're about. And that they become ready to either make a purchase or make a repeat purchase.

 

So it's more about the different touchpoints being used to tell a broader story versus every touchpoint being, "Hey, buy now. Hey, buy now with this discount. Hey, buy now at this discount." That may work for many businesses, but the ones who are trying to build loyal relationships with their customers, it doesn't seem like the right way to build those relationships. So that's where this journey approach adds a lot of value.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, that's fantastic. So I'm sure now that you guys are installed in two or three stores, probably. I'm just kidding. (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

But you got a bunch of data to play with. So now this idea of Customer Journey Retargeting and building out all these different messages at a different point in the customer journey. Do you see any data that reflects how this is combating ad fatigue and how it's helping brands build their business?

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah, yeah. So I mean, to your point, that's exactly correct. We see ourselves in a pretty unique position where we've spent like millions of dollars on ad experiences that are based on this kind of journey approach. And we're just sitting on a wealth of data, to be able to learn what works best for which types of customers. We tend to be pretty conservative with the way we extrapolate data.

 

So we've generally stayed against looking at a couple of things and just start getting crazy loud about like, "Okay, here are the numbers to prove everything." We're still sifting through a lot of data to be able to say, like, "Definitively, is there signal here or is there just noise from the different types of things that we're trying to prove?" So we're hoping to release a lot more of these findings over the next year. Just this content for the community.

 

But we're also using those learnings to pick it back into our product to be able to determine... A good example is the average order value along with the time it takes from the first touchpoint to conversion. Those two things really help dictate how long of a journey we should be running for a particular brand in a particular industry. Things like the repeat purchase rate really help figure out to what degree post-purchase retargeting plays a role in a brand's journey.

 

And so all of the pieces are there and a lot of the data is at our fingertips and, yeah. We are hopefully going to be releasing a lot of our findings over the next year so your listeners can stay tuned for that. We did release one case study recently --which we can maybe add to the show notes-- where a brand we worked with named Findlay Hats switched from the regular DPA style retargeting to the journey approach. And they saw a 600% increase in their ad conversion rate and the... What I mean by ad conversion rate... And this is the sort of thing that we're trying to figure out like, "What are the right metrics to even be studying with the data?" And so in this case, it was...

 

Previously, let's say, 10,000 people saw their retargeting ad experiences and what percentage of them end up converting to purchase. And then in the CJR approach, it was a 6x increase in terms of more people converting to purchase after seeing the ad experience. But then I don't want to get too long-winded here, but you have these issues around trade-off, which you might be able to see a lift in revenue growth.

 

It might cost more in terms of ad spend because now we're running these a bit more complex retargeting journeys. So thinking about what matters more to the brand. Is it really, really high return on ad spend multiples or are we willing to have a little bit lower of a return on ad spend multiple but that can mean revenue, growth, and sales lift.

 

And so trying to understand how all of these pieces fit together, and then release a lot of the data to help brands and marketers in the community to think about how they want to do these things. This is a lot of what we think about every day.

 

Chase Clymer

I think it's commendable that you are taking the time to analyze that data. You can skew data to make it look like you're doing awesome when you actually suck.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

It's hilarious. So I think it's commendable that you guys do that.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Thanks.

 

Annette Grant

Do you have any suggestions... We'd like to give our listeners something actionable today after they get done listening, that they can work on their store. What's kind of a low hanging fruit or that first thing if someone isn't doing retargeting, they are currently... What's something that you see most of the time when you take on a new client that you change kind of automatic? What's the first thing out of the gate you change for them?

 

Reza Khadjavi

So generally, I think, we see brands at one of two starting points. One is that just not doing any retargeting, which, to that, we say like, "Please start doing it because you're leaving money on the table for sure." And the other (one) is, I think a lot of people have checked the box of saying, "Okay, I need to do retargeting. I'll do retargeting. Set up a dynamic product ad, let that run and call it a day."

 

And I think the first kind of actionable piece is that, if that's what you've done if all you have running is one kind of dynamic product ad, then think about what that experience is for a consumer. If, for example, you have a dynamic product ad running and most people will have it running for like, let's say a 30-day interval... What we're saying here is that like this consumer is going to see the same copy, the same ad, for the next 30 days.

 

So thinking about that, looking at the frequency seeing how many times is it possible that this customer may have seen this and taking some attempt to put variety in the experience, we think it's a really good, good place to start. And so that, in addition to thinking about which stages of the funnel are we targeting. So just think about four basic stages of the funnel, people who expressed interest.

 

Let's say the ones who visited the homepage but didn't even look at a product or those who looked at a product that didn't add to cart or those who added to cart but didn't purchase or those that purchase but let's say haven't purchased again. Do you have a retargeting strategy that is catering to each of those four stages of the funnel with messaging that is relevant?

 

And so yeah. The actionable tip I'd say is just starting to think about what the world beyond dynamic product ads even looks like. I bet that most merchants most brands, most marketers if they just come out of that box and come in and put a 30-minute brainstorming session with your team or just yourself on the calendar.

 

Say, "What cool things could we do with retargeting that isn't just a dying product ad? I bet you'll have a lot of creativity and a lot of interesting thoughts about what could make a more interesting customer experience. And so I'd say that would be the first starting point.

 

Just think about and brainstorm how interesting it would be to do retargeting experiences that are not just the same product ad over and over again. And then using that creativity as a starting point to say, "Okay, which of those makes sense? Do we have the right audience to even implement something that's brand new?" Maybe or maybe not.

 

But I think that's a really good starting point. Just expand the horizons of what is possible with retargeting beyond just the kind of typical dynamic product.

 

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Chase Clymer

So I have one more question here before we wrap it up and then I'll... Actually, two more things.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Sure.

 

Chase Clymer

First one being... So, I am Joe Schmo store owner and I'm just starting out. Thinking about this Customer Journey Retargeting. (Is it) going to solve my underlying business problems? I've only been doing this for six months and I have an idea going. Lay it on me. What's the truth there?

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah. It, for sure., won't solve the underlying problems like, "Do we have a business that has product-market fit that can reach customers reliably?" Keeping it in mind that retargeting does not solve, at all, getting in front of the right customer. So you still need some way to get people to care about you, buy your products.

 

That starting point is necessary even without retargeting. (Retargeting) can't really solve that problem and particularly Customer Journey Retargeting cannot either. And so I think the... And that's... I don't have a lot of great advice on what to do in that state. It's a very difficult state to go from zero to one.

 

To go from just an idea getting off the ground to tens of thousands of visitors and some amount of conversion to deem that there is proof of life there. I feel like there are people way more qualified to talk about that piece of the entrepreneurial journey than mine. I would just say it's a hell of a grind.

 

Oh, and there is one quote that I think really applies here. It's from the book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. I really like Ben Horowitz, who was a really phenomenal operator. He's now a venture capitalist. (He) says, "There are no such thing as silver bullets. There are only lots and lots and lots and lots of lead bullets."

 

And I'd say that's probably true throughout the entrepreneurial journey, particularly in the beginning, there is no "one thing" that will kind of make or break the success of an early-stage store. And I would say that the concepts that we talked about in terms of Customer Journey, Retargeting start to become more and more relevant, the higher the traffic gets because, in a way, when you only have a few hundred people visiting your site in a month, it's hard to segment those out to be super granular on Facebook and still get ad delivery.

 

And so in the early days, I would say, it's probably not possible to get very granular and say like, "Here's what we're going to show these people at this stage of the funnel and here's what we're going to show them on day 1 and day 8." It might be hard to do that with only a few hundred visitors.

 

Typically we say something at least 10,000 visitors a month are probably required in order to start doing CJR properly. But the one kind of piece that I think a lot of people are probably not using well enough... And when we talk about CJR, it isn't just kind of those always on retargeting ads that people see as soon as they leave your website.

 

Actually, there's a massive opportunity in what we call "retargeting lists". (It's) almost like your email lists. So people who've been to the site in the last 180 days or people who have looked at the product in the last 90 days or looked at a specific product in the last 90 days. These audiences tend to be a lot bigger.

 

For smaller store owners, you can get a kind of more sizable audience there. And what you don't want to do is like run ads against those audiences that are just running forever. It's just going to annoy people and waste money. But every once in a while, when you have a new promotion or you have a new collection or you have something to announce, it's really cool to use those lists, the way you would like an email newsletter.

 

Tee up an ad runs to your 180-day audience and let it run for like three days to communicate a message to those folks, bring them back to your site, etc. I think retargeting can play a really valuable role in that capacity in the super early days when you want to be able to get in front of the people that have expressed interest in your brand, but not be too repetitive. I think that's a really good way to do it in the early days.

 

But yeah, to your point, this is not a silver bullet. It's not going to make or break businesses. It's not going to be the thing that gets a business off the ground. But as you think about your brand strategy, competing in the world of Amazon, and building a brand for the long term, we think that CJR plays a really critical role in that function, but not necessarily a thing that can save a failing business, let's say.

 

Chase Clymer

You hit a home run. I teed that up for you pretty good and I'm glad that caught on.

 

Reza Khadjavi

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Oh my god, that was the perfect answer! It takes hard work. Building an online business is hard. And I don't know why people think it's easy.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Right. Yeah.

 

Annette Grant

YouTube says it's easy, Chase. (laughs)

 

Reza Khadjavi

YouTube does say it's easy. That's right.

 

Annette Grant

YouTube says you just have your laptop at the beach and dropship a widget from somewhere.

 

Chase Clymer

Last time I brought my laptop to the beach, I broke it.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs) No. I think that the stuff that you just gave our listeners is invaluable. If they were to take that today and either A, Start some of the retargeting themselves or B, if they have an agency working for them, double-checking the agency's work to make sure that they're doing the retargeting that's going to be the most value for them. So I think that's... People might have to listen to this episode a couple of times and take notes on that stuff. But it was all very valuable and we're thankful for that.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. And then we're going to link in the show notes to... They have a beautiful deck. I actually just downloaded it again to refresh myself with it. But yeah. Shoelace is sharing with us, I think, it's 54 pages is what it is.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah.

 

Chase Clymer

Yep, it's all about this Customer Journey Retargeting. It's going to let you really understand how to do it within your business and you can do it yourself or Raza built an awesome app that can help you do this. Talk a bit about Shoelace and the types of clients that would be a good fit for them.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Sure, yeah. (I'd be) happy to. So we typically say that the right customer to start working with us is a brand that is probably generating somewhere like a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in sales or at that threshold. Below that, I think that we have a lot of thoughts on releasing free or cheaper products that are more for entry-level eCommerce founders and brands.

 

But at the moment --just for the sake of remaining focused and being able to create as much value as possible for our brands-- we say that the threshold for Shoelace to make a lot of sense for your business, is if you're doing at least a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in sales and have, let's say, 10,000-15,000 visitors a month visiting your website. Below that moment, it doesn't make a lot of sense to you. Shoelace.

 

That being said, stay tuned because we have a lot of ideas and plans in our roadmap to be able to release products and offerings for more entry-level eCommerce founders that are still getting their business off the ground. But for folks who do meet that sort of threshold where it does make sense to bring on a Shoelace help, we're somewhere like an automated product that has a lot of integrations with your marketing ops, deep integration with your eCommerce store to be able to create these journeys very effectively.

 

But it also comes with a dedicated account strategist that works on your retargeting journey and helps you make the best of them. And so that's the experience you get when you join Shoelaces. You see an app that has a dashboard that allows you to visualize your retargeting journeys. You see what people are seeing on day 2 and day 8, etc. And it's a lot more visually appealing than trying to stare that down inside ads manager which can get very cumbersome.

 

And we have interesting integrations with like loyalty providers, with email providers that are able to use that content inside of your journey experience that makes it a lot more straightforward.

 

Also, Product Review apps really use that user-generated content in the journey ad experiences. And so yeah. I'd say that's the main benefit to Shoelace. A lot of automation that will make creating these journeys very efficient. Because for anybody who tries to do this on Facebook, you'll see that it's quite the time-suck if you want to create a very kind of granular journey that tells a phenomenal story.

 

And so to be able to get that mundane activity automated through our software and the strategic help from our account strategists that have you spent millions of dollars on other retargeting campaigns for fast growing eCommerce brands, it's a good mix to help growing eCommerce brands to implement CFR effectively for, what I think, is a kind of a bargain for the prices that we charge.

 

But we also have a 14-day trial for people to judge for themselves. I think a lot of people come to Shoelace and we're okay with this because honestly, our view is that if the entire industry does journey retargeting the way we talk about it, it will probably be fine. So a lot of people come to Shoelace and see what we do and all the ads that we run inside their own ads manager, running with their own Facebook Pixel.

 

So a bunch of people have come and tried Shoelaces, gotten inspiration and then continued off doing it on their own, which is just cool. Often what happens is, people will try that for a few months and then come back to use Shoelace because it's very time-consuming. But even for that perspective, I think, we're happy to spread the message of CJR even if it means (you) come (and) try Shoelace, learn what we do and decide to do it yourself, it's fine by us.

 

But yeah, if you're intrigued by this journey approach to retargeting, probably couldn't hurt to give Shoelace a shot and see what we're about.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah. I'm sure that you guys are going to hit them up with some sexy customer journey retargeting ads of your own.

 

Reza Khadjavi

That's right. Yeah. What's funny is that we always try to improve that. I forget this quote. It talks about like, "The shoemaker shoe is always filled with holes in it." And so like we spend so much time on our clients accounts that often we're like, "Hey, we really need to level up our own retargeting journeys." Because people call us out on that sometimes when they'll see the same ad, like, "Hey, Shoelace..." (laughs)

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Reza Khadjavi

...I'm seeing the same ad here." And we're like, "Damn. Thanks for keeping us on our toes."

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

(laughs)

 

Reza Khadjavi

The thing is, that we can't even use Shoelace for ourselves. Because Shoelace is built entirely for eCommerce marketing and not necessarily for software marketing. But oftentimes we think about how we can probably help a lot of SaaS marketers do CJR. So, we see the pains of doing journey retargeting just by having to do our own journey retargeting and we often wish that there was a Shoelace for Shoelace. A Shoelace for Shoelaces.

 

Annette Grant

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. I learned a lot. I'm sure Annette did. She's been scribbling in her notepad this whole time.

 

Annette Grant

Yeah. Thank you.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. Thank you.

 

Reza Khadjavi

Yeah, my pleasure. It was great. Thanks, guys.

 

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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