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Ep. 95 - How You Lose the Trust of Your Customers with Xavier Armand

As team leader at The Vaan Group, Xavier Armand leads all agency activities. A self-proclaimed digital native, he grew up around computers, built his first website in the 3rd grade and joined the family IT business at 13. 

His goal is to ensure the agency is consistently setting new standards of excellence in design, development, and execution. 

Before starting the agency, he studied chemistry and published a paper on a new class of solar cells while working at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany. 

He’s a massive darts enthusiast and enjoys playing basketball regularly. 

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • [00:00] Intro
  • [01:20] The Vaan Group’s story
  • [03:09] Chase’s professional jealousy
  • [03:36] TVG’s amazing migration turnaround
  • [04:22] Deadlines help with prioritization
  • [05:01] Migrations are difficult projects for agencies
  • [06:07] Migration projects don’t work first try
  • [07:50] One of the “downsides” of Shopify
  • [08:58] Avoiding “app bloat”
  • [09:45] Custom coding vs app purchase
  • [10:36] Audit your apps
  • [11:09] The problem when removing apps
  • [11:56] Sponsor: Gorgias gorgias.link/honest
  • [12:44] Easy wins for new merchants
  • [15:06] People losing trust over your website
  • [17:13] Upsell strategy vs app reliance
  • [19:10] Sponsor: Klaviyo klaviyo.com
  • [19:49] Order Bump’s retail psychology
  • [22:02] Upselling products that makes sense
  • [24:00] Unexpected out of stock products
  • [25:30] Sponsor: Postscript postscript.io/install
  • [26:00] Is Shopify Plus worth it?
  • [30:49] Clunky upsells hurt your sale
  • [31:48] Explaining the “why” of the upsell
  • [32:59] Sites that have great upsell strategies
  • [34:34] The widget that changed travel businesses
  • [37:12] Where to find Xavier

Resources:

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Transcript:

Xavier Armand  

The number one goal is trust because they're about to give you money for a product and there's no way for them to verify that you're legit besides the website.

Chase Clymer  

Welcome to Honest Ecommerce, where we're dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. 

I'm your host Chase Clymer, and I believe running an online business does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. 

If you're struggling with scaling your sales, Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us visit electriceye.io/connect to learn more. Now let's get on with the show.

Alright, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Honest Ecommerce. 

Today, I'm bringing to the show an amazing founder. He's got some cool products in the Shopify ecosystem. He is helping run an awesome, amazing, agency that I actually look up to. 

So there you go, nice compliment right off the bat, Xavier. Xavier, welcome to the show. How are you doing today?

Xavier Armand  

Doing well. Thanks for the invite, Chase.

Chase Clymer  

Oh, yeah, it took us a while we had a little bit of rescheduling. But that's what you got to do when houses decide to break. So here we finally got it done.

Or just a pandemic. Me, holding up in a small village in Spain isn't conducive to doing [a] high-quality podcast. So... 

Chase Clymer  

I know.

Xavier Armand  

[I] appreciate you rescheduling it with me.

Chase Clymer  

No worries. No worries. Awesome. 

So before we get into what you guys do at the agency, and what kind of the products that you have, let's just talk quickly about your history. Let people know Why they should listen to you. What have you been up to? How did you... What's your story?

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. So we started this Ecommerce agency by accident. We were right out of college --my co-founder and I-- and we had stumbled upon a product, which now has some terrible connotations, but it was an e-cigarette product back then in 2011. 

We got involved with the company really quickly. [We] just sort of drove down to a warehouse in New Jersey. I thought it was going to be a big operation turned out to be just 2 guys importing this new product. 

And we thought that this was going to take over the world, so we decided that we were going to do everything from the market, sell it, build a website... We did that in New York City, predominantly. 

So we were doing everything from selling it hand-to-hand on street fairs, to going at night to marketing it at fashion shows [and] at nightclubs, to spending the wee hours of the morning building [an] illusion [of an] Ecommerce store that grew to 7-figures. Ultimately, that company had an exit and we started moving laterally. 

So we started figuring out, "Hey, we know how to build Ecommerce stores now." So I started doing this for other merchants. And over the years, we've been really focused on that. Now we are half Ecommerce agency, half product studio. 

So the difference being: the agency offers high touch, one-off or retainer services in the redesign and technology space for brands. The product studio is focused on apps and other services that happened on a monthly basis.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. And then as I said earlier, I'm jealous because Xavier is always tweeting these insane turnaround times on these big projects that I'm just so jealous of. But that just comes with the territory. You get more efficient over time.

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. It took a long time to get there. But eventually you get good at the repeatability of things and you try and make sure that your projects fit exactly in your wheel houses. And then yeah, you can get really fast turnaround times.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I believe the one I saw the other day was like 63 days for a migration from Magento to Shopify Plus

Xavier Armand   

I think it was less than 60. Actually. And it was a hard, hard deadline. So [their] Magento contracts run out. There's an end-of-life situation going on. So... 

Chase Clymer   

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand   

...there was [a statement that] "If we don't launch by this date, we are going to have to pay for another 12 months of a platform that we are not going to use." 

So the sprint was on. I'm really happy with how everyone --both on the client's side and our side-- was able to come together and make it happen.

Chase Clymer   

Yeah, I'm sure there was a lot of... Well I won't make any assumptions and I don't know how much you can share here but I'm sure that the scope of work was very prioritized. 

And it's like, these are the things that have to happen. These are the things we wish that can happen. And these are the things that may happen. (laughs)

Xavier Armand  

Sometimes a hard deadline like that actually helps everyone in a project really ruthlessly prioritize what's critical. I will say one thing that helped was that we didn't go through a typical redesign. 

We were hyper focused on, "Okay, let's take what you have and get it over to Shopify and maybe make some small UX updates based on obvious best practices. But let's not go through a large process here. Let's ruthlessly prioritize that." 

And then obviously, you have 2 tracks there: You have the theme, and then you have your product migration, which is always going to be the part that you need to redo 2 or 3 times because the data is not going to come over correctly. So... 

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah,

Xavier Armand  

...I was really happy with that.

Chase Clymer  

Let's just dive down [to] that real quick. Migrations are the most difficult type of project because of the data. and I think that a lot of merchants don't realize that. 

And they just assume that the migration part is like a piece and parcel to the project. And [they'd be] like, "It's just... You have to do it." But it's like, that's where everything screws up. 

Xavier Armand  

That is the meat and potatoes of any migration project. The project is the data itself, especially when you're dealing with a platform like Magento, where people have customized it..

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

...to fit whatever data structure --either-- the engineers thought was useful [or] the business thought was useful. And then you're coming into a system like Shopify, which is very much a walled garden. 

Very restrictive, very specific about how product data needs to live inside of the platform. And so you just [have to] take time to figure out how to make that... How to massage the data. And of course we try and start with a few, let's say, small imports. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

Xavier Armand  

"Let's take 10 or 20 products, see how that goes." It never goes well the very first time. I wish I could say that we nailed it. But it always takes a couple of rounds there. And then eventually, you can do the full data migration. 

But yeah, that's really where you need to focus your energy and effort. We have a specific person on our team that their job is to --day one-- get access to every sort of API and database that we need to be able to make that happen.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. It's hilarious. Especially when you start looking at how things are displayed, when you do that first migration. You're like, "This is unshoppable. You can't understand what's going on here." Like "We got to try this again."

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. "This doesn't make any sense. Why is the price in the product title?" 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. (laughs) Problem. So yeah. 

Chase Clymer  

It's funny, because people do assume like, "Oh, these things happen all the time." There's so much marketing out there by Shopify and other agencies or service providers that are like, "Oh, we'll migrate you off your old platform." 

And they think it's like a pretty plug-and-play scenario. And it's usually never true. Getting that data over is super difficult. 

And especially if you actually have a legacy brand, or something, where you got a lot of information, you need those customer records for marketing, for returns, for probably legal reasons sometimes to make sure that you have a track record of selling that product.

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. To your point about returns, that's probably one of the most critical parts. 

If you have a return policy of 60 to 90 days, and you're doing a migration, and you don't have that order data, you don't have that customer record matched up, you could find yourself in a world of hurt, actually.

Chase Clymer  

Oh man. You know what else is a world of hurt? Migrating gift cards. 

Xavier Armand  

(laughs) Well, [I’ve] never done that, actually. 

Chase Clymer  

Oh, we're doing it right now. It is the biggest pain. I can talk to you about it offline with a little more specifics.

But there's another thing with migrations that people often overlook. It's like a feature match. Usually, whatever you have on your own website, if you're like actually doing some business there, out of the box, Shopify just sells things. It doesn't have these crazy features. It's one of the downsides. Some people view it as a downside. 

Every feature you need is either an app or like a custom thing, where it's a little more open source with Magento or Wordpress where you can usually find a solution, and then you can tool it to make it work for you. Whereas in Shopify, it's either you're going fully custom or using something off-the-shelf.

Xavier Armand 

Yeah, absolutely. So when you end up doing that, you have to find tricky ways to get around some of those features, And frankly, we try to avoid app bloat. 

I think that's something that a lot of merchants are sold and told, both from agencies and from Shopify itself. "There's an app for that", sort of, approach. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

And there are. There are plenty of apps out there, I think. 

Chase Clymer  

There are apps for everything. 

Xavier Armand  

Yes. And multiple, for each function or feature that you're looking for. But I think the challenge becomes... Your site gets so slow. 

And also they just compete with each other in different ways. And ultimately, the customer experience gets a little wonky when there's a pop up, an overlay, a new section loading every time you're going across the page. 

So what we try to do is make sure that there's some smart theme customizations. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

And I think a lot of merchants can do that if they find the right freelancer or agency partner who can say, "Okay, here's an app. Here's how we would build this cost-benefit associated with that." Which goes beyond just the monthly price, but also into long-term, scalability and speed and all the other things that affect sales. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. There's a few apps that I see on a lot of stores like the Free Shipping Bar [that]you can get that are custom coded on your theme. You can Google it and do it yourself. 

Usually, if you are any sort of technical [person], you can figure out how to do the Free Shipping Bar yourself as a feature. Then you don't have to pay for it. You're paying for a Free shipping bar. That's just insane. 

It's wild because that feature has a JavaScript call to produce that, which is just... That's slowing your site down. It doesn't need to do that.

Xavier Armand  

That's my favorite one. But that's the first one that I look at. "Are you using a Free Shipping Bar app?" 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

Xavier Armand  

[We] immediately need to kill that. And yeah. And you can even do more if you custom coded for less than you would pay over the course of 6 months for one of these Free Shipping Bar apps if you code it yourself. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

So definitely a first one.

Chase Clymer  

My favorite is when I was getting in there, and I'm checking stuff out, and they've got 4 apps that do the same thing but 2 of them are expired. 

People aren't auditing their apps ,ever. And I've seen people paying for apps they're not using for a long time.

Xavier Armand  

Oh, I can tell you that it happens... Now that we're in the app space, I can tell you that it happens regularly. There are merchants who either... 

Again, It's either neglect or forgetfulness, and they're not using the app and they're getting charged for it. I see it all the time. And when you're looking at... The problem with removing apps also is that they... The code doesn't always leave when you delete the app. So you actually do need to go back into your theme... 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

...and also do the hard work of saying, "Okay, where did it inject some Liquid? Where did it inject some code to make sure that it's actually gone?" You're actually seeing the speed improvements. So it's an involved process.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. From my knowledge, the second you click uninstall, that app loses like the ability to communicate with your store. So they actually can't remove their code. 

But the way to do it correctly is... It's a little cumbersome and our project manager does this all the time. It's just reach out to support and be like, "Remove your own code before I uninstall this." And they'll do it.

Xavier Armand  

Yep, that's exactly right. That is the process.

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Chase Clymer  

What are some other common.. I don't wanna call [them] mistakes, but common "goofiness", I guess, when you're starting to work a new merchant that you see often, which is an easy thing to correct? 

What are some of the easy wins that you guys often see out there when you're bringing on new clients?

Xavier Armand  

I would say we always start with a UX audit. 

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

So we try and just go off of a lot of the best practices that are out there. I think there's a sort of obsession with overlays and pop-ups and things that they think are going to capture their email or capture a data point. 

And to be clear, it's extremely important to get that marketing message. But I think if you take a little bit more time to be creative about how you're going to get that customer data point, then I think you'll start to get a lot more value out of that customer. 

And instead of focusing on simply a pop up with that standard "Save 10%" or the wheel... The Wheel of Fortune thing that comes out that... 

Chase Clymer  

I'm 100,000% against the wheel. I hate the wheel.

Xavier Armand  

(laughs) Well the funny thing about the wheel is, when it first came out, it was like a superpower. People loved it. People were clicking on it. I had merchants getting 30% of all of their web traffic by clicking on the wheel and putting their email in. 

So it was absolutely incredible. But ultimately now, it's pretty clear that people are weary of that. It's obviously a dark UX tactic for gamification of getting people's emails. 

And I think if you take the time to think about how to deliver value for customers, they'll give you their contact information and it'll be a lot more of a reciprocal relationship. The email list will be robust, they'll be interested in it. And we see people do that through things like fit quizzes...

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

....or sort of qualification quizzes for different products, for product recommendation. And then what happens is people are like, they want to do this, they want to learn more about your brand. 

And once you have that piece of information, you've set context around the communication instead of just "Hey, we're gonna spam you for the next for the next 12 months with all sorts of offers and deals."

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. The free shipping... Not the free shipping, but the free stuff wheel, it just is so gimmicky these days. And I don't think that it... I think it almost lowers the trust of a website these days. And there's a lot of that stuff that I see out there in the ecosystem. 

I see a lot of people cheating and saying "4 people just added to the cart" but it's just like a random number generator or "Only 2 left in stock." And then that's an obvious lie. I've seen one... I even saw this the other day. I saw a website that said "-500 left in stock" but you could still buy it.

Xavier Armand  

(laughs) Yeah. That's a problem. I think dark tactics like that are... They assume that customers are not involved or really dumb and I think it's the complete opposite. I think people see through that and smell a fake or wrong tactic pretty immediately. 

And I think that your point about trust is so key. I think when you have a Shopify store, and you have a brand, and you have products, and you're new and no one's heard of you, the number one goal is trust, because they're about to give you money for a product and there's no way for them to verify that you're legit, besides the website. 

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

And I think everything you can do to create trust is really important. I'm also on that note, I'm pretty wary of product reviews, in general, on websites. UGC is different. But product reviews, merchants can curate those and they do. 

And so ultimately, the trust that you get from that, I think, has diminished a bit over time. I think the UGC on the other hand, if you can start bringing people's posts from social platforms about your brand on your website, I think that's extremely powerful. 

I think the authenticity shines through. But with reviews, that's another place where I think there's a lot of people doing some trickery there. That, I think, is a bit disingenuous.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. It comes down to this thing. It takes hard work and there's no  silver bullet. And all these crazy conversion apps out there, I would love to see someone do a really big in-depth study on that and see like, "Do these really move the needle or not?” 

And it's an amazing segue into what we're doing lately that we're really happy about and it segues right into Order Bump. So I'm going to get into... So all these like conversion tactics come down to like, "How can I position the offer better to  increase the sale?" 

Either through an increase in average order value or doing some sort of BOGO deal. And we've been doing this a lot lately in custom builds. And there is no one-size-fits-all. And it's all like…

You got to think about the strategy behind it. Because it comes down [to] what product [you are] selling? If you're selling t-shirts, [a] buy 2, get 1 free [promo] "Okay, that makes sense." But if you're selling weight benches, I only need one of those. So it's not the same thing. 

So a lot of the upsell apps that exist out there usually fail because it comes down to... You have to think about the strategy beforehand. So, I guess, not to say your upsell app doesn't work. But let's talk about how Order Bump works in the ecosystem. 

And then I'm assuming you're gonna agree with me on it. It definitely revolves more around strategy than what it does.

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. I think strategy is the most important part where you're coming up with all of these upsell opportunities. And you can think about it in every part of the funnel. 

Chase Clymer  

Upsell, cross-sell, down-sell... It's just all that stuff.

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. Cross-sell... The thing with cross-sell and upsell... Just a quick semantic thing that's funny. I know that cross-sell is the real term when you're selling a complimentary product. 

But unfortunately, upsell just sounds so much better. And I'm always getting ribbed a little bit for using the wrong term internally, but it's just... It's not going anywhere. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah.

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Xavier Armand  

So I like to think about everyone's... Think about upsell or cross-sell opportunities across the customer funnel. So what are they doing on the product detail page, what type of upsell even makes sense to do there... 

At the cart level, they're showing a different type of intent to purchase. What are we showing there? And then at checkout, they've essentially committed to buy something, how and what should we show them at that step? 

And I really designed Order Bump around retail psychology. So the thought is, if I get to the checkout counter... And you've done this at every store you've been to. 

You'll find really, typically, lower priced, simple, easy to understand products that are available to add additionally to your purchase, right?

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

And so instead of... You're not offering people... If you have a t-shirt and you go to checkout, they're not necessarily going to show you another t-shirt there, because you've probably been browsing for that around the website or around the store, rather. And I need to care... 

I need to think about the design, think about the fit, maybe I need to try it on, and I will have lost the person. 

So the idea is, What do you show? And what do you show at the right time? And so for working backwards, at checkout, I think you take really simple products, things that people understand, and it's a low price point, it's not going to sort of materially change the amount of money that they're going to spend. 

And you show them that at that point. I think the cart is much more similar to being in line at a department store where there are so much more interesting products you can sit with, maybe look at a bit more, because you have more time with the product. 

And so translating that to an online store experience, I think you can offer people more advanced products that you can merchandise better with copy and images. 

And so I think there are just really smart ways to think about what upsells to offer when, and that will really improve the performance of the apps of the upsell apps across any part of the funnel.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. And I think it's just something people need to realize. Increasing the sale by an average of $2 is gonna drastically change your business. 

It's not like you're doubling your average order value here. It's just...I don't know. I bet you have a better idea around the math behind it. But it's like, you're not making insane improvements but because it's compounding. It changes the business.

Xavier Armand  

Exactly. Correct. It's compounding. It's also moving products that are dead inventory in a lot of cases. Dead is maybe a strong term. 

But if your product is selling t-shirts, you have accessories that are like, I don't know, a tote bag or cleaner or something like that, you're not going to... Your Facebook ads aren't going to be marketing to those... 

All of your brand work is not going to be positioned around selling your accessory products, but you still offer them. And because you offer them, you need to sell them. 

You probably have inventory somewhere. And so you need to find the right places to show that because people aren't checking your website for your accessories. And so that's really where I think that the match between upsell opportunities comes in. 

And from a numbers standpoint, those products are typically much less than your main product offering. I will say there are some outliers that we've seen with Order Bump that just don't make any sense where... 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

Particularly with food brands, for whatever reason. It's like people throw more... Like if you show them more food at checkout, they're like, "Yay! Please. I'm ready." And we're seeing some folks who actually have [an] upsell in checkout that costs more than their typical average cart value. 

And people are adding it at like a 15% to 16% rate. It's pretty incredible. But so I think there's some irrationality that comes with food. But for the most part, I think you want a complimentary product that fits with what the main offering is.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I think that... I would love to see if those numbers consist throughout the pandemic. I know right now, people are in this hoarding mentality, I guess, for lack of a better term. It's hard to buy deep freezers right now and refrigerators. They're out of stock.

Xavier Armand  

Oh. Completely out of stock. Another random thing that's out of stock are roller skates. You literally can't get your hands on side by side, 4-wheel, roller skates. They're 6 to 8 weeks out for all of the top brands.

Chase Clymer  

That's wild. 

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. The behavior is getting... It's getting pretty crazy. Obviously all the workout gear, too. 

Chase Clymer  

And trampolines.

Xavier Armand  

Really?

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. Trampolines are hard to find right now. I talked with a prospect the other day about it and they're like, "Yeah. We did so much business during this because people were staying home and wanted to have fun in their backyard." So I'm assuming a lot of home goods are having a fantastic time right now.

Xavier Armand  

Yeah, absolutely. That, CPG brands that are selling food products, as well. I think fashion is having the toughest time. 

But the trampolines, that jives with what I think are a lot of parents are going through right now, which is "We need to get some activity for our kids that isn't staring at Zoom." 

So yeah, the trampoline idea of being able to put your kid outside doing something active for a little while, I think, is going to be a winner. I can imagine that that was a hot ticket item during this time period,

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah. Absolutely.

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Chase Clymer  

Before we go here, you wrote an awesome piece the other day about the value proposition behind Shopify Plus when it makes sense, which I think is a question that is on every merchant's mind as they approach that million dollar mark to really understand like, "Is this worth the jump because it is a very pricey investment?" 

It's something to consider. It's $24,000 a year minimum so you gotta really think about it. So I guess I'll let you explain your position on it and we'll dive into that real quick here before we end the show.

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. So as someone who built a business around Shopify Plus, I have a ton of reasons to love it. And I think after having used it for a long period of time, it's become crystal clear what the real power of it is and for which merchants it can really make a huge difference. 

And I think for a lot of merchants that go into it, they talked to the Shopify rep, they're told they can use really 2 main different things: Shopify Scripts and Shopify Flow, both of which are not... Both of which require a different skill set. A little bit of heavy lifting there. 

So it's not something that's going to immediately impact their bottom line. And in fact, they may have to invest more.

Chase Clymer  

You gotta invest in [the] technical know-how to utilize those things, which is something that oftentimes people are overlooking.

Xavier Armand  

Absolutely. And so they see that and they get a little frustrated, because it's like, "Okay, so why do I need to spend essentially up to 300% more for a platform, when I don't feel that Shopify Advanced --or whatever plan you're on-- is really holding me back?" 

"That's not really the bottleneck in my business. I can take that money, spend it towards something else." And so really, the meat and potatoes of that post was about what types of merchants really do benefit from this. 

There's an obvious mathematical point at which if you're making $800k a month, then the math on the credit card rates nets out to about the difference. But the overwhelming majority of churches are not at that point yet. 

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm.

Xavier Armand  

And so if you're not at that point, there's really a decision around what... How much do you think something like a BOGO, or a bundle, or a sort of smart free shipping threshold offer --a promotion-- is going to move the needle on your website? And really, that's when you can start to make some calculations. 

If we can lift our average order value by offering a compelling bundle discount is that going to cover the cost difference, which ultimately leads to why we built Order Bump, which is... Because of the sheer functionality, which is that we can offer a widget at checkout. 

You're  only able to do that if you're on Shopify Plus. {It's the] linchpin there. And so because you're only... You can only do this on Shopify Plus, the widget is only available in checkout. 

And so if our widget can cover the cost difference between your Advanced plan, and the Plus plan, which is like around $1700 dollars a month, we think that this is an actual ROI based, revenue based reason to upgrade from Shopify Advanced to Plus. 

And to help merchants who are listening think about this a bit more, the way you want to think about your upsell opportunity and the potential revenue you can drive from that is really based on your monthly order volume. 

It's purely a numbers game. 

Chase Clymer  

Mm-hmm. 

Xavier Armand  

So how many monthly orders are you getting? If it's 500, you're probably not there yet. If it's 1000, if it's 2000, you're getting there. And if you're anywhere between 2000 and 3000, you can start to think about anywhere between 5% and 15% of all of those orders are going to add a checkout upsell or even a cart upsell. 

This is just beyond just our app. But I think in general, that's probably the range that you can expect. 

And so if you model that --5% on the low end, 15%, on the high end-- figure out which products you think you would offer, at that point, you can start to come up with a financial strategy to say, "Okay. If I upgrade to Plus, here's actually a way for us to generate that money that's spent back through sales. 

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

So that's how we, how we see it and that's where the post ends up in a "too long, didn't read" style.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. Ecommerce comes down to 3 numbers and that's why I like it. Traffic, average order value and conversion rate. And effort on any of those is going to create compounded profit, essentially, on the other end. And, essentially what these upsells or cross-sells, post-purchase upsells... There's all sorts of terminology out there. 

But essentially, it all comes down to upsells... The strategy and effort behind that and doing it in a way that doesn't look clunky and is on brand, that's key here because people like to clump it together with some more cheaper or free solutions out there. That doesn't really do it. 

They don't push the needle, so they don't believe in it anymore. Doing this the right way is really going to have some significant results on your top-line at the end of the day.

Xavier Armand  

Clunky upsells hurt more than they help because they distract the customer. And if they're uninterested in it, then they'll bounce.

Chase Clymer  

Exactly. It comes down to user experience. And if it's clunky, it takes me out of the experience. And I'm like, "Wait, this is... I'm getting sold right now. I don't like this."

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. And any customer can tell that. I think what I often see with upsell widgets or apps --that I think a lot of them miss-- is the merchandising part. You gotta sell the product.  A lot of these apps just say product title, price, discount, Add To Cart. But why? 

Why should I add this to my cart? I've already been on your website. I've been looking around. I like this product. And I don't necessarily like that product. Is it complimentary? Tell me why. 

Does it have special things that I didn't think about when I was first looking around the site, maybe browsing? I need to know those things. 

And I just think the concept of UX, and merchandising, and selling products is where a lot of these upsell apps are hyper focused on the functionality and not on the UX. 

And so when looking for one or when designing or building a custom one, the ability to describe what the product is, why it's important that it's that it goes with your existing product, I think, is the key to making that actually sing when you're actually putting it live on your store.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. Before we go here, um, I've been trying to do this a lot lately: I've been falling like going down the rabbit hole clicking on a bunch of YouTube ads. Not YouTube, sorry, Instagram ads. 

And I've been like getting upsold on purpose to just see what people are doing. And one of my favorites lately is asos. They do it beautifully. But if you want to make a suggestion to listeners, are there any other websites that you think are doing this the right way that they should check out?

Xavier Armand  

asos is just a study on really solid Ecommerce is.

Chase Clymer  

Amen. They sold me a pair of shoes when I wanted a t-shirt the other day. It was great.

Xavier Armand  

It's really an incredible experience.  I think they also --not that long ago-- started playing with AI-based product photos. Fit is so key. And so they decided to take... 

Do some AI program, generate 10 different versions of a model, of different types of models wearing the same products. You can see the fit across all these different body types.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. Because they asked in-depth questions about my fit to help me with a fit study. And that guy kind of looks like me!

Xavier Armand  

100% man. That's the #1 objection if you're selling clothes: "Is it going to fit?" Everything you can do in your power to focus around it mitigating that objection is key. 

So you mentioned a really good one, asos. I also think that if you look at travel websites... So this is not... This is stealing from another industry, so to speak, but it's still Ecommerce. 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. They do it so well. 

Xavier Armand  

Yeah. Booking.com or Expedia are just so incredibly persuasive and so incredibly smart about how they're offering the bundles, the upsells [like] "Rent a car with your flight." And in addition, all the way down the funnel, they're peppering you with the offers, giving it to you in different ways. 

So sometimes it's like a small widget, sometimes it's a really expansive one, sometimes it's a modal overlay and then it ends with this... Probably, what has materially changed all of those travel accommodation businesses and generated a shitload of profit is this insurance widget. 

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah. 

Xavier Armand  

Which just... It gets me. I've never used it and every time I've ever traveled, I'm typically doing that. And they're doing a bunch of different tactics if you really study that widget, whether it's opt-in, opt out stuff where it says, "I'll protect my $500 trip." or "No, I'll risk it." 

Just these little words that just make you think, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times before clicking the checkout button without adding insurance. And so I would say, really looking at those websites as a place where you'll see just some of the best practices being used. And you can learn a lot.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. And I think that got me thinking. The cool thing about the people that are doing these upsells the right way is it doesn't end after the cart. There's post purchase as well. And then 9 times out of 10, I'm going to get another email with another offer. Almost immediately after. 

Or maybe it's in with my confirmation. It's like, "Cool, you bought this thing. But we can add this to your cart still, if you want." You can say no all you want and they're gonna keep trying. And [then you're] just like, "Why not?"

Xavier Armand  

Why not? Yeah. And that sort of final touch point of email after... People use all these different strategies with it. There's a time-based one, Hey! Add this to your order now because the box hasn't been packed and shipped yet. 

And so we can pass on our shipping costs as a discount to you on this product." And so yeah. That post purchase experience, I think, is one that people can also optimize. There's all sorts of checkout apps that do this a little teaser. 

We have something coming out in the post-purchase space, I'll say, in the next 2 to 3 months that I'm super excited about. So yeah, it's clear that that's another place where you can really, really drive average order value. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So if people are curious about what you guys do over there at The Vaan Group,or if they want some more information about Order Bump, where should they go? What should they do? 

Xavier Armand  

Agency is vaangroup.com And then for the app, it's orderbump.io. We have every... We have case studies on there, we have descriptions of how it works. We even have a link to the contest. 

So I think a lot of people here might be interested in that. If you're not quite on Plus yet but you're thinking, "Okay. I'm doing 1500 to 2000, maybe more, orders per month." 

We have a program where if you apply, you tell us your order volume, your website will have a look based on all of the data points that we have with a couple of hundred Order Bump merchants. 

We've become pretty good at telling how much, just generally, we think you're going to be able to sell using our widget. And we believe in our product so much that if you meet that criteria, we will guarantee to cover the cost of your Plus upgrade. 

And if we don't... If you don't make that $1700 dollar per month difference over the course of the year, we will write you a check for the difference between the 2 to essentially make the upgrade risk-free, to use sort of a cliche term. 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. Xavier, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. 

Xavier Armand  

Really appreciate it, Chase. Good chatting with you.

Chase Clymer  

I cannot thank our guests enough for coming on the show and sharing their journey and knowledge with us today. We've got a lot to think about and potentially add to our businesses. Links and more information will be available in the show notes as well. 

If anything in this podcast resonated with you and your business, feel free to reach out and learn more at electriceye.io/connect. Also, make sure you subscribe and leave an amazing review. Thank you!