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Ep. 30 - Optimizing Checkout for Higher Conversion & Optimizing Funnel for Higher Average Order Value with Jordan Gal

On today’s episode, we meet Jordan Gal, CEO of CartHook. Up until CartHook, Jordan came from an immigrant entrepreneur household, and when you grow up around that it’s hard to get away from it. He’s started several different businesses, and eventually landed on his own ecommerce site. He sold the business off, and then got into the software game, but he wanted to stay in the ecommerce world. He looked at the apps they were using and took one, a cart abandon apps, and realized this app was awful but still made him thousands of dollars a month, maybe there would be a business in making a better version of that app?

Two years into marketing this cart abandon project, he realized he’s just been staring at different checkout pages all day. Eventually it dawns on him, wouldn’t it be more valuable if instead of capturing lost sales, they just developed a better checkout page that had fewer abandoned carts to begin with? That was the genesis of his product, a better converting checkout page.

Today, you’ll learn about what CartHook can do for your ecommerce site, as well as where Jordan thinks the future of ecommerce is headed.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • [3:14] Do you have a technical background, or were you just creatively thinking about solutions?
  • [8:44] Where did you get the name for the app, and what was the process of building it up?
  • [14:12] What does your product solve for an ecommerce site on Shopify?
  • [16:36] Where is this app available?
  • [17:02] What is a use-case example when your software will work better than what I have?
  • [26:28] What is the implementation process like?
  • [29:55] Are there any integrations that are built in?
  • [31:35] Where do you think things are going with ecommerce in 2019 and beyond?

Resources:

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Transcript:

 

Jordan Gal

Everything we build is with an eCommerce merchant in mind. And eCommerce merchants are not engineers. They're not technical for the most part. So everything we do and we build is drag and drop. You don't need an engineer. You can do it all yourself.

 

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.

 

On today's episode of Honest eCommerce, we meet Jordan Gal, the CEO of CartHook, where he explains to us how to build full funnels within Shopify.

 

Welcome back to another episode of Honest eCommerce. Annette is out today, doing something crazy that she'll talk about on the next podcast episode. So I'll just leave everyone wondering what's going on.

 

But today I have a fantastic guest. I purposely kept myself in the dark about his app's technology.

 

His name is going around the eCommerce circles so I'm really excited to have him on the show today. Welcome to the show, Jordan Gal, the CEO and founder of Cart Hook. So without further ado, welcome.

 

Jordan Gal

Thank you very much, Chase. Thanks for having me on. Looking forward to the conversation and to talking through what we're doing and what's happening in the market.

 

So, it's good to be here. Thanks, everybody for listening. And it's good to be on the show.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Alright, first and foremost, what was your history up until CartHook?

 

Jordan Gal

Sure. So, I come from an immigrant entrepreneur household. Came over... My parents brought us over from Israel when I was six, and I watched my father be an entrepreneur. And growing up in that environment, it's hard to get away from it. You get that mindset of business, that "freedom version" of work and working for yourself.

 

So I've done a bunch of different things. I started a bunch of different businesses from political websites... Eventually, I landed on an eCommerce business myself. So we did dropshipping and then we had some inventory. And that's how I learned eCommerce, by running my own store.

 

And I did that for about 14 months before selling the business off. And then I got into the software game and I wanted to stay in eCommerce. I really identified some of the apps that we were using, chose one in particular. It was a cart abandonment app.

 

And I said, "Hey, this thing is a piece of junk, but it makes me thousands of dollars every month. Maybe if I made a better version of a cart abandonment app, that would be a good business." And that's how CartHook started.

 

That was our original idea, before making our way over to the checkout products, which we're running now. I really would not have come up with that, if we had not been in the market with our cart abandonment products first.

 

Chase Clymer

Now, do you have a technical background? Are you familiar with the more code side of things? Or were you just... You understood there was a problem and you were thinking creatively about solutions?

 

Jordan Gal

Yes. So I'm not technical. And so what I always bring to the table is the merchants’ point-of-view. If I were running a store, what would I want to do? How would I want things to work? What freedom would I want? What things do I want the technology to leverage for me? So that's my role. The sales and marketing side.

 

But really, the real role is the voice of the merchant. What would I want if I were selling physical products online right now? And in many, many ways, all the things we're building now are all based on the way I ran our own eCommerce business.

 

This is 8 years ago now, and a lot of it is still not built. And it feels strange that it's not built. But I also feel very lucky that it hasn't been built. And I get to play that part.

 

Chase Clymer

So well, could you tell us what that business was? Is it still around? That old eCommerce business?

 

Jordan Gal

It's no longer around. I mean, we sold it off, the site's just still there, but I don't think they're still running it for whatever reason. I think they started moving toward Amazon. So what we were doing was we were looking at NetShops that became Hayneedle and CSN Stores that then eventually became Wayfair. There's a possibility I have those exactly backwards, but you get the point.

 

And what we were doing is looking at what their strategy was, and what they used to do before they consolidated into Hayneedle and Wayfair. They had a network of hundreds of very, very niche stores. And what we would do is keep track of where they were spending advertising money and then we would kind of spin-up like clone stores.

 

So we had our own network of very, very niche stores. Our most successful store sold solar lighting products, a different store sold Adirondack chairs, different stores sold electric fireplaces, hammocks.

 

So we're really going after the strategy of looking to Google AdWords for very high-intent, keywords, and then effectively building a store to match keywords that people were searching for. (If) people searching for solar spotlight, you could basically spin up an entire eCommerce store around solar spotlights and sell that way.

 

Chase Clymer

I want to put a caveat in that real quick though, I don't think that exact strategy will work today. Would you agree or disagree?

 

Jordan Gal

I agree with you. And it's part of the reason we sold the business so quickly. It's not because oh, someone offered us a ton of money, we had to say yes. It's really we didn't really like the future. We were selling products that were available in many other places.

 

And in an Amazon world, that was not going to work out at the end of the day. And so we were faced with the decision of, should we build up our own brand or brands or do we just want to slowly be consumed by Amazon and all this competition?

 

So that's why we sold it off.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah.

 

Jordan Gal

I agree with you completely.

 

Chase Clymer

That right there is actually a perfect little nugget of wisdom. Nowadays, if you want to be successful in eCommerce, you need to have a brand. Because anything that's commoditized almost, Amazon's got you beat by so much of a margin.

 

Jordan Gal

Yes, you need to do an enormous amount of work to add value, if your product is available elsewhere, especially if it's available within 48 hours or whatever the shipping will be --by the time this podcast is over-- with Amazon.

 

Chase Clymer

Alright. And then there was another thing that you touched on, that I wanted to bring up. You, like myself, do not have the technical knowledge and I would actually argue that that's a strength.

 

Because we don't get boxed in by the limitations of what that technical knowledge might put in front of you. And there's... Then you kind of get that that pig-headed like, "No, there's a way. We can figure it out."

 

Jordan Gal

Yes. It might be self-serving, but I do agree with you, 100%. There is a superpower that goes along with being able to write the code that you envision to accomplish what you envision.

 

But it's rarely the same person that has the right vision of what a non-technical eCommerce merchant wants and is also the same person that can put that into code.

 

So I really don't even think about as advantage/disadvantage, I just look at, "Okay, this is who I am. This is the strength that I have. And so what do I need to do with that? What's the best I can do with that? And then who needs to augment that with different skills to make it a reality?"

 

Software, at some point, needs to get written into code. But it's only one piece of the puzzle. It's... Yeah. Software is complicated.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, absolutely. And I agree with you. It is a superpower. It's not a skill. I have it all. And I'm on awesome times when I see what I presume are complex problems.

 

Then I'm like, "No. It's easy. I got that." It's like a left side-right side brain thing.

 

Jordan Gal

Yes.

 

Chase Clymer

Alright, so you've sold your handful of stand-up brands that you guys had built and you saw the future is coming and you started to focus on this abandoned cart app.

 

Where did you get the name CartHook from? Obviously, you got to ask that one. And then was that the MVP? What was... What were the next steps? What was the infancy of the app?

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah, the "CartHook" brand name is... You know that modern process of coming up with the name and then realizing the domain is taken and then starting to make tweaks from there. (laughs) That's pretty much it right there. So CartHook, I like the sound of it. It made sense for (an) abandoned cart app.

 

So, that was the original product. We were in the market for roughly 2 years with that product. And it was okay. But it wasn't going that well. It wasn't growing that quickly. There was a lot of competition coming in. Things were getting cheaper, and I really did not... I was not that psyched about the future.

 

So what started to happen, if you think about what it's like day-to-day, running an abandoned cart app, you're pretty much staring at different checkout pages all day. If you combine that with the fact that when I ran my eCommerce business, I was the one responsible for conversion optimization.

 

So I've been staring at product pages, shopping cart pages and checkout pages for a year prior, then I'm in the market with this cart abandonment product. I'm basically staring at checkout pages all day.

 

Eventually, it dawns on me. "Hey, recovering abandoned carts is a good business because it provides direct ROI. And you can point to the amount of money you're helping to make a merchant. That's a great position to be in as a software provider.”

 

“But wouldn't it be more valuable if instead of just capturing lost sales, we just came up with a better checkout page that had fewer abandoned carts, to begin with? And then we could also maybe offer our cart abandonment app, but the real value would be in providing a better converting checkout page." So that was the genesis of the product.

 

And we combine that with the fact that the Shopify checkout page is relatively rigid. It does not provide you that much opportunity for customization. And we said we thought, "Okay. This is worth effectively gambling the company on." A small company. 4 people. We didn't raise very much money. We raised a few $100k from friends and family.

 

So taking on a second product, that was really a gamble for the whole company. But we thought it made sense and fortunately, it has panned out that way.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. I like betting it all. I'm a gambler myself, kind of. (laughs)

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah. Sometimes, that's the right call. Oftentimes, it's not, but sometimes it is. And so once... If I can just keep going with the genesis of it, what we originally launched back in January of 2017, was a customizable, one-page checkout for Shopify. And I thought that was a winner.

 

It's customizable, and it's one page instead of three, and people want control over their checkout, they want to optimize it, so that's what we launched.

 

As soon as we launched, we started hearing back what people want to do with that checkout, and that's when we added the post-purchase upsells.

 

And that's when things clicked and we ended up processing $100 million in the first year of the product.

 

Chase Clymer

That's amazing. And just going back to that gambler statement. I just think when you make decisions and you don't need to harp on them, it's that "fail fast" mentality. So I applaud you for that.

 

Jordan Gal

Thank you. It was a tough decision, but it felt right. Then the first year... The whole thing with startups, whether you're an eCommerce merchant or software or whatever, it is not a straight line. It's a roller coaster. And we had our own version of the roller coaster.

 

So, we had this very strange problem of nailing the product in terms of what the market wants. People wanted a one-page checkout that was customizable for Shopify and then they want to post-purchase upsells, and when we had those together, people really wanted the product. But it is a difficult product to get right.

 

You're doing the payment processing, you're doing conversion tracking, you're integrating with Shopify very closely. It was a difficult product to get right so we had this mountain of demand that we could barely handle. So that was its own prison sentence.

 

All this demand but can't really go fast enough to satisfy. That was an unexpected position to be in. Usually, when you're launching a product, you're expecting the demand generation to be a difficult problem, and this scenario was keeping up with it as opposed to generating it.

 

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Chase Clymer

Let's kind of unveil what the product is now.

 

Jordan Gal

Yes.

 

Chase Clymer

What does it solve for me as an eCommerce merchant on Shopify?

 

Jordan Gal

So what it does is it gives the marketing side of the business full control over every step of the funnel. That is the intention of the product. We started out with the checkout itself and then we added post-purchase upsells.

 

But all those are customizing and optimizing your checkout, and adding post-purchase upsells based on what the shopper is buying, and then allowing the merchant to create offers in-between the checkout page and the thank you page in such a way that the shopper does not need to re-enter their payment info in order to accept the offer, all of those things are an expression of what the merchant wants to accomplish.

 

So, we see ourselves as enablers. We have some innovation in mind but we're not even there yet. That's probably about a year off. Right now, what we're trying to do is we're trying to take what merchants already know they want to do, and just letting them do it.

 

Right now in eCommerce, whether it's Shopify or BigCommerce or Magento or any other platform, the marketing side of the business constantly needs to make compromises in order to accommodate the limitations of the platform, of the theme, of all these things that are technically related. And that's what we want to attack.

 

We want to separate the backend from the frontend. The backend that does the order management and triggers the apps, adds people to an email list, that should be separate from the frontend, shopper experience. And so what our app does is it gives the merchant full control over that shopper experience.

 

We have landing pages, so people can send people directly into a landing page that they control, not the product page that's within the theme that's more limited. And we also have checkout that works both inside the store and alongside those landing pages that's very customizable, and then we have those post-purchase upsells, we have thank-you pages…

 

So that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to hand over as much control as possible to the merchant because we believe they know best on how they want to market their business.

 

Chase Clymer

That is an amazing product. So there's a few questions I have. One, do I need to be on Shopify or Shopify Plus? Are you on any other platforms?

 

Jordan Gal

Right now, we're just on Shopify.

 

Chase Clymer

So I can use this with a non-Plus store?

 

Jordan Gal

Correct. Both Shopify and Shopify Plus both work. We have stores that run the gamut. From the relatively beginner stores doing $10,000 a month all the way to Shopify Plus stores doing $10 million a month.

 

Chase Clymer

All right. And then so what would be a more simplified use case of your run-of-the-mill brand and why this is going to, "we're going to bet on it", perform better than what they already have out-of-the-box with Shopify?

 

Jordan Gal

Yes. So let's put aside the more like sophisticated versions or different use-cases. Let's focus in on the classic use-case that everyone gets started with.

 

So, if you have a Shopify store, right now, what you're doing is you're trying to get people to the front of the store to the product page, whether it's through ads or email or organic or content. You're trying to get people to add a product to the cart. And then at the cart stage, that's where CartHook comes in. Our product.

 

When a shopper is on that cart when they hit the checkout button, if you have CartHook installed, that shopper will go to the CartHook checkout. And that checkout you have a lot of control over. So the first goal of our product is to help people optimize their checkout to improve their conversion rate.

 

So it allows you to take control of the design of the checkout page. You can add trust symbols, and testimonials, and credit card symbols and change colors to match your brand. And generally just have control over the CSS, and HTML, and other elements of that checkout page.

 

So what you're trying to do, you're trying to convert more people from getting to the checkout to purchase. That's the first goal of the product. The second goal of the product is to then take those purchases and increase the average order value.

 

And we do that by allowing post-purchase upsells. So, I think that's worth taking a step back and just explaining, defining what a post-purchase upsell is.

So, if we think about Amazon, one of the things that Amazon popularized was their “You May Also Like” feature. So when I add something to my cart, --let's say I add, I don't know, a hose from a yard-- Amazon will say, "You may also like this hose organizer."

 

So what it's trying to do is increase the average order value by getting you to buy more at the same time. So instead of spending $50 on the order, you spend $100 on the order. Now it's doing that before you actually checkout. And what that means is that it is introducing a new buying decision before you've actually made the purchase.

 

So, I have the hose in my cart now I'm looking at this hose organizer and I'm thinking to myself, "Hmm. Maybe I need to go research and look at the reviews." That's adding more friction to the buying process. Now, Amazon specifically is not that worried about you coming back. They're pretty sure you'll come back. They're Amazon. They're not that worried about losing the sale.

 

You, on the other hand, running a Shopify store that people see as probably not a name/brand that everyone recognizes, you should be concerned about people leaving before making that initial purchase.

 

And so what we've done is we've taken the upsell, the "You May Also Like" element of that purchase that increases the average order value, and we've taken it from before the checkout to after the checkout. And what that does is it does two really important things. The first thing is that it doesn't add any friction to the original purchase.

 

So the shopper comes in, puts an item into the cart, goes to the checkout, puts in their information, their payment info and hits "buy". After they hit "buy", instead of seeing a confirmation page like a traditional eCommerce transaction, what they'll see is a set of upsells that you as the merchant can set up.

 

And so instead of that buying decision being before the checkout, now it's after the checkout. So you've already captured the sale, there's no chance of losing it, and now you can make them additional offers that might increase the average order value of that purchase. That's the first thing it does. The second thing it does is it capitalizes on the fact that you now know what they bought.

 

So if I'm buying, let's say, a bag of coffee, from Death Wish Coffee, now the upsell, I can say to myself, "Ooh, I know what they purchased so let me make sure that the upsell is congruent. That it actually makes sense with what they purchased." So then you can offer a monthly subscription to that same coffee that someone just bought.

 

So in doing that, and putting the friction on the other side of the checkout so you never lose purchase and also capitalizing on the fact that you know what they're purchasing, that drives up the average order value. So, our product is both of those things. It allows you to optimize your checkout for higher conversions and allows you to optimize the funnel for higher average order value.

 

Chase Clymer

Those are amazing things. And then just going with our betting theme of the episode, I'm going to bet you have read DotComSecrets by Russel Brunson.

 

Jordan Gal

A lot of what we do --I'm happy to admit-- is influenced by ClickFunnels and DotComSecrets. Yeah, if I can kind of dive into that for a second. I think it's interesting, just historically, on what happened to the eCommerce market over the past few years.

 

Chase Clymer

Oh, yeah. Go ahead.

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah. the way I see it, eCommerce is... It's actually kind of stuck in the old ways. I mean, if you look at a store online, it still mimics the offline analogy. It's still...

 

An aisle at a store, in real-life, is the same thing as a category page. A product page online is pretty much the same thing as stopping in the aisle and looking at the product and reading the description. It's literally still called a shopping cart page like an actual shopping cart. And a checkout like a checkout line. It's very traditional. It really hasn't moved around that much in the past 20 years.

 

Now, what happened with digital commerce, selling digital products, that innovated much faster than selling physical products. So, if you look at what ClickFunnel does, and landing pages, and how people advertise and market digital products and webinars and courses, that innovated much faster.

 

And so ClickFunnels really accelerated that by making it really easy to build landing pages. It's like Leadpages did it first, then Instapage, and ClickFunnels kind of put it all together. So you're building entire funnels instead of just landing pages.

 

So, as that became more popular, at the same time, what was happening on the other side, is that Shopify and its app ecosystem and all of these infrastructure services like shipping and delivery, and so on, tt made selling a physical product almost as efficient as selling a digital product.

 

These days, most people don't have a warehouse and aren't touching their physical products every day before shipping them out. It goes site unseen. You're just running an online store and maybe Amazon's doing the shipping for you or ShipBob or someone else. And so as that started to become more real, selling physical products started to draw the attention of the digital marketers.

 

So, the digital marketers, most notably using Click Funnels, started selling physical products and started invading the Shopify ecosystem. And they brought with them all of the digital marketing strategies and then they bumped into the fact that it's actually hard to accomplish those strategies when selling physical products.

 

And that's where you start to get into something like CartHook, resembling ClickFunnels, and resembling the strategies that digital marketers use. It's just that it's now being applied in the context of silence physical products.

 

Chase Clymer

For anyone that hasn't read DotComSecrets, that is pretty much how I wrote the content strategy for Electric Eye. Just a quick fun fact there. And it's actually literally sitting 2 feet away from me in my bookshelf.

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah, it's a good book.

 

Chase Clymer

It's a great book. Alright, so now to get into some nerdy stuff. So you guys are just replacing the shopping cart. You're using probably a secondary checkout and I'm going to guess it's powered by Stripe?

 

Jordan Gal

Stripe is our biggest partner but we also do Braintree, Paypal, Authorize, NMI, and so on.

 

Chase Clymer

Cool. And then, I'm assuming, using that checkout comes with the pain of Shopify taxing you use Shopify Payments?

 

Jordan Gal

Currently, no.

 

Chase Clymer

Really?!

 

Jordan Gal

Yes.

 

Chase Clymer

That is awesome. And I won't ask anymore.

 

Jordan Gal

Yes. (laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

(laughs) And I got some other questions here. So if this is... This building out funnels is a super robust and powerful thing and it takes a lot of strategies and also... I would just also just say.

 

Anytime that you're going to replace Shopify Checkout, --that thing's tried and true. It's probably the most split-tested checkout in history-- anytime you're going to replace that with something secondary, you better know what you're doing.

 

I guess I'm not a... Just a word to the wise, I guess.

 

Jordan Gal

Yes.

 

Chase Clymer

So, a question comes along with that. With CartHook, how user-friendly would it be for the average store owner? Do you recommend using an Expert? Do you guys have Experts on hand?

 

The implementation of this, it's a pretty... Anytime it's just dealing with money and payments, I'm like, "Whoo. That's wild. I would always get an expert involved." So what's the implementation process?

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah. So, money and payments --I agree with you-- is always tricky. And you want to be careful. And we are very careful. And we... So just to address what you said earlier, I think it's important to face up to that fact.

 

The Shopify checkout page, it works quite well. And it works everywhere, on all devices, all the time. So, right. You have to be able to say that and admit that. And we don't claim to just beat the Shopify Checkout every time, no matter what. Just come over to us and immediately everything goes through the roof, that's not the case.

 

Sometimes it takes work to beat it. Sometimes for whatever reason, whether it's demographics or audience or whatever, we never beat the Shopify Checkout. Other times we beat it right away. So it's not 100% straightforward, and we don't make claims that it is.

 

So, going back to what you said earlier about ease of use or customization or the implementation process, everything we build is with an eCommerce merchant in mind. And eCommerce merchants are not engineers. They're not technical, for the most part.

 

So everything we do and we build is drag and drop. You don't need an engineer, you can do it all yourself. And then at the same time, we also give access to things like HTML and CSS and JavaScript and global scripts and integrations with Littledata and so on.

 

So our biggest merchants usually have on-staff and engineer or an agency that they're working with. And that gets pretty technical.

 

But for the most part, the majority of our customers don't need a developer. They come on board and it's just like any other Shopify app. You hit Connect and you're done. There's no additional work beyond that other than the integrations that you want to use.

So it is not technical in nature. But it gets technical if you want to start looking under the hood and manipulating things.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, that's what I was kind of assuming. Just to tell everyone, again, I have not used the app and I purposely haven't used the app for this interview. And I also want to thank Jordan for admitting and being honest --going with the name of the show-- about Shopify's cart versus their cart and just telling it like it is. And I think being honest is easier than being a salesman.

 

Jordan Gal

Yeah, yeah. It's almost like... It's like, it seems obvious. Right. But, I don't know, maybe it's not obvious to everyone. But it seems obvious that we set the expectations properly. What we aim to do is provide a good ROI.

 

That is, ideally, by both beating the Shopify conversion rate on the checkout and also increasing the average order value.

 

But sometimes that comes with an increase in the average order value, that's large enough to overcome any dip in the conversion rate, and it still gets you positive ROI.

 

And if you're doing significant volume, then that ROI becomes significant pretty quickly.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. So with this app, it's super powerful. You already mentioned an integration with Littledata. We had Ari on, a few weeks ago. Are there any other integrations that you guys have already built out or in the pipeline?

 

Jordan Gal

Yes. One of the important things about the Shopify ecosystem and how it differs from other ecosystems is that it used the app partnerships to really extend the platform and allow merchants to accomplish what they want. And so it is an absolute requirement for us to work with a lot of different apps.

 

So a lot of Shopify apps just work. You just go in and it works. Like your discount apps, and your rewards apps, and so on. It just works. You don't have to do anything. And then other partners, we kind of identify as really critical, and they might have a lot to do with the checkout itself. And that's where we build specific integrations. A good example is ReCharge.

 

So, ReCharge is one of our most important app partnerships. It allows for subscription billing. You can do subscriptions on the checkout, you can upsell people to subscription on the upsell pages. So that's one of our critical apps that we integrate. That's a good example.

 

Chase Clymer

Yeah, I actually went into that with the knowledge that you guys worked with ReCharge. It was a loaded question. (laughs)

 

Jordan Gal

No. That's a really important one. A large percentage of our merchants also use RecCharge for subscriptions. And it's part of eCommerce strategy these days to get higher lifetime value and the best way to do that is to get people on the subscription.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. And before we part ways here, I have one last question for you.

 

Jordan Gal

Shoot.

 

Chase Clymer

Where do you think things are going with eCommerce in 2019 and beyond?

 

Jordan Gal

Sure. So I think that's a perfect segue. I was hoping to be able to talk about a little bit of the more sophisticated side of the app. And this goes along well with it in context. So, thank you. So a lot of what's happening in 2019 in eCommerce is being driven by the fact that the cost to acquire a customer is going up.

 

Facebook ads, costs going up. Instagram ads, YouTube, everything's getting more expensive. And it puts a lot of pressure on the merchants to optimize and to really dial in their spend. It's not as simple as, "Well let's just blast a $1000 a day in Facebook ads and we'll do well." It's not like that anymore.

 

You have to do well in the creative, on the messaging, on the brand building. You have to get people onto your email list, you have to give people a reason to come back and purchase more than once and in that... In all of those efforts, where we come in, is we allow people to create landing page funnels. And what I mean by that...

 

So if you envision a hub and spoke, like the wheel of a bicycle, we see the store itself as the hub. That is where people read about you in a news article and click over and buy something. It's where your returning customers go without you doing anything and they just organically put in the store name, and the URL, and buy. But what we see happening in some of our most successful merchants doing, is they are creating a lot of spokes. A lot of entry points into the store. And here's what I mean by that.

 

Right now, the typical scenario is that if you're driving traffic from Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, --and let's call it an influencer-- all of that traffic right now is going to the same product page in your Shopify store.

 

And we think that does not make sense. If I'm a digital marketer and I'm promoting a webinar, I'm not sending you to my homepage, where a section of it talks about the webinar, I'm sending you to a dedicated landing page about the webinar that gives you an option to either sign up for the webinar or hit the back button.

 

That's starting to come into play in physical product sales as well. So what our most sophisticated merchants are doing is they're identifying campaign-specific landing page funnels.

 

So they're saying, "If I'm going to run this ad on Instagram when someone clicks on that ad, I'm not going to send them to a product page inside my Shopify store but I really don't have that much control over because it's built within the theme. I'm going to send it to a landing page that's fully dedicated to that specific product. I'm going to remove the navigation. I'm going to remove the footer. I'm going to zero in on the decision on whether to put this into the cart, or hit the back button."

 

And so what our app allows people to do is just that you can go to the landing page without the distraction of the store itself and that leads directly into the checkout. And what that means is that checkout is specific to that campaign.

 

Nobody's going to see that checkout if they didn't click through that ad and get to that landing page and get to that checkout page. And then the upsells makes sense with it, the thank you page makes sense with it.

 

So it's a bit of a foreign concept but right now we have merchants that have hundreds of different funnels and hundreds of different checkout pages that all lead into the same Shopify backend.

 

So as you get more sophisticated than spending more on ads and you're trying to dial it in, the more control you want over every step in the funnel, and that's what we're enabling.

 

So it really unshackles the marketing team from being reliant on the theme. And people making changes to the theme, they can just do whatever they want. Spin up as many funnels as they want.

 

Chase Clymer

I love that because I'm a giant nerd marketer.

 

Jordan Gal

(laughs)

 

Chase Clymer

Alright, so I'm going to put a guess out there. Is dynamic copy or smart messaging on the product roadmap?

 

Jordan Gal

It used to be on our product roadmap, and it's now shifted over to an app partnership. So we have a lot of app partnerships.

And we're starting to zero in on what is core to our product and what we really should offload to an app partnership. So we have an app partnership coming out with Crazy Egg, which will allow A/B testing and dynamic content, all that good stuff.

 

And we think that they're going to do a better job adapt while we focus on the core functionality.

 

Chase Clymer

Again, with the amazing focus on what you're good at. I love that. Yeah. And also just the dynamic messaging, having 100 funnels sounds awesome, but it sounds like 100 times the work. If you could just figure out how to do that same thing, dynamically. You just have to build one.

 

Jordan Gal

Yep. It makes sense. I agree.

 

Chase Clymer

Absolutely. Awesome. Well, is there anything else that you want to leave with our audience before we sign off here?

 

Jordan Gal

No, that's it. I just want to say thank you. And I think there are a lot of bright days ahead for eCommerce. I think we're just... It feels like we're pretty late in the game, but It's not. It's still a relatively very small percentage of all retail.

 

And that number is going to go up significantly in the next 10 - 20 years. So things are just getting started. I think they're bright days ahead for the eComs world.

 

Chase Clymer

Awesome. I can't wait to ride this roller coaster with you.

 

Jordan Gal

Cool. Thanks very much. Thanks for having me on. And thanks for listening, everybody.

 

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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