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Ep. 1 - Revenue Optimization: Make More Money on Shopify with Kurt Elster

Kurt Elster does one thing (and he does it very well): help Shopify merchants make more money.

After working with hundreds of Shopify merchants, Kurt can look at almost any store and identify what it’s missing and how it can make more money. Today, he shares some of what he teaches so that any eCommerce entrepreneur can make the most out of Shopify.

In This Conversation We Cover:

  • [7:00] Kurt’s #1 piece of business advice
  • [9:25] Creating a productized consulting model
  • [16:00] What is conversion rate optimization?
  • [17:20] The ONE thing that will have the greatest effect on your conversion rate
  • [20:25] What you should (and shouldn’t) be paying attention to in your Shopify analytics
  • [23:15] The most common mistakes on Shopify stores: no buy now buttons, crowded menus, & more
  • [30:00] How to create a store that works for both mobile and desktop shoppers
  • [32:00] More FREE resources you can get right now to help grow your Shopify store
  • [35:10] How you can use Hotjar.com to optimize your site design

Resources:

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


Transcript:

Kurt Elster
Entrepreneurship is in my blood. I knew I was betraying myself by working for someone else by not running, doing my own thing, no fault of their own. And like I had just had been bottling it up and pushing it down inside. It just all came out and that when you're crying because you have to go to work, it's time to quit your job.

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 are struggling to scaling your sales electric guy is here to help to apply to work with us visit electriceye.io/connect to learn more,

Chase Clymer
and let's get on with the show.

Annette Grant
On this episode of Honest eCommerce, we talk with Kurt Elster. Founder of Ethercycle about conversion rate optimization.

Chase Clymer
Hey everybody, this is Chase Clymer and Annette Grant from Honest eCommerce. And we have probably one of the most influential people that I know in the eCommerce space as a guest on the podcast. Funny news is that he's asked me to be on his before and I can't come up with something to talk about. So it's pretty funny to me that he made it on here. I would love to welcome Kurt Elster to our show. So How are you doing, Kurt?

Kurt Elster
I'm good. Thanks for having me. My pleasure to be here. Welcome.

Annette Grant
We're excited to talk to you today.

Chase Clymer
Absolutely. So let's get on into it. Why should I care who you are and what you talk about?

Kurt Elster
Because I exclusively help Shopify merchants and I do one thing with them, and that helps them make more money. I'm like, looking at any Shopify store could tell you. Okay, here are where the hidden profits are. And that is that like, where the profits go, they're hiding under the couch. None of that? No, there are from working with hundreds of Shopify merchants at this point, I have the experience to look at almost any store. I'm sure there are some exceptions and say, Hey, here's the stuff you're missing. Here's how you will make more money.

Annette Grant
Oh, I'm kind of nervous to show you my store. But we'll do that offline. Later.

Kurt Elster
I would love to.

Annette Grant
Well, let's how many you said hundreds of stores over what type of timeframe has that been Kurt?

Kurt Elster
So I became a Shopify partner in 2011. When the then head of the Shopify Partner Program, Dan Eveleigh saw a store an entirely custom theme we built as our first store for a local bike shop and Amlingscycle. That theme in the site still up today, amlingscycle.com if you want to check that out, desperately in need of a refresh, but the cobblers children have no shoes. And then around 2015, we said, let's exclusively do eCommerce. Let's exclusively do Shopify. And that was the best decision we ever made. That is an incredible inflection point in our business, where we said all right, let's go all-in cart to the right horse.

Annette Grant
Gotcha. So before you were doing you're building stores on Squarespace, Magento, other platforms, kind of dabbling in all of them.

Kurt Elster
Even broader than that, I'll give you the origin story. I've been doing eCommerce for my entire adult life on and off, starting with eBay in high school. And then I ran. In college, I took an entrepreneurship course and they said, the teacher handed everybody 20 bucks and said, You got 20 bucks to go start a business. And mine was one of the most successful because I started making and selling band t-shirts on eBay. But I really didn't understand copyright at the time. And then Warner Brothers sent me a nice nasty gram about that soon after, all right, well, I started buying software, like Microsoft Office and stuff from the academic stores and selling that eBay got a nasty grant for Microsoft because apparently I didn't understand how software licenses work either. And, like really dope malicious I just did that wasn't being malicious. I didn't have the experience. And then after college, I worked as a channel manager for an eCommerce drop THMotorsports com. And from there, I got up to go to work one day I knew I was betraying myself by not being an entrepreneur broke down crying, tying my Chuck Taylors and said quit my job that day with no plan. The very next day I called up a friend of mine who had lost his job was a talented developer funemployed. It was 2009 the recession was hitting everybody. And I said, Let's build an eCommerce platform shooting for the moon didn't know what I didn't know. Turns out that's really hard. So about a year into that, we started doing building WordPress sites, traditional stuff for local businesses, which was a lot of fun and worked our way very quickly up to doing fulfillment for creative agencies. Like we built a contest site for the foam off a campaign that Verizon ran with the NFL. And then our last non-Shopify site was building this beautiful WordPress site for Hilton Hotels, suitehotel.com that's still up today as well.

Annette Grant
Nice. So this is an Honest eCommerce I need to know you really did shed tears when you decided to quit?

Kurt Elster
Oh, yeah.

Annette Grant
Okay.

Kurt Elster
Yes, entrepreneurship is in my blood. I knew I was betraying myself by working for someone else by not running, doing my own thing, no fault of their own. And like I had just had been bottling it up and pushing it down inside is just all came out and that when you're crying, because you have to go to work, it's time to quit your job.

Annette Grant
No doubt. Did you? Did you see? Was all the money to start your business? Was that all your own? Or did your partner pitch in? What did that look like in the beginning?

Kurt Elster
We went to my parents who gave us over the course of I don't know how many how long but I think over the course of 12 months, we borrowed a total of $15,000 one five. And then paid that back in full, so I was strapped with a small angel investment.

Annette Grant
Did you cry to your parents? They feel bad for you to say fine, here's some money.

Kurt Elster
Here's the story. My dad had, my dad had lost his job when I was a kid and didn't work again became a day trader, but always said over and over. If you're your own boss, you can never get fired, you should start your own thing, you should be your own thing, do your own thing. So, even though he was not an entrepreneur necessarily, there was no one in my family who are entrepreneurs, they saw the value in it, they appreciate it, they understood the importance of it. And so they very early on pushed me to do that.

Chase Clymer
Absolutely. So what was the transition from building these WordPress stores to finding you know, Shopify and, and kind of focusing all in on that, you know, was it just happened to cross it or were you trying to fit like a square peg in a round hole and it just wasn't working out.

Kurt Elster
So I had a friend we had worked in a local bike shop called Amlingscycle that I mentioned earlier. That was like one of the things I was doing for extra cash and for fun and because I like bikes and I wanted the employee discount I worked in, in this bike shop, and he would pick our brains on stuff like web stuff, etc. Because it was still very much a word of mouth business at that time. And he said, you know, we really hate our, our eCommerce provider, you know, web stuff, help me out here. What can we do? And I said you know, what are you looking for? What do you want to like? What do you hate about the current one? He's like, it's really hard to use. It's really limited. And I said, Well, I heard about this thing called Shopify. That's it's so it's, it looks easy to use. It looks like it's got flexibility with apps. Why don't we try that? He's like, all right, do it. And we charged him like, had to have been like less than $2,000 to build a design and develop an entirely custom theme for Shopify. And then after that, we got our second Shopify project was Bandon Dunes Golf Course, a huge golf course in Oregon. And we again the same deal built this custom site out. After every shot by project we go, Well, that was easy. What was it that it was easy as that, we're good at it. It just took us a long time to figure that out.

Chase Clymer
That's amazing. So it's funny that you the first project, I listened to another podcast all the time by Jason Swank. And the first question he asks when it's another agency owners, how much did you charge for that first project?

Kurt Elster
That's a good one.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, I mean, I'm sure I was I've been freelancing since I was like 16 and I'm sure I was charging $50 and $100 for the dumbest things back then.

Kurt Elster
Everyone undervalued themselves.

Chase Clymer
Yeah. I think that you have a nice saying out there for everybody, don't you?

Kurt Elster
Yeah, charge more. Number one piece of business advice I could give anyone is charge more. I guess if Do you have customers? Will that they will pay charge more. Right like keep, initially, I figured out based on supply and demand. That was how I do it was every time I treated my availability as a small team, we had three people as the supply and then the demand was how much time we have left. So if we were fully booked, then I doubled prices. Everything, unlike and that was how I did it. It, you know, took a lot of economics classes, I thought that was a sane approach. But really what's going on is, as business people as entrepreneurs, we're looking for someone to give us permission. So in my case, that supply and demand trick gave me like a rule, a reason to do it. But the reality is I used to coach freelancers, that's how you know that your rate is low, you're the skilled person I believe in you, raise your rate. And they're like, well, I can't raise my rate until I do. That's a phrase that you're asked someone, well, I can't raise your prices, they'll go I can't do until full stop. It is your business. You could charge literally whatever you want. You don't need a system. You don't need permission. You could just do it and change the prices. They're arbitrary.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, and that's over here saying in their head.

Annette Grant
Just drop the mic. Yeah, no, I agree. And then if people don't want to pay it, then you know, you might need to adjust your price or not, or find new customers.

Chase Clymer
The market does not set your rate, you do.

Kurt Elster
Yeah. The value is relative to the person to their needs at that time to the problems. They have to their timeline, to their project, to the level of risk they are comfortable with. If so, you really don't get to set the price it is up to the buyer to say yes or no. And if you don't give them that opportunity to pay more well, then they're not going to do it.

Chase Clymer
Absolutely. So I know we're getting a little bit tangential here. And I knew that would happen. If anyone didn't know me and Kurt are great friends. And we're in a mastermind together. And we talk all the time. So I'm always sure that we were going to talk about some freelance and agency stuff during this, but I'm going to try to bring it back into the Shopify store to the eCommerce store. So, you have specialized even further since focusing on Shopify, right?

Kurt Elster
Yeah well, we then we looked at what our it's always been looking at what our skills are, like, what's the overlap between our skillset and stuff we love and what people want and what are they willing to pay for? And if like in that intersection, what are the services you should offer? So we started with an unusual model at the time, and everyone was doing billing by the hour or project-based, but you just got a quote later. So you really didn't know how you're getting billed. I said, "Let's, let's simplify that." When you go to when you purchase a car, they don't like to give you a proposal for the car, you buy a house, you don't get a proposal, you make an offer, and you either get it or don't. But you have an idea up front, you know what the house cost, the car, you know what you can afford. And we don't do that in the service industry, which is nuts. So I said, You know what, I'm just going to do everything fixed price, fixed scope, product ties consulting model. And so my prices are out there, and you can decide if that if the project is worth the price, and that I see way more people doing that now, years later, but that was a great way to reduce a big friction point. And that's really like a lot. All revenue optimization for any business is just looking for those friction points in the buying process and kicking them out of the way. So whether that's conversion rate optimization or a sales page on a freelance website, it's like it's all the same strategies and tactics at the end of the day.

Annette Grant
And I appreciate that as store owner when I when I'm looking for help with my store, I don't want to have them back and forth. Let's have a meeting, let's talk about it, see what my needs are. And then all of a sudden they send me a proposal. Holy smokes, like you, should just tell me out of the gate, I wouldn't have even wasted your time with the meeting, either. It's just the price that is out of my range, you know, so I appreciate that when I go late. Yeah, if I want to, I want to purchase something. And if they are just very, you know, transparent and give me the price, I'll know right away if I should even reach out with an introductory email and ask them, you know if we can do business, so I appreciate that. And I think that saves time on everybody's front, you know, which is very valuable. So I'm down with that for sure. Because I spend a lot of time going back and forth with people. I'm like, ooh, I can't, can't afford Jeff.

Kurt Elster
It's very egalitarian. Like everyone pays the same price. Like I've worked we've worked with tons of just mom and pop big small business owners people side hustlers, but we've also worked with Jay Leno and Hoonigan and these big, these much larger brands and guess what, Jay? The flip side to that product ties consulting model is Jay Leno pays exactly the same price, as you know, the bike shop down the corner. So it makes it very fair.

Annette Grant
Now that and I think, I think as the consumer also when it is on your site like that, I feel good about that too, that I don't have to sit there and negotiate back and forth over and over again, like your prices are out there, you know, on the internet so people can see them. So there is that honesty part that's just there. Right out of the gate. So I do appreciate that for sure. Keep keeping that going.

Kurt Elster
I play it out.

Annette Grant
Yeah, no, that's awesome.

Chase Clymer
Yeah. So something I see quite often when people are reaching out to us or other you know, agencies or freelancers that are in my circle is there's always the touchy question of budget. And as you know, I think we talked about this yesterday or it's just like, you know, the budget question isn't to see how much money I can score off you this I'm not in this to like rob you. I'm in this to understand like, Are you trying to imagine a car dealership, like are you trying to get a Honda or are you trying to get a Corvette? I need to understand, what ballpark we're in here. So I can make sure to tailor what we need to do to what you can afford.

Kurt Elster
Of course, well, and I think the trick is to get them when we used to ask, Hey, what's your budget? And you get the response is always some variation on prefer not to say, but really in their head. They're like, Ha, I fooled them. I'm a master negotiator. Like, no! you didn't like this is not a dinner party. Like it is impolite to talk about money in the social context. This is business and we're adults. Now. The entire point of business is to make money at a profit. Guess what, we have to talk about no money, you need to be comfortable talking about your numbers and there is nothing wrong with that. If you can't do that probably like either work on it or don't be in business. But the asking that budget question upfront, it is a qualifying question. It is not designed to screw anybody's design so you don't waste time like I'm not. I'm not going to roll up into the Bentley dealership. With Honda money, it's designed to prevent those situations.

Chase Clymer
Absolutely. And it helps me push it along in certain directions, you know, are we going to go something that's a little more fixed scope, and we're going to do an awesome premium theme maybe with our friends from out of the sandbox, do this that turbo theme, or we're going to, you know, see how many bells and whistles we can fit on this new thing and build something custom from the ground up and have some fun with it.

Let's get into it right now is Black Friday season, but this isn't going to come out until January. So we're getting a few of these in the cans. But you know, for 2019 helping all these stores to be as profitable as they can be. Let's kind of get into what you've been specializing in recently, which is conversion rate optimization.

Kurt Elster
Hell yeah.

Chase Clymer
Alrighty, Annette, you've got a few questions over there. If you want to rip on them.

Annette Grant
What is conversion rate optimization?

Chase Clymer
That's good.

Kurt Elster
Alright. So if we would use the back of the napkin math, let's say your store gets 100 people a day and say that's a decent number for a validated store hundred people a day. And out of those, one person purchases every day, that's a 1% conversion rate number of people we convert from visitor to purchaser, right. So that most people probably already knew. And that's our key performance indicator that we're looking at that as a measure of our revenue. And there's other key performance indicators in there. What percentage of those visitors add to the cart? How many, what percent reached checkout? What is the average order value of those purchases? And how many what percent of those people are returning customers. Those that and the traffic are our key performance indicators. And they all play into each other. So if I can move the needle on any one of those, if I could take any one of them and push them up, I have now optimized the store for revenue. But we talked about conversion rate optimization, I view myself as a revenue optimization specialist, I just want to move the all of those are levers for more money in your store. I want to move all of those numbers up into the right, but specific to conversion rate optimization is that final number. Hey, can we get more, can we turn more of our visitors into buyers?

Annette Grant
Is there an industry average conversion rate? Like? What would? Would you just give a number out there? Would you need to look like interest industry specifics? You know, if it's like apparel versus I don't know, something else that's purchased online, but is there something that you like, the KPI of your customer that you actually give them right out the gate? Or is that specific to their industry?

Kurt Elster
I call it reading tea leaves, you have to, you have to have a sense for it. Because there's several there are a few key factors that are going to affect conversion rate, quality of traffic, number one, like how are you getting people, if they're coming from reviews that talk about how great you are, if it's organic traffic that way. Well, those people are going to, of course, be more likely to buy than someone who just learned about your product seconds ago from a Facebook ad. So the quality of traffic is going to be the biggest thing that changes your conversion rate. And that's like number one, why it's so tough to compare numbers because you have to keep all these other things done. The quality of the site is it professional? And, coz that will inspire trust, more people will buy. What's the price? The product price and the conversion rate are going to be inversely correlated, you know, it just flatly, it is much easier to sell a $25 t-shirt than it is to sell a $300 bracelet, right? Like it's just, it's different. And so the benchmark there, I use this 50 bucks, if an item is under if the average order values under 50 bucks, it passes the wife test, I don't have to ask my wife permission to make the purchase. If it's over 50 bucks, I should probably check with my wife before I make the purchase. So that's kind of my benchmark there. So that has a big impact on it. And then of course, like the industry, the products, if you have a ton of products, you're just some supermarket, that's not going to have that's going to have a lower conversion rate. If you've got one really focused great product, they'll have a higher conversion rate, but All right, I'll give you the range. For the whole funnel, for business would be like the typical thing if I just want I want to see it in the average store that I will now consider optimized, I want the add to cart rate to be 10%. That means one out of 10 people adds to cart, that's great. That means they were very, they're engaged, they're interested, they got they could find the product they wanted. So that add to cart rate is an indication of findability of like the first half of the funnel, that means I've got good traffic going to the site, finding the item they want adding it to cart. Then I want half of those people to reach checkout, if half of the reach checkout, that's great! Of those, I expect about half of them to make a purchase. So that'll put me in a two and a half percent conversion rate 5% reach checkout rate, 10% Add To Cart rate. Not every store is going to be able to do that. I mean, I talked to a guy that just today who is they sold a fitness product, and in June, they were selling at consistently 4.75% conversion rate. And now that it's fall, It's getting colder, their conversion rate had dropped to 1% So, like their seasonality and things, there are so many factors in there. And that's what makes it so tough to compare.

Annette Grant
Gotcha. Now those are, at least giving me an idea, you know, with my store some things that I need to look at, is there a, just to help our listeners? Is there an app that you can kind of set these KPIs within Shopify? Do you know off the top of your head? Like, yeah, I'm trying to give some resources to myself and our listeners, is that is there a plugin that they could do for these KPIs? Or is that just something that they need to know? I mean, I know they're on the metrics and inside Shopify, but

Kurt Elster
Ah, like to get reporting?

Annette Grant
Yes. Hmm.

Kurt Elster
That's a good question. I wish there was a way to do automated reporting. I don't know if there is a Gleam probably does, but it's really it's like, and the pricing at least is enterprise-level for gleam. And in Google Analytics, which you tear your hair out trying to set up the advanced stuff at Google Analytics. You could set it up to do automated reports. But what's really cool is you could build a dashboard in Google Analytics. So you put your KPIs up there. And then you can have it email you reports regularly. But please, every merchant is going to be staring at that dashboard, that app whatever, like every day. Seeing how many people bought, how many people visited the site, that sort of thing. I'm sure they check their KPIs, you just load up a Shopify analytics. And generally you want to look at it over 30 days, if you're looking at it for like, you know, comparing day to day today, there's just not enough data there, it's going to skew wildly. So I try to look at it 30-day increments.

Chase Clymer
And I also like to tell people to look at it from the last 30 days versus the 30 days of the previous year, not the 30 days of the previous metric, because especially think about these 30 days now heading up the Black Friday and Cyber Monday that is going to perform, hopefully a lot better than the 30 days prior. So those that's comparing those two segments are doing yourself this justice, but if you compare it to the previous same segment of the previous year, you're going to get a lot better looking to see if there was any growth or any opportunity.

Kurt Elster
No, absolutely. And then, you know, on that topic, I mentioned seasonality. And you said compare previously and like right now things may be slow because people are holding off purchases until Black Friday, at the time of this recording, but generally, a good sniff test I use for. Are we-is this drop something we should be worried about? Or is it something systemic, like due to seasonality is, I checked our kids in school? That's my test. If kids are out of school, purchases, in general, go down, they correlate. So like right around spring break, you'll see a dip over the summer will be a slow season unless you have a product that is very summer based like bikes, Christmas break, etc. It's kind of interesting. And I have three kids, so I assume I'm more aware of it then. Then someone who didn't.

Annette Grant
Yeah, I have my eyes just kind of like got really wide when that's something that I do not think about at all.

Chase Clymer
I'm assuming kids are in school right now.

Annette Grant
Yeah, yeah. Know that that's very interesting.

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Chase Clymer
Cool, so Kurt, I am a DIY'er right? I have my own Shopify store. I make a few bucks. Every month for pizza, what is the number one thing I'm probably overlooking on my store that you would come in there and kick me right in the butt to fix?

Annette Grant
Yes, let me know this.

Kurt Elster
Well, there's a couple of things lately I am shocked and appalled by how many people do not have dynamic checkout buttons enabled. That one drives me nuts. Dynamic checkout buttons, being the "Buy Now button" that Shopify recently added. Earlier this year when Amazon's patent on this technology expired. I'm not kidding. These guys patented a Buy Now button, like, almost 20 years ago, and it is since expired. That one is so great. So enabling that majority of people don't have it.

Annette Grant
And where would they enable that?

Kurt Elster
It's buried as a theme setting.

Annette Grant
Okay, see, I don't know if I have that. I'm gonna have to check. Yeah, help us out with that.

Kurt Elster
And it came out in April. So most themes would have been updated to support it over the summer. So if you haven't done a theme update, and you got your theme before April, you may not have support for it. Not too tough to add, you know, a first of developers under the bus. It's about an hour of work.

Annette Grant
Okay.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, but you have to have Shopify pay enabled for it right? You can't be using a third-party payment provider right?

Kurt Elster
Not actually the case.

Chase Clymer
Really?

Kurt Elster
Like, authorize we've got big client uses Authorize.net recently added the buy now buttons, and it supports Apple Pay and Google Pay. And if you're using a third party gateway like PayPal, that is also offered as a payment option for like buy now on desktop.

Annette Grant
Awesome. Next, we want more. What's up next?

Kurt Elster
Here's-this one is probably my number one pet peeve. It is the main menu, everyone jams everything into their main menu and then they put all their shopping into a drop-down menu. So they've got one tiny four little words that's probably not even the first thing that says meekly chop. And then next to that is like about us, FAQs, contact us and a whole bunch of other garbage that doesn't matter. Go on the Amazon site. All of that garbage is in the footer where it should be if people need that stuff they will find it or like if you're using a theme like Turbo put that in the top menu, just that tiny menu in the upper left. Where your main menu should be devoted 100% exclusively to shopping, which will let you instead of having that sad shop drop-down, break this stuff out of the drop-down so that at a glance, I don't have to click on anything hover on a tablet, it can add a glance, see, oh, here your categories, men's tops, women's tops, gee whatever it is. Yeah, that one drives me nuts. And along with that, oh my gosh, stop putting home as a link. At this point. It is 2018, almost there it's 2019. Everyone knows to click the logo or go back they're not stupid. And then the third is, use a pop-up and collect emails. It's like the magic of your business, the real value is in the audience. And the email list is the best way to collect that audience. So even if you're not sending out newsletters, you don't even have a service hooked up, get a pop up that collects emails for you. It will be worth it. A good if you've got good content and a good pop up. A 3% opt-in rate would be typical.

Chase Clymer
Yeah. So I just want to unpack that first statement there. Shopping focus navigation needs to be top of mind. That's how we approach any redesign on our end. And the reason being is looking at your analytics, and you can see what pages people are visiting. And the most visited categories and products are probably 85/15, where you're making all your money. So are you saying that your about page that gets 1% of your traffic has the same weight in your business as your, let's say, you're an apparel brand as your men's tops, which is 70% of your revenue? No! Put that stuff in the footer. Do you want to get people at? Its eCommerce and in short is the least clicks possible at the checkout. Is how you want it to work.

Kurt Elster
Yes, yeah, that's it. So with conversion rate optimization, my step one is let's remove a whole bunch of garbage. Let's make it as fast get people to the best selling product as fast as possible. And that's why I said that I use that add to cart percent as an indicator that will tell you if people could find their product. If your Add To Cart percent is really low, that's scary, I want to see that 10%, 15%, 20% will be amazing. But like any of somewhere above five up to 15 and that is a very good indicator of have you made it as easy as possible to find products? Because even if they get to that best selling product and it's not quite the right thing for them, a switch has been flipped. They are now in shopping mode. They are now browsing your store. It is the difference between walking past the storefront and going into the store. And now okay, now they're in your remarketing funnel, etc.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, I mean, I don't know if you were going to touch on this at all, but I'm thinking about just getting people to the product and adding to cart. something we've been doing a lot lately is upgrading the built-in search and filtering functionality with our Shopify stores and using Smart Search like auto-fills and more robust filterings. You'd be surprised at how that really helps get people to the product faster.

Kurt Elster
Oh yeah, searches are huge, like an easy one. We found this years ago, and it has held consistent. If you change the label on the search box from "search..." to "search the store..." - it works so much better. And if you have a big one, big search bar, you could put, like example searches and just link to the search query string for those things. Like, you know, the example you can see this at Cowbucker.com, they sell hats. Cowbucker with a "B." There's like a big search bar, it'll be like examples like your favorite team, your school, etc. And that prompt really gets people more engaged with it. Yeah, to your point Chase. Search is hugely important. You need only go look at Amazon to see that like the search bar is always the primary focus first thing everywhere to understand how important that is. And the autofill is great as well. What is your favorite search app, Mr. Clymer?

Chase Clymer
Lately, we've been using Searchanise quite a bit.

Kurt Elster
Searchanise? Yeah, sounds good.

Chase Clymer
We've actually got a pretty robust SOP written for that we've implemented I'd say a dozen times this year.

Kurt Elster
I gotta check that out.

Chase Clymer
It's pretty cool.

Kurt Elster
We use Findify several times, it's good. And it adds a lot of like collection filtering and stuff, which is nice. But you know, there's I have not encountered the perfect search app yet. So I should check out Searchanise.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, they all have their own, their way solve the exact same problem. But I think, especially for mobile? You'll find that a lot of themes on mobile, their search is just an afterthought. They're trying to be a pretty theme and get people to install. But on mobiles, people aren't navigating your mega menu, they're going straight to search and if it doesn't help them get to your product, you're just going to lose that sale.

Kurt Elster
Exactly.

Annette Grant
That was going to be my question is the pointers that you're giving us, the store owners. Do we take these with you know, our mobile-first I know most of my shoppers are mobile and I get stuck. I kind of get stuck in that mode of looking at on my laptop versus, you know, mobile user. How do you combat that? Or how do you talk to your clients about that? And how should we pay attention to, you know, desktop vs. mobile?

Kurt Elster
I don't think there is a, you can't focus on just one. Because yeah, things are going to skew toward mobile. But it's often it's a long process. It is a multi-device process. It is very much the case where like, I'll be sitting on if you could, you've done that we've all done this. You and I, you see something on TV or an idea pops in your head as you're watching Netflix, then you load up your phone, you find the thing, you research it, and then you don't necessarily purchase. That you're like all right, I'll check that out later. And like in my case, I will that I count on the remarketing ad to pop up in my desktop feed, to go check it out. Like I may see you may see people like have a higher-if you look into going what Google Analytics you can segment by the device. You may see, oh there's a higher like time on site is higher, pages viewed as higher on mobile, but purchase rate is higher; conversion rate is higher on desktop. That's probably what's going on. But the dynamic checkout button that's like perfect for mobile, because it takes like the big pain point, the big stopper on mobile is on that little, despite all the texting we do, nobody wants to type in all their address and their credit card number with the tiny, the tiny phone keyboard, it sucks.

Annette Grant
Oh true, that's true.

Kurt Elster
Buy now button, lets you make that purchase in literally eight seconds. You can time it. It's just extraordinary.

Annette Grant
So let's that's actually probably a good time to close again is like everyone needs to get that dynamic buy button, but can you give our listeners just I want to listen to you all day. So we'll probably have to have you on often as a regular on the show just for to help me with my sales on my shop. But what are some free resources that you could give our listeners immediately? I know you have a newsletter, correct?

Kurt Elster
Yes, yeah, we've got. Do you want to well, I'm probably best known for The Unofficial Shopify podcast we've got, at the time of this airing, probably a million downloads.

Annette Grant
Wow, congrats.

Kurt Elster
I hope to have cracked a million downloads, should be great. And yeah, that's a great resource Unofficial Shopify podcast. Or if you never want to miss an episode and you want to be able to pick my brain. Google made Kurt Elster, Kurt Elster.com, sign up for my newsletter. The newsletter gets sent from my very real email address. And I despite what some people think I read my own email. So if you hit reply to it, and ask a thoughtful question, I will send you back a thoughtful answer.

Chase Clymer
That's how we met.

Annette Grant
Now that's great.

Kurt Elster
Yep

Chase Clymer
I emailed Kurt and now we're friends that the world is crazy. And you also launched a YouTube channel recently.

Kurt Elster
I've got yeah, we got a YouTube channel with the 2000 subscribers. That's fun. I wanted to experiment. You know, honestly, the way I started my podcast because I was like, you know what, we could do that and I want an excuse to buy a microphone. And now I've got like this crazy thousand dollar setup because I geeked out. And but the same with YouTube. I said you know what I want? I want to do a YouTube channel, because why not? I was feeling guilty about buying an expensive car. So I'm like, how do I monetize the car? Ah, I started a YouTube series called Sunday Drives in which I drive from my house to the gas station, my favorite gas station, I've opinions on gas stations. And however long that drive is, that is the length of the video. And so I would do there like eight minutes. And I would run through like a tip, Tip for that week. And that was how I got going on YouTube. I called it the Sunday drive series. So if you look up Ethercycle, that's our agency name on YouTube, you'll find that

Annette Grant
I like it. So Chase and I need to visit you and come to your meetup and we want to do one of the Sunday drives with you also. I'm just gonna put that out there.

Kurt Elster
Well, it's a two-seater so you're gonna have to take turns.

Annette Grant
Oh, well yeah, Chase can just go. We'll take, we'll take turns or something or you can let us drive your car.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, I don't know if that's happening.

Annette Grant
I don't know what it is. But I'll learn how to get in it.

Unknown Speaker
Not in the Chicago winter.

Kurt Elster
How good are you at this? Oh, I put winter tires on it I'm not messing around.

Chase Clymer
Nice!

Kurt Elster
Who here could drive a six-speed? That's all we need to know.

Chase Clymer
I can drive a six-speed.

Kurt Elster
All right I'll let you drive it.

Annette Grant
All right.

Chase Clymer
Yeah.

Annette Grant
Deal awesome.

Chase Clymer
That's I actually learned how to drive manual before I learned how to drive automatic.

Kurt Elster
So did my wife she's the driver longer than I have, but oh marriage gets real.

Chase Clymer
You know what's funny is I don't believe that, that our kids now they're not going to know how to drive manuals.

Annette Grant
No, not all.

Kurt Elster
What aren't you like 17? Chase?

Chase Clymer
Yup, yup, you know, going on.

Annette Grant
A child prodigy he is.

Chase Clymer
I actually I'll be 29 in three weeks.

Kurt Elster
Oh, congratulations. It's weird when you hit 30. That's when you get your robot body.

Chase Clymer
Yes!

Kurt Elster
They come in the night and do it. Yeah.

Chase Clymer
All right, Kurt. Is there? Is there anything else you want to leave with our listeners? Let them know.

Kurt Elster
You know what, if you want to get into conversion rate optimization, you really want to experiment with this. There are two easy ways to do this one, "you gotta let someone else use your site." The issue is you have seen your site, through your eyes more than anyone else. No one spends as much time on your website as you do, you are now completely blind to the problems with it. So do this, get someone who's never messed with your site. Give them hand them your phone and say, "Hey, give them a task be like to just find to purchase a product, watch them, do it. Keep your mouth shut. It will be maddening. And when you realize how bad your site is, in the eyes of someone else, now go start messing with hotjar. Hotjar.com, free they've got a free plan that's great. That is a really powerful tool. You can run heat apps on your site scroll maps, you want to know why people aren't buying? They don't let you do a thing whereon exit it's called an exit poll. When people go to exit, let's say they're viewing a product page, boom thing pops up and asks, hey, is there a reason why you didn't make a purchase today? Oh, that's so cool. And then you can so you can literally find out people's objections. Hotjar is just a fabulous tool. I get nothing from them. I don't even know them. I'm just enamored with it. Check out Hotjar.

Chase Clymer
Hotjar is amazing

Annette Grant
Yeah, no, great.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, we're gonna link to the multitude of informational resources that you put out in the show notes.

Annette Grant
Yes. I'm gonna listen to this like, several times because I think I need to get busy on my store like, right when we, you know, get off this recording.

Kurt Elster
Send me your store. I will, I will send you a screencast.

Annette Grant
Oh, I will love that. We'll have to do a live one after two. It'll be really exciting. So now thank you so much. I've definitely learned a lot and I know our listeners hopefully will have a lot of takeaways also.

Chase Clymer
Yeah, thank you so much, Kurt.

Kurt Elster
Thank you, my pleasure.

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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