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Unprepared Ep 14 - Good Reviews Help Out Good and Bad-Fit Customers with Stuart Arsenault


  • [00:00] - Intro
  • [00:58] - The power of reviews
  • [03:05] - What's unique about Juniper
  • [04:34] - How Junip is helping SMBs
  • [06:00] - What excited us at Shopify Reunite
  • [09:03] - Where to find Stuart


Key Points:

  • Junip is an affordable and easy way to manage your product and store reviews on your Shopify store.

  • The easiest way to convince a customer towards purchasing from your store is to provide what they are looking for: social proof.

  • If the reviews on your site are authentic and helpful to visitors, it will be easier for them to convert.

  • Better reviews also help out customers that aren’t a good fit with your audience to opt-out easier and lessen your return rate.

  • Reviews can be captured and used on your marketing copy.

  • Junip is simpler and cheaper than the competition. Perfect for online store owners that are just starting out.

  • Review apps tend to forget about the way review forms are given to the customer, yet it largely affects if the customer will give or not.


Chase Clymer  

Alright, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Unprepared. We hope that it's recording for everybody involved in this episode. And today, welcome to the show, Stuart Arsenault. Stuart, you got a pretty cool backstory and now you're working on a really cool app. So let people know what you're up to.

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah, so I used to work at a company called smile.io, which is, in my opinion, the best loyalty and referral app on Shopify. I was there for about three years. And then I worked with a friend Blair Backworth on a bunch of random stuff last summer. And then a couple of other friends of mine and I started a company called Junip. 

And Junip is a way for brands to manage their products and star reviews. They can do it in a really easy-to-use way that's affordable for them, that they don't have to fight with any code or bills to actually get good reviews for their store.

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So let's talk about the power of reviews and why is this something people should consider and keep in mind for their business?

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah. So there are countless studies out there. And so I won't cite all the random numbers, but basically, every single customer who's coming to your store, you're trying to convince them to make a purchase. And they look to get some kind of social proof in that process. 

And so if their real store or real product reviews on the product page that they actually believe and that helped them out with their purchase, then that's going to make them convert at a higher rate. So it not only helps in conversion, we see that time and again, double-digit increases in conversion rate, but it also actually, interestingly, helps customers who aren't a good fit opt-out as well. 

And so you actually see a lower return rate, because if someone, we have a brand Nux that sells underwear, and their reviews show that they're a little bit looser fitting. And so if so, Someone comes to their store and wants tighter fitting underwear, they know that Nux is not the right product for them. 

And that's good. That's a good experience for the customer. Because now it's telling the customer who they really want to buy, hey, this is a good product for you. But also someone who isn't a good fit isn't going to buy now and they're gonna have to deal with that return headache.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that's huge, honestly, that's a huge direct wallet increase right there because I don't know about you, but a lot of businesses I know, they take returns as the cost of doing businesses, they oftentimes can't resell them, they have to donate them, it's technically a loss at the end of the day. 

So if you can see a decrease in that, that's a straight increase to your bottom line. So that's super powerful. Also, on top of that, I see reviews used all over the place in marketing and an email. So those are other areas that you should be using. So obviously, there are a million reviews apps out there in the ecosystem. What's unique about Junip other than you guys are one of the newest to the game, I guess?

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah. So when we were at Smile, we just kept hearing from merchants that they were either frustrated with some certain review apps on their contract terms. 

And they're doing this crazy sales process to try and get reviews, which would be a simple thing up and going, or buggy code on the front end, or difficult to use admins that don't make any sense. And so when we built Junip, we wanted to make it simple in every aspect of what it does. 

And that both are in the product on the front end, an actual dashboard that you're using. So it's built-in Shopify's Polaris framework. It's really easy for a brand to use. But also in our billing terms. We don't want you to have to fight with a salesperson or fight with overages. Is all of our plans are unlimited use and they're all quite affordable.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that's super cool. I know there are a few review platforms that have been around for a very long time and they've got some odd pricing strategies. They are definitely going after larger accounts and not so much the SMB, I guess. So it's good to know that there are options out there that are looking to grow with you, as opposed to making a buck off of day one, I guess.

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah. And the thing that we found is the needs of a merchant, doing a quarter million in GMV versus the needs of a merchant for doing 20 million GMV isn't that dramatically different. They want to get more reviews from the customers. They want to have the tools to understand what's happening with those reviews, and then they want to display them on the front end in a really lightweight performant fashion. 

And so when we look at the gathering reviews from the customers, we're consistently getting double-digit response rates on our review requests, because we've taken a lot of time to really invest in the forms that we're using. That's an area of most review apps that are just forgotten and no one really cares about that. 

Some really simple errors like having CTAs that are off-screen or having forms that don't work on certain mobile email clients. I know some of them to use any email forms and Outlook doesn't use email forms. And so boom, now half of your customers can't use your forms. And so yeah, we don't think that brands at different levels of the spectrum have that different means, they just want to get more reviews and talk to their customers and then leverage them across their site.

Chase Clymer  

That's amazing. Now, is there anything that I forgot to ask you today that you think is important when we're talking about reviews?

Stuart Arsenault  

Ah, that's...we got the high-level overview because I know the context of Unprepared is we should be talking about a lot of different things and we're all coming right off the back of Reunite so I don't know if we could make this the unofficial Unprepared to Reunite debrief too.

Chase Clymer  

I mean we could. I literally, I just finished watching that and then I finished watching the one for Shopify Plus and I think the one that appeals most to me as an agency owner is I am...they again announced what they coined as sections everywhere last year. They're now calling something, I don't know what they're calling it, but it's the same thing. And I want it. I want that thing.

Stuart Arsenault  

We were talking in our Slack that it was super impressive when Shopify released. None of this is meant to be slight at them. But sections everywhere just seem like the thing that keeps dragging along and it'll get out eventually. 

But that in subscriptions are the ones that we've just been hearing about forever, and merchants really want it, and I think that's a good time. Because it means that Shopify's on important things we just wanted a little bit faster.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I mean, I don't know what the holdup is. Who gives...I would just straight up throw out the whole back catalog of all the themes you have and hire some theme developers to make new ones for you. If that's the holdup of bringing all these old themes up to date. Who cares? 

Get the new ones out and let the new, and let people that want to invest in their stuff start to use these cool new features. I hate when the holdup is...though we gotta wait for all the old stuff. Making the legacy stuff work with the new software or the new technology is so annoying to me.

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah, that's actually, it's funny because that's one thing that we're working on Junip. We found it is a big advantage if we don't have all of this legacy stuff. I know some of the existing review platforms, they are really inextricably linked with their existing request flow. 

And so Yotpo for instance, to name one of the competitors. They recently bought SMSBump. And so now you would think like, oh, yeah, they're just gonna have SMS requests for reviews. 

The last I checked, which was last week, and their help docs, you can't send SMS only requests. You have to send email requests and SMS. So now you're hitting the customer twice. And someone Yotpo, correct me if I'm somehow wrong on that. But yeah, as building a new product, you get to work with a lot of latitudes, because you can build whatever you want. You don't have to work with this existing infrastructure.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, you don't have any technical debt. That's what the nerds call it.

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah,  for me, I'm definitely most excited about what the money team is doing over at Shopify and the Shopify Payments. 

Chase Clymer  


Stuart Arsenault  

It is really cool. 

Chase Clymer  

The other thing that got me super excited. Obviously, performance is exciting. But I have my own way to run the numbers and show people that their 900 apps that they installed over the last five years on the theme made it straight garbage. But it's cool that they're gonna just have a dashboard, that's performance. 

We're quickly running out of time here. So I'm done talking. If people want to know more about you, they want to know more about Junip. Where do they go?

Stuart Arsenault  

Yeah, so Junip.co, j-u-n-i-p dot co is our website. You can also just find us on the App Store. 

If you want to hit us up for any questions or if you're interested in talking about reviews are more than happy to do that. You can get me personally it's stuart@juniphq.com

Chase Clymer  

Stuart. Thanks for coming on today.

Stuart Arsenault  

Talk soon.

A few weeks ago the world changed forever. Every business, every entrepreneur, every single person was unprepared for the sudden change we'd all experience. I'm going to use this time to create content focused on what you can do right now to help your business grow. We're all in this together, we're all unprepared.