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Unprepared Ep 2 - Take This Time To Learn Your Customers with Nick Disabato

Timestamps:

  • [00:00] - Intro
  • [00:53] - Use this time to optimize your store
  • [02:35] - Impact of the pandemic on businesses
  • [05:35] - Skills to have to succeed when moving forward 
  • [07:40] - Where to find the "Finding Clarity in Uncertainty"

Resources:

Key Points:

  • Draft is an interaction design consultancy specializing on optimization for Shopify Plus stores.
  • Since people aren't reading pre-pandemic materials, they have been rewriting all their marketing pages to reflect what the likely future is going to be.
  • Draft is writing mini books to teach store owners what they're seeing as an interaction design consultancy and how to cope in the current situation by managing their emotions and making rational decisions. 
  • Their book called "Finding Clarity in Uncertainty" is about how to invest in your business during downtime. 
  • Magnifying the negative things that are happening when running a business can get in the way so it's best to take out the emotion and be objective. 
  • Certain industries are having the best time for their business so they're trying to capitalize on the existing moment.
  • It's important to respond rationally even in uncertain times to prevent hurting your business. You can talk to other business owners or sleep on before making an important business decision. 
  • Listen to your customers. In the future, customer service is going to matter more since people are going to be pickier.
    • It’s good to invest in interviewing people/surveying people. Any sort of analysis around that will be vital in Ecommerce.
    • Good copywriting and blogging will be more important because people want to be educated. It reduces risk when they're actually making a purchase.

     

    Transcript

    Chase Clymer

    Alright, I'm good to go over here. I’m assuming you're good to go over there.

    Nick Disabato

    Yeah, I've got everything going.

    Chase Clymer

    Alrighty. Well, welcome to this weird show, Nick. It's great to have you back. It's funny. Kurt was the first on the podcast. And then you were the second on the podcast. And now again, Kurt was the first on this and now you are second on this. So I can't. You Chicagoans, you love me.

    Nick Disabato

    We love you. This is auspicious. I'm really grateful to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

    Chase Clymer

    Absolutely. So the name of the game here is Unprepared. There's a lot of weird and unique stuff happening in the world today. And I'm assuming every business's strategy for 2020 is just thrown out the window. 

    Like what they were planning on doing is probably not what they're actually doing now. So I guess crash course, let people know what you do for a living and how this has impacted you.

    Nick Disabato

    Sure. Yeah. So I run an interaction design consultancy. We do optimization for predominantly Shopify Plus stores. [We've] been around for eight years. We've been sold out for all eight of those years until three weeks ago. And so now we're looking for clients. 

    That's what has impacted us directly. We're doing okay right now. But obviously, we want our clients, we want to be full op, we want to be sold out into perpetuity. So, if you're listening, that would be a really great time to start optimizing your store and making the most out of the limited traffic that you're getting in. 

    More tactically, what we're doing... I don't believe that people are really reading pre-pandemic content right now. So we've been rewriting all of our marketing pages to reflect what the likely future is going to be in the economy and in society. We're also putting together a lot of little mini books that are going to teach store owners how to cope with the current moment. Teach them what we're seeing and how we're feeling and how you can possibly manage your own emotions and make rational decisions. 

    So the first book that we're putting together is called "Finding Clarity in Uncertainty" and it's about how to invest in your business during downtime because you will still have to have expenses, right? 

    Chase Clymer

    Yeah. 

    Nick Disabato

    How do you make those expenses as thoughtful and careful and safe as humanly possible? That's something that we're very concerned about as an independent consultancy, and it's something that we see our businesses that we work with very concerned about from consulting standpoint. It's out actually as of this call today. So I could go and take a look.

    Chase Clymer

    I retweeted you a couple of hours ago, I think. 

    Nick Disabato

    Nice. Thank you. 

    Chase Clymer

    Awesome. So I like something you said there, which was make sure that you're taking the emotion out of it. And I think that's something that every consultant or agency owner or whatever that I'm friends with. 

    When things started getting shut down and there was so much unknown with how America, specifically most of our clients are in America, is going to deal with this virus. There were horror stories coming in. They're like "We've lost 50% of our revenues people are just pulling the rug out from under us. We're laying people off". 

    I mean there are some big agencies in the space that have laid off. Majority of their team has been furloughed. And a lot of that is crazy to me because now we're three, four weeks into it depending on where you live. And...I've seen some of our clients have their best months, which is insane. 

    Nick Disabato

    Yup. Yeah, if you look at ShipBob's collated data and Klaviyo are as well. There's a weird thing that's happening and they are breaking it out by industry. 

    Certain industries are hockey sticking. They've never had a better time and so they're trying to capitalize on the existing moment. 

    I had somebody contact me recently wanting consulting services. We ended up not being a fit for precisely what they needed to be doing so we forwarded it on somebody else, but they were like yeah, no, where this is Black Friday, every day forever now. And we need to adjust to this because at least until quarantine and that's what we have to deal with. And at the very least, now we have all these resources that we get to take advantage of. 

    So, we're sitting on maybe a competitive boat or just surfeit of extra cash. What do we do to invest in the business if this adds up loosening up as people start getting led out of their house? What does that look like? I don't think everybody is going to be cooped up at their house forever. Nobody wants that. What happens from an industry standpoint, you're still gonna have people selling puzzle games, you still have people selling makeup, food, all of those are doing extremely well right now. 

    And you see a lot of places that are flat and a lot of places that are down. So we focus, as humans, we magnify the negative. We magnify furloughs, cuts, [and] problems. And we do it by an order of magnitude over all the things that are going well. And we don't focus on what's going well, especially when we're stuck inside and we're liable for catastrophic thinking, our executive function is reduced a little bit. 

    I get why people are panicking. I'm concerned. I'm afraid for my friends. I have a lot of emotion involved in this but when it comes to running a business, I know I can't let that get in the way.

    Chase Clymer

    Yeah, so if you were gonna...I don't know who listens to this. I've had two episodes. It's going on YouTube and wherever else I can put it. 

    So, there's gonna be people that are just starting out, some people that are probably making their first dip into Ecommerce right now. Where would you say would be some good resources for them to spend all this free time that they have? What do you think, moving forward in Ecommerce...where are the skills going to be that you're going to need to have to succeed, not only in this quarantine but moving forward?

    Nick Disabato

    Yeah, I think that's a great question. I think customer service is going to matter a lot. People are going to be a lot more picky, they're going to be a lot more eyes early about their money and just broadly speaking, recession, something like that. I think that the more that you could listen to your customers in general, probably the better off you're going to be. So any resources that you can invest into interviewing people or surveying people, any sort of analysis around that, I think that will actually matter a great deal in Ecommerce. 

    I think good copywriting and blogging will matter a lot. People want to be educated. And that reduces their perception of risk when they're actually making a purchase. So that will matter a great deal going forward as well. 

    I think these are in addition to all of the usual things that matter a great deal in Ecommerce like having developers retained, or having fast shipping, or doing what you can from a logistics standpoint and having the right pitch. But I think those will augment what we really need right now to make sure that we're prospering going forward.

    Chase Clymer

    Awesome. Now, is there anything that I haven't touched on that you want to talk about before we go here?

    Nick Disabato

    Don't be afraid. It is a very fearful moment, do what you can to care for yourself. And whatever that involves in your own personal life or your own life, business life. Talk to other people before you make decisions. Sleep on your decisions before you do something that could really hurt your business. And know that this will pass. Nobody wants this. Nobody wants it to be happening. And it's okay to understand that and do what you can to coolly and rationally respond to that.

    Chase Clymer

    Absolutely. Nick, thank you so much for coming on here today. Where can they check out that new book that you just put out?

    Nick Disabato

    It's linked from the homepage of our business site at draft.nu. And I really appreciate you having me today.

    Chase Clymer

    Awesome. Take care.

    ---

    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.