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How to Double your eCommerce Sales with Marketing Automation

An interview with Cormac Casey

For this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt Fraser hosted Cormac Casey, Founder and CEO of Tobi. Cormac lays the groundwork for acing eCommerce with Shopify and mending the abandonment checkout rate while dropping some golden nuggets to skyrocket revenues. Watch now.

Whatever someone’s first impression is of you, they are set on that because of their interest in whatever way they got there.

Cormac Casey
Founder and CEO of Tobi
Hello, everyone. Welcome to this episode of Ecoffee with Experts. I'm your host, Matt Fraser. And today, on the show, I have a very special guest, Cormac Casey. Cormac is the founder and CEO of Tobi, a full-service eCommerce agency headquartered in Galloway County, Galway, Ireland. He is also an eCommerce specialist with over six years of experience on the Shopify platform. He understands how to launch, build and scale an online eCommerce business. He has a Bachelor's and Master's in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Ireland. And he also holds a professional diploma in Digital Marketing from UCD professional Academy in Dublin. Cormac, thanks for coming to the show.

Thank you very much. Great to be here.

Yeah, fantastic. So Cormac, we were talking off camera about how to double your eCommerce sales with marketing automation. I know that you specialize in using Shopify and Clavijo. Can you just explain why you chose that? A lot of agencies specialize and specialize in funnels, some choose just to do eCommerce, and some do marketing for service-based businesses. But what made you decide, number one, to specialize in eCommerce, and number two, to choose Shopify as the platform of choice to become an expert?

So, why do I specialize in eCommerce? From day one, I found it interesting, my first experience with anything to do with E -com was, when I worked in a shop in college, my local city slashed an overgrown town. And they wanted to create a website, and that’s how it began. When I was sixteen, I was picked as the person to start that journey for them, which was strange. And straightaway, the taste for it turned into a hunger for understanding that consumer journey. Like the title suggests as well automating a lot of things. It became an overall entrepreneurial strategy in itself that I engage with. It never gets boring. Like everyone says, you should do what you love. It’s an airy-fairy claim, but I do. Like one of my clients said, the day you don’t go to bed for work is the day to change what you’re doing. And this is one of those situations. So don’t think that’s ever going to happen.

Second thing Shopify was introduced to me by chance. I’m glad it was. A friend of the shop where I worked when I was younger works for a Shopper agency and told us to use Shopify, so we said, okay. And I tried all the other kinds of competition things. So like WordPress, Magento, and WooCommerce, with all the other options, it always comes back to Shopify. No matter what anyone says. I love conversing with people saying Shopify is not for scaling. But when you look at the industry, the biggest eCommerce stores in the world are on Shopify, there’s no question about it.

There's no doubt about it.

And people are moving over it. It’s the way of selling online, but the first thing is a lot less can go wrong. Jim Shrek has a great story- they were on Shopify and moved to Magento. They were told that was the right thing to do, and ten weeks later, they’re back on Shopify after Magento crashed on Black Friday. They lost hundreds and hundreds of thousands because of Magento working.

Oh, my gosh.

Did you not hear that story?

No.

I’ll send you a link after this. But Google Jindrich Magento to Shopify. So they’re an athleisure brand, they’re massive over here.

Send me a link, and I will put it in the show notes,

Please do, it’s a very interesting article. I love it because when people say Magento is the way to go, I send them that and respond to this. Eventually, they understand. A lot of things are wrong with these platforms.

Yeah, tell me about it. I know what the challenge is with WooCommerce let's start with that versus Shopify.

WooCommerce has its place, and I don’t want to slave every other platform.

I don't want to slave, but what are its weaknesses compared to Shopify?

Human error can greatly impact what happens. For example, you can’t make a Shopify store crash. The normal person adds products and updates apps. All that stuff is safer and less scary to do on Shopify. Whereas if you’re doing WordPress or WooCommerce, you can crash the entire site, which is what happened to Jindrich. So, WordPress, or Magento, needs a lot more hand holding. And as continental data becomes much more expensive, people are like, oh, Shopify is too expensive. I say, well, you’re on Magento, what are your running costs of Magento? They say, Oh, only this much. I ask, how many staff do you have managing? They’ll say over six. That’s required for a Magento store because it’s so technical and sensitive. It’s a complicated beast, but Shopify is taking care of many of that for the retailers. You could have a mom-and-dad business, just starting off selling stuff out of your shed, which is where most people start these days. You see those eight, nine-figure Shopify stores, a lot of the interfaces all around the world; people who grow with chocolates back home will grow with you. The thing is, it never crashes; Shopify takes control of your hosting when launching a platform. Some people disagree with it, they don’t like the idea or control over it. The downtime for Shopify is point 00.3% of your day, which is less than a second. Maybe just over a second. I’m not sure. But anyway, it’s one of those things that very expensive issues can happen. And it’s just ticking the boxes on Shopify and thinking, oh, you don’t have to worry about that. Worrying about the scary technical stuff is one less thing, and you can focus on growing your business. So yeah, I’ve always danced around the other platforms open to change if the industry goes that way. But I think we’ve made a safe bet, based on our business rounds, Shopify quick confidence buttons, nothing can shake that.

So basically, the ease of use for it and the scalability is what I hear you say. Because I'm privy to WooCommerce, I know it has its challenges. And one of those things you mentioned. Yes, you have more freedom with WooCommerce, in some sense, because you can host it yourself. But, there's also then; if you're going to try and do shared hosting like there's a certain cost that comes with a WooCommerce store that I don't think people realize, in the sense that okay if you want to have a fast WooCommerce store, number one, you're going to be paying for your hosting. You're not going to be on some shared hosting service that's 395 a month, that's ridiculous. And if you want it to be fast, you'll have to have like, we should have separate databases for your products. So you need to leverage you need to optimize the back end of the platform. And certain WordPress-managed hosting companies claim to offer WooCommerce hosting, and I've tried them and don't see it. So anybody listening, I'm just going to give you an idea to steal. So I think there's an opportunity for someone to launch a specific platform specialising in WooCommerce hosting to make it easier. So to whoever takes up that gauntlet, I think that's an area in the marketplace with which someone could do something. But I'm surprised, Matt Mullenweg I know he does offer it. But how good of a job he's doing with it is another story. So, I will call it an axe. I'm not an expert on it. But I don't see him solving that problem in a big enough way, in the way it needs to be if he's going to take on Shopify with wordpress.com. I would create a different brand if it were me. But anyway, I digress.

If he could solve the hosting problem, it’s not a hosting problem but hosting complications with other platforms. The one stays closer to the power of Shopify. There are all sorts of things that I haven’t seen one platform come close to yet in all aspects. With such scalability, as you said, I can sell a product now on Shopify in the next fifteen minutes and launch it on my domain. But anyone can do that. It’s not unique to our agency and speaks to the platform’s power. It’s not something you could do on WordPress, and you definitely couldn’t do it on Magento. Anything else doesn’t come close to the dark side of things. So you have the scalability and ease of use; as you said, it’s a very user-friendly platform from the back end. And it creates very user-friendly experiences on the front end as well. So, for example, I have done Shopify plus, you can’t change your Shopify checkout. It’s the same on any Shopify store you’re on. People see that as an issue, but it’s built like that for a purpose.

I was going to say they figured it out already. What converts? Because if it's not broken, don't fix it. Like, why would you want that? Here's one thing right there. The WooCommerce checkout process is ridiculous out of the box. It's ridiculous. I know that, and people who are familiar with WooCommerce know that. So you have to buy an extension to get it to work or a plugin. Like, there are WordPress plugins people have created to have a better checkout experience. If it's not broken, don't fix it. Shopify has already figured out its usability. There's a book by Steve Krug called- Don't make me think- about web usability. And the guys at Shopify have already figured out what people expect in that checkout experience. So, people who want to change it say, no, you don't need to change it if you want to have conversions. Which would you agree with?

Yeah. It’s like one last thing that I just think about; the experts have already put up with Shopify store or Shopify agency. So how many stores do I run through Shopify checkout every day, and how many transactions? Billions.

It's amazing. I'm from Canada, and Shopify is a Canadian darling. That's for sure. It's one of the billion-dollar companies in our country, of which I thought there were only a couple, but there's more. So I won't go into that, though. Anyway, do you have any tips or advice for people getting started or businesses that want to consider using Shopify?

Oh, very good question.

For instance, how should they organize their skews and products? Is there an effective way to do that? I know, to me, coming to the WooCommerce. From a WooCommerce perspective, the best way to do it is to use a spreadsheet with all your info, skews, pricing, product descriptions, etc. And then importing that as a CSV file. Is that an effective way to handle many skews for a Shopify store?

Yeah, I guess it depends on, let’s say, product count. For example, at the moment, we’re migrating a sweet shop to have two and a half thousand different types of sweets, which is just random, which is crazy. They are very successful on WooCommerce, and we are migrating them to Shopify because they’ve hit limitations with WooCommerce. And the complication is it keeps crashing. The plugin and checkout keep crashing, and it stops people from buying.

And then that's costing them money.

Yeah. Oh, yeah, and pissing off people. It’s caused a lot of complications when little things like that go wrong. Especially, to give a quick one on that example, they didn’t know that was happening. They didn’t know that’s why their conversion rate was low until we went in and tested the site.

Oh, did you like Hot Jar testing?

Yeah. We just installed Hot Jar and Lefteris because we try not to deal with WordPress or WooCommerce. So we did that for free. They realized what it was we explained Shopify, it sounded like a breath of fresh air to them. And that’s the process. But it turns out it wasn’t their product. So yeah, we do have a TOC. If it were a smaller amount of products, we would do it within the Shopify platform. But it’s quite mind-numbing to do it over and over and over again. So especially very large inventory. We don’t like uploading the images through PSD because it’s an extra step. Ee must upload the file on Shopify and bring the URL back in. So we do all that after the fact. So with an app, it’s quicker. If they thought I couldn’t get to the process, like instead of Shopify CSP templates, and there’s a few like, same with any platform, you have to jump through a few hoops to adhere to it. But it’s not one of the complications of starting a Shopify store. One of the things I recommend the most would be Shopify has shoppers built up a theme. Or you can build from scratch, but most time, you’re starting a business on Shopify, you’re picking a theme, and a lot of our work, to be honest, we’re not building sites from scratch. So, we decided on a theme, tweaking it to what the clients are looking for because the groundwork has been more cost-effective.

Yes, choosing an existing theme and customising it rather than trying to build something from scratch makes sense.

Yeah, this is more costly. Let us offer a better price so our clients get four different slices, instead of building from scratch, like there’s probably something they’d like to look up. So on that one of launching on Shopify, using a Shopify-approved theme will save you so much hassle in the future.

Shopify approved theme.

Yeah. So if you go to the Shopify theme store, there are a few 100 of them there. Some cost and some of them don’t. Some of them I don’t like and some of them are excellent.

But how do you decide what things to look for in that regard?

One of the big things I think is your product count. So if you have a low product count, it’s easier because you’re not looking for these custom filtering or mega menus. If you have something like those two and a half thousand products, you’re looking for a filter. A theme that scales with submenus and filters, and you can integrate your filters. Stuff like that, I guess. But I think today; everything is customisable. But the one mistake we see many people making when it comes to Shopify is they pick a shop or theme and not necessarily buy from a theme store. And at the time, they don’t know half of what that can cause for the future. But think about how people think about themes developers building Shopify by themes. Most of the time, the first particle is to go and get approved by Shopify because then it’s for sale on the Shopify marketplace, they’ll make way more money. Shopify doesn’t take a commission on the first million you make. So it’s still profitable.

Shopify doesn't take a commission on the first million you make?

Yeah. So if you’re an app developer or theme developer shotput, they won’t take anything for the first million new apps you make on their platform. Selling your theme or selling your app or whatever it is. And then after that, they’ll take fifteen per cent. So you’re making more than a little.

Amazon, Apple, and Google hose everybody with 30%.

Yeah, exactly. The grasses. They’re taking care of their partners. So they take care of their partners and want them to grow, their app developers and developers. But if the theme isn’t on the Shopify app store, it is most likely because Shopify has gone through it and audited it and said, this is too messy, this is too slow, and the US isn’t good. And then those people can sell somewhere else. So they do a lot of different platforms.

I'm not going to knock them. Yes, I've no idea. We're just thinking about places that mean nothing against them.

No, definitely not. I’m sure there are loads of good things that aren’t on the Shopify store. But as a safe bet, you go on from there. The stoplight says we approve the speed of this theme, the actual architecture of the team code, the actual files, and how it functions. It’s responsive on all devices, it does all that stuff. But as a business owner, when you start a business, you can’t comprehend or think about it not even coming into your mind. Why would it? You don’t know what you don’t know. But yeah, a lot of our work, we see people on Shopify, and they’d be on an external theme. Most likely bottom team first; again, nothing wrong with the theme first. But much of our work would be migrating them to either a custom build or customise trap I approve theme. And the difference is massive; even if low speed, tiny data points can make a massive difference because they’re all compounded.

That's so true. It's mind-boggling how complex or just like interest, it makes a difference. The compound of sight, speed, and loading. I think one's extra second costs of a site load, like, I can't remember the data's detail, but it's pretty significant.

The shop has some crazy site speed statistics. But that’s one of the biggest points: pick the right theme to build up or, if you are building from scratch, the right partners. As your business is scaling and your product is taking off and doing well, you don’t want to think about your business’s foundations or your website. So that’s how you will take out when you start to grow your business, you want that to be solid. So that’s one of the best ways to do it.

Hey, do you have any tried and tested strategies you can recommend for increasing sales and revenue on Shopify stores that you've done?

Yeah, it’s true that it works. Well, we’re very data-driven. So we looked at the information, and we were quite not interrupted by people to hear that we put device second and we put data first. Like you and I might say, a site looks nice. And it might be the ugliest site ever, but it performs very well because it’s been optimized for data. So I think I showed you one of the sites we built the first time we spoke.

I think so.

It’s incredibly high converting just to give context. They sell temporary accessories, style accessories, Joe products, and that kind of thing. And we developed the site ourselves. And I’m ashamed of how it looks on the front end, but it’s our highest converting site because we designed the front end, and then we took the data that they had before, we looked at the inefficiencies, like their bounce rate on blog pages is very high. It’s a very simple thing you can fix fast. You go through either the contents are not good enough, or there isn’t a next logical step at the end of the blog. Heat Map is like Archer’s grace because you can find the actual problems that people are seeing. And you can see it from the way they see it too. So if you’re unfamiliar with Hatcher, it’s a screen recording and heat map software. So you can see where people are having issues with your site or not interacting. But in terms of increasing sales in E-com, utilize your customers telling you what they like and don’t like, it is as simple as that. People say it’s garbage, but that is it. If you use like 10 to 15 KPIs that we use in a sighted audit, like a technical audit. And from them, you can depict, I’d say we give three actionable points from that, which will be the three biggest inefficiencies, maybe their add to cart rate is very low or something like that. It depends on the site. But we would say, take these three steps to fix this. And if they fix something like that, it’s something that’s the bottom of the funnel, marginally, that even if they fix that 20%, that is a significant and instantaneous and long-lasting impact on your top line revenue. It’s funny how little tweaks can make a difference, especially on Shopify’s checkout process. Shopify does allow you to add, like a second step, your phone number and email required to set up an account. All this stuff delays the checkout process. Even by turning all that off, you can see massive results, massive mend in your abandoned checkout rate. For example, allegedly the average abandoned checkout rate is 75%, which I don’t believe because I’ve never seen it.

The average abandonment checkout rate is 75%?

If you google this, it’s ridiculous stuff that comes up like that from a few different trusted data sources. So that means if I get to the checkout, I put my products in, my information, and I tell you where I want to ship to. I told you what I wanted to be shipped. I told you my name, email, and all my information; three in four times, three of four people will bounce from there and not buy, which blows my mind. Makes no sense. So we’ve seen some low performance, like what you consider very low performing as like 40 to 50 per cent because that’s insane. After all, you’re nearly more likely to buy than you’re not likely to buy. But these few tweaks streamline the checkout process and make it as least complicated as possible.

So, what are some specific tips for doing that optimizing the checkout process?

Not requiring too much information. So like, what information do you need to ship something to someone? They’ve added the product, you know what they want. You need their full name, address, and their postcode. You don’t need them to set up an account. That is not required to get money off of them. But, like you have their information accounted for, maybe it’s better for long-term loyalty. But if you’re trying to get them into the first sale, that doesn’t matter.

I'm hearing you say this now, and I heard somebody say this the other day if you want them to buy, don't require them to set up an account.

Yeah, well, why would you?

I don't know if this is true, but I'm just going to ask you. I heard it said that requiring them to set up an account to purchase kills your conversion rate by 50% because 50% of the people won't do it. They don't want an account or another password to remember, they want to buy something from you.

Yeah, and most likely, if they’re at that point and they’re hesitating, and if they don’t have an account set up, it’s their first experience with you, don’t make it difficult. But at that point, they say the warmth leaves you unless they’re not at that point where they are happy to give you their money. So why would you make it difficult? If you’re in a shop and someone comes to your till and they can, you first tell them the total, and they pay for it in three months. So you go to the tiller, again in a physical store, it shall be an easy objective. Another thing people do is require you to put in the billing address. You can just auto presume that your default billing address is your shipping address, that should be added standard. We also see a massive drop-off because Shopify does allow you to put in the confirmation steps. After you put in all your information, you put in your credit card details; instead of saying Pay now, it might say, review orders. And there’s a second page where you can make the decision again. Do I want this? No. Do I want this? I’m not sure, or you might get distracted. Then you bounce from the site, and you’ve lost again. So if you can bring your average abandoned checkout rate over any 90-day period that he has, it’s kind of insignificant. So, in terms of data points, over any day, if you can bring your abandoned checkout rate to, she’ll be way lower than 25%.

Your abandoned checkout rate should be lower than 25% by proper optimisation?

You are doing something wrong otherwise. Imagine you go to a website and put in your information and address; you know what you want to buy. You’ve given your phone number, you’ve given them your area code, everything. Surely you’re ready to buy it. So why would you get that far if you weren’t? And then there’s the other side: email marketing, one of the services we offer with Klaviyo. And it’s taking off that 25% that might drop off and trying to recover them. And if you can recover a portion of them, again, the warmest leads you have at the bottom of the funnel are so close.

So there are two things I want to talk to you about to increase these conversion strategies that I just thought of. First, what about number one; people hate these things. But using a popup lightbox, if you've heard of this, like putting a popup lightbox on the checkout page, that's like, when based on mouse behavior, and you are just curious, like, Oh, why didn't you buy today? Or, you know, what problems are you having with our checkout? Or some question that would address why they're leaving? Have you ever seen success in doing something like that or any other ways to use light boxes and popups to increase conversions?

In the checkout profitably. Well, this is, again, something that can be disputed. But if I’m at the checkout, I’m leaving for some reason either I’m not ready to make a decision, I just extracted I don’t want the product, whatever, or it’s too complicated or something like that. So if you bring up another point, they’re like, wait, tell us why. Or wait, what’s wrong with or whatever it is? It’s before it was captured. If you have that person’s information, you can capture them by email. Depending on their industry, send an email between 20 minutes and an hour. Depends on what they’re buying. You can require their email.

So that's because they've already entered their email address. Is that what you're saying?

If you’re talking about when they’re struggling, abandoned checkouts, and if they have gotten that far, they’ve given you their details. If you’re at the point of checkout, then email, and it gives them a more comfortable way to re-approach someone because you can solve all the pain points through email later. It’s easy; you can do one second each putting them back to the point that they were in the email or the checkout. On other parts of the website, acquire some of that information, like if your checkout or if your overall store conversion rate is 5%. So five out of every 100 people make a purchase. Trying to capitalise on that other 95% will require an email so you can get back to them or acquire some way to retarget them.

I was going to say will pixel programmatic ads with display ads for retargeting them. Like showing them an ad on Facebook. You forgot that happens to me all the time. You forgot something in your shopping cart. I never gave him; maybe I did. I don't know. I don't remember. But I just know that I've seen those ads retargeting me. But, hey, yeah, hey, you missed out on the deal of a lifetime. I mean, what's his name? Russell Brunson. You know, he's trying to get me to buy stuff. And he's classic for that, but it's an effective means of increasing conversions off-page or off-site.

Yeah, definitely. It’s not something we run, but we run it in tandem with other agencies. Like, we’re very specialized in shuffling plays, but we don’t do anything else because we’re not excellent at anything else. And we don’t want to become one of these cowboy agencies, it is called London, Ireland. And we’re trying to stamp that out by being a little bit ballsier in our approach to things. So, for example, for email, we do it on a performance basis. So why are you in marketing? Yeah, so we use Klaviyo. Again, having found that Klavyo is innovated all the time. And for that reason is on top. Like MailChimp used to be the go-to marketing platform, and it’s still massive. It’s the mass of the relevant agencies, but not enough for E-commerce, like our email treasuries, are very, Very, very targeted. So, for example, that you might abandon checkout, I don’t want to let like we run this. I will use abandoned checkout as an example again because we were chatting about it, but you might manage checkout on a website we’re on. And I might abandon checkout too. We might get a separate set of automation through email because you might have clicked on a certain collection page relevant to something else. And you might have added products that certain coffee would engage people who buy your product in a different way to other stuff. So we get very targeted. So we both go into the same funnel of abandoning checkout, but I might go down this way of the family tree, based on what I’ve done on the site. You might go down this way and get a completely different experience nearly bespoke because we’re each getting self. It’s tailored to our previous action but has much more relevance and performs very well. So we’re quite good at email. And that client we’re talking about before we turn on the recording. We met with them, which made us change our entire model because they were working with an agency charging them significant four figures for email marketing every month. And they were on contract for five years. And I did an email marketing audit with them in front of them. And it pissed us off, how was going to get away with this? Because there are too many, unfortunately, too many chances in the marketing world. Yeah, it’s crazy.

We could have an entire episode on Digital Marketing Charletons. I know one business that got ripped off a hundred thousand dollars on SEO without any return on investment.

I heard an example recently. A business located about two hundred meters from our offices here in Galloway. They decided they wanted to sell their products online. So they had someone who worked in their warehouse and a friend in Poland who built websites. He charged six hundred quids, and they were doing half a mil per year online. Sure, he got the traffic, and they were delighted. An Irish agency came to them and said we just glanced at it, and we want to rebuild your site. We will build you onto an `E-commerce. So again, I have no problem with E-commerce. So they charged forty thousand, and they were okay with that. So they went from doing half a million online every year to 5 hundred per month. It’s crazy. It pisses me off, it’s one of the perfect examples. Like half a million is a significant amount of money to be made online for a local business.

Half a million per month or half a million per year?

Half a million per year. They weren’t massive in E-commerce. But for someone who spends six hundred dollars on this and there was hardly any traffic, their main business is in person, and they were trying out online, half a million was significant. They paid forty thousand Euros for this new website. Their traffic decreased. Straight away, they are making five hundred for the month online now. It pissed me off. Part of the email thing, the way we are approaching it now. It is working to success, and we’re talking about what we did. We are very confident with what we did because we get targeted with things. So we were like, okay, we will be ballsy here and blow everyone out of the water. We were going to put skin in the game. So we work for email on a performance basis. If you are our client, it changes the dynamics somewhat because instead of me pushing invoices over to you every month for services, without any promises or anything. So I am now pushing invoices over to you based on what we made. So if we made you a hundred grand this month in email mass, we charge you a percentage of that. And it means we are shoulder to shoulder with you instead of being across the table from you. That whole relationship with you.

That's so brilliant.

It’s great. It’s been a massive win for us because the entire conversation with the client has improved. We now have clients where they ask us, you know Comac, we have become that trusted marketing advisor nerd influence. We are not happy with our ads partner which we use. We don’t use these lads because they are great, use these. It’s a much better approach because of better quality traffic, or they make money from the emails. So the entire journey is what we do. It’s working great for us, and it’s one thing that we know other agencies don’t have enough confidence in their service delivery to do it. Like some American agencies, I would say. But there are so many more scammers than players within the agencies. So that’s what we are folding. That’s going very well for us at the moment. We are building that part of the business. Klaviyo has a massive product launch today, it’s on at the same time as this call, so I have no idea what they are announcing right now, but it’s big, whatever it is. So I’m excited to see what happens after this call.

I am not as familiar with Klaviyo as I would like.

I think you would find it very interesting.

You know I am a marketing automation guy, among many other things. Everything about marketing interests me, but Klaviyo came out of nowhere and disrupted the market, as far as I am concerned. I am trying to say that they are not an old player. I don't know when they launched, but they launched after Mailchimp and infusion soft.

It has been around for a while but has taken off in the last two or three years. The way I look at it is that before they were around, Mailchimp was the go-to for E-commerce and Marketing, and it wasn’t specifically for E-commerce and marketing, it was also for email marketing. But Mailchimp didn’t innovate in the E-Commerce space, the way that skype didn’t innovate and Zoom stepped in. I don’t know anyone that uses skype anymore. So zoom did something very smart, and skype screwed up.

We could have an entire discussion about that. Not only did Skype screw up, but Google, the limitations they put on video meetings, and now they are trying to catch up. You couldn't record meetings once you had the enterprise-level account, and then you had to have an enterprise-level account for each user to use. They should have made it a separate stand-alone project. A product that's not attached to your Gmail Gooble workspace account. So that if someone wanted to use it, maybe not every person in your company needs to use Google meet. Yet if you want to use it recorded, you have to pay the enterprise price for each of your two hundred employees when only ten per cent are sales staff. So you only need it for ten, which is why people use Zoom.

And they will not claim, too late.

It's incredible. I tip my hat to the guy who created Zoom. And the people at the go-to Webinar poopooed on his idea. They picked up his box and said, okay, I am out of here he went and started his own company, and he crushed them.

Yes. It’s the same with Klaviyo and Mailchimp. I don’t know if Mailchimp will ever become the E-commerce marketing platform. But as you said, Mailchimp has several uses in other things, but it doesn’t have the power that Klaviyo has for E-com.

Of course, companies, die all the time, they can. I am not saying Mailchimp is dying. There is a book by the guy who wrote Good to Great. He wrote another book on build to last. Companies that go out of business, and businesses go out of business every five years. Look at My Space. Facebook came along and swallowed My Space. So it can happen if they're not careful.

It happens everywhere.

So tell me about Klaviyo. It's an email marketing automation. Is it a CRM platform?

Kind of. First of all, it’s just E-com. It doesn’t fit the other industries, and that’s for E-commerce, and that’s perfect.

Wait a minute here. Klaviyo is just for E-com, that's it?

You can use it for whatever you want, but it is specifically built for selling products online. It’s great marketing, and it’s growing. It’s not like putting all your eggs in one shakey basket. So I’m very sure people will be buying online.

Yeah, Online sales will only increase.

Exactly. It’s funny, but I just found out, since covid. When covid happened, everyone went buying online, and there was this worry that everyone would go back. We didn’t know what would happen when everything opened up again. We have a lot of clients that have their point-of-sales in their stores integrated with their shop with stores, and we can see all the data in one place. And instead of people going back to in-store, they are doing both. So we might have a unified and see mass customers accounts online during covid, and then you go back to buying instore. But he’s also buying online, overall, his average spending for the period has gone up. So, from my experience with the stores we manage, we have this omnichannel view. People are buying both online and in-store, and they are not buying less online or in-store. The figures have people spending more money and don’t understand why it’s happening, but it is very impressive. Covid did something.

It is said that covid skyrocketed the behaviour or accelerated the behaviour of online shopping by at least two years.

Yeah, not surprised there. Those that we know and return customer rates are on fire. People learn how to become more loyal, even though in the future was a worry that it could have gone the other way because people were just price matching and jumping ship. They are more loyal to brands. So the brands will have a good story to tell and build around it. The retention is much higher now than before, which is just mad. Like how did that happen? Why did that happen? I have no idea. But it’s great.

Coming back to Klaviyo, are there any particular products or stores that lend themselves particularly well to using Klaviyo, or is it right down the board for any e-commerce store?

It is great for anything. It works very well with Shopify. Because you can install tracking on your store, especially site-wise, I can filter everything there before, or I can put mad into a completely different segment of automation. So I get very excited if he has clicked here and stayed on that for more than or less or returned shortly after.

I think marketing automation is so unbelievable what you are talking about. And I don't think the average consumer or business owner understands what we can do now as marketers with marketing automation. It's just incredible.

Neither understands, and consumers don’t know what is happening. You mentioned the consumers, which freaks them out, but you offer a better experience showing stuff to engage them. It’s a personal opinion but if you are not okay with it, don’t.

If you are worried about your privacy, don't go on the internet.

Yeah, or leave your house.

We live in that day and age. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I'm not the first to say it.

I hundred percent agree.

We were talking about Klaviyo and what kind of product the stores lend themselves particularly for using it.

Sometimes, it’s easier to build more on brand automation for something with a brand than a general store. The general stores are salesy and discount orientated, and flashy. You can do a lot better building if there is a strong brand with ethics and morals around that brand. So, for example, if they have brand guidelines, there is much more interest in building that kind of automation than it is just to let something that can make more money on Klaviyo. We will pay more money out of the email, that’s your job instead of building our brand. Because the idea with the email is that if you have different customers giving cold leads who may have signed up for popup and left or may abandon at checkout, they are pre-purchase, so you want to nurture them. So the count turns up with your brand. Trust your brand and your product to the point where they buy. Then they are in that period of engaged buying and stuff. They can go past that, you want to try to win them back, which is another set of complete automation. But eventually, what you want to happen, if you have a good enough brand, product, or service delivery. Your customer service and everything are great. If all that stuff is great, you can nurture someone from a very cold lead who has never bought before to the point where they go. let’s say you sell sandwiches, you are the place to go for Mac sandwiches.

Go ahead. Sandwiches are great.

Let’s say you sell sandwiches. Instead of getting an email about sandwiches from Mac Sandwiches, I just Google Mac Sandwiches. I go direct because it has become the brand that I relate to that product. So let’s say I buy clothes. I have a client at the moment in Ireland who is a big clothing brand for men, and what we are seeing happen is people are employing people that have gone through that journey of email over the last six to eight months when they are buying from you, so you know they are engaged. They are still buying promotional email and stuff. They are now entering that direction and such.

They are just direct traffic.

They are now brand followers. Because now they think I need clothes. They don’t think I will Google clothes or come across an email, and it’s been completely different. Honestly, that said, it doesn’t seem profitable from our end. We don’t get a commission from the ones that go direct anymore because that’s not going through the emails, but they went through that email process. It was good enough and targeted enough, and consistently engaged that customer. So now that’s the brand they go to, that product, and that solution they are looking for. So as long as the customer delivery stays the same, the product is good, and they are still happy with customer service, they will always stay there.

So what are some of the best strategies for using Klaviyo to increase sales?

I will give you a golden nugget here that people don’t do enough of. When you land on a website with a popup, you get ten per cent off or free shipping on the first order. Something boring. Unfortunately, the boring stuff works. You can get creative with popups. People respond well to discounts, and it’s worth getting a discount on the first sale if you can acquire that customer and retain them, depending on your industry.

And you have to know your lifetime value.

Yes. Exactly. Sure it’s hard to calculate, but yes. The one thing people don’t do is set up a popup is getting stuff to their site. It’s set to trigger after eleven seconds on our website. And then what do you know about that customer? Nothing. You know nothing. You know what they do on your site at that moment and when you pop up. So you can say when from day one and people don’t do this. So, for example, many of our client’s segment by landing page. So if they land on a collection page that has to do with men’s t-shirts, now we know that they are interested. So, they immediately put in their email, and there is a second popup for that page alone. It may look the same as every other popup.

It may look the same, but it is unique to that page. That is so smart.

The copy might be different, or the imagery might be just men’s t-shirts. But it’s the same idea and probably triggers the same way. And that collects and adds information. So now that we know they are interested in men’s t-shirts and probably want to buy men’s t-shirts, we can send offers to them to do with men’s t-shirts. So we now know what that person wants before we say, Bob, sorry. Honestly, that is the only popup they see on that website. So they are going to get that on an indirect popup. So if you even set up for the top five landing pages different pop ups that are relevant to the products on that landing page, you are going to be able to say you had it since day one instead of pissing people off with stuff that is not relevant enough.

Exactly, that is what pisses people off.

Yes, exactly. Not to engage in something that has nothing to do with them. So we now retarget that person with a new collection of men’s t-shirts.` That’s just an example, probably not thought out very well, but you get the idea.

You could retarget them on Facebook with product catalog ads based on your inventory feed. As well as an email with a discount they ask for. I know I wasn't E-commerce, but that's how I blew things up with the car dealership I was working at. People didn't buy the car online, but there were four different conversions. There was either a test drive, let's just stick to a test drive, for instance, on the test drive form, but there was a finance form. But if they didn't convert, I knew they wouldn't because they didn't hit the thank you page. So they visited the individual product page. So we will call it the car page. In the car industry, they call it VDP- Vehicle description page. But they didn't convert, so we retargeted them on Facebook based on our inventory feed with similar vehicles based on our created collection. So that's another way we could do this with what you are saying.

I can relate to showing people what they like and if you have a way to figure out what they like before they buy, which you do if you think about it. But most people don’t think about it. That’s one of our golden nuggets segmenting from day one. So a lot of segmentation is done on who has purchased. This means you only focus on people that have the guts to buy from you. First-time, let’s say.

If I had a car dealership, I would take what you just said, and I would create all those popups with intent for the specific types of vehicles that people like if it was a new model. Like, say, a new Honda Civic. I would create it based on a new Honda Civic and then create it based on used cars. I am saying the information you gave me is valuable, and I would use it. That is so smart. That is a golden nugget right there. I have this podcast, my road caster, and sound effects, but it's not in front of me; I had to move it. Otherwise, I would have turned around and pushed the button.

You look excited, and you can find it after.

I will pull it out after for the golden nuggets. That's just awesome. It's just an amazing idea.

It’s no different from a customer’s point of view. It gets a popup, and if anything, that popup is more relevant to them. So the opt-in rate is higher, and they collect more emails. Then you won’t have to use general popups. And you know something about them. It’s one of the sneaky ones. So I’m trying to think if there is anything else that will be useful to anyone listening.

I would like to suggest that we come on; we are coming to the top of the hour. We talked about Shopify, but there are so many things we could talk about regarding marketing automation, Klaviyo with E-commerce. So we could have an entire episode. What do you think about that?

Yes, I would be very interested. We can throw up a lot of value in the air.

Okay, we will leave it at that and schedule another interview.

Yes, sounds good.

So if you could give one piece of advice to someone listening, I think you already gave it, so I'm not even going to ask the question. One piece of advice to someone looking to increase their E-commerce sales, what would it be? That golden nugget you just shared, as far as I am concerned. Do you have anything that tops that?

Overall, it understands your audit. Don’t do anything general. Don’t do anything irrelevant to most people. It doesn’t matter if most people are sixty per cent. It means forty per cent of the traffic you are bringing to your site, probably paying for, is not engaged by what you are doing, and the first impression will last forever. So, for example, on your website, don’t focus on your home page; focus on your landing pages because that’s where people will find you when they search for your interest.

With your landing pages like your collection pages and the things you optimize to show up in search. I am assuming that's what you are talking about or your landing pages for your paid ads campaigns?

It’s both. Whatever someone’s first impression is of you, they are set on that because of their interest in whatever way they got there. Get personal, like don’t get general, get personal. So there you go, there is a fresh tip.

Don't be general, get personal, and you can use Klaviyo automation. Which we will talk about in another episode. It's been a pleasure having you on the show. So how can our listeners connect with you online?

You can hop on tobi.ie that’s our business.

Are you on LinkedIn or Twitter personally?

Yes. LinkedIn and I have been told by a PR agency that I should start using my LinkedIn. So I am going to post my golden nuggets there as well. I want the before and after effect on some of these things. So LinkedIn, Cormac Casey. From this week, I will be active on LinkedIn. I have been told it will be of benefit to me. Anyone who wants to reach out can reach out. I love having these conversations. So anyone curious can get in touch.

It's been a pleasure having you here.

Thanks very much for having me.

You have a great day.

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