Wheeling customers all the way to checkout
Selling online is tough.
With the big boys like Amazon dominating the results, it can be hard to get eyeballs on your store.
But even if you do win the ranking game, and are getting traffic, how on earth do you get your customers to part with their hard-earned cash?
How do you persuade with amazing product descriptions?
What strategies can you use to make the first sale?
How do you stop those dreaded abandoned carts and how do you keep customers happy and coming back for more?
Today we’re talking eCommerce conversion optimisation, and how to get that delicious Kerching feeling!
Tune in to learn:
- What eCommerce conversion optimisation is, and what it applies to
- Key metrics you should analyse when creating an eCommerce growth strategy for your store
- How to optimise an eCommerce store’s average order value
- Ways to make email opt-ins and pop-ups more effective
- Encouraging your store’s email list growth
- What steps you can take to spruce up an abandoned cart email sequence
- Setting up an email retention strategy that works
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And big thanks to uggie31 for their lovely review:
“I listen to this podcast while I’m doing my daily walk and I’m also doing the Recipe for SEO Success course run by Kate. I’m finding this the perfect combination to expand my learning and as an added bonus it’s NOT boring. It’s informative and interesting. I get to hear a lot of Kate’s sultry tones these days.”
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Brynley King is a technical specialist in Advanced Email Marketing (using Klaviyo), eCommerce Growth Strategy, and eCommerce Conversion Optimisation.
Bryn is proudly, only one of two accredited Klaviyo Platinum Partners in the Australia-Pacific region & the winner of the Australian Women in Digital, Digital Marketer of the Year Award 2018.
Bryn had written and sold 5,000 copies of a recipe book for her parent’s coconut oil brand at 23 before she had her license to drive a car.
She’s also never eaten a burrito.
Connect with Brynley
Kate Toon: Selling online is tough. With the big boys like Amazon dominating the results, it can be hard to get eyeballs on your store. But even if you do win the ranking game and are getting traffic, how on earth do you get your customers to part with their hard earned cash? How do you persuade them with amazing product descriptions? What strategies can you use to make the first sale? How do you stop those dreaded abandoned carts and how do you keep customers happy and coming back for more? Today, we’re talking e-commerce conversion optimization and how to get that delicious Ka-Ching feeling. Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m the head chef at The Recipe For SEO Success, an online teaching hub for all things search engine optimization and digital marketing. And today I’m talking with Brynley King. Hi Bryn.
Brynley King: Hello. Hello.
Kate Toon: It’s lovely to have you here.
Brynley King: Thank you.
Kate Toon: Now, we’ve known each other for a while. You did my SEO course a couple of years ago, a year ago? I can’t remember.
Brynley King: It was last year.
Kate Toon: Last year. Yes. And I obviously, stalk everybody who does my course and was super impressed with all your fantastic e-commerce offerings. And you also came into my mentor group, the Digital Masterchefs, and did a fantastic, kind of advanced conversion optimization presentation. So today we’re going to kind of take a snippet of that and talk about a few of the topics, we won’t go into as much detail, but we’re going to touch on them, which I’m excited about. And I know this is your first ever podcast, just to put it out there to the world. Yay!
Brynley King: Yes.
Kate Toon: Very exciting.
Brynley King: I’m a podcast virgin.
Kate Toon: Anyway, I’m going to read out your bio now. Brynley King is a technical specialist in advanced email marketing using Klaviyo, e-commerce growth strategy and e-commerce conversion optimization, Bryn is proudly, One of the two accredited Klaviyo platinum partners in the Australia Pacific region, and the winner of the Australian Women in Digital, Digital Marketer of the Year Award 2018. Bryn has written and sold 5,000 copies of her recipe book for her parents, coconut oil brand at 23, before she had her licence to drive a car. I still don’t have a licence to drive a car. So that’s not really…
Brynley King: Oh, wow. Really?
Kate Toon: I can tell you all the things I’ve done before I’ve got my licence, I’m 46 though. So the thing that I find most fascinating about your bio and I love it, is the fact that you’ve never eaten a burrito.
Brynley King: Yes.
Kate Toon: What the actual… What? What?
Brynley King: Yeah, never had a burrito. I’m more of a nachos girl and like a bit of a creature of habit. So as soon as I find something great to eat, I’m like, “Yep, I’m sticking with that.” So I’ve never been tempted with the burrito so far.
Kate Toon: But I feel like, I don’t know. Like I remember one of my aunties, who’s very Northern saying, “I’ve never eaten hummus. I don’t trust hummus, which I thought was brilliant. And if I was aware that there was something I’d never eaten, if it wasn’t like sort of donkeys ear lobes or something weird like that, I’d just be like, “Wow, I’ve never eaten that. I’m going to now try it.” But you have no temptation to try it.
Brynley King: Yeah. No temptation to try it. Always go to a Mexican restaurant and I’m like, Okay, I’m having nachos.” I already know prior to getting in the door.
Kate Toon: I get you. I’m an enchilada kind of girl. I’m not so much about the… They’re kind of just like logs of stuff. I don’t know. Anyway, moving on from logs of stuff, let’s get to the topic of the today’s podcast, which is e-commerce. So, I’m not going to get you to explain what e-commerce is, because if you don’t know what that is, you’re probably listening to the wrong podcast. But when we talk about e-commerce conversion optimization, what do we mean by that?
Brynley King: So quite simply, e-commerce conversion optimization is just essentially, conversion rate optimization, but geared towards e-commerce.
Kate Toon: That was super succinct. I was expecting you to go on a bit there. I love it. So, we’re talking about removing barriers to purchase basically, and making it as streamlined as possible and also using little tricks and plays to kind of make, not make people convert who weren’t planning to convert, but just make it as easy as possible. Is that right?
Brynley King: Yes, definitely. So I guess in terms of like an example, instead of having, with conversion rate optimization, if you’re testing to see if like a blue or a red button will increase conversion rates more typically in terms of e-commerce conversion optimization, you would be testing more things like would an instructional based product video convert more buyers to buy the product from the product page and certain things like that.
Kate Toon: Yeah. And like the layout of your product description, and the number of photos you have, and the angles, and all that kind of thing as well?
Brynley King: Yes. 100%. Yeah.
Kate Toon: Yeah. Cool. So when you talk about growth strategies for e-commerce businesses, what are you talking about there and what are some of the key metrics that you would think about if you’re planning a growth strategy?
Brynley King: So I guess like the whole purpose for me with a growth strategy, is just to basically ensure that the brands I’m working with, and all e-commerce brands are growing, but they are growing profitably. So, if always your emphasis is on paid customer acquisition and not on retention or increasing your average order value, then it’s highly likely that you’re going to grow and you’re going to scale, but you’re going to still remain unprofitable.
Kate Toon: So I’m reframing just so I make sure that I understand. So I think that’s what a lot of e-commerce sites do. They’re constantly trying to just get their products in front of new people. They’re doing total top of funnel staff just like, “Splatter my product as far as I can, get it on Google Shopping, do some Facebook ads,” And you are saying that they should focus more on their existing customers?
Brynley King: 100% percent. So, they really need to have a big emphasis on their returning customers and retention and as well too, around consistently trying to increase the average order value. That’s super important.
Kate Toon: Okay. Well, let’s bring some of these down. One of the first things you mentioned there is you said, “Average order value.” So if I’m looking, obviously the first thing I need to do is go into whatever system I’m using and going, “On average, people are spending 50 bucks every time they come into my store.” If you were just talking to a generic company right now, what would be some obvious ways that they could increase that order value?
Brynley King: So definitely by looking first, up at certain things like a price increase. I know that sounds a little bit-
Kate Toon: Obvious?
Brynley King: Yeah.
Kate Toon: Just charge more.
Brynley King: Obvious, just to say that. But definitely in terms of a price increase, I come across brands all the time. When I say to them, “When was the last time you actually increased your recommended retail prices?” And a lot of them will come back and say, “Oh, we haven’t done this for years.” And if you think about certain companies like Australia Post and all of these different freight couriers, for example, they may be having price increases every year. And if you’re including something like free shipping with all your orders, every year, you’re just absorbing more of these costs every time as things progress. So it’s really important, I guess, to look at that as one of them, as well as looking at other things, like, can you bundle products for example, to increase your average order value as well.
Kate Toon: So if you were thinking of like increasing your prices, do you have like a very rough schedule for that? Would you be saying like 5% every year, 10% every year? How do you work that out? Or do you work more on margin? Like this is what you’re making, make sure that’s the same, keep that consistent. So, like you said, Australia post just put everything up by 10%, you should increase your prices to match that. How do you even begin that process of putting your prices up? Because I know that pricing is terrifying for most e-commerce store owners.
Brynley King: Yeah, definitely. So I think with something like that, it’s almost like a case by case basis. I have come across brands before where they’ve kind of not been willing to do that. But I think the first thing, if you are willing to look at a price increase, is just to really go through and work out your cost of goods and what is actual the cost price of the product at that specific date, and then work it back from there. So, look at, from an example of your growth strategy, if you want to increase your average order value lever, by say 30%, and you’ll have a KPI that we want to go from 50 to 75, what can we do to actually get it there? Can we increase the average order value by say 10% or 20%? Or can we incorporate some other things in, whether it be buying more products within one transaction as opposed to just buying the one?
So there’s lots of little things that you can do, but I think in terms of looking at a price increase, it’s just really important first, before you even start that process, to go through and work out all of your true costs of goods. And I also too, with that always like to include all of your marketing costs as well. So don’t just think of your ad spend, think about all the marketing related stuff or agencies you’re working with and incorporate that into your pricing as well.
Kate Toon: And also your time, because I think that’s one thing that e-commerce store owners are terrible at. If you’re a service provider, you get very good at thinking about your hourly rate, the amount of hours you have. You could be going, “Woo-hoo! I made a sale, I’ve made $20. It only took me 72 hours to make those dollars.” That’s a real problem, isn’t it, that you find for people who have their own stores?
Brynley King: Yeah, definitely, 100%. Interestingly enough, too, I always love to see as well, like with some of the brands I’m working with or for any brand listening, for example, just also to make sure that you are paying yourself a wage as well and incorporating that in, as you said.
Kate Toon: Yeah. Now, I can’t remember in our question list if we’re going to get to this, but I want to talk about discounts quickly. Because we talk a lot about discounts and the Digital Masterchefs group and opt-ins and all that kind of thing. So most sites you go to the first pop you’ll get is, “Get 10% off your first order in return from your email.” And we’ve had a lot of discussions around that and kind of our opinion, in our little gang, is that 10% is probably not going to persuade somebody who wasn’t kind of already planning to buy, to buy. Like it’s a sweetener, it’s not a deal changer. 20%, it gets a bit more persuasive like, “Wow, that’s a much more chunky discount.” But how far should you go with discounts?
Brynley King: Look, I’m someone that in the last couple of years have really changed my whole perspective on discounting. And I think the best way to do it is just to become more strategic with your offers. So I remember in the digital master chef’s presentation that I’d done, I actually had this spreadsheet of like where I work out in that, what are the different types of offers you can do. And then from there working out, what is the true value of that incentive, like what’s the true cost to the business, and the perceived value then to the consumer, for example. So I guess over the last couple of years, I’ve just become someone that’s wanting to be more strategic with all the brands I’m working with, with opt-ins. So typically, I generally, to myself, wouldn’t recommend a 20% off. I’d more so go, “Let’s incorporate a free, low value dollar gift, that may cost the company two or three dollars, but the recommended retail price of that could be a $30 gift that they’re given for free.
So in terms of a strategic standpoint, it’s much better to be giving away two or three dollars every time we get someone in through that opt-in, as opposed to 20% of say, for example, a hundred dollar average order value.
Kate Toon: Yeah. We have a member of our group called Lou Duggan, who has a business called Cakes to the Rescue and she gives away a little baking kit, which you only get, obviously, if you order and people go crazy for it.
Brynley King: That’s awesome.
Kate Toon: Yeah. And I was like, “Oh, I want that,” because it’s cute and it’s relevant and it’s targeted. If you’re giving away like a sausage roll and you sell dresses, it doesn’t… So it has to be obviously related, which sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised some of the odd things I’ve seen offered as giveaways. But I like that strategy and also experimenting. The other big question that comes up a lot is the whole free shipping offer. Shipping isn’t cheap and often people struggle with when the free shipping should kick in. Is it free shopping on orders over X? How do you help your customers make that decision?
Brynley King: I guess it all kind of depends on the brand. And I guess internally, when I-
Kate Toon: I know. It depends.
Brynley King: Yeah.
Kate Toon: I’ll give you an example then, like say if you’re a dress shop and your average order value is about a hundred bucks, how would you advise someone in that kind of scenario?
Brynley King: If it is a dress store and just given I guess, the competition in the marketplace, I would highly recommend going with the free shipping and just kind of building that into your cost of goods and just having some more strategic ways… As I said, kind of from the beginning, with the growth strategy, having more strategic ways around, how can we add another item to that, to get them to check out with another item or some other simpler ways in their retention strategy that we can get them to come back and continue to purchase and things like that.
Kate Toon: Yeah. One of the biggest challenges for members of my digital marketing… What’s it called? Digital Masterchefs community is the dreaded refunds. So, you’ve sold the thing, you’ve sold it in good faith. How do you offer a refund? It’s easy for the big guys, like the ASOS’ of the world, parcelling things up, sending them back. Do you cover the cost of the parcel? How does it all… It can be very hard to set boundaries when you’re starting off as an e-commerce business, around what constitutes a refund and the risk that the person you don’t give a refund to will go out into the universe and spread negativity about you. Is there any kind of basic tips you could give someone around refunds?
Brynley King: Yeah, definitely. So I think in terms of refunds, within my parents’ business, we always had this saying, that we always wanted to turn a negative customer experience. If someone was requesting a refund, we’d always want to turn that negative experience, always into a positive, and we would almost do whatever we could to do that. We didn’t want people in the marketplace that would go out and write on social media things about us. So in that sense, I think sometimes it’s always best to do a bit of a case by case basis and just ensure you’ve got a really good customer support team in place that have boundaries, but at the same time too, can be lenient if there are certain things, where you’re picking up of someone who’s potentially going to be a bit of a red flag, certain things that you can do to accommodate that person. Sometimes one shoe doesn’t necessarily fit all. And I think it’s a really good personable way to grow a brand if you do it in that way.
Kate Toon: Yeah. I think one of the things, just from a personal point of view, is you talk about having a customer service team and obviously, most people won’t have that. So it is me, myself, and I. And I think there’s some degree of separating you, yourself, and I, so the refund request comes in, you do not answer that email at eight o’clock at night when you’re tired. You wait till next day.
Brynley King: 100%.
Kate Toon: And always try and err on the side of kindness. You’re obviously, always going to get people who are idiots, but you know, hopefully they’re few and far between. And we’ve all been in the situation where you have ordered something and you are so excited, especially, we’re recording this during COVID-19 and e-commerce is obviously huge and it can be the highlight of your week. And it is devastating when it arrives and is not what you thought it was. One experience I had was, I was offered the credits for the thing, it was a frock, I could tell that just no matter what I ordered, it wasn’t going to fit right, because it just wasn’t the right brand for me. It was kind of like a hippy dippy, flowy doughy thing. And I didn’t want the credit, and they would not back down. And I was like, this is… I didn’t go out into the world, but you know, I could have done. But you’ve got to be careful, haven’t you?
Brynley King: I know, definitely. I know for me at the moment, like I have with one store over the new year period, I was like, “I’m going to change up my style. I’m going to go and spend $900 with this store,” because they had a big sale on. And I have a $663 credit, because I had all of these items come to me that I didn’t like, and I’m sitting here just going, “I’ve got $663 to spend, but I don’t actually like any of their stuff.
Kate Toon: Yeah. I’d rather just have the money back, thank you.
Brynley King: Yeah, definitely.
Kate Toon: So we’re talking about ways to persuade and improve conversion. And we’re going to move on to talk about emails and popups and things. But with platforms like Shopify, they seem to launch a new little whizzbang wiggly thing every five minutes. We constantly see the little pop up appearing saying, “Sue, in Ipswich just bought…” And then we also have the dreaded Russian roulette wheel, and all these kinds of little whizzy things. What’s your opinion on those? Do you think that they work? Do you think that they improve sales? How do you feel about them?
Brynley King: In terms of the social proof pop ups, I definitely believe that no, I’m totally against them. So if you do have one on your store, I encourage you don’t spend any money on that app. It’s not worth it. In terms though, however, of the wheels like with the gamification, I have actually used one before and the results were ridiculously amazing. However, I feel like those types of gimmicky type opt-ins, like only certain brands can use them. Because I feel like if you’re a very high end store, you just going to devalue the brand by having something like that on your website. So I’m a little bit on the fence about those. It all depends on the brand. However, yeah, in terms of the social popups, I’m definitely yeah, totally against them.
Kate Toon: It’s funny, isn’t it? Because I think the wheel was exciting the first couple of times I saw it. So I think they’re also very short lived. Like when they’re new and fresh, you’re an early adopter, great. You can have great uplift. But over time, they actually become quite annoying. The social proof, I actually thought I would test that out on one of my e-commerce stores, absolutely no difference whatsoever. Much bigger difference when I started to do cross sells and upsells. When I start to say, “People usually buy this with this plus this,” or, “If you buy this plus this with this then you get a 10% discount.” And that really worked, but going Sue in Ipswich bought this, it’s like I don’t care.
And also it pops and pops and it’s irritating. And anything that irritates, anything that jiggles, flickers, wiggles, you think it’s adding visual interest, but often it’s just adding visual annoyance, especially on a mobile device. Because it’s such a small real estate for me to even view the product and then I’ve got this thing wiggling about, and it’s like, “I just want to leave. I click the wrong thing. Mobile usability, we can talk about all day, but we’ll come back to that. Because I think most people purchase on their phone, in my opinion. Do you have stats around that? Do you think that mobile purchases are… They’re definitely on the increase aren’t they?
Brynley King: Yeah, they definitely are. What I see though, and I guess from my own opinion and my consumer behaviour, is if I ever see anything on a mobile, what I want, I’ll add it to the cart, I’ll screenshot it, and then I’ll always jump on my computer to finish the transaction. Yeah. I’m a bit of a-
Kate Toon: I don’t.
Brynley King: I’m a bit of a freak like that.
Kate Toon: I struggle through and the number of sites I want to email and say, “Please, just move your buttons a bit further apart, make the contrast a little bit…” It’s so important though, and if you’re ordering and there’s sun on your screen and they’ve got grey copy on a white background, and I just can’t see. I can’t see the price. I can’t see it. But you think it looks pretty on your big, beautiful desktop when you designed it. I think people forget mobile usability all too often. So let’s talk about usability, because we’re going to talk about opt-ins and popups, which from a usability point of view and from a Google point of view are the devil’s work. They can have serious impacts on your ranking if they take over the whole screen. But we also know that they’re super effective. What are some of your recommendations for growing your email list if you’re an e-commerce store?
Brynley King: So for me at the moment, one of the best strategies that I’ve implemented across numerous brands that I work with is a competition based opt-in. So kind of how we were talking about before, the 10 or 20% off coupon on their first purchase. I generally like to have a competition based opt-in. So say for example, “Subscribe and go in the draw to win a $500 voucher,” for example. That’s something that I’m really loving at the moment and the results I’ve seen in stores I’ve implemented in, have been incredible. So if you’re listening to this, highly recommend to look at something like that.
Kate Toon: Rather than the 10%?
Brynley King: Yeah. Yep.
Kate Toon: Okay.
Brynley King: Yep. So with that, it’s also something that won’t, I guess, devalue the brand, so you’re not giving away an incentive straight off the bat. And if you build out a pretty comprehensive flow structure within your welcome series, say for example, using a platform like Klaviyo, if you have someone that comes into the welcome series that hasn’t purchased after the first three or four emails, you could have a conditional split based on if they’ve been to the site or been reactive on the site over the course of say seven days, then you could have another email that specifically would go to them to be like, “Here’s 10% or here’s 20% off,” sort of thing.
Kate Toon: Yeah. I like that. Because what I see most sites doing is really just thinking about the first time visitor. First time visitor hits the site, they get the pop, they get the 10%, I’ve been to the site seven times, I get nothing. I get nothing. What are your thoughts around building loyalty? And how do they make me come back again? And how do they reward me for coming back again?
Brynley King: Yeah. I think one of the main things, I guess from like a email opt-in and conversion point of view, when you first go into a site, is that like my overall goal is to always have that conversion to at least get the email address. Once I’ve got the email address, then there’s so many different things that can be done within a platform like Klaviyo within a very kind of targeted flurry segment, for example. So say, for example, if you’ve been active on the site, Klaviyo knows, because it’s cookied you as a consumer or a browser on the website. You can almost then have anything to go back to them by email to be like, “Here’s this offer,” or, “Here’s this,” or, “Here’s some popular products you’ve been looking at,” and that type of thing.
Kate Toon: Yeah. You’ve got to be careful though. Sometimes it gets to a creepy level where they’re like, “We saw that you looked at this, but you didn’t buy it. Why didn’t you buy it? Buy it. Buy it, Goddamn you.
Brynley King: Yes, definitely.
Kate Toon: That leads us to the next question, which is about abandoned cart emails. And some people get these horribly wrong. I was on a site the other day where I nearly bought something and I didn’t, and then an hour later they sent me an email saying, “If you buy it now, we’ll give you this discount.” And so the next time I went to the shop, I put it in the cart, I didn’t buy it, and I got my discount again. And it’s like, I know now that the best thing I can possibly do is abandon my cart, because you’re going to incentivize it. So how do you do that intelligently?
Brynley King: I love this. Because the type of Intel that I stalk like money saving Facebook groups to build out better strategies. So essentially, one of the key things that you should always do in your abandoned cart flow, is to essentially segment via new, versus returning. So if it is a new customer, you could say, for example, if you have a 20% opt-in for new customers, you can reiterate that opt-in offer on your new abandoned carts. If you then have it set out in a sense of returning versus new, then that means if they then try to abandon their cart as a returning customer, they’re not going to have any incentive in that email. So that’s definitely a good little strategic way to avoid that. And I love that Intel. I just have to say, I love this type of stuff.
Kate Toon: But I think lots of e-commerce people just feel like they’re floundering and it’s just such a difficult market to be in. I know an awful lot of people who seem to have dress stores or kids clothing stores, and they’ve been sold the dream, that they can make a lovely income from this. And it’s incredibly challenging.
Brynley King: It is.
Kate Toon: Especially in this economic environment, don’t you think?
Brynley King: Yeah, 100%. I feel like there’s so much out there now, that there’s all these courses and things like that, that’s like, “You can become a millionaire overnight,” and it’s certainly not the case. There’s a lot of work that goes into e-commerce stores that I don’t think everyone who gets into it, actually realises in the beginning. So yeah.
Kate Toon: It’s challenging. And I think the model that is even more difficult is the reseller model. Where you are sending other people’s… From an SEO point of view, that’s where I see the biggest challenges. Because your keyword competition is with the brand, your images are from the brands, your copy is from the brands, and you are trying to give them a reason to buy from your brand. So the final question we’re going to come to is about retention strategy, which is a lot about brand’s loyalty, really. The thing I always say to my members is, “Give me a reason not to buy it from Kmart.” And I think people struggle with that. What are some of your retention strategies that you recommend to your big fat glorious clients?
Brynley King: So always to have a compromise comprehensive post-purchase automated email flow. So certain things like acknowledging with a “thank you” email, whether it be a new customer or a repeat customer. I’ll have to at some stage show you inside what one of my post-purchase flows look like, at the moment, they typically-
Kate Toon: Oh, beautiful offer.
Brynley King: It’s like porn to me. But essentially, yeah. Going through and just having a really comprehensive post-purchase strategy. So a really good “thank you” email, certain things like review requests, customer surveys, using type form, I really love those as like a retention strategy. So saying to someone, “We’ll give you this in exchange for more information from you. How was the service? Can we improve on things?” And then also too, there’s some other like more strategic campaigns you can do. So at the moment, in a lot of the brands I’m working with, I’m going through and before Black Friday, Cyber Monday, I’m trying to build as many reviews on their website as possible. So when someone comes to a product page, instead of 10, there’s a hundred, for example. And doing certain things like sending out an EDM that’s to people who have purchased before in the past and have not left a review saying, “Hey, do you mind leaving us a review? In exchange we’ll give you XYZ sort of thing.”
So there’s definitely a lot that can be done in terms of the retention strategy, but also too something I find across all the brands I work with is that customer service is so big and it’s so important. And I won’t buy it from a brand, if like say, if I’ve got an email customer service and I get like a really irate response or just something that’s not that great, I just won’t buy from that brand again. So it’s really important to ensure that, that side of it, you’ve covered as well.
Kate Toon: Yeah. And I agree with all of that. And I think we can talk about segmentation and tagging and all the amazing things that you can do, but I think a lot of it comes back to basics. And one of the members of my community runs a business called Natural Supply Co, Celeste Robertson.
Brynley King: Yeah, I know her.
Kate Toon: Yeah. And I bought from there the other day, I just got a really simple plain text email afterwards saying, “Thank you very much for ordering from us. It really makes a difference to us. Really value your order.” Not asking me for nothing. Not asking me for anything. It was just “thank you”, and it felt like it was written by a real person. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t full of graphics, it didn’t have a flashing wiggling, it didn’t have a discount, it was just a “thank you” note. And I think that’s really important.
And I think it’s hugely as well, about timing. The number of times I get sent the review email, two seconds after I’ve made the purchase. And it’s like, “I haven’t even got it yet. Why are you sending me this?” Because by the time I got it, I’ve deleted that email. I’m not going to review it now. Think about the time. And I think some companies do this so well, some of the subscription model e-commerce businesses like Dollar Shave. And knowing that at three weeks after the product, you’re going to be thinking this. Six weeks after you’ve bought the product, you’re going to be thinking this. Having that real customer insight and then sending an email based on that. You know?
Brynley King: Yes, definitely. In terms of the review requests, for me, I’d typically say, and especially during COVID with shipping times being all over the place, minimum 21 days, even pull it out to 30 as a minimum. Because you want someone to be able to get their order, whether it be seven, 10 days, if it’s not buyer express, you want them to be able to use it to give you a genuine review. So definitely in terms of that, don’t do five days, don’t do three, anything below 21, definitely pull it out. Especially during the current economic climate with how everything is.
Kate Toon: Yeah. I just got one yesterday from another one member, Shamrock Shirts, and it was just the right amount of time because also, I’d washed it a couple of times and there was some stuff about, there was washing instructions. And it’s like things like that. Thinking about the pain point that the customer might have after they bought the product, I think that’s so important, and usage guides. And the biggest thing I think though, that I’m seeing for super strategic, lots of conversion rate optimization stuff you can do, but humanising your brand as much as possible. Do you recommend that? It’s a conversion strategy to a degree, but like telling your stories, getting your face on your website, making your brand more personable. Is that something that you kind of recommend to your students and customers?
Brynley King: Yeah, definitely. 100%. I strongly recommend to like any of the brands, or any e-commerce brand, to just put your face out there and get to know your audience. Because as much as it is about the brand, it’s about who started the brand. People want to know more about you and it’s super interesting. I have some brands that I’m working with now that 80% of them will be all about that. And then I’ll have a couple of other brands that are really not wanting to do that. But it is just something that’s so important. And I think that it definitely does help, because people can relate to that.
Kate Toon: Yeah. We’ve all seen the meme that says, “When you buy from a local business, you pay for someone’s karate lessons. And that’s what we want to know. Especially, another student on my course, a lady called Donnah Clothing, has a beautiful site. It’s so schmick that I would have thought it was a big company. You know?
Brynley King: Wow.
Kate Toon: It’s not. And it’s just a simple Shopify theme, but she’s just done a good job of it. Her photos are really good. And I would have thought if I looked at it, “Oh, that’s a big brand.” You know? And it makes me less inclined to purchase, because I’d rather purchase from the small person. I’d rather give them my money. So I’m like, “You need to actually keep it professional and schmick, but bring some personality into it, bring some of your story into it. Because that makes me care about you and want to give you my money. You know? ask you that-
Brynley King: Yes. 100%. Yeah. I feel like as well too, from that standpoint, and As you kind of touched on before with the plain text “thank you” email that you got, don’t be afraid to kind of continue to use that across all of your different flows. So even a “feel welcome” email, if you wanted to have something that looks like you’ve physically written the email with your signature down the bottom as your little footer, all of those different types of plain text emails can be really good for testing, and your abandoned carts, your “welcome’s”, your “thank you’s”, all of those different types of automated emails.
Kate Toon: Yeah. And obviously they improve the chances of deliverability as well.
Brynley King: Yeah.
Kate Toon: So thank you, Brynley. That was amazing. Some great advice and great little nuggets and tips there. I love the 21 day review request, and that’s classic and everyone should listen to that. Where can people find out a little bit more about you?
Brynley King: They can find out a little bit more about me on my website, which is www.brynleyking.com. So B-R-Y-N-L-EY-K-I-N-G.com. I’m not very active on socials.
Kate Toon: Too busy.
Brynley King: Yeah.
Kate Toon: Too busy doing things.
Brynley King: Yeah.
Kate Toon: Well, we’re going to include a link to your socials whether you want us to or not, so we can check you out there. But I highly recommend you connect with Brynley. She’s just launched a biweekly newsletter as well, which is packed with great tips and tools, which is fantastic. So thank you very much, Brynley.
Brynley King: Thanks, Kate.
Kate Toon: So that’s the end of this week show. If you have questions about how to increase your e-commerce store sales, head to my I Love SEO group on Facebook. As you know, I like to end the show with a shout out to one of my lovely listeners. But before I do, we talked a lot in that episode about personal branding, and I wanted to let you know, I have a new freebie on offer. If you had to katetoon.com, you can download my personal branding workbook. It’s an amazing 18 page resource, packed with ways to get into your personal brand, establish your brand values and start pushing your wonderfulness out into the universe.
Anyway, back to that review, it’s from [Uggie 31 00:33:48] and they say, “I listen to this podcast while I’m doing my daily walk, and I’m also doing The Recipe for SEO Success Course run by Kate.” Wow, I wonder who Uggie 31 is. I’m finding this the perfect combination to expand my learning and as an added bonus, it’s not boring. It’s informative and interesting, and I get to hear a lot of Kate’s sultry tones these days. Am I sultry? I hope so.
Thank you to you for listening. If you liked the show, please don’t forget to leave a five star review and rating on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you heard the podcast. I know everyone says that. I know you won’t. You’ll finish the pod and just get on with your life. But if you can just take one minute to tap the five star button, it does help. It does help with people finding the show and you’ll get shout out. As always, you can head to therecipeforseosuccess.com to check out the show notes, read the transcript, and go and look at all the fabulous links. And finally, you can listen to my Kate Toon Show, a new series coming out soon. It’s my personal podcast about living life as a misfit entrepreneur, my tips and advice on how to be a happier and more successful business owner. Tune in on your favourite podcast app. Until next time, happy SEOing.