Once in a while we get to see a combination of classic and modern in a way that more than sounds good on an ad. My guest Andrei Negrau of cartloop.io is co-founder of a unique take on the SMS concept; essentially, someone is on the other side of the text acting as a salesperson on behalf of your brand. Pretty innovative I have to say, so have a listen and see for yourself if this is the right fit for you.
Andrei has almost a decade of building online business. Starting with building local online stores, Andrei went on building a global ecommerce brand with customers in over 100 countries. After his brand being acquired in 2018, he co-founded Cartloop, the conversational text messaging platform which helps online brands drive revenue while building delightful customer experiences.
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Andrei Negrau: [00:00:00] I always, I always tell people that are, that are just starting out. They're figuring ways to scale their first sales. Hey, how are you better than Amazon? You don't have to be better in the sense of be better in every single thing. You know, think about why people purchase from smaller, why they purchase from brand, because either they love the brand itself or they love the experience, or they love the product itself. And when you're trying to build a business, you have to, you have to be good at something, or if you can be good at like all these things, you're probably most likely going to succeed.
Joseph: [00:00:35] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable so let's go.
Once in awhile, we get to see a combination of classic and modern in a way that more than sounds good on an ad. My guest Andrei Negrau, of cartloo.io is co-founder of a unique take on the SMS concept. Essentially someone who's on the other side of the text, acting as a salesperson on behalf of your brand. Pretty innovative I have to say. So have a listen and see for yourself if this is the right fit for you.
Andrei Negrau, it is good to have here in Ecomonics. How are you doing today? How you feeling?
Andrei Negrau: [00:01:29] Hey Joseph, I'm doing great. And I'm excited to have this talk.
Joseph: [00:01:33] Same here. You know, I forgot to ask this before we started recording, but what time is it where you are right now? And where is it you are right now?
Andrei Negrau: [00:01:40] I am in, uh, in the not so sunny side of Europe. I'm in Romania 5:00 PM, um, super cloudy, uh, but you know, try to keep the spirits with conversations like this one.
Joseph: [00:01:53] Okay. Wonderful. Um, well, let's jump right into this. Cause we got a lot that we can cover today. So tell us what you do. Tell us what you're up to these days.
Andrei Negrau: [00:02:00] Yeah, yeah. So these days, um, I'm the founder and CEO of cartloop, which is a conversational SMS marketing platform for e-commerce businesses. That's a, that's in a nutshell my title. Now what I do these days. Uh, it's, it's a lot of different things. Sometimes, I don't even know what I'm doing.
Like, you know, one day I'm working on a product, the next day I'm, uh, I'm talking with a customer and the other one, uh, I'm working on marketing or, you know, talking to the hire, uh, to get the new, new person on board. So working on hiring. So, uh, I would say it's a pretty diverse role. Um, just, just, just try to keep, just try to keep the momentum going and then help the company grow.
Joseph: [00:02:40] I observed that, um, a lot of companies in the entrepreneurial space tend to delegate their staff in a more lateral sense, rather than a vertical sense. And by that, I mean, what you're describing everybody tends to fit into multiple roles. To some degree. Right. You know, we hire people for their speciality, but like you're saying, you're, you know, you're, you're getting your hands dirty, gloves off, something like that, but you're getting on the ground level and you're, and you speaking directly with customers, which, you know, for some legacy companies, not naming names, but the idea of someone who's founded the company or a CEO to do that, it must be an extreme circumstance.
So, uh, w what degree of regularity are you, um, interacting with customers?
Andrei Negrau: [00:03:20] Probably daily, daily. Well, Yeah. I tried to take some time off on the weekends, but frankly, if I see something that I can help with, I'm just going to jump in, you know, help with.
Joseph: [00:03:32] You said that it's a, a conversational service and this is the first I've seen that term integrated, not just into the SMS side, but also frankly altogether.
So we're definitely going to want to touch on that and I guess the methodology behind it, but I think a good way to start this off is to talk about how you came up with this idea. I understand that you're a co-founder and you did do this with a partner. And so one way that I like to ask this question is what unique problem did you identify and you set up to solve?
Andrei Negrau: [00:04:04] Let me just start off by saying that before cartloop, my, uh, my previous years were spent in the e-commerce space building, building businesses, building e-commerce brands. And, and I started in 2015. So, you know, it was right at that point where, you know, Facebook ads were starting to get more expensive, like expensive, but not crazy expensive.
So I got to ride that wave in the beginning. Now, um, 2018, uh, what happened? So we grew this business along with my co-founder Lisa. Um, so we grew this business and we're up on to a point where, you know, we had steady like steady revenue. We were able to automate, like delegated most of the business. And you know, that, you know, it's like a nice lifestyle business that's going on.
Well, up until a point, uh, our, all our, uh, Facebook ads, all of our Facebook accounts, business manager, everything was just disabled. Uh, and you know, there's certain levels. There's some degree sometimes, you know, just like they get this light, uh, you know, this light disablement, and then you get it back.
Well, this time, like Facebook just deleted our Facebook page. Like they deleted. Well, and you know, this story, the back story is that, you know, a competitor just kept on sending reports and, you know, eventually Facebook picked up on that and then did they just like, they just crushed us, like, you know, from six figures per month, we just like, it was pretty bad.
So that was one of the reasons why I thought to myself and to Lisa, like, okay, well, this should not be happening. Like, you know, brands should have more ways of making revenue, making money and not by not just by investing in Facebook, but by, by, by building on channels. And at that point, you know, it was, you know, was the main, big thing, you know, that's one part of the story when, when we decided, okay, like there has to be solution in the future where brands we're going to have another channel.
And then, uh, obviously we did not just want to build out, uh, like, you know, like the, another SMS solution and just like any like dozens of other SMS solutions in the space. So this ties into the second part of the story. Um, when we launched our first store in 2015, as soon as it took off, we saw like a tremendous number of abandoned carts in the Shopify, you know, like the checkout section and you just see like hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars, and you're just starting out and, you know, I re I really freaked out and I was like, okay, like, how can I, how can I solve this?
How can I solve this issue? Like, how can I convert my customers. You know, being in all these different communities, I started to use all the products. Like initially I think it was MailChimp to send emails, retargeting. I was doing push notifications and you name it, but it still didn't work. So what I did, I thought to myself, okay, like what if I just, what if I'm going to text this people like literally just text them.
You know, John, why did you like, you know, why did you abandoned their card? It was something like that. It was crazy as that. It was like, Hey, you know, I saw that. I saw that you weren't just sitting in our products. Well, uh, you know, I'm Andrei, the founder. Um, I'm curious if you need some help or it was something along those lines.
And I had probably a few hundred of these conversations. And the crazy thing is that people were, uh, they were super appreciative of the fact that it's like a real person was, was reaching out to them. Uh, so, um, they, they actually, you know, what's, what's funny, you know, that they actually told me like, oh, I was actually browsing and I love the product, but because of the shipping costs, I did not purchase you name it, like, like thousands of reasons why someone would abandon their cart.
Okay. So, you know, fast forward in 2019, uh, we, we were able to sell that business that Facebook, uh, um, you know, almost crushed. It was, it was, it was pretty crazy story. We, we, you know, we, we even scaled bigger after, after the Facebook incident. And then we saw that. So we put together these two pieces, like, okay, like, how can we, you know, how can you create it under channel?
And then we knew that the, this personal level of, of connection has is, is meaningful. You know, customers are, are, uh, are getting to value, are getting value from this. So that's in a nutshell, like we've, we've set together a really, really super sketchy built out the first MVP and it took us like two months to build it.
We launch it, you know, they're like, uh, like very slow launch. Like no, no big, no fuss. We just put it on there. And my partner, Lisa was, uh, she was, she was like very active on different communities and she was talking to people like, Hey, you know, had the solution and check it out. And that's how we started.
Joseph: [00:08:30] I have to say, I D I didn't want to, uh, insert into, into your story. I just wanted to let it come to its conclusion, um, or rather, you know, the next chapter, um, more in earnest, but the idea that somebody can, especially a competitor can, um, report bomb your business and end up costing you, uh, the entirety of your, of your revenue that was derived from that platform.
That's insane. And you would think that Facebook would have some investigate, investigation going on, where they would see, well, this person is sending all of these reviews. Who are they? Oh, that's funny. They sent, they, they sell a similar product to the person that they're reviewing. And like it's not rocket science.
It's it's it would be pretty obvious logic. So there's there's I think what that did by the way is I think that planted a bit of a, an additional seat of this is what happens when you don't have people doing the work. You have, you, you leave it too much to the computer to give it too much to the AI and the AI.
They they're using logic, but they're not using the right kind of logic because what they're saying is, well, this person is getting a report or nonstop. They must be right. You know, uh, do we slap on their wrist or did we go full scorched earth? And then they strap on their flame thrower. And so that right there, I think probably indicated some of the issue, which is, you know, what, if I'm going to do this, I have to remember this is about connecting with people.
Andrei Negrau: [00:09:50] Yeah. I'm not going to get into the, you know, all the details. It's been pretty crazy. I mean, we got, like, I was in the US back then, uh, I got to, I got to actually going into the. I went to the like Facebook office and then try to speak to people. Obviously I did not go there just for this purpose because I had a friend who was working there, but well, essentially, I mean, I don't know, maybe things changed today.
Hey buddy, if you, if you get blocked in the way we did, uh, it just belongs to an IP or something going on around the IP or whatnot, uh, like department and yeah, it was like a black box. Like it could not, you can not get it. You can not get to talk to them. They were like, Hey, you know, there's nothing we can do.
Joseph: [00:10:33] So yeah. Well, I mean, for what it's worth, I'm sorry to hear that, you know, people work really hard on these and it takes a lot of risk. And so for something like that to happen, it's unfortunate, but it is a chapter and a catalyzes you to move forward to what we're doing.
Andrei Negrau: [00:10:46] Yeah. Yeah. And really that was just, as I mentioned, that was the seed.
And, um, you know, since that event happened, Um, obviously I've talked to a lot of people in my network and all the people in the e-commerce space. And I guess while I wasn't alone, I mean, a lot of people were going through the same things. Sure. We had like a really nasty, uh, type of disablement in Facebook, but being, being blocked or being, uh, you know, removed from that from advertising platforms just happens all the time.
I think Google is, you know, you're so whenever you're, you're putting all your baskets into a single channel, It's great until it's not.
Joseph: [00:11:24] And, uh, I'll make one more point about it and then we'll, we'll switch gears. But I think this also speaks to the, I mean, yes, a business can subsist and thrive and succeed solely off Facebook.
But I think in, in my analysis from all the people that I've talked to is that it's actually pretty rare at this point. Uh, Facebook will certainly help a great deal, but we're looking for influencers. We're looking for affiliate marketing. We're looking for other means and other channels at the very least advertise on a different platform, have different revenue streams, whether you're putting on Amazon or you're putting on eBay.
So there's a hundred options. They, like you say, reports can happen for, for a number of reasons. And so that's just a really important takeaway. With that said, here's what I really want to ask about is the conversational marketing that you're doing, um, through it, through SMS. Now, one thing that I just want to make sure, um, is there a degree of, uh, automation, um, in your service as well? Or is it strictly conversational?
Andrei Negrau: [00:12:19] It's actually a mix. So what we're doing at the core of our service at the core of our platform is the human interaction. Um, but w how we, how we see conversations is, is basically like this. If we are able to automate something that, uh, you know, it's something like a repetitive question, uh, such as, hey, where's my order.
You don't really need a person for that. You know, it's something that you can automate. So in a way we're building, we're building these two, uh, these two different, well, we're building the product in bullets on the human side and both on the technology side. So they're just complimented real nice in order to be able to scale.
At the end of the day, we want to be able to provide our service to a large customer base. So for that, we also need a certain degree of automation, but it's really important to remember that if you're using the service, if you're using cartloop, you will, your customers will never realize that, Hey, this is a, you know, this is not amended message.
Well, unless you're sending a campaign, cause we also have the option to send campaigns just like you do with, uh, with the stand there type of platforms.
Joseph: [00:13:22] Well, I can, I can speak to my experience in customer services. The sales position that I had prior to my position here with, uh, Debutify, um, was luxury watches.
And it was it, there was a lot of elements of e-commerce even if it didn't occur to me that it was e-commerce at the time. So for instance, part of my job was being on Intercom and, and consumers they'd, they would ask questions and we would get a lot of the same questions over and over again. And I was automating my job to some degree too.
I had a Google document with my most commonly used answers. I would copy and paste them over. I would read through them just to see if maybe I need to like, change the tone a little bit, depending on how passive aggressive the customer was. But other than that, yeah, a lot of this actually is, um, um, repetitive work.
And what's funny too. Uh, again, speaking from my personal experience is that there's, there's busy and then there's efficient. I can. I can spend all day just typing the same answer out and be quote unquote busy, but I'm not really, but there's so many other things that I had to do. It's almost like, oh, I, oh man, I didn't get to do any of that.
Enter the hard stuff or any of that challenging stuff today. Whoa. Probably because I spent all this time, it's like, you know, have some, uh, ha self-respect for like what we're capable of and being able to solve problems and not almost like, excuse myself, by doing the repetitive tasks when clearly I can do much better than that.
Andrei Negrau: [00:14:42] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. At the end of the day, think about it, your customers, um, you know, all they want is, is fast response. I mean, they don't want fast response and obviously they want to have a response that's relevant to their question or their inquiry. So whether you're, you're doing this through a automated message, AI or, you know, a real person, that's fine, but really like what we've seen as the biggest competitive advantage, uh, you know, versus something like an automated solution is that is, that is, is, is in those cases where you can clearly, or it's, it's very, it's very difficult for a bot or an AI to reply, you know, it's something like, you know, let's just think like a skateboard shop you're selling skateboards. Um, and you know, someone comes up in the, in the conversation and says, well, you know, I'm looking for a skateboard for my, uh, you know, for my brother or for my sister or something.
Well, you know, at that point, it's quite obvious that you have to think about, okay, well, in this case I would, I would, I should ask like, okay, what kind of skate skateboards is your brother or sister into? So, um, that's, that's where really the human, the human interaction is most valuable when, when there's, there's very little chance that AI can, uh, can go successfully through the conversation.
And then the second, the second thing is that the context that's, that's super important. So. Uh, like if you're not paying attention to the context and if you're just mindless mindlessly responding to whatever the customer is saying, that's very dangerous. You know, you really have to look at what the customer is trying to get from that car.
What are they trying to achieve? What are the pain points, right? Uh, it, you know, in the case of carts being abandoned well, I mean, there must be some, some reason why they did that. So as a, as a human. What we do like with our team, we try to focus on what is the root, the root cause and try to fix that. And we just, we don't just try to be annoying and throw them like 10 discounts.
Like, Hey, here's a discount. Well, you didn't buy it. Okay. Here's another one where he was not the one. And you know, like seven days later and you know, 10 messages later, you know, they, they like they covered, but I don't, I don't think that's, uh, that's the most healthy, that's the healthiest approach.
Joseph: [00:16:52] What also eats into the margins too. I mean, using coupons and discounts, I don't want to say like, it's like a last resort, but, uh, that can, I mean, you're just not getting the same a good return on investment, if and not to mention you're priming customers to expect discounts in the future too.
The conversational side of it is definitely something that is deserving of a good chunk. Um, but one of the things I did want to ask about too was, you know, some of the insights that you had gained through abandoned cart and, uh, some of this, as you had said prior, you said there was a lot of reasons and you're talking to people.
So I guess more like lately in a more contemporary sense would have been some of the, um, insights as to why people are abandoning cart these days, given that I think e-commerce is a lot more, I guess, understood and accepted, especially given the circumstances of the last year.
Andrei Negrau: [00:17:49] Yeah, this is my favorite question because it just opens up like a, like a huge, like, it's like a, it's like a nice box to, you know, to keep on building.
Well, you know, initially when we started saw a startup, but with our thesis before, uh, before, uh, you know, like running in front of incorrigible, we thought that, Hey, you know, people probably just have questions around shipping time around, you know, maybe like they want a discount and they could not find it.
So they were like, okay, I'm just going to leave. We were not really sure where like where the main issues, um, are going to be. Well now I think at this point we have over, um, like we have, we have a few millions conversations by real actual conversations with people responding back and forth. So we have plenty of data and we still haven't even like, got to really dive into it, uh, as, uh, as to the level that we wanted to.
But there, there are a couple of recurring reasons. Well, shipping like shipping costs. That's like shipping surprise. We call this like the shipping surprise. That's still a thing. Like, you know, like people, especially in the US where people, uh, expect free shipping, you know, it's like the Amazon free shipping, uh, sometimes even like a $5 shipping there, it's just kind of put them off and we've seen this.
Like, it doesn't matter if it's a hundred dollars product, a $500 product. If you put the shipping on there, expect a certain level of friction of the checkout process. Uh, so that can be, you know, the good thing is that that can be, that can be easily solved. Either send them like a free shipping discount or a small discount.
And you know, those, those types of people are, it's not, it's not hard to convert them. So shipping costs, uh, at the checkout, it's still a thing and it's still happening. Um, second of all, as payment related issues. Now this is one that we were not expecting to be this big, uh, like at this point, uh, this isn't the thing that this is like in the top three reasons.
Now this goes from, Hey, I could not like I could not, uh, place the order because, uh, the credit card was declined. This is like very common one to, um, to maybe another, uh, And not. So, um, popular reason for example, is that I could not find the exact payment method that I was wanting. For example, people today, they, they, they love this buy now pay later.
So if they don't see that option, they're just going to be like, oh, I'm not going to purchase. So they, they, they specifically, you know, go to the, go through the checkout process. They reached the checkout buddy feet. Don't see that payment option that they're looking for. They just going to go, uh, you know, and, and leave their cart.
That's a, more of a tricky, tricky audience to deal with because obviously the one they want to buy now pay later, for example, or PayPal or Amazon pay for it for a reason. But again, if you're able to talk to them and explain like, Hey, we can also use this additional or this, um, you know, this other option and just give them like a small nudge sometimes just like a text, like, um, Uh, like really, really just tell them that, Hey, you know, you could try these other, these other options.
It's going to work also regarding payment, like payment issues. Um, let me think, what are the biggest ones? Because here, there there's, there's plenty of things that we encountered. Well, people really, sometimes they, they just, they just like, they just, they just don't have their details. Uh, like they want to make a payment, but they're just too lazy to go and check for, you know, like grab their credit card.
And that's sometimes I even like myself, I, I want to make. And, and I looked, oh my God, I got to put my payment details, like, forget about it. So I'm just abandoning their cart.
Joseph: [00:21:16] It is an art form to figuring out just how close my credit card should be to me at any given time, like to close can mean a lot of purchases too far, not enough purchases.
So this is an art form, I would say.
Andrei Negrau: [00:21:29] Yeah. So, so we got the sheep things, we got the, like the credit card payment related issues. Uh, so the other one that that's really the big, uh, that it was a surprise for us, our technical issues. Uh, well, I mean, when I say technical issues as literally people, uh, like people purchasing for the first time on a specific website.
So for example, they see a web, they see, um, they, they see a discount code. On, you know, somewhere on the, like on the website, like maybe they get it to a pop up and they, they reached the checkout page and probably you've seen this on Shopify on mobile, unless you press the button and it's like a drop down hope.
There's no place to put her discount with the regular checkout. So people were like, Hey, you know, like, this is something very common. Like, Hey, I wanted to purchase, I could not find work. You know, I could not find a place to put like the discount code. That again, that's, that's a super easy, it's an easy fix.
Like, Hey, you know, here's like, here's what you should do. Like thank you, steps. And then another one, another pretty big one, especially for smaller brands or brands that are just starting out is the lack of trust. This is, this is something that it's, it's hard to pinpoint, but people would just say like, oh, you know, actually I just changed my mind because I don't trust the website.
And it's very difficult to deal with, especially when you're, when you're starting out. The great thing about cartloop is that you have this real person reaching out to someone and you know, it, even if you're just starting out. Do you have like zero following really like no reviews, having a real person, um, talking to your customers and talking, when I say talking is like real time, it's not like, Hey, I respond 12 hours later, you know, three days later, it's like real time it's happens in a matter of minutes.
That's just this, this just drives insane, like insane amount of, uh, of trust. And it's a, it's a nice way of building that relationship.
Joseph: [00:23:20] And I think it's especially not only important, but also preconditioned for customers to expect smaller businesses to take that extra step, because they're more, uh, in the, in the bootstrapping phase of their, of their progress.
And so they would, uh, I think expect the seller or the, the marketer or the sales phase or the customer service, who, whatever title, uh, that go by to fight a little bit harder for each individual sale.
Andrei Negrau: [00:23:44] Yeah. I, I always, I always ask, you know, tell people that are, that are just starting out. And, you know, they're, they're figuring ways to scale their first sales.
The fact that matter is that like, Hey, how are you better than Amazon? And it's a question that obviously it's kind of put off a lot of people that are thinking I want to build an e-commerce brand or I'm trying to scale my e-commerce brand, but you don't have to be better in the sense of be better at every single thing that's just going to be. If you're better at every single thing, you're going to be a billionaire and you should not, you should not be here. You know, listening to podcasts. You should just be like, you know, you're, uh, you're like public company, if you're better than Amazon.
Joseph: [00:24:21] Well, they, they can, they can email us and feel free to be a guest on the show.
Andrei Negrau: [00:24:25] Exactly. But I think about, you know, a very specific way of being better. So for example, offering a better support or that's, that's a hard one, but we can do it or offer support from the founder or offer support through multiple channels, right? Not just email support, you know, think about, you know, think about why people purchase from smaller or from, uh, you know, why they purchase from brands.
Because either they love the brand itself. Like they love the cause they love the brand or they love the experience. They love the purchasing experience. They love what it comes, you know, what it means to purchase that product, or they love the product itself. So, you know, when, when you're launching a business or you're trying to build a business, you have to, you have to be good at something.
Or if you can be like good at like all these things. You're probably most likely going to succeed.
Joseph: [00:25:13] This is a point that I've brought up a couple of times on the show before, and I think you might, um, uh, appreciate the insight as well is that pretty much anything we do is an extension of the self. And I see, and I think the same is true for a business.
So with a brand that I would start or with somebody else would start, it is an extension and expression of who they are and what's important to them. So a lot of what they're good at is just coming and is the ability to sell something and really need it and really get behind the product.
Andrei Negrau: [00:25:39] Yeah, absolutely.
Joseph: [00:25:41] So with the, uh, I, I still, I find this, uh, conversational.
Give me, sorry. One more time. What is the exact term you use? It's conversational marketing or?
Andrei Negrau: [00:25:51] Conversational text marketing. Yeah. Yeah.
Joseph: [00:25:54] Great. Yeah. So, um, the way I want to ask this question is in this well, there's two parallel ways. I want to do it. I want to ask w you know, if let's just say I were to go onto one of the websites using cart loop, I abandoned the cart.
Um, what am I expecting? And then how do I get to take a conversation with somebody and then also as a seller, if I were to sign up for it, what are the initial steps that I take to have cartloop integrated into the business? And just to give you an idea, like the next part of this, I will also ask about, I guess, the relationship between the agents who, um, I'm kind of an educated guess here, but what they're doing is they're working for cart loop, but they're representing my brand.
Is that right? Okay, great. Okay, great. So we'll, we'll prime that, and maybe you'll answer it with what you're about to describe, but so, so customer expectations, seller expectations, go for it.
Andrei Negrau: [00:26:45] All right. Now from a, from a, from a customer, from a shopper perspective. Well, what do you have with part of is essentially a twenty four seven concierge on your mobile phone through texts.
When we initially launched it was, we were targeting only a part of the cart abandonment. We went after that part. Now today with the products that we're launching, um, essentially you, as a shopper can send a brand text messages and, you know, basically start a conversation and get, get support 24/7 without even going through the checkout process.
So for example, you can start a conversation by subscribing to a popup or by using, um, uh, a newer feature that we're working on, where the brand itself, they purchase a phone number and, and customers can text that phone number. And that's kind of landed into our inbox, cartloop inbox. And from there, our experts are gonna are going to answer all the questions.
So essentially it's a, it's a, it's a 24/7 concierge. That means any questions we have. So, you know, we can, because we can, again, we can come back to the example with this keyboard. So you're looking, you're looking to purchase, um, as cable and so. You can, you can text the phone number or card, the phone number, uh, and you know, maybe, or not, maybe, maybe the website, doesn't say how much the shipping costs and, you know, you don't want to get to the checkout.
So they're like, Hey, you know what, let me text this, eat how much, how much I'm not going to pay for shipping. And they're like, Hey, how much does the shipping cost? Well, then you get a message back in a matter of minutes. So that's really like the beauty is that you don't have to go through this ticketing system, you know, the, the old school or like the standard type of support, uh, send their type of communication, you know, is this ticketing system where, um, you know, it blends into a ticket, like in, to an inbox, it's tickets, a lot of tickets.
So, um, you know, sometimes it can take hours. Sometimes it takes, it takes days for, for, uh, for customer support person to really reach that ticket. So in this case, everything is instant. So the moment you plug in part through, if you have this 24/7, uh, SMS concierge.
Joseph: [00:28:43] That's incredible. One of the challenges that I would see is also.
Just making sure that the agents are, um, I mean, from when there has to be some knowledge about the brand, um, I'm also about conveying the tone of the brand. And before actually, I guess before we get to that, one of the things that I would want to know more on a granular sentences, you know, how the work is assigned, is it that it is a certain agent will maybe specialize in a certain brand and so it prioritizes to them.
So then that way you do have more of that consistent familiarity.
Andrei Negrau: [00:29:17] Yeah, that's right. That's right. Okay. So, uh, like coming back to what I said, when, when we're building the technology, we bid it, we build it in a way that it just, um, it just emphasizes or just, um, you know, adds value to what actually makes it makes live of, of the, of the agents easier.
So we felt that's, that's part of, uh, that's part of what we're building is just making sure that, you know, agents, first of all, they have. Not just the good, but the very good understanding of the brand off the offering, the products, they sell different types of policies they run. So, um, this is, this is the first, this is the foundation of what we do, right?
Like no one would want to use a service. Um, you know, in return they would see some random messages or whatever, you know, conversations that should not happen. So that's the first thing that we do. And, uh, for that, even as a, as a, as a customer. So as a merchant actually, Uh, you go through an onboarding process where you answered some, some, some essential steps, like some social details, and then in, in cartloop, um, if you're, if you're one of our, uh, higher tier plans, you have 24/7, uh, slack support.
So for example, even if it's something that, Hey, it's like, uh, maybe the question mark that we're not sure if we're just going to fire a question in slack, um, and then we'll be able to answer the shopper. And then on top of that, there's a, there's a dedicated section in cartloop where you as a merchant. Uh, we called merchants customers.
So, uh, you as a, you, as a merchant are able to put, uh, any kind of, uh, any kind of details that are not available on their website. So that can be, you know, special promos that are not available policies that are not, you know, they're not probably, but it's just like a transfer, like showing knowledge, knowledge, and then, uh, when our agents are applying or they, you know, they, they always use that information as a starting point.
Joseph: [00:31:04] I say this, uh, uh, lightly, but I I'm in, I'm in a very good position right now. I'm getting in a lot of information and I have the ability to, uh, to do my own store and I'm taking pretty well care of here. Uh, but I have to say if everything F uh, F uh, collapsed and I would have to apply for a new position, I can see myself applying to, to work for cartloop.
Cause I mean, for one, I had the experience, right. I've I've, I, I used to love being on Intercom and phone calls. Yeah. You know, my voice dries up into the days and the problem with phone calls by the way, is that customers would, would call. And I would answer the same question over and over again. So it's hard to automate myself like, but the answers go into muscle memory and it gets to a point where I'm playing Diablo and I'm answering the questions.
Don't tell my former boss. I said that, but other than that, the idea of being able to actually adapt to multiple brands and have these ongoing conversations is actually a very fascinating idea. And I, and I really appreciate just how it can really provide work, especially in such a remote focused society that we're not only in, but are continuing to move towards.
Andrei Negrau: [00:32:09] It is. Um, it is one of the challenges. So if you're building a hybrid, the hybrid product, which is tech and also the human side, you, you wanna, you want to make sure that the human part is. Um, I would say, you know, it's, it's, it is at its peak, so it's never going to be, you know, below what you, as a, as a merchant would expect.
So that's something that we, we continued to invest in. And initially it was like the way we started it was just Lisa and I were literally just responding to messages back, like when, uh, when we started a year ago. Uh, so, uh, fortunately for us, uh, you know, having this e-commerce and experience, we were able to scale the scale of the team and put all the strategies in place and provide all the necessary training.
I know the people that, that are engaging in these conversations are super knowledgeable people with, with background in e-commerce and they know exactly, uh, you know, how to respond and, and, you know, w what type of details to provide.
Joseph: [00:33:05] Um, th th you know, it's funny. Cause it's too, I just remember we were given like certain scripts, um, depending on the situation.
And, uh, one of them was always like, you know, you always start off with an apology if they're irate. And they always said like, I'm going to go ahead and do this. And, and I, and I have to admit to like, you know, being coming from more like the performative side is that I'm always like tempted to veer off, not, not so much to the point of unprofessionalism, but to find a little bit more of like a personal bent, just to have a little more of like a direct connection with it.
So I'm not exactly sure how I want to ask this question. It's like three questions all competing at the same time. Um, but yeah. What is the degree of, um, intuition or initiative that the agents take, uh, how strict, uh, I guess it would be on a brand by brand basis, how strict they want the agents to adhere to it.
But, you know, over the course of the day, what are the different kinds of conversations are they having, do they get, are they having a lot of conversations where it's like back and forth for, for hours and hours, or like, it was like the longest conversation that somebody has had. I've really overall the holistic, um, interest here is, you know, the experience of being the agent and, um, what they expect on a day-to-day basis.
Andrei Negrau: [00:34:20] Sure. Um, one of the challenges that, you know, as a, especially as a customer service customer support person, um, you know, we experience you're kind of biased because you tend to respond to emails in a certain way, and they're like a long form, right? Like, Hey, thank you for contacting us. You know, I, I'm gonna look into this, I appreciate her answer.
And you know, it's like a long form type of response to. Well, for us, everything that we do is text based and that just changes the dynamic completely because, you know, you cannot just use the same language, same type of format, uh, through texts. Like the way you can, not just, you know, tightly picks their customers just the way you emailed them.
So, so that's a fundamental shift that we, that we, that we, uh, that we started with an in-depth and from the, from day one, that means all the conversation has had, you know, has this person, has these feeling like, Hey, I'm talking to a friend, I'm not just talking with a customer success there. So we don't do like a, you know, dear John, thank you for contacting, you know, brand.
We, we, we tend to stay away and, you know, part of like part of the, you know, one-on-one training, uh, you know, the first day at cartloop, as a live agent is like, Hey, you know, try to try to text, like you were texting with a friend. It's not trying to provide customer support, but try to build the, try to build the customer relationship through texts.
So, uh, that's, that's a totally different way of, of, uh, you know, talking to customers. And sometimes again, as a customer support person, you just feel awkward because, Hey, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm speaking in, in a very personal level. Uh, and, and it just, you know, they're probably in a few days of doing it, but just get really good at it.
And then that's, uh, that's what we've seen, but, and then we have a thing. We have a feature called brand personality. So when you sign up, you can basically choose the way you want us to represent their brand. So do you, do you feel like your brand is more of a like promotional type of brand and you can use that personality where your promotional, or is there a brand more of a professional brands or maybe you're even like selling B2B and you don't want to, you know, don't want us central promotional, you can use that brand personality.
So our agents are looking at that information and they're adjusting based on, based on what you're, uh, like what you set up in your account.
Joseph: [00:36:33] Great. So let's, uh, let's sidetrack here for a second. So in the B2C space, sorry, Bubba. I meant to say B2B in the B in the B2B space. That's what I was wondering how the relevance of SMS messaging, um, in it.
So you've got the data. So how prevalent is, uh, has SMS been integrated into the B2B space?
Andrei Negrau: [00:36:56] W w we've thought we've started this with an experiment. So we've put, um, we put a phone number on our website. I know we have LinkedIn and our system. So, uh, we gotta, we gotta look at a decent amount of text messages, like inbound text messages from visitors, like website visitors, asking about different things.
Um, that's, that's the level of, uh, you know, SMS communication we're having, uh, at this very moment. I know that there are many ways to embed SMS in even need to be, to be the only thing here that is. I'm also going to sidetrack for a second, is that especially in the US there are some very strict regulations around SMS and how you can use it, right.
Uh, email, uh, you know, you can grab an email, there's a customer sign and grab it. And then, you know, you just send texts. Like you send them newsletters, that's fine. You know, no one is going to Sue you for that. But if you're doing SMS the wrong way, especially in the US with DCPA, CDIA, uh, there's many regulations.
So you don't want to, don't want to do it in the wrong way. That's why the B2B space, perhaps it's a little bit more difficult to get that, um, to get that. From, you know, let's just say, you know, you're thinking about building an SMS list instead of an email list on, on the B2B side, it's just going to have a little bit more of a friction point versus DML.
But without being said with more and more people, uh, you know, like engaging with text messages and then, you know, having this openness to, to, uh, to, to read tacks and reply to them, I think that's also, it's like a segment that, that we could possibly potentially see, see, grow as big as a, as a retail.
Joseph: [00:38:33] And, and I think a lot of that also has to do with what I was saying at the beginning about how a lot of e-commerce businesses, um, which will, I think over time also influence.
Whatever contemporary or how or non e-commerce businesses. Not that there's very many of those leftover frankly, um, that, because the work is more, uh, delegated on a lateral sense, then I think that also would leads to a more personable relationship between different companies, because you have different people at different, um, positions handling multiple responsibilities, and there's a, more of an overall understanding of what the work takes.
So, um, which is to say, I don't think people have to put on as much of a mask, you know, when they're, uh, when they're interacting with it, because there's a lot of empathy there. And that's one thing that I've noticed too, by the way, the that's great about all the people that I've talked to in the e-commerce is that everybody is chill because there's so much risk involved.
There's so much, um, difficulty. I I've yet to encounter somebody with like a massive ego. Who's like, oh, can you, can you, can you ask that anyways? So I don't wanna get off on a tangent there, but, uh, I, I can say that's the reasoning. Why I think over time, um, uh, B2B will be as prevalent as C um, more I've now more possibly, I don't know.
I don't have the data for that.
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One thing that I wanted to also wonder this is where like a specific feature or let's just say, for instance, I wanted to jump in. Uh, and, uh, do some of that texting. Um, do I have the ability, like, can I go onto my, um, the app interface and say, Hey guys, I'm just going to take over for a bit. Is that, is that an option actually?
Andrei Negrau: [00:40:27] Yeah. With a small caveat here. Sure. Uh, so we've, we've recently built now. We started building out integrations with. So it helped us such as gorgeous. Uh, we're having a few more help desk integrations coming up soon. So, uh, initially when we launched cartloop would not have this ability. Like we, like our team would be a hundred percent in control of the conversations and we have had people saying, Hey, you know, I would love to have this opportunity to also talk to my customers.
Um, and then there's also, there's also another need when, you know, at a certain point there's there's level where our agents are not able to, you know, the further continue the conversation. And that can be as simple as a refund. We don't take, we don't, we don't do refunds. We don't do refunds. We don't do like, um, you know, special deals or anything like that.
We just act like we have some settings where we just follow those settings. We don't, we don't do anything on behalf of you unless we have the authority. So we don't do refunds at some point, you know, in a conversation there's actually many points. Many scenarios where our customer would say, you know, let's just say we had a conversation a month ago.
They purchased everything is great, you know, one month later, because this is the, the, the beauty of conversational SMS, you can literally just text us back two months, six months, a year later, you'd still be able to talk, talk to us and ask for a refund. Well, if you're not connected to gorgeous, what, what we, what we've been doing that before you would get like a notification saying, Hey, you know, this, this conversation needs your attention, check it out.
And then you would see who's the customer, you know, they want a refund and that you would, uh, you would email them on a different channel in that right now with gorgeous, what you can do. Our would help us configurations, uh, what wretched were doing. So our agents, when see conversation like that, they simply just transfer it through gorgeous.
So you get all the, all that information. You'll get all that conversation in your help desk. And from that point yourself, as you know, as the, you know, the person who was running the business or your support team will get at well, again, that conversation. And essentially you are the one talking to the customer.
And the cool thing is that once you close the ticket, you know, you resolve that ticket. The conversation is sent back to cartloop. We have, you know, again, we have, um, we have control of the conversation, so you don't have to worry about it. So it's a really cool way of, you know, both not having to rely on a hundred percent on your customer supporting only when it's necessary. Only one really, you know, you're the one providing the refund.
Joseph: [00:42:55] I mean, again, coming back to what smaller brands really need in order to, uh, to succeed as the ability to win on those smaller battles and convert, uh, individuals. So as much as I, I do enjoy doing that, I do have a lot of the sales experience, but I also recognize if I were to try to scale my business to a six figure seven figure territory, there was no way I wouldn't be able to have the time to do that, but I can convey a lot of my methodology to, um, to, to somebody else.
And then also step in. Well, when, uh, when is the right time to do so. Um, the, the thing that I ha do you remember the thing that I warned you about, he came and knocked and yeah, so, so to our audience. We had a conversation before that a building inspector was going to have to come in. I asked him to wait until 11.
It is 10:51. So let's, uh, let's see what happens here, right? All right. All good. It turns out they didn't have to come in, which is just as well. Cause I'm wearing one of my conspiracy theorist t-shirts. Anyways, now, so, oh yeah, that's great. So this is the question, the next thing that I wanted to know, and again, more of a technical question.
This will all take place on one phone number. So let's just say for instance, when agent has done their shift and somebody else has a tag in, is it as simple as, Hey, this is Rick, I'm just taking over from what, uh, Scott was talking about. Um, and then Rick would, you know, catch up on the conversation and then I've, I need to jump in and say, Hey, this is Joseph.
I'm the, uh, CEO, founder, and grand Poobah of the, of the brand. Um, I understand what's going on right now. So I just wanted to, uh, to text you directly, is that, is that how it would work?
Andrei Negrau: [00:44:31] We've built a system where every store has a brand personality. That means again, through the sign up process, you choose the brand personality and it can be something like Emma.
So we'd like a, it's like, it's basically like a brand persona red personnel. We call it, you're just using this the same name. We're not switching names, you know, mid-conversation like, oh, you know, this is John, or this is Joey, or this is Jane. We're just using the same. We just use the same brand personality.
And, uh, even if, even if you're, if when you presented the conversation through the customer support date, you know, the customer support can, can basically seamless, uh, that they can seamlessly continue the conversation. And at the end of the day, the shopper will just feel like it's, it's a natural conversation and it's just a single point of contact.
And that's, that's kind of a neat, neat, um, feeling, not, not knowing that, Hey, you know, it's like, I'm talking to three people here. Like it's just a single person that you're talking to. And then that's, that's quite a good customer.
Joseph: [00:45:30] Hmm. Yeah, I like that a lot. It does make me wonder whether or not there is a, um, cause the tying in the, the AI and the automated side into it, if the conditions are set based on the brand personality so that, you know, their answers will be automated in a certain way.
So it's like you're kind of teaching the AI as well to, uh, to be more adaptive to the kind of conversations that are meant to have while also there's this part, by the way, this is speculation. I don't know if this is what you're actually doing, but if it's. So you have that, and then you also have somebody who's also, um, you know, putting the character on and also doing the performance side of it as well.
Andrei Negrau: [00:46:05] Yeah. So every like every interaction has it, or at least every automated interaction has its specific based on the brand personality. So if you're, if you're going back, if you're using the, the, the, the, the professional brand personality, um, all the automated responses that fall under that personality are gonna have this more of a professional tone is going to be more formal than informal.
And it goes the same with the responses that our agents are providing.
Joseph: [00:46:34] It was everything that I can think of in regards to it. I did, I don't normally ask a question this open-ended, but in the interest of making sure we represent it, is there any other element to, um, this part of the service you want to let us know about?
Otherwise we can have some other questions I want to ask.
Andrei Negrau: [00:46:50] Well, I mean, we really covered all the basics. This is, this is like the infrastructure that is, that is powering our service. Um, you know, what's good. What's good mentioning is that moving forward at the cartloop, um, you know, we'll be providing, uh, we'll be providing you.
You know, human powered, conversational solution, not just for cart abandonment, but for pretty much whatever your regular automated platform is doing. Are you just adding this conversational layer on top? And it's just going to provide a way better customer experience. So that's, you know, that's something to keep in mind that, uh, you can, you can literally sprinkle human touch across all your, all your customer journey and not just, you know, when Monday had been in their cart.
Joseph: [00:47:29] I wouldn't even argue to that. Even if it is just a, a, a, just an AI, uh, responding that is still a step above what a lot of other brands are doing, which is nothing. So, or even just sending some emails. So it is, it does take work and it does take a lot of, um, human interaction with, with potentially an AI to make sure that they're primed and ready to interact with it.
And then, yeah. The human connection at a, at a, at a larger scale.
Andrei Negrau: [00:47:56] Yeah. One thing too, it's worth mentioning is that if you're looking at some automated solutions and the person I'm not going to name names, um, but you know, there's some big, you know, there's some big, uh, platforms, also email platforms that provide us some, uh, solutions.
Um, so, you know, when you send a campaign with that, with that solution, and you're trying to respond back as, as a shopper, the default password is just going to be like, Hey, you know, we cannot, we cannot answer your texts or something like that. And, you know, it's like, that's super weird. Like you're just getting a text message.
You know, sometimes those campaigns can be super personalized. Like, Hey, Hey John, like, so they do a check on a product. I have a special discount for you. And then you want to ask something like, oh cool. But you know, you know, can I get it in black? And then you get like, oh no, we cannot give their texts.
Like, that's the, you know, from a consumer perspective, I, you know, we really spend, uh, we really fight against that kind of customer. Uh, so that's why, you know, everything we do has this personal two way, uh, you know, two way level.
Joseph: [00:48:58] All right. So Andrei, I'm going to shift gears cause there's something I've been, I'm intrigued about with, uh, your experience.
So one of the things that my, um, my producer Micah does, um, for whom I'm eternally grateful for all the work she does is she goes onto LinkedIn and she finds out more about the, the guests background. I do it, but like I said, I'm a bit of a tinfoil hat guy. And I just don't like the idea that LinkedIn lets people know who visited.
I just, I don't know. I just, I just don't like it. I get it. I understand. I just don't like it. But you have, um, quite a few, um, credits, uh, in regards to being a founder. So my firm, by my account, you founded four. Let me see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And I think that's the main. And that mind you, I haven't looked at everybody's LinkedIn because Micah came with the idea.
I'm a little bit more on the reason side, but what I wanted to ask about is the skillset of being a founder is from each of the, uh, the projects that you had worked on. Um, what were maybe some of the, the, the skill sets, some of the methodologies, some of the takeaways that you've applied or you've learned from one that came with the next came to the next camp to the next?
Andrei Negrau: [00:50:04] Well, that's a question that we could probably spend another podcast on. I would love to do so I'll try to be as, as, uh, you know, straight to the point as possible. You know, oftentimes when, when, uh, especially when, you know, like founder type of like, you know, fonder advice type of discussions, but sometimes they can be dangerous because, you know, you can, you can be biased as a founder, you can be biased.
And I'm honestly, I'm biased based on my personal experience. Um, but there, there, there are some things that I, I I've learned along the way, probably the one that, you know, everyone could expect to hear is that you have to be persistent. Uh, if you think that, you know, being an entrepreneur or being a founder is glamorous and it's, you know, you see a lot of, you know, like founders, like hitting their goals and hitting a lot of success, you know, like it doesn't matter their age.
It can be 20, it can be 30, it can be 40. I'm pretty sure that there, there has been a lot of pain and there has been a lot of work behind that success. Um, and unfortunately I did not know this when, when I started, you know, I was, I was chasing something like, oh, I want to be a founder. And then I quickly realized that, Hey, like, what am I doing?
Like, I, you know, I don't have any kind of success, especially with the first e-commerce businesses that I built. Uh, I literally launched my store and I expected, like, my expectations were, oh, I'm going to make a lot of money. I'm going to be rich. Guess what? It didn't work out. It did not work out like that.
So, um, you know, being persistent and really, you know, like really thinking like, Hey, why, why, why am I doing this? And the first time. You know, it's, it's cool to be a founder. It's cool to call yourself an entrepreneur. Definitely. It's one of the best jobs to have in the world. Like I would not do anything else.
You know, you have to think about like, why you're doing this, what do you want to do? You want a certain level of lifestyle? You want to have a certain experience and if you're true to yourself and if you like, Hey, you know, I want to do this because I want to, I want to get to this point in my life, then, you know, just go with it.
But, you know, be, be prepared not to get where you want to get, uh, you know, in the timeline that you have. So, uh, and, and, you know, you mentioned that I've been, uh, like, you know, I've founded five companies. Yeah. And most of them failed actually, you know, I had an e-commerce business that went well, but I tried many other e-commerce business, like many stores before.
And, uh, cartloop now is, is probably my third, my third software company. And the previous two were just like, it didn't work out and yeah. Being persistent and, you know, having that grit. Another like another one. Um, you know, as, as a founder, I think you, you, you, um, you have to be able to see, like to connect the dots and, and find gaps in the market, find gaps, you know, find, you know, find solutions to problems.
Uh, basically, you know what, that's entrepreneurship, you, you, you're creating a solution for, for some problem in the market. So the better you're able to understand this, you know, the sooner you're gonna get, uh, you know, to build something. Uh, and then the third one that, uh, it's worth mentioning is really the team.
Um, when, you know, with my, with my e-commerce mentality and then my, you know, kind of like the quick wind chasing mentality, I was always thinking, I always saw that, Hey, you know, I'm in my, I'm in control. I'm the one running the show. But, um, the moment I started working on cartoon, I realized that the team is really the number one thing.
Like you could be the smartest guy in the world. You can literally be Elon Musk. Like what would he do without. Like honestly, why don't we do without a team? Uh, so really, really finding those, really finding those people that are surrounded people that believing in what you're doing, it's super important.
Joseph: [00:53:47] Well, I mean, that's a great way to summarize it and, uh, I, I definitely understand that this would be, um, worthy of a whole other episode. So I'm, by the way, a door's always open. So, you know, you could give us a couple of quarters when I come back and we can actually go through the, the, the businesses in particular, talk about the ups and downs of them.
I I'd love to hear that, uh, for sure. So we can definitely get to that point. So just planting that seed for now.
All right. So let's, let's let's uh, I, I'm going to, uh, one more question. We'll, we'll, we'll go from more of a forward facing note on this one. So the future, uh, we wanted to just ask a little bit about the future of not only SMS in marketing, but I think the future of marketing in general.
So it seems to me that what you're doing here is a mixture of. Um, forward-thinking about also, um, taking a lot of what makes sales work, which is having people there and making personal connections. So what do you see coming in the next three to five years? Um, particularly in your space, but also as broad as you have the, uh, the expertise to weigh in on.
Andrei Negrau: [00:54:49] Yeah, I wish I'd known that answer. I would probably be, I would probably be, uh, be, you know, in a very good place knowing that answer, but I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna guess here. Um, we've seen, we've seen with COVID and with everything moving towards e-commerce, you know, it's the hottest thing, you know, except probably energy companies like Tesla, which is everyone is e-commerce, that's a big thing.
Yeah. So, you know, e-commerce is big, but e-commerce essentially is like purchasing online. You're purchasing something online. And, um, even today, like e-commerce can be very lonely. Like, you know, you're just there on a website, like browsing for hours. Maybe if it's, you know, let's just say it's a retail website and it's like thousands of skews skews.
It can be only, it's like no personal connection almost. Uh, sometimes you get this, the live chat, you know, but honestly, I don't feel like that's a good experience. So the future in, in, in my opinion, it's going to be a lot more engaging in terms of the human connection. And they're not, I'm not just purely advocating.
You know, text messaging and conversational, but it's also like social, like social shopping. We've seen this boom with, uh, you know, live streaming. People want to get closer to people. And I think that's something that it's gonna, it's kinda, it's gonna stick with e-commerce and I'm not sure exactly how it's gonna play out in five years, but I'm pretty sure that people are gonna, you know, they're going to look like as a consumer, you will look for ways to interact with your brand, be it on Instagram and, and, you know, being like being socially present there, but it's gonna go from a, it's gonna go from a one-way approach where you as a brand, just, you know, you just blast thing, like, Hey, check this out, you do that, but then don't get any kind of feedback.
It's going to move towards a tool towards a two way approach where we, where you will literally gone. I, you know, exchange ideas, talk to the brand, like, you know, like get in a conversation and that's to happen through multiple channels. So I'm pretty sure that's, that's going to be big. And, you know, people expect that at some point, people will expect you've been purchased through a conversation.
Right now you were sending them back to a website. At some point, we believe that in the very near future, you'll be able to make purchases. Like, you'll be able to say something like, oh, you know, I want this, I want these pair of sneakers. Cool. Well, here's this, you know, just reply. Yes. You don't even need the link actually just reply.
Yes. And, uh, I'll send you, uh, you know, we'll ship out your, uh, your product. I think it's going to get there. It's also a generational thing. You know, uh, we grew up with, uh, with texts phone was, you know, most about with telephones. We mobile phones with iPhones. So naturally it's very, it's very simple. It's very creative.
So I think, you know, a lot of friction is going to be removed in the next few years from the, from the, uh, purchase funnel.
Joseph: [00:57:30] What I'm taking away from that, uh, above all else is just the distinction between shopping online versus going to a mall. And even though it's just me and, you know, typically my girlfriend.
And we're still at least among other people, and there's still more of a social energy if I'm not directly interacting with each individual there. Um, so that is so that right there is something we don't want to lose for sure. We, we want people to not only buy the buy, obviously want people to buy the product, but as more of like a, I would say like a sub goal or a tertiary goal, we do want there to be positive connections with those purchases and with those experiences, because I think that just drives better consumer loyalty.
And, um, what, uh, cause I touched, you touched briefly on some of the, some of the big stuff that's going on right now. Uh, there's that story about how a bunch of gamers and nerds and people like me got their $1,400 and they will not like me. I'm in Canada. Uh, and they all bought a game stop stocks because the market was trying to short them.
The whole other story y'all are gonna have to look into it, but I, I think that particular business. People have a great memories, science associated to it, the excitement of picking up a game for the first time, going through the controllers, seeing the action figures, I have positive memories associated with that.
And so that is where a lot of that value actually comes from. Even if it's not as easy to quantify, it is very important. So that, that to me is a huge takeaway.
Andrei Negrau: [00:58:55] Absolutely agree. I mean, people, people buy, you know, they expect a certain experience, even if it's online, you know, they expect a certain level of experience.
So the better you can make it the more, you know, the more enjoyable, the more delightful we can make that experience for them. Um, you know, the better, the better off your brain is going to be. And you know, like this is probably something worth mentioning is that as, as an e-commerce business, um, it's a good time to start thinking holistically about.
Uh, your, your business, uh, you know, you think that, Hey, you know, the checkout point is the, there's the point where my, you know, where my shoppers, where my, my audience is making the purchase. I'm not really, you know, like sure. You know, we were sending out the, you know, the packagers and like a third party fulfillment center and what not, but there's a whole, there's a, there's a lot more than that.
You know, e-commerce is, is the way that you, you know, you speak with your audience is the way that your brand speaks. It's like non it's, like a nonverbal, even like a nonverbal thing. So it's much more than that.
Joseph: [00:59:55] Well, I think that's the perfect note to, uh, to wrap this up on. So, uh, Andrei, I gotta say this has been a great conversation.
I'm really happy to have you on here. And as I continued to be surprised with each episode, No matter how many people I talk to. There's always something new and you've definitely brought a lot of new to the table and a lot of, uh, interesting and really interesting strategy on how to connect with people in a way that's contemporary and also adopts a lot of the classic teachings that we know and are proven effective.
So, um, congratulations, um, great, great stuff so far. And don't be surprised by the way, if I, uh, uh, if I consider, uh, using all y'all myself, no promises, I, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm, you know, like five people every week. So it's like, I don't want to make any promises, but the temptation is totally there. Uh, I, if there's anything else you wanted to say, partying wisdom, Proverbs, anything like that?
You'd like saying you feel free to have the last word and then let the audience know how they can get involved.
Andrei Negrau: [01:00:50] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, as, as a as a closing thought, just take it easy. Uh, I, I, a lot of people, especially, you know, people that are starting out, they have this drive. Sometimes you can go into the other way and be, you know, really forget that they're living.
And I actually have been there, like sometimes, you know, that phase months go by and you're like, like, how does this happen to acknowledge your wins? Like acknowledge your wins and, you know, just chill and, and, uh, you know, of course, look at the future, look where you want to get, but at the same time, so, you know, that's something worth, uh, worth mentioning.
Um, yeah, you should try. You should try to get, it's a good feeling.
Joseph: [01:01:35] Apparent good reviews about it. Yeah. It's a, it's got a good score on Metacritic.
Andrei Negrau: [01:01:39] Exactly. I'm still not doing it a hundred percent and I'm just, uh, I'm just a very beginner level. But, uh, I hear that once you get to a pro level at this, um, you know, life's starting to get better.
Joseph: [01:01:49] Fantastic. Well to our audience as always, your participation means a great deal to me. So for that I say thank you. And, uh, to our guest, once more, thank you for your time and your knowledge. Uh, it's been fantastic and that's everything that we got today. So take care all the best and we'll check in soon.
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