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Samuel Larsen - Ecommerce Optimization And Winning Mindset

icon-calendar 2021-03-24 | icon-microphone 55m 10s Listening Time | icon-user Debutify CORP

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My talk with Samuel Larsen of CRO Gurus is jam packed with the kind of high value ecommerce content you crave, you’re going to want to get your pen and paper ready. Sam has a distinct background in professional poker, a game that, as he puts it, punishes you for losing the closer you are to winning. It’s the kind of risk taking venture we in ecommerce, or frankly business at large, have to be prepared for. Let me ask you something, have you ever played poker just for fun? Ok yeah actually, I guess it’s totally possible, but you know as well as I do poker is a game played to be won, and after your done today’s episode you too should put your mind in that state

Samuel Larsen leads his Shopify optimization agency CRO Gurus. He focuses primarily on helping 6, and 7 figure Shopify stores maximize the value they get from their current traffic. Samuel has been a consultant for some of the Shopify’s largest online stores and has years of experience developing and growing online stores. He has been a Shopify certified marketing and setup expert since 2016, and he knows the platform as well as anyone.



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[00:00:00] Samuel Larsen: One thing that I always tell merchants is you have your face and your face can be a marketing asset. That is something that the big brands do not have and that is something that you can use for your own advantage. Nothing's more memorable to a human than a human face and especially the kind of human face with a personality. You have instagram, you have youtube, you have this potential engagement pointers. At the same time, it helps you as well, because it's going to be a lot more trustworthy. Somebody that is all out the door, rather than somebody who seems to be hiding a little bit.

[00:00:47] Joseph: You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind of 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 state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable so let's go.

With Samuel Larson of CRO gurus is jam packed with the kind of high value e-commerce content you crave. You're gonna want to get your pen and paper ready. Sam has a distinct background in professional poker, a game that as he puts it punishes you for losing the closer you are to winning. It's the kind of risk taking venture we in e-commerce or frankly business at large have to be prepared for. Let me ask you something, you've ever played poker just for fun? Yeah. I mean, yeah. Okay. It's possible. But you know, as well as I do that, poker is a game played to be one. And after you're done today's episode, you two should put your mind in that state.

Samuel Larson. It is good to have you here in Ecomonics. I thank you for joining us today. I know you're a, you're a busy fellow. So how are you doing, how are you feeling today? 

[00:01:55] Samuel Larsen: Thank you. My pleasure. Feeling all good. It's been a good year for e-commerce, uh, not a good year for the world, but I mean, we'll take it now. So. 

[00:02:05] Joseph: There's a, there's a proportionality to it, right? Like, uh, for it to be a good year in e-commerce there had to be a lack in a, in other areas too. It's, it's just showed how important e-commerce is in order to keep the world running as smoothly as it can under the circumstances. 

[00:02:19] Samuel Larsen: Yes. There's like nature and capitalism. They do with them, the balance thing solid. So they've done a good job here. 

[00:02:26] Joseph: Well, you know, um, uh, maybe down the line we can, uh, uh, I don't know about today, but like at some point I'd love to get into a chat about like how natural capitalism isn't, isn't and for the record, I'm like, I'm pretty pro capitalism.

I recognize there's flaws, but you know, Um, just the nature of trade and people wanting to exchange goods for each other. It gets once, once we start trying to hit each other with rocks, that's like one of the things that like comes up, you know.

[00:02:49] Samuel Larsen: Yes, you'll need to have incentives for people to stop doing that and making money and making wealth for yourself and people around you, it's a good incentive. 

[00:02:58] Joseph: Hmm. Yeah. It's a, there's so many ways that we can characterize it, you know, do good for others to solve problems. I think that's my favorite one in e-commerce, which is solve problems for others. And I think that speaks a lot to why marketing is important is identifying people's problems and offering the solution to it.

With that said, we've got a very important question for you. I've asked everybody. Well, pretty much everybody. I might've like skipped the first few cause I forgot to, like, I didn't think of the question at the time, but whatever. Um, tell us who you are and what do you do. 

[00:03:26] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, of course. Yeah. I'm Samuel Larson. I'm the founder of crogurus.com. So, we are a Shopify optimization agency and we focus on helping you as a merchant, get the most out of your existing traffic. So once the traffic hits the page, that is where we focused on and we focus on working on conversion optimization, average order value optimization, versus frequency optimization. So keeping that loop going from there. Sure slander.

[00:03:58] Joseph: So, so once the customers arrive, um, so, so marketing is something that I don't know, you can advise on if possible, but it's really more like the, the marketing is the, uh, is her clients and your partners. How do you characterize them by the way? Just so I know. Do you refer to the people who work with you as clients, you refer to them as partners? Patron? 

[00:04:15] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. I usually like to think of, they start off as clients, but ideally everybody ends up as partners. But that will only happen once we've worked on through several months and get good results, but the science and that's, uh, when, uh, you start to get to know their business also quite intimately. And you are really pulling through the same strings as they are on a long-term basis. 

[00:04:41] Joseph: Yeah. I mean, just to, uh, relate to, well, what I was doing prior to e-commerce and longtime listeners can be like, well, I can do enough for the next two minutes because I've heard this before, but whatever it's, um, I. Oh, when I was doing an editing and freelance work. Yeah. I would call them clients, but I, I wanted to view them more as partners and the idea that while they are going to compensate me for my time, I knew that the more I put into it, the more value I was willing to provide a helps retain customers and retain their business. But also it, it showed, it helped me sleep at night too, because I knew that I was. Um, investing long-term in the projects growth. I wasn't just taking the money and running. I was doing everything I could think of really just for my own self preservation, uh, at the, at the very least to like, make sure that like this, the show sticks around, I would also found too, is that like, there was, uh, a churn rate where I would have to turn people rather, but really the people I turned out were people that like, I just didn't want to deal with anymore. People who, uh, have personality conflicts or were taking too much advantage, uh, paying too much, but, you know, paying, paying too little working too much.

So, yeah. Um, I, I would love to hear about, you know, some of your, some of your client experiences, uh, which we'll table, because I, I was racking my brain, trying to think, have we talked about, uh, CRO before? And I feel like we have, like, it's, it's, it's definitely an important subject and, and I've talked to quite a few people.

So, um, if, if anybody live and he listened to, it can call me out on this and say, yeah, actually it was this guy, like two weeks ago, he talked about for CRO, uh, email podcast@debutify.com because I owe you a Coke. But other than that, can you let us know what is conversion rate optimization? I just, you know, I, I mean, I I've, I know I've heard of it before, but let's, uh, let's give it to our listeners from the beginning.

[00:06:27] Samuel Larsen: Conversion Rate Optimization is data, you could say. Since you are really not optimizing for conversion rate anymore, especially on e-commerce the other important metrics. There are of course average order value as well. And one way you could optimize, if you're just wanting to improve your conversion rate would be to lead with your cheapest products.

But if you do with that, what's going to happen through your profits. Ours is like, they're all going to go down and you're not going to have a business. So what's been more focused on is conversion optimization or optimizing for the right conversion. And then also optimizing for backend conversions as well.

And there there's a lot of finesse to it, of course, because oftentimes if you optimize for average order value, you are hurting your conversion rate. So it's a little bit of a sliding scale, and you're constantly trying to balance that to maximize for that, that revenue per user or revenue per visitor, rather than the conversion rate.

[00:07:29] Joseph: Now, you, you said, uh, one thing that you mentioned is about if people, um, put too much emphasis on the cheaper products and even if it. Even if it sells and ships, it doesn't, uh, bring in enough profitability to keep the business sustainable. Now, when I heard that, it reminded me of, um, the term loss leader, where there are products that are sold at a good enough value to the customers to want to get them to interact with the business.

And then over time, they'd more inclined to start looking into the higher ticket items and the higher ticket purchases, or just build that long-term loyalty and to use, like, I, I'm going to use a very, um, a grassroots like brick and mortar example. My parents would go to a Lebanese bakery and they would sell the vegetable.

I don't know I'm stuck on shwarma and I know it's not shwarma samosa is that's it. And they would sell the, the, you know, veggie samosa, and they would sell them for cheap, but it got people in the door and it gave you a chance to look around. So I'd like to, I like to jump on that for a second is, um, have you, have you experienced people like properly using their loss leaders in a way that then successfully converts into the higher ticket purchases?

[00:08:34] Samuel Larsen: I have. Getting people in the door has a little bit of a difference, meaning in e-commerce since, uh, if you think of a physical experience of going to a store and purchasing from there, you are committing to that, like a physical moment there, as well as seeing the people there and seeing all the different things with e-commerce.

You can go straight to the product if the product page and hit checkout. And then you are going to get the product back sometime later. Within this timeframe, it's very possible that you even forgot and our store very ordered from, so.

[00:09:11] Joseph: Yeah, that's true. Yeah. I can see that. 

[00:09:13] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. That's where it gets a little bit trickier to lead with cheaper products and most likely there's a little bit less value in the e-commerce world to do that compared to the physical work. Like if you think of how walmart, for example, built itself, there was always something on sale that was like ridiculous achieved. And then you do go there. You would get a couple of other products on the cart and then go back to see what's on sale now. Um, but with e-commerce, it's quite different because, you are often bombarded with so many options.

It's so easy to hop on from store to store. So there, this principle is less powerful. However, you can think of it as so. They lost leader where it leads to backend offers and upsells. And right now these are very easy to set up. Uh, for example, Shopify, because Shopify started this integration and now natively built into it better you can offer up sorcery.

So, so I think we are going to see a little bit of resurrection of this kind of model, where people are leading out with cheaper offers. And then trying to break even on the front end, if possible, and making sure that if they there and monetize that. 

[00:10:35] Joseph: Um, so one parallel that I like to draw then is, cause you were saying about people walk into a business and a physical location.

Uh, and I laugh because, uh, last time I'm in, basically the only time I get to do that is when I go shopping at our local no-frills. Or the subway. So it doesn't come out very often, but there is a lot of effort put into it. And you can almost say that what goes on in the store, the experience is part of the marketing, because you think of like a coffee shop, for instance, um, the coffee is, uh, probably really where they make the money, but they also charge a premium for it.

I can, I get, spend a quarter of that money if I just made the coffee for myself at home. Um, but there might be books there. It might smell nice. There might be like a rustic chair that like. Is really good for my lumbar. Um, so with, uh, stores, now you have to forgive me if this isn't where you focused.

Cause I I'm still learning about it. If you lean more towards like, um, optimization on the back end or optimization on the front end. So you can definitely help me break that down. But what examples have you seen of stores trying to mimic that experience to keep customers and more compelled? Um, is it color scheme?

Is it they're using stuff like affiliate, marketing, remarketing, blogs? Um, what, what do, what are customers doing to make their experience more memorable, which I presume leads to better conversion. 

[00:11:51] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Okay. This is a great question. And I'd like to think of it as in terms of why should people buy from you as opposed to buying from Amazon and what are the opportunities for you to differentiate as a Shopify store owner compared to fulfillment by Amazon merchants?

And there you do have some really key areas that you can focus on now. People in general, they don't like, or they would prefer to buy from the moment of bop compared to Amazon, you have so much more personality there. You can show that you are an expertise in this niche, et cetera. So you have a ton of advantages.

Now, the question is how do you provide a unified experience? That is so powerful. Not only in terms of brand expertise, but also emotionally relevant in a way that the people are then going to remember. So that's a very key thing because if you're not able to stick to people's minds and you are going to pay that one order shop at most and consumers.

As you mentioned there with the coffee experience, like the coffee is probably quite similar in quality. However, the experience is what you're paying for in that example. And that can be the key differentiator between a store where you just get the product, I'm assuming for example, or similar things versus your store.

So what can you provide beyond the product? But there is like things like even packaging or. Back into messaging, email flows to experience expertise, like all this additional value. 

[00:13:39] Joseph: But the, the tricky thing too, I guess about me using coffee shop as the parallel is that people hang out there. And so while a store can have a, a great shopping experience, people don't hang out. There's so much, uh, there's not like a, does not risk, you know, on the shelf that they can, they can pull out and play with their friends. So hanging out on a store, uh, is, uh, online. It seems to me that like one of the main things to do that is content is having a blog or even going as far as like a video series so that customers will actually like stick around and actually feel like they're starting to hang out.

But. There's another divide there too, which is the lack of the social experience is that when people go in the hangout in store, it's all like on their own, uh, have you seen, uh, stores where they actually will have maybe like, um, I guess you can have reviews, right? You can see what other people are saying, but there was no like interaction between the different customers.

[00:14:29] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. People and stores have tried to solve this. For example, if you look at the Luke's reviews, there was photo reviews that you have on the product pages that is all about the source or experience. And identifying with the other customers. So that is one way to do it. But one thing that I always tell merchants is you have your face and your face can be a marketing asset.

That is something that the big brands do not have. And that is something that you can use for your own advantage. So there nothing's more memorable to a human than a human face and especially the kind of human based face with a personality. So definitely your staff, but I'll also say you need to move to thinking from just a one click thinking where you are going over to Facebook and trying to get people with advertising to thinking of this multiple touch points like you mentioned.

So you do have something beyond just the Facebook app. You have instagram, you have YouTube, you have this potential engagement pointers that people can go them. See? Okay, I get what this brand is about. And at the same time helps you as well, because it's going to be a lot more trustworthy. From somebody that is all out in the open, rather than somebody who seems to be hiding a little bit, that a lot of the drop shippers tend to do.

[00:15:58] Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, uh, this isn't like an exact parallel, but dropshippers tend to also be protective of like what store they're running when they're, when they're showing us to, uh, on their YouTube pages, which. By the way I, I totally understand because if they reveal it, then there's nothing stopping it from being mimicked a top of the bottom, they can mimic the product, they can mimic the ad copy.

They can mimic all of it. So, so that I get, but yeah, you're right. Like there is a bit of a protectiveness in it and I think what it does is it, it separates the people who have taken the idea of the dropshipping gold rush to heart, uh, where they, they are viewing as like the get rich quick scheme, um, which I, I don't want to encourage, um, cause this is this, this may, at one point during development could have just coulda, woulda should have been just a dropshipping podcast.

But then we said, well, no, this is a business podcast. This is going to be about something that is a core to really most human interaction. In one way or another. And so you get the other side of the people who, who mean it when they sell something and you don't necessarily have to, like, you don't have to pour every last vestige of your heart and soul into it.

Like one of the products I'm working on, which I will reveal because for me, it's just learning. It's those drawers that you can stick to the bottom of your desk. Like, I like this thing I'm ordering it. I'm going to use it. You know, I I'm I'm okay with like sharing some of my own experience with it. It's not like.

I'm I'm I'm, I'm ripping my heart out or anything like that. So, so that all, uh, like as the emotional side, and I think that does, uh, tangibly, uh, boost conversion. And another thing too, that I, that was a cool observation is that the brand itself is not just relegated to the store. The brand is on the socials.

The brand could have its own, uh, video presence on YouTube. And so in a way, what it's doing is it's compelling the user to hang out with the brand. And by hanging out with a brand, they are going to be interacting with other people who are also involved in the brand as well. Like you go on the Instagram.

Yeah. You can check out their posts, you can comment on it and then other people will respond. And so you actually get that interactivity, which is actually at that point, it becomes an advantage over a, over a coffee shop. Whereas like, if I, I, if I'm, if I know I want to go there physically, I don't care so much about the social side of it because I, in my mind, I'm like, My, the point of all of this is to go there and physically and physically be there.

[00:18:14] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, absolutely. I would also say like, um, as a business owner, one of your goals should be to have a sellable business, even if you don't want to sell it, but it should be scalable. So we can think of this in terms of like, how do we increase the value of the business? And one of the ways to increase this is to build a little bit of a moat around their business. So if your business is a drop shipping business, which by the way, I'm not dissing at all, it's a completely legitimate business model and a great way to get started. You can start thinking of building a little bit of a protection around it. So if there's a lot of competition going, you are not just relying on those Facebook ads.

And as soon as the competition comes, like you're having to find a new product. So they are providing real value. Providing something that people can identify with, whether it is, uh, for example, content or something similar will help you also build a more all around or so without traffic strategy, that's not so vulnerable to small tangents like Facebook. Finding your things like this.

[00:19:26] Joseph: Uh, the, the guy on YouTube, uh, Connor, um, him and I were being taught by, uh, by rookie Hayes who, um, as was the co-founder of Debutify. And we set up a store just to like practice running Facebook ads. He put the, uh, Connor puts the ads out, his account gets restricted. Um, cause here's what happened in, I sent the product to.

Well, the link took it to those specific product page, which was supposed to be a no-no. You were supposed to send it like to the main landing website. And then my account, I just found a site like two days ago, my account got restricted to. I didn't even, I didn't even run the ads. I was, uh, I was guilt by association.

So yeah, Facebook is, um, it's kinda, it's chaotic in there, but you know, we, we do have to depend on it, a great deal for the advertising. So, so this is all really good. This is all the, uh, the importance of, uh, the human, the human being first and foremost, the business, and rooting for them as opposed to. I'm rooting for, for Amazon.

And I think like Amazon in particular. And, and I love that, like, everybody that I've talked to who is like a fan or is like a part of the Amazon culture, is like, totally okay with mentioning about like how Amazon has a very bad reputation for the way they treat their employees. And, uh, if, if Amazon wants to come at me for saying that, you know, uh, bring it honestly, that's it, it's only going to endear people to me anyways.

And so we have, so we have that. I mean, it's not even like a neutral thing. Like Amazon is like, I don't know, I, I don't have any data on this, but I think people feel like crap when they order from Amazon a large part either. Like they don't know what what's going on or they know, and they're like, well, I gotta get it somewhere.

[00:20:58] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Amazon parts. It's like, um, it's a product catalog and you buy based on price and reviews. That's uh, what you do, but you don't have any kind of big care feelings about those brands. Are buying them for a specific reason. It just seems like a good choice. That's it. And that the emotional aspect is just completely missing. It's a transaction. 

[00:21:25] Joseph: Yeah, it completely is. Um, so for some of our listeners who maybe have, uh, missed the episode with Steve Pope, who's a, my Amazon guy that his brand. And I suppose he as my Amazon guy at this point, um, but he made the point to like, The bed that I, we ordered, we ordered from Amazon. I can't remember the name of the brand and I've been sleeping on it for six months.

Now. I touched my bed more than I touched my girlfriend. And yet I'm not as connected to the brand and I'm not connected to him.

What's that that's all really important. I'm glad we brought that up because I wanted to, to hear your take on the importance of the human side of it, but I want to know what are the other pillars to optimization? Uh, do we also get into the technical side of it, where we have to look at what apps are running?

Um, the website, loads of times, uh, what are some of the key pillars that you look into for helping make sure the websites are running as smoothly as possible, leaning more towards back end than front end in this case. 

[00:22:25] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. So in that case, like what you first want to do before, you can be very persuasive and smart.

For example, with the copywriting, the very basic thing you need to have is accessibility and functionality. And that's where the things, things you mentioned there load times and. A technically functioning store are very important. So what happens oftentimes with Shopify themes is that the monster start populating them.

They break here and there a little bit, since they are not configured to work with all different texts and pick sizes, phones, different images, different size of images, and then store owners. It's like an iceberg. Like they only see. That there's a couple of things that could be wrong with the store.

There's a whole, another thing underneath, when it comes to technical possible responsivity issues that need to be mapped out. And the way we do it is simply picking up the devices, the most popular devices and going through the store. It's a manual is tedious and. Oftentimes it's quite time consuming.

However, these are the greatest things to find out because we have such high confidence that if you fix a technical bug, if this button is not working on iPhone 11 and we fix it, we're going to get more conversions from iPhone 11. Uh, so that's, uh, that's a nice, immediate win that the store owners can do and take.

And definitely they should investigate these issues on a regular basis because they are so common. And they're on the other side, you often have a store owners that they have tried to make their store convert better by adding more stuff. So it's just like constantly adding more stuff, more stuff, meaning more apps, more emails, more video, like everything.

And they're just not hitting that point where more apps is not going to help your store convert better. It's just going to hurt you because apps cause load time issues, and there, you often get the industry. This situational smell like you have three or four overlaying elements on mobile. And besides us looks very trashy and cheap because of that.

And yeah, these are all things that you need to find the balance there.

[00:24:58] Joseph: Okay. Uh, I wanted to ask about the apps in particular because of my, what I'm thinking is you're talking about the. Apps that are installed on the back end and Shopify. So it's, so it's not like that they're all necessarily a front-facing, but these are all things running in the background that are starting to eat away at the website's ability to load.

What's the average, like under three seconds, under two seconds, something along those lines?

[00:25:22] Samuel Larsen: You really want to get there. However, when we look at the sites on average busy, more like four to seven seconds. That's what I'd say. It's more typical average. When you have people on mobile phones, they compete very impatient and a good way to think about this is if you've ever seen a teenage girl use Instagram and how fast they can go, that's a more polished shopper.

They have no patience. 

[00:25:51] Joseph: Yeah. Well, I mean, I was just thinking, I was like, uh, scrolling through a, uh, a sub Reddit. Well, this is actually a sub it's not actually on a Reddit because the community was taking off Reddit as a little clue for listeners. If you want to learn more about me. But anyways, the, uh, I got, I was starting to get impatient.

I'm like, man, all right. I closed it. And then I reopened the subreddit again, because I was so compelled to find something new. I'm like, did I just like get bored of this? And then my first reaction was to go back to the same thing. Yes, yes, it was. I got to ask about this. Like how do people like start like removing the ones that are.

Uh, I imagine that people are putting apps in cause they think they're going to help. So like what apps do people think are helping and there? And it turns out that maybe they're like the redundant or another app already is handling it or it's, uh, it's not implemented correctly. Um, I don't know if we went to sort of like calling out Wednesday in particular because in my work for one person, but not for another, but, uh, how, how are, how do we, uh, turn out what apps we don't need?

[00:26:48] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. You, before your start is telling this randomly, I'd say, think of the strategy and what you're really looking to achieve with the app. Because so many times you can honestly tell them they still live some code into the themes. So I have to go and manually. Uninstall them. So it can be a little bit tricky there, but I'd say like, generally you're just looking to have one app or function.

So if you think of what you're looking to do in terms of changing user behavior. So for review, let's say you have the photo, that's a, like, clearly you're looking to have a social proof and trust. That's what you're looking to achieve with that now. But do we do still need to. That thing that says like a couple minutes ago, somebody from San Jose bought this thing, like you would have no less need for that thing.

And there you need to consider like, whether that's going to be helpful. Um, and that's like your overall app strategy. Yes, I would take it. And at some point, like you're going to have enough there's enough social proof here. We don't need any more. And if you start like boring more, it's just going to pour over from the pocket.

You can pour more water at the end of that is overflows. So what do you want to do there? So make sure that the, you have taken care of these things. And once you have sufficient level on that, you can stop and focus on other things, because it is also very difficult to hit on all of these pointers. So let's say you want to explain your value proposition and have your social proof in place.

Uh, have some technical information there, like go learning all of these different things. Daily, very information like there's so many books out there. You don't need to still explain them. You want the whole to make sense. Rather than have a random bunch of like chameleon tactics that you're running.

[00:28:54] Joseph: Right. So it's, it's about setting the objectives first and then, uh, um, recognizing, um, which apps can provide the most amount of value by clearing as many of those objectives as possible. So a great one that stuck out to me is when we have the, this person bought it at this time in this place, Well, if you also have the photo review app, then it becomes redundant because as long as you're proving that there's activity, you don't need the first one and you can, uh, extend the value of the second one.

Now, now granted, I mean, I suppose if you, if I, if I really wanted to, uh, get into like each individual blade of grass, one of it covers the purchases, the other covers the reviews. Um, so one is dynamic and one is like post it. So. Uh, it's I dunno. I was just like making sure that I gave it to Duke, but really like the reviews imply that purchases were made.

[00:29:44] Samuel Larsen: Yeah exactly. It implies that and the strongest way to communicate anything is implying it. So if you have that thing there and it looks real because, well, you it's much more difficult to fake photo reviews from customers or suppose customers and having the bitch. Okay. Like somebody bought like two minutes ago.

So there you actually have the same goal without. Risking that somebody might see through it. 

[00:30:14] Joseph: Well, I think one thing that the, uh, incident purchase a widget does that, I, I can't also say that the review app does, is create the fear of missing out or just the, the sense of urgency. Uh, I think that it does.

A little bit more immediate pressure on the customer because they see the stuff is actively happening. Um, so let's say we, we asked that one. Um, what do you recommend in specific to, uh, keep the sense of urgency going and create the, uh, the FOMO going? 

[00:30:41] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, there's a few different ways. The easiest way is to have something that is going to ship today.

If you order it there within the next, let's say 30 minutes or something like that. And to make that number random, of course. So that's going to. Pretty powerful, like, okay, this is a make sense. Also, you kind of have the real time discounts. So we use this all the time with stores. If you have some kind of a day that you can celebrate, it can be a bit random as well.

Let's say you have international domestic. Now, you can totally have a sale that is going to end on. Certain day, certain hour. And that way you can have a very legitimate urgency there. And of course you can run the sale in two weeks again, but that's the way it is the livable. And it's also doesn't hurt your brand as much because then you're just running a sale.

Another thing there that can help is having a specific landing page that you are looking to use. Or campaigns that come from your social. So it's a campaign clearly because people, when they go to the store, they don't see the same discount. So on that the store, the price is a lot higher or a little bit higher, at least.

And now you'll feel inclusive about that. People value that a lot more when it is something that they feel like they earned, or they feel like they're in a smaller club compared to. The other option. 

[00:32:17] Joseph: Yeah. Uh, one thing I was just imagining, like, I don't know if anybody's done this, but if I would like check the, check the calendar and mark off every single last day, given like, to the most specific, like, uh, our, our day of revelation for St. Francis of the CCC, I'll get 20% off.

[00:32:34] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. It's it sounds ridiculous. But it still works. I mean, there's all kinds of associations and all those kind of things. And it's like, how has, how days so. Today. That's probably like a seventh in different days that you could celebrate and that's, that's completely fine.

[00:32:53] Joseph: Yeah. And, uh, I'll see what the Mayan calendar has to say about it. Assuming the Mayan calendar, uh, is even updated to these days. Cause I think they, they checked off it. Uh, in 2012. And another thing that I'm wondering too, uh, and this is important for our, for our listeners, because we do have a lot of people in the beginner stage, uh, myself included heck first six months.

I, I, I didn't, here's the thing. I didn't, I didn't set up Shopify store at the beginning because it felt almost like it wasn't respectful. Uh, whereas like, you know, they're, they're training me to like, do the show. They're not training me to like, you know, take my knowledge and run, but eventually I said, okay, you know what?

I can only talk to so many people half my age who, you know, live in imagine or whatever it is and say, all right, that does it anyways. I'm I'm still a beginner though. Uh, so I'm definitely in that, in that learning phase. Um, but then you also have people who are. Uh, well, on their way, they've hit the 6k range if at the 7k range.

And are there similarities and differences in optimizing for a big company versus a small company? 

[00:33:52] Samuel Larsen: Yes. Yes. For sure. So with small company, you are of course running with limited resources. So your optimization program should be a lot smaller because you should be focused more on the traffic and just trying to make that profitable, which of course Sierra will help as well.

And then if you're still looking to sort of prove your business model or find the right product there, optimization is not going to make that big of an impact for you. Like, of course, it's. Again, contextual. So if you have a horrible store, then it can be a make or break thing. Now with a bigger store, let's say you already have your Facebook ads, your marketing quite dialed in.

Now you are probably getting to a point where you are hitting the maximum of that store. And it's almost like a ceiling there. And you kind of break free to the next level until you have taken care of your storefront and all the different things that come into play like email marketing as fell on the backend.

So there, your strategy is a little bit different and the tool belt you can have, it's also a little bit different. So let's focus on this small stores because most of the listeners are probably more on that. Aside now, what do you need to be careful of is interpreting the data too much because you simply don't have all that many conversions.

So if you see that there's a seven conversions at the desktop and two on the mobile, uh, the conversion rates are like, uh, X and Y you can't say that this is like, you have a big problem on mobile conversions, for example. There. So be careful about that, but there are still like some great tools that you can use, so you can still use all the qualitative tools available, meaning you can still watch a user session recordings.

You kind of still go through your body and ask him to make a purchase on like walk through the store. And those are things I do recommend it definitely to try as a small merchant. And then also you can ask things like, do people understand what this is about when a data slow to page? And those kinds of things are very useful for the smaller merchant.

So for smaller merchants, It's more about understanding the customer behavior and really trying to put yourself into that on the toe shoes and then trying to optimize it from that perspective. Whereas the big stores, they already have the data, they probably have already mapped out the customer persona center.

They have a, quite a good understanding of where things are from that perspective. And there are smaller parts, small tweaks. Rather than it being overall a change the center, it's more of an evolutionary process for small merchants. It can be a moral revolution. 

[00:37:02] Joseph: Have you, uh, come across examples of a store where we'll have, where once they had gone from small scale to larger scale, it had undergone center transformation that it actually didn't look like the store had scaled up.

It almost looked like it had change tack or had gone through like a significant rebrand or a change in business model, because it seems to me that that probably wouldn't work. You really need to make sure your foundations are set up when you're small so that they, uh, hold the ship together once it's large.

[00:37:28] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Fair people do get also a bit risk averse when they get that initial success. So very few seven figure store owners would say like, I'm ready to throw it all away and test something completely different. And well, that might be the case that that would enable them to go from seven to eight figures.

But most likely it's going to take them from seven figures. So six or five figures because they already have some this barking and there, they don't need to mess with the program so much that they're looking to more keep things that are already working and then build on top of that and change things.

So on that level.

[00:38:14] Joseph: Yeah, that one was a personal curiosity, but I actually would have been surprised at the answer was yes. We were like, yeah. Yeah. We made it to seven figures. All right, everybody, we're getting into textiles. I don't know, I've been picking on textiles like a lot lately. I don't know why.

So this is, um, a question that, uh, I have asked basically any time that I get to talk to somebody who has either like an agency or agency adjacent, uh, or provides a service where they have clientele or partners coming in from multiple sources. And one of the key advantages is the ability to aggregate data that can then be used to share with all the different clients.

So you learn one thing from group a and it's essential. It could be pivotal information for group. K. Have you observed any data that has been collected that really could have only been collected if you'd been able to observe patterns in as many people as you had worked with? 

[00:39:09] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. They say that the greatest thing about being a consultant is that you're getting paid to learn.

And I completely agree with that. What I think is generally like.

[00:39:20] Joseph: That's why I love what I'm doing. 

[00:39:22] Samuel Larsen: Exactly. Yeah. One thing that is the overlying theme there, you do see the rates of add to carts, for example, like, uh, you're you get a very good idea of your benchmarks and then. Once you see those changes. I work for one store.

You have a bit of a mental map of being able to then do the last demo on other stores as well. But the food inks that probably most people are missing on that we see that that have huge impact. Our post-purchase upsells. So upselling right after the thank you page or right before. So people have already paid for the purchase and now they have an opportunity to add something to their cart.

Another thing that we see working quite well and having a free shipping threshold. So most people, if they're just focused on conversion rate, it would have free shipping on all orders. Although sometimes that's a little bit of a waste of average order value. I assume if you're going to have somebody fly for $40, they might as well have both for $60 and get that free shipping benefit there.

And also at the same time, it feels urgent. Then another thing that we see constantly how important categorization is so that you have the right to, are logical categories and categories that are made for shoppers, not the, for US store owner owner. So people oftentimes shop by use case rather than categories.

So let's say I'm looking for some clothing for hunting, for example, then that's my use case. I'm not looking for general, uh, check it at that. The is not the pseudopod for that situation. So they're taught to helps a lot, and it also makes the site a lot more usable. And another thing I'd say so generally people are a little bit who are afraid, who also use bundles.

So you have people saying that, Hey, I like this kind of products and there's a few different things that would call very well together with that product now. Why not offer a bundle on that because oftentimes these are both in together anyway, and that's how long-term, you should also think of building the business itself.

Let's say you have a certain type of profile and that buyer is identifying like, Hey, I like this kind of products. Uh, there's like a whole bunch of circle of products there. Then you can make a lot more value for the customer and also for yourself as a merchant, by doing that. 

[00:42:25] Joseph: And you know, having been a customer myself, even as early as like property this morning is one of the things that I noticed about bundles is that it does encourage somebody to maybe get something that they don't think they'll need quite as much as what they were there for in the first place, but it encourages them to then look for what value that they can get out of it.

I don't know, just thinking like a kitchen set, for instance, like a tool that I wasn't expecting to get we'll hold on a second. Now that I've got this, maybe I should revisit my, uh, uh, my, my dormant passion furs for sushi. 

[00:42:57] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, exactly. Bundles can be the ultimate impulse buy. So you have a product that you are interested in, but now once you get the kitchen set, you might have smell like something does color the same way or has the same kind of steel.

So, um, yeah, it makes perfect sense to add a little bit more to what the daughter and you actually increase the value of that. 

[00:43:21] Joseph: All right. So, uh, I know that we, we don't have you for too much longer, and this has been jam packed with amazing value. So, so far I'm like, uh, w well, the, the listeners can see it, but like I told you guys, what are moving on to the video producer, but I've just been taking like, you know, as many notes as I can, as I can.

So, uh, what I'd like to do is while we still have you, uh, cause I know it's not much longer, but I do kind of like want to decompress a bit. Uh, and I do want to get into just a bit of like the, uh, the Samuel ares and backstory. Normally what happens is by the way, is that like the backstory stuff comes first and then, and then we get into it and, and I'm finding that this is actually been like a little bit more.

Well, it's nice. It's nice to mix things up. I know. I always try to base it off of what I think is best for the, uh, for the guest. So I'll leave it at that. Um, but here is something that, uh, will. You told us about, um, cause we do have like some pre, uh, dialogue going before, uh, before we meet today, but you were a professional poker player and I got professional, right.

[00:44:16] Samuel Larsen: I play poker professionally for five years. So quite a while. Yeah. 

[00:44:22] Joseph: So one of the other two, like, uh, long-standing questions that, uh, was devised over the course of talking to people and economics has always been, you know, what were you doing prior to e-commerce and what skills came with you? So you were playing poker and I mean, that's one thing I also know that you were briefly in business school.

So we have time for that. I also wanna hear that story, but I definitely want to make sure we get to the poker stuff. So first of all, let us really tell us about like, you know, what it was like. Cause it sounds. Playing poker professionally always sounds like it does sound like fun. And I have enjoyed watching it on television because everybody has, well, they have their, their, their, uh, their game tools.

Are there, there are props, like there's hats, the sunglasses, like, uh, maybe I might've, I might be hallucinating, but I thought I saw somebody in like a bandana or something like that. Uh, one guy had this, he had this tactic where he would just socialize constantly and it was just like shooting a show.

Look. Yeah, yeah, buddy. Yeah. Yeah. So anywhere that is a step out, I go get it again, get a cigarette. And everyone was just like so annoyed and I think what he was doing as he was making beauty, trying to like throw people off their game. Uh, so yeah. What was your experience like? And then transition to totally speaking and it just made that word up. Uh, what came with you when you got into e-commerce? 

[00:45:26] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So everybody's poker experience is very unique or different. So mine was none of those things because I've worked a purely as an online professional tournament poker player. So what I would do is open up to.

Anywhere between 12 to 20 tables and make a pretty predictable dishes on every time. But there, the thing is like I'm doing it on a high enough volume. So those decisions get magnified or multiplied rather so many times. I think that's a very similar to what a lot of e-commerce store owners store. So you'll run that ad for a ton of people.

And do like to get a lot of scale to work that like, so let's say you'll sell if, if that all product with it, when it all a profit and there you need to sell it quite a bit to make a full-time living. It's not like you can still sell like a few per day and to be completely satisfied with your lifestyle.

[00:46:29] Joseph: Yeah. Are they appealing to sell one airplane and then they retire? 

[00:46:32] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that's the other extreme about that, but that in a way it's, um, Oh, well, it's similar to what the I'd imagine. Many e-commerce store owners have on a daily basis. It's a lot of Bryant on the computer and it's a lot of discipline the goal there.

And with yourself, on the line and focus on that because you can just as well do something else, and it's always easier to not work, but it's a great teacher from that perspective, it goes to the number one people in this world. Aren't those that take self initiative and for e-commerce store owners, that's what they have done.

Like they have a say of like, Hey, this is my idea of this, my business. I believe in this so much that. Nobody else is doing, but I'm going to do with this. And this is what I'm going to do. That kind of mindset is something you need in order to. Succeed, but there's, there's a lot of similarities there. So poker, I think like if you're looking for a hobby as an e-commerce store owner, pick up poker, because it will teach you about psychology, it will teach you to read other people's minds or understanding other people's needs.

It will teach you understanding of mathematics. Uh, these will be the ultimate analytical teacher for you. And most importantly, you will also understand the variance a lot better. So when things go bad on a daily basis, as they often do, like, let's say your ad runs badly this day, like then you're not going to be there panicking.

You understand that? Like, Hey, it's just one day out of many. And you're going to get lucky and unlucky on a, a long string of random events.

[00:48:33] Joseph: Sorry. There was one part of that, that stuck out to me, but I didn't want to like interrupt where you'd said that you had like 20 tables open. Sorry. It was that simultaneous, like all of them were on the screen or you were just like scrolling through tabs.

[00:48:44] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, there was a few, a couple of screens and then some of them on top of each other on some of them are laid out differently. I figured out the entire system and it's a sort of optimizing the system itself. They don't want to do what you have. Obviously my thing, some of your day to day things, you just need to find a good way to do it.

And, uh, yeah, it's, uh, at that point it's, uh, it's almost like things are happening so fast that the game is sort of running through a door. You're not consciously thinking of it. And, uh, it can be one of the most engaging experiences that I ever have. 

[00:49:22] Joseph: Yeah. You know, so one thing that I tend to think about a lot lately is cause I've, I've played a lot of, um, games and I got into a lot of other competitive scenes and, and there is a philosophy it's called play to win.

And the issue that I have, depending on what game people play is that what they do is they use it as an excuse to do things that are. Well, you know, cheap and it gives them an advantage when other people, they they're, they're drawn to play a game because like, they, they, they want to play a character or something like that.

And it only really occurred to me maybe like a week ago or so, where I thought, you know, what, people, those people who were like doing that in those games, they really valued playing the win. And they took that logic to the conclusion. I don't think they would play this game. They would pick a game where, you know, for one it's more rewarding to win and to there's no, Conflict between like, um, some other why other people might derive joy from it.

I don't want to take anything from like the, the joy of playing poker. Um, but what I, what I find is that poker is very much like this is a game. People are playing to win it's. I mean, for one it's, again, like it is gambling, you know, you're putting money on the line. Um, so there is that element to it. Um, but, but I think for people who also want to learn how to win.

Um, I would actually, I was thinking of poker is probably like the game to play chess, but like, did you, did you find that, uh, your, your, your system and your, your logic, or even, you know, your algorithm or however you want to describe it, uh, did that teach you how to win? 

[00:50:52] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, I'd say so, because in poker, like maybe like similar to Facebook ads, like if you do a fake Facebook ad, you're going to lose money.

If you pick the wrong audience. So one thing that's great about poker is that there's a penalty for losing and that's be scary. Uh, make some people like not want to play at all, but then that's, uh, what also makes that meaning mentality is so important and also forces you to play, to win. Uh, so you do have a penalty and there's the saying that then in sports, like it's okay to finish second.

You'll still get paid by the poker. The second place, is there the first loser or like, uh, and that's, uh, if you look at the individual hand, Yeah. One that sticks they're the most, the longest and Lowe's is on the last three last betting round. They're going to lose the most money. So.

[00:51:50] Joseph: Oh, right. I didn't know this, but I guess I figured that in a, in a tournament, the people in like second or third might walk away with like, I don't know, their house fee or something like that, but it really is like winner take all.

[00:52:01] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. In an industrial hand, it would be of any cycle. And on tournament, you have this, a little bit of a price structure. 

[00:52:09] Joseph: Okay. Yeah, that that's, that's reasonable. I mean, some people they're paying their, you know, they gotta pay for their flights back home or stuff like that. Yeah. And I think what's important too, is that the parallel between that and Facebook ads is that like, depending on the product, um, other people are playing that hand too.

They are also trying to sell that product. And you know, you, you do want to look at the data and you want to assess the probability and, you know, look at the interest and figure out how do I, how do I sell this? Because if I don't. There is there's, if a customer looks at two ads, they make up their mind on one and not the other, the other person gets nothing.

In fact, they lose. So there's a lot of conditioning there too. All right. Well, that's great. I appreciate being able to ask you about that one, but I, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we've got to get you on out of here. Am I right? 

[00:52:55] Samuel Larsen: Yeah. Correct. Yes. 

[00:52:58] Joseph: Fantastic. So the last question, this is, uh, just, uh, our, our final tradition.

Um, if you have any words of wisdom, you'd like to impart on people, you know, an answer to a question I didn't ask, this is the chance to do it. And then, uh, let people know where they can find you and how they can get involved with what you do. 

[00:53:12] Samuel Larsen: Yeah, absolutely. So if you're interested in, and if you're already getting a little bit of success with your store, you want to take it to the next level.

Say you have a, most of your traffic problems figured out you can check checkout crogurus.com and there you can read more about what I do and what our company does and how we might be able to help you maximize your Shopify conversions helped you with your average order value and your customer purchase frequency.

And with that said, thank you for listening all the best.

[00:53:49] Joseph: And thanks to you as well. I learned a lot awesome listeners. Uh, thank you all for your, uh, your dedication and your attention. And as always, we welcome your feedback. So you know what to do. If you want to send it in and take care, we'll check in soon.

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