The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Growing Your Store [Merchant Q&A]

Episode Summary

Our popular AMA series continues...

Episode Notes

In this episode, we answer questions from Shopify merchants in our Facebook group. We discuss...

...And more! Like Paul's pizza dough recipe.

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Episode Transcription

Paul Reda: Tell me about your homemade pizza journey.

Kurt Elster: Oh, man! So, one day during the pandemic, I got some Pillsbury pizza dough.

Paul Reda: Oh, no. Thumbs down right away.

Kurt Elster: Because we had it. And I shoved it into a skillet, cooked it for eight minutes, put some Ovoline on there, some good tomato sauce, some fresh basil, boom. Amazing homemade pizza.

Paul Reda: It’s not amazing. Pillsbury dough. Get out of here.

Kurt Elster: So, I went, I told you this, and you were like horrified, and then finally you sent me a recipe, and I knew… I’m terrible in the kitchen, but I do… I can bake. And I made just a pound of sourdough from this recipe, and then, wow, my pizza is like 10 times better. And so, I’m on this quest to make the perfect pizza, so if you have a Shopify store that will sell me a pizza peel, or just like stupid dad gadgets for making pizza at home, I want to know about it.

Paul Reda: My brother… So, my pizza journey, my brother is an insane pizza chef who makes for real Neapolitan pizzas that are-

Kurt Elster: Now, your brother the data scientist? Or your brother the coke dealer? As in he works for Coca-Cola.

Paul Reda: The data scientist.

Kurt Elster: Okay.

Paul Reda: He lives in San Francisco and is like obviously better than all of us. He makes incredible Neapolitan-style pizzas, and he’s like buying special flour. He’s like, “You gotta get the double X flour.” He’s like you, where you just annoyingly overoptimize every aspect of your life, we want to punch you. He’s that same way. So, yeah, and he spent one birthday, like we went over to his apartment in Chicago when he still lived here for a birthday party, and he spent his entire birthday party just slanging pizzas out of the oven. It was incredible. It was a terrible birthday for him.

Kurt Elster: But he had an audience.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: He had people to appreciate his super pizza.

Paul Reda: Yes. So, but so-

Kurt Elster: So, he… Neapolitan, that’s my dream.

Paul Reda: Yeah. I should ask him. He sent me something. I’ll send it to you. But for my housewarming, he got me a for-real pizza stone that’s like the metal-steel slab, and I started using that, and now it’s just been… It’s the same thing where you’re kind of like… You do it the first time and you’re like, “Wow, this was great, but I bet it could be better if I did X, Y and Z.” And then you do X, Y and Z, and you’re like, “Oh, this was better.” So, you just keep coaching yourself up.

Kurt Elster: This is how people should operate their stores and their businesses. Instead of chasing the shiny toy, they should just like… Pizza isn’t new, right? Just keep it simple.

Paul Reda: It isn’t new.

Kurt Elster: It works. Just keep optimizing on that. Well, there’s always this idea, it’s like people ask me, they’re like, “What’s new? What’s the hot trend?” And the answer is, “Who cares?” Your store should nail the fundamentals. The fundamentals are go make great pizza with your business.

Paul Reda: I’m looking up now, because I think the steel he bought us, I looked them up and their store is on Shopify.

Kurt Elster: Thank God.

Paul Reda: So, like we want them to be our client.

Soundboard: Cash Register Sound.

Paul Reda: I’m pretty sure it’s

Kurt Elster:

Paul Reda: Yeah, so if is listening to this-

Kurt Elster: What up?

Paul Reda: What up? We would like-

Ezra Firestone Soundboard: Tech Nasty!

Paul Reda: We’ll do some stuff for you if you’d like.

Kurt Elster: We’ll trade. I need just a pallet of pizza steel.

Paul Reda: It’s very heavy.

Kurt Elster: Yeah, so that would require a forklift, I’m sure.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Why did I buy this?

Paul Reda: But yeah, I’m like making dough. I made an absolute perfect Chicago-style tavern cut pizza that I was like taking photos of it and sending it to everyone, like, “Look at this shit! Look at this!”

Kurt Elster: Oh, there were detailed photos, we had like the crust, you’re like, “You gotta use the cornmeal.” Which I know. I always check the cornmeal. That’s like Chicago bar pizza has to have that cornmeal on the crust.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Well, it helps with the sliding. But yeah, my fav homemade is like I grew my own basil, and I was making basil and prosciutto that was just incredible.

Kurt Elster: I grow my own hydroponic basil.

Paul Reda: I know. You made me look at it before we started recording.

Kurt Elster: I love it. My rabbit loves it. It’s delicious. That’s what I put. I put hydroponic basil. You know, the chronic.

Paul Reda: Yes. The famous chronic that Dr. Dre spoke of. Basil.

Kurt Elster: Yes. All right. Today on The Unofficial Shopify Baking Show, we-

Paul Reda: I’m so bad with dough. I’m terrible with it.

Kurt Elster: Really?

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Julie hates it. I like it.

Paul Reda: Emily, thank God, is an excellent dough roller, so I’m like, “Get to it.”

Kurt Elster: I mean, I’m gonna screw it up at some point, but so far, I’ve had a string of good luck with my dough.

Paul Reda: I mean, again, my brother, he’s not even rolling it. He’s doing the thing with the fists, and he’s like-

Kurt Elster: What?!

Paul Reda: Yeah. No, he’s a full-on Italian pizza Guido in New York.

Kurt Elster: I love it. So, today we’re gonna do a Q&A, an AMA we got from our Facebook group, The Unofficial Shopify Podcast Insiders. I posted up and said, “Hey, I want to know what you’re struggling with. I want to know what your questions are.” And Paul, my cohost here, Mr. Paul Reda. I’m Kurt Elster, by the way.

Ezra Firestone Soundboard: Tech Nasty!

Kurt Elster: And we grabbed-

Paul Reda: Tech Chubby.

Kurt Elster: Am I Tech Chubby or are you Tech Chubby?

Paul Reda: No, I’m Tech Chubby we determined.

Kurt Elster: Oh, okay. All right. We’ll get Ezra to record another one. So, no, we got several questions here that you guys said you were struggling with in your stores, or just wanted to know, and Paul selected them. I haven’t seen them except for one. And we’ll go through it today.

Paul Reda: And when I copied them down, I forgot to copy your names, so none of you will get any credit for this. I’m sorry. It’s my fault.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. But at least I don’t have to butcher people’s names and then feel guilty about it.

Paul Reda: That’s true.

Kurt Elster: My whole life is just beating myself up over stupid things. Yeah, so at least that’s gone. I don’t have to worry about that. Shall we begin?

Paul Reda: All right, first one. When Kurt does a website audit using Hotjar, heatmaps, and recordings, what are the top three things he’s always looking for?

Kurt Elster: This is a good question.

Paul Reda: Well, I mean, it’s pretty much what got clicked on and what didn’t get clicked on.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. If we’re going with top three, and it’s not like I’ve got some hypothesis I want to test, like today someone sent a good question. John from eBike Generation, which is a really cool site that sells eBikes, and he said, “Hey, I want… When people click on the review stars, should it jump down to the reviews on the page?” And follow-up question, “In the heatmaps, did anyone click on the review stars?” So, like sometimes you’re gonna go through the effort to do something. Should you even bother doing it? We heatmapped it and we discovered 1.6% of people do click on those and it’s not a heavy lift, so let’s just do it.

So, if you don’t have a hypothesis like that, it’s just like, “Well, let’s look at Hotjar. Let’s look at our heatmaps.” I like Hotjar. I know a lot of people like Lucky Orange. Use the tools that fit your life. And I’m looking for like Paul said, hey, are people clicking on things that they shouldn’t? Are they clicking on things that do nothing? And if they are, all right, should we make those links? What should we do with that?

Paul Reda: Yeah. I would take issue with the way you phrased that.

Kurt Elster: Oh. All right, hit me.

Paul Reda: Are they clicking on things they shouldn’t? No.

Kurt Elster: Oh, you’re right.

Paul Reda: Are they clicking on things that we haven’t made clickable? And what should we do to make that clickable or at least make it seem like it’s not clickable or something?

Kurt Elster: Well, you’re right, because there’s an important distinction here.

Paul Reda: Like the users aren’t the ones making the mistakes. We made the mistake.

Kurt Elster: Yes. I always phrase it to clients as like, especially, we just launched two websites this week and I told both of them, “All right, the site’s up, now let’s run heatmaps because there’s how we think people should use the site and how they actually use it.” And we don’t really get to decide on the second part. So, no. Yeah, I’m looking for all right, are they clicking on stuff that doesn’t do anything? And can I remove that to eliminate confusion, or can I make it clickable in a way that makes sense?

So, it might be like we have photos of products in a hero section but clicking them does nothing. All right, if people click them, all right, let’s make those links. Or are there elements that are just entirely ignored? No one interacts with them in any way. Well, then maybe those are just taking up space and load time and we can remove those and streamline the page.

So, that’s the top two I’m looking for. And then number three is I want to know what’s priority for people? What’s the thing that seems to be everybody’s going to? Like these are 80% of people are clicking on these three things. Ah, can we make that easier for the majority of people?

Paul Reda: Two things. One, slight digression, you mentioned eBike Gen. He’s also an excellent example of niching down, because does he sell-

Kurt Elster: That’s true.

Paul Reda: What does he sell? Bikes. All bikes? No.

Kurt Elster: eBikes.

Paul Reda: eBikes.

Kurt Elster: But for who?

Paul Reda: Oh, it’s like, oh, just all kinds of eBikes? Nope. eBikes for hunting.

Kurt Elster: It’s so specific.

Paul Reda: It’s so specific.

Kurt Elster: And it works.

Paul Reda: Yeah. It totally works.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. No, that’s a really good business.

Paul Reda: He’s even more focused. The other thing that you look at, we’ll go to top four, is you look to see if people hit the bottom of the page, which is sort of a failure in and of itself, like we want people to take an action before they end up hitting the bottom of the page. But if they do hit the bottom of the page, what is the thing that they’re always going to? And is that thing perhaps in line for a promotion closer to the top of the page?

Kurt Elster: You’re right. That one’s always fun, because as you get down the page, obviously like people drop off, and by the time you’re at the bottom of the page, you’ve got maybe 20%. Once we’re down to one out of five people who stuck around to the footer, what did they click on? And often you find if they click on nothing, that means, oh no, there was something they were looking for they couldn’t find. Or there’s… It’s usually like one or two things they will click on. And sometimes it’s like return policy. Oh, shoot. Okay, then we need to make the return policy more obvious in the top of the product form.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Or maybe, or it could be like some about-us-type content, where they’re kind of like, “Who are these guys? Can I trust them?”

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Get like a quick… Put that info into like above the footer. I don’t know.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Hey, Paul. How do you know when it’s time to outsource your marketing versus learning to DIY it?

Paul Reda: I’ve outsourced all my marketing to you. I did that on day one.

Kurt Elster: Smart.

Paul Reda: So, that was my thought process.

Kurt Elster: I outsourced all my development to you. Because it turns out I’m bad at it.

Paul Reda: I get a lot of Slack messages that’s like, “I did this. I’m stupid. I broke it. I thought I could do it.”

Kurt Elster: Well, you know, I want to stay… If you’re doing something bigger and it’s something small and easy, I’ll do it myself. But I also want to stay fresh and current, you know?

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: I want to keep my skills sharp as a coder.

Paul Reda: I get you. Yeah. I know you’re always like in every email from a client for the past week or so, when they’re like, “Hey, we have a problem with this thing.” You’re always like, “Paul will just put else-if on it and it’ll fix it.”

Soundboard: Cash Register Sound.

Paul Reda: I’m like, “That actually won’t fox it, but…”

Soundboard Arnold Schwarzenegger: You idiot!

Paul Reda: Good job telling the client that.

Kurt Elster: My logic was sound. I had the general idea.

Paul Reda: He’s like, “He’s typing in Liquid.”

Kurt Elster: All right, so my level of development skills, I totally misunderstood how else-if behaves. That’s embarrassing. That tells us where we’re at development-wise.

Paul Reda: That’s good.

Kurt Elster: No, honestly, how do you know when it’s time to outsource your marketing versus learning to do it yourself? The advantage to learning to do it yourself is you can talk the talk. You will have a better comprehension of it. You will be able to communicate with the person you hire to handle it. So, if that’s… If you have the time, and the energy, and the inclination, try to DIY it first, because it’s just gonna make you better at managing the people who you do hire to do it, or maybe you get lucky and you love it and you’re good at it.

So, I’d say try. If you can, try and take that chance. DIY it first. And then outsource it. And then you’ll be more confident in the outsourcing process. But as far as like how do you know when it’s time to do it, when you dread it, when you don’t want to do it-

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: When you can… The overlap between, “I got this spare revenue to outsource this,” and, “I hate doing it.”

Paul Reda: That’s what I was gonna say is our general rule. I mean, there’s so many things that when you’re running a store are like… become your job. And all the various things you have to handle. And once you get enough money that outsourcing stuff becomes an option, you should just start outsourcing the parts of the job you hate.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Paul Reda: So, it’s like when should you start outsourcing marketing? When you could pay to outsource marketing and you hate doing marketing. And it’s now become the thing you hate the most.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Paul Reda: And eventually, if you knock out the other things you hate the most, marketing will eventually become the thing you hate the most.

Kurt Elster: And that’s how business works.

Paul Reda: Pretty much.

Kurt Elster: But that really is!

Paul Reda: You gotta make the pizza, man. You gotta improve the pizza.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Paul Reda: I mean, four pizzas in, you’re gonna look back at that first pizza and be like, “That thing was a piece of shit.”

Kurt Elster: But the moment you start to hate making that pizza, let’s call Domino’s. All right, hit me with this next one.

Paul Reda: All right. How do you determine how much inventory to carry, and do you have a system for managing it?

I don’t know.

Kurt Elster: This is a great question. Also, I have no idea. So, I asked Andy Bedell from KeySmart, who’s a frequent guest, call-in guest, and he said… First thing he replies immediately with is, “It’s really hard.” I straight up copied and pasted this question to him. He comes back with, “It’s really hard. I’ve seen several companies go bankrupt because they ordered too much based on the current demand, then the current demand dried up. I’ve seen it happen many times where someone’s under water and then they have to rush order a lot of units at a much higher cost because they didn’t have enough and they’re selling a lot of them.”

But he said in general, you look at sales data for the last few months to make a prediction how much you need for the next few months, taking into account events, promotions, holidays, and stops in production like Chinese New Year. But when you have new products, you really have no data, so you just have to keep it small unless you’re really, really confident. So, it sounds a bit… I mean, buying inventory, it’s investing in your business, and like all investments, there’s some risk there.

Paul Reda: Yeah, it’s a gamble.

Kurt Elster: So, you want to balance between like okay, what is sensible cashflow wise, and what’s going to be… But you want enough where like you’re not selling out. I don’t know. It’s tough. It really is.

Paul Reda: Yeah. I mean-

Kurt Elster: It sounds like it’s art and science.

Paul Reda: I mean, that’s one of the more common stories I hear when I am seeing Shark Tank, is that it’s people that’s like, “I need cash for…” It’s like, “This is going so great, but I don’t have the money to buy the inventory to continue my selling.” Or, “I bought a bunch of inventory and now I don’t have any more money.”

Kurt Elster: Now, I sit on it.

Paul Reda: And now I sit on it. Yeah. I have seen Shark Tank because that’s the show Emily demands when she gets home from work.

Kurt Elster: You know, there’s worse things to watch.

Paul Reda: Yeah, she’s just like stumbles in the door and is like, a guy had his butt cheeks removed and I had to… I need to watch Shark Tank now because I had to deal with that.

Kurt Elster: I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that a guy got his butt cheeks removed is entirely plausible.

Paul Reda: I’m not kidding. A guy had to have his butt cheek removed.

Kurt Elster: I don’t want to know anymore. So, Paul, outside of standard email flows, such as the welcome series and browse abandoned carts, which… Man, browse abandonment, that one is really overlooked. What are advanced flows that are super effective that you’d recommend implementing in Klaviyo?

Paul Reda: The you-just-bought-something flow, which is you-

Kurt Elster: Post purchase.

Paul Reda: Post purchase. I prefer my term.

Kurt Elster: I like you-just-bought-something flow.

Paul Reda: Yeah. The you-just-bought-something flow. Yeah, it’s pretty much you just bought something, here’s how it’s gonna make your life so much cooler, and here’s some stuff you could do that’s like you already bought it, so you already had an idea of how cool it was gonna make you, but here’s some extra ideas for how cool it’s gonna make you.

Kurt Elster: I love this idea. Because it’s a value add. Like I already spent the money and now I’m starting to have my guilt, like, “Oh man, I spent that cash on some stupid crap off the internet.” That describes 20% of my day. And so, then if I get these emails that are like, “Hey, we’re packing your order, and there’s a house elf named Dobby that’s packing it. That’s gonna be awesome.” All right. Okay, I’m starting to take the journey. We got the story here.

And then they’re like, “Hey, here’s how to use whatever we’re sending you. Here’s how to use it. Here’s what you need to know. Here’s what happens if it doesn’t fit. Here’s what happens if it’s cursed. Whatever.” And take me on that journey because I want you to… When I buy the item and I open that order confirmation email, that’s when my excitement has peaked. Then when I open the box, my excitement has peaked again. In between, there’s a trough. The advantage to this post-purchase flow is you maintain that excitement across.

And then that way when I open it, I’m excited the whole time, and when I open it, I love it, and I know like, “All right, if it didn’t fit, or it was cursed by a dark lord, whatever,” we’re gonna know, “All right, I can return it. This is what I do.”

Paul Reda: And also at the end of that, maybe the little capper is two weeks out or whatever, where it’s like, “Hey, you bought that thing. You’re probably wishing you bought that accessory, didn’t you?” Here’s a little coupon for 10% off that accessory.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. At the time I wanted the accessory, but I was like, “You know, I’m already spending a lot on this. I’m not gonna get the accessory.” But then two weeks later I’m like I’m having fun with my toy, and then they say, “Oh, you know that accessory you wanted but didn’t buy because you’re fiscally responsible? 10% off, it’s gonna expire. Better get it.” Like, “Oh, now I have to!”

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. No, those post-purchase accessory sales, plus it’s really… It’s a great way to head off bad reviews, because you can always end those post-purchase emails with like, “Hey, any questions? Just hit reply to this email.”

Paul Reda: Yeah. It’s customer service. It makes them much less likely to be like, “Well, that was broken.” And just kind of give up. Like they know that you’re communicative.

Kurt Elster: Yes. Yeah. No, I like that a lot. Outdoor Voices, people always hold that one up as a great example of transactional email, so I would check out Outdoor Voices, and they’re good products too. So, Mr. Reda, for mid or high-end products, if you want to get ambitious with your product page and turn it into something inspiring, like a landing page, do you recommend a pre-purchase page or an extended one pager? What makes for a great product page?

Paul Reda: I don’t get what a pre-purchase page is.

Kurt Elster: Okay, so say like he said… He called Boom.

Paul Reda: By Cindy Joseph.

Kurt Elster: Boom by Cindy Joseph is an example. Ezra Firestone’s store. Yeah. Boom! By Cindy Joseph. And what they do is you go to an article that essentially… that agitates the pain, that describes, that educates you, and describes the problem that the product solves, and then describe… Like the product, the solution, it’s very educational. And then you end up on the product page, so like by the time you get there, they have primed the pump. That actually… It works really well. It’s just a complicated way.

Paul Reda: But I think of that as part of more of the-

Kurt Elster: That’s part of a marketing funnel.

Paul Reda: I was gonna say, that’s part of more of the marketing funnel, so it’s like that doesn’t fall under the number of product pages to me. That’s like should I have pre-purchase pages in my marketing funnel or should I be sending people directly to the product page. That is the other question. The product page is its own special entity that’s existing no matter what and we could just focus on that.

Kurt Elster: Yes. So, my ideal scenario would be like advertisement or email to… This is especially for a cold audience. Advertisement, to an educational page, that then I get remarketed with the product, because I visited that page, or I click through and now I’m on the product page, but I still want that product page to be long and then reinforce the content from the other page.

Paul Reda: Well, and I feel like the point, I feel like the thing with the educational page too, is that it can split the customer base, where it’s like at the end of the presale page, they kind of have to make a choice of which product they’re going for, and then you could segment that out by that. I think of that with the big, long Asutra page that we made, the magnesium one.

Kurt Elster: Oh yeah. Asutra’s Why Magnesium page.

Paul Reda: Yeah, so the Why Magnesium page is like that-

Kurt Elster: Here’s why you should supplement magnesium.

Paul Reda: Prepurchase why you want magnesium, yeah. But then at the end of the page it’s like, “Here’s three of our magnesium all stars.” And then it’s like, “Well, what am I? Am I looking to get the balm? Am I looking to get whatever the other magnesium things are?”

Kurt Elster: Yeah. It’s like… I don’t remember.

Paul Reda: I don’t get the point of the prepurchase page that then just takes you to a single product at the end. I don’t see the efficacy of that.

Kurt Elster: It’s for cold traffic.

Paul Reda: You’re smarter than me.

Kurt Elster: It’s cold traffic. Or you set it up like the way Asutra does, where it’s like this general educational page that kind of encompasses the majority of their product catalog.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: So, I think the answer is ideally do both.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Yeah.

Paul Reda: But for a great product page, we want big, nice images that make it look nice.

Kurt Elster: Make it good, not bad.

Paul Reda: Yeah. You know.

Kurt Elster: No, so what makes a great product page? Well, I think number one, focus on your product description. If your product description is like three bullet points, you have work to do.

Paul Reda: Yep.

Kurt Elster: Look at those Amazon descriptions. They’re always like 500 to 1000 words. They’re big. And it starts with bullet points and then it’s got paragraphs, and they use like these copywriting formulas generally when they write descriptions, and then they’ll break up to make it, because people don’t read on the internet. They scan. They skim. So, you break it up with headings, and images.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: You just don’t want that big wall of text.

Paul Reda: Yeah, but I mean… And it’s have big images and side by side with… It’s like, “Here’s a specific cool piece of information. Here’s an image of it. Here is text describing that cool piece of information.” Do it again. Do it again. Do it again. You’re just… Every bullet point should actually be its own paragraph with corresponding image.

Kurt Elster: I think you just nailed it. Yes.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Pretty much. It’s like all I know is there’s four factoids. I put them in a list element. We’re done. Nope. Every single one of those should be its own image and paragraph.

Kurt Elster: The answer here is copywriting plus readability.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: And some annotated images. No, if you listen to the episode from March 30th with Josh Frank, that entire episode is us talking through, “Here’s how a product detail page should work if you’re optimizing it for conversion.”

Paul Reda: And I did reply to this one, because she posted it on Tuesday, and I was like, “Listen to the podcast that came out today.”

Kurt Elster: Yeah, it’s pretty solid. How to do a successful prelaunch campaign for a subscription box.

Paul Reda: Kickstarter?

Kurt Elster: Well, okay. The fact that it’s for a subscription box I don’t think makes a difference for the fact that it’s a prelaunch campaign. In fact, I think a subscription box probably lends itself to prelaunch campaign, because you could say, “Hey, for our first month…” You describe the subscription box. This is what we’re selling. This is what you get. Ideally, you can get some exclusives, free samples, the contents of the box need to be higher value than the subscription.

And then for the prelaunch campaign is any launch campaign, we want to combine scarcity, urgency, and ideally social proof. And so, the social proof element’s a little hard here. Maybe you send some early preview boxes to influencers and get reaction videos would be cool. But no, it’s scarcity and urgency, so you say, “Hey, we’re just starting this out and for our first month, this is… We guarantee this much value, but we’re limited to only 100 people.” And so, we’ve got some scarcity there, and then, “All right, because we know we’re gonna mail them out on the 15th of next month, you have to have signed up for our subscription in the next two weeks.” I think those two, and you get the countdown timer on there.

I heard there’s an app called Crowdfunder that’s got scarce… You could show the inventory left and… not the inventory left. You could show like the goal and the revenue. That would work for this.

Paul Reda: I heard that app sucks.

Kurt Elster: What?! That app’s great.

Paul Reda: I mean, the problem with a subscription box is not the first month. The problem is the fourth month.

Kurt Elster: Right.

Paul Reda: It’s like you can get as many first initial subscriptions as you want. The problem is the churn, of people dropping off, and then you gotta spend 10 bucks a customer to get the next subscription, and then they drop after two months and you haven’t made any money.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Anecdotally, I’ve never stayed on a subscription box particularly long. I haven’t done them in a while.

Paul Reda: I mean, that’s why they were the entire podcast ecosystem for so long, is because they were like, “Ahh! We need more revenue. People keep dropping off.” They just need to keep burning money to get… because of the churn.

Kurt Elster: We do the food boxes, but my wife rotates through them, because you cancel one, and then you do another one. Then you cancel that one, go to the third one. By the time you’re on the third one, you’re getting a coupon from Hello Fresh for 75% off if you rejoin.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: So, she just keeps looping through them like that.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Talk about income redistribution.

Kurt Elster: It’s been going for years now.

Paul Reda: From VCs to people getting food boxes.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. I mean, that’s how they’re funding that. All right. What do we got as our next one?

Paul Reda: Is there a way to manage one inventory across two stores? I own two stores. Store one sells widgets, store two sells different products, but also the widgets. There’s a reason I have it set up like this, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. ERP systems?

Kurt Elster: So, you’re right. The answer is ERP system, but-

Paul Reda: I’m very smart.

Kurt Elster: … an ERP system is gonna be expensive and painful. There are actually… If you just search Shopify, multistore Shopify inventory sync, there are plenty of apps out there that will do this just in a straightforward, non-insane fashion.

Paul Reda: Oh, cool. I didn’t know that.

Kurt Elster: There are plenty. He presented this like, “I have this because reasons.” But there’s plenty of people that are in this situation and it’s often because like, “Hey, we’re selling this, but we’re localizing our stores to different geographies.” So, off the top of my head I don’t know of one that’ll work for this, but honestly, just Google it. This one, I swear, you can find a sane app to take care of this for you.

So, someone said, “I heard someone talking about using collections for SEO purposes. Creating collections to use as landing pages targeting long-tail keywords like red shirt, red short sleeve shirts, or blue slip-on shoes for men.” It makes sense. “My question is can you have too many collections on a Shopify site?”

Paul Reda: Like will they stop letting you have collections? No.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. You could functionally create unlimited collections. I’ve never run into a limitation on the number of collections I can create.

Paul Reda: Should you do this? I don’t think so. It’s gonna be so hard to wrangle.

Kurt Elster: I don’t know. Assuming we have some SEO tool that will barf out our long-tail keyword phrases we want to target, then we could use… And I don’t know, are we talking about like five things, 10 things, a thousand things?

Paul Reda: I have a question. I don’t know anything about SEO. I really don’t. Or so many things. But if I just made a collection called red short sleeve shirts, that just exists in my store, does that mean that /collection/redshortsleeveshirts now just exists on the website and Google will read it?

Kurt Elster: This is a good question. And the answer with… in the case of Shopify is yes, because in the background, unbeknownst to you, there’s sitemap.xml, which is a machine-readable index of every single page on your site. And-

Paul Reda: So, if you create a collection, that collection will be automatically added to sitemap.xml.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Paul Reda: Okay.

Kurt Elster: And then when you register your site with Google Search Console, formerly called Google Webmaster Tools, you give it that site map, and now it will check that periodically and make sure it has everything indexed. And so, yeah, you could create this. If that’s done, you could create this collection, do nothing else, it will get indexed in Google. Now, whether or not that shows up in a search for the phrase you’re targeting is anybody’s guess.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Red short sleeve shirts, I don’t feel like you’re gonna be ranking. Because, I mean, I guess if you have something, if you’re just like, “Cool Mickey Mouse gear,” is like one of your things before the lawsuit hits you-

Kurt Elster: You know, they have such a bad image that I don’t think they’re… You have to be pretty blatant for them to go after you is what I’ve seen, and talk about the Mouse, they regularly rip off product ideas from Etsy. Or so Etsy sellers claim. But honestly, it looked like yes.

Paul Reda: Well, I mean yeah, they’re doing free R&D for them.

Kurt Elster: Yes.

Paul Reda: It’s like, “Oh, that’s a product people would like? Okay.”

Kurt Elster: Yeah. All right. We’ll get to work on that. No, but as far as this SEO question goes, I’m looking at this as is this plausible, and the answer is yes. This is plausible. So, try it, see what happens. It may take a little bit of time for it to get indexed and work, but I would give it a shot. I think it could work. And then as far as like too many collections, et cetera, I don’t think that’s a realistic problem unless… The only way I could see that being an issue is like you’re going to… You use a collection listing page, like,, and then that prints out here’s everything.

Paul Reda: And then that shows all the collections on the site and then that page could get crazy.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. That would get wild. But if you wanted to, you can modify that so it only shows-

Paul Reda: I gotta say, there’s a lot of stores I’ve looked at where I’ve ended up on that page for various reasons, and that page is like not even styled or set up properly.

Kurt Elster: I don’t think anyone actually uses it.

Paul Reda: No one uses it.

Kurt Elster: It’s more like an administrative tool.

Paul Reda: Yeah, because it’s like who wants to look at a collection listing of all the collections?

Kurt Elster: Yeah. All right. Well, we just barfed out all the categories in no particular order.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Well, it’s alphabetical order, I think.

Kurt Elster: Let’s see here.

Paul Reda: Posting before it’s gone live, what do you think of the Klaviyo product launch? Did Klaviyo launch something yesterday? I thought I saw… Got shared? We don’t know?

Kurt Elster: No. I’ve not intended a webinar. I have attended one webinar in the last 12 months.

Paul Reda: I don’t know. I thought maybe like eCommerce guy news covered it and you read that.
Kurt Elster: If they launched something, I didn’t see it. I saw stuff about a webinar. I don’t know. They got a blog? I’m gonna go look at their blog. I’m having trouble finding it.

Paul Reda: Great PR.

Kurt Elster: Hm. I just remember, like I remember people talking about the webinar, and I remember on Twitter, people like, “Is it not starting for you? Can you not get in?” Okay, so I loaded up their blog. I’m on All right, Klaviyo announcements. We’re gonna have to edit this down.

Paul Reda: I was gonna say, this is great radio.

Kurt Elster: I don’t see anything that I think is like part of a product announcement.

Paul Reda: All right. Great job, Klaviyo.

Kurt Elster: I know they had an announcement, but yeah, I’m looking on I can’t find anything.

Paul Reda: Part two. Custom product pages. Is there any dos and don’ts? Don’t hide shit.

Kurt Elster: What do you mean?

Paul Reda: eBike Gen today. He was like… He asked us about the review stars, and he was like, “Well, right now when they click on it, it doesn’t take them to the reviews.” Because he has a product, he has a big tab navigation underneath his product photos, and then he has description, and that’s a tab, the tab that’s selected, and then if you want to see reviews, you have to click on the reviews tab, which then makes you see the reviews.

It’s just like why you hiding it? This isn’t a newspaper. We don’t have only so many column inches. Your website can go on forever. It’s like don’t hide anything.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. And even if for whatever reason you have to do this, where you hide content, I like accordion menu and have the accordion menu default open.

Paul Reda: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: At least like the one we want them to look at.

Paul Reda: Yeah, like maybe let people dismiss things, which is essentially what you’re saying, but don’t make people engage in an act of clicking in order to get more information.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Custom product pages, any dos and don’ts. You know, I really don’t think there are dos or don’ts, because the whole point of a custom product page-

Paul Reda: Is that it’s custom.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. It’s like you’ve got some vision that you want to implement and somebody’s gonna do it. I don’t know. I think by the time you’re in custom product pages you’re just… You’re trying stuff.

Paul Reda: Yeah. You’re probably not making… Your first product before you launch is not custom product pages.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. And if it is, like don’t waste your time.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Why you blowing all the money?

Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s gonna make you crazy. No, it’s like you know what you’re doing, and you’re trying new stuff, and then that’s when you get into custom product pages. But there’s all kinds of cool custom product pages out there. If you’re nerdy, DJI, the drone people, their product pages for their drones, really cool. They’ve got tons of info, and like action shots, and video, and every possible piece of information you could possibly use. So, really, like as far as I’m concerned, a custom product page, I want it to be a functional dynamic brochure, where I can both learn entirely about that product and I can purchase it right there.

That’s the way I would look at it.

Paul Reda: All right. What do you use to automatically send a PDF to customers who request it? Doing it manually is taking way too much time. You had an answer for this.

Kurt Elster: I do. And we could unpack this as like when he says who requests it, like are they… What’s going on here? And then doing it manually is taking way too much time, so I’m assuming he’s just hitting reply to an email and attaching a PDF. But no, what you could do, so on my wife’s site, we have PDFs available, and we use Shopify’s free Digital Downloads app, and when someone places an order for a PDF product, it just immediately emails it to them. Same with It’s the exact same setup. We’ve used that app for years across several stores. It is solid.

So, even if it’s… and I know if you’re thinking like, “Well, this PDF is free. I’m not charging for it.” The product can be free, and you can still have it in there. That might be a way to do it. Or you could just… You can upload it to Settings, Files in Shopify and just link to it from an FAQ page. So, I’m assuming people are emailing this guy, so he could have… On his Contact Us page it could be like, “Hey, are you looking for this manual? Here’s the link. Download it.” And they’ll be thrilled. Or you put it on the product page.

Paul Reda: Yeah. Or you got that app. All right, I wanted to get to this one. What collection layout works better in mobile? One column or two columns? A, who knows? I don’t think it’s that big a deal. But also, it depends, because that two column can get very tight, but I think it depends on how long your product titles are, and how important the images. Obviously, imagery is important, but if you’re like selling shirts, it’s the outline of a shirt. And if your product title is like 10 words long, it’s gonna look so gross on half of a phone screen. So, I think in that case you want to do single column on phone. But if it’s just like your product title is three words, and then your product photo is not that detailed, it doesn’t need to be that detailed on initial glance.

Kurt Elster: I think it also depends, are the product photos portrait or landscape? If they’re portrait-

Paul Reda: Oh. Well, if they’re landscape, that’s right out.

Kurt Elster: On my phone, I’m looking at Matsuda Sunglasses.

Paul Reda: Yeah. If they’re landscape, you gotta go one column.

Kurt Elster: And it’s a one column mobile view, because sunglasses photograph landscape. So, then it’s always one column. So, I think the answer, like there’s not one hard or fast rule here. It really just depends on what’s your product grid look like, and it’s just this is not that tough to experiment with.

Paul Reda: No, I was gonna say, yeah, this is literally a 10 minute… I know in Turbo it’s literally a choice that you just-

Kurt Elster: It’s a theme setting. Yeah.

Paul Reda: It’s a theme setting that you could just check in 30 seconds. And if it’s not that, it’s something that I could implement in less than 10 minutes on the store, just to check it out, which one we think looks better.

Kurt Elster: All right, so with that, I believe we have answered all of our AMA questions. Tell me, are you gonna post your pizza recipe in the Facebook group?

Paul Reda: It is not my pizza recipe. There is a book called… like all the recipes from Cook’s Country. Cook’s Country is like a PBS show, I think. I’m not sure. But it’s just like a cooking show and my wife and I were… It’s a giant bible. It’s huge. And my wife and I refer to it as the book.

Kurt Elster: The book.

Paul Reda: Like in our house, if you’re just like, “Check the book,” for something, the other person knows immediately what you’re talking about.

Kurt Elster: That is quite the endorsement.

Paul Reda: Yeah, so buy the Cook’s Country, it’s got like 10 people, all like Midwestern and smiling on the cover. It’s super big. But just buy it and cook literally any recipe out of it. They’re all spectacular.

Kurt Elster: I love it.

Paul Reda: But yeah, there’s a Chicago pizza recipe on there that I made that’s great. This dough Kurt was talking about, that was a separate cast iron skillet pizza recipe dough in it.

Kurt Elster: Oh!

Paul Reda: And I will find you the Greg Reda pizza recipe if you want to get hardcore.

Kurt Elster: I do want to get hardcore. I’m ready to really screw something up in my kitchen. All right, we’re not doing better than that. Let’s end it there.

Paul Reda: All right.

Kurt Elster: Let’s get out of here.