The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Headless 101

Episode Summary

What NOMAD found going headless

Episode Notes

On today's show, we're getting a crash course on Headless Ecommerce. Our guest today is uniquely suited to the task, having led a headless Shopify migration for a top 100 Shopify Plus store, and most recently joining headless solution provider Shogun.

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Episode Transcription

The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Kurt Elster: Today, on The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, we are talking a topic that’s been hot lately. We’re talking headless commerce. Here’s the thing: I don’t get it. I don’t really know the ins and outs of headless commerce. But I know it’s a viable and powerful option to power a Shopify online store, and I know a lot of people talk about it and have questions about it. Well, guess what, so do I. And today, we are joined by a guest who has a ton of experience with headless. We are joined by Reese Hammerstrom, formerly of Nomad Goods, where he worked on building their headless site, and I consulted on that, and it was a really smooth, good experience. And the Nomad site, really good. One of our… Great example of what you can really do with these platforms.

And then went, somehow ended up working at Shogun, which seems to be the leading headless solution. They didn’t pay me to say that. But yeah, essentially, I brainstormed on a sheet of paper every question I could come up with about headless, and we’re gonna play stump the expert with Reese. He may not have all the answers, but he is the most experienced person with headless that I could get to come on my podcast. So, we’re gonna dive into it. Reese, did I get any… Did I get all of that right?

Reese Hammerstrom: That sounds good and thank you for having me, Kurt. This is exciting.

Kurt Elster: No, absolutely. My pleasure. Okay, so let’s… Well, let’s go, let’s run back to your experience. What did you do when you were with Nomad?

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, so I found Nomad about three and a half years ago. My first job there was to help them migrate back onto Shopify Plus. At that time, we used Shogun Page Builder to build out all of our additional content, product pages, homepage, everything on the site. Kind of as the company grew, I grew the team there at Nomad. I built out eCom department, managed online, just Shopify Plus app operations, and storefront operations, merchandising, managed the fulfillment aspect of orders and shipping and all that stuff.

We were, in 2019, looking into just ways to increase site speed. I know this is a controversial topic and I’ll probably get into that later.

Kurt Elster: I’ll bite my tongue.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, we were looking at different things we could do. Kind of stumbled across this kind of headless concept and Nick and Finbarr over at Shogun reached out to Nomad looking for people to try out their new software, Shogun Frontend, and we were one of the first partners to sign with them and was the first client to go live on their new software, Shogun Frontend. So, went through the weeds on the first build, and got live, and have experienced some of the benefits of the headless offering that they provide. I’ve worked closely with Shogun over the last couple years and was excited about their trajectory, and their team, and their products, and was fortunate enough to find a way to work for them, so that’s kind of the nuts and bolts there.

Kurt Elster: So, you’re the perfect person to ask about this, because you lived it, setting it up as a merchant on the bleeding edge. You were the first to go live with this particular headless solution. And then enjoyed it so much, you’re like, “You know what? I believe in headless so hard, this now is my full-time gig.”

Reese Hammerstrom: Exactly.

Kurt Elster: Okay, good, so you’re the right guy to ask here. Let’s start with the simple question. What is headless? When we say headless, we’re not talking about Sleepy Hollow. What are we referring to?

Reese Hammerstrom: Headless is a pretty generic term that doesn’t really mean anything, actually.

Kurt Elster: Oh, no!

Reese Hammerstrom: In the context of Shopify, let’s just talk about Shopify today because that’s what we’re here to talk about, so there’s your eCommerce platform, which can be thought of as your body, so like Shopify Plus is like the body of your store. You have your Klaviyo arm, you have your review app arm, and you have all these different apps connected to your body. eCommerce platforms can adopt headless by developing API and software development kit layer to basically mean that people can build either technology to integrate into the body of the store, so headless is nothing. It means that the platform has developed a way for you to do something, but your head… There’s no head. It’s headless, so there’s nothing there.

So, it kind of frees up this whole space for developers to go in and kind of hack together different types of stores that they want and develop headless stores that are compatible with these eCommerce platforms.

Kurt Elster: So, years ago, Shopify introduced this idea that Shopify is this hub and spoke model. It’s the entrepreneurial OS. And so, the hub is the Shopify admin, and then I could plug my spokes into it, and maybe my point-of-sale system is one of those spokes, marketplaces, like Walmart, is another spoke, and then the online store itself, which is I think often people think of that as Shopify, that’s just one other spoke. So, we’re swapping that online store channel out for a third-party solution, and in this case, we’re talking about Shogun Frontend, but this could be one of many solutions, and that idea is what headless refers to.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. Exactly. Like Shopify is great at all sorts of stuff. As stores become larger and more complex, you swap different pieces here and there, whether it’s processing orders on the backend, where you’re managing thousands of orders, and it turns out there’s also some advantages that you can gain from swapping out the frontend, as well.

Kurt Elster: Earlier, you said, “Hey, we were using… We got on Shopify Plus and we were using Shogun pages, and then we switched to Shogun Frontend.” Oh, no. It’s getting a little confusing with some overlapping technology there, some branding.

Reese Hammerstrom: Okay. Sure.

Kurt Elster: Talk me through what’s the difference. When you were on Shopify Plus with Shogun pages, and then switched to proper headless Shogun Frontend, just walk me through the difference between those two things.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, so Shogun Page Builder is a Shopify app that you install on the Shopify app store. It’s one of the many page builder tools, where you download it and then it injects the code in your theme, and you can use a drag-and-drop editor to build additional content on your store. So, it’s a supplemental tool to develop webpages for your eCommerce store. So, Shopify themes control certain areas of the store and then you could use these additional page builder apps, as I’m sure you know, to build out other areas of your store, whether it’s like below the add to cart button, or if it’s on the homepage, and there’s kind of… There’s this conflict almost of like what the page builder app could control versus what the Shopify theme can control, and you kind of run into limitations between what Shopify allows you to develop on themes versus these page builder apps.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. You end up running two concurrent content management systems, don’t you?

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. The page builder… I mean, it’s less CMS, more WYSIWYG editor. I don’t know. Now we’re getting into semantics. But initially, why go through this? This doesn’t sound easy. Why go through the effort? Why go headless?

Reese Hammerstrom: I think right now, brands that are going headless are experiencing some pain. They’re growing on Shopify. Their site’s becoming more complicated. Their catalog’s doubling, tripling. They have more pages to manage. They kind of have done what they think they can do on conversion rate optimization and they’re looking for just squeezing every last dollar out of their shoppers. They’ve stumbled upon their PageSpeed report and they’re like, “Man, this is very hard.” At Nomad, we looked into a couple different options for script reloading, and tried to figure that out, and went through all the reports. I was like, “I mean, I could swap in a lower res image here and that’ll save a little bit, but it's not moving the needle on this page performance thing.”

And then basically one kind of implementation of a headless store is a progressive web app. And that’s more what we’re talking about when we’re talking about headless. The progressive web app is the thing that’s providing kind of more value than just the standard, out of the box Shopify themes. The progressive web app allows your site to become a web app instead of a website, and gets technical and complicated, and I kind of want to… We can go into it if you want to learn how to build a web app from scratch, but what it allows eCommerce stores to do is when you load Nomad’s site, the web app downloads and the first download of the store is kind of the only download, and every click that the user takes on that journey, whether they go into a collection page, variant swapping, adding to cart, the load time between those subsequent page loads is instant and there’s zero page loading happening in the background.

And then when you apply that to the context of eCommerce, that means your shoppers aren’t waiting for the page to load. What Nomad saw was a… People were visiting more pages per session, where they’re learning more about the product, the brand, the company, and then that’s helping inform a purchase decision. So, the page performance is one aspect of going to a headless environment.

Another one is we talked earlier about how there’s this kind of conflict between what Shopify themes could control versus what a page builder app can control. Shogun Frontend allows you to click publish and then generate this progressive web app, super-fast website, and then also this one place for you to manage all of your pages, all of your sections, all of your content, and what I found from like a merchant perspective was I just had a lot more confidence over the whole store, and I knew kind of the… I felt confident and in control of the nooks and crannies of the website because there was just one platform controlling everything.

Also, it removes the barriers of development between kind of this juggle between whether it’s gonna be on themes, or a page builder app, and allows you to build more scalable sections that can be used anywhere on the site. You have full control over the interface.

Kurt Elster: I want to recap this progressive web app idea. So, in a typical website, I load the homepage. Homepage loads. I then load the product page. That is a separate event. I load all of the homepage with the exception of a few cached things that I got from the homepage. And then, so now I’m on a product page, I add it to cart, the cart page now loads in its entirety on its own. So, I’ve got three separate load events start and end. Progressive web app, when I visit that homepage, I have loaded the homepage and like 70% of the rest of the site, as well, and then as I click through, it’s only downloading the content elements it needs, and so it loads faster, and then I’m also using an entirely different framework called React JS, and now, okay, we’re getting deep in the weeds, probably React I’m guessing, and then that ends up… It renders functionally, if I’m just the end user, this thing feels snappy. It’s very quick.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: And so, all right, that’s our big experiential difference.

Reese Hammerstrom: And just one more note from Nomad’s perspective, like Nomad invests so much energy and time in the products, right? We spend so much time making sure the product is the way it feels, the way it smells, the way it curves, just so much time on the product experience for like… We should extend that to the website, and the main goal was to just have the website where people are… They land, they shop, they check out, and they just have this subconscious like, “Wow, that was just a good experience. That was fast.” So, that’s kind of like one of the main intentions behind going to this really fast website. We wanted to just have a really good customer experience.

Kurt Elster: I will say having the fast website by itself isn’t everything. Having worked with you on the design, there’s so much thought put into that customer journey, and like, “Okay, what are people looking for? How do we get them to relevant products fast enough? How do we answer their questions? How do we share this experience of owning this product? How do we get it in their hands?” And so, there’s a lot going into that and going on there. I don’t think you could take a crappy website, make it-

Reese Hammerstrom: Oh yeah. Also, are your products good?

Kurt Elster: Switch it to a progressive web app and then be like, “Yeah, we nailed it!”

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. Also, do you have good products? Because that’s pretty crucial.

Kurt Elster: Also, yeah, like phenomenal products. I’ve got three of them on my desk in front of me now.

Reese Hammerstrom: Nice.

Kurt Elster: Yeah, I’m a Nomad fanboy. I admit it. So, you had mentioned you saw user engagement metrics go up. What kind of impact do you think this change had for Nomad?

Reese Hammerstrom: I mean, impact’s super hard. We ran an A-B test, and we basically rebuilt the entire website pixel by pixel on the Shogun Frontend platform versus Shopify themes, ran an A-B test, and basically each hour the test was running we made more money on the Shogun Frontend website. That was pretty much all we needed at that point. But for Nomad, our conversion rate increased. Whether it’s… Basically, any year over year conversion rate report I was pulling, it was up 15 to 20 or so percent. Conversion rate… Analytics is difficult. Based on seasonality and everything, but typically what we saw was people were visiting more pages, so number of pages per session increased. The average time on site went down a little bit and it’s hard to know whether that’s good or bad. You want people to be on the site, but not for too long.

Kurt Elster: It’s a fuzzy KPI.

Reese Hammerstrom: Not for too long, because then they don’t know what they’re looking for. If the conversion rate’s increasing and the number of pages is increasing, then to me that says that people are getting the information that they need faster and then buying faster. And they’re not waiting for the site to load. Maybe.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Yes. Well, when it goes down, but all your other metrics stayed steady or went up, then you know, “Okay, maybe what’s going on here is we’re just getting people through the funnel faster and they’re having an easier time making a purchase decision.” Then the other… If total time on site goes up and all my other metrics stay the same or improve, then it’s like, “Well, maybe they spent more time on the site, which helped more people buy.” And it’s so tough to know the answer with that one.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Time on site is a tough metric to unpack.

Reese Hammerstrom: A lot of customers case studies for Shogun Frontend is they’re seeing average order value increase. For Nomad, it was pretty flat, but AOV is another significant metric that people are seeing increase when you decrease page speed and stuff.

Kurt Elster: So, for the customer themselves, they get this more… They get a faster, more seamless experience because it’s a progressive web app, and so that’s a positive thing. For the merchant, what changes for you? You said, “Hey, we’re no longer splitting… It no longer feels like our CMS and our content lives in all these separate places. It felt more cohesive.” And then obviously it had this positive impact on revenue. What else changed for the Nomad team going to headless?

Reese Hammerstrom: One of the biggest benefits that I saw was we were able to just do everything faster. We were able to make daily website apps more efficiently. We were able to build pages faster. We are able to onboard non-technical team members, marketers, designers, to get trained up on the software and be able to make the edits that they need to make in a more controlled environment. I found it a lot easier to onboard people onto the Shogun Frontend environment and get them to be making impactful changes to the site on day one, whereas on Shopify theme and just the page builder app, it was just harder to do because it’s just… There’s code involved and it’s harder to onboard people.

So, what we were able to do is develop extremely robust sections and use React, so we had to work with a React agency that understands how to write React code, because we’re Shopify merchants and we don’t write code.

Kurt Elster: And even if you did, there’s a far cry between Liquid and React JavaScript.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, like we can hack together Liquid, HTML, CSS, but React is a different animal. Kind of as we got deeper into the Shogun Frontend environment, we were like… Understood how to develop these complex sections where we were able to develop this section with all these variables, toggles, switches, buttons, options that will be able to scale the needs of our eCommerce store for-

Kurt Elster: What one page, section, feature on the Nomad site are you most proud of?

Reese Hammerstrom: By far the most complicated thing that we’ve ever built is the variant thing. Variants are extremely hard and complex. One thing that we were super excited about using kind of the progressive web app infrastructure was the ability to have variant buttons, but they didn’t change the variant with the little URL thing in the header, but they changed the page fundamentally. So, you’re on the case for the brown and you click the black, and the whole entire page reloads, and it feels like you just swapped variants, but what actually happened was you went to a whole different page with all new images, all new assets, all new copy, and you’re able to kind of group similar products in these extremely kind of design-oriented and design-friendly ways.

Kurt Elster: I remember we did a teardown of Allbirds. I’m like 99% sure it was Allbirds. And they very definitely did a similar thing, where you’d have this complex multivariant product and then as you switched through it, it was pretty seamless, but it really… You could tell it was swapping out the page for you. It was pretty cool. Like in practice, it worked really well. And yeah, sounded like similar to what you were describing.

So far, this sounds like… It sounds like a slam dunk. It’s nothing but this is great. The first… The only negative thing I’ve heard is like, “All right, you gotta figure out… Now you’re married to React,” which is a more complex language to support. You gotta find developers that can support it. But certainly, they’re out there. And if you’re not developing custom things, you don’t necessarily need that. So, walk me through some of the disadvantages, the difficulties, the exploding cigars I need to know about when switching to this. There’s no way it’s all roses.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. I mean, it’s also a pretty new product, right? It’s like the first inning of this Shogun Frontend product.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. You were essentially on the beta, too, which I think is worth noting.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. Beta, I’d say. On the React point, yes, you need React developers, but you also need Shopify theme developers to build something new for you, so once your store is built out and you have the sections that you need, and you understand how to navigate between them, you can manage your store I believe without constant React development. It’s only when you’re trying to do new things, then that kind of comes into play. For Nomad, we wanted to do so many new things, so we’re doing a lot of development because now we can, essentially.

Kurt Elster: What impact does this have on Shopify apps?

Reese Hammerstrom: Well, any app interfacing with your storefront is no longer… That’s a good point. So, any app that you use isn’t gonna work, fundamentally, in this frontend environment.

Kurt Elster: If it’s a frontend app. So, like ShipStation, a backend app like ShipStation would work, but a frontend app like Crowdfunder, uh oh.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, so what you do is essentially either custom develop the integration on the storefront, so for Nomad, for example, we used… they used Okendo for reviews, so as part of implementation, Shogun and Okendo needed to develop a native integration so that the Okendo data gets fed in and it’s all in the proper way for the progressive web app, where it’s optimized for site speed, and yeah, my job at Shogun’s gonna be connecting all the third-party developers and third-party apps into Shogun Frontend, so we’re able to create this ecosystem of apps for merchants to kind of use out of the box.

So, I’d say it’s early on the app integration side. But yeah, what we found also was there are some apps that you use in Shopify, and they’re doing very specific, kind of minor things, and you could actually just rebuild that functionality pretty easily with React and a custom section or component over in Shogun Frontend. So, we actually rebuilt a lot of stuff and just deleted apps. No more metafields, thank God. And so, you’re either… Yeah, you either rebuild it yourself or Shogun’s gonna find a way for that app to work well with your storefront.

Kurt Elster: What impact does this have on my analytics?

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. I know you recently spoke with Rich and there’s… What we found at Nomad was we did all this work to get over to this headless storefront, and we were like, “Great, we made it. Now let’s go focus on analytics.” And we had a lot of work to do on the Google Analytics cleanup. The analytics, you’re gonna… If you’re not using GTM already, Google Tag Manager, you’re probably gonna move to that. There’s a couple technical things that are kind of tricky to figure out, but I think by now Shogun’s… Nomad experienced a lot of pain early in kind of spearheading some of these issues, whether you’re allocating the right page view for the right visitor.

Kurt Elster: What do you think the level of effort here is? If I’m a large merchant, like Nomad, and I had to move from Shopify Plus, with my custom theme, to Shogun? What… It’s not non-trivial, so what are… There’s time and money involved here. What’s it look like? Ballpark it?

Reese Hammerstrom: It’s a pretty big consideration. You’re rebuilding every page of your website. It’s a serious thing to do. It’s not something you do every day, that’s for sure. It’s gonna take probably right now a couple months, I would say. It depends how complex your store is and how much you want to do. What we did, like it was pretty much me, and I was project manager on it, and it took us probably five months, but that was the first one and there was platform being developed at the same time, and the goal that Shogun’s moving to is 30 days. We have pre-built templates that you can kind of start up, and get going, and see the store, and layer on some custom sections, and add those to the templates, and that’s kind of what you’re looking at.

But I’d say it’s a pretty big consideration and you’re also retraining your whole team in the daily workflows of managing the store, and building pages, and launching marketing campaigns.

Kurt Elster: So, it sounds like it’s doable, but you gotta want it, and there’s… I really feel like the devil’s in the details. There needs to be a lot of planning, especially like, “Okay, let’s inventory all of our apps and functionality and then have a plan for what are we keeping and then how are we addressing it.”

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, it’s also-

Kurt Elster: I think that sounds like the funky one, there.

Reese Hammerstrom: It’s also a great cleanse of your store, and it’s like-

Kurt Elster: Oh, for sure.

Reese Hammerstrom: Oh, let’s clean this up. We’re ready. This is exciting. We know that there’s things loading in the background that we don’t want, and we need to get rid of those.

Kurt Elster: You know, it’s like when people have to pack to move, and suddenly you become way less attached to all your stuff.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. Exactly.

Kurt Elster: A lot of stuff suddenly ends up at Goodwill when you have to pack it. And really, it’s not… That’s a pretty apt analogy to what’s happening here, switching the frontend from one platform to another.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. I’d say it’s getting easier every day as people are moving over and we’re learning more.

Kurt Elster: For sure. All right, let’s say I move it and it doesn’t matter why, but I go, “Oh no. I’ve made a huge mistake here.” Can I undo it or am I trapped?

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, you can just flip the switch back. Granted, how much time was spent between and how much development did you do? And how much are you gonna-

Kurt Elster: Ah, sunk cost fallacy.

Reese Hammerstrom: … have to rebuild in Shopify? But yeah, if for whatever reason you need to switch back, and for me, I was very adamant about like, “Hey, let’s make sure that everything’s still okay in our old environment just in case.”

Kurt Elster: Yeah. You have that backup.

Reese Hammerstrom: I made sure. And literally, zero times we had to reference the old site. So…

Kurt Elster: Now, one thing with these tool stacks, I’m now… I have the backend and the frontend of my online store are now two different components. Am I adding complexity here in a way where I need to be worried about increased failure?

Reese Hammerstrom: In terms of just collecting orders?

Kurt Elster: Well, at all, like I’m used to playing eCommerce whack-a-mole. Issues arise. So, as soon as my tech stack becomes one layer deeper, am I going to be doing more troubleshooting and tech support?

Reese Hammerstrom: No. You need to know… You need to build… or not you. Shogun has to develop the-

Kurt Elster: The royal you.

Reese Hammerstrom: … integrations into Shopify checkout, but that’s their product. That’s what they do every day. So, there’s not really anything unusual that you’re doing. In a traditional headless store, you have this development team and they’re building all these components. They chose a content management system. They have integrated that into the JavaScript page builder framework and then the server-side backend thing, and the middleware to pull in the product data from Shopify, and you’re managing all these tools to connect everything, and yes, in that instance, you’re doing an extreme amount of web development, and product development, and maintenance to just keep the store up.

But what Shogun Frontend has done is they’ve abstracted all of that for you, where you’re just writing React code to build better and newer sections and you don’t have to worry about basically anything going on in the background.

Kurt Elster: Do you think this is more or less future proof? Or the same?

Reese Hammerstrom: I mean, it’s more future proof because historically, I think people outgrow Shopify. They get too big, and they need to go to something more robust and scalable. And if you move-

Kurt Elster: This is all blasphemy!

Reese Hammerstrom: What?

Kurt Elster: Continue.

Reese Hammerstrom: And when the site becomes more complex, it’s better to have a more robust platform in place. So, I find it to be pretty future proof, and if for some reason you want to move away from Shopify, not that anyone would ever want to do that, this… The frontend of your store is already in this other environment, and you have more control as a merchant to replace the backend infrastructure if you really need to.

Kurt Elster: Interesting. I hadn’t thought about it. Because yeah, you’re decoupling the frontend from the backend. And in my head, it was like, “Well, Shopify would always be the hub, and so if I have to change the frontend, I can.” But it goes the other way, too.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. I think it just gives the merchant a lot more control, and Nomad’s not really considering changing out of Shopify, off of Shopify, but for whatever reason, if they had to, it’d be much easier because all you need to do is connect a different platform, where you get product data and inventory numbers, and then that’s it. Then you’re ready to go.

Kurt Elster: You’re right.

Reese Hammerstrom: It’s just pretty simple.

Kurt Elster: No. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that.

Reese Hammerstrom: Oh, actually I do have one part about the SEO you asked about earlier. Something that Nomad found was the product names in Shopify, like we had rugged case, rugged case, rugged case. The product name was repeated throughout much of the catalog. And when that translated to a product feed into Google, for Google Shopping, or Instagram shopping, it would all show up as rugged case, rugged case, rugged case, which isn’t a really descriptive and helpful thing for people shopping. Being on Shogun Frontend, we’re able to basically create a new variable called product name and manage that data in the CMS of Shogun Frontend, and then update our product names in Shopify to be much more descriptive, where we have rugged case iPhone 12 Pro Max black, or something like that.

And that data will then get injected into Google Shopping, and Instagram, and provide a lot more… It’ll include a lot more attributes for SEO and people exploring and shopping. Also, on the backend, it’ll give customer service and fulfillment a lot more control over the product names, so random note there.

Kurt Elster: What do you think the misconceptions are about headless? There’s gotta be common misconceptions that drive you crazy. Where you’re like, “Oh, we went headless.” Or, “I’m working on Shogun Frontend.” And people are like, “Oh, isn’t that powered by the blood of puppies?” And you’re like, “No, for the hundredth time.” Other than the puppy thing being true, what are the misconceptions?

Reese Hammerstrom: People might think it’s just super easy to do. I mean, it’s easy to do, but I think you do need to be… You know, you’re not gonna just be like, “Oh, I’m looking for something new to do this week. I’m gonna go change to my headless store.” I think you need to be feeling pain and wanting to… desiring a better solution, and seeking it out, and going and getting it. Because it’s a project to take on for an eCommerce team.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. This isn’t something you should do casually or arbitrarily.

Reese Hammerstrom: I think it’s useful… I think you should be processing pretty high volume. I don’t know if it makes sense to do if you have three products. I think it also depends, but I think you have to have a lot of products, and a lot of new products coming out, and a lot of traction and growth.

Kurt Elster: Let’s say… That’s a good answer to the question. My final question, which I think you touched on just there, was if I’m considering this, when do I go headless? And I’ve heard you say, “Well, when you’re feeling the pain. When you’re feeling limited.” So, it’s the same when people go, “Well, when do I go to Shopify Plus?” I always say, well, when you feel some limitation that switching to that platform solves. Well, I think this is the same scenario.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah, like one of the classic examples at Nomad was our designer, Nick, would pull up and be like, “Yo, we should build a section like this. This is a sweet feature.” And we’re in Shopify and we’re like, “No. That’s just not gonna happen. Sorry.” But now, it’s, “Oh, maybe we can. Let’s see how we can do that.”

We now have complete control and flexibility in the ability to scale that feature across different areas of the site. And maybe we can do that now. So, I think if you’re feeling limited creatively, then this would be great. I think also one thing is if you have a lot of assets, like on our product… on Nomad’s product pages, there’s maybe three or four videos, like videos, high quality renders, and product images, and imagery, and we’re always thinking like, “Oh, should we remove one of the videos because it takes a while to load?” And there’s a tradeoff between super high-quality storytelling and imagery and page performance.

That kind of gets abstracted away when you have the progressive web app, so it’s like, “Oh, yeah. Stop that video in there. Put it in over there. Over there.” You have just more… You just can get away with doing more on your site to create those really nice experiences.

Kurt Elster: I wonder why. Because I’m loading the… Functionally, I’m loading… I’m transferring the same amount of data. Especially when we’re referring to media on a page.

Reese Hammerstrom: I’ll tell you this. I’m gonna learn a lot in the next year and I’ll tell you in a year if you want to talk more about it. To get in the weeds.

Kurt Elster: Well, I think I’ve opened a can of worms here, and I’m pretty sure we’re just gonna end up with more questions. For sure. So, yeah, absolutely, I will take you up on that offer. And sure, there will be product updates, as well, that we want to hear about. Okay. But the thing I love is the Nomad Leather Goods. Look, I got the AirPods case, I got the phone case, I got the keychain. If I were considering purchasing some more Nomad goods, I hear you got a coupon code for me.

Reese Hammerstrom: Oh yeah. Just for you, Kurt. UNOFFICIAL. 15% off. Nomad store.

Kurt Elster: All right. Use code UNOFFICIAL to get 15% off full price and in-stock gear at The big seller is the phone case, right?

Reese Hammerstrom: We sell a lot of phone cases. A lot of wireless chargers, too. We’re-

Kurt Elster: Oh. Yeah, yeah.

Reese Hammerstrom: Some of the base stations.

Kurt Elster: And this leather AirPods case. Damn, that’s sweet.

Reese Hammerstrom: There’s a whole new world of this MagSafe charger. It’s still a little bit early, I think, but people are starting to get it. With the new iPhone 12 Pros, it has that MagSafe wireless charging, and Nomad is releasing just an improved line of new stands and new chargers. They released one I think a couple days ago. Where like on the wireless charging pad, there’s actually magnets to help align the phone. Anyway, that’s…

Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s always fun. Because I was like a real clever guy and I built my MagSafe, or my wireless charger, into our nightstands.

Reese Hammerstrom: Okay. Nice.

Kurt Elster: And it’s just cool when it works, but it’s like if your phone is just off by half an inch, suddenly it’s not gonna charge overnight, which is frustrating, whereas the MagSafe version fixes that problem.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. Thank you, Apple, for telling us what to do.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. After initially… Yeah, after discovering the problem and then fixing it for us, and now I get to buy another phone. It never ends with these guys.

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah.

Kurt Elster: Okay. What about Shogun? Where can I learn more about that?

Reese Hammerstrom: Yeah. I’d say is the website. You could add me on LinkedIn. Just be sure to reference the podcast so I know who you are. If you’re an app or a brand that wants to learn more about Shogun, I’m happy to answer any questions you have. My email’s Reese at Feel free to reach out. And yeah, that’s about it I would say.

Kurt Elster: Perfect. All right. I will include you. I’ll include that stuff in the show notes. Reese, this has been informative. I learned a ton. Thank you so much.

Reese Hammerstrom: Sounds good. Thanks, Kurt.