Learn the basics of in-store marketing
In-store marketing & merchandising are the basics of eCommerce but something that is missed often.
Our guest today won the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards with her app ModeMagic by Mason. She's conducted interviews with over 2,000 merchants, discovering their biggest pain point is "Lots of traffic but no sales."
In this episode, we'll learn what are the basics of in-store marketing - where merchants typically go wrong, and how to do better.
Born in a small town in north east India, grown up across India followed by working in San Francisco, Toronto & India, Kaus has thrived as a global citizen. These experiences have made her very empathetic and helps her connect to small business owners across the globe.
Kaus leads an all-star girls team, mentors women developers & storytellers across the world and is focused on creating a maker first culture.
The Unofficial Shopify Podcast
Kurt Elster: Today on The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, we are talking to Kausambi Manjita about what she learned speaking to over 2,000 merchants, what she learned building an app so good it won the 2020 Shopify… a 2020 Shopify eCommerce Award, and what she learned being a shopaholic and discovering all the basics in the merchandising, in the frustrations, in the pain points, and the problems that as merchants we miss, because I think a common problem is I got traffic. Why don’t I have sales? So, we are taking a deep dive into that today and I look forward to it.
Kaus is a serial product builder, a shopaholic, and the founder of ModeMagic by Mason, which won the 2020 Shopify eCommerce Awards, and she has had quite the life. She’s a global citizen. She grew up in Northeast India, ended up in San Francisco, Toronto, India, all over the place. So, tell me, why are you here? What’s going on here? How did this happen?
Kaus Manjita: I think… You know, growing up in an extremely small town, right, in the Northeast of India, and if you… Even by Indian standards, that’s pretty much like I think the stepbrother. There are not many people coming out of the Northeast of India, and who are kind of like getting out there, and doing products and all of that. I think one of my earliest memories is getting into these little mom and pop stores, right? And they used to be pretty much the arteries and veins of that small town, because you walk in with your mom and your dad, and the guy on the other side of the counter just knows you, right? He’s like, “Which food do the kids like? What coffee or tea am I gonna serve the parents?”
And I think growing up it was retail was all about a lot of people that you know, but who know you so well, right? And who kind of tailor that experience, who are always out there getting you the stuff that you want, recommending the kind of things that you need, making sure that their experience in that little mom and pop store is perfect, and I think growing up, and then of course I lived all over the world, but that connect is something that a lot of us, we miss in retail today, right? Everything is so… There are a lot of things that can be better. Let me just stop at that.
Kurt Elster: Right. Yeah, there’s a big difference between I go into my local bakery, and I go into Super Target or whatever the heck they call the giant Targets, right?
Kaus Manjita: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: It is not the same thing at all. One is a multinational corporation. The other is local, independent business, invested in their community. And you’re right, there is absolutely a personal touch, and a relationship is created, and that’s some of the magic that you are uncovering there. You describe yourself as a shopaholic. This does not seem like a positive label. Why would you call yourself a shopaholic?
Kaus Manjita: I think a bunch of us are, right? But to be honest, it’s not about being a shopaholic from the perspective of, “Hey, I’m spending a lot of money and I’m doing retail therapy all the time.” But I think it’s so exciting to discover people, and their stories, and their life, true brands, and I mean, we’ve all seen the whole D2C evolution, right? And that’s pretty much at the core of it. But it goes back to the community in some way because at the end of the day, you learn so much about people. You know so much about their background and where they came from and why they’re doing some of those things that they’re doing.
Why are they selling what they’re trying to sell, right? Like why does it matter to them? I think all of that comes in with brands, getting to know brands, and when I say I’m a shopaholic, I love discovering these brands. I love discovering these stories behind the products, behind that little mug that they’re selling, or that nice handmade pottery that’s out there. There’s so many stories. So, I think I’m a shopaholic because I love stories. Does that make sense?
Kurt Elster: No, absolutely. I mean, on this show this year, because… I personally have felt the thing that we made a mistake on, the thing that we need to go back to, is nail the fundamentals. Make sure that we’re hitting the basics. And more and more, I realize it is about the story. It is about the customer journey. It is about your origin story, your why, so really your about page. And then within products, the product description needs to tell a story too. As humans, we love narrative. We relate to it. We think in a linear way.
And so, narrative really works for us, and we also like novelty, and so what you describe to me really hits both those triggers. It’s the joy of discovery, which is novelty, and it’s that storytelling. 100%. And then we’ve also seen in especially 2020 the rise of conscious consumerism. And so, certainly, I’m absolutely on the same page with you.
Now, at some point you went from, “I’m a shopaholic,” to, “I’m developing Shopify apps,” and you’re very successful at it. So, what happened in between? How do you go from, “I like to shop online, I like independent retail,” to, “Oh my gosh, I’m helping merchants improve their businesses?”
**Kaus Manjita:**Two things. One is that if you have 50 different or 100 different tabs open on your browser every day, you might actually make a living out of it. That was I think the first thing, right? I remember who’s now my co-founder, and a very good friend, and I remember him looking at all those tabs open, and I’m sort of like flicking between one and the other, and he’s like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “Market research, right?”
And I think it started there. But to be honest, the entire shift, real, real focus on, “Hey, I want to do something for all these brands who are coming online,” and setting up a store is getting so much easier with Shopify, for example, or Wix, or WooCommerce, or all of that stuff that’s out there, but still as a shopper I end up… I’ve literally stopped believing in a brand or even caring about them simply because of that lack of a good, coherent story and a shopping experience that ties in with the story.
When I first started digging into this, like why are so many shopping experiences kind of breaking, right? I face that as a consumer. And on the other hand, people are just coming online and there was one stat that I read that about 80, 90% of stores that set up online end up failing, right? So, that sort of triggered something in me, and just started speaking to a bunch of merchants through the Shopify community. To be very honest, it was so… People are so amazing. You ping them and they are so ready to just get into a call.
Once thing started standing out is that I would say complaint, or ask, plea for help I think specifically if I have to phrase it that way, that there’s so… I’m driving traffic to my store, but I’ve got no sales, right? Can you give feedback on my store? I think there’s literally a thread in the Shopify community which is feedback on my store. I’m sure you’ve noticed it.
Kurt Elster: Well, because it’s hard. Like within days, maybe less, of setting up your store, where it’s live, and you’re comfortable with it, and you’re sending traffic to it, suddenly you just start second guessing everything, and you become completely blind to stuff. And so, you need that external feedback. You need fresh eyes on it. But then where do you turn? And I would say ask your customers, but it’s tough to get ahold of customers. It’s tough to go to a stranger and say, “Hey, I’m trying to sell you stuff. Tell me how I can do that better.”
Really, it is. It’s difficult. It’s incredibly valuable. It’s also incredibly difficult. When you spoke to merchants, give me… Well, tell me more. What did you learn here? So, the big pain was lots of traffic but no sales, and can you look at my store and tell me what’s gone wrong here. Was there anything else that stood out to you? Any commonalities here?
Kaus Manjita: Absolutely, and I think that basic construct that started coming out from all of them is that, “Hey, I’m reading a lot of blogs on stuff, like complicated concepts like visual merchandising.” It just sounds so scary, you know? It sounds like a big Walmart or a Target, right? It doesn’t sound like something that I’m just setting up a website. In my head, that’s all I’m doing, right? Or I’m setting up… Connecting it to my Instagram page and what is this visual merchandising? I’m reading blogs, tons of blogs around it. I’m reading blogs on CRO, conversion rate optimization. I’m reading blogs on how to optimize my checkout, how to optimize my PDP to add to cart conversion rate. These are very complicated constructs and the commonality that started coming out from there is that hey, these are not actionable blogs.
There’s a lot of content. I get it. I get it’s important.
Kurt Elster: There’s a lot of theory.
Kaus Manjita: There’s a lot of theory. But what do I do? How do I even… I again have to go and find someone to implement all of this because come on, that’s just a lot of theory.
Kurt Elster: And that’s one of the issues I have always seen with what we do, is there is just a firehose of valuable information out there, and if you consume even a fraction of it regularly, you quickly will develop a to-do list a mile long, and then your business goes an inch in every direction after every 30 days. As opposed to a mile forward. And it’s because there is so much valuable information out there. How do you prioritize it? How do you sift through it?
And businesses are so different. You have different audiences, brands, positioning, messaging, products, value propositions, and yet all this educational content is very broad or not applicable. And how do you know the difference? How do you sort through this stuff? I absolutely sympathize with the issue. Ooh, I’m so sick of social media for this reason. Truly. Just like, “Ah! There’s too much good info.” Make me crazy.
**Kaus Manjita:**It’s just amazing information, right? And then there are two gaps in that funnel, like if I’m… I’m a product guy, so I end up looking at everything in terms of a funnel, and if you look at all that amazing content that’s kind of out there, and as you said, it’s I hate social media too. It’s just too amazing. But there are two big gaps in that funnel, right? One, the translation of theory into practice. Like everybody’s talking about do these five things, but that needs… Either I need to learn coding, I need to know how to implement it, right? Or I need a big ass agency, right? Like a great design team or something like that coming and helping me out.
So, even if I’m reading all that information, how do I even translate it back to my day-to-day business and day-to-day operations?
Kurt Elster: And then in addition to that, it’s like just finding… Got to prioritize, figure out what to do, and then find the resources. Whether that’s time, whether that’s money, or the talent, which is increasingly difficult to find.
Kaus Manjita: Absolutely. Unless you are like heavily VC funded, right? And how many, to be very honest, like out of all the millions of stores out there, how many? And the second drop off point in that funnel is that how do I even analyze what’s working and then get back and do something better, right? That’s again another big drop off point.
So, let’s say I did some magic and I found out like, “This is the utmost priority. Everybody’s talking about it, so I gotta do it.” I put in my money. I find that amazing agency partner. I find that developer. And I’ve got it implemented, but you know, it’s not a one-time job. You gotta keep refining. Your operations is a day-to-day thing, you know? It’s just like your business. It’s every day. And so, how do I even keep optimizing it? How do I prioritize, reprioritize? You know, change, tweak it? There you go. So, two drop off points.
Kurt Elster: So, the struggle is I’ve got traffic, but I don’t know why it doesn’t convert. I’ve got so much info out there telling me what I could be doing that it creates FOMO, where you’re like, “Wow.” What you don’t realize is like there’ll be a big PR push from someone, and then that will create a ripple effect, and for like 60 to 90 days, all you hear about is like this is the next big thing you gotta do. Right up until the next next big thing comes out.
You make yourself crazy doing this. So, there’s a lot of spinning your wheels, and then from there, it’s about finding resources. So, okay, I think the issue here it sounds like is there’s a lot of being too close to the problem and chasing shiny toys. So, we know… I think we can agree you have to go back to basics. So, what does that look like? What should we be doing instead?
Kaus Manjita: And it all goes back to like the beginnings, like the basics, and if you remember walking into a store, and you know, when you were probably in your teens, or just running amok in the malls, right? You walk into a store, and you don’t have someone just walking up to you with a banner or something in your face and saying that, “Hey, 15% off! This is your first-time visit.” It doesn’t happen.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, the first five seconds.
Kaus Manjita: Exactly.
Kurt Elster: Hey! What’s your phone number? We’ll give you 10% off!
**Kaus Manjita:**Or give me your email.
Kurt Elster: You’re like, “What am I doing here? I don’t even know what you sell?” Yes, if someone did that in a store you’d be like, “Get away from me.”
**Kaus Manjita:**Exactly right. You’d be freaking out. And then you’re kind of like… Imagine you’re browsing t-shirts, right? And then the sales guy stands next to you and starts saying, “Five people just bought this t-shirt.” You’re gonna freak out.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Someone next to you. “Hey, Liz in Arizona just bought this shirt.” Like, “Oh, God!”
**Kaus Manjita:**Exactly right.
Kurt Elster: I like to imagine the salesperson just whispers it over your shoulder, like that FOMO popup is always… It’s in the bottom left. It’s very… You can’t miss it but it’s subtle. It’s definitely less invasive than the popup, so yeah, I think the salesperson just whispers that in your ear.
**Kaus Manjita:**Some are just like sneaking up to you, like just as you’re checking, you’re on the third t-shirt, and suddenly a voice, right? Is it God? No, it’s not. Yeah, so that happens. Can you imagine all of these? Just simple things. You’re never gonna see that, right? But what you can remember is that there’s subtle signposts around that kind of guide you. Hey, these are the different sections. Hey, these seem to be the top sellers. These are stuff that are on discount. It’s a discount rack. You can take a look at it if you want it.
And if you are actually browsing through your discounted t-shirts or whatever it is and you can’t find a size, that’s when someone… You can find that person. He’s there. He’s waiting. But he’s not sneaking up on you when you don’t want him to, right?
Kurt Elster: No whispering secrets at me.
**Kaus Manjita:**So, I think that’s the analogy that we kind of miss in the online world, right? And it goes back to the story that I was telling you about when I was young. It’s not personal. How do we forget that when someone’s landing on your store, it’s still supposed to be a person? You are a person who’s selling products to another person on the other side, right? And you shouldn’t be doing stuff that you would just not allow someone to do with you when you’re in the real world.
Kurt Elster: So, we’ve got to avoid… There’s a lot of just in your face annoyances that we engage in, and then a lot of basics like, “Here’s what we sell. Here’s where you should go,” in the story that we need to get to. All right, let’s go through more of what merchants get wrong here. Because that seems… That’s the path we’re going down.
**Kaus Manjita:**No, I think more than what merchants get wrong, I think what merchants fundamentally, or a lot of us actually get wrong, is that there’s just… As you rightly said, there’s so much PR on the next trending feature that’s out there, like popups, or do add-to-cart reminders, or show similar products, we tend to forget that it’s in the end what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to tie a story together.
So, instead of tying a coherent story around your brand from where the person or the shopper actually found you, to landing on your homepage, which is… Okay, let’s actually step back, right? Let’s take an example. Let’s say I’m on Instagram and I’m again being a shopaholic that I am, I’m probably looking for either food or t-shirts, and there you are. I’m browsing through something, and I find a bunch of tees that look kind of good and I like them, so I tap on it and I’m landing on the store. Now, there’s something that caught my eye, right? It’s either the product, the kind of product that I’m looking at, what you mentioned around the product in that Instagram story, right?
It could be maybe the material that you are talking about. It’s sustainable. It’s single origin sourced from amazing Himalayas or something like that. And so, but I connected, so you’ve got a beautiful Instagram story talking about your product and the story behind it, and I tap on it as the shopper, and I land on your store. Now you can’t drop me into a completely different experience now, right? You gotta remember that there is a context that I was at, so you gotta continue the story. You shouldn’t let your store be the place where all your stories die.
So, this is amazing. Someone once told me when I was telling this incident to them and they were like, “Yeah, stores are where all the stories go to die.” And I’m like, “That’s exactly what you shouldn’t have.” So, when as a shopper I’m landing on the homepage, or now in your product pages, you have to continue the story. So, what’s the next logical step, right? I’ve found your high-level brand story, I’m excited by it. The next phase in that journey is gonna be I want to know more about the ingredients, the materials, the specifications, all of that stuff that comes along with the hook of the story, right?
So, you’ve hooked me. Now expand that story. Tell me a bit more about for example if it’s a t-shirt, like what kind of cotton is it? Where are you sourcing it from? Is it sustainable or not? Is there some specific way that I should make sure that I wash it or maintain it? So that I’m aware. Right now, I’m in the mode of taking a decision around should I go ahead to the next phase of this story, right? So, give me a lot of this information, but don’t make me continue to scroll through and find all of that. I think this is another thing that I see a lot of brands go wrong, is that the minute you land in your homepage or your product details page, you go very transactional. You are like… You know, ton of text, and I gotta go and find where everything is, right?
So, show it up front. Make it visual. Use .gifs. Use product highlights or labels. Something subtle and yet informative. And a visual speaks way louder than a ton of content that you could write, so you can continue to have popups that say like… As you were saying, Liz from Arizona just bought it, or you can just say that it’s the most loved product. It’s so much better, you know? It continues the story. Or you can say that… You can highlight that, “Hey, this is 100% cotton and it’s breathable fabric.” That makes sense to me. Call that out.
And then you go to the next phase of the story, right? Which is I’m interested in your t-shirts, I’m probably now exploring other things around which are compatible with the t-shirts, right? Now start nudging me. What else? How do you unfold the next phase of the story? Hey, these are some looks that you can explore. Here are some product reviews that are there around this product. And make it shoppable. Make all these information shoppable, but make sure that you are now giving me… expanding that story out to give me a little bit of social proof, and credibility, and also in a way, helping me make the decision better by showing me the looks that go along with it. What other people are, how other people are pairing and matching that t-shirt helps me make decisions better.
So, I think thinking of again this whole journey as one journey and not as five pages, I think that really helps.
Kurt Elster: I would say, yeah, the mistake I see consistently, and like where I tend to click on the most ads is Instagram stories as far as placements go. So, it’d be like going through, and stories are how I keep up with friends and family, and so you go through stories, you see the ad, and then maybe like one out of 10 ads I’ll say, “Oh, I’ll swipe up on this.” And then it just almost always… It’s like it just drops you into not a landing page. You get dropped into a homepage, a collection page, that’s the worst!
**Kaus Manjita:**That’s the worst.
Kurt Elster: Or a product detail page. And then on it, it is very rare that you see the same thing from the ad repeated on the page. And so, it just goes from like advertisement to catalog page. And that just feels so strange, like there needs to be a step in the middle. And then from there, all right, it just like immediately goes into, “Well, you’re already familiar, you’re on the store, just buy.” It loses me immediately. And the only way you’re gonna get me back is maybe then… Now I’m in a remarketing funnel and it breeds familiarity and then maybe I’ll come back and buy.
Kurt Elster: Your approach is different. It is viewing this as a relationship. You know, similar to what you said when you said, “Hey, we’d go to a local shop, and they’d know our preferences and they’d treat us like a person.” And so, you want this non-annoying experience. You want a journey. You want to tell a story. And it has to build sequentially. And then it gets into… All right, so it’s the ad, more info but don’t throw it all at me at once, the product, then our cross sells potentially. Am I getting this right?
**Kaus Manjita:**You’re getting right, and by the way, this funnel changes if it’s a different kind of industry, right? So, what works for like a cross sell, yes, for sure, for certain… like clothing, apparel, baby toys and baby care, cross sells really work because people think in bundles, right? But that might not be the case if you are talking about supplements or something like that, right? There you want to more talk about before-after, because in supplements what you want to know is one, the ingredients, right? I’m just going really, really deep into supplements as a category now. But one, I want to know whether all the ingredients that are there are GMO safe, and healthy for me, and nothing’s going to happen to me if I take this supplement with something else that I’m eating on a day to day.
And then I also want to know about the before-after of it, like if I take the supplement, what do I get? How is my day better after I start eating this, right? So, the unfolding that I was talking about that is each part of what you are showing to me will also have to be tailored to the kind of category that you are trying to sell, right? What happens typically is that just because we’re so used to just the templatized funnels, what we do is we just end up story, category list page, product details page, checkout.
Yeah, but that’s not necessary, because you can literally, and you said it beautifully, right? If it is something which has a strong story to it, drop me in probably not a product details page, but more a product story page. Tell me more about it. Give me information that’s relevant based on what you’re trying to sell. I think like in toys and baby care, for example, new parents, and you would know it, you want to know what to buy and what stuff works with what, right? If I’m buying this diaper, do I need a rash cream? I don’t know. Tell me about it, right? So, help me.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. I think advertorial is the way to go. People talk about landing pages, but I think advertorial is what you want. You want something that is both educational, that drives a narrative, and then helps me make a purchase decision. As opposed to a thumbstopper, which the ad needs to be, and then just like, “Hey, buy it or don’t.” No. It’s that intermediate step. That interstitial page, that’s the thing that everybody’s missing.
**Kaus Manjita:**Yeah. Yeah. Your store is changing. It’s dynamic. It’s a living, breathing thing, right? So, your inventory is changing. Your prices. Maybe you’re testing on different prices or giving some offers on it. The sizes are going in and out of stock. The colors that are available are changing, right? This living, breathing store is lost when you are giving an ad out there. So, what happens… And that’s because your design, and your marketing, it’s kind of disconnected with what’s happening in the store on a day to day. And it’s hard to do that. It is very hard to do that today.
But so many times, and it’s happened to me like all the time, I love something. As you said, it’s a thumbstopper, and then I tap on it, and there I go. Size is not there. That color is not there. The product’s not there. It’s like a big sold out, just there, stamped on the product details page, right? And it’s such a huge customer drop off. I think that’s one of the biggest customer drop offs, when your store, which is living, breathing, and the stuff that’s happening there, I’m just oversimplifying it, but the stuff that’s happening in your store when people are buying, interacting with your products, stock’s going in and out, prices are changing, or even people are loving some products more, that is not rolling back to your stories and your Instagram or your Pinterest or wherever, right?
So, for example, ModeMagic, the app that we have on the Shopify app store, definitely helps in that, because it connects your store information to kind of like a design library. So, you don’t have to worry about your Google shop catalog, or your Instagram feed being out of date with what’s actually happening in your store, right? For example, if products are trending, you want to make sure that that’s also shown in your Instagram store, because that’s the thumbstopper right there. That product’s trending, most loved, whatever it is, right? Things like that are really hard to do without some kind of people in the picture.
Kurt Elster: So, walk me through… It sounds like your app adds some level of automation to merchandising. Talk me through it. You know, I purposefully didn’t look at it so that you could explain it to me fresh.
**Kaus Manjita:**Think of it as like a no code merch toolkit, and instead of merch, maybe think of it as a no code store toolkit, right? Merchandising is hard. It’s complicated. And what we realized initially when we launched the app, it was more about, “Hey, how do you highlight, call out products, offers, features, all of that, using the most non-intrusive version of merchandising that’s there, which is labels?” Popups and all of those stuff are extremely… They can get… If used wrongly, they can get extremely intrusive and really annoy the hell out of you as a shopper.
So, after talking to all the 2,000 merchants, one of the big realizations was that hey, merch is difficult. It’s very hard for people to do. And also, they get it wrong, because you run after trends and you end up doing popups, or stuff that’s difficult, right? That just… Like, very, very bad experience for a shopper. So, what is the most non-intrusive version? After a lot of analysis on app stores and things people do, product labels, badges, and very, very simple call outs, highlights that actually help you inform your users about 100% cotton versus 10% off. You can do literally either with just a tiny little call out which is beautifully placed on your product, right?
So, we started with that, but that’s when the second phase of this whole iteration started, is that we started… When I spoke to the early users, we realized that how do I use this? Should I use product highlights? Where? How? What kind of playbooks are out there that are working out for successful merchants? If I have inventory that’s like I’m adding a new collection tomorrow, should I have a landing page which is saying, “Coming soon,” and then make it new arrivals? How do I do all of this? What are the playbooks out there?
So, this question kept coming back to us on support. A lot of our early users actually kept asking, “I love that you have labels and badges, and you have a library of it, but how do I implement it for my store?” And that’s when what we did is we analyzed a bunch of, again, but not speaking to them this time, but we analyzed a bunch of successful Shopify stores, so what we’ve done is we’ve pulled out top 15 things that every successful store who’s doing more than a few million in revenue, they’re doing every day. For example, the coming soon playbook that I mentioned about, when you add a new set of new products in your Shopify backend, and they’re 0 in inventory, automatically using this playbook those products get highlighted as coming soon. And the minute you import a bunch of products to your catalog and add inventory to those products, automatically you don’t have to go and now update coming soon to new. It just gets automatically changed. The call out gets changed to new, right?
And then 20 days later, you see that three of those products are really trending and a bunch of users are buying them or adding them to cart, it can automatically get updated with most loved, and if you’re running low on stock, you can set it by the way in the same playbook. If let’s say your stock’s running below 50, last few left. Hurry up, right?
So, this entire set of things that you can do, we’ve actually pulled out not as a blog, but as a set of actionable playbooks that you can literally just turn on within the app for your store.
Kurt Elster: So, I’m looking at this app. What it does, it adds badges to the collection grid and the product page?
**Kaus Manjita:**To all. So, you can select where your badges will go. That’s another thing.
Kurt Elster: Okay.
**Kaus Manjita:**And it happens in two modes, right? So, there’s a… It’s on the burn mode, which is very useful if you also have a lot of M web or rather mobile shoppers coming onto your site, so you want to make sure that it looks good there. You want to put the same products out on Instagram, you use the burn mode. There’s overlay mode, which is like no, I don’t want the same information going out on all channels. I just want it on my homepage, so then the overlay mode works good for you because you can actually choose like where… You can limit where you want to show it, or you can use our suggestions on where in your entire funnel all of this information will show up.
Kurt Elster: Oh, I’m looking at the app listing. It’s really cool. So, we’ve got… Just the amount of stuff it’ll do, like all right, you’ve got four categories here that you give in examples. Grab attention. So, best seller, new arrival, 20% off, that’s what we expect from badges. Establishing trust, so objection busters, free shipping, one-year warranty. Okay, clever. Social proof, customer favorite, trending, fast selling. All right, very clever. And then FOMO. You can have a badge that says, “Only one left,” or, “Flash sale.”
Oh, I love apps that create scarcity, urgency, social proof, objection busting. Those are the apps that are practical, and they make money. And oh, no more popups. It’s done all with badges. This is very clever. And the fact that there’s automation in there, where you can automate out of stock, a few left, new arrival. Very, very clever. Of those, let’s say you only had to pick one badge that people had to use. Which is the one you’re like, “This is the one you gotta do?”
**Kaus Manjita:**I think more than badge, I’ll say the playbook that you definitely gotta do is inform people in a gentle way which are the top-selling products. It’s so important because it does two things. One, it creates of course FOMO, urgency, all of that, but it also creates social proof. So, in a subtle way you’re doing both together. So, for me, I’ve seen even before we did all of this, that was always the most important thing, like who… Is this something, can I trust this new brand that I’m finding on Instagram?
A lot of times, I don’t know whether I can trust, and that comes with knowing that other people have bought this product. They’ve loved it. So, this is a very… I think for me, anything to do with trending, most favorites, all of that, like including and of course enabling automation on that is the very interesting, smart way of kind of killing two birds with one stone.
Kurt Elster: Are there any examples of stores that you go, “These stores are getting it right. These are our favorite reference examples that people should check out.”
**Kaus Manjita:**That’s a good question and I wish I had a list of it. Oh my. I wish I had a list.
Kurt Elster: What’s your favorite store? You’re a shopaholic.
**Kaus Manjita:**So, I love… I don’t know if you follow this collective called The Fascination. A bunch of new D2C brands that keep coming out. And I think that one of… A few of those folks who are D2C stalwarts, and they’ve done it so well, for me Harry’s is always something that I fall back to. It’s not something that I can use, and I can buy, but just the way they highlight their limited collection. For Harry’s, it’s like for men’s shaving and grooming, and of course it’s not an unlimited number of products that you’re selling on your store. It’s always a limited collection. I mean, how much can you do with men’s grooming anyways, right?
But the way they optimize their storytelling from the homepage to their product details page, I think their product details page is exactly what you said, Kurt. It’s a beautiful example of a story. You can literally understand where the products came from, who made it, why it helps you, how it even… Why should you, as a guy, buy this with aloe vera in it, right? It makes that story so complete and it… by the way, they use a lot of labels and a lot of call outs. If you notice, they’re always launching limited collections, online only product collections, and also using badges and labels to kind of highlight a bunch of the USPs of each of those different products that they have, like this is… For example, this has aloe in it, this has carbon in it, why they matter for you. All of that, right?
So, I think I usually end up going back to Harry’s as one of the… How do you best optimize your entire store with amazing storytelling in a very subtle way? Even when you don’t have 50,000 products in your catalog, like it’s a very limited set of products, but they just nail it.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. I have not looked at Harry’s in a while, and I’m looking at it for the first time in some time, and you’re absolutely right. On the homepage, the second element is some stories. It says, “We created Harry’s to be a little bit different.” And then they go through here’s three selling propositions. And then the first collection I clicked on, which is shave, the top of the collection grid, they walk you through a similar thing. They say complete comfort, quality first, honest prices. And then in the collection grid, immediately, you’re right. I notice there’s a new badge and then more importantly there’s a limited-edition badge.
**Kaus Manjita:**There you go.
Kurt Elster: And then that product’s sold out. So, like, oh my gosh, they weren’t full of it. It really was limited and now it’s gone. That creates urgency.
Kurt Elster: You know what? I think this Harry’s brand is gonna make it. You’ve got… So, your app, you have a special offer for us. Tell me about that.
**Kaus Manjita:**Oh, absolutely. So, we’ve got one-month free trial for everything, including all the no code automation that you don’t need five engineers and a designer to help you set up. It’s like single click and you can get running to pretty much put your store on autopilot, and all of that comes with it. So, one full month of enjoying all of that, trying it out on your store. I’m sure that you’ll get a lot of ROI out of it. You’ll free a lot of your time. Just use the code MERCHME. Or, happy to find you something sneaky better offer if you ping me directly, DM me. Happy to do that too, but I’m sure that it’s gonna help save a bunch of your time, give the best shopping experience to your customers without you having to literally operate your store for 12 hours a day.
Kurt Elster: So, where, you said DM you. Where could we DM you? How do we get ahold of you?
**Kaus Manjita:**Find me on LinkedIn. It’s Kaus Manjita. Easy to find. You don’t have that many names, that many people with the same name, so very easy to find. Very, very accessible on LinkedIn or Twitter, @KManjita. That’s it. K is the first initial of my first name and Manjita is my second name. So, on Twitter, DM me. Either tweet me, DM me, or just show up on LinkedIn and happy, happy to help everybody with whatever I can.
Kurt Elster: Very generous of you. Kaus, thank you for being here. Greatly appreciate it. This has been enlightening and I gotta go check out this app.
**Kaus Manjita:**Thank you so much, Kurt, for having me.