Our last AMA was so valuable, we had to do follow-up
Today we're doing a follow-up to our popular AMA from our Facebook group, Unofficial Shopify Podcast Insider's.
We answer your questions, such as:
The Unofficial Shopify Podcast
Kurt Elster: I don’t think the golf clap helps.
Paul Reda: Speaking of golf, I got great news!
Kurt Elster: Which is?
Paul Reda: There’s a new Mario Golf game coming out for Switch. I’m so excited. Hasn’t been a new one on home console since GameCube. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour.
Kurt Elster: So, I take it you’re a big Mario Golf fan.
Paul Reda: I am a huge Mario Golf fan. Hate golf. Golf should not exist. It’s a horrible sport. It uses up public lands. It wastes a ton of water. Golf should literally be-
Kurt Elster: I’m not hearing this.
Paul Reda: Golf should literally be illegal. However, Mario Golf, excellent.
Kurt Elster: All right, Paul@Ethercycle.com is where you want to send that hate mail.
Paul Reda: No. I mean, that’s actually… It’s a fairly mainstream thought in a lot of circles.
Kurt Elster: I listen to a lot of NPR, but I have not been turned onto this one yet. Are you on Clubhouse?
Paul Reda: Yeah. I have a question for you about that. So, as I understand it, Clubhouse is just an endless series of conference calls made by people you don’t know, and you have to listen in on.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: That is the worst fucking thing I’ve ever heard. Like, put a gun in my mouth.
Kurt Elster: I don’t… It’s like, all right, gun to your head, are you going to join Clubhouse? No, just pull the trigger.
Paul Reda: Yeah. Just like, “Hey, you want a cool thing that you can do in your downtime?” Okay, yeah. What’s that? “Conference calls. You could do like 10 conference calls a day. Just sit on them.” Oh, wow! Can’t wait!
Kurt Elster: I agree with your analysis and your sentiment, but Clubhouse is blowing up. People love it. And I don’t think it would be anywhere near what it is if it weren’t for the pandemic and people being isolated, is my guess.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: But it’s a little cool in the same way that Twitter was seven years ago, where you could tweet at Ice-T and he’d reply.
Paul Reda: Yeah. Shaq. Yeah.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, like you could reply, you could actually access celebrities in this thing, and that’s what’s going on with Clubhouse a little bit. So, I was on a moderated panel for Clubhouse on Monday night. It was cool. And I made this joke, I said, “My clients, they’re always trying to challenge me with creative promos, and it’s gotta be like, well, it’s BOGO, free gift with purchase, only on orders over $50, and if the moon is at a full moon, there’s an extra 10% off.” And at which point, Shopify founder/CEO Tobias Lutke joins the panel and said, “I just had to join. That was really funny because moon phase was part of the Shopify script spec for the reason you described.”
Paul Reda: Oh, God.
Kurt Elster: And I was like, “Wow. That was 100% a joke.” I did not realize. It was cool to just, like suddenly we got access to Tobi Lutke for… and he stuck around for probably about half an hour. Now, the problem is those Clubhouse, they’re not recorded, they don’t end up anywhere, that content just disappears.
Paul Reda: Into the ether.
Kurt Elster: Into the ether.
Paul Reda: So, wait. Did they implement the moon phase? Was that in the spec? Was it actually implemented?
Kurt Elster: It sounds like that’s actually in there.
Paul Reda: Because I think we gotta do some full moon blowouts.
Kurt Elster: It seemed that way. That was my impression. Okay, so last time you and I talked on this show, we discussed questions from our members, and that episode went really well.
Paul Reda: Oh, good.
Kurt Elster: It also produced a whole bunch of micro social content for me, which I really like.
Paul Reda: I know.
Kurt Elster: So, I kind of love doing these Q&A episodes.
Paul Reda: That’s the reason we do the YouTube video. It’s not for the full length, 45-minute YouTube video, which has maybe like 200 views.
Kurt Elster: Oh, you know what? The most recent one, 300 views.
Paul Reda: Wow.
Kurt Elster: Wow!
Paul Reda: Moving on up!
Kurt Elster: But like, to put that in perspective, the podcast in seven days, a new episode gets [censored beep] downloads.
Paul Reda: Don’t be spreading that around.
Kurt Elster: That’s top 10%.
Paul Reda: No, I said we get 30,000. He meant to say we get 30,000 a day.
Kurt Elster: That would put us in top 1%.
Paul Reda: A day. It’s us and Joe Rogan. One, two.
Kurt Elster: Well, you know, depending on the day. So, this is The Unofficial Shopify Podcast. I’m your host, Kurt Elster, AKA:
Ezra Firestone Sound Board Clip: Tech Nasty.
Kurt Elster: Tech Nasty. I’m joined by my business partner and lead developer of many years, Paul Reda-
Paul Reda: Do I get a nickname?
Kurt Elster: Do you get a nickname? What… Well, you can’t give yourself a nickname.
Paul Reda: It’s like Tech Chubby.
Kurt Elster: Tech Chubby? You know, we’ll get something. We’ll ask the community. And my lead developer, my producer, my co-host. I am your mechanic. I just put air in your tires.
Paul Reda: You did.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s my job. And today, we’re doing a part two AMA, ask me anything from our Facebook group, The Unofficial Shopify Podcast Insiders. Because I enjoyed that episode so much, we hadn’t done an AMA in about two months, and… Well, I want to do another one. So-
Paul Reda: Yeah, and we’re hoping to truck through these so we can fill in enough time to do another teardown, because I’m sick of hearing Kurt talk about NUGGS, so we need to try and… You know, if you have kids, it’s all about redirecting, and we’re gonna try to redirect Kurt away from NUGGS onto a new store.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Don’t tell me no NUGGS. Just be like, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to talk about this other thing?” Okay. I’ll try it.
Paul Reda: All right, you get two choices. You can go to bed or you can look at a different website.
Kurt Elster: Yes. This strategy works on my three year old and me. Let’s open… Well, Paul, read us our first question.
Paul Reda: CJ Flood, “In the last AMA episode, you said that in the 0-100k revenue stage it’s all about messaging and positioning. When developing that, how do you come up with and then test without giving your audience feeling like they’re on Space Mountain?” So, yeah, if you’re just like, “I don’t know what my messaging is.”
Kurt Elster: And it keeps changing.
Paul Reda: It keeps changing. You’re just whiplashing them. I don’t know.
Kurt Elster: So, I thought this was a good question.
Paul Reda: I mean, you’re smart. You probably got a halfway decent idea to begin with, and I think you’re… You could move from your halfway decent initial idea and you’re just tweaking it, I think. I mean, you’re not being like, “This is for 16 year old E-girls,” and then being like, “Oh, you know what? I totally screwed that up. It’s for 50 year old divorced dads. That’s what it…” Yeah. I totally was wrong.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, you’re right. It isn’t that. You’re not… If you have to lurch wildly into something where it is different problem, product, and audience entirely, okay, that’s just a new brand. That’s not changing your positioning. So, when you’re talking about changing your positioning, it’s really more about refining it, because the thing I find is early on, and probably rightfully so, people go really broad with it. And when we talk about like find your positioning, find your positioning, it’s more about narrowing it down. Focusing it until finally you get it where it feels like this is laser-focused. And that’s when things really start to sing and you start getting word of mouth, because it’s easy for people to think of you and then recommend you.
Paul Reda: Yeah. You’re not changing… It’s like a dartboard. You’re not changing the dartboard. You’re not moving over to a different board. Your general idea is you’re just like, “I just want to hit the dart board. That’s all I care about. I’m on the board.” And then as you refine it and figure it out, then you start aiming for the bullseye more. That’s what the refinements become, is aiming for the bullseye. It’s not completely shifting everything.
Kurt Elster: So, you could say, “All right, I sell car parts. All right, well, now I sell…” I noticed that aftermarket parts sell better than replacement parts, so, “Now my focus is aftermarket car parts.” Well, I notice within that it’s definitely more domestic cars. “All right, so now I sell domestic aftermarket car parts.” You know what? It’s actually, now that I look at it, Ford Mustang and F150 are my top sellers. “You know what? I sell parts for Ford F150s and Mustangs.” That’s the evolution we’re talking about when we say we’re evolving positioning.
Paul Reda: Well, and in terms of messaging, I mean, to go back to our classic example, which was on a store that sold replacement straps for Rolex watches, it was just like, “Replacement straps for Rolex watches.”
Kurt Elster: Customize your Rolex.
Paul Reda: Customize your Rolex. Yeah, make your Rolex look different and cool. And it was like that’s fine, and then when we polled the user base, we found out that it was actually the favorite thing that they liked was they were protecting the original strap. So, they could wear their Rolex every day with our aftermarket strap, and then if they wanted to bust out the classic strap, it was still nice, because it hadn’t been worn every single day.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: So, it was like we focused on that.
Kurt Elster: And that led to additional product developments, like, “Okay, let’s sell a case for the original bracelet that you’re not wearing.”
Paul Reda: Yeah. So, I mean it wasn’t like… That didn’t negate the previous messaging or positioning. It just refined it. I mean, no one who was getting… No one who was there that whole time and was subjected to all those levels of messaging really… It wasn’t like whiplash or anything.
Kurt Elster: Let’s move to Christian Baldy Garcia’s question. He says, “I’m struggling to find topics & things to talk about in our weekly email. What topics can I put in there without always being salesy? At high level, what should be my weekly email content strategy?”
Paul Reda: I think it’s whatever you did this week. I mean, if you follow our idea of like you’re the brand, and you’re the person messaging, what’s the stuff you had to deal with this week in maintaining the brand?
Kurt Elster: So, that’s behind the scenes content.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: Behind the scenes content is really good, because it comes across as honest, and authentic, and engaging. So, I like BTS content a lot. Yeah, I shortened behind the scenes to BTS.
Paul Reda: Okay. You can’t do that, though.
Kurt Elster: You’re right. That’s that huge K-pop band.
Paul Reda: That’s that K-pop band. You can’t do that.
Kurt Elster: Actually, my 11 year old was like, “Hey, what’s BTS?” And it sort of-
Paul Reda: He’s 11. He’s supposed to know.
Kurt Elster: He knew. I think he was just like feeling it out, to be like, “Is it cool to like BTS?”
Paul Reda: So, I’m gonna ask my 38 year old dad.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, like I’m the judge of what’s cool.
Paul Reda: Yeah, right. Be like, “Let me tell you who’s cool, kids. Jackie Gleason. Love him.”
Kurt Elster: That would be more his mom would come back with that one.
Paul Reda: That’s what my kids would ask me, and I’d be like, “Jackie Gleason’s awesome.”
Kurt Elster: You could do worse than Jackie Gleason.
Paul Reda: He’s a very underrated actor.
Kurt Elster: Okay, so I like… Looking at what’s going on in your business, that BTS content, that one’s good. So, you can also recycle content. I think that’s an underutilized strategy. No one has seen all of your content, and of the people who have seen your content, chances are they don’t remember it. So, you can recycle content, you can reuse stuff that’s ever green on those times when you’re a little slow. I would also encourage you, go back through customer service stuff, like what are common questions? You can turn those into articles.
Paul Reda: You know, I like the idea of it’s not everyone gets the same email every week or however often you do it. I like more the idea of it’s a drip campaign.
Kurt Elster: I’ve heard this called a shadow newsletter.
Paul Reda: Oh, God. So, it’s like a scheduled drip campaign, so you figure out 52 emails or however you want to do it, or like 40 different emails, and then the day they sign up or whenever they sign up, they get started on email number one. So, you got this person’s on email number one, this person’s on email number 30. It’s all depending on when they signed up and it’s just one long holistic sequence that you’ve already pre-figured out. You don’t have to do this big-
Kurt Elster: That’s your best of.
Paul Reda: That’s your best of. You don’t have to do this thing where every week you’re like, “Fuck. I gotta send out an email and it’s gonna go to 2,000 people. Jesus, I gotta figure something out right now.”
Kurt Elster: Yes. No, that evergreen content, you can put it into a drip series or shadow newsletter. I actually do this. It’s my best of. It’s like, “Here’s 50 best of emails that when you sign up for that newsletter, you will start getting those once a week regularly.” And then in addition to that, if I feel like sending out a timely newsletter that week, you’ll get that on Tuesday. So, the shadow newsletter can never send on Tuesday, so I know Tuesday is my safe space to send a more timely newsletter, or I could pause the drip campaign easily. That helps a lot, where if I’m like I don’t have the content, or I just don’t feel like it, it’s not the end of the world. I remain top of mind.
The other thing I like is using… is leveraging other people’s content if it’s topical. So, a good example I saw from Vex Latex, Vex who sells latex costumes, latex couture wear, and they had in their newsletter today, which was like, “Hey, our sale is ending soon, have you seen Beyonce’s latex outfit on the cover of whatever? But is it really latex?” And they wrote an article in which they’re like we don’t necessarily think that this is latex. I believe it was vinyl.
Paul Reda: Oh, damn them.
Kurt Elster: Oh! For people-
Paul Reda: How dare they?
Kurt Elster: What I have learned is the people who are into latex are very into latex. I’m into latex paint.
Paul Reda: Making me uncomfortable.
Kurt Elster: Oh, I’m sorry. We’ll move on.
Paul Reda: Too sexy.
Kurt Elster: Too sexy. No! Clifford has a couple of questions for you, Paul. You personally.
Paul Reda: Yeah, I know.
Kurt Elster: What’s your favorite minor league team?
Paul Reda: It’s more a question of the logos. I just like the designs.
Kurt Elster: You just like the brands.
Paul Reda: I just like the brands and I’m gonna go with the Montgomery Biscuits, who are the AA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. They have their mascot, Monte Biscuit, who is an anthropomorphic biscuit. He’s got big, googly eyes, and his mouth’s open, he’s so happy, he’s like, “Ha ha!” And his tongue is a pad of butter, and he’s so cute, and… And unfortunately, in a lot of their more recent stuff, there’s not a lot of the full Monte Biscuit experience, so I’m a little disappointed in that.
Kurt Elster: The full Monte Biscuit experience. That’s very good work.
Paul Reda: Love Monte Biscuit.
Kurt Elster: I have seen your Monte Biscuit t-shirt many times. I’m familiar. It’s funny, like I don’t know much of anything about sports, but when I see minor league baseball teams’ logos, I get excited. Like, “Monte Biscuits.” The Isotopes!
Paul Reda: Yeah. They’ve all gone too far, though.
Kurt Elster: Isotopes was like, you’re like, “Oh, it’s over.”
Paul Reda: No, the Isotopes was cool. No, there’s a… I think it’s in Colorado. Well, there’s the… You know what? I’m not sure where it is. It’s something involving the space, but it’s like, “It’s the Rocket City Trash Pandas.” And it’s like a raccoon in a garbage can that’s also a rocket ship, and it’s just like you know what? If every minor league logo is weird, none of them are weird.
Kurt Elster: Okay. Yeah, that’s just the cost of entry.
Paul Reda: It’s all just gotten way too out there and I’m kind of like… I’m thinking about switching over to minor league hockey, but the minor league hockey stores are all just horrendous.
Kurt Elster: And his follow-up question, which is related to websites, not minor league baseball, what is the number one mistake you see in working on websites, Paul Reda?
Paul Reda: I’m gonna go with number one is meaning most common and not worst.
Kurt Elster: Most common. Yeah.
Paul Reda: And I’m gonna go with your top pet peeve, which is a bad navigation.
Kurt Elster: Oh! Makes me insane.
Kurt Elster: I know. When you see the really terrible main menu, it’s an immediate red flag that you-
Kurt Elster: … are an amateur.
Paul Reda: Okay, that’s loud. I was hoping for the “Ew!”
Kurt Elster: Oh, sorry. Well, I was on the wrong screen for that.
Paul Reda: You gotta narrow it… How many are on one screen?
Kurt Elster: There’s too many!
Sound Board: Ew!
Paul Reda: Yeah. How many are on one screen?
Kurt Elster: Okay. I have six banks of sound effects and there are eight on each.
Paul Reda: All right, so you can’t narrow it down to the top eight?
Kurt Elster: I need to, but the way this soundboard software works, once you put the .wav file on there, you can’t just like get it back or rearrange them. You have to reload it.
Paul Reda: Oh. That’s not good.
Kurt Elster: As you joke, well, I cruise the CompuServe forum. Well, you’re half right. They’re just from all over the place.
Paul Reda: Yeah, I know.
Kurt Elster: It’s like wherever I can get them.
Paul Reda: But yeah, that’s the thing, is the bad navigation. That navigation should have four or five elements on it. All of them are collections or like some-
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Is this a collection or product? No? Then it doesn’t belong in your main menu. Following that rule will wildly simplify your navigation.
Paul Reda: I hate a shop dropdown. I hate it so much.
Kurt Elster: And if you have to use dropdowns and it’s just… You have a big catalog or it’s just not feasible, do a card sort exercise. Write down all the collections, your navigation elements on index cards, throw them on the floor, your dining room table, whatever, and arrange them. Just staring at it in a list in Shopify, you’re never gonna get it right. You need to see it laid out and you need to be able to rearrange it and play with it. When a menu gets too crazy, that’s how I do it.
And you want to see that one in action? Check out Asutra.com. That’s the result of a card sort exercise.
Paul Reda: Yeah. And I mean, and then one, have your navigation all be shopping. Two, have the dropdowns that will be in that navigation be mega menus that have even more content in them.
Courtney Powell Hartman wants to know, “What do you do when you’re straight up uninspired?”
Kurt Elster: I like this question.
Paul Reda: Funny that she should ask that, because that’s how I feel the last month or two, because I’m just like donezo.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. It’s been… We have stuck to the quarantine. We’ve stayed inside. And it’s rough.
Paul Reda: Yeah, it’s like I’m done with the quarantine. In Chicago, we have had… So, the famous record snow in Chicago was ’79, and we have had in the last three weeks more… and the ’79 snow all occurred in like 72 hours. We’ve had more snow than ’79 in the last three weeks, but every day the high has been like 10 degrees, so the snow never goes away.
Kurt Elster: It’s just there.
Paul Reda: It’s just piling, and piling.
Kurt Elster: Being crunchy and icy.
Paul Reda: Yeah, and it’s like every three days you gotta dig yourself out again, and so it’s just… That’s been a nightmare.
Kurt Elster: It’s been a real slog.
Paul Reda: Yeah. And so, then it’s like and then I had my surgery, where I couldn’t eat or do anything, so I’m just like I’m done. No offense to you, I love our business, I love our clients, but every time Kurt sends me an email that’s like, “Hey, could you do this one five minute task?” I’m like, “I want to die. I can’t do it anymore.”
Kurt Elster: I have those… I certainly have those days, as well, and those moments. I think number one is be kind to yourself and don’t force it. If you… The more you beat yourself up about not working, the less likely you are to start working.
Paul Reda: Yeah. You just feel crappy. You’re just making yourself feel crappier.
Kurt Elster: So, I think everybody struggles with this from time to time, so I call… I lovingly refer to this as my man cycle. There’s just… Productivity is on a sine wave, right? And it’s with the seasons, and the weather, and there’s so many factors that could change it, and so you kind of have to lean into it and set yourself up for it, where you know like, “Okay,” some days, I just want to do one thing today. Oh, I want to do three things. I want to do five things. But on the day where you only want to do one, don’t try to make yourself do five, because you’ll end up doing nothing. You’ll just procrastinate the whole time.
But I also find, like okay, start… So, if you’re being kind to yourself, start small. Just like, all right, I’ve got one task. I’m gonna break that down into one five minute chunk. I’m just gonna do it. And often I find if I can just start on the littlest thing, then I start to go and I start to get motivated.
Paul Reda: Yeah. And I mean, I think a big thing is like making lists. Just make a list of the things you gotta do today.
Kurt Elster: I live and die by lists.
Paul Reda: But the list of things you gotta do today should be so absolutely minor. It should be like micro things of like made a sandwich and ate lunch. Took a shower. I’m not kidding. And just-
Kurt Elster: On the weekends, I do that.
Paul Reda: Just give yourself… There’s like that little endorphin rush of like checking something off your list, so just make your list so comically micro that you’re checking shit off all the time, and it makes you feel better.
Kurt Elster: I love the book Every Tool’s a Hammer by Adam Savage, because at least two chapters, not one, but two are love letters to lists and list making, and the power of lists. So, all right, if the question is about creativity and getting inspired, I think find the things that you think are fun, that inspire you, like I purposefully… Because I believe in the power of fun to empower creativity, I have surrounded myself literally here, there are toys around us in this entire room, with things that I think are fun, that spark joy for me, and that also makes it feel less like work and more like play, and then that really helps fuel productivity.
Paul Reda: Yeah, and I think the last thing is just like focus on the reward. You know, the thing that gets me out of it is like I don’t want to do this thing, I’m done, I don’t care, why do I have to do this? I don’t care about it. It’s like, “You know why you have to do it? Because they’ll pay you money.”
Kurt Elster: Yeah. The money is the reward.
Paul Reda: And it’s like okay, it’s just like I’ll do it for the money. Like sometimes, just do it for the money, like who cares?
Kurt Elster: Sometimes I do it because I want to see what happens.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: Sometimes I will say… I’ll go, “All right, what would I rather be doing?” It’s like, “Oh, I want to go play VR.” Okay, if you can complete this task by X time, then you have permission to go play VR. I’ll literally say that to myself and it works. Because I know if I were to skip the thing then and go do the VR, I’d feel too guilty to enjoy it. Yeah, I’ve immediately hosed myself with that statement, so then I do the thing, and then I play VR, and I feel great about it.
Paul Reda: Yeah, like not everything has to be like happy fun time, I’m so inspired, I love my job, my job is like-
Kurt Elster: Sometimes, you just gotta do the work.
Paul Reda: My job is fun for me. It’s not. Just do it because it’s like, “Well, I gotta do it, because I’m an adult and I gotta do it, and I’m gonna make money, so there you go. I’m doing it for the money, who cares?”
Kurt Elster: A little bit of use stress can help as well. A little bit of, “All right, I’m a little worried. I need to meet this deadline.” That can be the motivation as well, too.
Paul Reda: It’s like sometimes you just gotta be Michael Caine and go be in Jaws 4. That’s why Michael Caine couldn’t pick up his Oscar.
Kurt Elster: Why?
Paul Reda: He won the Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters, and he was not at the Oscars, because he had to be shooting Jaws 4.
Kurt Elster: Was he contractually obligated to shoot Jaws 4?
Paul Reda: I mean, he signed the contract to be like, “I have to go shoot Jaws 4,” and that happened to overlap with the Oscars, so then when he won the Oscar, he wasn’t there because he was shooting Jaws 4.
Kurt Elster: Oh, geez. Poor guy.
Paul Reda: No, the famous line is he’s like, “I’ve never seen Jaws 4. However, I’ve seen the house it built and it’s lovely.”
Kurt Elster: That’s a good story. Oh, that’s so good. Yeah, that really speaks to just do the work. Imagine if you just did the work.
All right, Lucas Walker asks, “What’s the number one recommendation you make for non-Plus stores?” And then he wrote checkout customizations.
Paul Reda: So, none? Because you can’t, because it’s a non-Plus store?
Kurt Elster: Assuming that by non… Let’s just rephrase this question. My number one recommendation for everyone, regardless of the size of their store, for non-Plus stores we’ll say, is talk to your customers. Because if I compare Plus stores and non-Plus stores, the Plus stores have a really clear idea of who their customers are, then that enables them to make really good content that those customers appreciate.
Paul Reda: Brent Godkin, “How would you go about showing different site content to visitors depending on where they come from? I.e. Facebook visitors see one masthead and organic traffic sees a different masthead, what tool would you use?”
Can you do it by referrer?
Kurt Elster: You can. So, all right, this is a really advanced one. He’s talking about personalization, on-site personalization, and on-site personalization, you could do it based on their cookied and we know-
Paul Reda: It’s like if they’re logged in users, that’s easy.
Kurt Elster: Then it’s easy.
Paul Reda: You could do that all day.
Kurt Elster: Usually it’s tied to your CRM, like Klaviyo, if they’re on the site and they’re a Klaviyo visitor and they subscribed, and they haven’t cleared cookies, then we know exactly who they are, and so… Or in this case, he’s saying, well, do it by referrer traffic. Well, the referrer traffic, you could probably code that into the theme with Liquid. I wonder if you could, if you could check referrer. If you could check referrer in Liquid, you could write this as a theme feature.
Paul Reda: You talked about it like you knew how to do it.
Kurt Elster: Okay. Well, I was thinking out loud, but all right, the way to do it is you need personalization software. There’s only a handful. There’s not many. And the only one I know of that is really tightly integrated to eCommerce is Dynamic Yield, and that thing is powerful, so if anything can do on-site personalization based on referrer, it’s this software called Dynamic Yield, and it is cool. I have not had the demo, but we had a few clients who used it and did some interesting stuff with it.
Kurt Elster: Or do geolocation, so like-
Paul Reda: Yeah, it does geolocation.
Kurt Elster: All right, only people in California see Prop 65 warnings. That kind of thing.
Paul Reda: Yeah, that’s the main one, and also ones where it’s like if they’re international, we can be like no free shipping for you.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, we’ve done that, or the free shipping bar only shows if you’re in the U.S.
Marta Ess asks, “What’s the best way to implement cross-sell strategies to increase AOV with food and beverage beyond installing an app? More the methodology of looking at which products and determining why, how, and best to experiment.”
Well, they’re actually… All right, so there’s an app called Bold Brain that will do the data analysis for you and make recommendations. In Shopify, there is a report in your analytics called cart analysis, I believe, or in cart analysis. Something to that effect. But anyway, it just shows you in the last 30 days, here’s what has been added to cart together, what percent of time. So, right away you know. You could just figure this out in a data-driven way, but all right, if we want to go more meta, I would say sell bundles like Tacticalories does, Tacticalories.com, Casey Bard.
Paul Reda: Oh, yeah.
Kurt Elster: And the way he does it is like I bought this wing sauce I love. It was, “Hey, you could buy one, or you could buy three and get free shipping.” So, one, your bundles could just be more of the same thing. That’s so overlooked. So few people do that. One pack, three pack, gallon jug. Boom.
Paul Reda: Especially like food and beverage.
Kurt Elster: Yes, exactly.
Paul Reda: It’s like sell them a 12 pack, now buy a 24 pack.
Kurt Elster: Or you do it by group. So, he has all these different seasonings. He’ll go, “This is the veggie lover’s pack.” And it’s like here’s just three seasonings that are great for veggies. Here’s beef, pork, just breaks it down that way. So, bundle your products. If it’s food related, bundle it by the type of food they’re making, or like the kind of chef they are. You figure it out, just look at what people are buying and what stuff naturally groups together. Because they don’t know to buy it until you tell them in some cases, so it’s nice to have the bundle, so they don’t have to think about it.
JD Denholm. Oh, that’s another good name. I think when we do these Q&As, I have to pick like who wins with the best name, and my vote is JD Denholm.
Paul Reda: He’s like a mystery author.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. That name’s so good, you’re like, “Is that even real?” Like Stone Phillips.
Paul Reda: Wolf Blitzer.
Kurt Elster: Wolf Blitzer.
Paul Reda: His name is Wolf Blitzer.
Kurt Elster: Really?
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: No way.
Paul Reda: I’m not kidding.
Kurt Elster: Still suspicious.
Paul Reda: Worst player in Celebrity Jeopardy history. I’m not kidding. There’s a great… If you Google the screenshot, he’s at like negative $5,000. He’s terrible.
Kurt Elster: That’s rough. I had no idea. All right. JD Denholm, what does JD ask us?
Paul Reda: What’s the one piece of advice you wish everyone using Shopify had when starting out?
Kurt Elster: There’s definitely a theme to this episode.
Paul Reda: I don’t know. A lot of starter stuff. I don’t know, stack the bricks?
Kurt Elster: Stack the bricks?
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: I like stack the bricks. Do the work?
Paul Reda: Yeah. Just-
Kurt Elster: Laser focus that positioning.
Paul Reda: Yeah. It’s just like every day, just every day try to be smarter than you were the day before, but you just… You’re gonna have to do that for a lot of days.
Kurt Elster: Every day, with every problem, you go, “What would someone smarter than me do?” And oftentimes, that is the answer.
Paul Reda: I don’t get how that would work.
Kurt Elster: It works on me.
Paul Reda: Because if the smart idea exists in my head for me to think through that problem, then the idea was already in my head.
Kurt Elster: Exactly. It’s about permission setting.
Paul Reda: Oh, all right.
Kurt Elster: Most people are their own worst enemy. That question is set up to let you get out of your own way. Oh, that’s one. Get out of your own way!
Paul Reda: There you go.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. I think there’s… Now the thought escaped me.
Paul Reda: That’s just like don’t… I mean, to me, one of my hobby horses is like, “Don’t have an ego.” Go to where the success takes you. It’s like if this is not being successful, go do something else, like don’t just keep trying to like, “I’m just gonna keep digging. There’s gonna be success down here eventually.”
Kurt Elster: Yeah. We’ve had a successful business now for seven years, but the previous four years were just a series of mind bending failures.
Paul Reda: Well, no.
Kurt Elster: No-
Paul Reda: They weren’t mind bending failures. It was just like-
Kurt Elster: It’s like this doesn’t work well enough.
Paul Reda: It wasn’t enough. Yeah, that’s the thing. This doesn’t work. It’s like, “Okay, the engine runs a little better now, but it’s still not good enough.”
Kurt Elster: And it’s like all right, okay, well, what part of this works? What doesn’t? All right, swap out the part that doesn’t work. All right, let’s try this positioning, this model, this billing practice, this marketing channel. Does it work? And it’s you just keep running through that cycle and that’s where we get the phrase stacking the bricks, is a house is not built overnight. It’s brick by brick until suddenly you turn around and go, “Oh, man. There’s a house here.” And a business is no different.
Paul Reda: Unless you got a lot of money from Jaws 4. Paid a bunch of guys to do it.
Kurt Elster: I wish I had some Jaws sound effects, but I don’t.
Paul Reda: You don’t in your 40 sounds? You don’t have the Jaws theme?
Kurt Elster: Well, you talked about Wolf Blitzer Jeopardy. I have the Jeopardy ding.
Kurt Elster: And of course, when you’re counting your Jaws 4 money.
Paul Reda: Yeah, there you go.
Kurt Elster: Okay. Daniel Mendes asks, “What does Kurt’s customer survey contain that he always sends out to the previous customers?”
Paul Reda: I know the answer to this.
Kurt Elster: Let’s hear it.
Paul Reda: It’s why did you buy this.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: Oh, it’s what would you say to someone who you were recommending this product to and contained within that answer is the reason they bought it.
Kurt Elster: Yes. All right. I want to know who buys this product, but I can’t ask them who they are. To who would you recommend this product? Sorry. To whom for the grammar aficionados out there. To whom would you recommend this product? And then they’re gonna describe themselves. Yes, excellent. If I’m like, “Paul, describe yourself,” you’re like, “Well, you know, I’m a guy, in Chicago, and I like Italian beefs, and MLB logos.” That’s not gonna help me. But if you’re like, “Hey, who would you recommend this air compressor to?” You’d be like, “People with cars.” I don’t know. All right, that wasn’t a great example.
Paul Reda: I don’t think you know me very well.
Kurt Elster: I know.
Paul Reda: I think that was a very surface level reading of me.
Kurt Elster: You know what? We’re not doing this right now. Save it for couples therapy.
Paul Reda: These are for couples therapy. Don’t wear your Bluetooth headset during couples therapy again.
Kurt Elster: I wasn’t! Listening to the big game.
Paul Reda: The big game.
Kurt Elster: That’s it. You’ve offended me. I’m leaving in my electric car.
Paul Reda: Oh, my God.
Kurt Elster: Okay, so my favorite questions, I want to know number one, what type of person do you think would benefit most from the brand, and that one is to reveal how they describe themselves, how they see themselves, and I want to know did you recommend this to anyone? Yes, no. Okay, does it have word of mouth? Are people satisfied? And you can also ask them directly what’s the primary benefit? What’d you get out of this? How did this help you? And that’s so you can string together into a positioning statement, like you know who they would recommend it to, so that’s your target audience, and you know why they bought it. Okay, that’s probably… If you work backwards, that’s the pain or problem your product solves.
The other one I like is if you want to uncover objections, before you received your product, what was your biggest concern about it? And that one’s really good, because then they’ll tell you… Essentially, like what objections you need to bust on your site better. And I don’t have a good example for that. Well, it could be like, you know, I was worried it wouldn’t fit, but… All right, so you make sure you’re like, “Hey, here’s our size guide. Here’s our return and exchange policy.” So, you know to lead with that, so that people are less concerned about size and fit issues.
And that… All right, I would like to do a teardown.
Paul Reda: Cool.
Kurt Elster: And I want it to be super fun, so let’s do Star Trek.
Paul Reda: Don’t know about that. Do not know about that.
Kurt Elster: All right, let me try again. Let’s do Star Trek.
Paul Reda: Still not.
Kurt Elster: Did I get it right? No?
Paul Reda: Still not right. And the official Star Trek store is on Shopify, not to be confused with the official Gene Roddenberry store, which installed a couple of our apps and we were excited by that.
Kurt Elster: They did. I was very excited. Okay, let’s head to?
Paul Reda: Shop.StarTrek.com.
Kurt Elster: I’m going to Shop.StarTrek.com on my desktop device.
Paul Reda: Oh, and this store was done by Snow Commerce, who is the same company that stole the Minor League Baseball store out from underneath me that I decided in my mind I was going to do.
Kurt Elster: I was gonna say that’s quite the retelling of events.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Sound Board Clip: You idiot!
Paul Reda: So, they’re my nemesis.
Kurt Elster: You know, I don’t think they know who you are.
Paul Reda: Well, nemesis can work that way. The Joker was doing stuff before Batman knew who The Joker was.
Kurt Elster: Oh, good point. Okay.
Paul Reda: Yeah. See? Works out.
Kurt Elster: All right, Shop.StarTrek.com. The official Star Trek shop. And-
Paul Reda: Check out this menu. Top menu.
Kurt Elster: It is operated by Snow Commerce, Inc.
Paul Reda: Yeah. Check out this top menu. All things involving shopping. Shop by series, love that idea. You’re probably going to the store and you’re like, “I want DS9 stuff. Get that Lower Decks crap out of here. DS9 only.”
Kurt Elster: This is knowing their audience.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: So, good job, Snow Commerce.
Paul Reda: Collections, shop by product, which is… That’s pretty crazy. And then best sellers. I love having best sellers.
Kurt Elster: Me too.
Paul Reda: Because I think a lot of people that go to your store, they kind of know what they want, but they’re not sure, and then they hit-
Kurt Elster: Sometimes I want you to tell me. Get me started and then I’ll start exploring it more.
Paul Reda: Yeah, like if you give me the best sellers, that’s generally a good idea of what’s the actual best thing on the store.
Kurt Elster: Especially when it’s a big catalog. I’m gonna go to collection/all.
Paul Reda: Yeah. This is a huge catalog. I’m telling you right now.
Kurt Elster: Collection/all. It’ll dump out all the products. Okay, they’ve got sorting on here. 1,335 products in this store.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: And yet, their menu is not a complete disaster, so it’s possible to have a lot of items, a big catalog, and have a totally sane menu. And they do a lovely mega menu with images. I think it looks really nice. Okay, so what are we shopping for today on Star Trek Shop?
Paul Reda: Well, I know you’re a pure only TNG guy, so-
Kurt Elster: I am. TNG is my jam and that’s it.
Paul Reda: Even though Deep Space Nine is probably better from an overall artistic standpoint. I don’t know, let’s look at the TNG collection.
Kurt Elster: Okay, so this… Great example of knowing their audience and making it easy. I’ve chosen the shop by series dropdown and I’m just gonna right in there, Star Trek: The Next Generation. I see my boy, Jean Luc. Shop collection. And lo and behold, it takes me right to a lovely collection. It’s got a hero image in the collection that looks like the image I just clicked on. No collection description, but I don’t think one is necessary unless there’s some really common objection.
Paul Reda: I feel like this left hand navigation-
Kurt Elster: Their filtering could be better.
Paul Reda: Their filtering, it’s like product categories, that doesn’t… That kind of helps. Series, that doesn’t help at all. We know we’re already in-
Kurt Elster: So, my guess is for the collection sorting, they’re not using an app. This is built into the theme. So, you’re pretty limited in what you can do unless you want to go insane with collection templates.
Paul Reda: Yeah, so really what they want to do is they want to install an app called Product Filter and Search-
Kurt Elster: By Booster.
Paul Reda: By Booster, which is like-
Kurt Elster: They don’t sponsor us. I don’t really have an affiliation to them, but man, their support is so good, and that app is so good.
Paul Reda: That app is great. We use it on a ton of stores. We love it. Their support is spectacular. Anytime we have a problem, it’s solved in 24 hours.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: Like if you have any sort of catalog with a couple hundred products in it, install this app immediately.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, because then you get the really… Because they can have sorting on the left side of this, where it would be a lot more granular. It’d be like, “All right, do you want… Show me price range, or set price ranges. Show me… I could break it down by product type.” Because they’ve got like shirts, and glassware, and masks, and all kinds of stuff in here. And show me, like all right, here’s stuff that you can have personalized. Yes, no. So, you could really, really clean this up, because even going down into just The Next Generation collection, there’s still almost 300 products in here.
Paul Reda: Yeah, and it’s just like a… And it’s so widely varied. Right at the top, we got a t-shirt, we got a coffee mug, we got a face mask, we got a Picard decal for your car, we got pint glasses, we got hats, like-
Kurt Elster: Honestly, I would set the… The easiest way out of this, like just immediately, would be if they had set the default sorting to best selling. Because when you do that, then suddenly it makes more sense and the first thing is this really cool, I think I love it, a-
Paul Reda: Face mask that’s like a TNG uniform?
Kurt Elster: A face mask, but looks like the Star Trek uniform. Chateau Picard wine glasses, Chateau Picard hoodies that look like you visited this fictional place. I truly, I really love this raglan Chateau Picard hoodie. I think it’s great.
Paul Reda: I do like this thing, they got fast ship item down there, like I would like a better definition of what exactly, what that means.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, it does say fast ship item. The danger there is it implies everything else is slow ship.
Paul Reda: Yeah. You’re like, “Well, the other things are six to eight weeks.”
Kurt Elster: Which, okay, if it were like… My guess is that is leftover from the holidays.
Paul Reda: Oh. Good point.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s probably where people were worried about Shipageddon. So, they were saying, “All right, here’s the items…” This could also be a merchandising strategy, like, all right, here’s the stuff we gotta move. Just mark it fast ship.
Paul Reda: I clicked on the Picard wine glass. It’s five to seven business days for your order to ship. Due to current events, some shipments and deliveries may be delayed. We appreciate your patience, blah, blah, blah. Man, five to seven business days before it hits the mail?
Kurt Elster: Yeah, it’s two weeks.
Paul Reda: That’s thumbs down.
Kurt Elster: That also could be expectation setting, right? Order it, I get it three days later, and I’m like, “Wow! They really nailed it.” All right, go back, scroll down.
Paul Reda: I also want to note they got quick view turned on. We generally do not like quick view, because-
Kurt Elster: I don’t think you’re gonna… especially on apparel. You’re not gonna use it. It’s not gonna happen.
Paul Reda: Well, yeah, and previously it would like kind of blow up your page load time, because it’s loading-
Kurt Elster: I’m willing to bet that by this point, some people-
Paul Reda: I think they had that fixed.
Kurt Elster: … have quick view in a sane fashion that doesn’t wreck your collection page load time.
Paul Reda: Yeah, the old implementations of quick view were really bad in terms of page load time.
Kurt Elster: Loop nested nightmares.
Paul Reda: Yeah. All right, so this page is three megabytes transferred, so they’re clearly fine.
Kurt Elster: All right, there’s one product I want you to look at with me.
Paul Reda: All right.
Kurt Elster: Oh, we should run this store through the Google PageSpeed Tool.
Paul Reda: All right, I’ll just do the homepage.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. You run the homepage in the background. The product I want you to look at, you’re gonna love it, Star Trek: The Next Generation Bluetooth communicator badge.
Paul Reda: Ooh!
Kurt Elster: Isn’t that awesome?
Paul Reda: I gotta scroll down to find it.
Kurt Elster: Oh yeah, that’s sweet. And it makes the noise.
Paul Reda: What does it do? Well, it’s sold out too.
Kurt Elster: It’s sold out, but they’re clever. It’s sold out and they have this huge thing in here. Email me when available. Get notified when this product is back in stock. I’m gonna type my email address in here. Mr. Matt Brodie, please do not include it in the video. I have signed up for it and this is… This could be Klaviyo, this could be Back In Stock, there’s a lot of back in stock alert apps. But if you… The one that’s built into the theme in most themes just sends you an email to tell you that someone wants to know. What are you supposed to do with that? You gotta have an app to extend it out.
Paul Reda: Okay, so it’s like a Bluetooth speaker that’s attached to your shirt.
Kurt Elster: And it chirps.
Paul Reda: It does chirp. It’s kind of weird. I guess Siri is like-
Kurt Elster: Use it with Siri.
Paul Reda: I mean, well and you have in our office, we have Alexa… Alexa responds to computer instead of Alexa, so yeah, if you could set up Siri that way, to be like, “Computer, what’s this?” And then it’ll speak out through your badge, okay, that’s cool.
Kurt Elster: All right, there are nine of those Jeff Bezos devices in my house. We can’t say her name here.
Paul Reda: Oh, damn it.
Kurt Elster: She’s she who must not be named. So, yeah. No, this thing looks sweet. This product page is very straightforward. They’ve got a wish list on here, which I like for stuff like this, like especially gift giving, but then they have social share buttons.
Paul Reda: Social share buttons, waste of time.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, and it’s right above the description. They do have the fast ship item badge. I like this around the holidays. I don’t know that I… like it necessarily makes sense now.
Paul Reda: Yeah-
Kurt Elster: Oh, they explain the fast ship thing. The fast ship items ship faster than most. It typically takes one business day. So, this product page is clean, it’s nice, it’s straightforward. It’s not winning any design awards. It doesn’t have to.
Paul Reda: But who cares?
Kurt Elster: Yeah. This is an $80 Bluetooth. If this were available, I would have bought it on the show right now.
Paul Reda: I do not want a store that wins design awards. I don’t want that.
Kurt Elster: Because it’s often at the detriment of usability.
Paul Reda: Exactly, usability and confusing people using the store. I want the most streamlined purchasing process. I don’t want cool designs.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Are you trying to impress your customers or other web designers?
Paul Reda: Yeah, or like you’re trying to make yourself feel cool.
Kurt Elster: If you want to impress other web designers, that’s fine. Just be honest with yourself about it.
Paul Reda: Exactly.
Kurt Elster: And I love some of those really designy sites. I just know they’re not necessarily the best for conversion.
Paul Reda: NUGGS.
Kurt Elster: Well, NUGGS worked on me, so conversion won.
Paul Reda: Did you see that store that totally ripped off of NUGGS?
Kurt Elster: Yeah, but they had like no audience. I mean, it appeared to be a really tiny store, so like why even bother?
Paul Reda: I mean, yeah. They took… It was just straight up they copied it. What is the Google PageSpeed Insights score for this massive professional Snow Commerce multi-billion dollar franchise?
Kurt Elster: I know that the best, the most expensive stores, or the highest earning stores often are under 20. They’re in the teens. I’m going with 17.
Paul Reda: Oh, 22.
Kurt Elster: 22! Wow. You guys. Give me the mobile versus desktop breakdown, sir.
Paul Reda: What do I do with that? Oh, there’s a thing. Oh, yeah. Mobile’s 22. Desktop, 71.
Kurt Elster: Okay, I really like-
Paul Reda: So, still in the yellow.
Kurt Elster: I really like the Chateau Picard hoodie. I’m gonna buy it.
Paul Reda: All right.
Kurt Elster: I’m gonna buy it on the show. And so, it’s a… All right, first issue I see here. They’ve got the color swatch and it’s a custom color swatch. I love that. So many people don’t do this. And then under size, here’s a danger option. It defaults to small. So, Kurt’s really excited about this item, adds it to cart, but doesn’t change the size. Now you gotta deal with me being annoyed and exchanging it. And like given that these are probably print on demand items, your profit margin’s gone. So-
Paul Reda: We got another problem here.
Kurt Elster: There’s no size guide.
Paul Reda: There’s no size guide.
Kurt Elster: I don’t know which size to get.
Paul Reda: Yeah, and I mean, for me, I’m generally… For clothing, I’m either a 2XL or a 3XL, but if I get a 2XL and their sizing is set up that it’s a 3XL, I can’t wear it.
Kurt Elster: I’m a barrel-chested freak.
Paul Reda: I know. You are barrel chested.
Kurt Elster: My chest is 44 inches around.
Paul Reda: I know.
Kurt Elster: I need the size guide, because in some of the stuff I’m in XL.
Paul Reda: The surgeon made comments to Emily about my gigantic… He said I was very deep.
Kurt Elster: God!
Paul Reda: When he’s trying to cut into me. He’s like, “He’s big. He’s very deep.”
Kurt Elster: Oh my God.
Paul Reda: And she’s like, thanks?
Kurt Elster: I need to lie down. Thanks. Okay, that’s the punch line. Thanks? Man, do I do a large? I’m gonna do an XL.
Paul Reda: I mean, this is all we have. In product details, we have fit, long, raglan sleeves gives this hoodie a more comfortable fit.
Kurt Elster: This is torturing me. I want this shirt. I don’t know what size to buy.
Paul Reda: I’d get the 2, because at least if it’s a little too big, you’re comfy.
Kurt Elster: Well, this is my system. If it’s L and it’s too tight, I’m just not wearing it ever.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: If it’s XL and it fits, great. If it’s XL and it’s a little big, eh, pajama shirt.
Paul Reda: Yeah, and you know, it’s gonna shrink a little bit.
Kurt Elster: Well, maybe not, because it says 50% polyester. You could… 25% rayon. You can see where I’m really tortured here.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: I don’t know. Is it like nerd sizing, where it’s too big?
Paul Reda: Hey.
Kurt Elster: Well… Oh, what do I do, Paul? Large or XL?
Paul Reda: You buy the… Oh, I don’t know. You buy the bigger one. Err on the side of bigger, I always say.
Kurt Elster: I’m gonna go with the XL. Okay. So, their quick view cart, the dynamic checkout buttons are totally jacked.
Paul Reda: In their defense-
Kurt Elster: This happens on like 80% of stores?
Paul Reda: This is very typical, because the way that Shopify does dynamic checkout buttons, it’s just literally one line of code, and then Shopify just takes it from there and jams it all in, and they kind of change it all the time.
Kurt Elster: They’re tweaking it so when you apply styles on it, then often those break.
Paul Reda: So, like you apply styles where you’re like, “All right, I put it in and it was kind of jacked up, so I had to move the margins around a little.” And then they change it, so now your margins are way off, and so now it looks even more broken, and it’s just this constant dance. And you can’t really get in there and make it all line up nice.
Kurt Elster: Do you have the drawer cart open?
Paul Reda: Yes.
Kurt Elster: You have to scroll down to get to all the options.
Paul Reda: Yeah, this padding on top, why is it so huge? There’s so much-
Kurt Elster: And they got that note, shipping, tax, and discounts calculate at checkout. I always remove that.
Paul Reda: Get that out of here. Who cares?
Kurt Elster: Checkout, I rename it proceed to checkout. That’s not a big deal, but I do like they have a note in here, “Have a discount code? Continue to checkout to redeem it.” You know people were emailing like, “Where do I put in the coupon code?” And on mobile, the mobile checkout in Shopify, the order summary is collapsed by default, and that’s where the coupon code goes. So, it creates some confusion.
Should I checkout in their checkout? Or should I checkout with one of their several mobile options? Shop Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay?
Paul Reda: I would click checkout, but yeah, this thing is… There’s a classier drawer inner that’s like the beginning of all of the… It’s the area where all the products would be, it just has 90 pixels of margin on top of it for like no reason.
Kurt Elster: All right, I have Honey, a Chrome extension installed.
Paul Reda: I know you do.
Kurt Elster: And it says will test and apply coupons.
Paul Reda: You love Honey.
Kurt Elster: And it even says high coupon success. All right, I’m applying them. It only has one. TrekFan15. Did it work? Let’s find out. It worked! Sweet.
Paul Reda: You get 15% off?
Kurt Elster: Yes. I saved $5.24.
Paul Reda: Wow.
Kurt Elster: $5.69.
Paul Reda: So, this is good. I would like to see a little bit if… Are you in the checkout?
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: It’s good. They got that Star Trek Shop official logo. Good job there. I’d like to see a little bit more color changes here, like the continue to shipping button, that’s the default.
Kurt Elster: The blue is very much… It’s the default. But they put the logo in. Most people miss that, which is funny.
Paul Reda: It’s 100% good enough. You’re fine with it. I’m just saying if you want to make it just a little bit better.
Kurt Elster: All right, I got Shop Pay.
Paul Reda: Also, we got this giant red, “Promo codes do not apply to charity products,” thing. Clearly, they were having some issues with that.
Kurt Elster: And you can tell they’re on Plus based on that.
Paul Reda: True.
Kurt Elster: I kind of assumed it, but-
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: All right, I put in my email address. I got to use Shopify. Immediately it was like, “Hey, here’s your code.” And so, to skip me ahead to paying for my item, we will be putting this on my Mastercard and pay now. Let’s see what the confirmation page looks like.
Paul Reda: Are you gonna do it as a business expense?
Kurt Elster: No, Mastercard, that’s actually my Apple Card. Because if I did it as a business expense, I gotta buy you one, too.
Paul Reda: Yeah, no shit.
Kurt Elster: That doubles the cost. Okay, and then on the… Their order confirmation page, they’re not doing anything with it. They do have the option where I can get updates by text and I could download the Track Order With Shop app. Those are options in your checkout settings in Shopify to turn those on. But sometimes you see people like, “Hey, here’s a post-purchase upsell,” or, “Hey, how did you hear about us?” Like a survey question. So, there’s some opportunities to optimize on the order confirmation page, and I don’t see those here, but that’s not really a criticism. Just something I look for.
Paul Reda: Will you go back to the exterior?
Kurt Elster: All right, I’m on the homepage again.
Paul Reda: All right, put it in mobile sizing.
Kurt Elster: Okay. Let’s see what we got here.
Paul Reda: There’s like too many icons jammed over there.
Kurt Elster: Too many icons jammed where?
Paul Reda: On the top with like the search and the menu and the shopping cart.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, and it’s really close together. You need that breathing room for when I fat finger it.
Paul Reda: Well, and I’m thinking… I assume they’re thinking, “All right, so I’m holding my phone.” Well, I’m holding my phone like this, and I’m holding it in my right hand, most people are right handed, and I’m using my right thumb, so stuff on the right side, obviously easier to access. Let’s put the menu on the right side. But then they put too much stuff on the right side.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. If it was just spaced out a little better, I think it would work.
Paul Reda: Yeah. Those icons are way too close together.
Kurt Elster: And they have the COVID-19 shipping updates in their announcement bar. They have an announcement bar that scrolls through messages. Just has two. They do… This is an interesting one. The hero image on the homepage is optimized for mobile versus desktop. It is two different images.
Paul Reda: Good.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s good.
Paul Reda: They do a lot of side scrolling of these collections.
Kurt Elster: Which I don’t like.
Paul Reda: I don’t like that either. They should just-
Kurt Elster: Because I’m already scrolling.
Paul Reda: Just keep the grid.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Pixels are free. Just let me scroll down. It’s fine. They’ve got holiday-specific stuff. There’s some St. Patrick’s Day things in here.
Paul Reda: They should have the terrible Irish stereotypes from Up the Long Ladder.
Kurt Elster: I’m not familiar.
Paul Reda: You don’t know? Where they pick up the… It’s like horrible Irish stereotypes from the poor Irish planet that they have to transport, and there’s the hot daughter that Riker sleeps with?
Kurt Elster: Oh, I have seen this episode. I know what you’re talking about. It’s like, “Oh, Riker getting into trouble.”
Paul Reda: It’s a terrible season one episode.
Kurt Elster: I like they have… This is interesting. It’s last. They have personalized products. You can get your own personalized certificate that you graduated from Star Fleet Academy.
Paul Reda: You should get that. You got these guys over here.
Kurt Elster: Hang that up in here.
Paul Reda: Put that up there. See if anyone notices.
Kurt Elster: They have 80 personalized products. That’s quite a few. And then finally is their safety net on the homepage. Sign up and save. Save 15%. Oh, that’s the coupon code I got at checkout. Any interior… This site’s all shopping. There’s no content on here.
Paul Reda: Well, because… I mean, if you notice that header, they have a link to StarTrek.com in the header, which I’m sure is-
Kurt Elster: Yeah. That’s the core site.
Paul Reda: Yeah. I mean, they have a good thing going where-
Kurt Elster: Well, in the footer it’s cool. It’s got their other stores. There’s a localized UK Star Trek store, a Canada store, the main CBS store, and then all these other Viacom stores. Comedy Central, MTV, et cetera. Connect with us.
Paul Reda: No thank you.
Kurt Elster: No, I’m good.
Paul Reda: Snow Commerce did all these. These guys are making bank.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, seriously.
Paul Reda: They’re better than us.
Kurt Elster: Very impressive.
Paul Reda: They’re cooler than us.
Kurt Elster: Little bit. Promotional… Yeah, there’s no FAQ in here. I don’t see that.
Paul Reda: Well, I mean-
Kurt Elster: There’s a blog.
Paul Reda: You want-
Kurt Elster: I’m surprised by the FAQ. And I’m surprised by the lack of size guide.
Paul Reda: The lack of size guide is the biggest stumbling block.
Kurt Elster: The blog is empty. There’s a link to the blog but there’s nothing in it. All right, I think the site is very good. It is very focused. And it worked, because I saw some interesting merchandise and bought it. I just… I don’t know. It needs size guides. It sells almost entirely apparel.
Paul Reda: Yeah, they need a better filtering app and they need size guides. That would be our recommendations if they ever called us.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Other than that, this thing’s sweet.
Paul Reda: They also need to make a Star Trek series that is less serialized and just throwing stuff up against the wall.
Kurt Elster: I don’t think that is the Star Trek shop people’s business.
Paul Reda: I am telling them my thoughts no matter what.
Kurt Elster: Okay. Let’s end it there. I think we nailed this one.