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2020 Vision — Resolutions for the New Year

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The Ecwid E-commerce Show hosts Jesse and Richie go through 15 different tips and strategies to implement to make this year the best for your business. Make these into goals and resolutions for 2020 with our checklist!

2020 Vision Checklist — Resolutions for the New Year

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Transcript

Jesse: Happy New Year, Rich!

Richard: Happy New Year! Wow. Flew by, didn’t it?

Jesse: It is. It was a great year. You look back at the year. And it’s not going to be like looking back at this year, because this year you’re going to have a look back and you’re going to have 2020 Business Vision.

Jesse: 2020 Vision? 2020 Business Vision? I think you coined the phrase there. I bet no one, no one anywhere is going to use it.

Richard: Probably. We’re the only people who are going to be talking about looking back and say, aha, yeah.

Jesse: 2020 vision, 2020 hindsight, 2019 hindsight right now. But hopefully, when you’re having your 2020 hindsight about 2020 vision, you remember this podcast, and you remember how many of these steps you took to make your 2020 great.

Richard: Then you realize just how important, whether it’s a beginning, an intermediate or an advanced step. If it’s something that moved your business forward, it’s a good thing.

Jesse: For sure. This is motivation podcast time here. This is the new year, and you should be writing down your goals. This is resolution time. You’re going to the gym in the next week probably, and it’s going to be overflowed with a bunch of people who haven’t been there in six months.

Richard: So until around February 9th or 10th. (laughing)

Jesse: Yeah, that’s the drop-off point for the newbies on New Fitness Year. But it’s a new fitness year for your business, too. So we want to help. You started off, right? If you’re watching a ballgame right now or you’re nursing a hangover from New Year’s Eve. This is time to get some paper out, write down these goals. We want to help you out here.

Richard: Some of you, if you’re really feeling, go for it right now. Then whip out the computer and just start doing it with us.

Jesse: Yeah. You can do this right now.

Richard: You can pause a podcast. As long as you’re not driving.

Jesse: You could be watching on YouTube. Be watching on the site. You pause it, do it. Talk to support, whatever. So let’s get pumped. Let’s get some things going here.

Richard: We talked about it the last couple of podcasts. I can’t remember which one, how to help people pick stuff to sell. Yeah. You want to go more into actually beginning medium and advanced level tactics on more marketing and connecting? Or what are you thinking?

Jesse: Yeah. Selling online really comes down to marketing. It’s not all marketing. I’m a marketer, so I probably favor those things. But the goal here today is to give you a couple of tips. We’re going to probably talk about 15, 20 tips that you can pick out, three to five of these that take your business forward. Right. That should be a pretty easy goal. If you listen in your car, you thinking, and if you’re at the gym, thinking like I should do three things here. Take my business forward. All right. Are we in? Are we doing this?

Richard: Yeah. Let’s make a commitment now that we’ll make this into a checklist.

Jesse: All right. Resolution time runs. I got to do the work here. We are going to make a checklist. All right. We’re gonna put this on a checklist. Gonna be on Ecwid.com/podcast and then find this podcast wherever the title of it’s going to be 2020 Vision, probably keeping with the cheesy 2020 Vision.

Richard: All right. Let’s see here if we begin with the beginners.

Jesse: All right. So, yes, we will start with some beginning tips. Move along. That’ll be a little bit harder. All right. So beginning tip, this is one that I always just want to call each of these merchants that I see and just be like, “Come on, just go buy a domain name.” All right. You know, it’s a new year. You might have to spend some money, a domain name for a year costs like ten bucks. Twelve bucks.

Richard: Oh, so you’re talking for the people who took advantage of the very easy way to start a store real quick. There’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah, but it’s like ecwid3475.

Jesse: Yeah. So when you see when you start off with Ecwid, it’s free, of course. We don’t buy a domain name for you. You start off with like store12345.ecwid.com one, and at any point, you can buy a domain name, Richsawesomestore.com. You swap out your store name. Right. So it is really that simple. I know we’ve had people have questions about it, but without going through a full how-to, just know that go buy a domain name. There are hundreds of places to do it. Talk to, support, say, hey, I want to connect this. That’s a little technical. So sometimes it’s probably better to just talk to support on that.

Richard: But you haven’t bought a domain name. It probably is not even going to be ten bucks because they’ll give you a deal on your first one if you’ve never bought it. Yeah, a buck and ninety-nine cents.

Jesse: There’re going to be a bunch of freebies. Don’t fall for their upsells, but go buy a domain name, connect to your store if you’re serious about this store, and you listen to this podcast, do it. It’s ten bucks.

Richard: Just spent ten. Don’t be like Jesse and I and start hoarding a bunch of domains and think you’re gonna use them next year. (laughing)

Jesse: Yeh, don’t get into a rabbit hole of buying a bunch of domains that you end up having to cancel a few years later. But anyway.

Richard: All right. So they got their domain. All right. They just set it up. What are some of the things I know we were talking about? A couple of errors in the store.

Jesse: So, yeah, I think this is a layup for people. All right. This is particularly for people who’ve had a store for a while. It’s been working, making some sales. They forget that we have new releases like every day. Once a week, there’s a pretty new thing that comes out. So if you’ve been with us for a while, if you go into the settings, there’s a What’s New section. There’s a whole bunch of things in there that can make your store look better. So we’re constantly updating the Instant Site or updating the way the products are laid out. And we’ve done it many times, and we’ve mentioned this on the podcasts, we’re mentioning it again. You can make your store look better instantly; you go there, there are some sliders. The reason we don’t roll it out automatically as some people have done some custom stuff. So we don’t want to break anyone’s store. But if you haven’t done any crazy customization, you can very safely turn these things on. Take a look at what it looks like. It’s going gonna make your store look more clean, crisp, modern, which should lead to more sales, which is the goal here.

Richard: Yeah. I love it. So got the store. You got the domain name. Now you’ve looked at the look and feel. Someone came to your store, and we’re talking about making content and or converting that content. That’s what sales are. Right. One of the things that we didn’t really get into there that do affect the look and feel but are very important. No, excuse me, and very important. Knowing you can always improve your pitchers most likely, and the descriptions of your items yet so simple but so often missed.

Jesse: Yep. And we’ve had other podcasts where we say, just get started. Pick up your phone. Take a picture of a product. Yes, that’s probably how you should start. But as the bigger, the nicer you want your store to look. You do need some better pictures. Do you know this is an easy one to add your list at some point this year? I’m going to; maybe you just want to up-level a little bit. You don’t have to go to a professional studio, but maybe you want, if you’re selling apparel, you might want it an action shot. Lifestyle shot. You might want a white background. Things might just look cleaner if you have an all-white background. So I’m not going to say exactly what you need to do for your pictures. It depends on the product. But I guarantee you can do better.

Richard: So it never stops? Yes, it never stops. I mean it. And eventually and I don’t want to go too deep down. But one of the things you could do is. Customers that have bought from you that send in pictures, those are testimonials. So some of it’s a small testimonial. But a customer holding something up of yours somewhere is basically another picture. It’s not necessarily going to go in the place we’re describing right now, but it could be not far below it for sure.

Jesse: Yeah. So fix your product images, but also the descriptions. I know when you start off a store, you get a little lazy with the descriptions. You read one sentence, two sentences, because you’re trying to move fast. So you move fast, you break things later on. You look at the descriptions, and you’re like, why would anybody buy what? What I’m trying to sell here, I’m not really describing it well. So I’m guilty of this myself. I could look back at all my product descriptions and say maybe I could make them all consistent. Maybe they should all have a similar look and feel. Here’s the size, here’s the weight and then be more descriptive. Or maybe you just need to add more content there. It just depends on where you’re at. But I guarantee you can improve your descriptions. Just look at it. Read it, read it. Look at some competitors. What did they put in their descriptions? You can copy is not the right word, but borrow some of their ideas and make your descriptions better. So pretty easy thing to do, it doesn’t cost any money. Photos don’t really cost you money either. Unless you get into lights and professionals and things like that. But easy tips right there for those ones.

Richard: Let’s see. We got a domain. We got new features in the store, product descriptions. If we’re talking about it, it’s the basic level. It’s getting, when you’re selling things in a store, it’s either getting a new customer. Getting an old customer to come back and or getting them to come back and spend more may hopefully even inviting a friend. So if those are the three paths. One of the things that I think would be a great low hanging fruit for these people is just realizing how much time people are spending on social these days. And connecting to Facebook and Instagram is a pretty easy connection in Ecwid. And since so many people are there, I think that would be a great new beginner step, too.

Jesse: I totally agree. If you started with your site first, you said, wow, this isn’t social. One, you’re probably wrong. You should connect it to Facebook and Instagram. Very easy sources of traffic. A lot of people come to Ecwid; they start with Instagram and Facebook. There are always some improvements here. But I think it’s important to, I guess, more for people that haven’t done it yet. You should really think about connecting your store to Facebook, Instagram. Here’s what you get. So on the Facebook side, you’re going to have a store tab so that your store now lives on Facebook, just like it lives on your domain. So that’s a nice thing. There you can start building your Facebook page. You think: “My people aren’t on Facebook.” They probably are. And Facebook has tended to be older. Now Instagram is younger. If you connect to Facebook, you have now connected to Facebook and Instagram. It’s the combined largest social network by far. So you had the store on Facebook, but you also have the Shoppable Posts. Shoppable posts, we talked about it on many podcasts. It’s when you’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, and you see the little shopping checkout bag tag. Once you’ve connected your record store to Instagram, Facebook, you’ve now enabled this. So now people are scrolling through Instagram. It’s becoming a giant shopping mall. And you might as well have your storefront in that shopping mall. It’s a pretty simple thing to do, so I’ll still call it beginner level. Instagram has to approve of you. That sometimes is an issue. It takes a little bit of time. So do it now because you’ll be connected and then you’re going to be connected to. It’s called the Facebook Business Manager account. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry about it. You have this account now that gives you access to other things, advertising down the road, more tracking, and analytics. You can learn more about your customers. It’s a free tool from Facebook. So don’t be afraid of any of that. But this is a step you want to take this early on just to get this out of the way, so you get the approval by Instagram. You can now sell your products on some of the largest social networks. And frankly, it’s easier because there’s a lot of traffic there. Right. Like getting traffic from Google takes a little more time. And you should be doing that, too. But Facebook and Instagram are just you know, we want you to get successful quickly, start selling stuff and get excited about your business. And I think that for most people, that’s going to be the easiest way to get going fast. And it’s all mobile-friendly. If you can post on your own Instagram or Facebook, you can do this.

Richard: Yeah. I love that. That’s a great, great insight. They’re just so simple for them. I can’t remember exactly. But it’s very few clicks other than the approval process. It’s fast.

Jesse: Yeah. And Instagram, if you’re listening. Come on. Let’s make it a little faster. (laughing)

Richard: And that’s relative. That doesn’t mean, don’t do it. That if you’re going to wait, you might as well start now. Yes. So one of the things you referenced there, though, that actually is really good prior. The final point for the basic beginners is you spend all this time, effort, and energy to get people to come to your site and then what’s the conversion rate, somewhere between 1 and 3 percent. Varies from store to store. In the beginning, why not actually make a deeper connection with the customer that did come? Whether that’s an e-mail, reach out to them or reach out to them on social again. Or send them a postcard or pick up the phone. If it goes back to those resources, again, getting a new customer, getting your customer to come back, and getting them to refer somebody. I don’t have hard facts in front of me, but I know it from just experience of life. The more you connect with the current customer and the more you engage with them and help them just enjoy the process of dealing with you and your product and service that you provide for them. They’ll stick around longer.

Jesse: Yep. Rich, usually, you go into the woo-woo side of things. But there are tactics that are underneath this, but this is on the woo-woo level. Be human to your customers. Let them know that this is a real person behind a real business. And you appreciate them and find some way. Don’t be  can we say Amazon? Don’t be Amazon.com, right? Don’t be impersonal, I think, is what I’m trying to say here. Just because you’re online and you found customers online doesn’t mean you’re not a real person, and they’re not real people. And then look at you. Look at you, turning over a new leaf. This 2020, we’re talking about real humans, not just clicks and conversion rates. But so now let’s get tactical under that. Now we got that woo-woo stuff on the way. (laughing)

Richard: Feeling good. Tactics to sell more stuff. (laughing)

Jesse: Exactly. All right. So here are the tactics. Email is so easy. It’s so overlooked. If you already have an email newsletter. Great. Send emails. Try not just to be sale, sale, sale. Create stories. You’ll have a story in your email. Yes. There’s probably some coupons and discounts that you let them know about. But on the connecting, like if you’re asked for your customers to send you pictures of them using your product, write and post them and say thanks to whoever that was. And that’s just an example. There’s a ton of different ways, and you can connect via social as well as we’ve already mentioned. However, you can just show that you’re a real human. These don’t have to be expensive. They usually are a little more time-intensive, but that’s probably going to set you up for longer-term success. It doesn’t take a whole lot of; it takes a little bit of effort, not a lot of money.

Richard: Well, one of the things we’ve talked about in the past, but I think it’s a good place to do here when we’re moving into our mid-level things that people can do. Hopefully, everybody always sets up Google Analytics, but we think especially when you’re trying to find out who to connect with. Having Google Analytics set up and telling you where people are coming from, where they were first, what pages they land on. I think that’s great. At least getting it set up right. It’s the first the year, we’re not in month five or whatever, there are other times we’ll talk to them about things they can do specifically, but just you can’t go back and get the data later. So definitely I’d say mid-level here’s get Google Analytics setup.

Jesse: Yeah. And I agree. It’s an easy step inside of Google Analytics. It’s a little more of a medium level to one level. But yeah, you can’t go back in time. There’s no DeLorean here to say, man; I really wish I would’ve spent five minutes setting up this account to now track all the traffic. There’s a ton of data there. We could almost do a full podcast on what you do with Google Analytics. All right. Write that down. We’ll do that. We will do that because that can be good. But it’s no good for you if you don’t connect it. And here’s how you connect it. You go to I believe it’s analytics.google.com. Or you could google it to Google Analytics. It’s pretty easy. All right. Don’t let that stop you. Set up an account, email, password. I don’t know what the steps are there, but at some level, you get what’s called a UA number. You cut and paste the UA number. You put it into Ecwid. It’s connected. Those steps can change because Google changes all the time. But it’s really that easy. You set up an account. You get UA number. You copy and paste the UA number. Put it in the Ecwid. You’re connected. That step is done. Checkmark. In six months, you’re going to come back, and you’ll be like, man. Thank you, Jesse and Rich, for telling me to set up Google Analytics. Now, I have six months of data.

Richard: Now you get to work doing more of the stuff we talked about and some of the beginners, but a little more advanced.

Jesse: Yes. And you know what? If you’re a beginner and you skip this, I totally get it. I understand. Now go back in. Now go back and do it right. Get your big boy pants on and set up Google Analytics.

Richard: And big girl pants.

Jesse: And big girl pants. That sounds worse than big boy pants. Why? It’s just the way it is, Rich. (laughing)

Richard: All right. Everyone’s hooked up. They’re hooked up to their Facebook, their Instagram. They got Google Analytics set up. And now you realize. Wow, it’s called social as I got actually to put stuff out there. Making blog posts or videos or stories or some sort of funny video about your product. I think actually making content on social is probably a good step here.

Jesse: Yeah. It’s always frustrating when we see people like, “Hey, I didn’t get any sales. — All right. What did you do? — I don’t know. I just set up the accountant, and I didn’t get any sales.” Well, yeah, of course, you don’t get any sales. How do you think everybody else gets sales? They make content and put it everywhere. But we’re going to focus on social content. So we mentioned before, you already connected your store to Facebook and Instagram. You’re already set up. Now, use those social networks as you would normally. If you go on vacation, you take a picture in front of whatever landmark is, and you say, wow, look at me, blah, blah, hashtag, whatever. And people like it. They say, wow, that’s awesome. And rinse, repeat. Like you do the same exact thing for Instagram, Facebook. Here’s a picture of my lunch. Great. Here’s a picture. Here’s a video of a baby. You know, whatever. I’m trying to use boring or just average things because I know you are listening, you can do that. So why can’t you do that for your business? Here’s a video of me making my products. Here’s a picture, a video of me putting in a box, and putting a note for my customer. Or, you know, here’s a note that a customer sent me that was really awesome, and I want to share it with you. That’s not a “Buy now.” That’s just, hey, I’m a business. I’m putting stuff out on social. It’s gonna take a little bit of time. Every post is not just going to get a bunch of likes and sales and comments and such, but you have to start somewhere.

Richard: Well, I think part of it, too, is just to come back and think of the sales process in general. And it starts with awareness. If they don’t know about you at all, they’re not going to buy anything from you. And then it moves into consideration. They’re thinking about it. And then they make a decision. And so it’s basically those three steps. And so sometimes you’re making content that’s just about the product. This is what it sometimes does. Say the example you use where you’re writing a note. Here’s how the product works, and you’re writing a note to a customer. Maybe that would be that they’re aware of you now. They’ve been on the product page, and now they see this when they’re like, oh, wow. Not only I like this product, but this person seems pretty cool like he just showed me how to use the products. He showed me how they pack the product, and he showed me putting this cool note to one of his customers. Now, hopefully, you do that to all the customers once they’ve seen that. (laughing)

Jesse: I don’t do that, by the way. That’s a good tip. I don’t do it. But you should.

Richard: Maybe you’ll start. But the point is, everyone’s a different spot in the buying process, too. To mix up and shake up your content. It’s not always just going straight for sale. I mean, look at what some of the big brands do. The few times you watch TV these days, you’re still seeing him more do big brand awareness type ads. Because in the end, that’s what’s becoming very clear is who you are and how people feel about you are gonna be way more important. Because if it was just the cheapest, fastest, we all know the place where everyone goes for that. You got to be the things that the big stores can’t be, which is personable and real and showing your product in ways that they’re probably not going to take the time to do that. I think that’s a really good one.

Jesse: I’m going to add something here. So we talked about social content, and it can be pictures, notes, videos. But I want to really double down on the part of the videos and be very specific on Stories with a capital S. Stories, if you don’t know, are the little short videos on Instagram and Facebook. And that’s where all the available inventory is. By inventory, I mean ad inventory. I don’t want to nerd out on advertising.

Richard: It’s all right. We’re almost to the advanced stuff.

Jesse: Okay. We’re getting to the advanced stuff. If you’re going to take all of our messages about pictures and everything, there’s a little bit easier. I get it. I don’t want to put in the hard work some days, either. But pick up your phone. Hold it. Vertical video, which I don’t like vertical video either. But that’s the format for Stories. And you record 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45-second videos, which are capital S Stories and Facebook and Instagram love Stories.

Richard: You name it, across the board. Even the new stuff. TikTok, Snapchat is doing it. Pinterest is starting to do Stories.

Jesse: Yes. So it’s all about Stories, short little video snippets. So anyway, that’s more of the yes. Do social content. But the hot tip, the current tip is to do Stories, later on, those can get boosted, and there’s advertising options there, et cetera. But first, just getting the habit of making them because your first probably few won’t be that great. You’d have to get better. So make social content. But the asterisk there. The highlighted part is the Stories.

Richard: What do you think a good, low hanging fruit would be in next as far as avenues that are out there that they can just take their existing store, they have and maybe get more traffic? Anything you can think of for that?

Jesse: Yeah. So this is a little bit of the opposite of making social context. That’s hard work. The next one is Google Shopping. This one is the easiest. Set it and forget it. We call it medium because this isn’t maybe the first thing you do from day one because you do have to spend money on this. But Google Shopping is when you Google stuff, and you see the products with the pictures on the top with the prices. That’s basically Google Shopping. Those are paid ads. There are some steps there you need to send Google a feed. You’re paying for this, so just a heads up if you wanted it free. This isn’t the free part, but it’s based on the keywords in your titles, the keywords in your descriptions, which, if you listened earlier, you’ve already been improving those. And then when people type in the product that they’re looking for and you happen to have Google surfaces, those ads up top. Google Shopping, you can set up yourself. We have feeds available from Ecwid. You can set it up in Google. You set up a merchant center account, a Google ads account. We also have automated ways to do it. If those other things sounded foreign to you, just do the automated way. And it’s optimized, and it’s actually very, very slick. So if you don’t want to make videos and do it, do that, create content. Do Google Shopping. Because that’s easy to make money 24/7, the concept of e-commerce. I love it because you can set these things up and they just go for years and make you some money. You’re paying for the ad. You do need to think about profit margin and all sorts of stuff. But if you haven’t done it before, you haven’t tried it. Try Google Shopping. It’s probably the easiest way to get traffic and sales, in my opinion.

Richard: Yeah. And one of the things I know we wanted to cover, too. And they’re going almost to go back to the social stuff is how can you take some of the social traffic, drive it back to your site and then almost re-engage in another way where it’s still that same traffic, but it doesn’t really feel the same. And I know one of the things we wanted to cover was like Facebook Messenger specifically, sometimes even using that as a live chat widget. You can do it separately, have a different live chat. But just in general, messenger and live chat. Again, you have someone there. Sure and live chat, again, you have someone on your site, and hopefully, they’re looking to buy something, that is a phenomenal time to speak with them.

Jesse: For sure. So yes, you’ve paid money, you’ve done the work, they’ve gotten to your site. Maybe your description, you didn’t do that great of a job, you didn’t describe the feel of it in there. Or like, “Hey, if I buy, if I buy this now, am I going to get it by next Tuesday?” Right. So yes, you want them to just look at your site and read every page that you painstakingly created, but they just want the answer right now. And you’ve probably seen them on many different websites. It’s a little pop up on the, usually the lower right-hand side. It’s got a little messenger symbol, a little blue lightning bolt thing. Click on that. They can now chat from their Messenger app to your Messenger app. So now the good thing is if you’re on the go, you have a notification to buzz in your pocket. Somebody is asking you a question; you can immediately answer them and get a sale right there. Why wouldn’t you do that, right?

Richard: Yeah, I mean there’s been, we’ve seen various results, different people in e-commerce over years we’ve been doing it. But man, there are some phenomenal results with that. Now we won’t go into the detail of bots and stuff because sometimes we’re just talking. Someone asks you a question, and you are going to answer that question manually yourself. But it brings up something we’ve talked about a bunch, Jesse, is you still have to do things, it sounds like we go back at the very beginning of eCommerce. I just remember so many people like, yeah, I want to get into it cause I don’t wanna have to talk to people. I don’t want to have to want to. Let’s think this out. We used to be mesmerized by a TV that everyone would watch on the table in their living room. And then we were mesmerized by computer screens, and they were mesmerized by folding laptops. Now we have computers in our pockets, and some people have multiple, and there’s not just one screen on that. There are multiple screens. You have all these social apps and all these other, but really it’s just these people are all hanging out in different parts. It’s almost sad if you think about it, like these gigantic companies, they’re really just a glorified app. I mean, Facebook has just an app that a bunch of people hangs out on Instagram, just a bunch of people, TikTok, Instagram, all this stuff. So you have all these people done, you’ve done the videos. Like we’ve said, you’ve done stories, you set up all this stuff, and now someone’s sitting on your site, and they’re asking you a question. And if you’re not taking advantage of that. And not only are you not taking advantage of it, but you might not be realizing that this is a whole nother plot, a whole nother channel for you to communicate with them too. Right? So now it’s not just the email, they’re not just seeing you, and it wasn’t to be disheartening. It’s more to say the more places they see you, they see you in an email, they see you on Facebook, they see you on Instagram, they went to your website, you talk to them on messenger. You’re just getting closer and closer to the sale every time that’s happening. And if the sale did happen, this is just a better way to keep them as a customer. So there’s, we highly recommend using Facebook Messenger and/or live chat, preferably in one.

Jesse: Yeah. And it’s a one or two-click integration. There’s no code involved. You just connect your store to Facebook Messenger, and that little popup thing will pop up. And yeah, there is work. I’ve answered a lot of chats, and sometimes I get super annoyed by the questions because they’re like “how much is shipping to blah, blah, blah.” All right. Okay. You just put it in the cart and check it out for yourself, but that’s a sale. Just hang in there. Yeah. Right. I can either complain about the fact that this person should know better and should do this, or I can just answer the question and get a sale. So what do you want to do? You want to complain about this idiot on the other side, or you just want to get a sale?

Richard: I know the next one that we wanted to cover too is one of your favorite. I remember the first time you implemented this; you’re like, “Oh my gosh, it’s crazy.” You’ve done all the hard work, you’ve got them on the site, and they didn’t buy anything, and they’re about to leave. What’s your favorite?

Jesse: Well, there’s a couple of options there. By the way, all this hard work talk, I like to make money while I sleep. I like the automated ways. So when people put stuff, they forget about the Facebook Messenger thing. They put stuff in the cart to check out the shipping price. Maybe they thought it was a little too high or the phone ring and they forgot what they were doing, whatever reason they didn’t buy at that moment. Once they’ve put stuff in the cart, which usually includes an email, you can now set up an automated email series. So I’m sure you’ve gotten these emails from other people, other companies. This is a “set it and forget it” functionality. As soon as somebody puts it in, it’s called an abandoned cart, a recapture. There’s a couple of different people use different terms for it, but basically, it’s somebody put something in the shopping cart to check out. They didn’t complete the checkout, and now they can get a series of emails, maybe just one email. I think usually the standard is a three email series with “Hey, looks like you forgot something, blah, blah, check it out.” Or three days later maybe you amp it up and give a little bigger discount. And then day five, you throw out your best, best shot at it. And these things just work, right? Yeah, you’re kind of adding to the email spam. But this is what people do. And I can tell you from personal experience, it totally works. I would do that. It’s built into Ecwid. There are other programs you can use, other email newsletter programs, but they all work about the same way. So anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox cause yeah, this is an easy “set it and forget it” thing that you should do.

Richard: If we’re moving into the advanced stuff and we figured, all right people who’ve done this, now they’ve been producing content, they have all their stores connected to Facebook, Instagram, they’ve got their Google Shopping set up, they’ve got analytics.

Jesse: You’re making money at this point.

Richard: You’re making money, and you got lots of traffic. Let’s just go into some of the automated, they could be automated, or maybe it’s just helpful when it comes to ads. What would you…?

Jesse: We’ve talked about plenty on the podcast. I’m going to call it a little more advanced level, but it’s more traffic level. It’s Facebook dynamic remarketing ads. When I say Facebook, I mean Facebook and Instagram. So they’re in your store. They visited a product; they didn’t check out, right? They never went into the cart. They’re not getting those automated emails that we just talked about. They just saw the product. If you’ve connected with Facebook, they can now show that product wherever they go on Facebook and Instagram; I guarantee you’ve seen these ads all over the place. But you now have a signal that somebody has been on your product page. They were probably interested. We’re going to keep showing them this ad for a certain amount of time until they purchase. It’s called the Facebook dynamic remarketing. Very easy to set up. You can do it on your own, which is a little harder to do on your own. We also have some connections with third parties that will basically make this the same very easy, simple way that you expect from Ecwid. This is actually fairly easy to do, but it does require a certain amount of traffic per month. I think you need about 60 visitors on a product per month. Usually, you don’t get that in your first few months. Anyway, I highly recommend it. Again, this is a “set it and forget it.” I’ve seen plenty of Facebook accounts. I know that this works. There’re, gosh, so many things where you go down the advanced route. And I know this is the beginning of the year, so I really just want to stick to high level advanced cause I know a lot of these advanced things we could do three, four, five, six years worth of podcast on each one of the things alone. And we probably have.

Richard: To some degree we’ve covered some.

Jesse: Go back and look at the back catalog, please. (laughing)

Richard: But what do you think when it comes to, you have your own Ecwid store. You’ve been doing this for a while. What do you think about marketplaces or Amazon?

Jesse: I’ve made a bad comment about Amazon before. Jeff Bezos, I’m sorry, just don’t come looking for me. But Amazon, they’re a beast, but they can also be a huge, huge source of traffic. So yes, you don’t want to be impersonal; you want to have your own personal brand, but don’t kid yourself. Amazon is massive. And if you’re ready, it’s a step. You probably should look at it.

Richard: Especially if you have your branding down, cause people, as you know, I’m probably preaching the choir to all of you listening right now. When people are going to Amazon, they’re usually going to buy or to look at the reviews of something specific that they want to buy. You don’t really go to Amazon and just meander around and try and network. Yeah. It’s not a social network. You’re not there to discover; I don’t know how I said that word. You’re not there to discover products. You usually know exactly what you want. And so if you did a lot of these beginner and mid-level things already, like build your brand, build your following, build these people, you may as well be selling on Amazon as well. I didn’t say that to say the same word as much as it’s like a play on words. You should be doing both.

Jesse:Yes, totally agree. Now we put it in the advanced section because you have to be on your game. Your pictures have to be really, really good for Amazon. Because people are going through this really fast. Your customer service has to be really good because the reviews are everything in Amazon. You need to have inventory probably at Amazon, so they get it fast. You have the prime designation. You have to be ready for Amazon. I don’t know. I’m putting ready in quotes cause you might think you’re ready off right off the bat. And if you sell products that are on the lower scale, lower price point, you might want to go there earlier. It depends on where you’re at. But Amazon is like swimming with sharks, right? Like it can be your friend, but it can be a little bit dangerous. But there are a ton of sales to be had. Some people are on a 10 to 1 Amazon to their e-commerce. For some people, 25% of their sales come from Amazon. It just depends on where you’re at. But when you’re ready, advanced level check on Amazon, we have whole podcasts on it. We have opinions on it. But get your game ready and then start tackling Amazon. We have a sync with it. It’s going to be pretty easy too. It’s going to be easy to sync your products to Amazon, and it’d be ready to roll.

Richard: One of the things we wanted to cover too is probably the most boring, but we’ve seen upticks enough that it makes it worth discussing. This is specifically just the world of alternative payments. You’ve done everything right, and just someone wants to pay a different way than you have.

Jesse: Yeah. You probably signed up PayPal, Square, Stripe, some of the more common payment providers. This might be breaking news to the podcast world, but we have an integration with Afterpay. So Afterpay, once you had this integration, you can make four installment payments. So really helpful if you’re going after a younger market or if you have a higher price point. Some people just like, “No, I’m not going to pay upfront. I’m only paying Afterpay.” Right. It’s an easy thing to add to your store. Check it out. It’s very, very popular in Australia. For the Aussie’s listening, we have it.

Richard: Brazil too.

Jesse: Brazil, I don’t know if they have Afterpay, but they almost always pay in installments.

Richard: Oh, for sure. They’re all about installments stuff. Check that out.

Jesse: By the way, to go on to that, we also have PayPal credit. It’s always been there. PayPal credit is about the same thing. So for people already on PayPal, or if you’re on another platform and you want to add PayPal, check that up.

Richard: Do people still send checks? (laughing)

Jesse: Boy, I dunno. I think I get one or two a year, but it really goes down. You could actually get, speaking of alternative payments, right? If you’re in a country that, cash on demand is the standard, we have that if you want to accept checks, we have that capability. Actually, I see this a lot from when people downgrade; they say: “Oh, you didn’t have such and such payment.” Well, yeah, we did. Obviously, we’re in the US, so we talk about Stripe, PayPal, Square a lot. And that usually is fine in a lot of the English speaking world, but we have like 50 to 60 different payment providers and just check, right? I saw someone the other day saying: “Oh, you don’t have ideal.” Yeah, we got that. We have payment providers in every single country. If you have a very particular need, we can build it, too, so do check. But yeah, if you’re ready for it, you might want to consider adding an alternate payment provider in addition to your regular payment provider. Yeah. It’s a boring one, Rich, but this is like, hey, you’re already rocking. You’re making some sales, and then you find out like, “Oh, you mean, if I just add this one payment provider, I could get like an extra 20% of sales?” Would you do that? Yeah. Why not? So anyway, check it out, a little more advanced level. Yeah.

Richard: The next thing that we wanted to talk about when it came to advanced is, let’s just say for lack of a way to sum it up quick, is almost juicing. How do you juice up the content you’ve made earlier? Some of these will be different.

Jesse: I do digital marketing for a living. So this one is more in my wheelhouse. We’ve had the whole podcast about this. We’ve talked about it with Matt and Joe. So look back on those ones, but it’s about Facebook and Instagram ads. So this is about doing it yourself. We talked about Facebook dynamic ads. That’s a “set it and forget it” system. You don’t really need to advertise these. Facebook, Instagram ads is you can actually take, the social ads that you listened in the early section, you made a bunch of posts, you’ve made all the stories, and now you want to start boosting those. So you want to boost them. And this is where you’re in that Facebook Business Manager that we talked about. There’s a bit of art to this, I guess. I’m gonna try to keep this to a minute, I guess. Facebook has so much data on everybody. Once you start having an audience, it’s called lookalike. They just know based on certain signals, who are other people that look like your current customers, and they can target them with ads. There’s a lot of different ways to do that. So you can create ads that might appeal to people who look like your current customers, or you can boost your posts that you have that look like your current customers. And then once you’ve been doing this a little bit, the next level of that is retargeting. Now you want to send ads to people who have already visited your site or already visited your page or are friends of your page. Various different ways where you can retarget them, retarget ads to them. That might be called level two, which might be called warm traffic. Everybody has different words for this, but this is about getting your Facebook game going. Then there’s another set of ads, people that have already bought from you. You want to show them ads again later. And maybe that can be based on the product they already bought or add on products to it. Or if it’s something that gets used up at a certain rate, you might say, three months later, they’re going to get similar ads, but it’s not just the product. You have to put a little more work into these. The ad has to be crafted, or you do the stories. But the whole, you might get an agency, you might talk to Facebook, Facebook has reps. So once you start spending money with Facebook, take their calls, they send emails, they call ya. Those tips are very helpful. But this is more of a once you get going, this does take a little bit of time and effort to play around in the backend of Facebook to get more and more traffic based on the sales you’ve already had. So Rich, should I cut that off at the appropriate point?

Richard: Great. As we said a few minutes back, actually a couple of times in this podcast, we could dive deep on a ton of these things. What this is really about is just going through a checklist for you guys. Saying this at the beginning of the year. I wish I would’ve done some of these things last year, but it didn’t need to get moving on some of the things. Now you can see how even in the beginning levels, things need to be repeated and improved. Like pictures, as you start to create content, you’re going to start to get better and better at creating content. So that’ll get easier. But you never stop. If you go back on the podcast too, you’ll see there’s usually one main channel that people are getting traffic from. I’m blanking on the name of the barbecue one, but like we have YouTube for the Chuck Wagon. We have Instagram for flowers and Kissed by a Bee. And we have so many customers that don’t all use the same platform of social. And we’ve talked mostly here about Facebook and Instagram, but once you’ve done a lot of the basics and your features, it’s worth at least trying other channels now and going over into other social channels. Because I laugh even when they talk about Twitter, and I think to myself, I think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, like how could you give a company such a hard time that has like 250 million monthly active users? Okay, maybe compared to this other one, but I don’t know if you’re listening to this podcast right now, would you like 250 million people to check out your store? Of course. I think the advanced would be, how do you check out some of these other platforms, but without trying to waste too much time there? I know that’s going to be the hardest part is how do you spend enough time there that you’re getting real insights and when are you maybe shouldn’t be on there?

Jesse: Yeah. I’ll say what you said in a different way. Master one platform, right? Like first, yes. So everything we mentioned here was probably mastering either the Google side, the Facebook, Instagram side. Whichever of those you hadn’t done yet, do the other one. Those are the always going to be the big two, big three if you want to, think Facebook and Instagram are different, but master those. This is a good one for this year. Figured out some time where you’re going to put a month or two towards one of the other big platforms. One of the other ones, yeah, it’s YouTube or Pinterest or Snapchat or TikTok. TikTok is real. Hey, you better be appealing to younger people here. That’s the rising one. Anyway, we won’t go into each of those platforms because we have a podcast about most of those. But the idea is to take what you’ve learned on another platform and see if you can apply it in the new one, but it’s going to be different. So it’s gonna be the same but a little bit different. Like YouTube. Okay. While you’re making videos, you need to catch people in the first couple of seconds. I said I wouldn’t go into them, but yeah, you wanna make more of a five-minute content. In the Pinterest world, you’re probably going to be using some photo editing to make a taller image. Snapchat is its own beast and TikTok. You better have your meme and your lip sinking game on. I don’t know if I have it for TikTok, but I’m just saying each has its own nuances that you need to bring to that platform. But as you said, you don’t wanna waste too much time there, but you gonna find the right balance there.

Richard: Yeah, and I think a lot of that comes down to what we talked about earlier in the podcast. It’s just really getting to know your customers. If you are on the phone or you’re doing an email, and you’re asking people, or if you say to use this certain hashtag, anyone who uses this hashtag will direct message you with this coupon or something. You know what, I’m making something up now. But you get it. Eventually, you might find out that you might not be the age of the people on TikTok, but your product might be perfect for the people. You might just have your daughter do it, or your son does it. Or no one does any lip sinking, and you have a toy that tries to lip-sync. Do you know what I mean? It is, “Where is your audience?” Because that’s what we’re really talking about. Where is your audience? And then what is the type of thing that they want to see? What are their spending time and a good thing, a sad thing, whatever. A lot of people are spending time on these platforms. So you can fight it, or you can embrace it. And we’re just saying you should probably embrace it. But start with one thing. Work until it’s working good. Get to know your customers, get better at your pictures, get better at your descriptions, get better at ads, get better at knowing. People are constantly being interrupted and distracted. They’re turning off their computers at work. That might’ve been why the sale didn’t go through. The boss was just walking through. Like there’re so many ways. So for you to be able to remarket them or repurpose things you’ve shot somewhere and used them somewhere else. Just keep diving in, keep diving in, and focus on that brand and that connection with your customers. And I think that at the end of 2020, you’ll definitely see your business and move forward for sure.

Jesse: Rich, that was a good recap of a lot of the things we talked about. If you’re listening, our goal here is we want to help you with this. We’ve given you a bunch of tips that you can apply, but we can’t sit next to you. We can’t make you do it. We can’t make you log in to these sites. You have to make that decision to go do it. We had our resolution here, and we’re going to put this on a checklist. So go to ecwid.com/podcast, you’ll find our 2020 show. And there’s going to be a checklist there, so you can pick out whatever of these you think you can do. If you want to do them all extra credit, take a picture of it, send it back to us on social, and maybe we will take our own advice and tell people on social: “Hey, look at whoever did this.” So yeah, it’s a new year, let’s get after it. Rich, what do you think here? Any other last thoughts?

Richard: No, I would say probably overall, one of the comments you just made there. We wish we could help you all, and that is true. We do. But there is one way that we can help a lot of you, and that’s actually if you go to ecwid.com/podcast and then pick any podcast and drill down to that particular podcast of that day. So you could be listening, it could be at the bottom of this one. Right now, if you’re on that page, granted you’re going to have to go to, again, equid.com/podcast. You’re not going to find this in your podcast player. But if you do that and scroll down to the very bottom, you’re going to see a button called “Tell us why,” and that’s one way that we actually can help you as a merchant. We can sit with you and help you specifically. We can do with all of you, but the people who are willing to take those few steps to fill out that form, don’t worry, it’s not like this IQ test, quiz thing or anything. It’s super simple, and that’s how we get our Ecwid customers on the show, and we love it, and it’s probably more fun than any of the podcasts we do, cause we love hearing the feedback from them and how much it’s helped their business. I would say that would be it. Take advantage of that.

Jesse: It’s a bit of a challenge. I like it. All right. It is 2020, new year, new you, new business, get after the checklist, make it happen.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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